This weekend, Film Roman, Inc., producers of THE SIMPSONS and KING OF THEHILL, launched Level 13.net, an innovative multi-channel animation networkto be delivered via the Internet. Level 13 is the industry's firstregularly scheduled, animated television-like network made directly for theWeb. William Shpall, Chief Operating Officer of Film Roman, and architectof the company's Internet strategy, said, "While many of today'sentertainment and Internet leaders are still testing enhanced television
On Monday, November 29, 1999, Time Warner launched its new Internetentertainment network, Entertaindom. The new channel is the first on-lineentertainment network produced from a major media company. The channel willoffer a smorgasbord of on-line entertainment, news, and services from Warner'svast vault of branded material. Entertaindom will include entertainmentnews andinformation from "Entertainment Weekly," CNN, Reuters, "Variety" and othersources, including music and TV stories, movie reviews, hit lists and critics'
Infogrames Entertainment, a leading developer, publisher and distributor ofinteractive entertainment, announced it has acquired GT Interactive Software(GTIS), a US-based company. The total investment is being reported as $135million. Infogrames' product catalog includes such franchises as MissionImpossible,Test Drive and Looney Tunes. GTIS brings such titles as Driver,Deer Hunter, Blues Clues and Abe's Odyssey. This transaction is part ofInfogrames' global expansion strategy and will help further establish the
U.K.-based Eidos plc, one of the world's leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, announced their results for the three and six months ended September 30, 1999. Revenues for the quarter were BR£27.3 million (US$45.0 million), up from 21.8 million pounds for the corresponding period last year. On a U.S. GAAP basis the company's loss before tax for the quarter was £16.8 million ($27.8 million), giving a net loss of £12.8 million ($21.2 million) and a loss per share of 66.3 pence (109.4¢), compared to a net loss of £8.8
Varga Holdings, one of Europe's leading animation and special effectsproduction houses, has completed its extensive restructuring. Group CEO Andrs Erkel andGroup Managing Director Jan Sawkins announced Varga Studios has been renamedVarga Budapest Ltd. and Varga tvc Ltd. has been newly named Varga London Ltd,while Varga Commercials' name remains the same. The new structure is Varga'sstrategy to unify the company and create a standard corporate identityunder one Varga logo. In addition, the Budapest and London branches of the company
Electronic Arts, a world leader in interactive entertainment software, hascreated a new division to publish games for the Web and to operate a seriesof new on-line gaming sites. The new division has been formed to createcontent for America Online, the world's leading Internet service company.Electronic Arts' new on-line gaming division comes on the heels of theiracquisition of Charlottesville, Virginia-based Kesmai Corporation, adeveloper of multiplayer on-line entertainment previously owned by News
The Harvey Entertainment Company has partnered with Landmark EntertainmentGroup to create themed attractions from Harvey's cast of classic toons. Toons likeCASPER, THE FRIENDLY GHOST, RICHIE RICH, LITTLE AUDREY, and WENDY THE GOODWITCH will be the spark of ingenuity behind several location-based entertainmentcenters. Landmark's past film-inspired rides include STAR TREK: THE EXPERIENCE,JURASSIC PARK: THE RIDE, and TERMINATOR 2: 3D. Tony Christopher, CEO ofLandmark Entertainment Group believes, "Families are looking for entertaining things
Venice, CA-based, Blur Studio, a leader in 3D animation, effects anddesign, has spawned a new theme park and special venue division. The new venture will behelmed by veteran ride film director Yas Takata. The new studio comes off theheels of Blur's success with the creation of last year's METEOR ATTACK, acustom film attraction for the Tobu Zoo Park in Tokyo, Japan co-directed by Takata andBlur co-founder Tim Miller. The film has since been licensed by IwerksEntertainment to play at venues around the globe. Takata has directed
Big news from the next-generation entertainment industry! AtomFilms hasacquired PixelWave, a leader in online content development andentertainment technologies. The acquisition has spurred AtomFilms to makeplans to form "Atom Studios," a next-generation entertainment studio. Thenew company will focus on the creation of new original Macromedia Flash andstreaming media animated series and integrating content in both onlineadvertising and sponsorship opportunities. "PixelWave delivers an important
On November 10, 1999, Nickelodeon Online announced the premiere of a newNickelodeon channel on Apple's QuickTime TV (QTV), a leader on the Internetfor web-based video and audio. Nickelodeon's QTV channel will bring tocomputers around the world clips from Nickelodeon's new television shows,links to nick.com and nickjr.com, and other interactive items of kids.Also, the new NickTime TV will feature programming from Nickelodeon GAS,the first streaming sports network for kids. "QTV is the perfect network
Starting on Monday, November 15, 1999, Walt Disney Co. must stop using thegreen traffic light-type emblem for its Go.com Web sites. U.S. DistrictCourt Judge Terry J. Hatter Jr. ruled that the logo used by Disney is toosimilar to the one used by the GoTo.com search engine. In December 1997,GoTo.com began using the logo of a green circle on a yellow backgroundwith the letters "GoTo" in white. Almost two years later, Disney beganusing a logo of a green traffic light in a yellow case with "Go" written in
Los Angeles, California-based Iwerks Entertainment, which specializes inhigh-tech entertainment systems, support services and film-based softwarefor Giant Screen, ride simulation and specialty venue attractions, recentlyopened a sales and support office in London, England. The office, which islocated at 59 South Audley Street, will be led by John Schreiner, VicePresident, Managing Director for Europe. The company is in the midst of aEuropean growth period that has included the addition of Iwerks Extreme
Burbank, California-based The Walt Disney Co. has reported a drop infourth-quarter profits. The entertainment company, which owns a filmstudio, a TV network (ABC) and runs theme parks around the world, said netincome fell to $85 million, or 4 cents a share, from $296 million, or 14cents a share, in 1998. Disney's earnings for its fourth quarter whichended September 30 included charges for acquiring Internet search serviceInfoseek Corp. Excluding the charges, profits fell 37 percent to $212
New York City-based Oxygen Media,Geraldine Laybourne's company founded to provide content for women, hasreached an agreement with Insight Communications to distribute the Oxygencable network. Insight is the 8th largest cable operator in the UnitedStates, serving more than one million customers in six states. Under theterms of the agreement, Insight Communications will launch Oxygen acrossthe majority of its systems. The new Oxygen cable network, which launcheson O2/O2/2000, will be integrated with Oxygen's existing online properties
Montreal, Canada-based LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL reported Friday, October 15that Cinar, producer of such shows as PBS' ARTHUR, THE BUSY WORLD OFRICHARD SCARRY, ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK and WIMZIE'S HOUSE, substitutedthe names of Canadians for work done by non-Canadians to become eligiblefor tax credits that were intended to help Canada's film industry. Althoughthe film company was not named in the newspaper story, the CanadianBroadcasting Company (CBC) reports that on Friday, in the Canadian House of
Seven European animation companies have joined to form a company called theEuropean Animation Group, although its name is likely to change. The grouphopes to produce a minimum of one animated feature or series per year,beginning in 2001 with its first feature, the $15 million ELFQUEST, set togo into production in January 2000. The announcement was made at MIPCOMheld October 4 - 8 in Cannes, France. European Animation Group bringstogether seven companies. From France, the partners are
Macromedia, the industry leader in web design and web graphics tooldevelopment, announced several moves and agreements which gear thecompany toward taking e-commerce to a new level, and making Macromedia acentral part of this growing sector's evolution. The company unveiled itseBusiness Infrastructure strategy, i.e. plans to provide 'solutions' forcontent creation, management, personalisation and management of Extranetand Internet sites.
The company also made several other significant announcements, most notably
Studio B Productions has moved to a custom designed studio at 190 AlexanderStreet in Vancouver, British Columbia. The three-floor, 27,000 sq. ft.facility is home to Studio B's animation studio and production house aswell as Mercury Filmworks, a fully equipped digital animation facility, andDick and Roger's, a fully equipped sound studio which means that thefacility now has the ability to produce an animated show or series in itsentirety from script to post-production. The move to larger, custom
New York City-based Oxygen Media, Geraldine Laybourne's media companyfounded to provide content for women, has named eight executive producers,seven of whom are new to Oxygen's team, to guide the development ofOxygen's growing online network, including building five new sites - Style,Sports, Teens, O2 Simplify, and womenshands - as well as expanding thepopular existing parenting site, Moms Online and Oprah.com. The new andexpanded sites will be rolled out this winter. Oxygen's online executive
Disney's sequel to its 1953 PETER PAN, which had been in production at Disney's Toronto and Vancouverstudios, has been put on hold, resulting in layoffs of animators and staffat the Canadian studios. The rumors that the studios are being completelyshut down appear to be untrue at this time, but the total number ofemployees who have been laid off is unknown. According to Laurel Whitcomb,a Disney spokeswoman, the PETER PAN sequel "was in early stages ofproduction and needed to go back into development for retooling of thestory."
Nickelodeon is opening a new animation studio in New York City at 1515 Broadway which will be knownas Nickelodeon Animation Studio New York (NASNY). The digital animationstudio and development laboratory will open in October, although the movehas already taken place. Among the series that will be produced at the newstudio will be BLUE'S CLUES, LITTLE BILL, and GARBAGE BOY, a new weeklysegment for KABLAM!. The studio will house 140 employees including 70animators/digital designers. All phases of production other than
On Monday, October 4 at 4 pm Jean-Marie Messier, president of Vivendi, aFrench multimedia, communications and power company, will deliver thekeynote address for the special three day forum on convergence, TV Meetsthe Internet @ MIPCOM. The address will be entitled "21st CenturyTelevision: Visions for Next Generation Broadcasting.". . . Rome,Italy-based RAI TRADE will offer BROTHER JACOB, an animated edutainmentseries for children about a storytelling monk, as well as GONE WITH THE
Viacom Inc., which owns MTV and Paramount Pictures, has offered to buy CBSCorp., one of the Big Three US television broadcasters, for $37 billion instock, the largest media transaction ever. The new company, which willstill be called Viacom, will be led by Sumner Redstone who will remainViacom's chairman and chief executive. CBS President and Chief ExecutiveMel Karmazin will be president and chief operating officer. The deal ispart of what is expected to be a wave of consolidation in the TV industry
The tradeshow for television programming producers and distributors takesplace October 4-8 in Cannes, France. Basque, Spain-based animation studioIRUSOIN is nearing completion of KARRAMARRO (CRAB ISLAND), a made fortelevision animated feature with rights available for worldwide TV andvideo release. The original story is about a group of kind, song-lovingpirates, focused on luckless Dimitri, a pirate who cannot sing, and aparrot who is the only clue to tracking down a fabulous pirate's treasure.
Sony Pictures Entertainmenthas formalized the name of its newest business unit, Sony Pictures FamilyEntertainment Group (SPFE), and appointed Gary Hirsch as senior vicepresident and general manager of the division. Reporting to SanderSchwartz, president of the relatively new division, Hirsch will oversee newbusiness development opportunities for the division and its day-to-dayoperations, including business affairs, human resources, studio operations,production and marketing. Hirsch comes to Sony's SPFE from Columbia