Weta Digitals Barrie Osborne is partnering with LORD OF THE RINGS visual effects artist N. Madhusudhanan to co-found sister animation and sound effects/post-production studios in India, according to VARIETY. Osborne and Madhusudhanan are talking with several conglomerates including Tata, Birla, computer software firm Infosys and outsourcing company Wipro to team on the venture. Tata and Birla have film divisions and Tata has long wanted to get into the animation biz. The duo is looking at sites in Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore for the studios.
The takeover of HIT Entertainment Plc. has turned into a three-way bidding war, with Classic Media and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. vying against Apax Partners, to purchase the kids producer/distributor based in London.
VIZ Llc. and ShoPro Ent. Inc., two prominent North American based companies specializing in Japanese content, announced the completion of their merger to form VIZ Media Llc. (VIZ Media), a new entertainment company specializing in the production and licensing of animated content for TV and theatrical distribution, publishing, home video distribution and consumer products.
Turbo Squid, home of the Web's largest collection of royalty-free 3D products available for download, celebrates their fifth anniversary today (April 1, 2005).
Turbo Squid was founded in 2000 after a group of 3D artists discussed how to buy and sell 3D models they had created and owned. Today there are more than 8,200 artists around the world who contribute to the largest collection of royalty free digital content available for download. Last month, Turbo Squid announced the 100,000th piece of content was added to its rapidly expanding library.
Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief exec DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., said he doesnt think there will be an oversaturation in the animated film industry due to the great variety of features to interest audiences.
The "single greatest fiction" about animated films was that a possible glut of movies was looming, Katzenberg told analysts and investors at a media conference in New York City March 30, 2005. "It's not as though all of these movies are the same," he said. "It's not like they're all James Bond movies ... they couldn't be more distinctive.
Major Japanese trading houses, which deal in commodities ranging from plants to noodles, are now ramping up their investments in Japanese animation for export, however concerns about lax copyright rules in some Asian markets still persists, reports YAHOO! ASIA. Trading firms see the profitability of cartoon character goods and intend to grow the business by leveraging ties with toymakers.
The Walt Disney Studios and Miramax co-chairmen Bob and Harvey Weinstein have reached a mutual agreement concluding the Weinsteins current deal with The Walt Disney Co.
Santa Monica, California-based Entity FX has just announced its new commercial representation, Connie Mellors and Ellen Dempsey of Connie Mellors & Co.
We want to work on commercials that push the creative envelope, said Kymber Lim, head of production for Entity FX. Someone of Connies experience and reputation will help us to attract those kinds of projects.
DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. announced it has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission in preparation for a secondary offering of $500 million of shares of its Class A common stock. All shares will be offered to the public by current stockholders of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. and therefore the company will not be issuing additional shares or receiving any proceeds from the offering.
In order to unify its overall branding strategy, Autodesk has renamed Discreet to Autodesk Media and Ent. The division best known for 3ds max and other digital imaging software will continue to service the film, video, gaming and related media and entertainment markets.
This renaming ensures that the creative toolset from Autodesk Media and Ent. will stay on the leading edge of product innovation. Additionally, Autodesk Consulting is extending its organization by adding a dedicated media and entertainment division.
Time Warner sister companies HBO and New Line Cinema have acquired independent distributor Newmarket Films and hired its chief, Bob Berney, to run a new venture, reports REUTERS. Newmarket is best know for taking the risk in releasing Mel Gibsons THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, which earned more than $350 million at domestic box offices via grass-roots marketing aimed at religious groups. Other big releases for Newmarket included WHALE RIDER and MONSTER.
Pixar Animation Studios announced today that its board of directors has approved a two-for-one split of the company's common stock and the number of outstanding shares will jump from 100 million to 200 million.
At the close of trading on April 4, 2005, shareholders of record will receive one additional share of Pixar for every outstanding share held on the record date. Trading will begin on a split-adjusted basis on April 19.
On March 21, 2005, HIT Entertainment Plc. agreed, to take a £489.4 million ($934 million) cash takeover offer from U.K. venture capitalists Apax Partners.
HIT, the kids entertainment company behind such characters at BOB THE BUILDER, THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE and BARNEY THEPURPLE DINOSAUR, made the announcement as it revealed disappointing financial results for the six months ending Jan. 31.
Avid Technology Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Pinnacle Systems Inc. in a cash and stock transaction of about $462 million. The combination will provide Avid with immediate presence in consumer video and expand its professional broadcast offerings. The acquisition is subject to satisfying a number of closing conditions, including shareholder and regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the second or third quarter of 2005.
DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. announced financial results for its fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2004.
Sumner M. Redstone, chairman/ceo of Viacom Inc. is exploring the possibility of dividing the corporations businesses into separate publicly-traded companies, to achieve important corporate objectives and to better deliver value to shareholders in a tax-efficient manner, a company statement read. Viacom expects to announce further details regarding the possible separation in the second quarter of 2005.
On March 15, 2005, the trial began in the lawsuit between Roger Rabbit creator Gary Wolf and the Walt Disney Co., reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Wolf alleges the 5% royalty he received from revenue for movies, merchandise and other goods should also include the estimated value of promotional tie-ins with McDonalds, Burger King and others -- even though Disney was not paid for those deals. In Wolfs 1983 agreement, he is entitled to a percentage of gross receipt, which he claims should include cash and "all other considerations.
Texas Instruments will unveil a glimpse of its future plans for digital cinema and 3D movies at ShoWest, the annual convention for movie exhibitors, March 14 -17, 2005, in Las Vegas. TI has planned what it considers a landmark demonstration with STAR WARS creator George Lucas and TITANIC director James Cameron on March 17 at 11:30 am to showcase 3D theatrical entertainment with TIs DLP Cinema technology. TI will for the fourth consecutive year serve as the corporate sponsor of ShoWest.
Due to a new condominium project, the Animation Academy, which was operating at 3407 W. Olive Ave., will now hold classes at the Burbank Association of Realtors offices and Trinity Foursquare Church, reports the DAILY NEWS. The location were the school use to be is now part of a 3.8-acre Media District site designated for a Platt Cos. project that will include 220 condo units, 20,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, a church and a child-care facility.
Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. (SCEA) is staging its biggest presence ever at the 2005 Game Developers Conference, held March 7-11, 2005, in San Francisco to feature the newest PlayStation platform, PSP (PlayStation Portable), innovations for the PlayStation2 computer entertainment system and EyeToy, as well as tools and technologies designed to encourage game development on all platforms.
Sony experts in game development, programming and technology have been scheduled to speak at numerous sessions during the 19th annual conference.
The Game Developers Association of Australia (GDAA), the governing body for the Australian Videogame Industry, announced that Australian videogame companies are planning ahead and looking for talent at this years GDC to help fuel the booming games industry Downunder in years to come. During GDC 2005 in San Francisco, California (March 7-11, 2005), interested parties wishing to learn more are asked to stop by and visit the BigWorld Booth # 827 or Auran Booth # CP160 and talk with the GDAA executives.
BioWare Corp. announced its plans to continue the expansion of its development teams for its future videogame projects. The Edmonton-based company is actively recruiting for a variety of positions across numerous disciplines and will be taking those recruitment efforts across North America in the upcoming months.
On March 7, 2005, National Film Development Corp. Malaysia (Finas) Chairman Datuk Abdul Aziz Rahman urged Malaysian feature, documentary and animation filmmakers to look toward making films that appeal to an international market, reports BERNAMA. The Malaysian tends to make films that appeal to specific local tastes, which make quick profits.
Abdul Aziz said, "Most of them (movie producers) never think that messages conveyed to the audience should be given priority".
Atari Inc. it has entered into an exclusive, long-term agreement with Spark Unlimited, developer of CALL OF DUTY: FINEST HOUR, for worldwide publishing rights across all media to all future titles developed by the award-winning creative team at Spark Unlimited. The first joint project is in development at Spark for the next generation of consoles, and will be unveiled in greater detail in the spring, with an anticipated launch during the holiday 2006 season.
In a restructuring move to dedicate new efforts in the family arena, Universal Pictures has established Universal Studios Home Entertainment Family Productions and will step up efforts to produce product for the made-for-DVD arena.
(USHEFP), it was announced today by Mary Parent and Scott Stuber, respectively vice chairman, Worldwide production, Universal Pictures.