Making history on June 6, 2000, 20th Century Foxs TITAN A.E. was beamed digitally from a remote location to an Atlanta theater during the Supercomm trade show. The film was sent from Qwest Communications Cyber Center in Burbank, California using a secure Internet transmission protocol developed by Cisco Systems Inc. Up until now, digital projection systems played the movies on the screen from DVD-like disks. Many studios, however, question the security of sending their top-secret premieres over satellite and Internet lines.
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The FCC and Department of Justice have given the go ahead for AT&T to merge with MediaOne making the combined company the largest cable firm in the nation. One stipulation on the US$58 billion deals approval is that the company seal off its holdings in Road Runner, a high-speed Internet access service. The FCC also said that either AT&T has to sell its stake in Time Warner Entertainment, divest programming assets like Liberty Media or unload various cable systems within the next year. AT&T has six months to decided which of the three courses of action it will take.
Amidst the resignation of their three-month term CFO, Cinar Corp. announced it would regain CA$10 million more of the $122 million that was invested without the company boards approval. Cinar expects to receive the $10 million from Nassau, Bahamas-based Globe-X Management Ltd. after the investment matured May 31, 2000. Cinar said Globe-X required five business days from May 31 to "process transactions for administrative purposes" and that Cinar expected to receive the $10 million within that time.
TV veteran Larry Charles has been added to Columbia TriStars live-action TV version of THE TICK as an executive producer and show-runner. As part of the deal, Charles has extended his overall production-development pact with Columbia TriStar. Previously, Charles worked on SEINFELD and MAD ABOUT YOU and most recently executive produced Columbia TriStar's animated series DILBERT for UPN.
On Tuesday, June 6, 2000, the House of Representatives approved and sent to the White House legislation awarding a Congressional Gold Medal to late PEANUTS comic strip creator Charles Schulz. The gold medal is the highest civilian honor given by Congress. The measure, which the House passed by voice vote after unanimous approval by the Senate, praises Schulz for giving "the nation a unique sense of optimism, purpose and pride.
The winners are out for the first World Internet Animation Competition, held in conjunction with the World Animation Celebration and sponsored by Shockwave.com. One grand prizewinner, one student winner and first and second prizewinners in multiple categories were awarded US$100,000 in cash and prizes in conjunction with the annual World Animation Celebration. The competition received more than 650 animations in ten categories. The winners were chosen by a jury comprised of industry headliners .
MTV viewers voted for their theater favs and THE MATRIX rose to the top. The sci-fi sensation took home nods for best picture, best actor for Keanu Reeves and best fight between Reeves and Laurence Fishburne. The naughty number "Uncle F**ka" from SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER AND UNCUT took home the prize for best musical performance. When excepting the award Matt Stone thanked the "MTV viewers for not even nominating Phil Collins." STAR WARS: EPISODE 1 THE PHANTOM MENACE finally got some thank yous for best action sequence.
Opening this past weekend in Australia, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2 uncovered US$3.7 million in 3 days on 366 screens. The total is the highest weekend take of all time for foreign distributor UIP, which also released GLADIATOR and PHANTOM MENACE Down Under. The spy sensation also racked up $893,000 on 39 screens in Singapore and $488,000 on 38 screens in Malaysia. GLADIATOR still scored big receipts raising its international cume to $97 million. The period-piece pit-fight landed atop the German, British and Italian box office.
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada-based Collideascope Digital Productions is looking for 2D ANIMATORS and INBETWEENERS. . . Burbank, California-based Rich-Crest Animation, an animation company that specializes in producing feature-length direct to videos, is looking for an ANIMO COMPOSITOR to finish a couple of projects. . . Atlanta, Georgia-based Turner Studios, a full service broadcast production and post-production division of the Turner Entertainment Group, is looking for an ART DIRECTOR. . .
"L'Equip de Folimage Studio de Films d'Animation," an exhibition on Folimage studio, the creators of numerous award-winning productions, will be opening at the Annecy Museum this week-end...
The Toronto Animated Image Society (TAIS) presents "Timing For Animation" with Greg Duffell. The event will take place on June 7, 2000 at 8:00 p.m. at the National Film Board in Toronto, Canada. Admission is CA$5.00. TAIS Members get in free. Memberships will be available at the door. Also, animated films by TAIS members will be shown at Quickdraw Animation Society in Calgary on Saturday, June 3 at 7:00 p.m. The films will be presented by Patrick Jenkins, President of TAIS.
Plympton's new series of comics extracted from the comic book, "Sleazy Cartoons of Bill Plympton," is for ADULTS ONLY...
On June 9, 2000, Universal Studios Hollywood will roll out a new stage attraction based on Nickelodeons Rugrats entitled "Rugrats Magic Adventure!"
On June 9, 2000, Universal Studios Hollywood will roll out a new stage attraction based on Nickelodeons RUGRATS entitled "Rugrats Magic Adventure!" The new stage show is based off the popular RUGRATS episode, "Angelica the Magnificent." The 20-minute performance will feature musical numbers and magical effects.
Z.com announced it will preview the upcoming NBC animated series SAMMY on the Web. This deal coincides with the Internet entertainment programming companys recent acquisition of Comedy.com. The series is loosely based on the real-life experiences of creator David Spade and his father. The seemingly unfunny plot line centers on Sammy, a deadbeat dad who abandoned his son, but comes back into the childs life once the son has become rich. The toon premieres on TV, July 25, 2000, with actors Maura Tierney (ER), Andy Dick (NEWSRADIO) and Spade providing voices.
Shockwave.com announced Jim Belushi will join their ranks to create an animated show entitled THE GREEDY SHOW. The deal calls for 13 episodes and will debut before the end of the calendar year. Each two to five-minute episode is expected to contain several sketches with recurring characters. Belushi, who began his career as a member of Chicago's legendary Second City Improvisation Troupe, will be joined in the cast by fellow Second City alumni Danny Breen, Mark Belzman, John Rubano and Michael McCarthy, as well as Sue Nelson from the Los Angeles-based improv group The Groundlings.
WireBreak.com, an Internet entertainment destination, announced the debut of its first slate of interactive animated series. "We are thrilled to launch into the animated world with three digital shows that are consistent with our vision of Internet programming that is interactive as well as bold and outrageous," said David Wertheimer, chairman and chief executive officer of WireBreak.com. FRASIER co-executive producer Jon Sherman will produce the first show, THE SHAPE OF THINGS. The series follows Graham, Wex and Ira, who are drawn as simple squares.
AtomFilms, a leader in next-generation entertainment, and Bill Plympton, world-renowned traditional animator, announced a new spotlight channel at www.plympton.atomfilms.com. This agreement grants Atom "first look" rights to new Plympton content while showcasing his earlier works and providing a profile of the animators career. At the World Animation Celebration, Plympton unveiled his first Flash produced animation. A new Flash flick will premiere on Atom Films each week.
Warner Bros. has announced THE OBLONGS will hit the Net before the network. Warner Bros. On-line will produce 25 30-second sketches based on the characters that will appear in the TV series in early 2001. THE OBLONGS follows five friends who develop abnormal physical and emotional attributes after extensive exposure to a local industrial waste dump. The OBLONGS MOMENTS Webisodes will roll out on the newly designed Warner Bros. On-line next month. To coincide with the Web sketches, Warner will launch interactive games and behind-the-scenes info about the series.
The Journal of the American Medical Association has released a study that violence in G-rated films is on the rise. Two researchers from the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis looked at all 74 G-rated films released on video prior to September 1999. The report lists at least one act of violence in every film; 46 films contained at least one character injured and over half of the 74 films had a character killed. The movies averaged 9.5 minutes of violence, up from 6 minutes in 1940. "A G-rating does not automatically signify a level of violence acceptable for very young viewers.
France-based Alphanim Digital Corp. and Magelis - Pôle Image Angoulême have partnered to create verysmallcity.com. Magelis is an organization set up in Angoulême to help support and develop animation and technology in the city. The image center (Pôle Image) will hold shares in the new Net firm and help provide human and technical resources when Alphanim opens this new production division in Angoulême in July 2000. The new site will be targeted toward the 18 to 25 age group. Verysmallcity will feature short animation series and interactive fiction and games.