ViewPoint Studios has zapped up the relaunch of technology channel ZDTV as TechTV with a new ID campaign. The ViewPoint team developed concepts based on both the evolution of the network and the personality of the new logo. In a montage of live-action and visual effects work, a biological twist turns simple cell division into the logo at the microscopic level. Another ID gives a science lesson that demonstrates the fundamentals of logo conception. Maya was used to create the animation. "There were very few limitations," said ViewPoint Studios' design director, Michael Frederick.
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The first two-hour installment of the Sci-Fi Channel's mini-series FRANK HERBERT'S DUNE broke the network's ratings records. The Sunday, December 3 9 pm broadcast scored a 4.6 rating and reached 3.06 million households. The final two installments aired on Monday and Tuesday at 9 pm. The previous record was set in June with the premiere of Sci-Fi's THE INVISIBLE MAN, which garnered a 2.4 rating in cable homes, reaching 1.534 million households. Sci-Fi has signed John Harrison, the writer-director of the first six-hour mini-series, to write and direct a sequel.
Around the world, moviegoers are being swept up in the sexy, high-kicking, MATRIX-like action of CHARLIE'S ANGELS. The television redux made its nod in the U.K. with an outstanding gross of US$6.74 million. In its sixth week in Britain, WHAT LIES BENEATH sunk to second, grossing $1.12 million, thus escalating its cume to $17.41 million. In fourth, BEDAZZLED possessed another $680,873, lifting its U.K. cume to $4.21 million. PITCH BLACK turned up in fifth, grossing $572,299, thereby pushing its U.K. cume to $3.64 million.
Fox's THE SIMPSONS scored increased numbers this past week with a 9 rating/13 share in a five way tie for 28th place. Specials ruled the animated field with CBS' broadcast of the Rankin/Bass classics FROSTY THE SNOWMAN and FROSTY RETURNS. The December 3 8 pm airing of FROSTY THE SNOWMAN garnered a 5.9 rating/11 share with the 8:30 follow-up broadcast of FROSTY RETURNS also pulling a 5.9 rating but with a 10 share. ABC's Sunday night animated specials were close behind with the 7:30 broadcast of TANGERINE BEAR: HOME IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS receiving a 5.8 rating/9 share.
Without any major new releases in U.S. theaters, HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS grabbed the top spot once again. The cartoon redux, with primary visual effects by Digital Domain, grossed another US$27.1 million, climbing its total take at U.S. box offices to a whopping $172 million. The rest of the top five also remained the same, with UNBREAKABLE collecting $14.44 million in second. The superhero drama, with primary visual effects by The Secret Lab and TSL, has a cume of $66.35 million thus far. 102 DALMATIANS was spotted in third, with a gross of $8.3 million.
Oxygen Media, the year-old television/Internet media company dedicated to programming for women, has received a hefty investment of US$100 million from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's Vulcan Ventures. Allen's investment firm was an early fund supplier to the fledgling network. The channel has struggled since its inception to find major cable systems to carry its programming. Oxygen was founded by Gerry Laybourne, the former president of Nickelodeon, who helped build the children's network into one of the top rated cable channels in the U.S. and around the world.
EM.TV & Merchandising has announced a profit warning for its year-end report. The German children's production and merchandising firm will miss the mark by DM475 (US$214 million) the company said. EM.TV said earnings before interest and tax will be DM50 million ($22.5 million) instead of DM525 million-600 million ($236 million-$269 million) originally thought. The company also said that their 2000 revenue will be decreased 2.7% from last year's revenue of DM1.38 billion ($621 million).
Creative Planet, Inc., a business-to-business solutions firm for the film and TV production industries and parent company of Animation World Network, has announced that it has received US$30 million in financing from United News & Media PLC, a $6 billion media and market information company based in London. In addition, Creative Planet has acquired United News "The Knowledge," an industry-standard database of film and TV production professionals in the U.K and Ireland. As part of the deal, United News gains exclusive sales and marketing rights in the U.K.
Fox 2000 has brought Ron "Gustin" Parker in to write the action-comedy-mystery feature script for THE HARDY MEN. The story will feature grown-up feuding Hardy Boys, who must re-team to save their kidnapped father. The original idea for the project came to Fox four years ago by writer Michael Sargent. Parker, who has sold his scripts TYPHOID HARRY to Paramount Pictures and IMAGING NATHAN to Universal Pictures, will do a complete rewrite of the original Sargent script.
Check out the latest "behind the scenes" features and tutorials from Visual Magic Magazine:
"Toon Boom Brings Animation To The Web." 2D animation software giant Toon Boom Technology recently released USAnimation Web Edition. We decided to take a look at what this "flash" new product has to offer...
In the past twenty years that Canadian artist SCOTT CLARK has been producing art, his life has gone down many creative paths. For him, animation is the ultimate art form, bringing together storytelling, line, color, music and movement. Scott Clark's gallery features acrylic paintings inspired from his travel along the West Coast Trail of Canada, and to the US and Nepal. Plus, there are background paintings from his animated/live-action short film in progress, "Keeping Balance." British artist Grant White, aka DR.
Leading experts in their respective fields are there to answer your questions and give you personal advice and insight...
Plympton's new series of comics extracted from the comic book, "Sleazy Cartoons of Bill Plympton," is for ADULTS ONLY...
Stockholm animation studio Filmtecknarna F. Animation has finished a 30-second animated spot as part of a series of ads for PDFA, the Partnership for a Drug Free America. The 3D/cel animated spot utilizes the graphic style found on rave posters and flyers. The commercial follows a cel animated boy through a computer-generated city where he is attacked by drug-peddling, robot bugs and is only saved by the music from his headphones.
Santa Monica, California digital studio R!OT has created the visual effects for a new Samsung television commercial featuring Olympic sprinter Michael Johnson. The commercial shows the world-record holder running on a track that actually is a super-sized Samsung 8500 cellular phone. Johnson, the other runners and race officials were shot against a green screen at Whiteman Airport in Pacoima, California, in addition to other objects like a pair of wind-whipped flags.
Richard Wolpart, former CEO of Checkout.com, has been brought onto RealNetworks' staff as a strategic adviser on digital music distribution and wireless communications. Wolpert will split his time between RealNetworks and consulting for his 10-year-old investment company, Chance Investments. From 1996-98, he served as president of Disney Online.
Class-Key Chew-Po has signed 3D animation director David Foss. The director has worked with Class-Key in the past on projects for Columbia Tri-Star, Nickelodeon and San Diego's Wildlife Park's Festival of Lights promotion. In the past he has worked for such studios as Optimus, Hgun Labs and Runandgun. Foss' personal work has toured with festivals around the world. His film 47 HURTZ was screened as part of Resfest and his short HORNED GRANDMA is part of Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival.
ABC is bringing Betty and Mickey Paraskevas' TANGERINE BEAR to primetime with a special animated holiday half-hour. HOME IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS tells the tale of our teddy bear pal who goes unpurchased for Christmas and makes friends in a second-hand store. The special will air at 7:30 pm on Sunday, December 3, 2000 directly following the WINNIE THE POOH AND CHRISTMAS TOO! special. TANGERINE BEAR is based off the popular children's book by the mother and son duo and will feature the singing talents to Trisha Yearwood.
December feature articles are based on the themes of location-based entertainment and anime. Karl Cohen is profiling Imax -- is animation's next frontier in peril? Also, Martin "Dr. Toon" Goodman is discussing the past and future of LBE, specifically VR. On the anime side of things Fred Patten is profiling "Vampire Hunter D," the latest anime release to arrive on U.S. soil. Andrew Osmond is interviewing a number of experts and scholars on the stylistic merits of Japanese animation. Be ready to put on your thinking cap before reading this one.
Toonz Animation India has announced that they have signed a production deal with Rainbow Animation Italy on a new animated TV series. The untitled toon tells the story of an 8-year-old boy named Tommy whom, along with his friend Yukari and a nervous alien, uses his uncles strange inventions to defeat the evil Caesar. Toonz Animation India CEO Bill Dennis said, "Toonz Animation is very eager to start the new project with Rainbow. The story is very fun and entertaining, but also has many important themes and lessons that are important for younger audiences.
Seoul, Korea's Pix Production Co, Ltd. is looking for 2D/3D ANIMATORS, a BUSINESS MARKETER and a COMPUTER PROGRAMMER. . . Minneapolis, Minnesota's College of Art and Design, an independent, accredited institution, is looking for an ANIMATION INSTRUCTOR to teach all levels of animation. . . Mui Wo, Lantau Island, Hong Kong's STVDIO Media, a cartoon illustration studio branching out into animation, is looking for a CARTOONIST-ANIMATOR to work on cartoon illustration and animation projects. . . JC Pictures, Inc. is looking for a DESIGN COORDINATOR to work on a children's animation TV series. . .
DIC Entertainment has raised Michael Maliani to the new position of chief creative officer. His responsibilities will be heading up the creative aspects of the business such as design, development and approval of programming, advertising and consumer products. Maliani will be leaving his role as senior vice president of development, where he oversaw artists, producers and directors on DIC productions. As an executive producer on DIC programming he has won two Emmys, a CableACE award, a Humanitas Prize and two Environmental Media Awards.