Stan Lee Media Inc. has eliminated 19 positions, deciding to outsource animation production to overseas companies. The move is part of SLM's deal with Toon Boom Technologies to use its U.S. Animation software on SLM productions. The Web content creator said in a press release that the decision would allow the company to maintain quality animation while reducing internal overhead costs.
AWN Headline News
MessageBay, Inc.s VoiceAnimations.com has added a text-to-speech feature to its lip-synching animation Website. The new feature allows Web surfers to create Personal Puppetgram e-mails by typing in the text instead of having to use a microphone to add the voices. Visitors can even control the speed, pitch, accent and gender of the selected voice. Then using the VoiceAnimations plug-in, the text is lip-synched to a variety of different animated characters.
With early reports having WHAT LIES BENEATH in fifth, once the dust cleared, SPACE COWBOYS showed its legs with a top F/X flick finish at the U.S. box office. With live-action films ruling the top four, COWBOYS, with primary visual effects by ILM, held its ground at #5 with a gross of US$2.52 million, lifting its cume to $82.2 million. The space spaghetti western has remained in the top ten while the #1 film HOLLOW MAN -- of COWBOYS debut weekend has disappeared quickly. THE CELL finished in sixth despite earlier reports placing it a slot lower.
Corus Entertainment Inc. has announced the acquisition of Nelvana Limited in a cash and stock deal worth CA$554 million (US$372.5 million). Corus will pay 60% of the $554 million in cash and the rest in Corus Class B non-voting shares. "The opportunity to acquire an outstanding Canadian content company with exceptional international credentials presents itself very rarely," said John Cassaday, president and CEO of Corus.
Foundation Imaging is starting a training facility, Foundation Institute. Though pricey, about US$20,000 a year, the Institute could prove to be a worthwhile endeavor, due to Foundation's numerous production roots. Foundation Imaging created animation for Star Trek, Babylon 5, and the Starship Troopers TV shows. For more information on the school visit their Website at www.foundation-i.com.
Quiet Man founder Johnnie Semerad handled the visual effects on the new GE Weathermate spot. Beneath the glow of fireworks, a group of workers applies GE Weathermate and a competing product to respective halves of the Atlantic City boardwalk. The next morning, the portion treated with Weathermate is ready for the crowds and the competitors half is still wet and fuses a boys sandals to the wood. "The first thing we had to do with the Weathermate spot was add fireworks and enhance the background," says Semerad.
* Sunday, October 29, 2000. Milan, Italy.
MIFED, the Cinema and Television International Multimedia Market, is a leading market for independent audiovisual productions. MIFED 2000 will focus on new marketing strategies to develop alliances and co-productions. For more information contact Elena Lloyd at: MIFED/E.A. FIERAMILANO, Largo Domodossola, 1, 20145 Milan, Italy; Tel.: ++39 2 48012912 48012920; or Fax:. ++39 2 49977020.
Fluid dynamics has been an emerging technique in CG, with several productions utilizing dynamics in features such as PERFECT STORM and U-571 and several software companies, like Alias and Realflow, are developing fluid software. Is applying dynamics to forestry and foliage, for natural wind and lifelike shadowing effects, the next application to use natural physical dynamics? We'll see. . .
Toon In is AWN's guide to what's new on the Net. This week's installment features toon cops gone wrong on WHERE ARE THE TOONS NOW?, a Webtoon by Corky Quakenbush, GODZILLARY and much, much more.
Get your Toon In: Web Animation Guide here!
Every week AWN's associate editor Rick DeMott highlights what he thinks is the top new toon in cyberspace in "Rick's Picks!"
Rick's Pick For Friday, September 15, 2000!
Los Angeles-based Look! Effects recently finished 30 visual effects shots for the upcoming Universal Pictures release THE PAVILION OF WOMEN. Based on the novel by Nobel Prize winner Pearl S. Buck, the movie is about a frustrated woman in a traditional Chinese marriage and the American missionary who tries to help her achieve personal liberation. The drama stars Willem Dafoe and Chinese actress Luo Yan, who is also the writer, producer and director of the picture. Look! Effects had to create a sequence depicting Japan's invasion of China in the early days of World War II.
Stan Lee Media has bought the rights to CONAN THE BARBARIAN from Conan Properties Inc. for US$4.3 million in stock. Lee plans to turn CONAN into a Webseries. Currently, SLM is creating two other new Web series: one based off of Gene Roddenberrys STARSHIP and the second about futuristic cops. SLM currently produces Web action series 7TH PORTAL, THE ACCUSER and BACKSTREET PROJECT. Stan Lee Media is a publicly traded Web-based superhero-type content producer, started by comic book legend Stan Lee, the co-creator of SPIDER-MAN and THE HULK.
AlwaysI.com, an independent content destination Website, has signed a production, development and distribution deal with comic book production company Platinum Studios. As part of the pact, Platinum will have a first look option on all of AlwaysIs independent content for development into feature or TV properties, as well as licensing and merchandising. Platinum has a production deal with Miramax/Dimension Films and owns a portfolio of over 1,000 comic book characters.
On Monday, September 11, 2000, the family that owns the rights to Alvin and the Chipmunks filed a US$105 million lawsuit against Universal Studios, claiming it failed to license products adequately based on the cartoon characters. According to the lawsuit filed in State Superior Court in Los Angeles, members of Chipmunks creator Ross Bagdasarian Sr.'s family claim that Universal executives told them that the studio would make Alvin, Theodore and Simon "a cornerstone" of the company's licensing efforts.
ASIFA-Hollywood, the Los Angeles area-based branch of the International Animated Film Society, has announced the nominations for the 28th Annual Annie Awards. This years competition is a much more difficult field than last years feature sweeping run by IRON GIANT. In the best feature category, FANTASIA/2000, TOY STORY 2, THE ROAD TO EL DORADO, CHICKEN RUN and TITAN A.E. will be battling it out for the top prize.