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Blu-ray Headline News

Paramount To Support Blu-ray & HD-DVD

A new wrinkle in the hi-def DVD format war has occurred. Paramount Home Ent. has announced that it will support Sonys Blu-ray format as well as its previously announced support for Toshibas HD-DVD.

Rumors are afloat that Warner Bros. with be announcing dual support later this week as well. Previously, Universal was the first studio originally backing HD-DVD to announce that it was going to support both formats. Some say its a move to save face for backing the potential loser in the format wars.

Animation Headline News

Toonz & First Serve Form Animation Joint Venture

Trivandrum-based Toonz Animation India and California-based First Serve Ent. have announced the formation of a joint venture First Serve Toonz (FST), which will produce and distribute animation programming for the international marketplace as well as operate a consumer products licensing business, reports the trades. FST will announce its first major project in the next few weeks.

Digital Headline News

AccessIT, Christie Commit for Long Term Digital Cinema Agreement

Spurred by positive industry acceptance of their digital cinema funding plan, Access Integrated Technologies Inc. (AccessIT) and Christie Digital Systems USA Inc. (Christie) strengthened the commitment to their Digital Cinema Framework, removing provisions that had originally allowed either party to terminate their agreement by Sept. 30. The companies viewed the move as an expression of their long-term pledge to the innovative template they designed for funding a nationwide rollout of theater-based digital systems.

Channel Headline News

New FUNimation Channel Offers 24-hour Digital Anime Network

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 29, 2005 at 12:00am

FUNimation Ent. a wholly-owned subsidiary of Navarre Corp., launched the FUNimation Channel today (Sept. 29, 2005), a 24-hour, digital network that will feature distinguished anime programming from FUNimation's anime brands. Working with OlympuSAT, one of the leading distributors for independent programming in the U.S., the channel will be available to video service providers throughout the nation. The plan is for the FUNimation Channel to be part of the basic and extended digital packages, so it will be a regular channel in the lineup.

Dreamworks Headline News

DreamWorks Calls Off NBC Uni Purchase Talks

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 28, 2005 at 12:00am

DreamWorks has called off its talks with NBC Universal to buy the independent powerhouse, reports the trades. On Sept. 26, 2005, after two months of exclusive talks between the studios, DreamWorks founder and chief negotiator David Geffen walked away from the table when GE and Universal tried to renegotiate the price after previously settling on a price of around $1 billion.

Kids Headline News

PBS KIDS Sprout Launches New 24x7 PreSchool Network

PBS KIDS Sprout launched a new 24/7 preschool network on digital cable and satellite with more than 16 million committed subscribers dedicated to offering little ones safe, fun, quality content as well as a new website to give viewers online access and activities.


Headline News

TV-Loonland Starts Up Loonland Pictures

TV-Loonland has launched Loonland Pictures to market in-house and third-party productions. Loonland Pictures will be marketing the new TV-Loonland feature film, HEIDI, as its first production.

Loonland Pictures was able to sign on 20th Century Fox und NFP marketing* as marketing and distribution partners for the films Dec. 22, 2005 release.

Headline News

Getting to Know Jack

jack is the new kid on the block of visual effects companies and is quickly making a statement. Having officially launched in Venice, California, feature film and commercial production companies now have a new creative partner for high-end visual effects, finishing and previs.

Animation Headline News

Nicktoons Now Nicktoons Network With New Logo, Look, Packaging & Website

Nicktoons, Nickelodeons 24-hour animation network, has renamed and rebranded itself to become Nicktoons Network on Sept. 23, 2005. The network, which became ad-supported I August, will continue to showcase a variety of animation all day and night. Targeting kids 6-14, Nicktoons Network features programming that is 75% exclusive to the channel. In addition to a new name and logo, Nicktoons Network sports a fresh look with new packaging both on-air and on the networks new website,

Business Headline News

Sony Slashes 10,000 Jobs

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 22, 2005 at 12:00am

On Sept. 20, 2005, Sony Corp. announced it would cut about 7% of its global work force, sell more than $1 billion in assets and post a loss this year, reports REUTERS. The company hopes to gain 210 billion yen ($1.9 billion) in restructuring charges in next the two business years through March 2007 as it closes plants and slashes 10,000 jobs. With the move, Sony hopes to catch up with Matsushita Electric Industrial and Sharp Corp. in the flat TV market as well as Apple Computer in the portable music industry.

Media Headline News

Triple Take Marches with CowParade

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 22, 2005 at 12:00am

Triple Take Media and CowParade Holdings Corp., a world-renowned organization whose cow motif art and collectible figurines have spawned a multimillion dollar franchise, have established a joint venture designed to expand the beloved COWPARADE brand into all areas of media and merchandising.

Headline News

WGA Elects Toon Writer as President

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 21, 2005 at 12:00am

Taking 69% of the ballots cast, animation writer Patric Verrone was elected president of the Writers Guild of America West, reports VARIETY. Verrone, a co-producer of THE SIMPSONS and a screenwriter for several other animated series, ran on the platform of following through on the efforts by the guild to organize animation, cable and the reality TV arena. Previously, he served two terms as the WGA West's secretary-treasurer.

Production Headline News

Bridgepoint to Merge with Marathon

European private equity firm Bridgepoint Capital has signed a merger deal with Marathon, which will create a major new production and distribution group in France, reports C21 and was confirmed by Bridgepoint Capital (which also owns production giant All3Media).

Bridgepoint's French division, Financière Héra (Finhera), has been pursuing Marathon. Finhera is lead by Eric Licoy, previously a top executive at Vivendi Universal when Jean-Marie Messier was ceo.

Studios Headline News

Hollywood Center Studios Debuts New VFX Shooting Stage

Addressing the needs of commercial producers and others involved in high-end visual effects production, Hollywood Center Studios has unveiled a new 4,500-square-foot shooting stage with a three-wall, hard cove cyc. Dubbed Stage 12, the new space can accommodate the popular motorized Fisher Light rigs, making it ideal for car shoots, as well as bluescreen or greenscreen work.

Headline News

ASIFA-Hollywood Opens Animation Archive

The Board of Directors of ASIFA-Hollywood has announced that the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive will be opening to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm beginning Sept. 20, 2005. The Board of Directors of ASIFA-Hollywood has announced that the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive will be opening to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm beginning Sept. 20, 2005.

Film Headline News

Chomets' Studio Draws Animators to Scotland

French-born Sylvain Chomet and his producer wife Sallys studio in Edinburgh, Scotland is creating an influx of animators to the city, reports SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY. Django Films is set to hire up to 250 artists to work on the two feature projects.

The first film is THE ILLUSIONIST, a £10m animated being funded by Pathé Pictures. A second project is in the works with Universal for a computer-animated feature titled, THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX.

Design Headline News

Mr. Wonderful Design and VFX Studio Launches in New York

Industry veterans David Gioiella and Mark Littman have launched Mr. Wonderful, a new design and vfx company. The entity is an offshoot of their Northern Lights Post boutique and will cater to high-end broadcast design, feature film and television projects.

Digital Headline News

Disney Embraces Christie Digital Projection System

The Walt Disney Studios' distribution arm, Buena Vista Pictures Distribution (BVPD), and Access Integrated Technologies' (AccessIT) Christie/AIX unit have entered into a groundbreaking non-exclusive agreement to supply feature films from Walt Disney Pictures and Touchstone Pictures to DCI-compliant digital projection systems to be deployed by Christie/AIX. Christie/AIX will install between 2,500 and 4,000 systems throughout the United States and Canada over the next two years.

Shorts Headline News

Soup2Nuts Creates New Shorts Division

Animation production company Soup2Nuts, is launching a new state-of-the-art division, Condensed Soup, dedicated to producing commercials, animated shorts, webisodes and network branding.

Best known for cable hits HOME MOVIES (Adult Swim), OGRADY (Noggin/ The N) and DR. KATZ: PROFESSIONAL THERAPIST (Comedy Central), Soup2Nuts decided it was timely to take the studios unique humor and animation style into the world of animated shorts and commercials.

Company Headline News

New York’s Quiet Man Celebrates 10 Years of VFX

In many respects, Quiet Man functions much as it sounds. The New York visual effects company is decidedly low-key and casual, reflecting the comfortable confidence with which they ply their craft. However, Since opening their doors a decade ago, the creative studio has enjoyed a, for the most part uninterrupted, growth in status and reputation in the advertising industry, in which they are renowned for the high level of aesthetic and technical finesse they bring to their visual effects work.

Headline News

Art Supplies Needed for Katrina Survivors

By Rick DeMott | Tuesday, September 13, 2005 at 12:00am

The School of Art at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, through the offices of NASAD The National Association of Schools of Art and Design, an organization that accredits art and design programs, has issued a call for art supplies to help the children and artists affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Animation Headline News

Hangzhou Designing to Become Animation Capital

Following the first China International Animation Festival held this past June in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang province, the government has released 15 new measures to help build the area into an "animation capital," reports PEOPLE'S DAILY ONLINE. The incentives call for developing animation industry in Hangzhou over a five-year plan period.

Channel Headline News

Indian and Malaysian Studios to Launch Two Kids Channels

UTV Software Communications Ltd. of India has announced a joint venture with the Malaysia-based Astro, a DTH and pay TV operator, to create two new channels in the region, reports the BUSINESS STANDARD. UTV will handle the content, marketing and brand building with the capital investment coming entirely from Astro. UTV will receive nearly $1 million a year as well as an option to invest up to 20% equity in the channel at par over three years.

Entertainment Headline News

War of the Worlds Helps Paramount Post Record Summer

Paramount Pictures has delivered the biggest summer at the domestic box office in the studio's history, with $503,031,989, besting the previous record of $412M, set in 1994, when the studio released FORREST GUMP.