DreamWorks animated feature film, Antz has grossed over $36 million in the past 10 days since its U.S. theatrical release, topping two weeks box office charts. Reeling from this success, DreamWorks is developing a direct-to-video sequel to Antz. The film would, like its predecessor, be produced by computer animation studio Pacific Data Images (PDI). It is also being considered for theatrical release. Either way, a studio spokesperson confirmed that if the production is green lit, it would be 18-24 months before its release.
AWN Headline News
The German broadcaster RTL has purchased four Nickelodeon animated series for broadcast in its weekend morning kids programming block. Hey Arnold!, Rockos Modern Life, CatDog and Angry Beavers will be introduced to the networks program line-up over the course of the next year. The sale comes on the heels of Nickelodeons withdrawal from the tough German market [AF 6/2/98] as a network. Nickelodeon ceased broadcasting on German airwaves in May, a decision motivated by weak ad sales and increased competition for viewers.
In celebration of Disneys 75th anniversary, the Disney Channel will air a collection of rarely seen early films by Walt Disney. Films such as the 1920s live-action/animation shorts, The Alice Comedies will air October 16-29, nightly on the Vault Disney programming block, Monday-Saturday at 11 p.m., Sunday at 9 p.m. Although other studios had been putting animated characters into live-action environments, Disney, with The Alice Comedies, was the first to place a live-action character into a cartoon world.
* Tuesday, October 13. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
The Goethe Institute of Los Angeles presents a screening of abstract animated films by German artist, Bärbel Neubauer. The artist will be in attendance and a wine reception will follow. A chronological selection of films will be screened, including her latest film, Firehouse. The Goethe Institute is located at 5750 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 100. For information, call (213) 525-3388.
The Harrison, New York-based East Coast office of Blue Sky | VIFX has promoted Michael Feder to associate producer. Feder came to Blue Sky | VIFX in 1997, following production stints at Turner Pictures Worldwide and Jersey Films in Los Angeles. Blue Sky | VIFX's CEO David Brown stated, Mike really deserves this promotion and I believe with his strong production background and experience he will continue to make significant contributions to building the studio's relationships with the New York production community.
The International Teleproduction Society (ITS) has issued its call for entries for its 20th annual International Monitor Awards, which will be presented in New York, July 24, 1999. The awards are mainly for the teleproduction and digital media industries, honoring excellence in various fields of production and post-production. The 20 categories include Short Subjects, Children's Programming, Commercials and On-Air Promotions. The early-bird deadline (discount entry fees) is December 11, 1998 and the final deadline is January 15, 1999. For information and entry forms call (703) 319-0800.
Girls, Inc. (formerly Girls Clubs of America), a U.S. non-profit organization devoted to helping every girl become strong, smart and bold, has announced that six women in the childrens entertainment industry will be honored at its annual celebration luncheon. The event will take place on Tuesday, November 10, 1998 at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California.
At its membership meeting on September 29, the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists and Affiliated Optical Electronic and Graphic Arts, Local 839 IATSE re-elected the following officers, who were nominated without opposition: President: Tom Sito, Vice-President: George Sukara, Business Representative: Steve Hulett, Recording Secretary: Jeff Massie, Sergeant-At-Arms: Jan Browning.
The Writer's Guild of America's Animation Writers Caucus presented its first-ever Animation Writing Award to Gordon Bressack, at its annual meeting and reception on Wednesday, October 7, 1998.
German media group, ProSieben Media AG has bought a 20 percent stake in Los Angeles, California-based Aréte Image Software (AIS). The strategic alliance marks the first time the Munich-based company has invested in the American market. AIS, established in 1996, specializes in creating software--such as RenderWorld and Digital NatureTools--that enables animators to integrate water and atmospheric effects. The deal gives ProSieben exclusive rights to use AIS' technology and market it in Europe. Dr.
Venice, California-based DIGITAL DOMAIN has hired ENRIQUE SANTOS as director of technology, a role in which he will oversee the companys technology department and assume responsibility for its overall technical direction. Santos was previously senior manager of technology at WALT DISNEY FEATURE ANIMATION, where he managed technical support for animated features from The Lion King to Mulan. At Digital Domain, Santos will report to vice president of digital operations, Edward Kummer, with whom he worked at Disney for four years.
Coryphaeus Software, recently renamed Centric Software, has hired Neil M. Mitchell and Edward Marchiselli as vice president of sales...
North Hollywood, California-based FILM ROMAN has hired WILLIAM SHPALL as chief operating officer. For the past two and a half years, Shpall has been a principal in the financial consulting firm, Inter.comm, and was previously CFO of Carolco Pictures. Film Roman CEO David Pritchard commented on Shpalls appointment, Im delighted to have Bill join me in shaping the company as we continue to implement the new strategy at Film Roman. The critical ingredient of a successful entertainment company is financial planning and operating discipline and Bill brings us both.
The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television presented the 13th annual Gemini Awards on Sunday, October 4 in Toronto. The winner in the Animated Program or Series category is Nelvana Limiteds 2D series, Sam & Max, produced by Patrick Loubert, Gwenn Saunders Eckel, Michael Hirsh, Stephen Hodgins, Robert Ross, Clive A. Smith and J.D. Smith. The winner in the Preschool Program or Series category is Cochran Entertainments mixed-media show, Theodore Tugboat, produced by Andrew Cochran.
* Tuesday, October 13 - Friday, October 16. Pasadena, California, U.S.A.
Miller Freeman presents the Digital Video (DV) Conference and Exposition at the Pasadena Center. Highlights include courses on Maya and After Effects software, character modeling and animation for the web. For information visit www.dvexpo.com.
* Tuesday, October 13. New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Animation legend Chuck Jones will make an appearance at the Warner Bros. Studio Store Gallery at One East 57th Street (corner of 57th and 5th). The event is by invitation only, so be sure to call first: (212) 754-0300.
* Sunday, October 11. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Griffith Place Entertainment presents Hollywood Shorts, a monthly film festival dedicated to introducing emerging directors/writers and producers to Los Angeles film community. This months animated film is Exo-Skeleton and companion cartoons, a 10-minute computer animation by Pyros Pictures. The screening will take place at The Joint, 8771 West Pico Boulevard (at Robertson) in West L.A. from 6 to 9 p.m. Guests must RSVP by October 10. Call (310) 358-7634.
* Saturday, October 10. San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
The Mill Valley Film Festival presents an animation program including Dave Thomas A Dog Cartoon, Ryan McCullochs Without You, Frazier Bradshaws Baker, Paints, Cakes, Velvy Appletons Hervic in Cloudland, and Matt Broersma and Shari Rubins documentary on San Francisco independent animators, Meet the Mole People. For information and location, visit www.finc.org/mvff.
* Friday, October 9 - Sunday, October 11. Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.
Anime Weekend Atlanta, the largest Japanese animation event in the Southeast U.S., takes place at the Marriott North-Central Hotel. Scheduled guests include Amy Howard, the voice of Nova on Star Blazers; George Lowe, the voice of Space Ghost and C. Martin Croker, the voice of Zorak and Moltar, from Cartoon Planet; Tim Eldred, artist and animator and Steve Bennett and Kuni Kimura from Studio Ironcat. For information visit www.anime.net/~awa/.
* Thursday, October 8, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Jeffrey Scott, Emmy-winning writer of over 450 animation scripts (Wacky World of Tex Avery, Dragon Tales), is scheduled as speaker for the Women In Animation Writers Seminar series. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. at Saban Entertainment. Admission is $5. Reservations are required. Call Jean Ann Wright at (818) 360-8321.
Canadian animation channel Teletoon announced the winners of its first Animation Scholarship Competition, at the Ottawa International Animation Festival awards ceremony on October 4. The prize money--a total of Canadian $28,500--is being divided among 15 selected winners in three categories. First place winners received $4,500, second place $2,000, third place $1500, fourth place $1,000 and fifth place $500. The winners are as follows:
1st place: Liem Nguyen, Kelvin High School (Winnipeg, MB).
On October 8, McDonalds restaurants in the U.S. will start distributing a new animated video series starring the company spokes-clown, Ronald McDonald. All three of the productions were produced by Los Angeles-based animation studio, Klasky Csupo. Just in time for Halloween, the first release is a 40-minute video titled Scared Silly (directed by John Holmquist), featuring Ronald and friends on a camping trip to a haunted house. It will be available for $3.49 with any purchase.
One-year-old Gloucester, U.K.-based The Little Entertainment Company (LEC Ltd.) has two new series, Magical Mystery Merlin and Charlie Marmalade. The companys first two animated shows have recently secured broadcast spots on BBC (Little Monsters) and ITV (Billy).
New York-based GLC Productions is seeking partners for a computer-animated series called The Buddy System. The pilot episode, titled The Third Ticket portrays a couple of hockey fans at a game, one of whom, to the disappointment of his buddy, invited his girlfriend. Animation was produced on SGI machines with Alias|Wavefronts PowerAnimator and Maya software. The Third Ticket is also being screened as a short film at festivals such as the recent Los Angeles International Short Film Festival.