AWN Headline News
German children's production company EM.TV & Merchandising AG has named Rolf Rickmeyer chief financial officer. This move comes in light of deputy chairman Florian Haffa's stepping down from the position. EM.TV's stock has lost more than two-thirds of its value since an accounting error in the acquisition of the Jim Henson Co. and Formula One cut earnings for the first quarter. Previously, Rickmeyer served as CFO for Lahmeyer AG, a German utility and machinery company.
House of Moves (HOM), a world-leader in motion capture services and technology, has released its custom software plug-in Dominatrix for Maya 3.0 on Windows NT, with Win2k and Irix shipping soon. The Dominatrix plug-in addresses several problems by allowing animators to use traditional Inverse Kinematic "key-frame" animation techniques in conjunction with all of the nuances of motion-captured performance and allowing animators to compensate for differences in proportion between live performers and CG characters.
3Dup.com and DeEspona Infografica have started distributing free 3D models over the Internet. The agreement between the Web portal for 3D artists, 3Dup.com, and DeEspona Infografica, a 3D modeling company, has started the free distribution of quality three-dimensional models for special effects in movies and advertising spots. DeEspona Infografica, a European company whose 3D models are used by DreamWorks (GLADIATOR) and RezN8 (spots on CBS, NBC and ABC), are among the best in the market due to the realism and finish. The models are available at http://3dup.com/highmodels.
To celebrate the holidays, Warner Bros. will release the direct-to-video title GRANDMA GOT RUN OVER BY A REINDEER. Produced by Phil Roman Entertainment, GRANDMA is based on the popular song of the same name and follows the misadventures of young Jake Spankenheimer on his journey to discover what happened to his missing grandmother. The original song was written by Randy Brooks and was recorded by Elmo Shropshire in 1979. Shropshire will provide the narration for the new cartoon. The new toon will arrive in video stores on October 31, 2000 and will sell for US$14.95.
With the Robert DeNiro and Ben Stiller comedy, MEET THE PARENTS, taking the top stop for the third straight week, the new devilish comedy, BEDAZZLED, debuted in #2. The sell-your-soul side-splitter, with primary visual effects by Rhythm & Hues, seduced US$13.11 million out of U.S. moviegoers' pockets. Losing 59% at the ticket window, New Line's LOST SOULS scored only $3.24 million in seventh. The evil enchanter, with primary visual effects by Cinesite and yU + Co, has scared up $12.88 million in total in 10 days. Coming in 8th, the reissue of THE EXORCIST spun another $2.91 million.
One of the founders of the UPA animation studio, William Hurtz, has passed away. He was 81 years old. Hurtz started his career at Disney in 1938 as an assistant. He assisted Art Babbitt on FANTASIA's "Mushroom Dance Sequence." Hurtz was an active member of the Hollywood Cartoonists' Union and made the motion to strike at Disney in 1941. Hurtz spent the war years at the Film Motion Picture Unit. FMPU was stationed in Culver City as part of the U.S. Army Signal Corps under Major Rudy Ising of Harmon & Ising fame. Throughout World War II they did training cartoons for overseas servicemen.
Paris-based Mac Guff Ligne, a part of the Ron Soodalter Associates International consortium of post-production studios, has finished two 3D dinosaurs for a new Lego commercial. The 30-second "Dino's Dinner" spot combines walking and talking dinosaurs in live-action settings juxtaposed against kids playing with their Lego sets. Mac Guff Ligne, which produced the spot for New York ad agency Lowe, Lintas, used the Web as a means to deliver the images to the client. "I think this arrangement worked brilliantly," said spot producer Eve Frumkin of Lowe, Lintas.
Spontaneous Combustion, a digital studio specializing in the creation of visual effects and design, has completed the CGI effects and compositing for three 30-second spots for AT&T's "Boundless" campaign. The campaign plays on AT&T's logo as it touts its broadband technology and ends with typography that transitions from either "broadband" or "wireless" into "boundless," followed by "att.com." In "Push Pin," blue pushpins fly, hitting a white wall forming the AT&T globe logo.
Toronto-based TOPIX/Mad Dog, a computer graphics and animation facility, has signed New York-based Richard Fink and The Richard Fink Agency to head East Coast sales. Specialists in character animation, special effects, film titling, type and broadcast design, TOPIX creates photo-realistic, computer-generated animation for the advertising, feature film, broadcast and music video industries. At the same time TOPIX's post-production arm, Mad Dog, is one of Canada's leaders in the high-end post industry, using inferno* and flame*.
ATTIK, an all-media creative solutions company, has named Ian J. Cohen director of client services. In his new post, Cohen will oversee the management and development of current and potential clients. Cohen comes to ATTIK from New York-based Artustry Partnership, which he helped launch with commercial director Bob Giraldi and managing partner David Sklaver.
* Thursday, April 5 Monday, April 9, 2001. Positano (Amalfi Coast), Italy.
Entry Deadline: January 21, 2001
Portland, Maine's Sputnik Animation, a small studio developing animated content for broadcast and the Web, is looking for 2D CHARACTER ANIMATORS. Computer experience a plus. . . Greensburg, Pennsylvania's DreamForge Entertainment Inc., an established computer game development studio, is looking for 3D LEVEL MODELERS for an original action/adventure game being developed as a first next generation Xbox title and a prominent PC license for one of the biggest game publishers in the U.S. . .
Award-winning former Disney animator and educator Larry Lauria has fourteen animation workshops scheduled between now and the beginning of July 2001. The events range from the LEAF and Moondance festivals to workshops in Tampa, Phoenix, Long Island, St. Louis area, Long Beach, Tuscany (Italy) and more. They cover the gambit from animation fundamentals and character design to writing for animation and storyboarding and range from beginning to advanced levels. For more information, email Larry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AWN has just launched a brand new Feature Film Release database, complete with searchable information...
You can't buy magazines in most art galleries, but, from November 4 to December 2, 2000, you can buy art in a magazine store...
Plympton's new series of comics extracted from the comic book, "Sleazy Cartoons of Bill Plympton," is for ADULTS ONLY...
AWN's Web Animation Guide is the place for what's new on the Net. This week's installment features some funny BitMagic shorts, an edgy new Webisode of WHERE ARE THE TOONS NOW?, Tom Snyder Productions and much, much more.
Get your Web Animation Guide here!
Also every week AWN's associate editor Rick DeMott highlights what he thinks is the top new toon in cyberspace in "Rick's Picks!"
The Virtual Reality Conference to be held in London on Thursday, November 16 through Friday, November 17, 2000.
As part of DIC Entertainment's plan to restructure is international arm, the company has appointed Patricia Ryan as executive vice president of international sales and Dan White as vice president of international sales. Ryan will handle Western Europe and Canadian broadcast and video sales, head up property acquisitions and help oversee international co-productions. Waite will handle sales for Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe. Previously, Ryan headed DIC's international sales as vice president before the 1996 acquisition by Disney.
Italian animation studio Mondo TV released second-quarter revenue reports, which were up 250% to 6.7 billion lire (US$2.94 million). This report is the first since going public on the Milan stock exchange in June. In the quarter, Mondo TV's gross operating margin inflated 484% to 5.3 billion lire ($2.32 million). The big gains are attributed to the firm's increasing presence in Asia and its new co-production deal with Seoul-based Hahn Shin Corporation. Mondo TV is the owner of Italy's largest library of domestic and imported television cartoons.