AWN Headline News
This week's updates to the Calendar of Events includes the "Little Prince And The 8 Headed Dragon" screening, January 31, Burbank, California, U.S.A.; FlashBang 2, February 19, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.; The Animation Business Marketplace, March 1-2, Hollywood. California, U.S.A.; eStreaming World, March 6-8, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.; The Canadian Film Centre's Worldwide Short Film Festival, June 6-10, Toronto, Canada; and Anima Mundi, July 13-29, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Brazil.
As you may already know, AWN has recently expanded to showcase world-class artists using 2D, 3D and other methods of digital and traditional creation covering the entire realm of animation and art...
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Plympton's new series of comics is extracted from the comic book "Polls Apart - How To Tell A Democrat From A Republican," by Kathy Paton & Bill Plympton...
In January 1997, Absolut Vodka launched Absolut Panushka, an online advertising campaign for its famous brand of vodka...
Chris Oarr has announced that he is resigning as executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Oarr headed the CBLDF, a non-profit organization protecting First Amendment rights in the comics industry, for more than three years. "It's been great working for such an important cause," said Oarr. "And I feel like we've accomplished a lot. The Fund will continue to stand ready to provide the highest quality legal advice and service to the comics' community.
Director Nick Hewitt has joined Stockholm-based Filmtecknarna F. Animation AB. Previously Hewitt worked for San Francisco-based Curious Pictures. In his new role, he will work as a commercials director for Filmtecknarna but will also continue to pursue the creation of long-format animation. Hewitt joins Filmtecknarna directors Jonas Odell and Jonas Dahlbeck.
iXL Digital Video Group has wrapped up the visual effects for a new 30-second spot promoting the new toy from Tiger Electronics entitled Chibibotto. In "Attack of the Chibibotto," a giant Chibibotto wreaks havoc in city, resembling a cheap GODZILLA movie. "The spot is an intriguing hybrid between retro monster movie and techno chic," said iXL Digital Video Group senior visual effects designer Doug Dimon.
Alias|Wavefront's Maya won the "Best of Show" award at Macworld 2001, awarded by MacWeek.com. While Alias|Wavefront originally announced that it would be porting Maya to Mac OS X in May of 2000, Macworld San Francisco marked the company's first public demonstration of Maya on the Mac: both at the Alias|Wavefront booth and during Apple CEO, Steve Jobs' keynote address. "All in all Macworld was an astounding show for us," says Director of Maya Technolgoies, Richard Kerris. "Apple has been very supportive throughout our development process.
Pukka recently launched Pukka Group, a company that will be divided into three subsidiary companies: Pukka Films, Pukka Post and Pukka Web. The group's headquarters will be located in the new Portland Mews building (UK), which has just undergone a £1 million (US$1.47 million) refurbishment. Containing the latest in post-production equipment, Pukka will deliver integrated digital media solutions to its clients - producing, editing, packaging and distributing video, film or new media product in the corporate, broadcast and feature markets.
In another move to maximize its remaining cash flow, Icebox.com has laid off 11 employees, over 25% of its staff. Currently, Icebox is in the middle of a US$10 million financing negotiation with some of its initial backers. CEO and co-founder Steve Stanford said, "It's going; it's just not going as quickly as we would have liked." In November, Icebox cut 50 staffers in their first attempt to cool down their capital burn rate [AWN 11/29/00]. Laid-off staff members were given their last paycheck, their computer and their Aeron ergonomic chair.
RE:Vision Effects Inc. recently released Shake, Spark and AVX plug-ins of ReelSmart Motion Blur 1.8. This now lets Nothing Real Shake; Avid Media Composer, Symphony and Xpress; and Discreet inferno*, flame*, flint*, fire* and smoke* users take advantage of the plug-in. ReelSmart Motion Blur applies natural-looking motion blur to a video sequence by automatically tracking every pixel and applying blur in the amount and direction of the calculated movement. RE:Vision's tracking technology is at the heart of ReelSmart Motion Blur, so there is no handwork involved.
Ed Catmull, Pixar Animation Studios co-founder, has been named president of the company. Catmull has served as a member of the company's executive team and chief technical officer since the incorporation of the company in 1986. In his new role as president, Catmull will report to chairman and CEO Steve Jobs and work closely with Jobs and Pixar's executive team to guide Pixar's growth. "Ed and I founded Pixar almost 15 years ago, and we've been through thick and thin together," said Jobs.
Cartoon Network is reuniting the Justice League of America once again! The cable cartoon haven has announced that it has ordered 26-episodes of JUSTICE LEAGUE from Warner Bros. Animation. Emmy Award-winner Bruce Timm (SUPERMAN & BATMAN) will be directing the new series, which will re-team such DC Comics heroes as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Hawkgirl and Martian Manhunter.
The actresses behind the Powerpuff Girls are in a real battle of their own and it's not with Mojo Jo Jo but Cartoon Network. The AOL Time Warner-owned animation network has put out a call for sound a-likes to imitate the Powerpuff Girls for the upcoming feature film. Apparently, Tara Strong (Bubbles), Catherine Cavadini (Blossom) and E.G. Daily (Buttercup) are in heated discussions over the financial terms they were offered.
ViewPoint Studios has created a new hyper-realistic 3D animated spot for Gillette's Venus, a womens 3-blade razor. "The script called for extreme macro cinematography with complex motion and invisible rigging," said creative director Glenn Robbins. "CGI was the only way to go." Utilizing Maya and Flame compositing the 3D scenes were seamlessly integrated with live-action footage. Starting with an overhead view of a contemporary bathroom, a tub transitions into the razors head, showing off the three strategically placed blades and pivotal mechanism.
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With high-grossing nods around the globe, Tom Hanks' CAST AWAY easily floated to the top of the international box office. In Germany, CAST AWAY unseated UNBREAKABLE with an amazing ticket take of US$7.01 million. UNBREAKABLE crashed to second with a gross of $1.84 million, lifting its German cume to $11 million. In fourth, URBAN LEGENDS: FINAL CUT slashed in another $837,915, raising its German cume to $2.6 million. At #6, POKEMON 2000 collected $700,338, growing its German cume to $6.23 million.
In 44th place, a rerun made THE SIMPSONS' numbers slip, however it remained the top toon for the week with a 7.8 rating/11 share. KING OF THE HILL came in at #74, with a 5.7 rating/9 share. FUTURAMA rocketed in at 79th place, garnering a 4.8 rating/8 share. After high ratings in its debut on UPN, GARY & MIKE sunk to 108th place with a 1.6 rating/3 share. In a three-way tie for 111th, THE PJS scored a 1.5 rating/2 share for the WB. At #114, CELEBRITY DEATHMATCH drummed up the second lowest rating on UPN for the week a dismal 1.4 and 2 share.
Nickelodeon has announced the nominations for its 14th Annual Kids' Choice Awards. Receiving nods for Favorite Voice From An Animated Movie were Mel Gibson (CHICKEN RUN), Kevin Kline (THE ROAD TO EL DORADO), Susan Sarandon (RUGRATS IN PARIS) and David Spade (THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE). Vying for Favorite Cartoon are Nick's HEY ARNOLD!, Cartoon Network's THE POWERPUFF GIRLS, Nick's RUGRATS and Fox's THE SIMPSONS. Best movie nods went to effects heavy flicks CHARLIE'S ANGELS, THE GRINCH and THE NUTTY PROFESSOR II: THE KLUMPS along with live-action comedy BIG MOMMA'S HOUSE.
SOFTIMAGE announced that the eagerly anticipated SOFTIMAGE|XSI 1.5 is now shipping. Building on the highly-acclaimed previous release, SOFTIMAGE have, as Michael David Smith, XSI product manager, says, "touched virtually every part of the software to add new tools and improve existing ones." Utilizing the solid architecture of SOFTIMAGE|XSI 1.0, a large number of new capabilities and performance enhancements were incorporated into the SOFTIMAGE|XSI 1.5 version.
AtomFilms has signed deals with TiVo, In Demand and Cisneros Television Group (CTG) to provide content for the offline networks. TiVo will feature AtomFilms' shorts on the company's digital video recorder channel. Programming will air on TIVO TAKES, TiVo Direct and the "Now Showing" section of TiVo Central. The deal also calls for the two firms to co-produce content under both brand names. In addition, starting in March, AtomFilms will be the exclusive provider of short content for In Demand's 28 million household pay-per-view subscribers.