DreamWorks has brought on Jodie Foster and Morgan Freeman to do voices for TUSKER. The CGI film about a herd of elephants making a trek across Southeast Asia is being directed by Tim Johnson and Brad Lewis. Foster will voice a young female elephant and Freeman will voice one of the herd's elders. The targeted release date is Christmas 2002.
AWN Headline News
Mainframe Entertainment is set to produce two new TV movies based on the characters from their TV series REBOOT. The two telepics are being produced in partnership with Canadian cable broadcaster YTV Canada, Inc. for broadcast in the Spring and Fall of 2001. REBOOT was the first ever half-hour computer animated TV series produced in the world. The series was originally shown in North American in September of 1994 on YTV in Canada and on ABC Television in the U.S.
One week after THE SIXTH SENSE broke records on video, PHANTOM MENACE doubled the SENSE's first week total in only two days. "VHS is still alive and well, despite reports from others to the contrary," said Fox spokesman Steve Feldstein. Fans of STAR WARS were disgruntled over George Lucas' decision not to release the new installment on DVD. Nonetheless, they were not alienated enough to boycott the VHS release of EPISODE I. The video has made an estimated US$100 million in just two days and is forecasted to reach $200 million in its first week in release.
Stan Lee Media, Inc. (SLM) announced a strategic alliance with Canadian-based Toon Boom Technologies for the development of Web-based animation software, which SLM will utilize in constructing its episodic Web comics. Jamie Wilkinson, executive vice president, Internet strategy for SLM, will oversee Beta testing in late summer/early fall 2000, to take place in Montreal and at a number of animation houses throughout the world. Pentafour Software & Exports Ltd., a leading developer of 2D/3D graphics and animation, special effects and software, will also participate in the project.
PuppetTime, Inc. and Prosoft Engineering, Inc. announced a strategic development partnership that will provide PuppetTime with access to Prosoft's engineering resources to accelerate the development of PuppetTime's patent pending Web 3D storytelling technologies.
Canadian-based TV and film company Alliance Atlantis Communications and Munich-based kids producer TV Loonland have joined to create animated joint ventures. The German producer will supply CA$110 million (US$ 76 million) over the next three years to co-create up to nine new children's series. As part of the deal, TV Loonland will hold all European rights, while Alliance will control the remaining worldwide rights. For an additional $14 million, TV Loonland has acquired European rights to Alliance's portfolio which includes YVON OF THE YUKON.
Film Roman Inc. and The Harvey Entertainment Company announced an agreement whereby The Harvey Entertainment Company will serve as Film Roman's international sales representative. As part of the deal, Harvey will handle sales and distribution of the Film Roman library beginning at MIP and will manage all servicing and collections for Film Roman. Jon Vein, Executive Vice President of Film Roman said, "Our companies both share the belief that independents need to combine their sales and distribution efforts in order to successfully compete internationally.
3Dlabs, Inc. Ltd., a high-end 3D graphics tool creator, announced that it has acquired the assets of the Intense3D operations of Intergraph Corporation. The stock transaction is expected to add to earnings on a goodwill (EBG) basis from the third quarter of 2000 onwards. Under the terms of the agreement, 3Dlabs will issue up to US$3.69 million common shares of 3Dlabs to Intergraph as initial consideration for the acquired assets and goodwill, with an earn-out provision totaling up to an additional $25 million, payable in stock and/or cash.
MIP TV (April 8-14, 2000) is one of the premiere television
conferences and markets in the world. The six-day event brings
together production companies and distributors from all over the
globe. The conference includes a vast array of panels and round-table
discussions with some of the world's top professionals. In 1999, MIP
TV attracted 10,439 professionals from 2,565 companies from 94
countries, of which 1,170 were exhibiting companies from 50 different
The 4th edition of Cartoons On The Bay, the International Festival of
Television Animation, will be held in Positano (Amalfi Coast), Italy,
April 14-18, 2000. Cartoons on the Bay is the only festival in the
world solely dedicated to television animation. Promoted by Rai
Radiotelevisione Italiana and conceived and organized by Rai Trade,
the festival is an international event with awards, workshops,
lectures and events centering on the ever-changing world of
Plympton's new series of comics extracted from the comic book,
"Sleazy Cartoons of Bill Plympton," is for ADULTS ONLY...
"Mutant Aliens" is based on a graphic novel where an American
astronaut is forced to live in space forever...
William Shpall, chief operating officer of Film Roman, has left the company. John Hyde, president and CEO of Film Roman, has told AWN that Shpall has worked out a deal to leave his post to pursue other Internet deals and projects that have presented themselves to him. Shpall was the father of Film Roman's Web entertainment destination, Level 13, which launched on November 27, 1999. According to Hyde, Shpall with continue on as a consultant to Level 13 and Film Roman's overall Internet strategy until at least the fall of 2000.
In its second week in theatres, THE ROAD TO EL DORADO has swerved to #3 at the U.S. box office. With new military drama RULES OF ENGAGEMENT and ERIN BROCKOVICH finishing one and two respectively, EL DORADO settled down one spot making US$9.09 million and raising its total pile of gold to $25.1 million. ROMEO MUST DIE dive bombed from fourth to seventh. The Jet Li action flick, with primary special effects by Manex Visual Effects, kicked in another $4.55 million to its cume of $45.8 million. FINAL DESTINATION descended into ninth place.
Alias|Wavefront announced this week that the fifth major release of their Maya next-generation animation software will feature a universal rendering policy that enables Maya Complete and Maya Unlimited to "float" the Maya Batch Renderer across any number of machines. This new announcement furthers Alias|Wavefront's aim at synergy between all of Maya's tools throughout the production and post-production process and Alias|Wavefront's earlier announcement that Maya 3 will feature a new Trax compositing system further backs up this position.
At NAB this week MAXON released the new version of their flagship 3D animation software, Cinema 4D XL. Version 6 features masses of new features and improvements, ranging from a new non-linear construction history, to particle effects and motion sequencing. The new version also takes advantage of Intel's Pentium III and Motorola's G4 processors which makes workflow much faster than in previous versions. The new software is shipping now and upgrades cost $495 US for registered users.
Discreet, the producers of high-end 3D and 2D computer graphics tools this week launched their new unified paint, animation and 3D visual effects system: combustion*. The Macintosh and Windows NT-based system offers a single, unified paint, animation and 3D-compositing environment for visual effects creation. combustion* features Academy Award-winning technology from inferno* and an extremely fast caching architecture for igniting the desktops and creative imaginations of digital visual effects artists world wide.
Rockstar Games Canada, a wholly owned subsidiary of Take-Two
Interactive Software based in Oakville, ON, Canada, is looking for a
3D MODELER; an ANIMATOR, to create video game characters for
PlayStation 2; and a PROGRAMMER, to help develop real-time video
games for a next generation gaming console. . . Motion Media is
seeking an EDITOR and DEMO ARTIST with NT NLE experience. . .
Blackbox Digital is looking for a COMPOSITOR, with experience in
Where can interactive entertainment professionals cash in on hot
properties that have commanding brand equity? At L!censing 2000
Fraud troubles for CINAR Corp. increased as RCMP agents seized four boxes of the ARTHUR TV-series producers' tax documents. With a warrant in hand, a joint team from the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) and provincial police searched the Old Montreal offices of the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (Sodec) on the morning of Thursday, April 6, 2000. The search was part of an ongoing investigation launched by the RCMP on October 19, 1999 [AF 10/19/99] after a Bloc Québécois MP made tax fraud allegations in the House of Commons.
Entertaindom.com president and CEO Jim Moloshok, executive VP Jim Banister and third-in-command Jeff Weiner will be exiting their Time Warner posts in the upcoming weeks. The dot-com trio has already moved out of their offices and has stopped participating in the day-to-day operations of the company. The walk was spurred by Time Warner's increasing lack of interest in the entertainment site they launched in November of 1999 as their impending merger with America On-line plows ahead.