Matt Groening's new animated series, "Futurama," was watched by more thannineteen million viewers when it premiered on Sunday, March 28. It was theeleventh most watched TV show in the USA as it received a 11.2 rating and a17 share, better overall ratings than both "The Simpsons" (9.3/15) thatpreceded it, and "The X-Files" (10.1/15) that followed it.
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The Ottawa International Animation Festival and Canadian Film Institutehave acquired the North American video rights to all Estonian animationfilms produced by the studios,Tallinnfilm, Eesti Joonisfilm, and Nukufilm.The collection includes award winning films by Priit Parn, ("Hotel E,""Breakfast on the Grass," and "The Night of the Carrots"); Rao Heidmets("Hell"); Mati Kutt ("Underground," "Smoked Spout Baked in the Sun"); JannoPoldma ("Birthday"); Rein Raamat ("Hell"); and many more.
The half-hour comedy series HOME MOVIES [AF 12/22/98] premieres Monday,April 26, at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT. The show, featuring a "SquiggleVision"technique, is being produced by Tom Snyder Productions, makers of ComedyCentral's DR. KATZ: PROFESSIONAL THERAPIST and ABC's Saturday morningseries, SQUIGGLEVISION. The show centers around a single mom (PaulaPoundstone) raising a precocious tot and an eight-year-old son who aspiresto be the next Steven Spielberg.
The San Francisco office of CURIOUS PICTURES has created a pool of fivespots for Round Table Pizza through Wieden & Kennedy (Portland, OR). Thereare four 15-second spots - "Steam Dance," "Rooster," "Full," and "Freedomof Speech" - along with a 30-second spot, "Tornado." The commercials weredirected by Michael Bade and designed by Seattle-based alternativecartoonist Peter Bagge (HATE), marking his first foray into both animationand television. Featuring various characters, the commercials guarantee the
THE INK TANK has produced "Hockey Monkey," a mixed-media music video forNickelodeon's KA-BLAM!, which will air this spring. The 1-minute, 30-secondpiece follows a group of live-action adults who are in search of a monkey.Unbeknownst to them, the animated monkey is in an ice hockey match with agroup of cut-out animated kids. For The Ink Tank, R.O. Blechman wascreative director; Brian O'Connell, executive producer/co-director; JesseGordon, live-action director/cameraman; Maciek Albrecht, cut-out
San Francisco-based RADIUM has animated more than a half-dozen 3Dcomputer-generated building block characters for "Toys," a nationaltelevision spot promoting Wrigley's Juicy Fruit Gum. Conceived by BBDO(Chicago, IL), the 30-second spot revolves around a group of toy figuresthat spring to life in pursuit of the sweet taste of Juicy Fruit. Thecommercial blends 3D animation, 2D effects, live-action and cel animation.Radium created the tiny plastic blok characters as 3D elements. Afterwards,
Marketing and communication company Pittard Sullivan (Culver City, CA)engaged SIMEX (Santa Monica, CA) to help create a new full-motion, computeranimated logo to accompany all of King World's programs. The animated logofeatures a star burst animated in Alias|Wavefront PowerAnimator. FromPittard Sullivan, Reid Thompson directed, and Jim Capp and Debra Kaufmanproduced. Nick Bates was the visual effects supervisor and George Mendozawas the executive producer at SimEx Digital Studios.
Eighties rock singer Billy Idol is providing the lead voice in Sceneries Entertainment's upcoming animated feature HEAVY METAL: F.A.K.K. 2, to be released by Columbia TriStar in fall 1999. The film is based on a graphic novel by TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES creator Kevin Eastman, along with Simon Bisley and Eric Talbot. Idol will play the role of Tyler, a genocidal villain, who will ultimately be conquered by F.A.K.K., an immortal female warrior. The film's soundtrack also features music by Axel Rose, Sammy Hagar and the Stone Temple Pilots.
Lacey Entertainment has sold the hit show POKEMON to the following European broadcasters: RTL 2 (Germany), Sky TV (UK) and MediaSet (Italy). Sky TV began broadcasting the show the week of March 29, while RTL 2 and MediaSet will begin airing the series in September. All three networks will air the series as a five-day-a-week strip. In a related announcement, EM TV & Merchandising of Germany has secured POKEMON merchandise and promotion licensing representation in that territory.
George Pal's first feature film, THE GREAT RUPERT (1950), is being released on DVD by Image Entertainment. The film, which has never been released on home video before, is an Arnold Leibovit Entertainment Presentation, and will be released on May 7 for a retal price of $24.99. It stars the legendary Jimmy Durante, Tom Drake and Terry Moore (Jill from the 1949 film MIGHTY JOE YOUNG); as well as Rupert, a dancing squirrel brought to life using Pal's trademark Puppetoon animation technique. The rarely seen film was transferred from one of the few 35mm nitrate prints in existence.
Tueday, April 13. Glendale, California, U.S.A.
As part of ASIFA-Hollywood's Third Annual Lecture Series, Corey Hels willspeak at the Glendale Community College auditorium about what it takes tobe a technical director. Hels has worked as a technical director or CGIanimator for various studios including Metrolight, Dream Quest Images,Turner Feature Animation, and Warner Bros. Feature and Classical Animation.His film credits include CATS DON'T DANCE, IRON GIANT, THE MASK, CRIMSON
After a long struggle, Fantôme, one of Europe's premier producers of 3D animation, was put into receivership. Founded in 1985, Fantôme was a pioneer of completely computer-generated animation TV series. In addition to an Emmy, Fantôme has garnered more than 40 international prizes, and their 3D television series INSEKTORS (26 13-minute segments) has sold in 160 countries.
Fred Seibert, former President of Hanna-Barbera and MTV's original creative director, has been named President of MTV Networks Online, reporting directly to Tom Freston, Chairman and CEO, MTV Networks. MTV Networks Online will be based in New York along with a satellite office in San Mateo, California.
Film Roman/Level 13 Entertainment and the prestigious Rico Gallery are holding the first ever Film Roman Fine Arts Competition. Entries are welcome from artists/animators of all ages in any medium including drawings, sculptures, paintings and ceramics. A panel of judges from the television, film and art communities will select the 40 most creative and original works to be showcased at the Rico Gallery for two months starting in June 1999.
Manila-based ImagineAsia is the Asian studio chosen to do the production work for HEAVY METAL F.A.K.K. 2, the $15-million sequel to 1981's HEAVY METAL. The film is being co-produced by Canada's Cine-Groupe and Germany's Helkon Media for a U.S. Columbia TriStar release during the second half of 1999. The film is directed by Michael Coldeway, and stars Julie Strain and Billy Idol. This marks the feature debut of ImagineAsia, as well as one of the few times an Asian animation facility has been called upon to fully animate a feature film for a major U.S. studio.
Award-winning animation director David Chartier has launched Loop Filmworks (www.loopfilmworks.com), a new animation production company. His stop motion animated spot, "Talk Show," won both the Gold Medal and Grand Prix award at this year's New York Festival. Since starting in the industry in 1991, he has worked for Olive Jar Studio and Curious Pictures, and recently designed two stop motion/cut-paper animation campaigns for Nickelodeon. "I started Loop Filmworks as a means of rededicating myself to creating innovative animation for advertising," said Chartier.
Teletoon, Canada's all-animation channel, is holding their second annual Animation Scholarship Award Competition, recognizing the efforts and financial needs of young Canadian art students. A total of C$29,000 will be divided between 10 talented students with the prize amounts ranging from $1,500 to $5,000.
ImagineAsia Studios is seeking an Associate Producer/Production Manager for a six- to nine-month commitment on a contract basis. Permanency is potential. ImagineAsia, Inc. is an exciting state-of-the-art digital and traditional animation studio based in Manila, Philippines (currently in production on Columbia TriStar/Cine Groupe's "Heavy Metal F.A.K.K.2"). ImagineAsia is seeking an energetic, creative and highly organized individual who has animation experience from concept development through tape delivery.
This past Sunday, in Los Angeles, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the Best Animated Short Film winner...
The Ottawa Student Animation Festival web site has been updated. French-Canadians can now find a French version of the festival regulations and on-line entry form...
Featured in the Animation World Store this week: Brussels '99 Festival Catalog by Folioscope and Weston Woods Rare Classic Children's Collection.
* Wednesday, March 24 - Saturday, March 27. Auch, France.
For its 12th edition, the Festival National du Film d'Animation (National Animation Festival) moves to Auch, Central France from its previous home in Marly-le-Roi. Programs include screenings, panel discussions, tributes, exhibitions, the workshop "Introduction to Animation," and opportunities for audiences to meet the filmmakers. For more information, call ++ 33 (0)1-4543-2359, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.afca.asso.fr.
Julia Pistor, a founding executive of Nickelodeon Movies, has been promoted to Senior Vice President of the division. Pistor, who will continue to report to Albie Hecht, President of Film and Television Entertainment for Nickelodeon, will relocate to Los Angeles from the company's headquarters in New York. She will be responsible for broadening Nickelodeon's feature development slate and continue its mandate to produce kids-first movies, star-driven family films and animated features.