Taipei-based SMEC Media & Entertainment has acquired the animated TV rights for Wang Du-Lu's CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON book series on which the hit Sony Classics feature was based. The deal with Vista Publishing Group also gives the Chinese production house the right to produce an animated feature and home video. SMEC is currently pitching the idea around Hollywood. Alexis Wallrich, head of SMEC's U.S. offices in Pasadena, said to Variety, "The source material is a gold mine of fantastic stories and characters.
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Nickelodeon has announced its new programming schedule for the summer. Beginning Monday, July 2, at 8 pm, SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS will join the primetime line-up. SpongeBob will host Nickelodeon's annual "Summer Splash," a daily, three-hour animation marathon beginning Monday, June 18, airing weekday afternoons from 2-5 pm. The "Summer Splash" line-up will include RUGRATS on Mondays; ROCKETPOWER on Tuesdays; THE WILD THORNBERRYS on Wednesdays; HEY ARNOLD! on Thursdays; and CATDOG on Fridays. Starting Monday, June 18, Nick Jr.
Buena Vistas PEARL HARBOR held off SHREK to remain box office champ this week, grossing $29.5 million, for a two week cumulative total of $118.8 million. DreamWorks' CG-animated film SHREK stayed hot at the box office, bringing in another $28.1 million in its third week of release, for a cumulative total of $148.4 million. Universal's THE MUMMY RETURNS slipped to #6 for its fifth weekend with $7.7 million, boasting a cumulative total of $181.1 million. Sony's A KNIGHT'S TALE jousted the seventh slot at $3.4 million, with a $49.4 cumulative total.
Western Images recently created visual effects for "Twist," and "Wacky Faces," two Nabisco spots directed by Mark Dippe, of Pandemonium, for New Yorks FCB agency. Both spots first aired in May 2001. They feature twisted faces in a fun fruit frenzy that filled a cafeterias air with colorful CGI fruit bits.
TOPIX/Mad Dog completed the Inferno effects and compositing for Life, Canadian rock band Our Ladys Peace first single for their fourth album, Spritual Machines. The video, which made its Canadian debut April 7, 2001, on MUCH MUSIC, has since begun airing in the US on MTV2. TOPIX/Mad Dog created graphics with an Asian flavor, inspired by Kanji characters, a written alphabet common to both China and Japan. They enlisted the assistance of a Chinese calligrapher and created a bed of characters by scanning them into the computer.
* Wednesday June 13, 2001, Hollywood, California, U.S.A.
On Wednesday June 13, 2001 at 6:30 pm, Women In Animation Los Angeles will present "Networking, Creating Relationships That Work!" at Klasky-Csupos Hollywood studio. The event is hosted by Kelly Ellezy, co-owner of Red Gypsy Animation visual effects studio, and Pamela Thompson, a career coach. The event is free for WIA/LA members; $10 donation for non-members. For more information: Tel.: (310) 535-3838.
The Animation Pimp has noticed something recently in animated features -- "coupling, specifically heterosexual coupling" -- and here's what he has to say about it.
While you might not realize it, you've probably already seen some of Australia's top effects houses in action. Stephen Lynch explains.
* Thursday, June 14, 2001, Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.
The Art Institute of Portland will be having a Graduate Portfolio Review on June 14, 2001 from 4 to 8 pm. The school is located at Parkside Center, Suite 150, 2020 SW 4th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97201. Works on display will include computer animation, graphic design, multimedia/Web design, interior design and apparel design. For more information: Tel.: (503) 944-6651.
In the wake of the tremendous opening of their latest computer-animated comedy SHREK, DreamWorks has announced on May 31, 2001 their plans for a theatrical sequel. According to DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg, Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, the writing team behind the first SHREK screenplay, have been set to pen the sequel. The team has also collaborated to write the Oscar-winning animated musical ALADDIN, which became the top-grossing film release of 1992.
On June 1, 2001, Hank Ketchum, creator of the DENNIS THE MENACE comic strip, died at his Pebble Beach, California home. He was 81 years old, and had suffered from heart disease and cancer, according to his publicist, Linda Dozoretz. Ketcham began his famous comic strip in 1951, drawing inspiration from his 4 year-old son. This past March marked his 50th year of publication, with the strip running in 1,000 newspapers, 48 countries and 19 languages. A television show based on the strip ran on CBS from 1959 to 1963. Ketcham was born March 14, 1920, in Seattle, Washington.
Disney Interactive and Pixar Animation Studios have announced their newest kids CD-ROM title, Disney/Pixar's JESSIE'S WILD WEST RODEO. The new interactive 3D game takes players on a Wild West adventure with their favorite TOY STORY 2 characters. Kids can earn badges and Critter Awards as they participate in three different rodeo events, each with ten different levels. Players can even download game characters as screen savers.
* Thursday, June 14, 2001, Santa Monica, California, U.S.A.
The Art Institute of Los Angeles is holding an exhibition of its winter 2001 graduate portfolios. Artwork from approximately 40 soon-to-be graduates in the design, and media art departments will be on display at The Museum of Flying, 2772 Donald Douglas Loop North, Santa Monica, California, on Thursday, June 14, 2001, from 11 am to 2 pm For more information: Tel.: (310) 7524700; or Web: www.artinstitutes.edu.
IMAX Corporation has announced that Steve Oedekerk's original animated film, SANTA VS. THE SNOWMAN, will be reformatted into IMAX 3D and anchor a special IMAX holiday film program launching in November 2002. Produced by Oedekerk's O Entertainment, animated by DNA productions with additional footage being animated by Omation, a division of O Entertainment, the film features the voices of Oedekerk, Emmy Award-winning comic Jonathan Winters, Ben Stein and Victoria Jackson. SANTA VS.
Hoping that the worlds television audience pays more attention than the movie-going audience has, the folks controlling the rights to L. Ron Hubbard's novel BATTLEFIELD EARTH are bringing the epic science fiction adventure to TV. Hollywood-based Author Services, Inc. (ASI), international representatives for all L.
DreamWorks super successful film Shrek is being hailed as a departure from the typical fairy tale, however, Maureen Furniss investigates just how racy this re-telling is.
Following the companys new development strategy, cHmAn, a Web entertainment company based in Lille, France, has changed its name to TeamcHmAn. While continuing to develop original content for the Web, TeamcHmAn will expand its activities to the production of video games. cHmAn has established itself as a top provider of interactive content with BANJA.com, a game where the level of teamwork players get from each other directly influences their opportunities to gain access to new features. BANJA episode #6 beta version is now online in French and English.
PROTEST, created by S.D. Katz, won the 2001 Charles Samu Award, an animation award that recognizes quality work made on substantive issues. Charles Samu, who was a key player in creating the Zagreb Animation Festival in the 70s, was a builder of cultural bridges for friendship and understanding through the universal language of animation. The Leo Dratfield Endowment at International Film Seminars, in association with ASIFA-EAST, has honored his memory each year following his death in 1988.
On May 24, 2001, Fox Interactive announced the appointment of Michael R. Heilemann as director of technology. Heilemann will report to Michael Pole, senior vice president of product development, and will direct Fox Interactive's software development efforts and technical research and development. Additionally, Heilemann will oversee the company's relationships with its hardware partners Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony. Heilemann comes to Fox Interactive from Electronic Arts Canada, where he was a senior software engineer.
Character and visual effects company AurenyA, in association with Fusion Media Group, is creating the cinema title piece for Bruce Willis new production studio, Cheyenne Enterprises LLC. The nearly completed piece has grown to over 150 layers of visual effects, creating a hyper-realistic final product. Using Alias|Wavefronts Maya 3.0, visual effects supervisor Eric Tang and technical director Ron Miller used AurenyAs proprietary character animation software technology, Gesture, in order to model and animate characters with enhanced efficiency and precision.
Ring of Fire completed three 30-second spots, "High Noon," "Day of the Dumpsters" and "Fashion Show, for a Unisys campaign. Ring of Fires gear of tools included: Quantel Henry, Discreet Logic Inferno, Maya, Commotion and Adobe After Effects. "'Day of the Dumpsters' required a wide range of visual effects," remarked Ring of Fire senior post-production producer Casey Conroy. "One of our challenges was to create a CGI building that would sit in the middle of a lone desert landscape.
Creative firm ViewPoint Studios created the new open and program package for Discovery Wings Channels, EXTREME AIR. ViewPoint Studios designer/art director Michael MacKenzie said, Discovery Wings Channel supplied us with some truly amazing footage.
The 3DO Company has announced the signing of a development agreement with renowned Santa Monica based entertainment company, Pandemic Studios, the developer of Battlezone II and Dark Reign 2. The first as-yet-unnamed project is scheduled for release in early 2002. According to Pandemics president Josh Resnick, the deal will allow his company to expand their development base across multiple gaming platforms and reach 3DOs mass consumer market. Trip Hawkins, 3DOs chairman and CEO, commented, "We are thrilled to be working with Pandemic on new and exciting projects.
LEGAL ACTION COMICS, a 256-page paperback featuring comic strips by over seventy of the world's top cartooning talents, will make its debut at Comic-Con International in July 19 - 22, 2001. Contributors include the legendary Robert Crumb, Pulitzer prize winner Art Spiegelman, Robert Williams, Kim Deitch, Mary Fleener, Gary Panter, Spain Rodriguez, Jay Lynch, Tony Millionaire, Kaz, Julie Doucet and dozens of other renowned cartoonists.