The British Academy of Film & Television Arts has announced its nominations for the third annual interactive entertainment awards. Three nods, for the technical innovation, learning and childrens awards, went out to the Lego & Steven Spielberg Moviemaker Set, which gives kids a virtual production studio in a box. In the learning category, the Moviemaker Set is up against the SCOTTISH WRITERS and STAR WARS MATHS JABBAS GAME GALAXY CD-Roms. In the childrens category, the Moviemaker Set will be competing against Cartoon Network U.K.
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German childrens content producer EM.TVs Florian Haffa has stepped down from his position as chief financial officer. Haffa will remain with the company as deputy chairman to help his brother and founder Thomas Haffa run the day-to-day operations. Currently, EM.TV is seeking out Haffas replacement. Even though the move was planned in advance, it comes after the company announced Monday that it was adjusting its figures for the first six months of the year to fix an accounting error in their acquisition of the Jim Henson Company and Formula 1 Racing.
Talks between Artisan Entertainment and Icebox to transform the controversial Webtoon MR. WONG into a direct-to-video feature have melted. However, Icebox has said that it is now in talks with other studios to transform WONG into a theatrical feature or direct-to-video. An Artisan spokesman said that the toon didnt meet the studios criteria for acquisition.
* Wednesday, October 25, 2000. Burbank, California, U.S.A.
An evening of rare English-dubbed Japanese animated TV series of the 1960s that DIDN'T make it to America! Osamu Tezuka's BIG X, Toei's KEN THE WOLF BOY and Tatsunoko's SPACE ACE (aka RING-O) will be screened. Jerry Beck, Fred Patten and Fred Ladd (producer of the English language SPACE ACE) will introduce the screening. The event takes place at 7:30 pm. Admission for ASIFA members is US$2, non-members $5 and seating is limited. For more information call: Tel.: (818) 842-8330.
Director Peter Nydrle of NYDRLE, West Hollywood, California, has transformed Cadillacs into Olympic swimmers for a new commercial. "One of the challenges of the project was to give the cars the personality of an Olympic swimmer," explained Nydrle. "It's an attempt to blur reality in a way you rarely see, particularly in a car spot." "Desert Storm" begins with a fleet of Cadillac cars all bearing the names of Olympic Gold Medal swimmers, such as Weissmuller and Spitz, on their license plates. In front of the cars are Olympic styled swimming lanes.
Black Logic has completed its second spot for Lexmark Printers. The first Lexmark spot was directed by famed fashion photographer Herb Ritts and created by BlackLogic, NYC and Warwick Baker O'Neill, NYC. "This is the second spot we've done for Lexmark," said Black Logic designer/director Patrick Ferguson. "For the Z52, they wanted to maintain the Ritts' style, but point out that this printer is much faster. Essentially, the Z52 is the best of both worlds." The spot opens to the telltale sounds of a jet aircraft preparing for take-off. The camera slowly pans along the Z52.
Sesame Workshop (the Workshop), one of the world's leading producers of children's television programming, announced the appointment of Jennifer Chrein as the company's new vice president of global media. In the newly created position, Chrein will oversee international television sales for the company. Prior to the Workshop, Chrein served as senior vice president of New York-based Telescene Film Group, where she was responsible for negotiating distribution and sales with sub distributors and bringing co-producers, partners and projects from the worldwide marketplace to Telescene.
Rhinoceros Visual Effects and Design has added award-winning director/designer Harry Dorrington to its team of digital artists. London native Dorrington has garnered numerous awards including two Clios, two New York International Awards, one BDA Award, one RTS Craft Award, one British Festival Computer Award and many more. The Dorrington addition complements former R/Greenberg executive producers Michael Miller and Rick Wagonheim's strategy of reuniting a number of digital artists that worked together at the now defunct company.
Blur Studio, a leading animation and visual effects production studio, has completed a major expansion, which added a state-of-the-art motion capture production studio to their facilities. In addition, Blur has gained a digital edit bay and a clean room for networking and digital storage hardware. The expansion comes as Blur Studio is embarking on the production of a 3D ride film for Paramount Studios and Stan Lee Media, entitled STAN LEE'S 7TH PORTAL 3D SIMULATION EXPERIENCE. "Blur is evolving and evolving quickly," said Tim Miller, the company's president.
The chairman of Jim Henson Co., Brian Henson, has signed on to direct CBS' four-hour miniseries JACK AND THE BEANSTALK: THE REAL STORY. The production will start within the next two months in London with the Creature Shop handling the job of bringing the land of giants to the small screen. Henson and Bill Haber will executive produce the program with writer James V. Hart. Martin G. Baker and Tom Smith are producing and Alex Rockwell co-producing.
Phil Roman Entertainment, Inc. (PRE) has entered into a three-year, non-exclusive strategic alliance with the C-3D Television Network and the 3D.com Virtual Reality Portal Website, divisions of Chequemate International. The new agreement follows on the heels of PRE's president, Phil Roman's appointment to C-3D's advisory board. The partnership calls for both companies to jointly seek, develop, produce, promote, market and distribute animation and live-action programming for the C-3D Television Network and the 3D.com Virtual Reality Portal Website.
One-time L.A. Laker cheerleader/singer/choreographer Paula Abdul and her Planet Paula Productions have signed a deal with Fox Kids Network to develop a new live-action/animated children series. The untitled show will follow a garage band's climb to success. Abdul is set to produce, choreograph and perform an animated character's voice or play a live-action character. The series idea was inspired by Abdul's work on her "Opposites Attract" music video, in which she interacted with an animated character named M.C. Scat Kat.
From the director of anime flick, OUTLAW STAR, Mitsuru Hongos SHAMANIC PRINCESS will descend onto video on October 10, 2000. In the third installment in the SHAMANIC series, "Guardian World" picks up Tiaras journey to recover her stolen talisman. The English dubbed version will sell for US$19.99 and the subtitled version for $24.99. Early this year, U.S. Manga Corps released the first two titles in the series, "Tiaras Quest" and "The Talisman Unleased."
The 15th Saint Gély International Short Film Festival awarded its top animation prize to Bernard Dubliques ADOLF. Objectif Image Saint Gely presents the festival, which features categories for documentary, fictional-dramatic, animation and experimental films. The event took place from Friday, October 6 Sunday, October 8, 2000. Dublique was awarded a 1,000 FF cash award.
From Masaki Kajishima, creator of PHOTON, SPACESHIP AGGA RUTER "Sweet Release" sets down in video stores on October 10, 2000. The AGGA series is an adult adventure set in the future where space pirates fight for domination of the heavens. The new installment will sell for US$29.99. The previous installment, SPACESHIP AGGA RUTER "Troublemaker," was released on August 8, 2000.
Taking place from Thursday, September 21 Sunday, September 24, 2000 in Abruzzo, Italy, the Matita Film Festival (MFF) awarded its grand prize to Britains Ruth Lingfords PLEASURES OF WAR for its courage, stylistic coherence and the quality of animation, included within a strict narrative structure. Marie Paccous ME, THE OTHER won the student grand prize for its harmony, stylistic unity and technical quality of the animation. MFF's goal is to highlight the independent spirit, while not neglecting entertainment issues.
From the screenwriter of PHOTON and RECORD OF LODOSS WAR Katsumi Hasegawa, the newest episode of MAZE is about to debut in video stores. "Whirlwind Showdown" picks up on the bizarre adventures of Maze, who wakes up one day with amnesia and new superpowers. However, Maze transforms into a flirtatious man every evening. The MAZE tapes will retail at US$19.99 each. "Whirlwind Showdown" will hit stores October 10, 2000, with "Evil Labyrinth" to follow on November 14, 2000, "Time Traveling Playboy" on December 12, 2000 and four more titles coming in 2001.
Dotcomix online hit SISTER RANDY will make her TV debut on BBC America, Saturday, October 21, 2000. SISTER is the second Webtoon to be licensed for TV broadcast on BBC America. Earlier this year the cable network began airing Mondo Medias THUGS ON FILM. Like THUGS, SISTER will serve as interstitials between programming. As part of the deal, the Webtoons will also air on bbcamerica.com. "Sister Randy is sure to be habit-forming television.
The 8th volume of BUBBLEGUM CRISIS: TOKYO 2040 hits stores in October. The new release features the 12th and 13th episodes in the continuing series. This time around the remaining members of the ADPolice must fight a losing battle against an army of killer bombers. The tape will be available in an English dubbed version for US$19.98 and a subtitled version for $29.95 on October 10, 2000. The previous volumes are also available for the same retail price.
The hit British comedy program, MR. BEAN, is about to be transformed into an animated series. The live-action series production company, Tiger Aspect, will be producing the US$15 million animated television series, which will air on ITB. Rowan Atkinson, who plays the live-action Bean, will voice the animated character. In addition, Robin Driscoll, who served as the original writer on the live-action series, will be scribing the new toon version. Currently, Tiger Aspect is looking for an animation company to perform the physical production.