Toms River, New Jersey-based Theme Studios has opened a new visual design studio. The company will focus on the production of graphics, illustrations and 2D3D visuals. Theme currently creates projects for distribution on the Web or in digital formats. For more information contact Robert Breisch at: 882 Salem Dr., Toms River, New Jersey 08753; Tel.: (732) 270-1220; E-mail: email@example.com; or Web: www.themestudios.com.
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* Thursday, January 11 Friday, January 12, 2001. Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A.
Larry Lauria will be conducting a "hands on," interactive animation fundamentals and character design workshop. The event is being held at Al Collins Graphic Design School. On Thursday, Lauria will present a talk on "Careers in Animation." The workshop will be held on Friday. For more information contact Jeff Marcus at: Tel.: (800) 876-7070.
NIGHTWALKER "Midnight Detective" descends into video stores on January 9, 2001. The series follows Shido, a midnight detective who is half-human half-vampire, who must hunt down supernatural murderers. Other volumes will arrive in stores later this year; "Prescription for Death" on April 10 and "Eternal Darkness" on June 12. The "Midnight Detective" DVD will be released on April 10, with the "Eternal Darkness" DVD arriving on June 12. The dubbed VHS version will retail for US$19.99 with the DVDs priced at $29.99.
The erotic anime feature DEMON WARRIOR KOJI will heat up video stores on January 9, 2001. Man-demon Koji, with the aide of a morbid psychic, hunts down a monster hungry for blood. The film is from Toshio Maeda, creator of LA BLUE GIRL, UROTSUKIDOJI: LEGEND OF THE OVERFIEND, DEMON BEAST INVASION and NIGHTMARE CAMPUS. The dubbed VHS tape will retail for US$29.99. A dual-language DVD will be available on March 13, 2001.
Rhinoceros Visual Effects and Design has created photo-realistic scissors and performed the compositing for 3M's Scotch Tear-by-Hand Packaging Tape. In the 15-second "No More Scissors," a fleet of scissors float from their worldly bonds and head into deep space to form a ring around a distant planet, their former users now free to tear fresh tape without them. Rhinoceros project leader/animation director Arman Matin said, "The sheer number of scissors and the data involved made the 3M project a tremendous task to pull off. There were literally millions of scissors to render out.
TOPIX/Mad Dog has completed the digital compositing and clean-up, character animation and synchronization of elements for six 15-second spots and one regional 30-second spot for Thrifty Car Rental. Set against a clean, white background, each of the spots features a different twist or gag, like a duck swimming in a convertible during a rain storm and a car being swallowed by a giant hole. T/MD inferno* artist Marco Polsinelli said, "For "Rainy Day," we proposed to line the interior of the car with a water-resistant foam core and fill it with water.
Mondo Media has named David McCoy, former vice president of advertising sales for Comedy Central and CNN, as its new vice president of advertising sales. "We are thrilled to welcome David McCoy to the Mondo Media team," said Douglas Kay, president of Mondo Media. "His extensive background and experience in television and cable are vital building blocks to the Mondo Media business model, and we look forward to his expertise for our continued growth and success." McCoy said, "What really excites me about Mondo Media is their desire to create a high value, new model Internet syndication company.
Cinesite, Inc. has appointed Jon Townley as their new senior designer. He helped found Metro Light Studios where he served as creative director from 1987 to 1993. Since then he has worked at Sony Imageworks, L-Squared Entertainment and most recently as a founding partner of Click3X in Los Angeles. Townleys credits include visual effects design for such films as HIDEAWAY, WOLF, TO DIE FOR and VIRTUOSITY. He also worked as a visual effects designer on such large format films including A LICENSE TO THRILL, THE MAGIC BOX and JOURNEY OF MAN.
After a decade on the air, THE SIMPSONS continues to do well with a top 20 finish this past week. At #19, the longest running U.S. sitcom scored a 10 rating/15 share. KING OF THE HILL tied for 41st place with a 7.2 rating/11 share. A 10-minute bonus installment of HILL ranked #101 with a 1.7 rating/3 share. Also at #101 was THE PJS, pulling down the same rating and share. These ratings and shares represent primetime TV in the U.S. on broadcast networks for the week starting Monday, January 1 through Sunday, January 7, 2000.
SGI recently announced that the source code for its digital media software development kit (dmSDK) for the Linux operating environment is now available to the open source community. The dmSDK toolkit shortens the time required to create digital media applications across the SGI product line by allowing SGI software partners to write to a single application-programming interface (API). dmSDK provides Linux developers with a proven, cross-platform digital media API and is a key enabler allowing digital media developers to deliver applications for this increasing popular operating system.
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UNBREAKABLE was simply unstoppable at the international box office this past week. In France, the UNBREAKABLE premiere grossed an amazing US$7.06 million. Five-week champ, DINOSAUR, slipped to second with a gross of $3.87 million, escalating its French cume to $22.92 million. In third, CHICKEN RUN cooped up another $3.58 million, flying its French cume to $8.84 million. At #6, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS drummed up only $1.67 million in its French debut. In its second week in France, POKEMON 2 collected $1.31 million, pushing its cume to $2.3 million.
UPN may be backing out of its plans to produce DOOMSDAY, a new animated series produced by talk radio host Howard Stern. The show would have chronicled the Bradley family who travel in a motor-home across a post-apocalyptic United States in search of a new home and traditional family values. UPN head Dean Valentine told the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS that the first drafts of the show were "decent, but it wasn't great and if you do this kind of show, a show about the aftermath of nuclear war, it has got to be great.
German post-production house Das Werk has acquired Centropolis Effects, the f/x arm of Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin's Centropolis Entertainment. The deal was for stock. Centropolis Effects will still be based in Los Angeles and Centropolis Entertainment will use the F/X firm for their visual effects needs. The purchase will allow Centropolis Effects to expand into commercials and music videos. President Mark Franco, head of production Aaron Dem and CFO Amir Nasrabadi will continue on in their current posts. Emmerich and Devlin will stay on Centropolis Effects' board of directors.
With little new flavor in the U.S. box office this past weekend, CAST AWAY remained on top for a third straight week, with a gross of US$22.22 million. The volleyball friendly film, with primary visual effects by Sony Pictures Imageworks, has collected $141.7 million thus far. Slipping only a slot, THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE palled around in sixth, grossing $7.46 million. The llama loving buddy flick has drummed up $62.4 million to date. Keeping its grip on seventh place, VERTICAL LIMIT landed another $5.01 million.
On Friday, rumors surrounding a breakdown in talks between EM.TV & Merchandising AG and possible buyer KirchGroup drove EM.TV's stock to an all-time low. EM.TV's stock closed Friday at 5 euros (US$4.97). Apparently, the talks have broken down over price and a conflict between Nickolaus Becker, chairman of EM.TV's supervisory board, and Dieter Hahn, deputy chief executive at Kirch. As part of the proposed deal, Kirch would purchase a 16.74% stake in the troubled EM.TV. A Kirch spokesman said, "We are still checking EM.TV's books, doing the due diligence, seeing if everything is in order.
Worthington, Ohio's Big Fish Animation is looking for a 2D ANIMATOR and ANIMATION ASSIST/CLEAN UP to work on a TV pilot for a major network. . . Toronto, Ontario, Canada's Cuppa Coffee Animation, a mixed media animation house known for its organic, hands-on approach to animation, is looking for CREATIVE DIRECTORS. . . New York's Curious Pictures, a commercial animation and effects studio currently expanding into web design, is looking for experienced MAYA TD/MODELERS for freelance work. . .
Award-winning, former Disney animator and educator Larry Lauria will start off the New Year with animation workshops in Long Beach, California, and Phoenix, Arizona...
The 3rd International Student Animation Festival of Ottawa (SAFO), to be held October 18-21, 2001, will present a panorama on gay animation...
The Quickdraw Animation Society (QAS) Website has been updated with information on their upcoming courses...