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Film Headline News

Animated Features One Step Closer To Gold

Thirteen is the lucky number for Oscar hopefuls in the Animated Feature category. The November 1, 2001 deadline has come and gone, and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences spokesperson John Pavlik told AWN thirteen applications for the Animated Feature Film Award were received. While Pavlik admitted that a couple of the films might have some eligibility problems, the Academy has enough applications to begin the screening process for qualification.

Toon Headline News

Toon Boom Studio Supports Mac OS X Version 10.1

Toon Boom Technologies Inc., has released Toon Boom Studio for Mac OS X Version 10.1. Toon Boom has optimized the performance of its software to fit to Apple's OS X upgrade. The free beta update installer, available for download at www.toonboomstudio.com, provides users with Toon Boom Studio's complete desktop application for Web productions. Based on feedback from participants, the beta update for Mac OS X Version 10.1 will be released in November and will be free for licensees of Toon Boom Studio.

Million Headline News

The 3DO Company Announces Second Quarter Results

The 3DO Company has finished the fiscal second quarter ended September 30, 2001 in line with expectations. Revenues were $9.9 million, compared to $20.2 million reported for the second quarter of last fiscal year. The net loss for the quarter decreased by 42% to $9.7 million, or $0.20 per share, compared to a loss of $16.7 million, or $0.45 per share in the same quarter last year. The company recorded an adjustment to the second quarter of the prior fiscal year, which resulted in a reduction of $1.8 million of revenue and $0.5 million in cost of sales.

Motion Headline News

Motion Analysis Captures Two New Employees

MoCap systems manufacturer Motion Analysis Corporation has hired Jeff Thingvold as VP of application engineering and Napoleon Hambrick as VP of new media sales for North America, South America and Japan. Focusing on the new media animation sector of the motion-capture industry, Jeff Thingvold will coordinate the development of all software tools and incorporate customers' current and future needs into software technology designs. Prior to joining Motion Analysis Corporation, Jeff was the chief technology officer at Lambsoft.

Film Headline News

House Comes To Life In 13 Ghosts

The newly released feature film 13 GHOSTS is a state-of-the-art remake of the classic William Castle horror film about a family that inherits a spectacular old house from an eccentric uncle, only to find the house is inhabited by a presence that has the new occupants trapped in their dream home. They eventually realize the house is a riddle, which may contain the key to their salvation. 175 special effects shots were created by visual effects lab Cinesite for the film. "The house is a very contemporary space," says Mike Fink, Cinesite's senior visual effects supervisor on the film.

Headline News

Align Your Chi - The Feng Shui Detective Is Coming!

STVDIO Media, an American-run animation house based in Hong Kong and specializing in 2D character animation, has been awarded a grant by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council to develop THE FENG SHUI DETECTIVE. Based on characters from author Nury Vittachi's book, a bestseller in Australia and Hong Kong, the animated version has already generated interest from regional media companies. The FENG SHUI DETECTIVE follows the adventures of a Chinese feng shui expert and his Australian teenage girl assistant who travel across Asia assisting the police with their investigations.

Animation Headline News

MTV Restructures And Lays Off Hundreds

On Monday, October 29, 2001, MTV Networks announced a worldwide restructuring plan resulting in 450 lay-offs, approximately 9% of its full-time staff. The departments most significantly affected are the online divisions and MTV Animation. The once separate online operations will be integrated with the television businesses meaning staffers for the online division will be moved out of their current location at 770 Broadway and merged with the television operation in midtown Manhattan. This move represents the majority of the staff cuts.

Disney Headline News

Disney’s Secret Lab Closes Its Doors

Disney has announced plans to close The Secret Lab, the visual effects unit of its Feature Animation group. The Secret Lab was formed two years ago, emerging from Oscar-winning effects house Dream Quest Images, which was founded in 1979 and became a division of Disney in 1996. In a VARIETY report, Walt Disney Feature Animation president Thomas Schumacher stated that The Secret Lab is no longer actively seeking outside contracts. However, he also said, If the studio comes to me and says heres a movie that we have a special demand for, then fantastic.

Headline News

Disney Completes Acquisition Of Fox Family Worldwide

The Walt Disney Company has completed its previously announced acquisition of Fox Family Worldwide, Inc. from Haim Saban and Fox Broadcasting Company. The acquisition closed on October 21, 2001 with a final purchase price of $5.2 billion, including approximately $2.9 billion in cash and the assumption of $2.3 billion in Fox Family. Michael D.

Animated Headline News

Academy Deadline For Oscar Submissions Is November 1, 2001!

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences final deadline for entry forms looms large for the Animated Feature and Animated Short categories. This is the first year for the highly anticipated Animated Feature film category and as of Tuesday, October 30, 2001 the Academy had received five applications. It requires eight eligible films to activate a category, so if you have an animated feature film that is eligible, get in those applications! The deadline for completed applications for both animated feature and animated short films is November 1, 2001.

Animation Headline News

Renegade Gets Their Freak On For Target

Renegade Animation has produced a new 30-second spot for Target and agency The Design Guys, Minneapolis to promote the store's Halloween items. Directed by Darrell Van Citters, He's Not a Freak, features an assortment of ghosts, ghouls, monsters and demons preparing for Halloween. A skeleton swallows a piece of candy (which drops straight through his rib cage) and a witch decorates her spooky mansion using the wrappings from a friendly mummy in place of crepe paper. The Design Guys based the commercial on characters created by Sarah Nelson of Werner Design Werks.

Headline News

Sedelmaier Continues To Quilt For Northern

J.J. Sedelmaier Productions has created three new spots for DDB New York client Georgia-Pacific Corp. In the latest installment of the Quilted Northern bathroom tissue television campaign, Sedelmaier revisited the Quilted Northern quilters, created by artist Bonnie Timmons. These animated craftswomen have been featured in numerous Northern commercials over the past four years. In one of the spots entitled "Squeak" (:30), the trio is revealed at work with needle and thread. Each time the quilters make a stitch, a small audible squeak resonates.

Home Headline News

Gumby, Pokey And Friends Find A Home At Rhino

Rhino Home Video has acquired the home video rights to the entire collection of the GUMBY animated series. The deal encompasses 214 total episodes of THE GUMBY SHOW and THE ALL-NEW GUMBY created from 1956 to 1988 and marks the first time the full library will be available to the public. Rhino Home Video plans to release DVD boxed sets of the complete library as well as individual DVDs and VHS cassettes of the shorts. This marks the DVD debut of the early episodes and the home video premiere of the 1980s stop-motion animation cartoons. The GUMBY series will be a part of the Kid Rhino brand.

Kids Headline News

A Message From God - Coming Soon To A Store Near You

Orlando animation production company A&S Animation, Inc., has produced a series of animated bible story shorts called A MESSAGE FROM GOD. Created by Emmy Award winning producers J&B DiFrancesco, the shorts will be included in Raven Moon Entertainment's new video release called GINA D'S KIDS CLUB. Based on the DiFrancescos concept of having two animated kids telling bible stories, Mark Simon of A&S Animation, Inc. developed and produced the three one-minute shorts telling the stories of Moses and the Ten Commandments, David and Goliath, and Adam and Eve.

Headline News

BOXX Optimizes Rendering Systems With Athlon MP Processor

BOXX Technologies, provider of digital content creation systems for the entertainment and digital film industries, has included the new AMD Athlon MP processor in their 3DBOXX R1 series of high-performance workstations and the RenderBOXX R1 series of rendering systems. The new AMD Athlon MP processor features QuantiSpeed architecture and Smart MP technology and is designed to provide the optimal performance needed for computation-intensive applications while providing IT managers with the highest standard in platform stability and reliability.

Effects Headline News

K-PAX Leads The Pack

Sci-fi drama K-PAX, with primary visual effects by Centropolis Effects, LLC, landed in the number one spot this weekend, earning $17.5M in its debut. The film, which stars Kevin Spacey as a man who claims to be an alien from the planet K-Pax, was Universal Pictures sixth film this year to open at number one. Last weeks number one film FROM HELL, with primary visual effects by Digiscope and Illusion Arts, fell to third, bringing in $6.1M, a 45% drop from its debut. The Jack the Ripper saga ended its second week with $20.8M gross.

International Headline News

BAFTA Nominees Announced

The British Academy of Film and Television (BAFTA) has announced the nominees for the Children's BAFTA Awards. The awards ceremony will take place on December 2 in London's Hilton Hotel, sponsored by Lego Media. The animation-related nominees are:

Children's animation:

AUNT TIGER - Right Angle/S4C, C4.

THE LAST POLAR BEARS - Telemagination/CiTV.

ROTTEN RALPH - Italtoons/CBBC.

SHEEEP - Grand Slamm Childrens Films.

Childrens feature film:

Series Headline News

BRB Secures Deals For Two New Series

Spanish-based animation company BRB Internacional secured a number of pre-sales for its two animation comedy series ZIP & ZAP and GLADIATOR ACADEMY. Portuguese broadcaster TVI will begin airing ZIP & ZAP in January 2003, as will Arab distributor Universal Productions. GLADIATOR ACADEMY was picked up by Mediatrade (Italy), NOGA (Israel), Turkish Media Corporation and MVS Latin America. Currently in production, the first 13 episodes are scheduled for delivery in July 2002.

Series Headline News

Cinar Repays Debt

Canadian family entertainment company CINAR Corporation has recently repaid an existing bank loan which was due on October 15, 2001. The corporation had US$26 million outstanding as of November 30, 2000 and this amount has now been repaid in the current fiscal year.

Dreamworks Headline News

Ed Leonard Expands Technology Role At Dreamworks

Ed Leonard, head of technology at DreamWorks Animation, has been promoted to a position where he will oversee technology for all DreamWorks animation facilities. His responsibilities now encompass both traditional and computer-animated film productions at DreamWorks Glendale facility, as well as the PDI/DreamWorks location in Northern California. Leonard will also play a key role in setting up a new CG production pipeline in Glendale. Due to launch in the next year, the new production arm will be a state-of-the-art computer animation studio.

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