AWN Headline News
Plympton's new series of comics is extracted from the comic bookPOLLS APART - HOW TO TELL A DEMOCRAT FROM A REPUBLICAN, by KathyPaton & Bill Plympton...
Phoenix Tools, an Italy-based computer graphics software developer, announced the release of Origami 2.0, a high-end set of modules and utilities for Softimage|3D, and a new Maya Shader plug-in. Origami 2.0 allows users to extract or reconstruct the lost 3D information from a set of photographs or a motion sequence. The new package is faster and easier, with greater reliability, giving the user a complete set of tools for all the steps that constitute the complex process of camera tracking and 3D reconstruction.
Nickelodeon has signed a new SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS licensing deal with the fast food chain Burger King, launching on June 11. Big Kids Meal and Kids Meal customers will be able to collect seven SpongeBob toys designed to be used both on land and in the water. The four-week SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS promotion will be supported with in-restaurant merchandising, the first kids merchandising created by Draft Worldwide Chicago, as well as Web-based marketing and national kid-directed television advertising.
WizardWorks, a division of Infogrames, Inc., announced the first details about DRAGON BALL Z: THE LEGACY OF GOKU for the Game Boy Advance. Developed by Webfoot Technologies, Inc., THE LEGACY OF GOKU is an action-adventure role-playing game, which challenges players to defeat enemies throughout various quests in an effort to save Earth from the Saiyans and save the galaxy from the evil Frieza. In story mode, the primary mode of single-player action, players move from chapter to chapter, completing quests and fighting battles.
Edgeworx recently completed work on a pair of spots for GMC's new SUV, the GMC Envoy. Edgeworx teamed with ad agency Lowe Lintas and Partners and designer Todd St. John of Hunter Gatherer in creating the design and animation of the commercials. "Comforts of Home" and "Relax" feature some of the GMC Engineers responsible for making the Envoy comfortable and safe. The graphic design frames key elements of the spot by placing them in a graphic timeline. Graphics for both spots were created using the Adobe suite of After Effects, Illustrator and Photoshop.
ViewPoint Studios and Las Vegas-based The Merica Agency recently teamed up to create a 3D spot for Cox Communications entitled "Desktop Animal." "The idea started with a direct mail piece to sell Direct Internet Access for Cox Communications," said Scott Robertson, creative director from The Merica Agency. The spot features various herds of animals that look like a computer mouse. "We knew and understood the client's concerns," said Mike Leone, lead animator for ViewPoint Studios.
On Sunday, July 1 at 10 pm, Cartoon Network's TOONHEADS will look at the many Looney Tunes World War II cartoons. "The Wartime Cartoons" will feature clips from over 100 cartoons including the 26 episodes of PRIVATE SNAFU, which were written by Theodore Geisel, i.e. Dr. Seuss. Many of these cartoons show Porky Pig, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tom and Jerry, Superman and Popeye heading into battle against the nation's enemies. The special presentation will also air four rarely seen classic examples of wartime cartoons in their entirety.
Universal's SITTING DUCKS, a new CGI children's animated series, has been licensed in multiple international territories. ITV has secured rights to the show in the U.K., with other licenses going to France's TF1, Australia's ABC, Mexico's Televisa S.A., Portugal's TVI and Star TV in Greece. Cable rights to SITTING DUCKS have been acquired by Canada's YTV and by the Nickelodeon Channel in Australia. In the Netherlands, the show will be shown exclusively on the SBS group of channels.
Howard Schwartz Recording (HSR), a leading audio facility, is recording the voice tracks for the Columbia Pictures' STUART LITTLE 2. Produced by Sony-based Red Wagon Productions, and directed by Rob Minkoff, the film is scheduled for release on July 19th, 2002. HSR engineer Bill Higley has been recording the actors directly from microphone to DAT for the sequel. The voice cast includes Michael J. Fox as Stuart, Nathan Lane as Snowbell the cat, Melanie Griffith as Margalo the bird and Steve Zahn as Monty.
London-based production company Stink has launched Skunk, a new animation house producing music videos, commercials and short films. The first project for the new company will be three spots for whisky brand Famous Grouse via ad agency Abbott Mead Vickers. Prague-based director Michal Zabka will helm the spots.
Hypnotic and Nibblebox have announced they have completed their merger and closed a second round of financing. The new round of financing was led by Hypnotic's initial investor Vivendi Universal and the media group Dresdner Kleinwort Capital, as well as Nibblebox's initial investors, Knowledge Universe, Windsor Media and Entertainment Media Ventures.
As widely reported today by sources such as the LA TIMES, WIRED MAGAZINE and REUTERS, four people, including Stan Lee Media co-founder Peter Paul, have been indicted by federal prosecutors as part of an alleged $25 million stock manipulation scheme. The defendants face maximum sentences of 15 years in prison if convicted. Paul, former Stan Lee Media executive vice president Stephen Gordon, stock analyst Jeffrey Pittsburg and stock promoter Charles Kusche, have been accused of securities fraud in an attempt to manipulate the price of Stan Lee Media stock.
Chevy's Team Monte Carlo and Warner Bros. Consumer Products have announced a new partnership that will place seven classic Looney Tunes characters on Monte Carlo NASCAR racing cars. All seven characters will be featured on the special Monte Carlo pace car leading the pack at the NASCAR Winston Cup race at Richmond International Raceway on September 8, 2001.
THRU THE MOEBIUS STRIP, the animated 3D feature film from acclaimed French graphic artist/novelist Jean "Moebius" Giraud, has launched its official website (www.moebius-strip.com). In conjunction with the launch, Moebius is scheduled as the first ever online celebrity interview and chat sponsored by WIRED. Details will soon be available on www.moebius-strip.com and in the July issue of Wired. "I'm trying to find a balance between the strange ideas I have and the dream of a movie for everyone," said Moebius in a quote from the WIRED story.
Z.com, the now defunct Internet studio, has sold all rights to its animated Internet series, EVE & ADAM, LOST IN PARADISE to independent production company, Fertile Films. The Web series deals with love, sex and relationships in the Garden of Eden and features the voices of Cable Ace award-winner Mo Gaffney (MAD ABOUT YOU), Jonathan Penner (THE NAKED TRUTH, SEINFELD) and Patrick Bristow (ELLEN, FRIENDS). The deal includes seven completed Webisodes, e-postcards, additional Website content and several scripts and storyboards ready for production.
Mondo Media announced a content agreement with Yahoo!, which will bring three popular Mondo Mini Shows to Yahoo! The three shows are THUGS ON FILM, PIKI & POKO ADVENTURES IN STARLAND and LIKE, NEWS. "Our popular Mini Shows are a great fit for Yahoo! Broadcast," said Douglas Kay, president of Mondo Media. "Mondo has been very successful in capturing the essence of online entertainment and continues to create compelling characters and weekly shows that are sure to strike a chord with Yahoo! Broadcast consumers." David Mandelbrot, vice president and general manager, Yahoo!
Director John Adams of Area 51 Films and effects house R!OT have teamed on two new spots for Michelob Light. The ads were conceived by the Chicago creative services and marketing agency Leapnet. The first spot features a young man who makes a wrong turn on the path to romance. The second, more technically challenging spot, features a bottle of beer as a skyscraper. Adams worked with Leapnet's creative team and visual effects artists from R!OT in designing the final scene. The image is an entirely artificial creation composed of 3D elements and a detailed digital matte painting.
FrameStore has wrapped on three new commercials to launch Nintendos latest Game Boy handset, Game Boy Advance. All three commercials were written and produced by agency Leo Burnett of Chicago, and directed by the Vienna-based directing duo, Rad-ish (Moritz and Christophe). FrameStore's SFX artists created three, highly stylized, virtual worlds, which each allude to one of the three new games developed to accompany the new handset. As synthetic snow was banned on the location of "Church," FrameStore created falling and settling snow for the interior shots.
Mainframe Entertainment has announced its expansion into the consumer products area with a new strategic alliance with licensing and merchandising veteran Joy Tashjian. Previously with American Champion Marketing Group, Tashjian launched successful consumer product campaigns for many ABC Saturday morning television series. With American Champion shifting its focus away from the traditional entertainment business, Tashjian has formed her own agency, Joy Tashjian Marketing Group, with many of the staff from American Champion.
Warner Bros.' SWORDFISH hooked the top spot this week, debuting with $18.15 million. DreamWorks' CG film, SHREK, held its ground at #2 with $16.52 million, taking in a cumulative $176.07 million total in its four week run. Buena Vista's PEARL HARBOR lost its #1 spot, dropping to third place with $14.72 million, bringing its three week total to $143.99 million. DreamWorks' special effects comedy, EVOLUTION, made its debut in forth place with $13.41 million. THE ANIMAL made $9.61 million, down to #5 from #3 with a cumulative total of $35.65 million.
Quiet Man has wrapped a new spot for General Electric's "Artica" refrigerator. The 30-second spot entitled "Artica" shows the new refrigerator in a field, a wine cellar and finally in a kitchen in various locations around the globe. "It was one of those jobs with a tight schedule," said lead visual effects artist Colin Stackpole. "But, it was surprisingly unproblematic, considering the conditions. First, we had to find stock footage over which to composite the refrigerator. By using locked off footage I wouldn't have to worry about changing angles or lighting as everything remains static.
Santa Monica-based R!OT provided visual effects for "This is Where I Came In," the first music video from the Bee Gees CD set of the same name. The video opens with a barrage of single frame images ending in a rec room inside a 60s VW van. The various members of the group pop into and float through the frame at all angles. Henry artist Lisa Tomei created all of the visual effects and finished the video on a Quantel Henry platform.
Iwerks Entertainment has opened a new Iwerks 3D/4D FX Theatre at Xidan Cultural Plaza in Beijing, China. The new multimedia attraction showcases PIRATES, a 3D attraction film from the Iwerks film library, enhanced with in-theater special effects. This is the second Iwerks 3D/4D FX Theatre installed in China. The first opened in Shenzen in 2000. Don Iwerks, co-founder and chairman of Iwerks Entertainment, said, "Only one year later, we've installed the second in Beijing and another is slated to open in Shanghai later this year.