AWN Headline News
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) announced the recipients of awards for scientific and technical achievement for the year 2000. The Scientific and Technical Academy Awards will be presented on Saturday evening, March 3, at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel. An Oscar statuette will be among 17 Academy Awards for scientific and technical achievement to be presented during the ceremony.
With little new flavor in the U.S. box office this past weekend, CAST AWAY remained on top for a third straight week, with a gross of US$22.22 million. The volleyball friendly film, with primary visual effects by Sony Pictures Imageworks, has collected $141.7 million thus far. Slipping only a slot, THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE palled around in sixth, grossing $7.46 million. The llama loving buddy flick has drummed up $62.4 million to date. Keeping its grip on seventh place, VERTICAL LIMIT landed another $5.01 million.
Warner Bros. Television has backed out of its partnership to produce THE PJS with Imagine Entertainment. The decision comes after the WB Network ordered 13 episodes for next season. Apparently, WBTV felt that the short order wouldn't cover costs, in addition to worries that the series wouldn't receive large amounts of money in off-net sales. However, Imagine has a potential partner in the wings Paramount. But there's a catch. Insiders say that Paramount wants syndication rights to all 56 episodes of the series.
AWN's Web Animation Guide is the place for what's new on the Net. In this week's installment find what toon won AtomFilm's Animation Showdown 2, more holiday specials, a new installment of John K's THE GODDAMN GEORGE LIQUOR PROGRAM and much, much more!
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Also every week AWN's associate editor Rick DeMott highlights what he thinks is the top new toon in cyberspace in "Rick's Picks!"
Fox has renewed both KING OF THE HILL and FUTURMA for the 2001-2002 season. The network ordered a complete season of HILL and 18 episodes of FUTURAMA. In addition, Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger were upped to executive produce HILL. Former executive producer Richard Appel is leaving to focus on developing a new live-action comedy for ABC. The new orders put HILL, produced by Film Roman, into its sixth season and FUTURAMA, produced by Rough Draft, into its fourth. Currently, Fox is in discussions to renew THE SIMPSONS for next season also.
Autonomous Effects (AFX) recently released version 1.4 of SceneGenie for 3D Studio MAX their powerful match-moving plug-in suite for the award-winning animation package. Version 1.4 continues to enhance the no-measurement match-move capabilities of the CameraGenie portion of SceneGenie, which combines fast feature tracking with a fast computational core to produce 3D matches in minutes.
Stop Motion Pro recently announced that version two of their popular stop-motion software is now available. Stop Motion Pro 2 is a program designed to make creating stop-motion animation easier, while giving animators the power to do things that they may previously not have been able to accomplish. The new version now features a frame looping with capture tool, onion skinning and rotoscoping with onion skinning. The real-time preview, frame toggle and frame editor tools from version 1 have also been overhauled, creating a versatile and powerful package for any stop-motion animator.
At the end of the year 2000, IBM announced the world's fastest UNIX-based workstation, offering nearly two times the performance of similarly configured new UltraSparc-III-based servers from Sun Microsystems. This IBM Model 170 workstation features the most powerful UNIX 3D graphics capability on the market and is shipping right now. It features copper-fueled microprocessors and the latest GXT6000P 3D graphics accelerator from IBM to provide unprecedented levels of performance for companies designing products such as airplanes and automobiles.
The U.S. Recording Academy's premiere recording awards, the Grammys, have put out their list of nominees and several nods have gone to tunes from cartoons. Competing in the Best Musical Album For Children category are "More Songs From Pooh Corner" by Kenny Loggins and "Woody's Roundup Featuring Riders In The Sky" by Riders In The Sky. The FANTASIA/2000 soundtrack received a nod for Outstanding Compilation Soundtrack Album For A Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media.
Upon the success of CHICKEN RUN, Aardman Animations has reported spies lurking in the halls of the cartoon factory. Reported on in the LONDON INDEPENDENT, people, rumored to be American, have snuck into the company's complex to hunt out tidbits about upcoming Aardman productions. Richard Goleszowskoi, producer and director of Aardman's next feature THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE, said, "It's crazy.
Alias|Wavefront announced recently that they would be previewing Maya 3 for Apples OS X at Macworld in San Francisco, January 8 12, 2001. Scheduled for shipping some time this year, Maya is the only high-end 3D modeling and animation product slated for release on the Mac. "We are very excited to be able to offer the Mac community their first glimpse of Maya on the Mac," said Alias|Wavefront director of Maya Technologies, Richard Kerris. "Macworld attendees will have an opportunity to stop by our booth and get an up-close look at how successful the port has been to date.
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Continuing its rapid growth, Chennai-based Pentamedia Graphics has acquired three additional India-based companies, including entertainment production house Media Dreams. Pentamedia purchased all three firms in a share swapping deal. Media Dreams produces television, theatre and Internet content and has recently expanded into post-production. The company boasts deals with Indian sci-fi writer Sujatha Rangaraja. In addition, Pentamedia has bought sports entertainment company, Krish Srikkanth Sports & Entertainment Pvt.
Continuing its lucrative path through the international box office, DINOSAUR is still roaring with POKEMON 2000 making strong debuts, including a first place finish in Germany. In Japan, DINOSAUR took the top spot with a gross of US$1.15 million, increasing its cume to $3.62 million. In third, VERTICAL LIMIT collected another $980,996 to raise it Japanese cume to $3.05 million. THE 6TH DAY claimed the fifth slot with a gross of $870,359, advancing its Japanese cume to $1.54 million. In sixth, WHAT LIES BENEATH floated $665,857 more, pushing its Japanese cume to $1.97 million.
Thomas G. Yohe, co-creator of the classic interstitials "Schoolhouse Rock," passed away on Thursday, December 21, 2000. Yohe had pancreatic cancer and was 63 years old. Yohe and partner George Newall produced 40 editions of "Schoolhouse Rock" from 1973-1985. The three-minute musical lessons aired between cartoons on ABC's Saturday Morning line-up. A revival of the series came in the early 1990s when new episodes where commissioned and current alternative bands covered the series' songs for a tribute album.
What a year it has been for Internet content. In January, it was like someone had found and removed the flaming sword, opening the gates of Eden to the masses. Now at year-end, Web entertainment providers look more like confused, panic-struck animals scurrying around Noah's place looking to hitch a ride. Let's take a look at what we've learned in 2000 about Internet entertainment. You can't pay big salaries to lure in big executives in the case of the first major dotcom disaster at DEN.com.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched an informal inquiry into stock trades at Stan Lee Media, which may have attributed to the company's stock plunging from $12 to $0.12. The SEC is looking into large trades made by executives and investment partners. In addition, the government agency is investigating possible misuse of company funds by former employees. The alleged misuse was uncovered during a recent internal investigation. Stan Lee Media has terminated executive VP operations Stephen Gordon and its consulting pact with Paraversal Inc.
Without one Y2K fear we are slipping into 2001 already. This issue we are taking on the big questions that are facing the animation industry on the brink of the new year. For instance, Eric Oldrin discusses everyone's favorite topic, the Internet, and its current identity crisis. Michael Hurwicz is ponders whether or not the Internet is actually helping independent animators. Are there increased distribution outlets in this new age or are our fearless independents still in an unfunded jam? Finally, we take a long hard look at the U.S.
New York's Curious Pictures, a commercial animation and effects studio, is looking for a LEAD AFTEREFFECTS COMPOSITOR for miniseries. . . Kirkland, Washington's KnowWonder, a digital media works company specializing in the production of computer games and "edutainment" for children and young adults, is looking for a CHARACTER ANIMATOR/MODELER. . . Den Haag, The Netherlands' LetsLook, a company providing services for 3D visualization of real estate, is looking for a MODELER/ANIMATOR. . . Rome, Italy's Mamut is looking for a 2D ANIMATOR and a LAYOUT ARTIST for a television series. . .