Image Entertainment is releasing a compilation of animated romantic tales from the National Film Board of Canada, which have either won or been nominated for the Academy Award. Hitting stores on February 27, 2001, BEST OF THE BEST: ROMANTIC TALES will feature Oscar winner David Fine and Alison Snowden's BOB'S BIRTHDAY, along with A CHAIRY TALE, GEORGE AND ROSEMARY, STRINGS, THE STREET, WALKING, PAS DE DEUX, THE ROMANCE OF TRANSPORTATION IN CANADA, THE DRAG and THE FAMILY THAT DWELT APART. The DVD will retail for US$24.99.
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ADV Films is releasing two new volumes of episodes from the anime hit, MONSTER RANCHERS, on February 27, 2001. "It's Time To Get Tough!" has the crew continuing their search for the Phoenix, but problems get bad when Suezo discovers his new super power. In "Racing To Win!," Holly is wounded by one of Black Worms' poison stingers and Tiger of the Wind must race time to find the berries to save her. Each tape contains three episodes and will sell for US$9.99 each.
Manga Entertainment will release the entire STREET FIGHTER II series in a four DVD set. The first two volumes will be released on February 27, 2001, followed by the final two on March 27, 2001. The DVDs include seven episodes (volume 4 has eight), three language options English-dubbed, Japanese and Japanese with English subtitles - trailers and theme song remixes. In the series, while traveling the globe, Ken, Ryu and Chun Li search out the best fighters to compete against while honing their skills. The DVDs will retail for US$29.95 each.
ADV Films is set to release the eighth volume of the MARTIAN SUCCESSOR NADESICO series on February 27, 2001. This installment reveals the truth about the Jovians to the crew of the Nadesico and the news hits Admiral Munetake very hard. "Memories" will sell for US$19.98 English-dubbed and $29.95 Japanese with English-subtitles.
Urban Vision Entertainment is set to release a special edition DVD of PET SHOP OF HORRORS on February 27, 2001. The film is a collection of four tales revolving around an exotic pet shop and its strange creatures each holding a tale of lost love, second chances and redemption. Toshio Hirata directed the film and the character design was done by VAMPIRE HUNTER D's Hisashi Abe. The DVD will feature audio commentary by English director and cast, deleted material and two language options English and Japanese. The DVD will sell for US$29.95.
ADV Films is releasing the 3D animated, children's TV series SHADOWRAIDERS on video. Hitting stores February 27, 2001, the series (which was called WAR PLANETS in the U.S.) tells the tale of four warring planets that must put aside their differences and defend their homes against the evil Beast Planet. Mainframe Entertainment created the series. The video will retail for US$14.98 on VHS and $24.98 on DVD.
Black Logic has wrapped on a new five spot campaign for the Nasdaq Stock Exchange: "Qualcomm" uses the modem port on a laptop computer as the entrance to a visual world of digital communications; "Immunex" uses transparent CG human forms and brightly colored double helixes to introduce the world of advanced immunology; "Amazon" portrays that company's familiar Website interface to show how it created online commerce; "Biogen" opens with a group photo of the scientists who broke the human genetic code; and "Yahoo" develops the company's groundbreaking search engines, as a road map through a maz
PDI/DreamWorks has completed production on three new commercials for Monster.com, MSN and Target. PDI/DreamWorks brought Monster.com's green mascot, Trump, to life, working with renowned advertising agency Arnold Communications and live-action director Kinka Usher, on the humor spots which debuted during the Super Bowl. The PDI/DreamWorks team, led by director Larry Bafia, created the monster spokesperson for all five spots' endtags.
Goodspeed & Associates, Inc. has promoted Patrick Bennett to the newly created position of design director. Formerly a designer with the company, Patrick will be responsible for the daily overseeing of all creative work. Before joining Goodspeed over a year ago, Patrick held a variety of creative positions in graphic design, Web design and consulting for several magazines and cultural institutions, such as ESQUIRE, VANITY FAIR and Dia Center for the Arts. "Patrick has proved an invaluable asset for our rapidly growing company," said agency owner Bill Goodspeed.
Giant Studios' new animated short film FRUITS OF LABOR premiered this week in San Jose, California, and received a warm and enthusiastic response. The film features a cast of simple computer graphics characters - a shiny red apple, a man and a fly - animated in a stylized way and rendering with startling photo-realism. Rudy Poat, creative director for the project described the look as being, "something that looks like stop-motion and that fooled both the mind and the eye.
Nothing Real, the producer of popular compositing tool Shake, has announced that their new Tremor compositing system has entered into worldwide beta testing. Tremor is a front room, client-based compositing solution, engineered to handle the most demanding needs of HDTV, commercial video and broadcast production professionals. The product is built around a new, simplified and streamlined interface and incorporates the mature and production proven technology based on Shake's rendering engine. Tremor will be sold as an integrated compositing hardware/software product.
Making a jump from #39 to #22, THE SIMPSONS scored a 9.7 rating/15 share. On Sunday at 7 pm on ABC, THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY aired the animated classic LADY AND THE TRAMP as a promotional boost for the Tuesday, February 27 release of the direct-to-video sequel. The film garnered a sturdy 8.5 rating/13 share. In a four-way tie for 57th, KING OF THE HILL pegged a 6.3 rating/10 share. FUTURAMA landed in 79th, with a 4.8 rating/8 share. This week, UPN's Friday night animation block of GARY & MIKE and CELEBRITY DEATHMATCH was preempted for a repeat airing of SHOCKING POLICE VIDEOS.
While HANNIBAL took a strong hold around the international box office, Disney's THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE danced its way to number one in Sweden. In Italy, HANNIBAL reclaimed the top spot with a gross of $3.47 million, elevating its cume to $9.12 million. At #5 in Italy, CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON floated another $820,649, pushing its total to $1.97 million. In Australia, HANNIBAL retained the #1 slot, grossing $3.29 million, thus escalating its cume to $3.54 million. At #2, CAST AWAY foraged $755,639, lifting its Australian cume to $10.39 million.
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Terra Networks' chief operating officer Abel Linares has stepped down from his post and Stephan J. Killeen has been hired as U.S. president. Linares' departure comes only three weeks after chief executive officer, Bob Davis, stepped down over disputes with global president Joaquim Agut on who would control Terra after the US$6.5 billion merger with Lycos was completed. Linares' quitting was not a surprise. He was supposed to become head of special projects, which he viewed as a demotion.
This week, Adobe has been teasing us with a taster of what's to come in their long-awaited upgrade to their compositing software After Effects. In order to compete with other packages on the market (namely Discreet combustion), Adobe has broken After Effects into two packages - a Standard version and a Production Bundle.
Hey, hey, hey, FAT ALBERT fans, the hefty hero is coming to the big screen. Bill Cosby has signed a deal with 20th Century Fox to turn his beloved animated series into a live-action film, featuring some animated moments. Cosby will executive produce the film with his wife, Camille, and write the screenplay with Charles Kipps (EXILED: A LAW & ORDER MOVIE). Producer John Davis brought the project to Fox and will produce the film through his Davis Entertainment Co. No start date has been set but the first draft of the script should be finished within two to three weeks.
With new competition very weak, HANNIBAL took a third helping at the U.S. box office, grossing another US$15.77 million. The hog-wild thriller, with primary visual effects by Mill Film, has gobbled up $128.5 million to date. 3000 MILES TO GRACELAND made its opening nod in third. The high-octane crime caper, with primary visual effects by Rainmaker Digital Pictures, snatched $7.16 million. After early reports had it placing third, Disney's RECESS: SCHOOL'S OUT actually finished forth, rescuing an additional $6.93 million. The saving summer vacation adventure has accumulated $22.7 million.
In its first pre-Oscar ceremony, the Orange British Film Academy Awards were handed out on Sunday, February 25, 2001. Michael Dudok de Wit's lyrical ode to a girl's love for her father over the passing of time, FATHER & DAUGHTER, took home the prize for best animated short. For best British film, Aardman Animations/DreamWorks' CHICKEN RUN was defeated by the live-action ballet picture, BILLY ELLIOT. Visual flare was a big winner in the U.K.
The Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists, Local 839 IATSE, has won their organizing election at Bohbot Kids Network (BKN), a German-owned animation studio with offices in Los Angeles. The ballot tally was 38 in favor of union representation versus 3 against, with six challenged ballots. The original vote took place in June 1999, but was delayed by BKN attorneys' legal challenges over the election procedures. However, in late January 2001, the National Labor Relations Board overruled BKN's suit. The union hopes to negotiate a contract with BKN in the near future.
The Discovery Channel Networks enlisted the talents of ViewPoint Studios to develop a promotional package for their Wings and Civilization Channels. ViewPoint filmed the live-action footage of a mock air battle on location in Laage, Germany. Avid editorial transformed the footage into dramatic sequences and then turned it over to the design and Flame teams. The main title and supporting text elements were developed along with further enhancements of color treatments and lighting effects.
AWN's Web Animation Guide is the place for what's new on the Net. In this week's installment a new ANGRY KID, a funny satire from the creator of Icebox's QUEER DUCK, a brand new Webisode of LIKE, NEWS and much, much more!
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Also every week AWN's associate editor Rick DeMott highlights what he thinks is the top new toon in cyberspace in "Rick's Picks!"
March is technology month. In this issue we will be discussing what the future will be like for the high-end computer hardware/software companies. Have their glory days passed? Are they just releasing new software versions to release new product or are these true advancements? Do studios need all of these versions? Due to previous advancements are studios now comfortably doing more with less due to the high-end/low-end technology blur and proprietary software? How does the cost of retraining factor into these decisions?
Venice, California's Digital Domain, one of the largest visual effects studios in Los Angeles, which creates digital effects for feature films, commercials and location-based entertainment projects, is looking for a RENDER WATCHER. . . Philadelphia, Pennsylvania's Drexel University, Department of Media Arts, is looking for an ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, COMPUTER ANIMATION to teach undergraduate courses. Depending on interest and expertise, there may be opportunities to teach in other areas including: 3D modeling, compositing, gaming, story conceptualization and character development/direction. . .