THE GREENBLATT JANOLLARI STUDIO, a Los Angeles-based production company, has signed ERIC FOGEL, creator of the MTV animated series Celebrity Death Match and The Head, to develop a concept for a new, prime-time, stop-motion animated series. The deal gives Fogel a flat six-figure sum for developing a series concept and pilot script, which, if adapted as a series, will be executive produced by Fogel, and targeted for fall 1999. No network is attached at this early stage.
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Three executives have been promoted at NICKELODEONs New York headquarters. MARJORIE COHN has been upped to senior vice president of current series. She was previously vice president/executive producer of current series, and has been with the company for ten years. ALISON DEXTER has been upped to senior vice president of production operations and planning. She was previously vice president of production operations, and joined the company in 1991 as a line producer. SERGEI KUHARSKY has been promoted to senior vice president of brand and franchise management.
* Saturday, October 17. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
The Association of Science and Technology Centers conference, ASTC '98, takes place at the Edmonton Science and Space Center. Boston-based animation studio FableVision will have a booth to introduce their new interactive media guru, Brad Larson. For information, visit www.astc.org.
Nickelodeon has signed a deal with Italian broadcaster Radio Televisione Italiana (RAI) to produce the first localized foreign-language version of Blues Clues. The show will premiere on the RAI UNO network in the second quarter of 1999. In Italy, RAI will localize the series by using the same blue-screen technology used on the original production to insert an Italian, live-action host into the existing computer animation. Nickelodeon plans to make similar sales to other countries, as this production concept was designed into the show from its inception.
* Saturday, October 17. Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
The Museum of Fine Arts Boston presents the premiere screening of Mary Kocols independent animated film, My Fathers Story. The screening takes place at 2 p.m., and general admission is $7 ($6 for students and members). For information about the film and future screenings, visit www.ne-arts.net/mkocol.
Toon Boom Technologies has released the Windows NT version of its USAnimation software package. Seoul, Korea-based Sun Woo Entertainment is the first studio to place an order for the new product. The studio is already using the SGI version of the software, and will now have a multi-platform set-up that allows the NT and SGI platforms to be used simultaneously.
* Tuesday, October 20 - Sunday, October 25. Reykjavík, Iceland.
The 12th Nordic Childrens Film Festival will take place. A variety of Nordic productions, including animation, will be screened. For information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sheridan College is using Side Effects Softwares Houdini package in its one-year-old educational program aimed specifically at training technical directors (TDs). The complexities involved in technical animation are much greater than can be taught in a single year, so I developed the technical director program as an optional second year to our Computer Animation program, said Avrim Katzman, a former TD and current director of the Visualization Design Institute at Sheridan College.
* Tuesday, October 20. Valencia, California, U.S.A.
California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts) Animation department presents a screening of abstract animated films by German artist, Bärbel Neubauer. The artist will be in attendance. A chronological selection of films will be screened, including her latest film, Firehouse. The screening will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. in the Bijou theater in the main Cal Arts building at 24700 McBean Parkway (McBean exit off 5 freeway). For information, call (805) 255-1050.
7th LEVEL has released Agent 7, software that utilizes voice recognition and RealAudio to create talking animated characters. Users select from a pre-made cast of animated characters, speak into a microphone or add an existing voice track, and Agent 7 automatically animates the character's lips and facial expressions using "phoneme" (voice) recognition. The resulting animation can be streamed in the same manner as RealAudio. 7th Level is offering a free, two-character trial version on the web site, www.real.com/products/tools/5.html.
* Tuesday, October 20 - Friday, October 23. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
SIBGRAPI, the International Symposium on Computer Graphics, Image Processing and Vision takes place. The SIBGRAPI Video Festival is traditionally presented during one of the four nights of the symposium. Its purpose is to show visual explanations of animation, computer graphics techniques, algorithm animation and software demonstrations, as well as computer-generated films produced by TV companies. For information visit www.lcg.ufrj.br/~nando.
MICROSOFT has renewed its contract with TOTALLY HIP SOFTWARE for the licensing of GIF animations used in Microsofts software. Randall McCallum, CEO of Totally Hip, said, Using our own technology to develop content for Microsoft products provides our development team with feedback that has helped make WebPainter an award-winning Web design tool. Read a review of WebPainter in the April 1997 issue of Animation World Magazine.
* Wednesday, October 21. Burbank, California, U.S.A.
ASIFA-Hollywood presents An Evening With Art Leonardi hosted by Tom Sito. Leonardi was an animator on Friz Frelengs unit and has worked on Pink Panther, Tiny Toons and Shelley Duvalls Bedtime Stories. The event starts at 7 p.m. and admission is $5. Call (818) 842-8330.
THE University of Washington has obtained a patent for its pen-and-ink illustration software developed by INKLINATION, a young Seattle-based company started by people in the schools Computer Science and Engineering Department. The technology, which was presented in two papers at SIGGRAPH 94, is now available for worldwide licensing.
* Wednesday, October 21. London, England, U.K.
The International Emma Awards is an independent awards competition open to all forms of interactive media whether published, commissioned or on-line. For information visit www.emmaawards.com
Laguna Hills, California-based CUTTING EDGE TECHNOLOGY, INC. (CETI) has introduced two new high-end graphics workstations: ProStation GS 400D and ProAlpha GS 667. The workstations, which cost $9,995 and $12,875 respectively, are compatible with animation software such as Alias|Wavefronts Maya, Softimage 3D, Lightwave 3DKinetixs 3D Studio MAX, and others.
* Wednesday, October 14 - Thursday, October 15. Pasadena, California, U.S.A.
The D.Film Festival, a showcase for independent digital media, will have two shows during the DV Expo: one on Wednesday at 12 p.m. and the other on Thursday at 7:15 p.m.. For information visit www.dfilm.com.
* Thursday, October 15 - Saturday, October 17. Santa Cruz, California, U.S.A.
The D.Film Festival will have a show at UC Santa Cruzs Kresge Town Hall. For information visit www.dfilm.com or call (831) 459-2159.
* Wednesday, October 14. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
The University of Southern Californias (USC) Animation department presents a screening of abstract animated films by German artist, Bärbel Neubauer. The artist will be in attendance. A chronological selection of films will be screened, including her latest film, Firehouse. The screening will take place in the School of Cinema-Televisions George Lucas Building, room 108. For this special screening, the public is welcome to attend. No phone calls, please.
The producers of Maya and PowerAnimator, Alias|Wavefront recentlyannounced that they were jumping into the technical surfacing market withthe introduction of its new SurfaceStudio. SurfaceStudio, which will bereleased later this year, will be a complement to the Alias Studio 9 familyof CAID products. "The introduction of SurfaceStudio is a natural extension of theAlias|Wavefront leadership in CAID tools. Our automotive customers, inparticular, have encouraged us to make this move and we greatly benefited
Robert McNeel & Associates will be releasing the final version of Rhino3D, a powerful NURBS-based modeling package, this month. The software, whichhas undergone an extensive public beta program (for the last 2 years), willbe available for Windows 95, 98 or NT, and is designed as a companion topackages like 3D Studio MAX and Lightwave. Priced at $795 US, the packageboasts features such as 3D digitising support (for Microscribe 3D and Faro),surface and solid modeling, an intuitive UI, and support for all major 3Dfile formats.
Registered MAC users of LightWave 3D 5.5 and 5.6 can now downloadOpenGL from the NewTek web site. "LightWave 3D with Mac OpenGL seems like acompletely new product. The speed in redrawing and real-time viewing hasbeen amazing," said Brad Peebler, NewTek's vice president, 3D graphicsgroup. "Macintosh users have been at a disadvantage in the industry by nothaving access to OpenGL. With our new Mac OpenGL update, NewTek has leveledthe playing field for our customers who use Macs."
North-Hollywood-based FILM ROMAN has been hired as the production company for the WB's new prime-time cartoon, "The Downtowners," the first animated series to be developed by Castle Rock Entertainment's Television unit, whose live-action credits include "Seinfeld." Thirteen half-hour episodes of "The Downtowners" have been ordered, for debut on the WB network in fall 1999.
CARTOON NETWORK will debut two new "World Premiere Toons" shorts on November 6 at 8:00 p.m. "Mike, Lu & Og" by Chuck Swenson is about a girl named Mike who leaves her home in New York City and ends up on a remote island where the natives are friendly. "Kenny and the Chimp" by Tim Warburton is about an awkward 11-year-old and his best friend, a primate named Chimpy.
By special arrangement with Nielsen Media Research, AWN publishes the Nielsen ratings for animated programs on a monthly basis in the Animation Flash. The ratings included herein are only for U.S. national network television. The following list of animated national network programs is ranked by Household Ratings. A Rating is the percentage of households that tuned into the program. This percentage can provide us with the number of households that tuned into the program on average during the month. The universe estimate for the 1997-98 television season is 98 million TV homes.