Brooks Jewell has been named publicity director for Blue Sky Studios. She will head marketing, advertising and publicity activities relating to the studio, and will also work with the licensing and merchandizing divisions of 20th Century Fox Animation, Blue Skys parent company. Joining Blue Sky in 1998 as a publicity coordinator, Jewell rose to the position of publicity manager, where she played a key role in the studios successful Academy Award campaign for the animated short film BUNNY.
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Australia-born Domenic DiGiorgio, a 3D animator specializing in character animation, has joined Santa Monica-based Computer Cafe as a lead character animator. Previously, DiGiorgio served as computer animation producer at Digital Animations Group, Scotland, where he created animation for television commercials and interactive games. In his two year tenure at Digital Animations, DiGiorgios credits include the games BRAVEHEART and OFFICIAL FORMULA 1 RACING, and commercials for Glover, Ike & Mike Hot Tamales and Lucky Duck.
Mexico-based Ollin Studio, an animation and visual effects, post-production, Internet and multimedia house, has finished production on their first in-house project an all-CGI animated short entitled, CAKE, which looks like it is animated using clay. Carlos Iturriaga, director of the 3D-animation division at Ollin, directed the film. CAKE is the story of a little girl whose hunger brings her to act upon her primitive impulses without considering the consequences. Power Modeler was used for modeling, Maya for animation and Renderman for rendering and partial illumination.
Toon In is AWN's guide to what's new on the Net. This week's installment features a fascinating short entitled MIRROR, Cartoon Network has revamped its Web Premiere Toons section, John K rolls a humorous WEEKEND PUSSY HUNT 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!"
pasi (Philippine animation studio, inc.) and Nelvana have teamed up to co-produce 13 episodes of COMMITTED, an animated series based on the popular Michael Fry comic strip. The United Feature Syndicate comic strip is a chronicle of the day-to-day life of a working mom with three children and her stay-at-home writer husband. Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara and Andrea Martin are providing the lead voices for the series. The new toon is being produced for Fox Family Channel and CTV in Canada.
The Britt Allcroft Company plc announced that as part of its global expansion, the company has changed its name to Gullane Entertainment and hired new key staff members. The companys former managing director, William Harris, has been appointed CEO and commercial director and group entertainment president, Charles Falzon, will serve as president. The move is an opportunity for founder Britt Allcroft to hand over the operations of the company to focus on more creative endeavors.
Mondo Media has signed GUNDAM WING character designer Toshihiro Kawamoto to design characters for an upcoming Mondo Mini Show. Currently the project is entitled SPIRAL, a sci-fi action adventure series which will be available on MondoMedia.com later this year. Kawamoto is best known for his character designs on COWBOY BEBOP, several GUNDAM series, GOLDEN BOY and the cinematics for THE GHOST IN THE SHELL video game. Also brought onto the project as key animator is Cindy Yamauchi, whose credits include AKIRA, VENUS WARS and RANMA 1/2.
Award winning filmmakers, Derek Lamb & Jeffrey Hale are teaming up with Toonz Animation India to produce THE LAST BRITISH COLONEL IN INDIA, a short animated comedy film. The flick is based on an original song by Derek Lamb and satirizes the British Empire days in India, bringing to light for the first time the real reason why the British quit India in 1947. "This entire project began to percolate at last years Week with the Masters hosted by Toonz Animation in India. Both Derek and Jeffrey thought it was time to tell this previously unknown story.
ToyFare, a leading magazine about action figure collectibles, has put together a list of the best individual action figures of all-time. The October 2000 issue, on sale August 29, awarded 5 spots to Hasbro, with McFarlane Toys coming in second with 4 entries. "The list covers three decades of action figures," said editor Douglas Goldstein.
French authorities, through INA (Audiovisual National Institute), have pulled their support of Imagina, the foremost European visual effects event. For 19 years, Imagina has served as the testing ground for new talents and technologies in Europe. In the past few years the event has drawn over 1,300 participants and 5,000 visitors. A group has been formed to save the festival. Anyone who wishes to sign the petition can on the Web.
On Tuesday, September 5, 2000, Pop.com laid off roughly 65 of its 80 person staff. Without additional comment the company released this statement: "Although the Internet continues to represent an exciting creative opportunity for us, the market has shifted dramatically since our original announcement, resulting in this being a less viable business for us. We will retain a small staff to support our creative endeavors.
After making big content deals with stars like Tim Burton and David Lynch, Shockwave.com has decided to change its focus from big celebrity toon deals to interactive games. Shockwave receives most of its hits in its game section. As part of the new move Shockwave has laid off 20 employees in its San Francisco and Los Angeles offices. Production on content in the works, such as programs from Oscar-winning producer/director James L. Brooks and game show host Ben Stein, will continue until the lay off becomes effective in October.
Discreet, a division of Autodesk, Inc., has named Paul Lypaczewski as its executive vice president. Based in Discreet's Montreal headquarters, Lypaczewski will oversee all aspects of Discreet's worldwide business entities including research and development, sales, marketing, operations and finance and administration. With 20 years of experience in graphics software development and management, he was most recently the COO for CyberWorld, Inc., a privately held Web-based software development company.
Al Shier has been promoted to visual effects producer at Venice-based Blur Studio, a 3D animation, visual effects and motion graphics design company. For the past two years at Blur, Sheir has served as a line producer and visual effects coordinator. In his new role, Shier will oversee the production of 2D and 3D visual effects and act as liaison between clients and the company's artistic staff. Shier began producing over a year ago, during which he received numerous producing credits.
Director Tony Caio and DMA Animation have created a campaign for Delta Airlines' new entertainment programming. The in-air series is a collection of animated shorts featuring a 3D microphone that introduces each video channel. Each short is a comic spoof of movie genres from comedy to romance. Landor Associates, Delta's branding agency, worked in collaboration with DMA and Caio to create the WorldFest winning shorts.
Digital Film @ The Moving Picture Company has completed the opening title sequence for LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS-director Guy Ritchie's new gangster film, SNATCH. The titles, created by Digital Film and designed by So, a division of Picasso Pictures, depict the main characters in the movie. Spinning and strobing images, glimpses, flashes, quick cuts, flipped images, jump frames and freeze frames were added to create a hard-edged look for the opening.
Santa Maria-based Computer Cafe has created the computer animation for a new spot for Radio Shack. "Topiary" is part of Radio Shack's ongoing campaign featuring Hall of Fame American football player Howie Long and actress Teri Hatcher. Computer Cafe formed the massive garden maze in which Long and Hatcher appear. The celebrities were shot on stage with several green covered set pieces, which were replaced with photorealistic computer animated greenery. Computer Cafe created the 3D hedges using Lightwave 3D software and used Digital Fusion to do the compositing.
Spazzco, a San Francisco-based animation studio, has signed on to produce three original Web Premiere Toons for Cartoon Network Online. TIME-E-LAPSE will uncover the dos and donts of time travel. JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF MY DOGS HEAD answers the question what is my canine thinking? THE BICKLESHNOTZ COUNTY FLYING CLUB recalls the exploits of some of the worlds most outlandish aviators. Sam Register, vice president/creative director of Cartoon Network Online, said, "Spazzco has a real understanding of classic cartoon production.
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The negotiating committee for Los Angeles Motion Picture Screen Cartoonist Union Local 839 has recommended that its 2,000 members vote down the new three-year pact with the studios. On a vote of 12-1, Local 839 cited problems with the negotiating process, unequal salary increases, artist testing, credit placement, late payments to freelancers and the definition of writers.
With the special effects-light fall schedule starting, the top two spots were claimed by newcomers BRING IT ON and THE ART OF WAR, leaving THE CELL holding on to third. The stylized shocker, with primary visual effects by Toybox, grossed US$9.68 million, bringing its cume to $33.75 million. Meanwhile, SPACE COWBOYS continues to orbit around the top with a stop in fourth this weekend. After four weeks in theatres, the wrinkled space wranglers, with primary visual effects by ILM, lassoed another $6.51 million, raising its cume to $63.71 million.
Sideshow Motion Design has created 81 20-second promotional spots for NBC and Coca Cola to highlight the Summer Olympic Games. The ads utilize still photos of over 40 athletes in a moving fashion evocative of gold photo albums. Jie Shen designed and directed the commercials. "Our client, NBC, saw the importance of collaborating with Coke and wanted to do something with still photography and bring it life with an emotional wallop," said Sideshow president Scott Mantel. "This campaign shows Jies talents off beautifully.
Wildlife & Fugitive director Jay Torres created an amusement park world of rides using Sketcher shoes. Torres placed live-action kids inside shoes that served as the cars of the rides. "We had to shoot each element, be it the live kids or the stop-motion shoe elements separately," said Torres. "Since the amusement park wasnt meant to be realistic, we tried to create more of a surreal environment by using a combination of still frames, live-action and 3D animation. Its definitely a new look and a way to come up with ideas that fit into certain budget limitations.
With the live-action comedy, BRING IT ON still claiming the #1 spot, New Lines THE CELL jumped up a spot to second in the U.S. box office charts over the Labor Day holiday. The serial killer mind trek, with primary visual effects by Toybox, grossed another US$9.1 million, raising its cume to $46.4 million. Also moving up a slot to third, SPACE COWBOYS showed that old guys have box office pull with a gross of $8.3 million. The aged astronauts, with primary visual effects by ILM, have wrangled up a total of $74.2 million thus far.
In a snap, Pop.coms intended purchase by iFilm has crackled and faded by the wayside. No one at either of the two companies would comment on the negotiations. An iFilm memo to employees read, "As you know, we have been in discussions with Pop.com. Those discussions have ended and have not resulted in a transaction. The companies will continue to enjoy many overlapping shareholding and personal relationships." Whether or not some of the other suitors for the troubled Website will come knocking is yet to be known.