The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has handed out the primetime voice over awards. FAMILY GUY creator, Seth MacFarlane, took home the statuette for his work as twisted toddler Stewie Griffin. Julie Harris was awarded the female prize for her performance as the voice of Susan B. Anthony in PBS' NOT FOR OURSELVES ALONE: THE STORY OF ELIZABETH CADY STANTON AND SUSAN B. ANTHONY. The Emmys voice over category is a juried award, which has no nominations. The winners will be given their prizes at the creative arts portion of the Emmys being held on August 26, 2000.
In London for the sold out SIMPSONS live script reading stage show, SIMPSONS creator Matt Groening confirmed that a SIMPSONS feature is in the planning stage. Groening said, "Its a little daunting coming up with a half-hour TV episode, let alone a full-length feature. No deals have been struck, but we will do one." The television classic is now in its tenth season and is the longest running sitcom on U.S. television
New York-based Charlex was brought in by British Petroleum to give a face-lift to their image. "The challenge was to make an interesting commercial using only the British Petroleum logo," said Charlex founder and spot director Alex Weil. "It was an idea originated by BP themselves, but nobody has been able to make it sufficiently interesting until we got hold of it. As [creative director] David Fowler put it, The idea went from the trash can to Charlex. Its a good thing too.
Eyeball has woven live-action dance footage together with graphic design elements for the new PBS documentary FREE TO DANCE. "We were provided with live-action footage, which we incorporated into a stylized environment that allowed the dancers movements to be shown to best effect, taking our inspiration from classic art deco posters," said creative director Limone Shur. Designer Tatiana Arocha created the simulated spotlights, which the dancers appear in. "I began by thinking about the colors and about stage lights over dancers," said Arocha.
Smarterville, Inc., a Web-based childrens media company, announced that Peter Doctorow, former president of Knowledge Adventure, has been named as president and chief executive officer. Founder Ben Sharpe will remain as chief technology officer. "We are excited to add Peter Doctorow to our team," said Ben Sharpe, Smarterville founder and chief technology officer.
TOPIX/Mad Dog was tapped to create the visual effects for the HDTV animated retelling of the Prodigal Son tale entitled, CHOICE. The 25-minute film was produced for Expo 2000s "Pavilion of Hope" in Hanover, Germany. Presented in six languages, the film started airing in June and will run until October. The project was animated by Canuck Creations in Toronto and digitally scanned, inked and painted in Viet Nam at One Shot Pro and Planet Wave. "Originally, our job was to handle the post to finish off the process and put the footage into continuous form.
The New York-based design and production studio hey! has wrapped up 22 thirty-second animations for Arista Records. Presented at Bertelsmann Music Groups marketing conference, hey! created musical sequences highlighting Arista artists Whitney Houston, Santana, Run DMC, Toni Braxton, Carly Simon, Aretha Franklin and many more. "Essentially, we have made stills of the artists come to life by creating 2D animations in inferno*.
ATTIK shot, designed and produced three 15-second spots previewing Sonys Digital Network Recorder with TiVo service. The product allows TV viewers the chance to record programs digitally while they watch something else. ATTIK creative director/designer/director Aporva Baxi said, "We enhanced the existing agency concept with dynamic animated visuals that were specifically designed to reflect the copy line of each commercial. It was also vital that the visuals appear authentic.
Long-time animation producer Zdenka Deitchova has been formally named the chief of the Bratri v Triku (Kratky Film) animation studio in Prague. Deitchova has worked as a producer at the studio for over 55 years. Deitchova commented jokingly, "It's only temporary until they find someone else!" This appointment marks the first female head in the studios illustrious history.
Animation producers/directors Don Bluth and Gary Goldman have set out to expand their DRAGONS LAIR franchise into the lands of Webtoons, next-generation video games and a feature film. Their new Web site donbluth.com will air the DRAGONS LAIR Webisodes, which will follow the not so valiant Dirk the Daring and his battles with the evil wizard, Mordrock. No release date has been set for the premiere episode. DonBluth.com will also feature animation lessons from the legendary director.
Plympton's new series of comics extracted from the comic book, "Sleazy Cartoons of Bill Plympton," is for ADULTS ONLY...
In a lackluster weekend at the U.S. box office, early reports had Sonys HOLLOW MAN and Warner Bros. SPACE COWBOYS running neck-and-neck for the top spot, but in the end MAN finished first by a nose. HOLLOW, with primary visual effects by The Ranch Entertainment, Tippett Studios and Sony Imageworks, held on to first place, adding US$13.05 million to its $50.3 million cume. COWBOYS, with primary visual effects by ILM, moved up a spot to settle for second and a gross of $13.02 million, bringing its 10-day cume to $39.02 million.
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After its first full week in theatres, THE PATRIOT finished at the top in Germany, Spain and Brazil. In Germany, THE PATRIOT fought out the debut of CHICKEN RUN with a gross of US$1.62 million, bringing its cume to $6.05 million. CHICKEN came in with a gross of $1.35 million. Dropping two slots to fourth, THE PERFECT STORM washed up $569,269, advancing its cume to $9.63 million. TITAN A.E. premiered in fifth with a gross of $491,902. Slipping to sixth, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2 added $463,141 to its German cume of $23.08 million.
Swedish-based animation studio Filmtecknarna has wrapped on a 40-second animated sequence for the latest Madonna music video entitled "Music." Within the video, the tooned Madonna beats up British comedian Ali G who also appears in the live-action part of the video. The animation was directed by Jonas Odell at Filmtecknarna and produced by Leila El-Zein. The backgrounds were designed by Boris Nawratil. Jonas Akerlund of Petterson & Akerlund helmed the live-action portion. Filmtecknarna has previously worked with Akerlund on videos for Madonna and Metallica.
The legendary Chuck Jones is bringing his first original character in 40 years to the Internet. The series will feature Thomas T. Wolf, an unlucky timber wolf who often falls victim to falling objects when someone yells, "Timber!" Jones created the character 10 years ago as an idea intended for a theatrical short. Executive producer Stephan Fossati, who worked on six Looney Tunes shorts in 1992, was asked by a Warner Bros. executive whether Jones had any new characters for the Web. Fossati remembered Thomas T.
Big Idea Productions, Inc. is currently looking to hire a 3D MODELING/TEXTURING SUPERVISOR, a MODELING SUPERVISOR and two MODELERS/TEXTURERS. . . Sherman Oaks, California-based Animation Creations, an animation workshop which teaches animation fundamentals to children, is looking for an ANIMATION INSTRUCTOR. . . NewTV.com, an early stage Internet TV station, is looking for ANIMATORS who can build their work with Flash for a brand new Internet television station. . .
Wildbrain.com is a must-visit site for anyone who is interested in cutting edge Internet animation...
USA Entertainment is set to release the direct-to-video feature, FRANKLIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT. Hitting stores on October 10, 2000, the film based on the popular childrens series will be released on VHS and DVD. The DVD will feature coloring games, puzzles, music videos, Web site links and a behind-the-scenes featurette with creator Paulette Bourgeois and illustrator Brenda Clark. "There is very little risk with this project," USA Entertainment executive VP Joe Amodei said. "FRANLIN has been a huge success with a long track record of family satisfaction.
In a lackluster weekend at the U.S. box office, early reports have Sonys HOLLOW MAN and Warner Bros. SPACE COWBOYS finishing neck-and-neck for the top spot. COWBOYS, with primary visual effects by ILM, moved up from third to claim an early-tally share of #1, with a gross of $13.1 million, bringing its 10-day cume to $39.1 million. HOLLOW, with primary visual effects by The Ranch Entertainment, Tippett Studios and Sony Imageworks, held on to a piece of first place, adding 13.1 million to its $50.4 million cume.
Nelvana Limited has announced plans to produce two new animated series. BRACEFACE will be a co-production between Nelvana and Chinese studio Jade Animation. Voiced by Alicia Silverstone (CLUELESS), the series tells the story of Sharon Spitz, a 13-year-old who turns her metal mouth into a winning smile. The first 26 episodes are set for completion in spring 2001 for Fox Family in the U.S. and Teletoon in Canada. CYBERCHASE will be a co-production between Nelvana and WNET/13 in New York, which will air nationally on PBS KIDS in winter 2002.