Marvel Enterprises and Artisan Entertainment have entered into a joint venture that will send 15 Marvel superhero characters to Artisan for feature, TV, direct-to-video and Internet programming. Both companies will share in the money made from the properties and tied-in merchandising. Each company will own the programming library.
AWN Headline News
In addition to the official competition, the Ottawa International
Animation Festival (September 19-24, 2000) will present a number of
retrospectives, tributes, special screenings and feature films. The
tentative program is as follows: thematic programs on computer
animation and jazz in animation; studio spotlight on Pacific Data
Images and Bermuda Shorts; tributes to Yvonne Andersen (who will
serve as the Honorary President for Ottawa 00), Spike and Mike's
Time Warner chairman, Gerald Levin, announced that the company has reached a "agreement in principle" with Disney about the carrying of Disney cable stations on Time Warner operating systems. The recent dispute over the price Time Warner would pay for the cable networks led to Time Warner aggressively pulling ABC from its cable system. This action quickly drew heat from regulators and the public, who had service interrupted during sweeps week specials of WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONARE?
The 8th Holland Animation Film Festival will be held November 15-19,
2000 in Utrecht, Netherlands. Besides the international competition
for applied animation and student films from the Netherlands, Belgium
and Luxembourg, this year the festival will present an international
competition for independent animation. The competition is divided
into two separate categories: one for narrative films and one for
non-narrative films. In both categories a Grand Prix will be awarded.
TAIS member Cathy Schmidt will be giving a demonstration of Flash
Animation on Thursday, May 25, 2000 at 7:30 p.m. at the InterAccess
Electronic Media Arts Centre, in Toronto, Canada. Admission is free
for TAIS members, everyone else CA$10.00. Seating is limited and
participants must register by sending an e-mail to Cathy at
email@example.com. TAIS also presents "Timing For Animation" with
Greg Duffell. The event will take place on June 7, 2000 at 8:00 p.m
Visual Magic Magazine, AWN's 3D animation and digital effects online
magazine, has posted a new article...
May means "Recruiting & Jobs" at Animation World Magazine. Check out
these special feature articles:
- Tom Sito, M.P.S.C. 839 President, Answers The Tough Questions
With all the hubbub recently in Los Angeles about artists being out
of work, runaway productions and the well attended PBS affiliate
station picket, Heather Kenyon sat down with Tom Sito to talk...
- Picketing In Front of PBS! Just Blame It On Canada?
Plympton's new series of comics extracted from the comic book,
"Sleazy Cartoons of Bill Plympton," is for ADULTS ONLY...
Test your skills and challenge your brain with AWN's
Quiz. This week, we're asking questions about stop-motion and puppet
animators. Which English puppet animator was replaced by computer
animation folks on Tim Burton's "Mars Attacks!?" Which Czech animator
began drawing films but ended up working with puppets? Which video
did Disney recall because a cameraman had inserted a few frames of a
This volume provides a survey of films made at Joonisfilm Studio
since Estonia's independence. Included: "Viola" (Grand Prize, 2000
Nordic and Baltic Animation Festival), "On the Possibility of Love"
(Grand Prize, Brisbane Animation Festival), "Bermuda" (Director's
Prize, Ottawa International Student Animation Festival), "Birthday,"
"Departure," "Gravitation," "Jaagup and Death," and two Estonian
films made at Finland's Turku Arts Academy: "Cappuccino" and
Creative Planet, AWN's parent company, has launched the beta version
of the new CreativePlanet.com, a cutting-edge portal for
entertainment industry professionals...
Special effects facility Digital Domain has promoted Senior VP C. Bradley Call to head of business development and chief administrative officer and Yvette Macaluso to VP finance. As the company's new #2 man, Call will continue as general counsel, but will help expand Digital Domain's feature development arm. Call will now head the effects houses human resources and purchasing departments. With the company from its inception 7 years ago, Maculas has managed the finance and accounting departments.
IPnetwork.com is one of the 100 most influential companies on the
Internet who will join forces with the most influential people in
animation at the World Animation Celebration...
Former TriStar Pictures chairman Mike Medavoy has joined the board of directors of Film Roman. The current head of Phoenix Pictures, Medavoy becomes the sixth member of Film Roman's board. Film Roman president John Hyde said Medavoy's appointment would serve to "complement" the company's business plan rather than change it. Film Roman, which produces animation for TV (SIMPSONS, KING OF THE HILL), expanded its operations in 1998 to include limited development and production of feature-length films and recently increased its commercial output.
Visual effects pioneer John Dykstra has swung onto the SPIDER-MAN project. The new project will reunite Dykstra with the effects team from Sony Imageworks, where he was recently special effects supervisor on STUART LITTLE. The Sam Raimi directed flick has also hired former PDI character animator Karen Goulekas. Dykstra told the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER that he doesn't know how many effects there will be yet, because the script (by Raimi and David Koepp) isn't done. "We're still sorting the character out.
The troubled Digital Entertainment Network (DEN) has closed up shop. Nearly one week after its relaunch, DEN execs laid off 150 employees stating that the low money flow could no longer support the company in its present form. The employees were informed of the news at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, May 17, 2000. The final straw that broke the camels back was this weeks decline from a key investor to supply additional funding. The Netcaster has been plagued with problems from the start.
Honkworm International, a leading producer of original on-line entertainment content, has unveiled three new animation projects at the Cannes Film Festival. Each title will consist of no less than 20 Webisodes, ranging from two to six minutes in length. Honkworm executive VP of content Chris Cobb said, "We approach each of our short-form series from a filmmakers perspective, for us, first and foremost, it's about storytelling.
With the Internet becoming a place for strange bedfellows, veteran actor George Hamilton has joined Stan Lee Media as their new president of global branded entertainment. Hamilton will be responsible for signing new Hollywood talent and provide voice work for animated programs. In addition, Hamilton will develop an on-line lifestyles magazine that may have cross-over hopes in television. Hamilton is a proven business man running a successful bar and restaurant chain, production company and cigar brand.
Tom Snyder Productions announced that it has signed a deal with Shockwave.com to create, develop and produce three original shows for the Internet. Each of the three shows will debut over the summer with eight two-minute episodes. The first of the new Webisodes is EXTREMELY RELAXED FLIGHT CONTROL TOWER where a sensitive consultant tries to help air traffic controllers relax on the job. O'GRADY HIGH follows alien invaders who have minimal effects on teens. The third toon, CLEAR!, centers on an inner city emergency medical crew that works hard at avoiding emergencies.
At the Apple World Wide Developers Conference Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO, announced that Alias|Wavefront would be bringing out a version of Maya 3 for the Apple MAC OS X platform. Until now, Maya has only been available for high-end workstations including Windows NT and IRIX. This announcement is a significant one for both Apple and Alias|Wavefront, as well as for MAC users. Apple is poising Maya as the "premier 3D application for the MAC." With Newtek's Lightwave  as its only real competitor, Alias|Wavefront's flagship product will probably turn out to be just that.
As anticipated, Marvel's net sales decreased over last years first quarter period due in part to film licensing revenue. The year-ago quarter included a non-refundable advance from Sony Pictures Entertainment for the feature film license of Spider-Man, as well as an advance from Universal Studios for a feature film based on The Hulk. Also, year-ago first quarter revenues reflected strong initial distribution shipments for the Toy Biz divisions new line of World Championship Wrestling (WCW) products.
Mondo Media's weekly Web toon, THUGS ON FILM, will hit BBC America's summer primetime line up. Mondo, a leader in Web content production, also announced that bbcamerica.com will air THUGS ON FILM which will include a co-branded show introduction and a special launch page on the bbcamerica.com Web site. The pact also includes a Mondo/BBC America co-production, which will create two brand new animated characters exclusively for BBC America and bbcamerica.com. THUGS ON FILM is a film review show hosted by Cecil and Stubby, two English hoods.