AWN Headline News
Oxygen Media is in talks to secure the rerun rights to XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS. XENA reruns currently air on USA Network and Sci-Fi Channel, but if Oxygen's deal closes they will have first airings of episodes from the 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 seasons. What Oxygen will have to dish money wise has yet to be released, but it might be quite a bit of cash considering that the series has other cable suitors. XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS announced in October that it would end production at the end of this its sixth year.
pmG (project:messiah Group) announced earlier this month that they have been invited by Intel to be one of twelve leading digital content creators and software developers to demonstrate products designed for the upcoming Itanium processor. The young company (started in January 2000) has already made a big impact on the industry. To be approached by Intel along with companies like Discreet, Avid|SOFTIMAGE, and NewTek in such a short time, is rather impressive.
The producers of award winning 2D professional animation software Animo announced key corporate and product changes at Digital Media World. As well as launching their new corporate image, Cambridge Animation Systems (CAS) announced a new reseller strategy that includes the appointment of 30 new resellers. The company also told press that the company had undergone some major management changes and restructures in fitting with their new strategy.
* Saturday, March 10 Sunday, March 18, 2001. Durango, Colorado, U.S.A. Entry Deadline: January 2, 2001.
Discreet made several announcements at Londons Digital Media World conference, most of them revolving around the upcoming 3D Studio Max 4. The newly named product, 3D Studio Max 4, is to be released in January 2001, and Discreet announced that the details of the product were premiering on their new Animation Zone Website (www.discreet.com/animation). Version 4 of their award winning 3D app will feature new Inverse Kinematics tools and better rendering technology.
* Thursday, April 5 Sunday, April 8, 2001. Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. Entry Deadline: January 5, 2001.
Ed Hooks is bringing his "Acting for Animators" seminars to book form. Arriving in stores in December, ACTING FOR ANIMATORS explores the connections between thinking and physical action and thinking and emotion. He also includes effective character analysis and the dynamics of a scene. The book also includes a CD-Rom featuring video-clips of improvs based on the seven essentials of acting and highlights of Rudolph Laban's movement theory. Hooks has taught acting for animators' classes around the globe since 1996. His new book will sell for US$18.95.
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SCARY MOVIE, WHAT LIES BENEATH and CHARLIE'S ANGELS all held strong at the international box office. In Italy, SCARY MOVIE debuted at #1 with a strong gross of US$2.28 million. Dropping a lofty 59%, X-MEN fell to sixth, grossing $466,646, thereby lifting its Italian cume to $4.1 million. In seventh, FREQUENCY channeled $460,570 in its Italian premiere. In France, SCARY MOVIE held onto the top spot with a gross of $2.32 million, raising its cume to $15.24 million. The French debut of SHAFT, therefore, had to settle for second, grossing $1.62 million.
Despite DreamWorks and Imagine Entertainment's downfall with Pop.com, Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard plan to create Webtoons for CoutingDown.com, the movie-fan site purchased by DreamWorks to be part of Pop.com. Howard's toon will be based on a recurring nightmare he has been having, where he is trapped on a crazed and out-of-control film set. Spielberg's toon will also be based on one of the filmmaker's dreams, but no plot has been released. The site will debut one toon early in December and the other in January.
KING OF THE HILL creators Greg Daniels and Mike Judge have teamed to develop a live-action series based off of the series' TV preacher Monsignor Martinez. Jim Dauterive, a supervising producer on KING, is set to produce the new show. Martinez is a recurring character on a TV soap that Peggy Hill and the rest of her family watch religiously. The spinoff would chronicle the vigilante adventures of the rough and tough priest. Insiders say that Fox TV is close to placing a script order for the series.
ADV Films is releasing the third volume of the LOST UNIVERSE series on video November 14, 2000. The series is a zany space adventure following the exploits of the starship Swordbreaker and its crew. Included in the third installment, the crew's only bathroom gets lost in a giant maze. Each tape features 4 episodes. The first two volumes in the series were released earlier this year. The film retails for US$19.98 for English dubbed and $29.95 for English subtitled.
In a report commissioned by Nickelodeon U.K., BBC's plan to form two new children's networks could cause commercially funded networks up to £400 million (US$580 million) in funding over a five-year period by undermining the economics of the commercially funded stations. Therefore the other 14 children's networks in the U.K. would have to rely more on cheap imports and repeat programming to stay viable against the publicly funded BBC networks. The report was conducted by independent analysts at Arthur Andersen. Nick U.K.
Jack Ozark, animator and newspaper sports cartoonist, died on November 16, 2000. He was 82-years-old. In 1931, Ozark started his career at the Fleischer Studios, animating on POPEYE, BETTY BOOP and GULLIVER'S TRAVELS. He served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps and afterward moved to Los Angeles to work on the early Hanna-Barbera shows YOGI BEAR, FLINTSTONES and TOP CAT. He specialized in animating Snagglepuss and Wally Gator. He finished out his career at Filmation on HE-MAN and SHE-RA until his retirement in 1987. He was awarded the L.A. Cartoonists' Union 839 Golden Award in 1992.
Soviet animator Vyacheslav Kotenochkin, creator of the world-famous slapstick cartoon NU, POGODI, died on November 20, 2000 after a battle with a long illness. He was 74-years-old. NU, POGODI, which screened in theaters around the globe, chronicled the misadventures of a hungry, dimwitted wolf that constantly chased a wide-eye rabbit. The Roadrunner-esque cartoons always ended with the wolf shouting, "Nu, pogodi!
Despite a report in the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER that the company is bankrupt, Internet animation producer and distributor Dotcomix is in discussions to be bought. AWN spoke with founder and chief creative officer Brad DeGraf and he said the company "just couldn't keep producing as it had in the past." DeGraf said the production staff has been laid off until the transition period is finished. However, president and CEO Damon Danielson has left the company to become the CEO of Video4I, a multi-platform video streaming company.
FilmCore's editor Michael Bartoli and ILM director Bill Werts have teamed on the new spot for Toyota's new Corolla S Model. The 30-second spot opens on a newspaper floating in the air above a suburban street. On the center of the front page is a large picture of a man who comes to life and tries to hail a ride from a passing car. Werts and the team at ILM shot a real newspaper against blue-screen, with the paper attached to monofilament to make it dance. The actor was shot separately then composited with the newspaper. Initial compositing was performed by Bartoli on Avid.
The Holland Animation Film Festival concluded its five-day festival with the presentation of its awards. This year's event was the first to hand out an award for independent animation films. With this competition, the festival sets out to promote the short, artistic animation film, and, as a result, encourage media attention toward independent animation. This year's student jury included: Joan Ashworth (animation filmmaker, England), Henk Beumers (animation filmmaker, the Netherlands) and Menno de Nooijer (animation filmmaker, the Netherlands).
At this weekend's box office, Universal's HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS thieved the U.S. crown with a multi-record breaking premiere. The GRINCH grossed US$55.08 million, making it the biggest debut for star Jim Carrey and director Ron Howard, best non-holiday debut in November, biggest opening for a non-sequel and the eighth biggest weekend gross of all time. Therefore, Paramount and Nickelodeon's THE RUGRATS IN PARIS had to settle for a second place premiere. The second feature based on the wildly popular RUGRATS TV series, with animation by Klasky Csupo, grossed $22.72 million.
BOXX Technologies, a leading provider of digital content creation tools for the entertainment and digital film industries, announced that James H. Moore has joined the company as chairman. Moore recently served as president and COO at Crossroads Systems, a high-technology manufacturer of fibre channel storage routers for the computer networking industry. Prior to joining Crossroads Systems, Moore was vice president and general manager of Crystal Semiconductor and Cirrus Logic.
TOPIX/Mad Dog completed the 3D animation for a pair of 10-second spots for Boots Lights Cigarettes entitled "Striptease" and "Mirilla." In "Striptease," a crowd of lighters eagerly await the arrival of the main attraction - the new Boots Lights cigarette packaging. The old package shimmies out of its wrapper and the crowd goes wild when the new packaging makes its debut. In "Mirilla," cigarettes get restless in their old package and wrestle to be the first to get into their new packaging.
This month we are talking about everyone's pal - television. We are featuring a profile of veteran animation director and producer Eric Radomski. We are also taking a long hard look at primetime animation and trying to figure out what went wrong this year. In addition, we will showcase five shows that are extra special for many reasons. They include France's "Belphégor," Oxygen's "X-Chromosome," the U.K.'s "Butt-Ugly Martians," Tom Snyder Productions and Disney's "Teacher's Pet."