On Monday, April 19, a judge ruled thatViacom's claim to the rights to TV distribution of a film based on Marvel'scomic book character Spider-man is without contractual basis. This ruling,unless it is appealed, should finally clear the way for a major Spider-Manfilm. The Spider-man property had been tangled in court for many yearsbecause several companies claimed to possess various controlling rights.Sources close to the law suit say that the six companies involved in the
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The families of Jessica James, Kayce Steger and Nicole Hadley, who were killed during a morningprayer meeting at Heath High School in West Paducah, Kentucky, USA during ashooting on Dec. 1, 1997 by Michael Carneal, a 14-year-old boy, filed a$130 million damage suit against several entertainment companies on Monday,saying they influenced his behavior. The suit claims that the boy was anavid user of the computer, playing computer games such as "Doom," "Quake,"and "Mortal Kombat," which it said are known for their graphic violence.
Silicon Graphics, Inc., the 17-year-old high-tech company known forbreakthrough graphics in movies such as JURASSIC PARK, is changing its nameto SGI. The change is part of a major branding shift, which also includes anew logo, national advertising and consolidation of hundreds of separateproduct brands. SGI decided to change its name after a branding consultantfound that while the company's products were perceived as innovative andvisionary, the company was viewed as a niche-oriented, high-performance 3D
ASIFA-EAST 1999 Awards ceremony was held Monday, April 12th. The followingawards were handed out:
Second Honorable MentionBETWEEN THE LINES by Jamie Maxfield
First Honorable Mention.HEADQUARTERS by Jason Donati
Third PlaceSMILE by Alex Hart
Second PlaceA LETTER FROM THE WESTERN FRONT by Daniel Kanemoto
First PlaceSTRANGE REALITY by Jusuf Santoso
COMMERCIALS AND PROMOTIONAL FILMS
Excellence in Design
David McCall, creator of Schoohouse Rock, died April 18th in a car accidentnear Kukes, Albania, along with his wife, Penny, and RefugeesInternational's European representative Yvette Pierpaoli and the car'sAlbanian driver. The McCalls were en route from Tirana to Kukes, theprimary reception point for Kosovar refugees. They were on a mission forRefugees International, the Washington, D.C.-based organization on whoseboard Mr. and Mrs. McCall served. Part of the mission was to explore
The Film Department of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will present two programs of films by Frank Tashlin and Ub Iwerks. On Friday, May 7, at 7:30 pm A Taste of Tashlin: Early Hollywood Cartoons will present the cartoons Frank Tashlin made before turning to live-action and going on to direct several of Jerry Lewis' best films.
Will Vinton Studios has promoted Zilpha Yost to executive producer, a new position in the advertising divsion which is headed by president David Altschul. Yost has been a senior producer at Vinton Studios since 1992, taking a leave of absence in 1995 to run the stop-motion studio in Los Angeles for Tim Burton's MARS ATTACKS. When Burton chose to complete the film in CGI, Yost returned to Vinton, bringing some of the creative artists who had been doing stop-motion animation on MARS ATTACKS with her. Yost will work very closely with Rich Durkin, executive producer in Vinton's New York office.
For the week ending April 18th, THE MATRIX, a special effects heavy action film, finished second in the US box office race and grossed an estimated $18.1 million to bring its cumulative gross to $99.1 million.
Bill LittleJohn will appear in person at the UCLA James Bridges theater Saturday, May 15, 7:30 p.m as part of a retrospective of his work. Bill Littlejohn is a freelance animator. If you watch animated films, chances are you've seen his work. He's worked on several John and Faith Hubley films, including OF MEN AND DEMONS and THE DOONESBURY SPECIAL; THE 2000 YEAR OLD MAN; several Peanuts TV specials; even GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE. At this time, UCLA is not sure which films will be shown. Call the Archive at (310) 206-8013 for a complete list of the titles to be screened.
Richard Shurtliff has been named Head Systems Administrator at CuriousPictures, the bi-coastal, live-action, graphics, special effects andanimation studio, it was announced today by Executive Producer/Head ofProduction Richard Winkler. In his new post, Shurtliff, 33, will workdirectly with Boo Wong, who heads Curious' CGI Department, and will beresponsible for managing the company's network of 30 NT Workstations, 10Macs and 10 SGIs running Maya and 3D Studio Max for 3D, and After Effects for 2D compositing.
Fox Broadcasting Co. has ordered another season (22 episodes) of MattGroening's animated series, Futurama, just four weeks after its premiere.The show debuted on Sunday, March 28 then moved to Tuesday night on April 6where it joined King of the Hill, The PJs, and The Simpsons repeats aspart of Fox's all-animation primetime Tuesday night line-up. Now, all ofthese series have been renewed.
Masters of Visual Effects, LLC has released the first two series of Mastersof Visual Effects training videos. The series' offer an overview of visualeffect that artists, producers, and filmmakers, whether novice orprofessional, will benefit from. The first series, entitled "Introductionto Visual Effects," covers introductory concepts in visual effects such asvisual effects cues, film and video as digital images, commercial postproduction basics, pre-visualization and offline editing. The second
The 3rd edition of Switzerland's largest Animation Film FestivalFANTOCHE will be held from August 31 to September 5 1999.Deadline for the "International Competition" is June 15.
Registration forms will soon be available from the festivaloffice or directly from the website www.fantoche.ch. For furtherinformation as well as details about the supporting members association andoportunities for advertising and sponsoring, please contact the festivaloffice:
FANTOCHEOttikerstr. 53CH - 8006 Zürich
The New York Animation Festival takes place May 13-15, 1999. It willfeature 150 animations from 15 countries, including Academy Award winnerBunny, Sundance winner More, and New York Underground Film Festival winnerThe Bats., plus new works by Bill Plympton, the Bolex Brothers and AardmanAnimations. For more information call 212-479-7742; or email@example.com.
Also visit members.tripod.com/~nyafest/home.html.
MIP TV, the international television programme market, where sellers and buyers from all over the world exchange product, takes place April 12th to 17th in Cannes, France. This years MIP is expected to reflect a rebounding international TV market. More than 100 TV series from around the world we be offered at MIP, such as DARIA, FAMILY GUY, FUTURAMA, and NORMAN NORMAL. The calendar of events include the following animation related programmes:
MONDAY APRIL 12TH
Evelyn Lambart, filmmaker and close associate of Norman McLaren, died Saturday, April 3 at the age of 84.
Lambart studied commercial art at the Ontario College of Art.
The Cinema Guild has released the animation cult classic, VAMPIRES IN HAVANA! Juan Padron, best known in the US for his QUINOSCOPO shorts, directed the 1985 Cuban film which was released theatrically in the USA in 1987. VAMPIRES IN HAVANA! is a spoof of horror and gangster movies, presented in a style reminiscent of FRITZ THE CAT. It features Professor von Dracula, a vampire scientist who leaves Transylvania for Cuba where he invents "Vampisol," a potion that allows vampires to live in sunlight.
Cinar Corporation and WGBH Boston have announced that Emmy award-winning ARTHUR, PBS' top-rated children's series, will return with 10 new programs and 65 encore broadcasts in its fourth season, premiering October 1999. This daily animated series is based on the award-winning children's books by author Marc Brown, who is also ARTHUR's creative producer. ARTHUR's fourth season begins with, not one, but two musical guest stars: classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman who "appear" as themselves in the season's opener MY MUSIC RULES.
* Tuesday, June 8 - Thursday, June 10. New York, New York, USA.
The global deal marketplace for the $132 billion business of licensingtakes center stage in New York City, June 8-10, 1999, with LICENSING '99INTERNATIONAL, the largest worldwide licensing event and the single mostconsolidated presentation of properties in one place. Licensing '98International drew a record 15,000 attendees from more than 60 countries.The show featured nearly 400 exhibitors representing more than 3,700
* Tuesday, April 27. Sherman Oaks, California, U.S.A.
Roberto Kritzia will give a free slide-lecture to promote the Glenn Vilppusketching tour of Italy which will take place in June and July. (See theGlenn Vilppu tours news item for more information about the tours.) The lecturetakes place at 7:30 pm at Travel Stop, 14011 Ventura Bl., West Bldg., Suite221, Sherman Oaks, California. Seating is limited. RSVP (818) 994-2402.
* Wednesday, April 28 - Sunday, May 2. Oslo, Norway.
The 6th International Oslo Animation Festival invites both animators andspectators to take part in five days of animated fun. The festivalpresents: Nordic and Baltic films in competition, Nordic and BalticPanorama, International highlights, a Focus on British animation, Animationas Music, a Celebration of Lotte Reiniger, Jury programs, Exhibitions andeven more. For further information contact: Oslo Animation Festival, P.O.
Jean Vander Pyl, who was best known as the voice of Wilma Flinstone onHanna-Barbera's THE FLINTSTONES TV series, died Saturday, April 10 at herhome in Dana Point. She was 79.
Although born in Philadelphia, she moved to Los Angeles while still ateenager and attended Beverly Hills High and UCLA. Her career began as aradio performer for several radio series including AMOS AND ANDY, LUX RADIOTHEATRE, STUDIO ONE, and FATHER KNOWS BEST.
In the late 1950's, she began doing voice work for Hanna-Barbera, and
HARVEY ENTERTAINMENT, whose roster of animated properties include CASPER,THE FRIENDLY GHOST, RICHIE RICH, LITTLE AUDREY, and BABY HUEY, has posted a1998 fourth quarter net loss of $5,869,000, compared to a net income of$627,000 for the fourth quarter in 1997, and a net loss of $11,238,000 forthe year ended December 31, 1998. Net operating revenues for the year-ended1998 were a negative $1,569,000, compared to revenues of $15,404,000 in1997. Meanwhile, the company announced that it has entered into a
Disney, the Burbank, California entertainment company, is considering waysin which it could package its Disney Online assets together with thecompany's 43% stake in Infoseek Corp., of Sunnyvale, California, for apublic offering, according to THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. Disney and Infoseekjointly created and own the Go Network Internet portal launched earlierthis year. Disney Online operates the Disney.com Web site. Disney hasrecently begun negotiations to take majority control of Infoseek sooner
C-3D Digital, Inc. has increased its content capabilities for its 24 hour3D channel by executing a definitive agreement for the acquisition ofsecurity interests in the technology and principle assets of Strata Inc., apremier name in 3D computer graphics. "The acquisition of Strata assets andtechnology has been selected for its strategic fit into the C-3D DigitalInc.'s network of companies for the ability to add eye-popping 3D effects,that Strata is famous for, to our growing content currently shown on the 3D