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Headline News Fox & Saban Sue Universal Over X-Men Videos

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 27, 2000 at 12:00am

Alleged plans by Universal to release as many as 65 episodes of the original X-MEN animated series on video has landed them in court. Saban Entertainment Inc. and Fox Childrens Network have filed suit against Universal Studios Home Video in an attempt to block the release of the videos and DVDs. The suit claims that, Universal has the right to produce one video containing three episodes of the X-MEN series per broadcast season in the U.S. and holds only international rights to the entire 65-episode library.

Headline News Animation Stock Ticker For Tuesday, September 26, 2000

By Rick DeMott | Tuesday, September 26, 2000 at 12:00am

AWN's stock ticker features the most prominent publicly traded companies in the world of animation. AWN, Inc. makes available certain financial information from third party information providers. AWN does not give advice in any such fields, and has not reviewed, and in no way endorses the validity of such data. This information is provided solely as a means to keep our readers informed of the market performance and trends of certain companies. AWN strongly suggests that one seek advice from a competent professional regarding any investment or financial issues.

Headline News ASIFA International Selects New Board

By Rick DeMott | Tuesday, September 26, 2000 at 12:00am

In conjunction with the Ottawa International Animation Festival, ASIFA held its general assembly and the election of its new executive board. Abi Feijo of Portugal was voted president and said that ASIFA is at a turning point where he hopes to redefine ASIFA`s goals and priorities. Marco de Blois (Canada), Sayoko Kinoshita (Japan), Andy Wyatt (United Kingdom) and Antran Manoogian (USA) were voted in as vice presidents. Vesna Dovnikovic of Croatia will serve as secretary general and Pierre Azuelos of France as treasurer.

Headline News Olive Jar Acquired By Red Sky

By Rick DeMott | Tuesday, September 26, 2000 at 12:00am

Red Sky, an interactive solutions provider, announced the acquisition of Olive Jar Studios, a Boston and Los Angeles-based animation and film production studio, and White Noise Productions, a Los Angeles-based full service multimedia firm. "A concept we believe strongly in is 'applied entertainment,' which means that our solutions transcend mere functionality and bring emotion to interactive experiences delivered across all media, from narrow to broadband platforms and devices," said Bill Bingham, chairman and CEO of Red Sky.

Headline News Canadian Writers Guild Adds Toon Scribes Under Coverage

By Rick DeMott | Tuesday, September 26, 2000 at 12:00am

The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) has finalized a new two-year collective bargaining agreement with domestic producers, which now covers animation scribes. This conclusion ends 18-months of negotiation between the WGC, Canadian Film and Television Production Association and its Quebec counterpart, lAssociation des Producteurs de Films et de Television du Quebec (APFTQ). The new Independent Production Agreement (IPA) sets out minimum workplace requirements for Canadian film and TV writing. The long unprotected Canadian animation writer is finally covered under the new plan.

Headline News DIC Management To Buy DIC From Disney

DIC Entertainments CEO Andy Heyward is set to purchase DIC from owner Walt Disney Co. The deal backed by investment firms Bain Capital and Chase Capital Partners is valued in the nine digits. Disney acquired a majority stake of DIC in 1995 when it purchased ABC/Capital Cities. In 1986, Heyward purchased the toon house from France-based CLT and retained a small minority interest in the firm after ABC/Capital Cities obtained the majority share in 1993. DIC television properties include INSPECTOR GADGET (Disney co-produced a live-action feature version), G.I.

Headline News BKN Licenses GoodTimes Library

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 21, 2000 at 12:00am

Cologne-based licenser and children's TV producer BKN International has acquired international TV, video and merchandising rights for New York-based childrens animation production company GoodTimes Entertainments 51 title library. The deal worth US$13 million includes titles such as RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER, THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO and MOBY DICK.

Headline News iCast Buys Shortbuzz & Lays Off 30

By Rick DeMott | Tuesday, September 19, 2000 at 12:00am

Netcaster iCast, a subsidiary of Internet conglomerate CMGI, has purchased independent short film site Shortbuzz.com. As part of the acquisition, iCast has raised its library to 400 films. On Friday, September 15, 2000, the company, however, laid off 30 employees in its technical and editorial divisions. The Website will replace those positions with new employees with more entertainment experience. iCast VP of public relations told VARIETY, "We know the business we want to be in, and were streamlining. Were not shutting down. In fact, well be stronger as a result.

Headline News Pseudo: Another Dotcom Downfall

By Rick DeMott | Tuesday, September 19, 2000 at 12:00am

On Monday, September 18, 2000, Pseudo Online Network closed down its operations, making the newest dotcom downfall. The Website had laid off 58 employees earlier this summer, which was roughly 25% of their workforce. The site originally ran as separate channels with original interactive content, however the Netcaster recently changed to one central channel broadcasting shows from 2 pm to midnight. Pseudo's big claim to fame was their extensive coverage of the U.S. Republican National Convention with 360º camera views of the convention floor.

Headline News Stan Lee Media Slashes 19 Positions

By Rick DeMott | Tuesday, September 19, 2000 at 12:00am

Stan Lee Media Inc. has eliminated 19 positions, deciding to outsource animation production to overseas companies. The move is part of SLM's deal with Toon Boom Technologies to use its U.S. Animation software on SLM productions. The Web content creator said in a press release that the decision would allow the company to maintain quality animation while reducing internal overhead costs.

Headline News Nelvana Purchased For $554M By Corus

Corus Entertainment Inc. has announced the acquisition of Nelvana Limited in a cash and stock deal worth CA$554 million (US$372.5 million). Corus will pay 60% of the $554 million in cash and the rest in Corus Class B non-voting shares. "The opportunity to acquire an outstanding Canadian content company with exceptional international credentials presents itself very rarely," said John Cassaday, president and CEO of Corus.

Headline News Alvin & The Chipmunks Owners Sue Universal

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 14, 2000 at 12:00am

On Monday, September 11, 2000, the family that owns the rights to Alvin and the Chipmunks filed a US$105 million lawsuit against Universal Studios, claiming it failed to license products adequately based on the cartoon characters. According to the lawsuit filed in State Superior Court in Los Angeles, members of Chipmunks creator Ross Bagdasarian Sr.'s family claim that Universal executives told them that the studio would make Alvin, Theodore and Simon "a cornerstone" of the company's licensing efforts.

Headline News SGI Adds More Workstations To Disney Features

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 13, 2000 at 12:00am

SGI announced that it would be providing Walt Disney Feature Animation with more than 500 of its Silicon Graphics visual workstations, which will include their new Silicon Graphics Octane2. Previously, Disney has used SGI workstations to create digital characters and special effects for their features GONE IN 60 SECONDS, MISSION TO MARS, DINOSAUR and the upcoming 102 DALMATIANS. The Silicon Graphics Octane2 has more visualization power, a high-performance MIPS RISC processor and new industry-first features.

Headline News B2B Investor Beefs Up Heavy.com

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 13, 2000 at 12:00am

Digital Creative Development Corporation (DC2) announced that it has entered into a strategic distribution alliance with Heavy.com, a Web destination blending music, video and animation. Under the terms of the deal, DC2 will provide programming and various other business services to Heavy.com. In turn, DC2 will have access to Heavy.coms distribution pipeline that reaches over 135 million Internet users.

Headline News BKN Int. Launches New Media Division

BKN International AG, a childrens animated production, distribution and marketing company, has launched a new media division, BKN New Media Ltd. The division was established to help BKN better exploit its properties over the Internet. The first venture for the new arm will be the launch of its consumer-based community Website featuring THE ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES.

Headline News Britt Allcroft Co. Transforms Into Gullane Entertainment

The Britt Allcroft Company plc announced that as part of its global expansion, the company has changed its name to Gullane Entertainment and hired new key staff members. The companys former managing director, William Harris, has been appointed CEO and commercial director and group entertainment president, Charles Falzon, will serve as president. The move is an opportunity for founder Britt Allcroft to hand over the operations of the company to focus on more creative endeavors.

Headline News Animation Stock Ticker For Wednesday, September 6, 2000

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 6, 2000 at 12:00am

AWN's stock ticker features the most prominent publicly traded companies in the world of animation. AWN, Inc. makes available certain financial information from third party information providers. AWN does not give advice in any such fields, and has not reviewed, and in no way endorses the validity of such data. This information is provided solely as a means to keep our readers informed of the market performance and trends of certain companies. AWN strongly suggests that one seek advice from a competent professional regarding any investment or financial issues.

Headline News Union Urges Members To Vote Down New Deal

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 6, 2000 at 12:00am

The negotiating committee for Los Angeles Motion Picture Screen Cartoonist Union Local 839 has recommended that its 2,000 members vote down the new three-year pact with the studios. On a vote of 12-1, Local 839 cited problems with the negotiating process, unequal salary increases, artist testing, credit placement, late payments to freelancers and the definition of writers.

Headline News French Authorities Kill Imagina

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 6, 2000 at 12:00am

French authorities, through INA (Audiovisual National Institute), have pulled their support of Imagina, the foremost European visual effects event. For 19 years, Imagina has served as the testing ground for new talents and technologies in Europe. In the past few years the event has drawn over 1,300 participants and 5,000 visitors. A group has been formed to save the festival. Anyone who wishes to sign the petition can on the Web.

Headline News Pop.com Closes Up Shop

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 6, 2000 at 12:00am

On Tuesday, September 5, 2000, Pop.com laid off roughly 65 of its 80 person staff. Without additional comment the company released this statement: "Although the Internet continues to represent an exciting creative opportunity for us, the market has shifted dramatically since our original announcement, resulting in this being a less viable business for us. We will retain a small staff to support our creative endeavors.

Headline News Shockwave Moves From Toons To Games

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 6, 2000 at 12:00am

After making big content deals with stars like Tim Burton and David Lynch, Shockwave.com has decided to change its focus from big celebrity toon deals to interactive games. Shockwave receives most of its hits in its game section. As part of the new move Shockwave has laid off 20 employees in its San Francisco and Los Angeles offices. Production on content in the works, such as programs from Oscar-winning producer/director James L. Brooks and game show host Ben Stein, will continue until the lay off becomes effective in October.

Headline News Pop.com Deal With iFilm Bursts

In a snap, Pop.coms intended purchase by iFilm has crackled and faded by the wayside. No one at either of the two companies would comment on the negotiations. An iFilm memo to employees read, "As you know, we have been in discussions with Pop.com. Those discussions have ended and have not resulted in a transaction. The companies will continue to enjoy many overlapping shareholding and personal relationships." Whether or not some of the other suitors for the troubled Website will come knocking is yet to be known.

Headline News DreamWorks’ Unlaunched Pop.com May Merge With iFilm

If Spielberg cant succeed on the Web who can? This is the question that has been buzzing around the long delayed launch of DreamWorks and Imagine Entertainments Webcaster Pop.com. On Wednesday, August 31, 2000, Netcaster iFilm.com confirmed that it is in final negotiations to merge with Pop. No details of the merger have been announced but Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is overseeing the deal. Allen and his Vulcan Ventures injected US$50 million into Pop in its beginnings. The billionaire is also one of the chief investors in iFilm.

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