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Category: Business

Headline News AtomFilms Attracts $20 Million

Monday, December 13, 1999, AtomFilms, a leader in next-generationentertainment, announced that it has inked a deal with investors totalingUS$20 million in financing. This signing marks the end of a second round ofstrategic financing led by Chase Capital Entertainment Partners LLC andChase Capital Partners, and joined by Arts Alliance, Frank J. Biondi Jr.,general partner at WaterView Partners and former chairman and CEO ofUniversal Studios, Intel Corp., and Trans Cosmos USA Inc. "This round of

Headline News Wild Brain Child on the Net

Wild Brain, Inc., a leading U.S. animation studio, has brought to theever-expanding club its new child, wildbrain.com. The new Web channel willbroadcast animation from around the globe and will be the feature providerof animation on Yahoo! Broadcast. In the deal, Yahoo! will provide Websolutions for Wild Brain's video animation programming, which is availableon wildbrain.com as well as Yahoo! Broadcast. wildbrain.com will debut withGLUE, an Internet exclusive toon featuring the adventures of a town full of

Headline News New Nirvana for Nelvana & RTV

Toronto-based Nelvana Limited, an integrated family entertainment company,has formed a multi-layered partnership with German-based production houseRTV Family Entertainment AG, a leader in children's programming in Germany.The agreement includes a significant distribution deal for current andlibrary programs and a 3-year deal for future productions andco-productions. Through the deal, RTV will bring Nelvana's library of showsto TV, home video, and merchandising venues across Germany, Eastern Europe,

Headline News A New Vivid Animation Studio

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, December 8, 1999 at 12:00am

Vivid Animation, a new high-end CGI animation studio specializing insophisticated digital characters and animated effects for commercials andinteractive media, has been formed by Jeff Lotman, CEO. "Vivid Animationopens its doors with a trio of world-class digital animators as itscreative nucleus," said Lotman, CEO. This nucleus, all of whom come fromsenior positions at Digital Domain, includes Animation Supervisor, StephaneCouture, Digital Effects Supervisor, Gonzalo Garramuno and Vivid

Headline News Disney gets yield on stopping Go Logo

As we reported previously [AF 11/16], U.S. District Court Judge Terry J.Hatter Jr. had ordered Disney to stop using its Go Network logo until aftera trial on the matter next year, agreeing with the plaintiff GoTo.com thatDisney's logo was confusingly similar to its own. Now however, it looks asif the green and yellow traffic light logo of Disney's Go.com has gotten astay of sentence at least until December 19, 1999. Soon after the initialruling, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the

Headline News Film Roman Launches Level 13

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

Headline News Time Warner launches Entertaindom

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, December 1, 1999 at 12:00am

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'

Headline News Infogrames acquires GT Interactive

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, December 1, 1999 at 12:00am

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

Headline News Eidos announces 2nd Quarter Results

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, December 1, 1999 at 12:00am

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

Headline News Varga Revamps

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

Headline News EA & AOL play games On-line

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

Headline News Harvey Toons coasts with Landmark

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, November 25, 1999 at 12:00am

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

Headline News Blur whooses in with New Ride Division

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, November 25, 1999 at 12:00am

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

Headline News AtomFilms morphs with Pixelwave for New Studio

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, November 17, 1999 at 12:00am

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

Headline News Nick nets New Channel

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, November 17, 1999 at 12:00am

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

Headline News Disney's Go.com Logo must Stop

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, November 17, 1999 at 12:00am

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

Headline News Disney reports fourth-quarter slump

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

Headline News Iwerks opens new London office

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

Headline News Insight will distribute OXYGEN

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

Headline News Cinar investigated for tax fraud

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

Headline News Europeans set up new animation group

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

Headline News MACROMEDIA announces several strategic moves including merger

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

Headline News Studio B moves to new facility

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

Headline News Oxygen Media names online executive team

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

Headline News Disney halts Peter Pan production

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."

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