On Monday, October 9, 2000, Eidos Plc., the U.K. video game maker, declined a potential takeover after it decided that the terms and price didn't offer a good value to its shareholders. Eidos wouldnt release the names of the bidders, which analysts had rumored were either Infogrames SA, Microsoft Corp. or Electronic Arts. Upon the news, the companys shares fell 11% on the London stock exchange to 261 pence and dropped 14% on the Nasdaq stock exchange to US$3.88.
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CBS Saturday morning ratings have been sky rocketing since beginning airing the Nick Jr. block, with shows such as BLUES CLUES and LITTLE BILL. On September 30, 2000, the Nick Jr. programming on CBS averaged a 3.8 rating/18 share among kids 2-5. The ratings were up 58% from the previous week and up 388% from last year. WB ran second in the same demographic with a 2 rating/9 share, followed by ABC with 1.9/10 and Fox .9/4.
On Friday, October 6, 2000, Cinar Corp. released a letter by company president and CEO Barrie Usher to its investors chronicling the reasons behind their delayed reporting of financial statements dating as far back as 1997. Currently, the Montreal-based production firm is under investigation for allegedly using false Canadian names on scripts, written by Americans, to obtain lucrative Canadian tax credits.
AWN's Web Animation Guide is the place for what's new on the Net. This week's installment features funny Webisodes of WEEKEND PUSSY HUNT and THE STATISTICS SHOW and much, much more.
Get your Web Animation Guide here!
Also every week AWN's associate editor Rick DeMott highlights what he thinks is the top new toon in cyberspace in "Rick's Picks!"
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada-based Remote Planet, an independent radio program developing an animated TV series, is looking for 2D ANIMATORS/CONCEPTUAL ARTISTS. . . Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada-based Helix Animation Inc., a 2D animation production studio, is looking for a 2D CLASSICAL ANIMATION POSER and an ANIMATION POSING SUPERVISOR for a Saturday morning television production. . . Mexico City, Mexico-based Ollin Studio, an animation and visual effects studio specialized in 3D animation and VFX for commercials, is looking for 3D ANIMATORS with experience. . .
On November 14, 2000 the 7th annual London Effects & Animation Festival (LEAF), Europe's leading computer generated animation and special effects festival will award the best work from around the world in the commercial, short film, feature film, student, music video, titles, idents & stings, education & simulation and Web animation categories. Winners will receive the prestigious Golden LEAF Award. This year, the festival will once again showcase computer-generated animation and special effects, reflecting some of the best creative and technical achievements of the past year.
The films in competition for Independent Short, Applied Animation and Student Films in Belgium and The Netherlands were selected by festival organizers Erik van Drunen, Mette Peters and Gerben Schermer. The selection list is now available on the festival Web site. The selection can be viewed by film title, director, production company, country and competition category.
The next Brussels Cartoon and Animation Film Festival will take place February 20-March 3, 2001. The festival is seeking submissions from your recent works in any categories of animation, from traditional animation to mixed media techniques. There is no distinction for formats or running time. Programming categories include: short films, feature films and tributes & retrospectives. There is no entry fee. The deadline for submissions is November 1, 2000. The 2001 edition will be the occasion to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the festival and everybody is invited to the party!
Plympton's new series of comics extracted from the comic book, "Sleazy Cartoons of Bill Plympton," is for ADULTS ONLY...
Sunwoo Entertainment has announced they have appointed Regis Brown to the newly created position of vice president of international television & video. Brown formerly served as VP of international film and television distribution at Film Roman. In his new post with Sunwoo, he will help expand and produce original properties. In addition, he will help seek out new co-production partners and form strategic alliances, plus grow the companys global entertainment strategy. Sunwoos senior vice president Jae Y.
Cornerstone Animation has hired Jason VanBorssum as their new executive vice president and COO, in addition Sutherland C. Ellwood Jr. has joined the companys board of directors. Ellwood is a former VP/head of production, head of technology and producer/writer for firms such as DreamWorks, Fox and Disney. He currently serves as co-founder, CEO and producer/writer for FilmWarp, a special effects feature film company. "Were excited and privileged to have Sutherland aboard," said Larry D. Whitaker Jr., Cornerstones CEO.
Steele VFX, a Santa Monica, California-based special effects firm specializing in non-linear online editing and visual effects compositing, has wrapped on a new 30-second spot for Jeep. The commercial shows a Jeep moving out of the way of a stampede of elephants. Visual effects artist Jerry Steele had to increase the amount of elephants in the herd to create a more thunderous impact. "The way we did this, was the elephants were photographed at different depths in the scene," said Steele.
ViewPoint Studios has created an on-air identity package for Animal Planet Network. The creative team spent a week at the Chapman Leonard Studio in Orlando Florida filming 34 different species of animals for blue screen compositing. Filming the animals on blue screen allowed the ViewPoint Studios design team to incorporate the footage within the environmental backgrounds. In some cases the animals interact with graphic elements in the scene, as with the prairie dog pushing up the Animal Planet logo as he pops up and down out of his burrow.
Stan Lee Media (SLM) and COPS producer John Langley are teaming to produce a new Webseries entitled, POLICE FORCE 2220. The toon will chronicle the exploits of a trio of elite crimefighters in the 23rd Century. Langley and SLM will co-create and co-own the show. The series will have an initial 13-Webisode run. The duo plans to take the series offline with Langley overseeing the project. The new toon will air on Langleys newly launched portal, Crime.com, and StanLee.net.
MORTAL KOMBAT director Paul Anderson will direct, produce and scribe the live-action feature adaptation of the popular RESIDENT EVIL video game franchise. Constantin Films AG will produce the film and handle international distribution. Anderson and his production partner Jeremy Bolts Impact Pictures will handle the North American distribution. Along with Anderson, Bolt and Constantin Films AGs CEO Bernd Eichinger will produce the picture. Filming has a start date of January in London.
Nickelodeon has created its first fellowship program designed to encourage participation from culturally and ethnically diverse new television and film writers. Under the guidance of Nickelodeon production executives, four fellows will get hands-on experience with Nickelodeon and Nick Jr.'s live-action, animated television and feature film divisions for one year. "The fellowship program gives us an opportunity to nurture the talented pool of writers in our industry whose cultural experiences have traditionally remained underrepresented in television and film.
For the third quarter, Cartoon Network has reported ratings 25% higher than a year ago. The toon channel drew an average of 1.26 million households, compared with just over a million in the third quarter of 1999. "Our original animated shows like POWERPUFF GIRLS and DEXTERS LABORATORY have been doing very well, with POWERPUFF GIRLS giving us the highest ratings ever," said Cartoon Network executive vice president Tim Hall.