From September 23 - 29, 2000, the British terrestrial station Channel 4 is screening a veritable deluge of animation, ranging from the far-flung universe of FUTURAMA to the sharply-observed mundane world of POND LIFE. The only catch is most of it's being shown in the small hours, so set your video recorders. Saturday is the main night, kicking off at 9 pm with Channel 4 regular SOUTH PARK, followed FUTURAMA with a special introduction from creator Matt Groening. This is the series first time airing on British terrestrial TV.
AWN Headline News
Design and cross media studio Miss Jones produced three 30-second spots for AT&T's new media services, which started airing during the Sydney Olympics. Against a white background in the first spot, "Pop," AT&T's familiar blue globe morphs into a pan of popcorn, at first popping slowly and then building to a crescendo while the globe swells to bursting. The second spot "Newton" opens on six AT&T globes lined up in a white field.
Digital animation company Mixin Pixls has birthed a new spot for Verizon Wireless entitled "Cellular Division." Directed by See Spot Run's Lawrence V. O'Flahvan, the spot begins with a view through a microscope studying a phone-looking cell. The "cell" divides into two phones, then splits into five, explaining that with Verizon's Family Share Plan one pool of minutes can be divided between up to five phones. "Creating the animated sequence was an exciting creative challenge," said Mixin Pixls CG animation director Harri Paakkonen.
On Monday, September 18, 2000, Pseudo Online Network closed down its operations, making the newest dotcom downfall. The Website had laid off 58 employees earlier this summer, which was roughly 25% of their workforce. The site originally ran as separate channels with original interactive content, however the Netcaster recently changed to one central channel broadcasting shows from 2 pm to midnight. Pseudo's big claim to fame was their extensive coverage of the U.S. Republican National Convention with 360º camera views of the convention floor.
Stan Lee Media Inc. has eliminated 19 positions, deciding to outsource animation production to overseas companies. The move is part of SLM's deal with Toon Boom Technologies to use its U.S. Animation software on SLM productions. The Web content creator said in a press release that the decision would allow the company to maintain quality animation while reducing internal overhead costs.
With newcomers like thriller THE WATCHER and black comedy NURSE BETTY finishing #1 and #2 respectively, THE CELL slipped to fourth at the U.S. box office. Finishing right after the former two-week champion BRING IT ON, THE CELL, with primary visual effects by Toybox, grossed another US$3.65 million, raising the films cume to $51.34 million. Finally fading at #5, SPACE COWBOYS made 51% less than last weekend with a gross of $3.34 million. The senior citizen space saga, with primary visual effects by ILM, has floated $78.83 million thus far.
After a whirlwind tour of the World Animation Celebration in
Hollywood and the International Festival of Animated Film in Annecy,
wildbrain.com will be coming to you live from their houseboat on the
scenic Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Wednesday, September 20 through
Sunday, September 24 (4:30-6:30 pm EST)...
This past weekend the international box office saw the Miramax record breaker, SCARY MOVIE, hold strong in the U.K. and Australia, while HOLLOW MAN and GONE IN 60 SECONDS premieres topped charts around the globe. In the U.K., SCARY scored another US$2.04 million, lifting its British cume to $7.6 million. Holding on in second, SNATCH by Guy Ritchie summoned $1.54 million, raising its homeland cume to $11.96 million. Another shoot 'em up flick took third - SHAFT's debut drew $1.22 million in the U.K. THE CELL made a less than flashy premiere in fifth, with a gross of $776,039.
Netcaster iCast, a subsidiary of Internet conglomerate CMGI, has purchased independent short film site Shortbuzz.com. As part of the acquisition, iCast has raised its library to 400 films. On Friday, September 15, 2000, the company, however, laid off 30 employees in its technical and editorial divisions. The Website will replace those positions with new employees with more entertainment experience. iCast VP of public relations told VARIETY, "We know the business we want to be in, and were streamlining. Were not shutting down. In fact, well be stronger as a result.
Foundation Imaging is starting a training facility, Foundation Institute. Though pricey, about US$20,000 a year, the Institute could prove to be a worthwhile endeavor, due to Foundation's numerous production roots. Foundation Imaging created animation for Star Trek, Babylon 5, and the Starship Troopers TV shows. For more information on the school visit their Website at www.foundation-i.com.
Quiet Man founder Johnnie Semerad handled the visual effects on the new GE Weathermate spot. Beneath the glow of fireworks, a group of workers applies GE Weathermate and a competing product to respective halves of the Atlantic City boardwalk. The next morning, the portion treated with Weathermate is ready for the crowds and the competitors half is still wet and fuses a boys sandals to the wood. "The first thing we had to do with the Weathermate spot was add fireworks and enhance the background," says Semerad.
* Sunday, October 29, 2000. Milan, Italy.
MIFED, the Cinema and Television International Multimedia Market, is a leading market for independent audiovisual productions. MIFED 2000 will focus on new marketing strategies to develop alliances and co-productions. For more information contact Elena Lloyd at: MIFED/E.A. FIERAMILANO, Largo Domodossola, 1, 20145 Milan, Italy; Tel.: ++39 2 48012912 48012920; or Fax:. ++39 2 49977020.
Fluid dynamics has been an emerging technique in CG, with several productions utilizing dynamics in features such as PERFECT STORM and U-571 and several software companies, like Alias and Realflow, are developing fluid software. Is applying dynamics to forestry and foliage, for natural wind and lifelike shadowing effects, the next application to use natural physical dynamics? We'll see. . .
MessageBay, Inc.s VoiceAnimations.com has added a text-to-speech feature to its lip-synching animation Website. The new feature allows Web surfers to create Personal Puppetgram e-mails by typing in the text instead of having to use a microphone to add the voices. Visitors can even control the speed, pitch, accent and gender of the selected voice. Then using the VoiceAnimations plug-in, the text is lip-synched to a variety of different animated characters.
With early reports having WHAT LIES BENEATH in fifth, once the dust cleared, SPACE COWBOYS showed its legs with a top F/X flick finish at the U.S. box office. With live-action films ruling the top four, COWBOYS, with primary visual effects by ILM, held its ground at #5 with a gross of US$2.52 million, lifting its cume to $82.2 million. The space spaghetti western has remained in the top ten while the #1 film HOLLOW MAN -- of COWBOYS debut weekend has disappeared quickly. THE CELL finished in sixth despite earlier reports placing it a slot lower.
Corus Entertainment Inc. has announced the acquisition of Nelvana Limited in a cash and stock deal worth CA$554 million (US$372.5 million). Corus will pay 60% of the $554 million in cash and the rest in Corus Class B non-voting shares. "The opportunity to acquire an outstanding Canadian content company with exceptional international credentials presents itself very rarely," said John Cassaday, president and CEO of Corus.
Toon In is AWN's guide to what's new on the Net. This week's installment features toon cops gone wrong on WHERE ARE THE TOONS NOW?, a Webtoon by Corky Quakenbush, GODZILLARY and much, much more.
Get your Toon In: Web Animation Guide here!
Every week AWN's associate editor Rick DeMott highlights what he thinks is the top new toon in cyberspace in "Rick's Picks!"
Rick's Pick For Friday, September 15, 2000!