Earlier this week, Film Roman, Inc. and Chennai, India-based Pentamedia Graphics, Ltd., formerly known as Pentafour Software and Exports, Ltd., 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. The deal was concluded by Film Roman's president and CEO John Hyde, who joined the company in December 1999, after a tumultuous three year period. Since the company went public in 1996, Film Roman has teetered in the red.
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On Tuesday, November 1, 2000, The Harvey Entertainment Company announced that the proposed preferred stock investment by Classic Media LLC has been terminated due to the companies' inability to reach a definitive agreement. On August 24, 2000, Harvey announced that it had signed a Letter of Intent with Classic Media for an investment of roughly US$30 million in exchange for a new issue of Harvey Preferred Stock.
* Wednesday, November 22, 2000. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The Toronto Animated Image Society will be hosting a short attention span festival. TAIS members Mike Constable and Jonathan Amitay have animated pieces in this festival of films that are two minutes or less in length. There will be two shows: one at 7 pm and one at 9 pm. For more information contact Patrick Jenkins at: 54 Austin Terrace, Toronto, Ontario M5R 1Y6, Canada; Tel.: (416) 533-2440; Fax: (416) 533-0508; E-mail: email@example.com; and Web: www.interlog.com/~pjenkins.
* Thursday, February 15 Saturday, February 17, 2001. Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California, U.S.A. Entry Deadline: January 1, 2001
Columbia TriStar Home Video will be releasing Destination Films and Gullane Pictures' THOMAS AND THE MAGIC RAILROAD on VHS and DVD October 31, 2000. Based on the wildly popular THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE franchise, this feature film tells the story of a young girl's trip to visit her grandfather and their very special train-ride upon the famous tank engine named Thomas. This is the first THOMAS DVD and will include one deleted scene from the motion picture, as well as the theatrical trailer. The VHS tape will retail for US$19.99 and the DVD for $24.05.
The RAYEARTH series comes to a stunning conclusion on video October 31, 2000. In the third volume, with Princess Emeraude's brother, Eagle, launching a massive assault against the Magic Knights, the final battle for the survival of Earth has begun. Toshihiro Hirano, creator of ZEORAIMA and VAMPIRE PRINCESS MIYU, directed the RAYEARTH series. An English dubbed version will retail for US$19.95 and an English subtitled version for $29.95.
ART (Advanced Rendering Technology), a leading producer of ray-tracing and graphics technology, announced the appointments of Thomas Self as CFO and John Sims as VP of sales. Previously, Self served as CFO of San Jose-based MediaGate, a multi-national Internet software and hardware manufacturer. "Tom is joining the company at a time of growth and tremendous market opportunity for ART," said company CEO George Merrick.
Cartoon Network Online has named Pola Changnon as its new vice president and executive producer. Based in Atlanta, she will oversee the producers and writers for CartoonNetwork.com. Previously, Changnon directed the redesign of the Cartoon Network Online Website.
Will Vinton Studios created two CGI spots for AT&T's "Boundless" campaign. In "Splat," AT&T's blue-striped globe logo races forward several times splatting itself on the TV screen until in finally shatters the glass and disappears into space. In "Whirlwind," a blue whirlwind spins around a white ball until in finally wraps itself around the globe forming the AT&T logo. The commercials were done in Maya and started airing during the Sydney Summer Olympics. Jim Hardison directed the spots for New York ad agency Young & Rubicam.
R!OT has created the CGI tornado for a new spot for Chevrolet's Monte Carlo. The spot starts out with a realistic tornado traveling down an urban street. The twister final stops backs up and parks in a parking spot. After the storm cloud settles and reveals the Monte Carlo SS, Warner Bros.' animated character the Tasmanian Devil hops out of the car and drops change into the meter. "The idea was to create a realistic tornado in order to take the audience by surprise at the end," said ad agency Campbell-Ewald's executive producer Craig Mungons.
Stan Lee Media (SLM) and SciFi.com have signed a deal to Netcast 12 Webisodes of SLM's newest series THE DRIFTER. Debuting next year, the series follows Zane (a.k.a. the Drifter), who travels into the past to prevent a global computer meltdown in 2074 that kills 423 million people. SciFi.com has signed distribution deals with other Net content creators such as Wildbrain.com's SPACE IS DUM and Othervision.com's INDIE PLANET. SciFi.com is the official Website of cable channel the SciFi Channel, which is owned by USA Entertainment.
Francisco "Paco" Rodriguez is closing down his animation production-distribution house PPM Multimedia to head up the animation arm of Madrid's burgeoning content creator Filmax. He will oversee the development of animated projects, international sales, coordinating co-productions and directing services at Filmax's animation studio Bren Entertainment. Rodriguez formed PPM Multimedia in 1990 and quickly transformed the small company into a major force in the Spanish market.
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This past week, the international box office got a bit frightful with SCARY MOVIE, WHAT LIES BENEATH and HOLLOW MAN taking top spots around the globe. In Mexico, SCARY MOVIE debuted in first place with a gross of $2.33 million. In second, WHAT LIES scared audiences to the tune of $917,416, lifting its Mexican cume to $6.23 million. U-571 thrilled audiences in third, with a gross of $648,055, raising its Mexican cume to $1.6 million. In sixth, HOLLOW MAN made $406,055 disappear from Mexican moviegoers' pockets, advancing its cume to $5.14 million.
Brilliant Digital Entertainment (BDE) is branching out into the music business with its new Brilliant Animated Music division. So far DreamWorks Records and Island Def Jam Music Group have signed on to have music from their catalogs transformed into 3D Multipath videos. Heading up the new arm will be Grammy-award winning record producer Lee Jaffe, attorney David Codikow and Andrew Lee, who was recently promoted to BDE's senior VP of strategy and development.
A new site has been designed to connect voiceover talent with casting directors, agents, animation studios and advertising firms via the Internet. Voicebank.net will allow voiceover talent the chance to post their work or listen to demo reels by searching through a Web database. The site is set up to interconnect all aspects of the voice casting process from receiving audition requests, printing copy and spec sheets to recording, encoding, sending and receiving voice auditions, approvals and finished spots.
Dimension Films has just signed on to foot part of the US$75 million bill for the film version of Marvel Comics GHOST RIDER. Dimension joins Castle Sky Productions as the production companies on the flick. Crystal Sky Entertainment CEO Steven Paul, Marvel Studios head Avi Arad and actor Jon Voight are producing the flick with Dimension handling Stateside distribution. David Goyer will write and Stephan Norrington will direct the live-action adaptation. The team last collaborated on BLADE.