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Company Headline News

FOX And ABC – One Big Happy Family?

According to a VARIETY news report, layoffs may be imminent at newly acquired Fox Family Worldwide. The Walt Disney Company recently completed their buy out of Fox Family for a final purchase price of $5.2 billion and the changes have already begun. The companys flagship Fox Family cable channel has been renamed ABC Family and it will be rebranded with an interim ABC Family logo starting this weekend.

Effects Headline News

Postworks Hires Director For New FX Division

Visual effects and graphic designer Victor Barroso has been named director of the newly created graphics & visual effects division at PostWorks, New York. Victor has spent the last three years as the director of graphics and effects at Flicker fx, the New York-based visual effects/design shop he co-founded in 1998. Prior to that he was director of graphics and effects at Edefx, New York. Victor brings his training as a painter and illustrator to his work and is equally comfortable on Avid Media Illusion, Henry, Hal, Discreet Logics Flame/Inferno systems and Nothing Reals Shake.

Headline News

Animac 2002 Deadline Extended

Animac 2002, Lleida, Catalonia, Spain. Thursday, February 14 - Sunday, February 17, 2002. Entry Deadline: Monday, December 31, 2001.Animac 2002 is a non-competitive animation festival that is a platform for screening the best animation from around the world. Animac has extended their deadline for submissions until December 31, 2001 in order to allow a larger participation. For more information contact Alfred Sesma & Margot Besora: Email: animac@paeria.es; Website: http://www.paeria.es/cultura/animac

Headline News

I See Virtual People

Interactive media provider Pulse has inked a deal with text-to-speech (TTS) technology provider Rhetorical Systems making Pulse the exclusive North American reseller of Rhetorical Systems' technology for Web-based solutions. Under the agreement, Pulse will integrate Rhetorical Systems' rVoice software and sell interactive media solutions featuring a selection of character and photo-real 3D personalities with automated lip-synching and realistic human speech in both genders and a range of accents and speaking styles. Specific financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Headline News

Ring Of Fire Takes It Off For Sony Walkman

Ring of Fire provided visual effects for Sony Walkman Personal Audio Products new three-spot campaign via Young & Rubicam/New York. The spots all feature Sonys mascot Plato - a blue-furred extraterrestrial -- interacting with his live-action co-stars. One of the new spots titled "Wrestler" shows athletes in a college locker room weighing in for their upcoming event. Plato is informed that he still needs to lose several pounds. He goes to the sauna with his five-hour Sony Mini Disc Walkman Recorder to sweat off some weight.

Show Headline News

Popeye Show Ready For Its Debut

Cartoon Networks previously announced weekly series IM POPEYE, has been renamed THE POPEYE SHOW and is ready for its debut. The network will air weekly half-hour episodes, beginning this Sunday, November 11, 2001 at 1:00 am. Each episode will include three Popeye cartoons that have been restored to their original theatrical state. The show will also present facts and trivia about Popeye and his supporting cast.

Awards Headline News

Gemini Winners Announced

The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television announced the winners of the 16th Annual Gemini Awards, celebrating excellence in Canadian English-language television. Best Animated Program winner was the Collideascope production OLLIE'S UNDER THE BED ADVENTURES. The series, about a young boy who invents a world under his bed, has been picked up by Teletoon in Canada for an additional 13 half hours (in both English and French), and is being distributed internationally by Decode Entertainment.

Online Headline News

Online Gaming Not Yet Profitable For Electronic Arts.

In an attempt to reach a previously announced goal of making its online gaming unit successful by the year 2003, game company Electronic Arts (EA) said it will cut as many as 250 jobs at its EA.com division, reported REUTERS. The cuts represent about 1/3 of EA.coms employees. Electronic Arts employs over 3600 people worldwide and is the number one video game publisher in the U.S. The company is also the exclusive game provider to AOL. EAs first foray into the subscription online gaming arena, the five-episode suspense thriller MAJESTIC, launched online in August 2001.

Blogs

CUJO (1983) (***1/2)

I saw this when I was a kid and just re-watched it. It's just as scary as I remember. It's a slow build, but it's totally worth the wait. The moments with the dog are terrifying. The main reason the film works is that anyone can relate to the situation. Everyone has had a mean looking, giant dog bark at them in an angry way. Take that situation and turn it up a million degrees and you get this film.

Donna Trenton (Dee Wallace, E.T.) has moved to a small town in Maine with her husband Vic (Daniel Hugh Kelly, TV's RYAN'S HOPE) and young son Tad (Danny Pintauro, TV's WHO'S THE BOSS?). She dreads her new situation, fearing that her life will be painfully boring. Tad has fears of the bogeyman lurking in his closet. While Vic is away on a business trip, Donna takes her Ford Pinto to the farm of Joe Camber (Ed Lauter, SEABISCUIT) for repairs. However, Joe has already been killed by his rabid dog Cujo. Now Donna and Tad find themselves under siege over a sweltering three-day period trapped in their now inoperable car without food and water.

Blogs

GHOST DOG: THE WAY OF THE SAMURAI (2000) (****)

This film has been out for awhile and I've seen it three times already, but after re-watching it again I wanted to make sure that everyone knows how much I love this film. Films this good and original don't come along that often. The term cult film best suits this unusual genre tale of rap and the way of the samurai. Oh, and don't forget the Italian mob.

The film follows Ghost Dog (Forest Whitaker, THE CRYING GAME), a hit man, who lives by the ancient code of the samurai. As a teen, the gangster Louie (John Tormey, GAME 6) saved Ghost Dog from some thugs and the African American man has vowed his life to the Italian American mobster. Ghost Dog's best friend, Raymond (Isaach DeBankole, CASINO ROYALE) is an ice cream man, who only speaks French and Ghost Dog only speaks English. The kind-eyed assassin develops a sweet friendship with a young girl named Pearline (Camille Winbush, TV's THE BERNIE MAC SHOW). Ghost Dog is cool, calculated and ingenious when he's doing his work. But he believes in his code of honor to the end, whether it will lead to his death or not.

Blogs

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S (1961) (***1/2)

If romantic comedies were more like this one, I'd have to re-think my general opinion of the genre. Director Blake Edwards, working from George Axelrod's Oscar-nominated adaptation of Truman Capote's novel, is witty and nuanced. Led by an effervescent performance from Audrey Hepburn, the film is light as air and still has meat on its bones.

The story follows the eccentric New York playgirl Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn, SABRINA) as she sets her sights on marrying a millionaire. She has Brazilian Jose da Silva Pereira (Jose Luis de Villalonga, DARLING) and American Rusty Trawler (Stanley Adams, TV's THE TWILIGHT ZONE) on short leashes, while she's getting paid $100 an hour to visit Sing Sing and talk to gangster Sally Tomato (Alan Reed, TV's THE FLINTSTONES). George Peppard (A-TEAM leader Hannibal Smith) plays Holly's new next-door neighbor, Paul Varjak, a writer who's being "sponsored" by a wealthy older woman named Mrs. Failenson (Patricia Neal, THE SUBJECT WAS ROSES), who is referred to throughout the film as 2-E.

Blogs

THE TERRORIST (2000) (****)

Here's another film that you'll probably have to search out to find, but it's worth the hunt. It's from India (which is the main reason it's hard to find) and follows the journey of a pretty young girl, who has been chosen to be a human bomb to assassinate a VIP. Made prior to September 11th, the film has only increased in importance as a window into the mind of someone who is willing to kill themselves in an effort to murder others. Though inspired by the assassination of the Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 by Tamil Tigers, there is no country, religion or political preference mentioned in the film, which makes the story very universal. Reminding us that terrorism is an act not solely used by Muslim extremists.

Headline News

Macromedia Delivers Tutorials For Director 8.5

Macromedia, Inc. is offering a series of online tutorials designed to allow new and existing Macromedia Director 8.5 users to learn how to use the product more quickly and master the creation and deployment of interactive 3D content for the Web. The tutorials include lessons on 3D for current Director users as well as tutorials for 3D artists and Macromedia Flash developers who are new to Director. The video tutorials take users step by step through building a rich media Web experience that incorporates sound, video and 3D assets.

Headline News

The Gnomon Workshop Releases New Videos And Tutorials

The Gnomon Workshop has released six new training videos on inverse kinematics and dynamics in Alias|Wavefront's Maya. This series, which includes two tapes on Inverse Kinematics and four more tapes on Maya's Dynamics engine, marks the fourth round of video releases and brings the total number of titles available from The Gnomon Workshop to 24. Each tape has 110 minutes of instruction. The objective of the tapes is to explain the tools with a focus on workflow, using a wide range of example effects.

Games Headline News

Disney/Pixar's Monsters, Inc. Has Got Game

Disney/Pixar's MONSTERS, INC. is showing up in theaters on November 2, 2001 and there will be a variety of games available to accompany the film. THQ has collaborated with Disney to create Disney/Pixars MONSTERS INC. for Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Color. Games will be available at major retail outlets nationwide in conjunction with the movie release on November 2, 2001. Assuming the role of Sulley, the blue and furry hero of the film, players must navigate through Monstropolis in order to return a human girl to her home safely.

Animation Headline News

Hot Reels Animation Grand Prix 2001 On U.K. Channel 4

Over the next six weeks the U.K.s Channel 4 will be showing a wide variety of animation, including illustrator John Callahans new project QUADS, experimental animation from Animate! and the U.K. television premiere of the acclaimed anime feature BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE. Also premiering will be a new series called CELMATES. The animation worlds answer to reality shows like BIG BROTHER, CELMATES follows a group of animators shut in a small room, competing against each other (and the clock!) to create an animated film in a sleepless 72 hours.

Cartoon Headline News

Dexter Goes Global In Worldwide Marathon

In the first network initiative to unite all its global divisions, Cartoon Network will be airing a 12-hour marathon of fans favorite DEXTERS LABORATORY episodes, selected by viewers from around the world. Viewers can cast their votes now through November 15, 2001 by logging on to their region's Cartoon Network Website. The fan picks will be aired on all Cartoon Networks worldwide on November 18, 2001 from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm and will include the winning episode from each country.

Headline News

Activision Prepares To Return To Castle Wolfenstein

Activision, Inc. has teamed with mens lifestyle magazine MAXIM and Hollywood Records on a million dollar, multi-media promotional campaign to support the launch of id Software's PC game RETURN TO CASTLE WOLFENSTEIN. In this sequel to WOLFENSTEIN 3D, one of the original first-person shooter games, players infiltrate the Third Reich to battle horrific super-soldiers, zombies and mutants forged in the unearthly experiments of Heinrich Himmler. One component of the launch campaign includes the bundling of more than 1 million promotional interactive CD-ROMs with the December issue of MAXIM.

Headline News

Chuck Jones' Timber Wolf Grabs An Online Audience

Chuck Jones' first original animated characters created for Warner Bros. in more than 40 years made their World Wide Web debut on October 24, 2001. Warner Bros. Online's Flash-animated cartoon Chuck Jones' TIMBER WOLF, has become one of the fastest-growing sites at warnerbros.com. According to Warner Bros., nearly 750,000 fans have checked out the antics of TIMBER WOLF and more continue to log on each day. A new Webisode will premiere each week for the shows 13-week run.

Headline News

Nelvana Picks Up Babar

Corus Entertainment's Nelvana has acquired all proprietary rights to BABAR. Laurent de Brunhoff, son of BABAR creator Jean de Brunhoff, made the deal through The Clifford Ross Company on behalf of the de Brunhoff family. The Nelvana acquisition includes 100 percent of all trademarks and copyrights to the BABAR property, as well as the de Brunhoff family's financial interests in the brand. The de Brunhoff family has reserved certain publishing rights, which will allow Laurent de Brunhoff to continue publishing his own BABAR books.

Million Headline News

Shrek Shows Up And Steals Record

Once again, a newly-released DVD has shattered all previous sales records. This time its the top grossing theatrical movie of the year, SHREK. The DreamWorks film bested the DVD sales record of 2.2 million sold set the week of October 16th by STAR WARS: EPISODE ONE. EPISODE ONE had overtaken THE MUMMY RETURNS, which previously held the record with first week DVD sales of 2 million.

Season Headline News

Fox Channel Season Premieres!

With the U.S.s baseball World Series over, Fox is ready to premiere the new seasons of its animated series. Look for the season premiere of THE FAMILY GUY on Thursday, November 8th at 8:00 pm, followed by the series premiere of THE TICK, a live-action sitcom based on Ben Edlund's cult comic book. Then on Sunday, November 11th beginning at 7:30 pm KING OF THE HILL kicks off its sixth season followed by the season premiere of Emmy-award winner THE SIMPSONS.

Headline News

Alias|Wavefront Goes Mental For Maya

Alias|Wavefront announced that its recently unveiled mental ray for Maya technology will be available as an optional plug-in renderer for Maya before the end of the year 2001. mental ray for Maya, currently in beta testing, is an optional and fully integrated plug-in renderer for Maya that offers all the features and tools available in mental images' mental ray renderer version 3.0. It will be available to customers in either node locked or floating license configurations. Alias|Wavefront will make mental ray for Maya and the mental ray Stand Alone renderer available in December 2001.

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