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AWN Headline News

Headline News

Ring Of Fire Roasts Washington Apples Ads

RING OF FIRE roasts with two new spots for the Washington Apple Commission.

Produced for Seattle-based agency McCann Erickson, the 30-second

commercials highlight the heroic deeds of Apple Guy. In "Car Trip," Apple

Guy revives a family of four with apples before they drive their car off

the road. In "Hikers," Apple Guy rescues two campers from a crumbling rope

bridge. To keep the fast pace of the spots up, Ring of Fire used a blurring

technique they call "snap zoom morph" to transition from various shots

Headline News

Passion Pictures Pops Giant Button Spots

London-based PASSION PICTURES pops open four 10-second spots for Cadbury's

Giant Button chocolates. Director Chris Hauge brought to life the animated

little girl Giant Button, voiced by Noddy Holder. In "Boy Bands," she

advises young fans that if a favorite boy band breaks up just "find a new

one." In "Parents," she advises youngsters to emigrate to a desert island

if their parents become too embarrassing. In "Boys," Giant Buttons avoids a

Licensing Headline News

Lucas Licensing Lands Phelan As Director Of Licensing

LUCAS LICENSING has appointed KERRY PHELAN in the new executive position of

director of domestic licensing & marketing. In her new role, Phelan will

oversee all aspects of the Star Wars licensing business for the U.S. Before

coming to Lucas Licensing, she was a long time marketing executive at LEGO

toys, where she was responsible for developing the LEGO brand among young

families. "The Star Wars licensing program has always been about creating

Animation Headline News

The Acrobat Issue of Animation World Magazine Is Now On-line!

February is our annual motion-capture and stop-motion issue, and we have

plenty in store as usual. Sharon Schatz interviews Brian Nilles of leading

motion-capture technology firm, Vicon Motion Systems. Gregory Singer goes

behind the scenes on one of the many projects which uses Vicon's

technology, while Laura Schiff introduces us to Webbie Tookay, a new

motion-capture personality. On the stop-motion side of things, Wendy

Jackson covers Aardman Animations' current high flying times as they work

College Headline News

New Jobs: Professor of Computer Art & Stop-motion Animation

The SAVANNAH COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN, located in historic Savannah,

Georgia, USA, is seeking candidates with college-level teaching experience

for the position of PROFESSOR OF COMPUTER ART to teach beginning and

advanced level courses in Stop-Motion and Clay Animation. The successful

candidate should have professional experience as an

animator/director/designer, and familiarity with a wide range of

fabrication materials, techniques and styles, including armatures and

Film Headline News

Animha Calls for Children's Drawings

Animha Productions, a unique association of professionals dedicated to

independent film production and animation workshops, is working on a peace

film project created by Prakash Moorthy in India and Animha's Dave

Brunskill in England. The film will include single drawings and paintings

done by 5-7 year-old children from around the world, and all children are

invited to participate. The subject is "a mother sending her child to

school." Drawings should reflect the national identity of the child, using

Shorts Headline News

AtomFilms Broadcasts USC Alumus' Films

On Tuesday, February 15, 2000, AtomFilms, a leader in next-generation

entertainment, announced that it has locked the first-ever, exclusive,

on-line distribution deal with the USC School of Cinema-Television to

broadcast student films from the illustrious film school's catalog. As part

of the deal, for the next 18 months, USC will provide AtomFilms with

exclusive on-line distribution rights to 100 student titles which includes

shorts from famed alumnus George Lucas and Robert Zemeckis. On February 15,

Time Headline News

Former Time Inc. Pres., Marcom New VP At AtomFilms

ATOMFILMS, a leader in next-generation entertainment, announced that JOHN

MARCOM, former President of Time Inc. International, will join as the new

senior VP of worldwide revenue and media strategies. In his new role,

Marcom will coordinate worldwide on-line and off-line sales of AtomFilms'

growing library of short-form entertainment. During his stint at Time Inc.,

Marcom oversaw a catalog of more than a dozen national and international

news, business and lifestyle publications. Joining Time Inc. in 1993,

Million Headline News

Toy Story 2: The Buzz In The UK

Opening the weekend of February 11, 2000 in the U.K., TOY STORY 2 has

already broken box office records. Playing on 495 screens, the sequel

grossed US$12.8 million in its first three days. The feat even beat out

bohemeth-grossing STAR WARS EPISODE 1, which made only $12.5 million in its

first U.K. weekend. So far Buena Vista International, which is distributing

the film outside the U.S., said the movie has already grossed $332 million

worldwide. Playing on 3,334 screens outside the U.S. this past weekend, TOY

Animation Headline News

Women In Animation, Inc.'s Annual Meeting

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, February 17, 2000 at 12:00am

* Saturday, February 26, 2000. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Women In Animation, Inc. will be holding their annual meeting with guest

speaker Lynda Weinman of lynda.com. The meeting introduces members and

anyone interest in WIA with what has happened in the past year and what

exciting events and activities are on the way in 2000. Weinman, a pioneer

of graphic and animation on the MAC, will bring to the event her knowledge

Team Headline News

Futurama at the AFI's Writers' POV

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, February 17, 2000 at 12:00am

* Tuesday, February 22, 2000. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Come hear from the team of Fox's FUTURAMA at the AFI's Writers' POV. In

past years, AFI has featured the writing teams from THE SIMPSONS and KING

OF THE HILL, who gave a Writers POV on the making of an animated series.

Continuing this popular topic, AFI has invited the FUTURAMA team to

participate in this question & answer event. Guests will include: executive

producer David X. Cohen, and writers Ken Keeler, Eric Horsted, Lewis

Disney Headline News

Disney Will Close Canadian Doors

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 16, 2000 at 12:00am

Rumored since last fall, Walt Disney Animation Canada Inc. announced

Monday, February 14, 2000 it will close the doors of its animation studios

in Canada by the spring. Opened in 1996, the Toronto and Vancouver branches

of Walt Disney were created to produce primarily direct-to-home video films

in connection with Walt Disney Television Animation. The company slowly

started winding down production last fall and will completely close around

Animation Headline News

Fox Cuts 70% Of Its Animation Staff

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 16, 2000 at 12:00am

After five years in existence, Fox Animation Studios is laying off nearly

70% of its Phoenix-based toon factory's staff. The restructuring of the

animation department will include more contract work outside the studio.

President of animation at Fox, Chris Meledandri said a foundation of 65-100

of the now 320 employees will remain, including, of course, studio staples

Don Bluth and Gary Goldman. Fox will continue to perform pre-production

work including storyboarding, character design, production design and

Media Headline News

Mondo Media Musters Up $20M In Financing

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 16, 2000 at 12:00am

Mondo Media, a leading creator and distributor of serial-based animated

content, announced Monday, February 14, 2000 that it has secured $20

million in its second round of financing. The newest round was led by

Macromedia and Foundation Capital. Additional funding partners in the round

included Sofinnova Ventures, Red Rock Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank and

Phoenix Growth Capital. Mondo Media also added new syndication partners

that include Excite@Home, AltaVista, AtomFilms and washingtonpost.com.

Headline News

Voice Of Slinky Dog, Jim Varney, Dies

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 16, 2000 at 12:00am

Jim Varney, the comic who most recently provided the voice of Slinky Dog in

TOY STORY and TOY STORY 2, died on Thursday, February 10, 2000 at his

Tennessee home of lung cancer. He was 50 years old. Best known for his

Ernest character in commercials, television and films, Varney also provided

voice over work for characters on the THE SIMPSONS. Varney was the star of

several Disney Ernest films, most notably ERNEST GOES TO CAMP and ERNEST

SAVES CHRISTMAS. Doctors diagnosed Varney with cancer in August 1998, and

Million Headline News

The Tigger Movie Bounces Into 4th

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 16, 2000 at 12:00am

Bouncing into U.S. theatres this past weekend was Disney's newest animated

flick THE TIGGER MOVIE. The throw-back to classic Disney flicks finished

the weekend in fourth place in the U.S. box office, making US$9.43 million.

THE GREEN MILE, with primary visual effects by ILM, Rhythm & Hues, POP and

Matte World Digital, is still bringing in green bills for Warner Bros.,

making another $3.09 million and bringing its total gross to $124.4

million. With other kid fare like THE TIGGER MOVIE and SNOW DAY hitting the

Short Headline News

Oscar Nominations Announced

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 16, 2000 at 12:00am

When the day broke on February 15, 2000, an old man wasn't humdrum about

joining a list of Oscar nominees that included three misses and my

grandmother who irons shirts! The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and

Sciences has released its list of nominations for this year's Oscar

competition. In the category of animated short films the nominees are:

Aardman Animations' Peter Peaks' HUMDRUM; Torril Cove's MY GRANDMOTHER

IRONED THE KING'S SHIRTS; Alexander Petrov's oil paint on glass in IMAX

Effects Headline News

Interactive Effects Releases Piranha HD 3.1

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 16, 2000 at 12:00am

Interactive Effects, producers of high-end visual effects systems Piranha

and Amazon Paint, recently announced the release of Piranha 3.1 for Silicon

Graphics Workstations. The new version expands the systems' capabilities in

areas such as video support, digital audio and disk/graphics performance,

as well as adding new features such as Mipmap Texturing, high speed soft

edged rotosplining and improved image tracking capabilities. Also new to

Headline News

Corel And Adobe Get Flashy

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 16, 2000 at 12:00am

This week both Corel and Adobe announced that they were adding support for

Macromedia Flash to some of their flagship products. Adobe will be adding

support for Flash to their popular web development tool GoLive, which means

that Adobe users should be able to easily integrate Flash animation into

their existing GoLive projects. Corel also announced that it would be

adding support for Flash to Corel LINUX and CorelDRAW 9. Corel LINUX will

be the first Linux OS to include the Macromedia Flash Player as a standard

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