As part of DIC Entertainment's plan to restructure is international arm, the company has appointed Patricia Ryan as executive vice president of international sales and Dan White as vice president of international sales. Ryan will handle Western Europe and Canadian broadcast and video sales, head up property acquisitions and help oversee international co-productions. Waite will handle sales for Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe. Previously, Ryan headed DIC's international sales as vice president before the 1996 acquisition by Disney.
Italian animation studio Mondo TV released second-quarter revenue reports, which were up 250% to 6.7 billion lire (US$2.94 million). This report is the first since going public on the Milan stock exchange in June. In the quarter, Mondo TV's gross operating margin inflated 484% to 5.3 billion lire ($2.32 million). The big gains are attributed to the firm's increasing presence in Asia and its new co-production deal with Seoul-based Hahn Shin Corporation. Mondo TV is the owner of Italy's largest library of domestic and imported television cartoons.
* Wednesday, February 28 Friday, March 2, 2001. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Entry Deadline: December 31, 2000.
* Thursday, April 19 Thursday, May 3, 2001. San Francisco, California, U.S.A. Narrative Feature Deadline: January 3, 2001. Entry Deadline: December 1, 2000.
Spontaneous Combustion, a New York digital studio specializing in the creation of visual effects and design, has named Roe Bressan managing director. In her new role, Bressan will be part of the management team, which includes executive creative director Tony Robins and general manager Marc Schwartz. Bressan will be responsible for the company's continued growth, accessing new outside talent and further coordinating the internal workings of the firm.
Editor Renny Maslow has joined New York-based Editing Concepts, following a two-year stint with New York City's Northern Lights Post. He has worked on a spot for Hellman's Mayonnaise, directed by Bob Giraldi, and spots for Knorr Forkfulls and Fat Cat Ale, which he directed. Maslow has also cut music videos for Lisa Loeb and Rufas Wainwright and two independent feature films, ENDSVILLE and THE COURT. "I wanted to be more involved with narrative work," said Maslow. "I really love the vibe here. Nelson (Leonard) and Owen (Plotkin) are great editors and strong mentors.
PBS will air a 90-minute documentary on the life and work of Chuck Jones entitled CHUCK JONES: EXTREMES AND IN-BETWEENS, A LIFE IN ANIMATION. Scheduled to air Wednesday, November 22nd at 8 pm, the special includes animated clips, archival footage and new interviews with Jones and a range of celebrity experts including Steven Spielberg, John Lassiter, Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Ken Burns, Joe Dante, Roger Ebert, Stan Freberg, Ron Howard, Leonard Maltin, Lorne Michaels and Andre Previn. The film is a co-production of CAMI Spectrum, RM Associates and Thirteen/WNET New York.
ASIFA, the only internationally sanctioned organization for animation, will open a chapter in India. This new chapter will be located in the city of Trivandrum within the Indian state of Kerala, home of Toonz Animation India. The first meeting of ASIFA India will occur during The 2nd Annual Week With The Masters Animation Celebration, from October 30 - November 3, 2000. Bill Dennis, president and CEO of Toonz Animation India, will head the new chapter. Dennis has worked on animated classics such as THE LION KING, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, ALADDIN and THE LITTLE MERMAID.
Steamboat Software, a Los Angeles developer of high-end computer graphics and visual effects software, has announced the release of Jig Software to the general public. Jig is a comprehensive solution for rendering traditional geometry, as well as photorealistic hair, volumes and particles. The software has been ported to SGI and NT platforms, but is primarily developed on and for the Linux operating system. Jig is designed to be scalable, performing well on modest workstations as well as large rendering clusters.
After searching for theatrical distribution for quite awhile, the third installment of the CROW trilogy, THE CROW: SALVATION, will find a home on video. To be released January 23, 2001 by Dimension Films, the film stars Kirsten Dunst and continues the tortured tale of a man murdered, who returns from the dead to seek revenge on his killers. The new film is directed by Bharat Nalluri (KILLING TIME) and written by THE CROW comic book author, James O'Barr, and Chip Johannessen (TV's MILLENNIUM).
The popular syndicated series, XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS, will finish its six-season long run on television at the end of this season. Producer Studios USA made the announcement on Monday, October 16, 2000 that they were pulling the plug on the series after it finishes its summer run. The reasoning behind the show's cancellation was its declining ratings, which were due to the series being pulled from primetime slots on the WB and UPN. XENA's ratings for the 1999-2000 season were 3.4 down from its peak in the 1996-1997 season when it averaged a 5.7.
* Wednesday, October 25, 2000. Washington D.C., U.S.A.
Russian animator Yuri Norstein will be coming to American University. Norstein will show videos of his work at a class on the history of animation. The event is free to the public and it will take place from 8 - 9:30 pm. For more information call ASIFA Washington, D.C.s Tom Krawczewicz at (301) 681-2712.
The classic anime flick, VAMPIRE HUNTER D's special edition will be descending on DVD. The film takes place in the year 12,090 AD where a lone warrior named D fights to destroy Earth's ruthless vampire feudal system. The DVD will feature a never before seen "Making of VAMPIRE HUNTER D," a sneak peek at the forthcoming video game, the theatrical trailer to the 2000 remake of VAMPIRE HUNTER D and an original artwork gallery.
Dimension's 1999 release BEOWULF, starring HIGHLANDER's Christopher Lambert and PARTY OF FIVE's Rhona Mitra, will arrive on video and DVD on October 17, 2000. The Bomb provided the visual effects. The story is based on the epic 8th century poem, which pits the valiant warrior Beowulf against the evil creator Grendel that feeds on the warriors of Hrothgar. No suggested retail price is listed.
iXL, a New York Internet consulting firm offering end-to-end strategic, creative and technology solutions, has wrapped on two new promos for Comedy Central's new series STRIP MALL, starring comedian Julie Brown. Produced by New York-based Fowler Media's David Fowler and edited by iXL's Rob Ortiz, the 30-second "Brown and Dirty" and "Headlines" highlights the antics of the new series. The spot mixes quotes from various reviews intertwined with clips from the series. "The key to the STRIP MALL spots was to synchronize the graphics showing the reviews with show content," said Ortiz.
Black Logic has created a new spot for Ben Gay and New York ad agency Cline, Davis & Mann. Making his directorial debut on the spot was Black Logic's Patrick Ferguson. "The idea was to take individual parts of the human body affected by the soothing relief of Ben Gay, and integrate them into a 3D environment, where the body could interact with medical graphics, charts, and, ultimately, the product itself," said Ferguson. Floyd Gillis of Black Logic's creative partner, AFCG, created all of the CGI.
The Golden Globe winner for best comedy/musical, TOY STORY 2, will be riding onto video and DVD on October 17, 2000. The sequel to the 1995 blockbuster continues the story of Woody and Buzz with Woody getting kidnapped by a money-grubbing toy collector. The TOY STORY 2 DVD will feature a widescreen version, outtakes, French language track, a sneak peek at Pixar's next film MONSTERS, INC. and the Oscar-nominated short film LUXO JR. Walt Disney Home Video will also be offering a TOY STORY DVD 2-Pack featuring the original movie.
Mindfire Entertainment and Sega are set to transform the top-selling video game and arcade series THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD into a feature length film. THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD feature will follow the game's plot, where genetic research leads to the creation of zombies, which threaten Earth's future. The movie is being penned by Dave Parker and Mark Altman and will be produced by Mindfire Millennium, a division of Mindfire Entertainment set-up to turn games and comics into features and TV series.
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With WHAT LIES BENEATH slowly sinking, THE X-MEN have claimed debut victories around the globe. In Spain, the mighty mutants premiered in first with a gross of US$2.02 million. In its second week in Spain, THE CELL fell to third, grossing $997,797 thus elevating its cume to $2.02 million. Dropping 46%, HOLLOW MAN placed sixth with a gross of $381,275, lifting its Spanish cume to $8.86 million. In eighth, NUTTY PROFESSOR II: THE KLUMPS fell a humongous 52%, grossing $315,201 and raising its Spanish cume to $1.65 million.
On Monday, October 16, 2000, Z.com, an Internet comedy content site, laid off 50 workers -- half of its staff. However, the Webcaster has secured additional financing to keep it operating until at least next spring. The company's major backers include Internet incubator Idealab, Basic Entertainment, 3 Arts Entertainment, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Maverick Records partner Guy Oseary. "It's a tough time," Z.com CEO Joe DiNunzio told THE DAILY VARIETY. "Today's a very challenging day to have to let some really talented people go, but it's in the best interest of the company.
In February, Warner Bros. will start shooting their live-action adaptation of SCOOBY-DOO. Raja Gosnell, director of HOME ALONE 3 and the Drew Barrymore comedy NEVER BEEN KISSED, will direct the film from a script by James Gunn, with Chuck Roven producing. The picture will shoot in Australia and no cast has been announced. The story will feature the gang of Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby, but no specific plot summary has been release.
* Wednesday, October 25, 2000. Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
Yuri Norstein is coming to Georgetown University. Norstein will talk about his life and work, in a program called "Animation & Me." The event is being sponsored by the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies. The event is free to the public and will take place from noon to 2 pm. For information call Astrik Teni at Georgetown University (202) 687-5576.