Microsoft Corp. announced it acquired Chicago-based Bungie Software Products Corp., a leading developer of action oriented computer and video games. As a result, Microsoft gains exclusive publishing and distribution rights to select Bungie-developed titles, including the highly anticipated HALO. Bungie's development staff will become an independent studio within the Microsoft Game Division. Microsoft expects the Bungie team to play a key role in the development of content for Microsofts X-Box console.
AWN Headline News
Threshold Digital Research Labs has announced the commencement of production on their first digitally animated feature film, FOODFIGHT! The branch of Threshold Entertainment received a large portion of the funding for the US$50 million picture from Korean company Natural Image. As part of the promotion for the film, Thresholds Web entertainment site TheThreshold.com will produce a 3D animated prequel series entitled FOODFIGHT!: THE ADVENTURES OF DEX DETECTIVE. The film chronicles the secret lives of product icons once the lights are turned off at the grocery store.
With the remake of the blaxplotation classic SHAFT reigning at the U.S. box office, Foxs new animated feature TITAN A.E. and the wide 35mm release of FANTASIA/2000 felt the weight of Hollywood star power. Paramounts SHAFT, starring Samuel L. Jackson, became the big man at the box office with an opening weekend gross of US$21.71 million. The bad mother moved Buena Vistas GONE IN 60 SECONDS down to second.
Shockwave.com announced a production pact with Artists Management Group (AMG). As part of the deal, shockwave.com will provide a US$10 million fund for AMG and its clients to develop animated content for distribution on the site. All work produced through the deal will be co-owned by both companies. Additionally, AMG and its affiliates will help shockwave cut deals in other entertainment mediums. "This partnership will allow us to provide even more opportunity for AMGs roster of clients," said Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, head of the AMG Animation Group.
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) announced it has acquired the on-line game company Verant Interactive, Inc. and named digital gaming executive Kelly Flock as president and CEO of Sony On-line Entertainment (SOE). Verant will be blended into SOE, which will base its operations in San Diego, California. The new arm of Sony has been responsible for operating the popular on-line games EVERQUEST, TANARUS and SOVEREIGN. Verant President John Smedley will become SOEs executive vice president and chief operating officer.
Palo Alto, California's Pacific Data Images (PDI) is looking for
EFFECTS ANIMATORS AND DEVELOPERS and CG LIGHTERS. . .Lombard,
Illinois-based Big Idea Productions, Inc. is looking for a 3D
MODELING SUPERVISOR. . .South River, New Jersey-based Big Brad's South
River Tattoo Studio is looking for an ARTIST/TATTOOIST to draw Flash
and tattoo pictures for customers. . .WPRI/WNAC TV of East Providence,
Rhode Island wants to find an AVID EDITOR to edit commercials,
Last week, we announced that our first participants in the AWN
Animator Affiliate Program are Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbes,
directors of the amazing "When The Day Breaks," which won Annecy
1999's Grand Prix and Cannes' Palm D'Or for Short Film. Now, you can
download the complete program application packet, which includes all
the specifics you need to find out how you can participate as well.
All you need is Adobe Acrobat to read and print out the materials.
New this week at the Toon Institute are four short pieces of
animation from Larry Lauria's film "2KJ"...
The M. P. S. C. Local 839 IATSE has updated their AWN site with
more up-to-date information about labor union contracts...
The Ottawa International Animation Festival has added advertising
rate information to their official website...
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 expansive careers.
Which UCLA graduate began working at the Mintz Studio, went to
Disney, began his own studio, went back to Disney then to
Hanna-Barbera, over to Larry Harman Productions then back to
Hanna-Barbera? Who was the animator who designed and used the first
multi-plane camera in Japan, made the first stop-motion puppet
SteeleVFX, Inc. has relocated its visual effects studio to Santa Monica. The new facility includes: a Java-enabled Henry Infinity suite (with Masher and Chaser planned); a Mac Graphics Suite featuring After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightwave 3D; a Sony 2000 D1; a Sony A-500 DBC; Beta SP; 60 Sec. DDR; dubbing facilities; a Tascam DAT; and D2, PAL DBC and FTP file transfer services. SteeleVFX was founded in 1996 by Jo Steele and visual effects artist Jerry Steele and specializes in non-linear on-line editing and visual effects compositing.
* Friday June, 30 Thursday, July 6, 2000. Santa Monica, California, U.S.A. Friday, July 7 Thursday, July 13, 2000. Pasadena, California, U.S.A.
Steve Tisch, film and television producing veteran, has joined the board of directors of Film Roman Inc. His film credits include Oscar Award winner FORREST GUMP, AMERICAN HISTORY X, THE POSTMAN and RISKY BUSINESS. For television, Tisch produced the Emmy nominated THE BURNING BED, SILENCE OF THE HEART and PRIME SUSPECT. Tisch is also known for his philanthropic activities, which include AIDS Project Los Angeles serving on the board of directors and the Steve Tisch Foundation, a non-profit organization that raises funds to benefit many charities like the UCLA Medical Center, The H.E.L.P.
Hoping to make big profits like Warner Bros. did on POKEMON: THE MOVIE, Twentieth Century Fox has announce they will release DIGIMON: THE MOVIE on October 6, 2000. Based on the #1-rated show on Fox Kids Network, the new flick centers on eight kids who team up with friendly monsters called Digimon, and together defend a mystical realm called the digital world from a gathering darkness. Fox says DIGIMON: THE MOVIE will contain "more lush and detailed animation than seen in the series." For fans of the series, the film will reveal pivotal continuity points linking DIGIMON seasons one and two.
The National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation has inducted Walt Disney into the Inventors Hall of Fame. Disney was recognized for his creation of the multiplane camera, which yielded better looking, richer animation. The National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation Selection Committee, comprised of representatives from national scientific and technical organizations, votes each year to select the most qualified inventors from those proposed in open nominations. The criteria the committee takes into consideration is whether the invention is covered by a U.S.
In a new animated short entitled WILLS WORLD, U.S. pop star Britney Spears seduces the trousers right off Prince William. Airing on June 21, 2000 on the U.K.s Channel 4, the special cartoon is a funny send off to celebrate the Princes 18th birthday. The 18-year-old singer, Spears, has long expressed her hots for the hunky prince, elder son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana. One portion of the cartoon shows the teenaged temptress pulling down the prince's trousers as she pursues him.
On Wednesday, June 21, 2000, Italian animation studio Mondo TV, owner of the country's largest library of domestic and imported TV cartoons, will go public on the Milan stock exchange. Currently, the Rome-based company is owned by Orlando and Matteo Corradi. For the first-quarter, the TV toon maker saw revenue of 6.5 billion Italian lira (US$3.25 million) and net earnings of 1.3 billion ($650,000).
George Lucas' special effects powerhouse Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) has announced plans to expand into the animation game, creating 3D computer-generated films and television shows. These new projects will be co-productions with various major studios. Three years ago, ILM had planned to make the CGI animated FRANKENSTEIN with Universal but that project fell through due to creative differences. Patty Blau has been named senior VP of production for the animation division. Previously, Blau served as president of feature production. "Now we're really putting our weight behind it.
In the first major move from the Viacom/CBS merger, Viacom-owned Nickelodeon has verified it will program CBS's Saturday morning children's schedule with six half-hour series debuting Saturday, Sept. 16, 2000. The deal was rumored in February as part of the then pending Viacom and CBS merger [2/22/00]. CBS's Saturday morning lineup will feature new and existing series from the "Nick Jr." block, which features programs designed specifically to entertain and educate young viewers. CBS's 2000-2001 children's lineup, entitled "Nick Jr.
Warner Bros. On-line (www.warnerbros.com), DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation have teamed up to create the first all-new original Internet animation shorts and entertainment destinations based on DC Comics characters. Launching on Thursday, June 15 with the redesigned Warner Bros. On-line site, www.loboonline.com features Lobo, the cult classic ruthless anti-superhero. The new "Gotham Girls" site (www.gothamgirls.com) featuring the vivacious vixens from the Batman comics -- Batgirl, Cat Woman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn -- will launch mid-July. The redesigned Warner Bros.
The Harvey Entertainment Company announced the acquisition of all television rights to one of the longest running comedy properties on the Internet, WALTER MILLER'S HOME PAGE. Emmy Award winner and former Saturday Night Live film producer Neal Marshad of Neal Marshad Productions will produce the pilot for Harvey, with Tony Eastman (director of Nickelodeon's DOUG pilot) set to serve as creative consultant. Kristin Hawley will head the project for The Harvey Entertainment Company. The site appeared in cyberspace September of 1995.
In July, Warner Bros. will start shooting HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERERS STONE at Leavesden Studios in the U.K. The deal with Warner is similar to the one Lucasfilms struck for EPISODE 1. The production will occupy the entire 286-acre studio for about 18 months. The movie is based on the young adult book by the same name, which follows a young wizard during his training. Chris Columbus is directing the film. The scheduled release date for the picture is November 2001. No doubt the production will tap into the local talent just like George Lucas did for his 13-month PHANTOM MENACE shoot.