The CFO of Viacom, Fredric Reynolds, has decided to step down from his post. Fredric served at Westinghouse Electric Corp. when they purchased CBS, subsequently overseeing the purchase of CBS by Viacom. Reynolds is leaving the post for personal reasons, but will continue working for the New York-based company in some fashion out of the California offices. He will remain CFO until a replacement can be found. A Viacom spokeswoman said, "He wants to spend more time with his family in California, and it wasn't possible for the CFO to be in California."
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Fred Lasswell, the cartoonist behind SNUFFY SMITH for the past 60 years, passed away on Sunday, March 4 at his home in Tampa, Florida. The cause of death was congestive heart failure. He was 84 years old. He continued to work on the SNUFFY strip up until his death, leaving behind 49 unpublished cartoons. In 1934, Lasswell became an assistant to cartoonist Billy DeBeck, creator of TAKE BARNEY GOOGLE, FOR INSTANCE and SNUFFY. Lasswell took over SNUFFY in 1942 after DeBeck's death. He would focus his career on the Smith character, a card-playing, moonshine-making hillbilly from Hootin' Holler.
UGO Networks, an online entertainment community company, announced that it closed a new round of funding worth US$23 million. Lead investors were GRP and Missouri-based Gryphon Holdings II, LLP Inc. and their investment partners.
Adam Sandler's feature foray into animation has dropped the controversial name. Originally titled, WHITEY & DAVEY, the feature will be distributed through Columbia TriStar under the new name ADAM SANDLER'S 8 CRAZY NIGHTS. Production on the traditionally animated film is being done at Sandler's Toronto animation studio Meatball Animation. Called a "Hanukkah musical," the toon centers on Davey, a pro basketball executive, who befriends an old-fashioned coach named Whitey. The toon is set to hit theaters on December 14, 2001.
The Walt Disney Co. has purchased the rights to Winnie the Pooh for an amazing $350 million. Former rights holders Westminster School and the Garrick Club will receive $88 million each and the Royal Literary Society will gain $132 million. Disney first licensed the rights to Winnie in the 1960s and has been paying twice-yearly royalties to the owners. Disney will hold the copyright until it expires in 2026. The last relative of POOH creator A. A. Milne to hold a share in the copyright was Christopher Robin Milne.
The 20th Brussels Cartoon and Animated Film Festival - Festival du dessin animé et du film d'animation handed out its top European awards. There were prizes only for national films, because the international official selection is non-competitive. Because Brussels is the capital of Belgium, a country with two separate language-based communities, there are, of course, two national Grand Prixs.
With live-action comedy/adventure THE MEXICAN taking first, three-week champion HANNIBAL slipped to second with a gross of $10.05 million. The brain-eating adventure, with primary visual effects by Mill Film, has gobbled up $142.8 million. Warner Bros.' SEE SPOT RUN posted a third place debut. The gross-out family comedy took home $9.72 million. Holding its ground in fifth, CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON floated another $4.91 million. The romantic fantasy, with primary visual effects by Blue Sky Studios, CFC/MVFX and Manex Visual Effects, has secured $88.66 million thus far.
* Monday, December 3 Saturday, December 8, 2001. St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John, Virgin Islands, U.S.A.
Entry Deadline: August 31, 2001
* Thursday, April 5, 2001. Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
ASIFA-Colorado is presenting a discussion by Polish computer animator Zbigniew Dowgiello. He will screen excerpts from his computer animated film and discuss the ways in which computers empower today's artists' ideas and visions of the world and universe. The event will begin at 6:30 pm. For more information contact ASIFA-Colorado at: ASIFA-Colorado @ RMCAD, 6875 E. Evans Ave., Denver, Colorado 80224, U.S.A.; Tel.: (800) 888-ARTS or (303) 753-6046; Fax: (303) 759-4970; or E-mail: ASIFA-Colorado@rmcad.edu.
India-based Pentamedia Graphics has agreed to buy California-based movie production company Improvision for US$19.8 million in stock. Pentamedia first teamed with Improvision as co-production and distribution partners for the animated film SINBAD: BEYOND THE VEIL OF MISTS. Currently, a sequel to that 3D motion-capture film is in production. Improvision's purchase will "help strengthen Pentamedia's pre-production and post-production skills and also its distribution reach in the United States," the company said.
This year, again, AWN is the place to go to discover all the animation nominees for the coveted Short Animated Film Oscar award...
In this issue we are looking at a few current topics in the technology realm. What does the future hold for the high-end computer software/hardware companies? Have their glory days passed? Are all these new software versions really necessary? With the help of industry veteran Richard Taylor, Bruce Manning tackles a few of these topics and more. Mark Winstanley is outlining how software packages are becoming Web-export capable and John Edgar Park profiles and offers advice on low cost software/hardware systems which offer high-end results.
Plympton's new series of comics is extracted from the comic book "Polls Apart - How To Tell A Democrat From A Republican," by Kathy Paton & Bill Plympton...
Test your skills and challenge your brain with AWN's Animation Trivia Quiz. This week, we're asking questions about Oscar nominees and winners. What Oscar-winning animator took over the National Film Board of Canada from Norman McLaren? What was the year that UPA produced all three of the Oscar nominees for best animated short? What was Paramount's only Oscar-winning cartoon? Good luck...you'll need it!
Twelve new events have been added to the Calendar of Events, including: Cal Arts' "The One Second Film" March 8, Valencia, California, U.S.A.; VEAF Digital Media Trade Show, April 4-6, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Stuttgart Luwigsburg Filmfest, June 6-12, Stuttgart, Germany; and the 8th Bradford Animation Festival, November 16-18, Bradford, U.K. With multiple search capabilities, AWN's new calendar of events gives you a customized way to look through the upcoming events - by Name, Location, Entry Deadline, Category, Event Type and more.
The brand new trailer for Tim Burton's "Planet Of The Apes" and Chris Columbus' "Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone" upcoming features are online and you can find them through AWN's Feature Film Release Database...
Leading experts in their respective fields are here to answer your questions and give personal advice and insight...
* Wednesday, April 4 Sunday, April 8, 2001. Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A.
The fifth annual KC Filmmakers Jubilee is a celebration of independent filmmaking. All experimental and animation entries must be 30 minutes or less. A US$1000 prize will be awarded in each category. For more information contact: Tel.: (913) 649-0244; E-mail: email@example.com; or Web: http://www.kcjubilee.org/.