New Yorks Curious Pictures has completed TOONZ CAUGHT ON TAPE!, a set of promotional spots for Nickelodeon. The mixed media pieces are a series of interstitial vignettes that feature some of Nickelodeons characters. We created a spoof of reality-based television shows, showing famous toonz captured in hidden-camera situations, said Steve Oakes, Curious Pictures director. The result is a commercial that shows the dark underbelly of Nickelodeons off-screen toon lifestyle.
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In an about face to his January 2001 sworn declaration, former Stan Lee Media vice president Stephen Gordon issued a Further Declaration in a Los Angeles Superior Court action which retracted and corrected previous allegations made by Gordon against Stan Lee Media co-founder Peter Paul, as well as detailed a series of new accusations of fraud and libel against Stan Lee Media CEO Ken Williams.
New holiday adventures of THE WILD THORNBERRYS and poignant favorites of RUGRATS and HEY, ARNOLD! will sweeten the Mothers Day mix on Nickelodeon. Moms the word on Nickelodeon, May 10 - 13, 2001 when a quartet of live-action and animated series will sing her praises with all-new and favorite offerings. Episode premieres will chronicle the life-saving Mother's Day exploits of filmmaker Marianne in THE WILD THORNBERRYS ("Gem of a Mom," Thursday, May 10 at 8 pm; repeats May 12 at 6:30 pm and May 13 at noon).
Santa Monica, California's R!OT, a creative digital studio, announced that New Yorks Manhattan Transfer, a part of the Livewire Television Group, became R!OT Manhattan. The company will form a synergistic relationship with the original R!OT, also a Livewire Television Group company, sharing their pools of talent and technical resources to serve the global needs of the advertising, film and television industries. Along with changing its name, the Manhattan studio will undergo a refurbishing that will include physical upgrades and high level additions to its creative staff.
The 2001 Sprockets Toronto International Film Festival for Children, held April 20-29, 2001 in Toronto, Canada, has announced its winners. Canadas MAURICE SENDAKS LITTLE BEAR: THE LITTLE BEAR MOVIE took home the Toronto Sun Animation Award, an audience award given to the favorite animated feature or short film. Directed by Raymond Jafelice, MAURICE SENDAK'S LITTLE BEAR: THE LITTLE BEAR MOVIE follows Little Bear as he meets a new friend named Cub, who has become separated from his parents.
David Forbes, former executive vice president of Orion Pictures Corp. and president of MGM/UA Distribution Company, has been named CEO of Global Animation Holdings, whose family of companies includes Los Angeles-based Spectrum Studios and Manila, Philippines-based ImagineAsia and VirtualMagic Asia. Forbes assumes the new post immediately.
Paramount Pictures announced the launch of its new TOMB RAIDER Website, a full-screen cinematic experience that brings movie fans directly into Lara Croft's world. The feature film opens in U.S. theatres on June 15, 2001. The site uses iPIX technology, allowing visitors to explore 360 degree panoramas of the sets and locations from the movie.
In a May 2, 2001 announcement, Macromedia reported fourth quarter and fiscal year results for its software business. For the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2001, revenues were $89.1 million as compared with revenues of $86.4 million reported in the same quarter a year ago. Pro forma net income was $8.4 million, or $0.15 diluted earnings per share during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2001, compared to pro forma net income of $16.8 million, or $0.30 diluted earnings per share in the same period a year ago.
New York digital effects studio Charlex has finished work on a new 60-second ID spot for Nickelodeon, which began airing April 21, 2001. Featuring a kinetic montage of Nick shows turbocharged with special effects and set to a zany classical score mixed with house beats and sound effects, the Because We Can themed spot showcases the networks entire range of programming in a mix of live-action, animation and effects.
London-based animation studio Loose Moose has recently completed work on a 30-second stop-motion spot for Oscar Mayer Lunchables. Titled Make Your Own Fun, the commercial combines stop-motion animation and CGI to portray a young boy, Dillon, and his dog, Bumpy, who unintentionally wreak havoc in their quest to invent things. The spot used puppets and sets made by Artem Models and Effects. Loose Moose used Maya to create the high-speed look of the hall corridor. Other effects done by Loose Moose included hundreds of thousands of CGI sprinkles that get jet-fanned onto a brownie.
Animator Patricia Beckmann was voted one of the top 25 Women of the Web by the San Francisco Women on the Web chapter (www.sfwow.org), a San Francisco-based grassroots, non-profit organization providing networking and professional development opportunities for Bay Area women in the Internet, hi-tech and new media industries. This year's Women of the Web awards recognize the achievements of women who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of technology and to the advancement of women in technology-related fields.
Stanford University is offering a new program called the Stanford Academy for New Media. The academy is offering week-long sessions in 3D Modeling/Animation, Web Design and Digital Video, beginning July 2, 2001. The program is for artists, educators, and high school and older students. In addition to the current offerings, the school will be adding a Maya OSX track later this summer taught by several well-known 3D artists. For more information, visit newmedia.stanford.edu.
Head Gear Animation creative partners Steve Angel and Julian Grey have begun the creation of five minutes of animation for SESAME WORKSHOP. Working with Frank Campagna and Lisa Annunziata of the New York-based international division of SESAME STREET, the Head Gear directors will create original stories that fall within the SESAME STREET curriculum goals. Angel and Grey will develop their own pieces, but they have contracted directors Drew Lightfoot, Neil Burns and Isaac King to round out the five minutes.
Michael Garner and Laura Lockwood have been named producers at PDI/DreamWorks commercial division, transitioning from the companys feature animation division after their completion of work on SHREK. Immediately following his work as production supervisor for the SHREK character development department, Garner began work for the commercial division, jumping directly onto the production of a Kool-Aid spot shooting in Australia.
After a successful 10-year run, J.J. Sedelmaier Productions -- producer of the animated favorites BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD, THE AMBIGUOUSLY GAY DUO, THE X PRESIDENTS, FUN WITH REAL AUDIO and dozens of commercials -- has tossed out its film stock for digital technology. "It's not like we haven't been using digital techniques for years now," said Sedelmaier. "We've used Virtual Magic (formerly USAnimation) for some time, but now we won't be using film in-house, not even for pencil tests.
Tigar Hare Studios has expanded its corporate offices into a new 5,000-square-foot, 20 workstation digital facility in Sherman Oaks, California. The company has also expanded its operations internationally through the establishment of a Flash division in Malaysia and an affiliation with Shanghai Digital Studio in Shanghai, China. The companies in Malaysia and China offer an additional 100 workstations and a real-time optical motion-capture system. Tigar Hare has arranged the alliance with China to create 3D animation at lower costs for U.S. producers.
The Childrens BBC (CBBC) has announced the acquisition of 52 episodes of BKNs half-hour animated series UBOS (formerly ULTIMATE BOOK OF SPELLS). CBBC plans to begin airing the series in Fall 2001. The story begins when friends Cassy, Gus and Verne discover the Ultimate Book Of Spells, which takes them on a journey to the Earths center, where they must use their special powers to thwart the evil wizard, Zarlak.
SOUTH PARK creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone will be answering questions about their shows, characters and futures when they participate in their very first live Web chat on Thursday, May 10 at 8:00 pm (ET), 5:00 pm (PT). The chat will provide participants the opportunity to rub electronic elbows with the notorious duo, finding out first hand the answers to the questions they pose.
Technology leader SGI announced new appointments within its senior management team, including the appointment of Hal Covert as the company's President. "Since joining SGI, Hal has had a positive impact on our operational execution and the efficiency of related business processes," said Bob Bishop, chairman and chief executive officer.
Rick Hassen has joined digital effects boutique Sea Level as executive producer. Hassen, a former senior vice president with Pacific Ocean Post, Santa Monica, will oversee in-house production and other day-to-day activities for the company. He will also work directly with Sea Level founders Jim Bond and Ben Gibbs in charting the future direction of the company and developing new markets for its services. In making the announcement, Bond cited Hassen's broad background in production and post-production.
Fox Kids Latin America, the pan-regional children's channel, will be airing a series of special animation viewer packages in June, 2001, including "Insomnio," a late-night block of both animation and live-action classic television series, as well as "Digithon," a special marathon screening of every episode of the hit "Digimon" anime series. "Insomnio," which debuts on June 11, will showcase everything from the best of Marvel animation series to classic WOODY WOODPECKER cartoons.
TriStar Pictures will release THE TRUMPET OF THE SWAN, an animated musical film based on the novel by E.B. White, in Los Angeles, California and New York, New York on Friday, May 11, 2001. Universally hailed as a classic of children's literature, THE TRUMPET OF THE SWAN follows the wonderful and witty adventures of Louie, a mute trumpeter swan who takes extraordinary steps to compensate for his lack of voice.