This year, the Annecy International Animated Film Festival (June 4-9, 2001) will pay tribute to Great Britain, with a profile of Aardman Animations, along with screenings of classic British shorts, THE YELLOW SUBMARINE, the Bolex Brothers' THE SECRET ADVENTURES OF TOM THUMB, and more. For its 2001 edition Annecy received 1,070 films (1,092 in 2000). 242 of them, representing 26 countries, have been selected for official competition with 193 in competition and 49 in panorama. Confirmed jury members are: AWN's Ron Diamond (producer and publisher, USA), John R.
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On Sunday, May 13, Cartoon Network will present JOHNNY BRAVO'S MOTHER'S DAY MAMA-THON, a 7-hour tribute to the Lady Who Brought Us the Sultan of Self Regard, His Mama. During the Mama-Thon, which runs from 12-7 pm (ET/PT), viewers can witness the many facets of Mama's personality, including disciplinarian (she wields a paddle in PREP SCHOOL JOHNNY), protector (leading a team of commandos to the mall to rescue her beloved son in LAW AND DISORDER), and even diva (Mama does a Marilyn Monroe impression in DUDE RANCH DOOFUS).
Industry giants Nickelodeon and THQ will soon be creating and publishing videogames based on original characters and storylines, with the ultimate aim being multi-media franchise development.
San Franciscos Wild Brain, Inc. has announced their work on the animated open, close and lifts for Cartoon Network's new weekly series, THE CHUCK JONES SHOW, which premiered on the cable network this past April 8, 2001. In the 30-second open, Wile E. Coyote zooms around on an Acme rocket, interacting with old Chuck Jones characters such as the Road Runner, Michigan J. Frog, Duck Dodgers, Marvin the Martian and Bugs Bunny. The characters eventually fall onto a stage and surround an animated, framed picture of Chuck Jones. As Wile E.
On April 23, 2001, at NAB, the annual international conference of the National Association of Broadcasters in Las Vegas, Alias|Wavefront announced Maya 4, the sixth major release of its professional 3D animation and visual effects software. This major new release features enhancements and optimizations that will improve the products overall performance and efficiency, particularly in the areas of rendering, character animation, brush and paint tools and games related functionality.
On April 23, 2001, at NAB, the annual international conference of the National Association of Broadcasters in Las Vegas, Softimage demonstrated version 1.5 of its SOFTIMAGE|XSI software and hinted that a new release would be ready for SIGGRAPH in July. "I can't say much more," program manager Michael Smith commented, "but this next release will be big." Softimage introduced its "INNOVATE::CREATE::COLLABORATE" tagline and displayed the power of XSI with images of Manta, a 3D character created in XSI.
On April 23, 2001, Apple announced the immediate availability of QuickTime 5 and the upcoming availability of QuickTime Streaming Server 3 at NAB, the annual international conference of the National Association of Broadcasters in Las Vegas. In addition, Apple is demonstrating a preview version of QuickTime with support for industry-standard MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 encoding and decoding. "QuickTime has been long established as the digital media standard for capturing, encoding and delivering content on the Internet," said Philip Schiller, Apple's vice president of worldwide product marketing.
SGI on April 20, 2001, announced their third consecutive quarter of increased revenue growth and improved operating performance. For the quarter ending March 31, 2001, the company posted revenue of $510 million, compared with $487 million in the quarter ended December 31, 2000, which represents a 5% increase. The company reported a net operating loss of $47 million for the quarter, excluding charges, compared with a net operating loss of $93 million in the previous quarter.
Sharon Katz, creator of HAPPY BIRTHDAY HANNAH (Audience Choice Award, Chicks 'n Flicks Film Festival), has finished her newest animated short, THE ANGEL'S FOOT CAKE / DER FUS TORT. In the film, Drinkeleh Fresserkeh decides to make a cake in the shape of an Angel's foot. The Angels take umbrage and the fun begins in this delightfully raucous modern Yiddish animated tale. The film premiers April 29, 2001 at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival.
Through an exclusive worldwide publishing and distribution agreement with Fox Interactive, Activision, Inc. will soon bring shootouts, robberies and high-speed car chases to the PlayStation with WORLDS SCARIEST POLICE CHASES. Based on the Fox television show of the same name, the game features running commentary from retired Sheriff Jon Bunnell, with an array of action-packed police missions. The game will allow players complete control as they take on the role of police officers, chasing down and apprehending law breaking criminals.
Sue Shakespeare, president of Creative Capers announced that Danica Zimmerman has joined the animation and design studio as vice president of development. In her new role, Zimmerman will oversee development of live-action and animated projects for both television and film. Prior to joining Creative Capers, Zimmerman most recently was vice president of development for Film Roman. While at Film Roman, Zimmerman oversaw series TV development and was instrumental in expanding Film Roman's advertising department. According to Shakespeare, "We are thrilled that Danica has joined our team.
Kaydara has announced the appointment of Jan Oosterwaal as chief operating officer. Oosterwaal brings over 25 years of business and management experience to Kaydara. Over the course of his career, he has held top-level management positions at Nortel Networks, Domtar, and most recently, founder, president and CEO of Exeltherm Inc. In these previous management roles, Jan has successfully enhanced the value of his business ventures through team-building and customer focus.
International television program distributor Rai Trade has announced the launch of THE ADVENTURES OF MARCO AND GINO, a new Eurovision series produced by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). Budgeted for 10 million Euros, the series is co-funded by nine members of the Geneva-based EBU: BBC (UK), France Television (France), TVE (Spain), RTP (Portugal), RTBF (Belgium), SSR (Switzerland), ZDF (Germany), ORF (Austria) and Rai (Italy), as well as non-member France Animation. Rai Trade will have distribution rights to all countries except those of the other eight co-producers.
Creative boutique EyeballNYC has completed work on a 15-second spot for allergy medication Zyrtek, sponsor of SESAME STREET, which broadcasts on PBS. Combining 3D green text animation and live-action, the company used everyday sounds to spell out Zyrtek (pronounced zur-tek) phonetically. A tent zipper, an electric mixer and a lawn mower together create the first syllable of the product name, while a skipping record, a game of checkers and a stick against a picket fence creates the second. An accompanying monochrome image and green 3D text animation reinforces each sound.
Computer graphics house Island Fever Productions has completed two new commercials for Orkin's "fake-out" campaign. In this year's campaign, which like last years shows a pesky cockroach interrupting the viewing of two fake commercials, Island Fever Productions created the animation of the cockroach, all the additional animation and the final compositing for both commercials. The first faux commercial is for "Timmy Townsend P.I." in which Gary Coleman stars as a bumbling private eye. Island Fever created the CG logo treatment of flying streaking letters.
New York animation studio Black Logic has completed two 30 second commercials for Coldwell Banker. The first spot, titled "Concierge," shows a disembodied head of a beleaguered home buyer orbited by a series of objects representing the many headaches of the house hunting process. Directed by Black Logic's Michel Suissa, the spot uses colorful, high-energy graphics, propelled by a peppy musical score, to highlight an exclusive Coldwell Banker online service that assists people in managing the details involved in buying and selling residential real-estate.
Colorado animation studio Celluloid has just completed work on two public service announcements for Earth Share, a federation of America's leading non-profit environmental and conservation organizations. Working with advertising agency Foote, Cone and Belding, director James Wahlberg and live-action production company Visitor, Celluloid, led by executive producer Jan Johnson and director Paniagiotis Rappas, provided the animation on both sixty-second spots. The first, titled "This Is," is based on a series of 30 paintings by designer Alan Brewer.
The Gnomon Workshop has released six new Alias|Wavefront Maya training videos on polygon modeling, cameras and dynamics. This series of six marks the third round of releases and brings the total number of titles available from The Gnomon Workshop up to 18. The new videos are currently shipping and can be ordered in NTSC or PAL from the company's Website. The videos were produced by Alex Alvarez, director of The Gnomon Workshop and Gnomon School of Visual Effects, and Darrin Krumweide, associate director of Gnomon School of Visual Effects.
* Thursday, September 27 - Tuesday, October 2, 2001. Lake Tahoe, California, U.S.A.
Entry Deadline: June 29, 2001
* Wednesday, May 2, 2001. New York City, New York, U.S.A.
MAC 3D NY, a Mac 3D Artist Association, is hosting meetings every other month at the Apple Marketing Center in New York City. The next meeting will be held Wednesday, May 2, 2001 at 6:00 pm. The topic is: Architecture and 3D/CAD Industrial Design, with guests from Form-Z, Architosh and Artlantis. The Apple Marketing Center is located at 53rd Street at Lexington Avenue, on the 29th floor of the Citicorp building. For pre-registration and other information, visit: www.mac3dny.org
* Sunday, April 29, 2001. Toronto, Canada
Sharon Katz' new short, THE ANGEL'S FOOT CAKE / DER FUS TORT premieres April 29, 2001 at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival. THE ANGEL'S FOOT CAKE is a raucous modern Yiddish tale accompanied by Klezmer music. For more information on Sharon Katz' work, including her previous short, HAPPY BIRTHDAY HANNAH, visit: www.sharonkatz.net