Blur Studio has hired Tim Brown as their new co-creative director of the design division. Prior to Blur, Brown served as creative director of the design and animation house, RezN8. Brown's work on CBS's coverage of the 1998 Winter Olympics helped the project earn two Sports Emmy Awards for graphic design and technical innovation. Brown said, "Here, we have a design engine that is integrated with a production engine. Very few design firms have direct access to 3D animation and visual effects production, or to artists of the caliber we have at Blur.
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Lions Gate Home Entertainment has gained the home video rights for the MR. BILL collection of shorts. In addition, CinemaNow.com has obtained the Internet video-on-demand rights. Lions Gate plans to release several MR. BILL shorts on VHS late this summer with a DVD featuring 2 hours of content following sometime after. Special features on the DVD will be behind-the-scenes commentary by Mr. Bill about his time on SNL, never-before-seen footage and the short MR. BILL 2013: A BILL ODYSSEY. The collections obtained in the deal were: "The Mr.
Rainbow Studios has opened a new office in Phoenix and a new satellite office in San Francisco. "At a time where many studios are downsizing or restructuring to remain competitive, Rainbow Studios is experiencing tremendous growth in all aspects of our business -- from digital cinema to game development," said Scott Novis, vice president of engineering at Rainbow Studios.
* Thursday, October 25 Sunday, November 4, 2001. Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Entry Deadline: May 15, 2001.
Jade Ohlhauser takes a look at Discreet's Character Studio 3 and discovers that it's more than just a 3DS max plug-in.
On Thursday, March 22, 2001, one of the fathers of TV animation, William Hanna, died at his home in North Hollywood, California. He was 90 years old. Born in Melrose, New Mexico, on July 14, 1910, Hanna and his partner, Joseph Barbera created such beloved cartoon characters as Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound and Scooby-Doo. Hanna, a trained engineer, began his animation career during the Depression when he took an ink and paint position at Harman-Ising Studios.
CartoonNetwork.com has announced that they have signed John Kricfalusi to a six short deal. Characters featured in his Web Premiere Toons will include the Jetsons, Yogi Bear and Fred and Barney of THE FLINTSTONES. John K's Spumco Inc. will produce the shorts. John Kricfalusi, creator and producer of THE REN & STIMPY SHOW, started his career at Hanna-Barbera. The first toon is scheduled to go live sometime in May. "John is considered one of the top creative forces in animation - online and on television," said Sam Register, senior vice president and creative director of Cartoon Network Online.
* Friday, September 14 Thursday, September 20, 2001. New York, New York, U.S.A.
Entry Deadline: May 15, 2001
Warner Bros. Animation has announced that Jean MacCurdy has stepped down from her post as president and will be replaced by former Sony Family Entertainment Group president Sander Schwartz. MacCardy will become a creative consultant for the studio, working on developing animated and live-action children's productions. In 1979, she joined Warner Bros. Cartoons as director of animation programming and in 1982, was promoted to VP and general manager.
Mixin Pixls has completed the transitions and visual effects for a new Acura spot entitled "Navigation." In the spot, animated dots guide a path through various terrains demonstrating the Acura's new navigation system. Mixin Pixls' CG animators Harri Paakkonen assisted by Brian Obee, used Maya Live to track natural artifacts in the landscape (rocks, trees, soil and so on) to create the needed effect. Mixin Pixls used Henry to create the look of the spots being painted on the ground. The spot was produced for advertising agency Rubin Postaer & Associates.
Chicago-based SOMERsault has recently completed a 30-second spot for Busch Gardens/Sea World. In the spot, the word "fun" is spelled out in a zebra's stripes and a group of dolphins swim into place to spell out the word "card." Using inferno*, SOMERsaults senior effects artist, John Montgomery duplicated footage of two dolphins into twelve dolphins, then rotated, warped and animated the dolphins into position. Additional shading and water effects were added to smooth out the appearance.
ATTIK has named Dana Zipser the new business development manager for the San Francisco office. In her new post, Zipser will be responsible for the development of current and potential clients. She comes to ATTIK from San Francisco branding consultancy company Sterling Group where, from November 1999 to February 2001, as Marketing Director, she grew new business in industries ranging from entertainment to fashion to technology. "We're all incredibly excited about Dana joining the business development team. Her passion and energy marry perfectly with ATTIK culture.
Walt Disney Co. Latin America has hired Marcos Rosset as managing director, Brazil. He will head all of the company's businesses in the territory, including the Portuguese language Disney Channel that debuts on April 5, 2001. For the past 15 years, Rosset served as managing director of CIC Video, a co-venture between Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures. There he oversaw all retail businesses, including interactive consumer products and rental/sell-through video.
Visual effects powerhouse Tippett Studio has recently purchased 10 Silicon Graphics Octane2 visual workstations, 25 Silicon Graphics 230 and Silicon Graphics 330 Windows NT OS-based and Linux OS-based workstations, an SGI 2100 visualization server and a 2TB SGI TP9400 storage system. The company has been using SGI systems since opening its doors in 1983, and continues to choose Silicon Graphics machines to realize their award-winning work.
Visionary Media will offer 26 half-hour TV episodes of WHIRLGIRL, the Flash-animated Internet series, via Catherine Branscome of Branscome International. "WHIRLGIRL has been recreated for TV with more animation and greater frame rates than are seen online via FlashCast, a proprietary process developed in-house by Visionary," explained Visionary Media acting CEO Buzz Potamkin.
TriStar Pictures has announced that it will be putting the animated feature THE TRUMPET OF THE SWAN into theaters for a limited release on May 11, 2001. Based on the novel by E.B. White, the film follows the adventures of Louie, a mute trumpeter swan who takes extraordinary steps to compensate for his lack of voice.
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On Sunday Fox aired a rerun of THE SIMPSONS, which placed #34 for the week, pulling in a 7.7 rating/12 share. KING OF THE HILL climbed into 62nd place with a 5.6 rating/9 share. Fox aired two special episodes of THE SIMPSONS on Wednesday from 9 10 pm. The 9:30 pm broadcast finished 65th with a 5.4 rating/9 share and the 9 pm broadcast placed 71st with a 5 rating/8 share. FUTURAMA fashioned a 4.5 rating/8 share in the 76th slot. At 109th, THE PJS hocked a 1.5 rating/3 share.
HANNIBAL held strong at the international box office with debuts of TRAFFIC topping charts in Australia and Italy. In France, however, HANNIBAL fended off the premiere of TRAFFIC, taking the top slot with a gross of US$3.17 million and raising its cume to $9.4 million. In second, TRAFFIC smuggled in $2.48 million. VERTICAL LIMIT climbed into the sixth spot, grossing $807,368, thus lifting its French total to $5.15 million. In the U.K., HANNIBAL hatched another $2.52 million in first, elevating its cume to $26.1 million.