Venice, California-based Blur Studio has added four artists to its creative staff -- character animator Noel McGinn, visual effects designer and 3D animator Ed Lee, animator Paul Taylor and animator Asier Hernaez. Previously, McGinn served as a character animator for Pacific Data Images. He has worked on ANTZ and the upcoming SHREK. "I wanted to join a company where I would have an opportunity to be involved in all facets of computer animation and work on a variety of projects," said McGinn.
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Sari Rosen has joined new York-based ATTIK, a leading all-media creative solutions firm, as executive producer. Previously, Rosen worked at the broadcast design and media company Pittard Sullivan. Rosen started as a production coordinator and within a year was producing projects for ABC, VH1, Lifetime, TNN, The Netherlands' RTL4, Germany's DSF and Discovery Kids Latin America. ATTIK's New York managing director/group executive producer, Jim Moran, said, "I couldn't be any happier about Sari joining ATTIK.
SciFi Channel has signed writer/director John Harrison to create a sequel to his forthcoming miniseries, FRANK HERBERT'S DUNE. The sequel will be adapted from Herbert's novel DUNE MESSIAH. Harrison has hopes to adapt all of Herbert's six DUNE novels into several additional miniseries. "What I've been able to achieve with this one gives us real hope we can carry this on as a highly unusual and groundbreaking series of miniseries," said Harrison. "The DUNE epic is really a wonderful tapestry, and it would be great to see the whole thing play out. The first one turned out terrifically.
Over the past year, Sweden has been urging the European Union to ban TV advertising aimed toward children under 12, however policymakers have reassured the advertising and children's programming industry that they are moving away from the notion. Currently in Sweden, ads targeted to kids are banned, because the government is worried that children could unnecessarily influence their parents' shopping habits. In January, Sweden hopes to win favor for their plans when they take over the six-month rotating presidency of the EU.
Cinar Corp. has signed a deal with Bahamas-based Globe-X Management to recover US$50.9 million that was invested in offshore accounts without board approval. The investments were originally to be paid by November of this year, however the new agreement has Globe-X paying out weekly installments between now and August 17, 2001. As part of the new arrangement, Cinar has dropped all legal charges made against Globe-X.
In an attempt to strengthen its executive ranks, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) has retooled, leaving a worldwide marketing executive seemingly without a job. Chief of worldwide distribution, Jeff Blake has assumed the duties of Bob Levin, who had held the post of marketing exec. Levin, who was in New York yesterday for the CHARLIE'S ANGELS premiere, was not available for comment and no word was announced on his definite future with the company or otherwise. According to insiders, there were tensions between Blake and Levin, who has 1 1/2 years left on his contract.
News and entertainment destination site, iFuse.com, is about to go under unless it can find a buyer immediately. The company has run out of money and told its 30 staff members on Tuesday, October 24 that they no longer would be paid. The Marina del Ray, California-based company's CEO Rich Battista and president and COO Michael Dowling are in talks with several Websites to buy the sinking Netcaster. Battista told the DAILY VARIETY that, "Our doors are still open.
J.J. Sedelmaier Productions has wrapped on a series of 1 1/2-minute interstitials entitled "A Stranger in Town," starring caped crusader Capt. Linger, who has a tendency to talk your ear off after saving your life. Stuart Hill sold the Linger idea to Cartoon Network and producer Lynn Slowinski presented the concept to Sedelmaier. At first the concept was written in a DUDLEY DO-RIGHT style, but Sedelmaier envisioned it with a flat comic book look. "Stuart (Hill) had a clear idea of what to retain from the original concept but he didn't hold onto anything unnecessarily," said Sedelmaier.
New York-based Rhinoceros Visual Effects and Design has completed the digital imagery work for three new Alka Seltzer spots. In the 30-second "This Cold Season" and two 15-second spots, "Just Picked" and "Dew Drop," legions unite as a single cold sufferer in one digital mosaic transition. The spots also contain a multitude of CG bubbles and a photo-real CG Alka Seltzer package. "The recent Alka Seltzer spots had a lot of challenging aspects that made them call for more CG than originally anticipated," noted Arman Matin, Rhinoceros' CG project leader.
From Manga Video, the ANGEL COP COLLECTION is coming to DVD. Violent terrorists called the Red May have started a wave of bombings and murders across Tokyo and the Special Security Force has been called in to restore order before the entire country comes tumbling down. The compilation contains six episodes of the popular series, in an English dubbed version, English subtitled version and Japanese version, plus there are Manga previews, links, fan club info and a DVD catalog. The DVD will sell for US$29.95 and hits stores October 31, 2000.
In celebration of the upcoming holidays, Walt Disney Home Video will be releasing MICKEY'S ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS and ROLIE POLIE OLIE: A ROLIE POLIE CHRISTMAS. ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS will be available on both VHS and DVD, while A ROLIE POLIE CHRISTMAS will be on VHS. ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS will feature holiday tunes, Christmas themed cartoons starring Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck and Goofy, all linked together by narration from FRASIER's Kelsey Grammer. A ROLIE POLIE CHRISTMAS features three holiday themed episodes of the popular 3D animated children's series.
Spurred on by overwhelming high-end interest, Joe Alter, Inc. will release Shave EXTREME, a high-end version of "Shave and a Haircut," the hair and fur software that has true integrated dynamic hair simulation, inverse kinematics and collision integrated into the modeling environment. Currently, the program works with LightWave and Messiah. Shave EXTREME will endeavor to replace/augment cumbersome in-house hair creation and rendering pipelines. Amongst an ambitious list of planned enhancements is direct and efficient support of Pixar's Renderman rendering software.
Montreal 3D digitizing firm, InSpeck, Inc., announced the official launch of its new Multi-Head 3D digitizing system, FAPS. The product is a single-unit, modular solution that uses multiple digitizers to acquire data of a complete 3D surface within a few seconds. The company's software has also been updated, offering a new, intuitive user interface and the ability to handle acquisition data from the Multi-Head system. InSpeck's new Multi-Head System is designed to digitize/compile up to six different views of a 3D model, and automatically merge them into a composite 3D image.
Icebox.com, an Internet animation content creator, has named entertainment industry veterans Cheryl Parnell as chief operating officer and Christos Garkinos as senior VP and chief marketing officer. Previously, Parnell served as executive VP and chief operating officer for Roger Corman's production company, Concorde-New Horizons, where she oversaw shows such as Showtime's ROGER CORMAN PRESENTS. "Cheryl is a passionate and talented entertainment executive who has a tremendous breadth of experience," said Icebox CEO Steve Stanford.
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With HOLLOW MAN claiming strong debuts in Germany and Italy, WHAT LIES BENEATH and X-MEN hold on tight to other tops spots around the world. In first place, HOLLOW MAN scored big in its German premiere with a gross of US$3.78 million. SCARY MOVIE came in right behind with a gross of $3.47 million, raising its German cume to $8.84 million. WHAT LIES BENEATH sunk to third with a gross of $1.37 million, lifting its German cume to $7.11 million. In seventh, FINAL DESTINATION piled up $487,846, bringing its German cume to $6.66 million.
Cartoon Network Netherlands has promoted Bas van Putte to senior marketing manager and hired Erma van Lamoen as senior programme manager. Van Putte has been with Cartoon Network Netherlands for three years. He will continue to oversee all marketing and brand development in the Netherlands, in addition to directing the administration and marketing the channel's multimedia activities. Van Lamoen will work closely with the programming team in London and will oversee the on-air look of the channel.
Montréal-based KliK Animation, a worldwide leader in motion-capture and 3D animation, has appointed Vincent Ethier as director of business development. Previously, Ethier served as Canadian sales manager for Softimage. He will oversee sales in the services and production segment.
DMA has completed new IDs for Hearst-Argyle stations featuring Salty the Parrot. Tony Caio of DMA Animation directed the animated shorts, which promote local broadcasts from sports to holiday greetings. DMA's design approach is a mix of CGI and traditional Warner Bros. style of animation. The Salty character is owned by King Features. DMA has worked with clients such as Nickelodeon, The Food Network, Noggin, Grey Advertising, Kidvertisers, Sesame Workshop, ABC, CBS and WGBH/Boston. To view the Salty spots, go to http://www.dma-animation.com.
Sideshow, a New York post-production and visual design studio, has finished a series of promo spots for the new syndicated TV crime series ARREST & TRIAL. Sideshow delivered two 15-second and 10-second teasers, three 30-second promotional spots and 4 15-second versions of the same. In addition, the company is working on a 30-second Jumbo-tron spot for use in Times Square and other outdoor viewing venues. The show is a reality-based crime series from LAW AND ORDER creator Dick Wolfe and produced by Studios USA.
Director Richard Bazley is finishing up on a 7-minute theatrical short entitled THE JOURNAL OF EDWIN CARP, which was animated using Macromedia's Flash. Produced by Ray Bengston, the film is based on the book of the same name by Richard Haydn (voice of the caterpillar in Disney's original animated ALICE IN WONDERLAND). The short features the voice talents of British actor Hugh Laurie (STUART LITTLE, live-action 101 DALMATIONS). Richard Bazley was a lead animator at Disney and later at Warner Bros. on THE IRON GIANT.
Walt Disney is recalling copies of the new TOY STORY 2 DVD because it contains footage from Touchstone's R-rated HIGH FIDELITY. Costco stores received copies of the TOY STORY 2 DVD three-pack, which featured an F-word filled clip from FIDELITY in the middle of the movie. The glitch only effects the TOY STORY three-pack in less than 1% of the discs. "We are confident that the defective product has been isolated and removed from store shelves," Disney said in a statement.
Chennai, India-based Pentamedia Graphics, Ltd., formerly known as Pentafour Software and Exports, Ltd., and Film Roman, Inc. have announced a letter of intent pursuant to which Pentamedia will purchase a 51% stake in Film Roman. The deal was a US$15 million cash deal, which is aimed to close by January after regulatory and board approvals. In regards to the deal, Film Roman CEO and president John Hyde told AWN, "I think it allows us to execute our very specific five-year plan.
The sixth volume of the MARTIAN SUCCESSOR NADESICO hits video stores October 24, 2000. In "Between Heaven and Hell," a new military initiative takes the Nabesico by surprise and Akito finds himself cut adrift. Volumes 1 through 5 are currently available. The tapes retail for US$19.98 (English Dubbed) and $29.95 (English Subtitled).
Anime feature, SIN: THE MOVIE, will be seducing home viewers on VHS and DVD October 24, 2000. Lead by Colonel John Blade, HARDCORPS must uncover a string of kidnappings in Freeport and bring some semblance of peace to this crime infested 21st Century city. The flick is based on the FPS video game of the same name. Released by ADV Films, the DVD will feature both the English dubbed and English subtitled versions of the film, plus an alternate storylined version. The film will retail for US$19.98 (English Dubbed VHS) and $29.98 (DVD).