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Effects Headline News

Boris FX to Acquire Final Effects Complete from Optibase

Boris FX will acquire Final Effects Complete from Optibase. Boris FX will acquire all associated trademarks, including Studio Effects, Next Effects and Ice FX. The products will continue to be offered with Boris FX providing maintenance, support and future development.

Games Headline News

Massive Brings 10-Second Spots Into Games

In-game advertising provider Massive Inc. will start offering 10-second spots through its network next month, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The ads will play on natural elements in the game like TV sets and computers. Massive will charge higher rates than for its static ad displays within games. Ad partners and games using the new spots will be announced later.

Headline News

SAG Gaming Contract Goes Back to the Actors

On June 29, 2005, the SAG board voted to send its gaming contract to the 1,900 members who regularly work in game as well as any other active member who requests a ballot for a final vote, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. To accommodate the new vote, gaming publishers, including Electronic Arts and Activision, have extended the contract offer to July 31. Ballots will go out July 13 and are due back July 28.

Sister acting guild AFTRA has already agreed to the 3 1/2 year contract.

Headline News

Draw Pictures and Draw Edit Open in London

Music video production vets Patrick Holtkamp and Phil Tidy are the forces behind the newly established production company, Draw Pictures, based in London with a post-production arm, Draw Edit, on site.

Within three months, Draw Pictures has been the creative influence behind 20 stunning promos, including PRODIGY, MCFLY and Oasis new video, LYLA.

Animation Headline News

Japan High Court Rules in Favor of VO Actors Over Anime Houses

On June 28, 2005, Japans Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that ordered Japan's largest animation production company to pay royalties to voice actors on video and DVD sales, reports MAINICHI DAILY NEWS.

The dismissal of Tokyo-based Nippon Animation Co.s appeal will force the company and an affiliate to pay nearly 87 million yen to about 360 voice artists, which includes Masako Nozawa (GALAXY EXPRESS 999 and DRAGON BALL) and Ichiro Nagai (TVs SAZAE-SAN).

Disney Headline News

Disney Escapes Roger Rabbit Suit with Minor Damage

The jury in the 15-week Los Angeles Superior Court trial pitting ROGER RABBIT creator Gary Wolf against the Walt Disney Co. has ruled that Disney must pay Wolf at least $180,000 in underreported royalties, but ruled against Wolfs claim that he deserved a share of gross receipts on non-cash promotional deals, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The ruling will award Wolf nearly $400,000 in damages, but not the $8 million he had sought by alleging his 5% royalty should include tie-ins with McDonald's and other outlets.

Lucas Headline News

Letterman Digital Arts Center Unveiled in San Francisco

The Letterman Digital Arts Center (LDAC), the new home of Lucasfilm, Industrial Light & Magic and LucasArts, located in the beautiful 23-acre campus in San Franciscos Presidio, had its grand opening on June 25.

Union Headline News

SAG Board Takes Up Rejection of Gaming Contract

A special SAG board meeting will be held next Wednesday (June 29, 2005) to further address the national executive committees rejection of the contract hammered out with the gaming industry, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. NEC turned down the offer despite the support on negotiators.

Game Headline News

Ziff Davis Media Game Group Announces Pocket Games Research Study Results

According to a recent POCKET GAMES readership research study conducted by videogame magazine publisher Ziff Davis Media Game Group, portable gamers are shifting to an older and more diverse demographic segment than it has been historically. POCKET GAMES readers are now 20 years old on average, and 13% of the readership is female compared to 9% in 2003.

Motion Headline News

Vicon Forms Feature Unit

Vicon, developer of Academy Award-winning motion capture technology, the Vicon Feature Unit (VFU), a new Los Angeles-based entity devoted to on-site consulting, custom service, development and pipeline building for its film, videogame and TV clientele. VFU will be able to provide everything from purchasing and setup advice, pre-production, capture and post-production services through to custom hardware and software to rapidly deliver on unique studio requirements and project demands.

Headline News

Banjax Opens Digital Animation Studio in Belfast

Banjax has opened a new digital animation studio based in Belfast's Titanic Quarter, to produce province's first major animated feature film and breathe life into the creative industries in Northern Ireland.

Banjax founders Darryl Collins, formerly of Blackstar, and award-winning director and writer Richard Morss and director/animator Alastair McIlwain, are focusing on the export potential of two major projects in a global industry sector that is expected to grow 10-fold over the next five years. Their efforts are being supported by Northern Ireland agencies.

Headline News

Marvel/Fox Zoom Lawsuit Against Sony/ Revolution

Marvel Enterprises and 20th Century Fox have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Revolution Studios and Sony Pictures Ent. over the production of sci-fi comedy ZOOM, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The case claims that the film, which stars Tim Allen and Chevy Chase and is based on Jason Lethcoe's graphic novel ZOOM'S ACADEMY FOR THE SUPER GIFTED, copies too much of the X-MEN mythology.

The lawsuit filed June 20, 2005, in U.S. District Court, Central District of California is seeking injunctive relief and monetary damages.

Games Headline News

Vivendi Universal Games Acquires Game Developer Swordfish Studios

Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games) has acquired independent game developer Swordfish Studios. Under terms of the agreement, VU Games will retain Swordfish Studios' team of 45 development professionals, leaving the studio basically intact in its current office in Birmingham, England. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Headline News

MTV Networks Acquires NeoPets

MTV Networks has acquired NeoPets Inc. the owner and operator of, the world's largest and fastest growing youth community on the Internet. Neopets is a global online entertainment network whose members create and care for "virtual pets" that inhabit a mythical land called "Neopia." To date, more than 25 million members worldwide have created Neopets accounts in 10 different languages, generating more than five billion pageviews per month. Both Nielsen//NetRatings and comScore Media Metrix consistently rank as one of the top-10 "stickiest" sites on the Web.

International Headline News

Lions Gate Restructures International Operations

Lions Gate Entertainment Toronto has restructured its international operations to reflect continued growth of its feature film and television businesses with Nicolas Meyer, president of Lions Gate International, solely overseeing the international division of Lions Gate Ent. with two newly created executive positions that will report directly to him.

Headline News

Viacom Splits Into Two Publicly Traded Companies

After putting the pieces in place, Sumner M. Redstone, chairman/ceo of Viacom Inc. announced today (June 14, 2005) that the companys board of directors has unanimously approved the creation of two separate publicly traded companies from the companys leading entertainment brands through a spin-off to Viacom stockholders.

Speed Headline News

Apple’s Move to Intel Gets Mixed Response

Apple ceo Steve Jobs announcement last week that Macintosh computers will embrace Intel microprocessors next year in an effort to improve speed and efficiency, especially on notebooks, has received mixed reviews.

Some analysts fear a rocky transition ahead and a diluting of the brand. However, others are more optimistic. This move away from IBMs PowerPC would allow the Mac to eventually run Windows at full speed, opening it up to more software choices.

Headline News

Actors Flinch to Gamers’ Strong Stand

Stopping the potential for a strike, SAG and AFTRA have comes too terms with the videogame publishers, backing down from their demand for residuals from the $7 billion videogame industry, reports VARIETY. Yet, the actors will be a hefty 36% increase in the base rate of $556.20 per session for voiceover work.

Disney Headline News

Walt Disney Internet Group Acquires Minds Eye

The Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) has acquired of Minds Eye Prods., one of the leading interactive TV game developers in Europe. The agreement demonstrates WDIG's commitment to the iTV games market and to developing new growth businesses for The Walt Disney Co.

Disney entered the interactive TV games market in the U.K. in August 2004, with the launch of Disney Channel Play on Sky. This service provides games featuring some of Disney's most popular TV programs, movies and characters, including those from THE LION KING and KIM POSSIBLE.

Iger Headline News

Iger Talks About Pixar, Next-Gen DVDs

Walt Disney Co. ceo-elect Bob Iger on Tuesday (June 7, 2005) said he had "really good" talks with Pixar Animation Studios Inc., reports RUETERS. He told investors at a Deutsche Bank conference that it was too early to tell if a new agreement would be reached.

"I'm not sure I really want to give you odds. We've had really good discussions," Iger said.

Disney Headline News

Delaware Court Allows Disney/Gold Lawsuit to Go Forward

The Delaware Chancery Court has ruled that the lawsuit brought by Roy E. Disney and Stanley P. Gold against the Walt Disney Co. and eight directors can go forward with an expedited trial date of August 2005.

The lawsuit, which was filed on May 9, 2005, alleges that the Walt Disney Co. board made false statements to the company's shareholders about its ceo search in order to induce shareholders to vote for the incumbent board at the 2005 annual meeting and to induce Disney and Gold not to run an alternate slate of directors at the meeting.

Disney Headline News

One Red Room Opens Doors With 2 Series For Playhouse Disney

Former Microsoft production manager and a producer of top-selling SIM CITY videogame, Matthew Thornton, established on June 1, 2005, the digital animation and production company One Red Room and is already producing two series for Disney.