Ring of Fire has created the newest completely CGI spot for Suntrust. "Sunrise/Sunset" is a 30-second commercial that brings to life fire-flies dancing, thunderstorms and a brilliant sun to ring in the banks name change from Crestar Bank to Suntrust. Using Maya 2.5, Ring of Fire created motion test rough landscapes for advertising agency West Waynes approval. Once the thumbs up was given Ring of Fire artists, led by creative director Jerry Spivack, added richer detail to the long tracking shot that changes from night to day.
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Spontaneous Combustion has designed, directed, produced and edited a 30-second spot for Estee Lauders new skin refinisher, Idealist. The commercial started with a wire-rail globe spinning and changing into a square, triangle and back to a sphere then finally revealing the new laser technology from Estee Lauder.
Rainbow Studios, a creator of digital entertainment, announced its acquisition of Motional Realms, the developers of the ReelMotion real-time simulator that uses physics and collision detection to animate vehicles and objects realistically. By simulating the underlying physics, ReelMotion allows animators to animate any type of two or four-wheeled vehicle, a variety of aircraft and other objects.
Go.com, Inc., the Internet group of the Walt Disney Co., has changed its name to the Walt Disney Internet Group. The name change was made to better reflect the new direction of the Internet company, which has moved its focus away from a Yahoo-like portal to a more Disney-geared entertainment destination. The Disney arm has been plagued with problems from the start. In the last quarter, the company reported a net loss of US$272.1 million, including amortization of intangible assets.
In July, Nickelodeon saw the most-watched month ever in its 21-year history. The numbers were the biggest on a total-day basis in household delivery, total viewers (persons 2+) and among kids 2-11. According to the Nielsens, Nickelodeon's 24-hour average in July was a 1.7 coverage rating/5 share/1.3 million HH (1.7 million average total viewers). During Nickelodeon's Kids Day programming, the net posted its highest-rated month among kids 2-11 since January '98 and delivered its largest kid audience ever. In addition, Nick crushed its closest competitors.
ThinkBox, a leading Internet provider of education and family-focused media, and The Harvey Entertainment Company have teamed to bring Harvey's classic characters, like Casper, to the Net. ThinkBox will incorporate Harvey characters into classic comic, interactive, video and series content on the first Web site, Kindle Park, which will be an interactive, educational Internet portal for 2-6 year olds and their families. As part of the deal, Harvey will receive an equity position in ThinkBox.
The company that syndicates the live-action TV series XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS, Studios USA Domestic Television (SUDT), and Brilliant Digital have signed a deal to syndicate the 3D animated Web series XENA to sites around cyberspace. This new deal marks the first major television syndication firm that has delved into Web syndication. The XENA Web series debuted on July 14 at SciFi.com, USANetwork.com and StudiosUSA.com. SUDT executive VP sales and new business Arthur Hasson, said, "I am excited about expanding our syndication business into the on-line world.
Mondo Media has signed on to syndicate Honkworms FISHBAR. The series, featuring talking fish and a sassy Parisian lobster with an unnatural obsession with cows, was created by Honkworm founder Johan Liedgren and art director Janet Galore. Thus far there are nineteen completed Webisodes and Honkworm will produce 6 more so that Mondo Media will have six months worth of weekly programming to pitch to various Web sites.
Columbia TriStar Home Video is set to flood stores with HEAVY METAL 2000 and the original 1981 Heavy Metal in a two-pack release. On October 17, 2000, the HEAVY METAL sequel, which never found theatrical distribution in the U.S., will be available on VHS and DVD. The special widescreen DVD will feature Dolby Digital 5.1 sound and two-channel Dolby Surround Sound. The extra features on the HEAVY METAL 2000 DVD release will include: the short film JULIE STRAIN: SUPER GODDESS, animation tests, the trailer and multiple language tracks in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
Alias|Wavefront, a SGI subsidiary, announced four key senior management changes. Warren Pratt, the previous president of Alias|Wavefront, has been named chairman of Alias|Wavefront and senior vice president of engineering for SGI. Doug Walker, previously vice president of worldwide field operations and marketing, has been appointed president to fill Pratts place. Dave Wharry has joined Alias|Wavefront to fill the empty seat as vice president of worldwide field operations and marketing. Peter Mehlstaeubler has been promoted to vice president.
In light of Nasdaqs delisting of their stock, troubled animation producer Cinar Corp. has brought in investment bank Merrill Lynch & Co. to help assess the future options for the company, which may include the sale of all or parts of the company. "Merrill Lynch & Co. will work with us and our current advisors, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, to review all strategic alternatives available to the Company in order to maximize future shareholder value, including any proposed business combination, partnerships or mergers," said Barrie Usher, President and CEO of CINAR.
The Chinese Administration of Radio, Film and Television has instituted a new regulation cutting the airtime of imported cartoons. Starting on June 1, TV networks in China must air six Chinese toons for every four imported ones. Before the new rule two-thirds of the cartoons broadcast in China were from foreign soil and with their domestic production only reaching 6,000 minutes (roughly 272 twenty-two-minute episodes) a year there is little for Chinese programming to choose from.
Raymond Eugene "Gene" Portwood Jr., a one-time Disney animator and the co-creator of the ground breaking computer game, WHERE IN THE WORLD IS CARMEN SANDIEGO?, has passed. On July 17, 2000, Portwood died of a heart attack in the Windsor, California convalescent center, where he was staying to recover from a stroke 18 months earlier. He was 66 years old. In 1950, Portwood skipped college and went directly to work at Disney. He eventually helped draw scenes for LADY AND THE TRAMP, SLEEPING BEAUTY and CAPTAIN HOOK.
Bankruptcy officials are investing Digital Entertainment Networks (DEN) possible fraudulent below-market sale of assets and executive salaries. As reported in the LA TIMES, court-appointed officials are investigating allegations that three weeks prior to filing for bankruptcy, DEN sold off assets to insiders far below market price.
Icebox.com has signed a deal to transform its STARSHIP REGULARS into a live-action series. The show chronicles the lives of ordinary men and women aboard a military spaceship. The animated short will nod at Icebox and Showtime on August 11, 2000. REGULARS was created by Icebox co-founder Rob LaZebnik (co-exec producer of THE SIMPSONS), who will produce the live-action show. After the first five Webtoons air on Icebox, the next installment will be broadcast on Showtimes site, www.sho.com. The first episode of the TV series will debut next June.
The 5th International Animated Film Festival/I Castelli Animati will
take place in Genzano, Italy, October 4-8, 2000. I Castelli Animati
highlights animation in all its forms from commercials to features
films. The international competition features the following prizes:
grand prize "I Castelli Animati," special jury prize, best debut
short film, best European short film, audience prize, the Fabrizio
Bellocchio prize and best non-narrative short film. The Italian
After having announced the entries for the Independent Film
Competition, the Ottawa 00
International Animation Festival has
released the selections for the Panorama section - Commissioned,
Canadian and Computer categories. For a complete list of competitors,
please visit the Ottawa 00 Web site. The competition will take place
September 19-24, 2000 with the awards ceremony being held on Sunday,
Bill Plympton has updated his appearances page. In the upcoming
months, his films will be appearing in various festivals and other
events, including the Hiroshima Animation Festival, Japan, August
24-28, 2000; the Macau Urban Council art carnival, Macau, August 19,
2000; and the Atlantic Film Festival, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada,
September 15-23, 2000. In addition to Hiroshima, Bill will be
attending the KROK Animated Film Festival Moscow, Russia, August
Plympton's new series of comics extracted from the comic book,
"Sleazy Cartoons of Bill Plympton," is for ADULTS ONLY...
There is no doubt about it, Macromedia Flash is the industry standard
for Internet animation. It's utilized by over half a million Web
authors worldwide to create animated vector-based Web sites.
Macromedia just announced revenues of $94.8 million for the first
quarter ended June 30, 2000, an 85% increase over a year ago. With
these results, the company has achieved record revenue results for
the tenth consecutive quarter. During the quarter, Macromedia
With MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2 still holding on in many countries, PERFECT STORMs debut in Hong Kong and the U.K. shook up the international box office. Finishing at the top spot in the U.K., STORM grossed US$2.86 million over the weekend and $3.25 million since its Wednesday nod. Slipping to #2, STUART LITTLE grossed $2.08 million, advancing its British cume to $9.59 million. The U.K. sensation, CHICKEN RUN, amassed another $1.82 million in third, bringing its cume to $28.85 million.