This week's updates to the Calendar of Events includes:ASIFA-Hollywood Presents: DePatie-Freleng - The Early Films,Wednesday, May 23, 2001, Burbank, California, U.S.A.; ASIFA-HollywoodPresents: Hollywood Cartoons In Technicolor!, Wednesday, May 30,2001, Burbank, California, U.S.A.; ASIFA-Hollywood Presents: Sex WarsIn Animation, 1926 - 1950, Friday, June 1, 2001, Burbank, California,U.S.A.; ChildArt And Creativity Festival, Friday, June 29 -Wednesday, July 4, 2001, Washington, DC, U.S.A.; Sentiero Corto
AWN Headline News
On Friday, May 18, 2001, Film Roman announced they have formally terminated the purchase transaction with Pentamedia Graphics, Ltd. in light of Pentamedia's inability to cure a material breach in the deal. Film Roman has officially notified Pentamedia that they are in material breach of the Stock Purchase Agreement signed January 31, 2001 and the Memorandum of Understanding between the two companies signed on April 24, 2001.
Alias|Wavefront announced on Friday, May 18, 2001, that its Maya Shockwave 3D Exporter plugin is now available as a free download from the Alias|Wavefront Website. The plugin can be used to transfer content directly from Maya into Macromedias Director 8.5 Shockwave Studio. A special Website has been set up within the Alias|Wavefront site where the plugin, technical information and examples are available.
Maurice J. Noble, co-director of the Academy Award-winning animated short subject DOT AND THE LINE and many other cartoon classics, died Friday, May 18, 2001. He was 91 years old. His unique and innovative use of color and design is apparent in landmark Disney films such as SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS, BAMBI and DUMBO. His work on more than 60 Warner Bros. cartoons featuring characters such as Bugs Bunny and the Road Runner helped create a new look and approach to animation that continues to influence designers today.
DreamWorks' new CG-animated film SHREK rocketed to #1 at the box office in its North American debut, taking in $42.1 million. It is the second-biggest opening for an animated film and the biggest-ever for the distributor. Buena Vista's TOY STORY 2, which debuted during the Thanksgiving holiday in 1999, holds the record for animated openings with $57.4 million, while the previous biggest opening for DreamWorks was GLADIATOR with $34.8 million in May 2000. Universal's THE MUMMY RETURNS tallied $20.5 million during its third weekend to hold second place.
The first Tough Eye Animated Film Festival, held in Turku, Finland, May 15 - 20, 2001, has announced its winners. The international jury for the Timeless Competition was composed of: Mette Peters, Netherlands; Jayne Pilling, UK; Edwin Carels, Belgium; and Stanislav Ulver, Czech Republic. This year's co-winners for the Grand Prize are: HEN, HIS WIFE, Igor Kovalyov, Russia 1990, and IN ABSENTIA, Quay Brothers, UK, 2000. Both films were awarded a FIM 15.000,00 cash prize.
DreamWorks Pictures' new CG animated feature "Shrek" will be projected digitally in eleven theatres in the U.S. and Canada. This marks the first time a DreamWorks film will be shown in the digital format. In making the announcement, DreamWorks head of distribution Jim Tharp stated, SHREK represents the state-of-the-art in computer animation, so it is only fitting that it be the first DreamWorks film to be seen in this state-of-the-art format.
Softimage Co., a subsidiary of Avid Technology, Inc., has formed a strategic development relationship with Microsoft Corporation to provide professional 3D art tools for modeling and animation for the Xbox video game system. Through this agreement, SOFTIMAGE|XSI animation software and SOFTIMAGE|RTK character middleware will support the creation of Xbox-specific content. "The stunning graphics performance of Xbox is powered by the NVIDIA graphics processing unit (Xbox GPU).
IMAX announced the appointment of Francis (Frank) T. Joyce as chief financial officer effective May 14, 2001. Joyce will report to IMAX co-CEOs and co-chairmen Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler. Joyce comes to IMAX from theglobe.com where he was vice president, CFO and treasurer. He has more than 20 years of experience in finance, primarily in the advertising, film, publishing and Internet industries, and has worked for a number of large multi-national companies including CBS, Paramount Pictures, Ted Bates Worldwide and KPMG.
Markus Manninen has been promoted to Deputy Head of FrameStores 3D department. Manninen joined FrameStore in 2000 from Film Tecknarna in Sweden and has since worked on numerous commercials, including British Gas Mexican, BT Cellnets Animation, Shells Whale and Fiats Volcano. He also recently directed campaigns for Cingular Wireless and Richard Burbidge. The company also announced that Paul O'Brien has recently joined FrameStore's Henry team.
Sideshow Post announced that award-winning computer graphics artist Jonathan Herbert has joined the company's Sideshow Motion Design division as creative director. Herbert comes on board after seven years at the helm of Zero Degrees Kelvin, his well-known New York City production boutique that specialized in 3D animation for TV commercials, product and science demos. Herbert has seventeen years experience in directing and managing 3D and special effects projects.
EyeballNYC has created a new ID package for New York Central, the Metro Channel's new late night show that provides New Yorkers with a daily fix of New York entertainment, gossip, lifestyle and culture. The 100+ element ID package reflects EyeballNYC's distinctive use of rapid-fire still photographs and edgy, flat graphic animation to simulate a typical New Yorker's blurred morning commute. When asked for one, EyeballNYC produced five show opens, with original music, as well as numerous ID elements, bumpers, lower thirds, credit beds and re-opens.
Visual effects studio Rhinoceros Effects has recently finished a new spot for health insurance group Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield and agency Gotham Inc. Titled Beacon, the spot combines photo-realistic CG with live-action camera moves. The Beacon butterflies that star in the spot required deep work in CG, but shooting the live materials was also very important, said director Harry Dorrington. We shot the room using very slow moves, as well as capturing light sources and background textures.
Santa Monica, Californias R!OT provided design and visual effects services for the new Eve video, WHO'S THAT GIRL? The video, which is the first from Eve's just released CD SCORPION, places the hip-hop diva, along with an enormous Bengal tiger, into an eerie ice kingdom and several other virtual environments. "In order to achieve perfect integration, most of the compositing needed to be done by hand, with each frame treated as an individual work of art," said compositor Klaus Hansen. Hansen produced a digital matte painting to extend the apartment set.
Gnomon School of Visual Effects has announced the launch of Gnomon Online, a Web-based service structured to offer high-quality training in Alias|Wavefront Maya on the Internet. Paid membership will allow viewing of streaming-video tutorials in seven application areas. Gnomon Online membership is $49 per month and gives members access to a growing library of streaming-video tutorials and scene files. The service is going online with an initial three hours and twenty minutes of tutorials.
French graphic artist/novelist Jean "Moebius" Giraud and director Frank Foster, who was also a founding senior VP at Sony Pictures Imageworks, announced the launch of the official Website (www.moebius-strip.com) for their film THRU THE MOEBIUS STRIP. The full-length animated 3D feature will be completed over the next two years and is scheduled to premiere in Paris in the summer of 2003. Part science-fiction, part fairy tale, THRU THE MOEBIUS STRIP is a story of physicist Simon Weir, who disappears mysteriously after he perfects a transportation portal.
If you thought Sugar Ray was already a pretty animated band, wait until you see them at CartoonNetwork.com. The Website introduces an innovative extension to its Web Premiere Toons franchise when it premieres an animated music video starring the Lava/Atlantic recording group. The band has been working with Cartoon Network Online to create and produce a video based on their new hit single, WHEN IT'S OVER, from their forthcoming self-titled album, set for release on June 12, 2001. The animated video will premiere exclusively at CartoonNetwork.com on June 4, 2001.
Santa Monica, Californias Computer Cafe provided 3D animation and visual effects services for a new spot for Bayer Home Health. Conceived by Chicago agency Euro RSCG Tatham, the 30-second spot promotes Bayer Home Health Total Termite Control system. The spot opens on a man lying in a magnetic resonance imaging system. The machine's scanning bar performs a pass and reveals an interior view of the man's chest. The scene then shifts to the man's home and dissolves to a MRI-like view in which the insides of the home's skeletal structure are plainly in view.
MacSoft, the Macintosh label of leading video game publisher Infogrames, has signed a licensing deal with international game company Take-Two Interactive Software, acquiring rights to several high-profile titles. Under the terms of the agreement, Infogrames has acquired the Macintosh publishing rights to TROPICO and FLY! II, scheduled to ship this summer, as well as MAX PAYNE, STRONGHOLD and MYTH III. Additional titles will be announced at a later date. According to PC Data, MacSoft captured over 37 percent of the Macintosh entertainment software business in 2000.
Wild Brain, Inc., in conjunction with The Irv Schechter Talent Agency, announced their representation for commercial work of animator and director David Feiss. As creator, director and animator, Feiss just completed his first Wild Brain campaign for BBDO/NY, a Frito-Lay Cheetos Whirlz spot titled Cool Cat, currently airing, and a Cheetos Mystery Colorz Snacks PSA, which aired on May 7, 2001. Feiss may best be known as creator and director of his own TV series, the overwhelmingly popular COW & CHICKEN for Cartoon Network.
Sierra On-Line, Inc., a division of Vivendi Universal Publishing, recently announced the addition of two seasoned executives to its management team. Thomas K. Hernquist, takes the reigns as president & CEO, and Michael A. Ryder steps in as COO and senior vice president of product development. Hernquist will be reporting to Vivendi Universal Games CEO Hubert Joly.
Londons production house HRA has completed the latest commercial for Cereal Partners Shreddies, featuring Mr. Hungry. HRA director Andrew Painter teamed with Ian Sharp, director at Talkback Productions, to produce a matchless combination of live-action and animation. The live-action component was inspired by the well-known musical version of OLIVER, perfectly captured to create an atmospheric world inhabited by larger than life characters, both human and animated.
Hollywoods Look! Effects has announced their work creating one of the signature effects for Renny Harlins film, DRIVEN, starring Sylvester Stallone. The visual, which recurs throughout the film, was part of a large package of effects created for the film by the digital boutique. Look! Effects' visual effects team worked directly with Harlin and visual effects supervisor Brian Jennings in developing the look of what became known as the Driver Vision effect.
MacGuff Ligne Paris transformed Kraft's Jello gelatin and pudding products into a fantasy of pastoral landscapes for a new series of Foote Cone Belding spots. The ad agency chose MacGuff Ligne, thanks in part to its collaborative history with director Jean Pierre Roux and his renowned spot for Evian featuring a baby ballet of synchronized swimming infants. "MacGuff was uniquely suited to make that magic happen due to our flexibility, says executive producer Nico Trout.