Thomas Schumacher has been promoted to president of Walt Disney Feature Animation and Walt Disney Theatrical Productions replacing Peter Schneider, who was promoted from this role to the president of The Walt Disney Studios. Joe Roth, Disney chairman, stated, "Tom, who has long collaborated with Peter in running our animation and theatrical units, is the perfect choice to replace Peter as president of Feature Animation.
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San Francisco-based The Attik has produced and designed 5 seconds of live-action and graphics for the theatrical trailer end card for "Idle Hands," an upcoming Columbia Pictures film. The segment involves a live-action human hand clutching and clawing at the screen. The Attik team blended the live-action with an illustrated graphic of a hand, animated using a technique similar to stop-motion, to give the piece an organic feel while maintaining a scratchy, hand-crafted texture. Simon Dixon was the Creative Director/Director and Monica Perez was Senior Art Director.
Mondo Media, a leading developer of digital content, has received a $2 million investment from venture capital firm, Sofinnova. The investment will fund the development of a line of Mondo Mini Shows - a series of animated and personalized, interactive, web-based cartoons. The shows will mirror the syndication model of newspaper comics where popular properties attract broad audiences on a repeat basis. "The syndication model is novel for the web, a proven success in other media," explains Randy Komisar, Mondo Media's Virtual CEO.
* Thursday, January 14. Westwood, California, U.S.A.
Women In Animation's Writers' Group is starting up their Seminar Series again for 1999. The first seminar will cover the differences between live-action and animation writing, the philosophy of comedy, and gag writing techniques. The group meets at Saban Entertainment at 7:30 PM. For further information call Jean Ann Wright at 818-360-8321.
By special arrangement with Nielsen Media Research, AWN publishes the Nielsen ratings for animated programs on a monthly basis in the Animation Flash. The ratings included herein are only for U.S. national network television. The following list of animated national network programs is ranked by Household Ratings. A Rating is the percentage of households that tuned into the program. This percentage can provide us with the number of households that tuned into the program on average during the month. The universe estimate for the 1997-98 television season is 98 million TV homes.
Fox will debut the new mid-season animated sitcom, "The P.J.s," on Sunday, January 10 at 8:30 p.m. following a divisional conference football playoff game. The show will start the following Tuesday in its regular 8:30 p.m. slot following "King of the Hill." The "foamation" series was produced at Will Vinton Studios and is executive produced by comedian/actor Eddie Murphy.
Film Roman Inc, the producer of The Simpsons and King of the Hill, has struck a deal with Launch Media Inc. under which Film Roman will provide content for the Launch CD-ROM - a monthly interactive guide to music and movies that is sold in retail stores and available by subscription. The Launch CD-ROM currently reaches an estimated 1 million users monthly with approximately 300,000 subscribers.
The post-New Years box office was quiet as usual with DreamWorks The Prince of Egypt on top of the animation heap grossing 6.1M for fifth place. To date, the high-budgeted religious flic has grossed nearly $75M domestically and $83.7M internationally. Disneys live-action/CGI Mighty Joe Young stayed put in sixth place with $5M for a 17-day total of $34.9M. Disney/Pixars A Bugs Life fell from fifth to seventh with $4.7M and a 52-day cume of $143M.
Silicon Graphics Inc, a company that built its reputation on UNIX-based systems used to create visual effects for countless films, has unveiled new workstations based on Intel processors and the Windows NT operating system. Dictated by a changing marketplace, the new systems will appeal to a wide group of users who need the computing power but not the prohibitive prices. However, SGI believes that these systems will not replace the high-end UNIX workstations but will rather complement them.
This past Thursday, Peter Schneider was named to the new position of president of The Walt Disney Studios; the annoucement coming just one day after Disney CEO Michael Eisner said the company needed to perform better with Disney-branded live-action movies.
Jean-Claude Forest, who created the provocative sci-fi comic strip character Barbarella and designed sets for the '60s movie starring Jane Fonda, passed away December 30, 1998 at the age of 68. Forest created the seductive 41st century adventurer in 1962 originally appearing in V Magazine. The cult favorite Roger Vadim-directed movie released in June 1968, "Barbarella," secured her place in fandom history.
On Friday, January 8, the Walt Disney Company recalled 3.4 million copies
of "The Rescuers" video release due to two objectionable non-consecutive
frames in the 110,000-frame movie. The frames in question feature a
live-action naked torso of a female in a background image inserted as a gag
by a cameraman when the movie was originally filmed in the 1970s. The 1992
home video release of the animated film didn't use the original print and
therefore didn't have the objectionable images. Under ordinary viewing
New York-based Tape House Digital has changed their name to Black Logicannounced Alfie Schloss, Vice President, Marketing. Black Logic is afull-service visual effects company offering graphic design, high-endcompositing, 2D and 3D computer animation and live-action production.Founded in 1992, the company's mission is to become one of the East Coast'spre-eminent visual effects and computer animation companies. Schlossstated, "This is not merely a name change. As Black Logic we have
Actor/comedian Eddie Murphy and Oregon-based Will Vinton Studios have teamed up to create "The PJs," the first stop-motion animation series to air in prime-time. Set in a big city housing project, the "foamation" series centers around a unique cast of characters led by building superintendent Thurgood Stubbs (voiced by Eddie Murphy). The premiere episode, "Hangin' With Mr. Super," airs Sunday, January 10, at 8:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on FOX network following "The Simpsons." The show moves to its regular day and time on Tuesday, January 12 at 8:30 p.m. (ET/PT) following "King of the Hill."
* Sunday, January 3 - Saturday, January 9, 1999. Sydney, Australia.
Flickerfest, 8th International Short Film Festival will consist of a main competitive program, a short documentary competition and additional programs and forums aside from the competition. For more information, visit www.flickerfest.com.au or call 61 (0)2 9211 7133.
The Attik, a worldwide design agency, has opened offices in Sydney, Australia to create a stronger global presence. In the past two years, the company has also launched U.S. offices in New York and San Francisco. The new office in Sydney will be headed up by Simon Needham who will relocate to Australia with a number of other colleagues from the London, U.K. home office. This is a natural progression for us. We are a global design company.
Adobe Systems Incorporated, a leading provider of publishing and imaging software, has announced an acquisition of GoLive Systems, Inc.s assets including GoLive CyberStudio, a professional web design and publishing software, and the GoLive Web Publishing System. CyberStudio has been used to produce web sites for Music Boulevard, Cartoon Network, Warner Bros. Records and The Associated Press, among others.
The animation art gallery, American Royal Arts (ARA), has been selected as the exclusive distributor of limited edition cels and fine art giclees for DreamWorks SKGs The Prince of Egypt. The pieces range anywhere in price from $345 to $1575 and feature classic moments from the film.
Sheridan College (Oakville, Ontario, Canada) is hosting Sheridan Animates Manhattan on January 25 in New York City. The one-day program brings together leading animation artists in three separate events - The Animation Master Class, The CanApple Animation Forum and The Animation Showcase. The Animation Master Class features a behind-the-scenes look at how animation is used in films from Jurassic Park to Twister. The panel will be composed of Sheridan alumnus Steve Williams, James Straus and Dennis Turner.
The top animated film of this week was DreamWorks' "Prince of Egypt," holding steady in fourth place with $11.2M for a 17-day total of $66.4M. Disney/Pixar's "A Bug's Life" continued to appeal to families with children on Christmas vacation climbing up two notches to fifth place for a weekend tally of $8.8M and a grand total of $136.4M. Disney's special-effects packed remake of the RKO ape flick, "Mighty Joe Young," continued its stay in sixth place taking in $8.1M for a two week cume of $28.1M.
Annecy 99 is scheduled to take place May 31-June 5, 1999 in Annecy, France. The prestigious animation festival is now accepting entries for animated short films, television series, commissioned films and student films. The deadline to register your film for competition is January 15th. For further information, visit www.annecy.org, call (33) 04 50 10 09 00 or fax (33) 04 50 10 09 70.
At the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco, Puffin Designs announced version 2.0 of its award-winning visual effects software Commotion. Commotion 2.0 is expected to ship around April this year, and will expand Commotion's current creative tool set with third party plug-in support, a new FX Brush for creating texture and stylized media brush effects, and new text creation and animation tools. Puffin Designs' founder and ILM visual effects supervisor Scott Squires commented that, "Commotion users have completed several challenging projects in recent months.