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AWN Headline News

Headline News Women In Animation, Inc.'s Annual Meeting

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, February 17, 2000 at 12:00am

* Saturday, February 26, 2000. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Women In Animation, Inc. will be holding their annual meeting with guest

speaker Lynda Weinman of lynda.com. The meeting introduces members and

anyone interest in WIA with what has happened in the past year and what

exciting events and activities are on the way in 2000. Weinman, a pioneer

of graphic and animation on the MAC, will bring to the event her knowledge

Headline News Futurama at the AFI's Writers' POV

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, February 17, 2000 at 12:00am

* Tuesday, February 22, 2000. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Come hear from the team of Fox's FUTURAMA at the AFI's Writers' POV. In

past years, AFI has featured the writing teams from THE SIMPSONS and KING

OF THE HILL, who gave a Writers POV on the making of an animated series.

Continuing this popular topic, AFI has invited the FUTURAMA team to

participate in this question & answer event. Guests will include: executive

producer David X. Cohen, and writers Ken Keeler, Eric Horsted, Lewis

Headline News Moss Fills New President Seat At CINAR

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 16, 2000 at 12:00am

CINAR ENTERTAINMENT has filled the newly created seat of president with

PETER MOSS. In his position effective March 1, Moss will focus on

developing CINAR's entertainment business in North America, Latin America

and Asia. Before joining CINAR, Moss served as programming and production

VP for YTV, Canada's youth network. Moss has regularly worked in pre-school

programming with the Children's Television Network and the CBC.

Headline News Adler Steps Up To Senior VP Time Warner

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 16, 2000 at 12:00am

EDWARD ADLER has stepped up to the position of senior VP of corporate

communications at TIME WARNER. Adler will oversee all aspects of

development and implementation of the media conglomerate's global corporate

strategies. Since 1997, he has been a VP of corporate communications and

will continue to serve as the company's chief spokesman.

Headline News Disney Will Close Canadian Doors

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 16, 2000 at 12:00am

Rumored since last fall, Walt Disney Animation Canada Inc. announced

Monday, February 14, 2000 it will close the doors of its animation studios

in Canada by the spring. Opened in 1996, the Toronto and Vancouver branches

of Walt Disney were created to produce primarily direct-to-home video films

in connection with Walt Disney Television Animation. The company slowly

started winding down production last fall and will completely close around

Headline News Fox Cuts 70% Of Its Animation Staff

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 16, 2000 at 12:00am

After five years in existence, Fox Animation Studios is laying off nearly

70% of its Phoenix-based toon factory's staff. The restructuring of the

animation department will include more contract work outside the studio.

President of animation at Fox, Chris Meledandri said a foundation of 65-100

of the now 320 employees will remain, including, of course, studio staples

Don Bluth and Gary Goldman. Fox will continue to perform pre-production

work including storyboarding, character design, production design and

Headline News Mondo Media Musters Up $20M In Financing

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 16, 2000 at 12:00am

Mondo Media, a leading creator and distributor of serial-based animated

content, announced Monday, February 14, 2000 that it has secured $20

million in its second round of financing. The newest round was led by

Macromedia and Foundation Capital. Additional funding partners in the round

included Sofinnova Ventures, Red Rock Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank and

Phoenix Growth Capital. Mondo Media also added new syndication partners

that include Excite@Home, AltaVista, AtomFilms and washingtonpost.com.

Headline News Voice Of Slinky Dog, Jim Varney, Dies

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 16, 2000 at 12:00am

Jim Varney, the comic who most recently provided the voice of Slinky Dog in

TOY STORY and TOY STORY 2, died on Thursday, February 10, 2000 at his

Tennessee home of lung cancer. He was 50 years old. Best known for his

Ernest character in commercials, television and films, Varney also provided

voice over work for characters on the THE SIMPSONS. Varney was the star of

several Disney Ernest films, most notably ERNEST GOES TO CAMP and ERNEST

SAVES CHRISTMAS. Doctors diagnosed Varney with cancer in August 1998, and

Headline News The Tigger Movie Bounces Into 4th

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 16, 2000 at 12:00am

Bouncing into U.S. theatres this past weekend was Disney's newest animated

flick THE TIGGER MOVIE. The throw-back to classic Disney flicks finished

the weekend in fourth place in the U.S. box office, making US$9.43 million.

THE GREEN MILE, with primary visual effects by ILM, Rhythm & Hues, POP and

Matte World Digital, is still bringing in green bills for Warner Bros.,

making another $3.09 million and bringing its total gross to $124.4

million. With other kid fare like THE TIGGER MOVIE and SNOW DAY hitting the

Headline News Oscar Nominations Announced

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 16, 2000 at 12:00am

When the day broke on February 15, 2000, an old man wasn't humdrum about

joining a list of Oscar nominees that included three misses and my

grandmother who irons shirts! The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and

Sciences has released its list of nominations for this year's Oscar

competition. In the category of animated short films the nominees are:

Aardman Animations' Peter Peaks' HUMDRUM; Torril Cove's MY GRANDMOTHER

IRONED THE KING'S SHIRTS; Alexander Petrov's oil paint on glass in IMAX

Headline News Interactive Effects Releases Piranha HD 3.1

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 16, 2000 at 12:00am

Interactive Effects, producers of high-end visual effects systems Piranha

and Amazon Paint, recently announced the release of Piranha 3.1 for Silicon

Graphics Workstations. The new version expands the systems' capabilities in

areas such as video support, digital audio and disk/graphics performance,

as well as adding new features such as Mipmap Texturing, high speed soft

edged rotosplining and improved image tracking capabilities. Also new to

Headline News Corel And Adobe Get Flashy

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 16, 2000 at 12:00am

This week both Corel and Adobe announced that they were adding support for

Macromedia Flash to some of their flagship products. Adobe will be adding

support for Flash to their popular web development tool GoLive, which means

that Adobe users should be able to easily integrate Flash animation into

their existing GoLive projects. Corel also announced that it would be

adding support for Flash to Corel LINUX and CorelDRAW 9. Corel LINUX will

be the first Linux OS to include the Macromedia Flash Player as a standard

Headline News Intergraph Cuts Zx10 Prices

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 16, 2000 at 12:00am

Intergraph Computer Systems recently announced that they are dropping the

prices of their range of Zx10 ViZual Workstations. The Zx10 is Intergraph's

latest range of high-end workstations that are built around Wahoo

technology and are powered by Intel Pentium III 750 MHz/100 MHz front side

bus processors. A wide range of graphics options are available, from

high-end 2D to mid-range 3D and the industry's fastest high-end 3D graphics

-- Intense3D's Wildcat 4110 VIO Graphics. Now this technology is available

Headline News Charlex's "Thank You" For The Nation Football League

CHARLEX, a visual effects post-production house, helped the National

Football League thank their fans with a 60-second spot aired during

American football's biggest game, the Super Bowl. Headed by Alex Weil,

Charlex founder and director, the Charlex artists used a mix of film,

digital effects, graphics and editing to create the look of the "Thank You

2000" spot. The commercial begins on a shadowy checkerboard. Suddenly light

floods into the room as a uniformed football player makes his way to an old

Headline News Joe Cartoon Co. Sues For Cybersquatting

Joe Cartoon Company has filed a lawsuit against two entities, John

Zuccarini and Cupcake City, for the violation of the newly enacted

Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. The lawsuit is one of the first

cases filed under the anticybersquatting statute in the U.S. The act

outlaws the unauthorized use of an Internet domain name that is

"confusingly similar" to another name, for the purpose of intercepting

users of the pre-existing domain. Filed with United States District Court,

Headline News Class In Session At Eruptor.com

On February 29, 2000, comic book artist Marc Silvestri, creator of

WITCHBLADE, CYBER FORCE and DARKNESS, will be teaching fans and aspiring

artists how it's done through the first semester of on-line classes offered

at Eruptor.com. Silvestri will present a live, three-part series on

Eruptor's Web-based university, Eruptor College, to help students learn how

to produce layouts, refine characters and develop stories for comic books

of their own. The real-time class will allow Silvestri to answer questions

Headline News Harvey Forms New Fashion Company

The Harvey Entertainment Company and PG Capital, an apparel industry

investment company, have finalized a joint venture for a new apparel

company, Harvey Fashion LLC. The new company will be responsible for

manufacturing, selling and marketing a complete apparel collection, based

on the popular Harvey Classic Character library. Paul Guez will serve as

chairman of the board and CEO. The creation of Harvey Fashion LLC replaces

and extends the scope of an earlier Harvey apparel venture planned with

Headline News Macromedia Introduces Freehand 9

Macromedia, the leading provider of web design tools, recently announced a

major upgrade to its famous FreeHand design and layout software. FreeHand 9

is set to change the way designers approach their work by offering a

powerful toolset for their vector graphics, regardless of whether their art

is intended for print or Web. FreeHand 9 is expected to ship in March on

both Macintosh and Windows platforms, and will be offered as both a

stand-alone product and in the new Macromedia Flash 4 FreeHand 9 Studio,

Headline News Director Buckley Rides With LastMinute's e-Cowboy Spot

Director Dick Buckley of FLYING TIGER FILM and visual effects director Alex

Seiden of CYCLOTRON@POST PERFECT N.Y. rounded-up the e-Cowboy's for the

Super Bowl debuted LastMinuteTravel.com spot. Produced for New York-based

agency, Burkhardt & Hillman, the 30-second commercial is a modern spin on

the Sergio Leone spaghetti western. Reinforcing LastMinuteTravel.com's

message that great things happen at the last-minute, the e-Cowboys find

themselves quickly departing on a cyber-booked vacation, to escape an

Headline News Ring Of Fire Walks With Christopher Reeve in Super Bowl Spot

RING OF FIRE made the crippled walk in Nuveen & Co.'s Super Bowl spot.

Andrew Douglas of SATELLITE was brought in to direct the futuristic spot

where paralyzed actor Christopher Reeve walks to a podium to receive an

award. The super feet was done for Minneapolis, Minnesota-based ad agency

Fallon McElligott. Ring of Fire's founder, Jerry Spivack, served as

creative director and visual effects supervisor for the commercial. Ring of

Fire isn't new to creating outstanding Super Bowl spots, their 1999

Headline News French Ellipse & Expand Form New Euro TV Company

Expand Images and Ellipse Programme, France's two leading television

production companies, announced on February 10, 2000 plans to merge. The

new studio, entitled Expand, will have an approximate revenue for 2000 of

FRF1.4 billion (US$210.2 million). The deal will enable both parties to

increase their international content output for the expanding European

market. As part of the deal, CANAL+ Images and Finexpand signed an

agreement solidifying their relationship as shareholders in the new studio.

Headline News AtomFilms & Blockbuster To Partner

AtomFilms, a pioneer and leader in next-generation entertainment, announced

that it has entered into an agreement with Blockbuster, the global leader

in rentable home entertainment, for selected, syndicated, short-form,

digital content from AtomFilms to be video streamed on a co-branded section

of blockbuster.com. Beginning Spring 2000 and lasting for 2 years,

AtomFilms will provide both content and streaming-related technologies for

the short-form content component of the Blockbuster Web site. The

Headline News Johnny Bravo Live On Cartoon Network

Johnny Bravo will host a talk show and chat with callers live on Cartoon

Network. The toon's flamboyant personality will be brought to life with

Alive Animation's Multi-Standard Instant Cartoon Images (MICI) system.

Programmed to pose Johnny in hundreds of positions, the MICI system also

instantly lip synchs the voice actor to his alter-ego. THE BIG BRAVO-LIVE!

will begin airing February 21 - 25, 2000. This historic event can be

attributed to the success of Johnny Bravo's new weekday morning talk show

Headline News Much Grief, Charles Schulz Passes

On the eve of the final PEANUTS comic strip, creator Charles Schulz died of

a heart attack at his Santa Rosa, California home. He was 77 years old. As

reported [AF 11/21/99], Charles Schulz had decided to retire from drawing

his weekly comic strip after several strokes and newly diagnosed cancer had

left him partially blind in one eye and too weak to keep up with the

rigorous routine. A private funeral will be held later this week. He is

survived by his wife, Jeannie; two sons Monte and Craig; and daughter Jill

Headline News ASIFA-Hollywood's Animation Expo Announces Workshop Program

ASIFA-Hollywood will host its 7th Annual Animation Expo on March 3-4, 2000,

in Glendale, California. The Expo is a two day animation industry trade

show focusing on the exhibition of animation related products and services

and the recruitment of related talent and personnel. Confirmed workshops

include: master teacher and layout artist Glenn Vilppu's "Capturing the

Pose with Line;" Ralph Sanchez, Director of Animation Development at

Nickelodeon Animation Studio, providing insight into developing and

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