Creative firm ViewPoint Studios created the new open and program package for Discovery Wings Channels, EXTREME AIR. ViewPoint Studios designer/art director Michael MacKenzie said, Discovery Wings Channel supplied us with some truly amazing footage.
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The 3DO Company has announced the signing of a development agreement with renowned Santa Monica based entertainment company, Pandemic Studios, the developer of Battlezone II and Dark Reign 2. The first as-yet-unnamed project is scheduled for release in early 2002. According to Pandemics president Josh Resnick, the deal will allow his company to expand their development base across multiple gaming platforms and reach 3DOs mass consumer market. Trip Hawkins, 3DOs chairman and CEO, commented, "We are thrilled to be working with Pandemic on new and exciting projects.
LEGAL ACTION COMICS, a 256-page paperback featuring comic strips by over seventy of the world's top cartooning talents, will make its debut at Comic-Con International in July 19 - 22, 2001. Contributors include the legendary Robert Crumb, Pulitzer prize winner Art Spiegelman, Robert Williams, Kim Deitch, Mary Fleener, Gary Panter, Spain Rodriguez, Jay Lynch, Tony Millionaire, Kaz, Julie Doucet and dozens of other renowned cartoonists.
New Yorks Quiet Man recently created visual effects for three 30-second spots for Mike's Hard Lemonade. In each spot, the victim either a lumberjack, a distracted marine biologist or an unfastened construction worker enjoys recovering from a serious accident with a mug of Mike's Hard Lemonade. "There is a great deal of humor in the inappropriate," says Quiet Man creative director and founder Johnnie Semerad about the Monty Python-esque storylines behind the three spots.
Creative firm ViewPoint Studios announced the completion of a promotional campaign for the Court TV series, FORENSIC FILES. The campaign highlights the fascinating investigative process and intriguing stories of forensic specialists. To effectively convey how the science and technology used by forensic specialists works to uncover the truth surrounding crimes, ViewPoint Studio chose to show how an ordinary object could actually be a crucial piece of evidence. They used everyday objects such as a piece of gum, a cigarette butt, a hair and a fly as their focal points.
DMA Animation created the broadcast design package for the Lifetime Network's new television franchise, DANCESPORT CHAMPIONSHIPS. The DanceSport event took place in Monaco, where the world's best dancers met for this international competition. DMA designed a rhythmic flowing show open to highlight the beauty and motion of the dancers. DMA's design package included an open, bumpers and lower thirds along with other ancillary graphic elements, using a combination of live action footage and CGI ribbons. DMA Animation designs for television, film, the Internet and new media.
Animator Michel Gagné will be releasing the first issue of ZED, his new comic series, this coming September. ZED is an ongoing comic book story featuring an alien on an intergalactic adventure full of twist and turns. "This is an all-age book, but it has a strong edge to it. Without taking myself too seriously, I want to make this an epic, and run the full gamut of emotions," says Gagné.
As part of a stated goal to offer the most powerful console, PC and online gaming experiences, Microsoft has unveiled a series of new action-adventure, strategy, sports, sci-fi, fantasy and simulation games for Xbox, the PC and Zone.com. "We're committed to creating world-class PC and Xbox video game system games that excite the imaginations of all game players," said Ed Fries, vice president of the games division at Microsoft.
Activision has announced the release of two new Marvel superhero titles for the Game Boy Color. SPIDER-MAN 2: THE SINISTER SIX and X-MEN: WOLVERINES RAGE, both carrying a suggested retail price of $29.99, have already begun shipping to stores in North America. SPIDER-MAN 2: THE SINISTER SIX and X-MEN: WOLVERINE'S RAGE feature the same superhero action that turned these Marvel characters into legends," said Larry Goldberg, executive vice president, Activision Worldwide Studios.
Following on the success of Boomerang in the U.K., Cartoon Network will launch a similar programming block in Spain on June 2, 2001. Cartoon Networks Spanish channel will begin airing Boomerangs four-and-a-half-hour of classic cartoons every Saturday and Sunday. The block will include PIXIE AND DIXIE, ATOM ANT, HONG KONG PHOOEY, HUCKLEBERRY HOUND and YOGI BEAR. Turner Broadcasting launched the Spanish service of Cartoon Network in 2000.
The 28th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards were presented on May 18, 2001 by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Emmy Awards are presented to daytime television programs that are broadcast nationally between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 p.m.
In association with the International Critic's Week at the Cannes Film Festival, monsieurcinema.com awarded the first award for Best Web Film at Cannes 2001. The seven films in competition were: CUB by Steve Whitehouse, Canada; GOTCHAAA! by Eric Gosselet and Fabien Brandily, France; IN A GROVE by Hiroyuki Watanabe, Japan; LE SECRET MINCEUR by Stéphane Ricard, France; MARCELLE (episode Les Plaisirs De La Route) by Guillaume Joire, France; THE BIRTH OF STAINBOY by Tim Burton, USA; and THE SVUOTCHER by Flavio Della Rocca and Mattia Pasquini, Italy.
A six-page, 36-panel storyboard from the 1928 Walt Disney cartoon PLANE CRAZY, which marked the first ever appearance of Mickey Mouse, is back on the auction block after failing to sell at auction this past May 19, 2001. The storyboard had been part of an extensive collection of cartoon and comic book art being auctioned to raise funds for the International Museum of Cartoon Art in Boca Raton, Florida. Sale of the storyboard, valued at somewhere between $3.2 million - $3.7 million, was put on hold after the identity of the individual behind an online bid of $800,000 could not be verified.
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. has announced record net sales and cash flow for its 2001 second quarter ended April 30, 2001. Net sales for the quarter increased 33% to $93.3 million compared with $70.0 million for the same period a year ago.
Exploding into the top spot at the box office this Memorial Day weekend was Buena Vistas PEARL HARBOR, which made a triumphant nationwide debut, grossing $75.1 million. The 3-hour, action-packed movie is set during the time of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, where two friends (Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett) are caught up in the events that draw the United States into World War II. DreamWorks' CG-animated film SHREK more than withstood the heavy bombardment, slipping down one notch from first to second with $54.2 million during its second weekend.
On May 8, 2001 Argus International Film Studio signed an agreement with Germanys MC-One to produce THE NUTCRACKER AND THE MOUSE KING, a 70-minute animated film based on the well-known fairy tale by Hoffmann and ballet by Tchaikovsky. Directed by Tatiana Ilyina, the Russian version of the animated feature will be available at the end of 2002. The 3-minute pilot copy for THE NUTCRACKER AND THE MOUSE KING was awarded the World Gold Medal for best animation at the 1999 New York festivals and was in official selection at Annecy 2000.
Toon Boom Technologies has announced the release of ToonShader, the latest addition to the USAnimation system. ToonShader lets Alias|Wavefront's Maya users import their 3D models and motion capture data directly into USAnimation, giving animators the ability to bring a 3D flair to their 2D animation as well as ouput to all media platforms including the Internet. "Alias|Wavefront is very pleased to welcome USAnimation and ToonShader to the family of integrated plug-ins available for Maya," said Tom Reyburn, developer relations manager for Alias|Wavefront.
Hoping to ride the coattails of the popular CBS television series, CBS Consumer Products and Infogrames have announced SURVIVOR: THE AUSTRALIAN OUTBACK INTERACTIVE GAME for the PC. Slated for a Fall 2001 release, the game is currently under development by Magic Lantern Playware, a creative business unit of Gold Creek Technology. The game features the real-life cast from the SURVIVOR television series, in-depth character interaction, immunity challenges, tribal councils and other elements from the show.
Denmark's Egmont Imagination and A. Film are developing a TV series based on the successful Danish theatrical feature film HELP! IM A FISH. HELP! I'M A FISH is a 3D/traditionally animated film about a trio of kids who after becoming transformed into fish race time to find a way to become human again before it's too late. A. Film partner Stefan Fjeldmark wrote and co-directed the film with Michael Hegner. Fjeldmark was nominated for an Oscar for his work on the short WHEN LIFE DEPARTS. When HELP!
Universal Studios Hollywood has launched a live, interactive musical and comedy adventure, based on the new DreamWorks computer-animated feature SHREK. Shrek Live is scheduled for weekend performances through June 16, 2001, followed by daily performances through Labor Day weekend. Set on a renaissance faire-themed stage, the 20-minute live performance, which includes elaborately costumed SHREK characters, invites guests to participate as one of many popular fairy tale characters, including the THREE LITTLE PIGS and SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARVES.
Italys Digital Video S.r.l., developers of the 2D animation package Toonz, has started shipping the new 4.5 release for the Windows NT/2000, Irix and Linux operating systems. The new version of Toonz provides a number of new features, including Flash support, a new palette extraction tool, native support for new scanners, DDR to VCR control, new effects, a new wizard button to make batches more efficient and others.
Warner Bros. Online has announced the launch of ZETA QUEST 3D, a "walk-through" online video game based on the popular Warner Bros. Animation's series THE ZETA PROJECT. Players assume the identity of Zeta, an anti-terrorist synthoid who has escaped government operators and gone in search of Dr. Selig, the scientist who created him. Classified as a high-tech menace-at-large, Zeta is pursued by his captors while trying to clear his name.
Further strengthening the company's conceptualization and implementation of brand development and expression, head of creative services Elaine Cantwell announced the addition of three members to 3 Ring Circus' creative team. Enhancing the well-established creative capabilities of 3 Ring Circus, the addition of designer Dan Garcia and animators Josh Graham and Steven Dudeck will provide the company with greater flexibility and a broader perspective within the constantly evolving world of brand development.
The 34th annual WorldFest, The Houston International Film Festival, concluded on April 28, 2001. This year, the festival received more than 4,300 total entries, with all animation categories receiving over 30 entries each. Ray Pointer, president of Inkwell Images, Inc., received the Gold Award in the entertainment category for his documentary, MAX FLEISCHER'S FAMOUS OUT OF THE INKWELL. This is Pointer's third win in a row, having won the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards for producing the successful KEN SOUTHWORTH ANIMATION INSTRUCTION series.
Gerry Legros has been appointed vice-president / head of production at Calibre Digital Pictures. After earning a television broadcasting degree from Mohawk College, Gerry became floor director and cameraman for CityTV's weekend news team. He juggled this dual role with a position at Magnetic North as a videotape operator for two years before a brief stint at Command Post. He then spent six years at Dome Productions as supervisor of the central equipment room, wrangling gear for a variety of departments.