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Headline News

DoubleClick - Google Deal Finalized

After nearly a year of regulatory wrangling, Google acquired DoubleClick on Tuesday for $3.1 billion, the ASSOCIATED PRESS reports.

Google took control of DoubleClick only a few hours after Europe's antritrust regulators cleared the path for approval, 11 months after it was initially announced.

US regulators cleared the deal in December, despite objections from Microsoft and others that the transaction would give Google too much control over online advertising and consumer behavior.

Effects Headline News

Red Magnet Attaches Itself To Venice

Red Magnet, a visual effects boutique catering to the advertising industry, has launched in Venice, California.

Headed by Shira Boardman, former executive producer at Sway Studio, the new company will offer 2D and 3D design and effects, previsualization, project management and supervision, compositing and animation.

Red Magnet has already completed its first project and has two more underway.

Headline News

New Line Merges Into Warners, Co-CEOs Out

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER is reporting that New Line Cinema co-chairmen and co-CEOs Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne will leave the studio as it consolidates into Warner Bros. Entertainment, Time Warner announced Thursday.

New Line will maintain separate development, production, marketing, distribution and business affairs operations.

However, it will now operate as a unit of Warners, coordinating operations to "maximize film performance and operating efficiencies," Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said.

Headline News

Autodesk Reports 20 Percent Growth

Autodesk, Inc. reported Tuesday record revenue of $599 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008, an increase of 20 percent over the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007.

Fourth quarter net income was $96 million, or $0.40 per diluted share, on a GAAP basis and $124 million, or $0.52 per diluted share, on a non- GAAP basis.

Net income in the fourth quarter of the prior year was $96 million, or $0.40 per diluted share on a GAAP basis, and $113 million, or $0.46 per diluted share, on a non-GAAP basis.

Media Headline News

WGA Strike Officially Over

The members of the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) put their final stamp of approval Wednesday on the deal that ended their 14-week strike, giving writers new rights and protections for work distributed on and created for the Internet and other new media platforms.

An overwhelming majority of the WGA membership voted in favor of ratifying the three-year contract by 93.6 percent of 4,060 votes cast in Los Angeles and New York. The term of the agreement is from February 13, 2008 through May 1, 2011.

Business Headline News

TV Loonland's Munich Office Staff Reduced

German TV Loonland will lay off nine of their 15 employees at its Munich headquarters later this summer.

The news prompted the company's stocks to jump 12 percent to 0.28 euros ($0.42), according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER on Feb. 27.

In a statement from Loonland on March 7, they said they had "undertaken this restructuring step now so that its future shape across its offices better reflects its ongoing business."

Headline News

Viz Teams With Madman To Bring Manga To Australia And New Zealand

VIZ Media, one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced its continued global expansion with a new distribution agreement with Madman Entertainment to offer a wide variety of Shueisha manga (graphic novel) series to the burgeoning market in Australia and New Zealand.

Shueisha Inc., is one of Japan's largest publishers and is a parent company of VIZ Media.

Business Headline News

Variety To Be Sold

VARIETY parent company Reed Elsevier announced Thursday they will sell Reed Business Information, which includes VARIETY and DAILY VARIETY.

Reed Business Information is the magazine publishing division, and also owns BROADCASTING AND CABLE, MULTICHANNEL NEWS, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY and NEW SCIENTIST.

VARIETY reports chief executive Crispin Davis said the move was aimed at "reducing exposure to advertising markets and cyclicality," enabling the Anglo-Dutch group to focus on its core business of "subscription-based information and workflow solutions."

Game Headline News

DAZ 3D and Mogware Collaboration

DAZ Productions announced they will team with game content pipeline provider Mogware to use their automation toolset technology - used by leading game developers - for moving DAZ 3D content directly into their 3D software or games.

MOGBox, being shown for the first time at the 2008 Game Developers Conference, is designed as a timesaving and cost-effective solution for the large tasks of 3D content creation and reformatting.

DAZ Productions is a leading developer of professional-quality 3D software and models.

Disney Headline News

Walt Disney Stake in UTV Increases

The Walt Disney Company's subsidiary the Walt Disney Company (Southeast Asia) Pte. Ltd. will increase its strategic investment in UTV Software Communications Limited, the companies announced today.

Disney's investment further establishes its entry into the Indian market through UTV and complements its fast-growing Disney-branded businesses and long-held joint venture in ESPN STAR Sports.

With this investment, Disney will be increasing its stake in UTV to 32.1 percent on a fully diluted share capital basis.

Services Headline News

Eyetronics to Offer Mocap Services with Moven

Eyetronics announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Xsens to represent their Moven MoCap (motion capture) system.

Under the the terms of the agreement, Eyetronics will provide MoCap services via Moven and will also make the system available for purchase.

Eyetronics is an international provider of high resolution scanning services and animation-ready 3D models for feature films, television, commercials and computer games.

Headline News

GameRecruiter To Get Serious

GameRecruiter, the leader in recruitment services for the interactive entertainment industry, announced Thursday the launch of GR Serious.

The fully operational business division will recruit quality professionals in the serious games industry, including military simulation, medical simulation and interactive training.

GR Serious headquarters are in Orange County, Fla., and will operate under the existing umbrella of GameRecruiter.

Todd Gillick is division director and client manager.

Toon Headline News

Toon Boom Animation Releases New Harmony

Toon Boom Animation announced the expansion of its consultancy services with the release of a new version of Harmony.

Toon Boom Harmony can be used to create animated episodic and feature-length projects, using both traditional and digital methods.

They're also expanding the scope of their consultancy services in the fields of implementation, optimization and creative diversification, as well as custom training and production assistance.

Mobile Headline News

Mandalay Completes Merger With Twistbox

Mandalay Media announced Wednesday the completion of its merger with Twistbox Ent., now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mandalay.

Mandalay Media is a development stage company created by leading executives from the entertainment and investment industries and co-chaired by Peter Guber and Rob Elin.

Effects Headline News

Deluxe Entertainment Divides Rainmaker

Rainmaker postproduction and visual effects will be split into two divisions by its new parent company Deluxe Entertainment Services Group, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

Mark Atkinson will lead the new Deluxe Vancouver, directing the unit's motion picture laboratory, telecine, editorial and media management operations.

Marianne O'Reilly will continue to manage the visual effects division as president of the new CIS Vancouver.

CIS Vancouver as well as the new CIS London (formerly Rainmaker U.K.) make up part of CIS Visual Effects Group.

Animation Headline News

Indian Animation Firms Team Up

DQ Entertainment and Percept Picture Company have signed a memorandum of understanding to co-produce three animation films in 2009-2010.

Two of the three will be in the mythology genre and the third is planned as a Bollywood masala flick.

Tapaas Chakravarti, Chairman and CEO of DQ Entertainment Limited said, "Bollywood's foray into animated Indian feature films with HANUMAN has triggered many announcements of animated features by Bollywood houses."

Mobile Headline News

Paramount Pictures Creates Mobile Entertainment Unit

Sandi Isaacs, SVP, Mobile & Interactive, has announced the creation of Paramount Mobile Ent. (PME), a new business unit under the umbrella of the studio's digital division, Paramount Pictures Digital Ent. The new global unit will focus on developing mobile entertainment and alternative distribution models for the studio. Isaacs announced PME's senior management team, as well as key partnerships and content deals.

Headline News

Yahoo Board Rejects Microsoft $44.6 Billion Offer

Yahoo rejected a $44.6 billion takeover bid from Microsoft on Monday, its board of directors saying it undervalued the company, according to HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

Microsoft and Yahoo have been in discussions for a year and a half, and though Yahoo has struggled in recent years in competition with Google, Microsoft still sees value in its large audience.

Work Headline News

Writers Heading Back to Work

An end to the three-month long writers strike seems to be on the horizon. The trades are reporting that the WGA ruling boards unanimously approved the tentative deal with the studios. The move will send showrunners back to work on Monday. Members will vote to end the strike on Tuesday evening, which could send scribes back to work as soon as Wednesday.

Headline News

Habbo Partners with William Morris Agency

Habbo announced it has partnered with William Morris Agency. Habbo is the first online virtual world the agency will represent.

To expand the virtual world's reach into the entertainment industry, the William Morris Agency will help Habbo facilitate new strategic partnerships to generate cross-marketing and promotional opportunities. Additionally, William Morris will provide popular Hollywood and music celebrities for in-game interview appearances within the Habbo community.

Creative Headline News

John A. Marley Launches Indie Prod Co

BBC, Disney UK and Cartoon Network veteran John A. Marley is launching Archie Productions, an independent production company that will develop and produce creative intellectual property for both broadcast and digital media. As creative director, Marley will originate and produce his own shows while actively seeking innovative partnerships with other creative talent. Archie Productions currently has an active development slate of properties across kids, entertainment and factual entertainment.

Headline News

WGA Saturday Meeting Could End Strike

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 6, 2008 at 12:00am

The entire industry is holding their breath awaiting the results of meetings in NYC and L.A. where the WGA top brass will pitch the new contract to the members, hopefully ending the three-month-old strike, reports the trades. Members will meet in L.A. at 7:00 pm at the Shrine Auditorium, while WGA East will hold their meeting at the Crowne Plaza at 2:00 pm.

Focus Headline News

Warner Bros. MPI and Prime Focus Form Strategic Alliance

Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging and Prime Focus have entered into a strategic alliance that will allow both companies to expand their abilities to offer their state-of-the-art digital post-production capabilities to filmmakers on a global scale. It also allows both companies to manage their workflows more efficiently between Warner Bros. MPI in Burbank and Prime Focus' facilities throughout multiple locations in India and London as well as in New York, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Los Angeles.

Mattel Headline News

Mattel Signs with CAA

Mattel has signed with Creative Artists Agency (CAA), the world's leading entertainment and sports agency, to develop entertainment-based marketing programs that build upon the company's toy brands, including Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price, Masters of the Universe, Max Steel, UNO, and Polly Pocket. CAA Marketing will identify and create opportunities across a variety of platforms, from movies, digital media, and music, to videogames, television, and beyond, and will help further build brand relevance for Mattel's extensive library of rich intellectual properties.

Headline News

NVIDIA To Acquire AGEIA Technologies

After recently acquiring mental images to bolster its arsenal with the addition of mental ray rendering software, NVIDIA has signed a definitive agreement to acquire gaming physics technology leader AGEIA Technologies Inc. Now PhysX on GeForce will bring enhanced physics dynamics to gamers, as AGEIA's software is widely adopted on the next-gen consoles.