Animation World Magazine, Issue 2.4, July1997


Films

Petrov Animating IMAX Format Film. Master Russian animator Alexander Petrov is working in Montreal on a 20 minute animated film in 70mm format, through Pascal Blais Productions. A Canadian, Japanese and Russian co-production, the film is being financed 95% by private investments from Canada, and in part by NHK, the largest TV network in Japan. The film is an adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's novel The Old Man and the Sea, a project that Petrov has wanted to do for years. Using his signature paint on glass technique, Petrov is working on a custom-built animation stand for the 70mm format, which features 6 multi-planes of glass, a motion control system, and a simultaneous digital recording system for testing. Until now, no animation stand had existed in this format. The Old Man and the Sea is scheduled for completion by the end of 1998. It will be sold individually to some of the 140 IMAX theaters which exist around the world where it will be packaged with a documentary on Ernest Hemingway. The release date will coincide with the 100 year anniversary of the author's birth.

CGI Feature Under The Rainbow. Phoenix-based Rainbow Studios is currently developing a fully computer generated feature film with a working title of Deadly Tide. Two years of work and $2 million have already been invested in the project, which as of yet has no set distributor, though rights to several international territories have already been pre-sold. Electronics company Pioneer has invested one-third of the production funding, while additional investors are being sought. Talents attached to the project include digital effects supervisor Ray McIntyre of Pixel Magic, director Tony Stutterheim and animator Bruce Hall of TRG3. William Morris Agency is currently casting voices for the film, which Rainbow is planning for an early 1999 release.

Alterian's Digital Effects. Monrovia, California-based Alterian Studios, a supplier of animatronics, makeup and miniatures for feature films, has recently completed special effects work on several feature films through their new digital effects department headed by Elliot Worman. Films with a U.S. release date of June and July featuring Alterian's handiwork include: MGM/UA's Warriors of Virtue and Warner Bros.' Batman and Robin, and Contact.

Buzzco's Knitwitted Short. New York-based Buzzco Associates, who recently took home an award at Annecy for their educational production Talking About Sex: A Guide for Families, is working on a new 11 minute short film called Knitwits. The film, which revolves around six women in a knitting store, was animated on paper, scanned into a computer, colored using Animation Stand and edited using Adobe Premiere software. The next step is to transfer the animation from the computer to film, a process for which the film's directors, Candy Kugel and Vince Cafarelli, are seeking additional funding. "We discovered, to our horror," said Kugel, "that we need between $20,000 and $40,000 to get it on film and finish the track." Kugel adds that they are open to co-productions and general suggestions. Their e-mail address is: Buzzzco@aol.com


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