Blue Sky Studios, a unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment, has signed an agreement with Compaq Computer Corporation that will make the 3D animation studio into one of the top 50 super computing facilities worldwide, according to the Linpack-based "Top 500 list." Planning to use the new computer equipment on the upcoming ICE AGE, the Oscar-award winning company will now have more than 50 times its previous computing power, and double the power of any industry competitor to date.
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* Saturday, September 23, 2000. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. Entry Deadline: August 31, 2000
TOKYOPOP.com has extended their first AnimeOnline Festival until September. Animation artists working in the anime style are invited to submit their original anime Internet works in Flash, Shockwave or Quicktime formats. There are five categories in which participants may enter: Fantasy/Sci-Fi, Fighting (Battle), Love/Comedy, Shoujo (Girl's Anime) and Asia Pop Focus (Open Category). Participants may enter into more than one category and may
Following up on the hugely successful WALKING WITH DINOSAURS, Discovery and the BBC have set into production on WALKING WITH PREHISTOIC BEASTS. The 3-hour miniseries will start where DINOSAURS left off. The budget is set at US$10 million, which was the price tag for the original miniseries. In addition, the two channels will create a "science behind the series" special to air after BEASTS sometime in 2001. After its successful run on the BBC in England, DINOSAURS premiered on April 16, 2000 in the U.S.
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With GLADIATOR's global box office dominance slowly coming to an end, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2 and GONE IN 60 SECONDS have gained top spots around the world. Grossing $804,785 and raising its Swedish cume to $1.16 million, 60 SECONDS finished atop the charts in its second weekend, knocking GLADIATOR down to second where it grossed $255,829. In its second weekend in Australia, 60 SECONDS stayed off newcomer PERFECT STORM to remain at #1. 60 SECONDS grossed $3.21 million and STORM managed $2.23 million in second place.
With only one other major newcomer, the Keenen Ivory Wayans-directed teen horror spoof, SCARY MOVIE, out grossed the competition to finish atop the U.S. box office charts. Even though the weekend after July 4 usually sees low numbers at theatres, SCARY MOVIE, with primary visual effects by Centropolis Effects, managed to scare up US$42.35 million, the second largest three-day opening this year behind MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2. The Independence Day champ, PERFECT STORM, slipped to second with a gross of $27.12 million.
The Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists, Local 839 IATSE, has rolled out a special agreement for dotcom studios producing animation for the Net. The Union has drafted a newer, simpler contract without the traditional animation classifications and rates. The Web contract is designed to offer Internet start-ups maximum flexibility while still providing animation employees with their regular pension and health coverage. The new contract will provide health and pension benefits under the same multi-employer plan as that of other union shops.
On Monday, July 10, 2000, AtomFilms announced the finalists for their recently launched event, Flash.Beat. Organized by AtomFilms and Swatch, Flash.Beat is a competition in which Flash artists created a commercial advertising Swatchs new Internet time system. Atom received over 1,000 submissions from over 30 countries. The ten finalists in both the short form and long form categories can be seen at AtomFilms Finalists Page. Visiting Net surfers can vote for their favorite entry. On July 31, 2000 the winner will be announced.
A stage show starring the SIMPSONS voice-actors will come to this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe, before going on to two performances at the London Playhouse. The show was premiered in Aspen, Colorado earlier this year. The Edinburgh performance has already sold out. Indeed, the August 14 engagement was the fastest seller in the history of the Fringe, according to the DAILY TELEGRAPH newspaper. The tickets sold in 55 minutes. The show features original voice-actors Dan Castellaneta (Homer), Julie Kavner (Marge), Nancy Cartwright (Bart) and Yeardley Smith (Lisa).
The annual European animation co-financing event, Cartoon Forum, will take place on the Baltic Sea Island of Gotland in Sweden. Gotland and its capital Visby will without a doubt survive the animation industry's invasion, as the city has a long history going back to the Vikings and medieval times. The nearby island of Fårö is known by many, too, as director Ingmar Bergman shot many of his films there. The 79 projects to be presented for funding have already been selected, and can be found at Cartoon's Web site www.cartoon-media.be.
When everyone was making toons in New York, Walt Disney was in Kansas City. Now the KANSAS CITY STAR reports that the Walt Disney heirs have pledged funds to refurbish the original animation studio of Walt Disney. For nearly a decade, the Thank You, Walt Disney organization has been fighting to set up a Disney Museum in Kansas City, the birthplace of Mickey Mouse and other early Disney characters. The US$450,000 pledge by the Walt and Lily Disney Foundation is contingent on whether the Thank You organization can match the amount.
- Volume 8 features award-winning works by Khrjanovsky and Schnittke. Titles include: "Armoire," "There Lived Kozyavin," "Pencil and Eraser," "King's Sandwich," "Glass Harmonica," "Ballerina on the Boat" and Butterfly.
For people who want a sneak peek or for fans who want a free look, DreamWorks has placed the opening sequence from CHICKEN RUN on the Net. The clip is available at Countingdown.com and will be available there starting Monday, July 10 and ending 6 pm PST Friday, July 14, 2000. The site will also have links to CHICKEN merchandise from Amazon.com and eBay. "We think showing Web audiences even the first few minutes of CHICKEN RUN will show people the magic that has captured the hearts and imaginations of moviegoers across the country.
Sony Pictures Digital Studios president, Kenneth Williams, has been named the new CEO and president of Stan Lee Media. Subsequently, Stan Lees acting president and CEO, Devendra Mishra, will become the president of Stan Lee International, overseeing partnerships with multimedia companies around the world. Since 1997, Williams has overseen all activities at Sony Pictures Digital. In addition, Williams is one of the founders of Sony Pictures Imageworks, the Academy award-nominated digital effects and animation division of the company.
Web entertainment network Heavy.com has signed a deal to have its BEHIND THE MUSIC THAT SUCKS Net series appear within the TV variety show FARMCLUB on USA Network. THAT SUCKS is a 52-Webisode series that lampoons the hit VH-1 show, BEHIND THE MUSIC. Popular recording artists rise to stardom is reinvented in outrageous ways. "As the signature show on Heavy.com, BEHIND THE MUSIC THAT SUCKS has a great following," said show creator and Heavy.coms Co-CEO David Carson. "Were totally into the Heavy.com/Farmclub association.
SLACKER and DAZED AND CONFUSED director, Richard Linklater, has started the rotoscoped animation for his new feature, WALKING LIFE. The film will digitally shoot live-action actors which will then be "painted" over by artists using filmmaker Bob Sabistons new interpolated rotoscoping software. The program allows animators to stylize live-action footage with simulated brushstrokes. "WALKING LIFE is not animated in the truest sense of the word. It is a composite of wildly different, reimagined video scenes drawn in cartoon style," said Sabiston to the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.
Fremont, California-based myfrenz.com is looking for a 3D ANIMATOR to produce realistic animation with organic model. . . Luxembourg-based Oniria Pictures, an audiovisual production company specializing in animation, is looking for experienced 3D ANIMATORS with a good knowledge of traditional animation and a good sense of timing. . . München, Germany-based Papa Loewe Filmproduktion GmbH, a company producing "Janosch" animated series and feature films, is looking for a DIGITAL COMPOSITOR (ANIMO). . .
An on-line entry form which can be sent directly by e-mail is now available on the Holland festival Web site. The next Holland Animation Film Festival will take place in Utrecht, the Netherlands, November 15-19, 2000. Since 1985 this biennial festival has aimed to be an intermediary between animators and the business world, in addition to including film screenings, retrospectives and theater programs.
Bill Plympton has updated his appearances page. In the next months, "I Married a Strange Person" will be appearing at Hiroshima festival in Japan; "Walt Curtis, the Peckerneck Poet" will be appearing at the Outfest, Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival; "Can't Drag Race With Jesus" will be appearing at Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal, Anima Mundi festival in Brazil and Hiroshima. Bill Plympton will be appearing at the San Diego Comic Convention, as well as the Krok and Hiroshima Festivals.
Plympton's new series of comics extracted from the comic book, "Sleazy Cartoons of Bill Plympton," is for ADULTS ONLY...
Disney Interactive has enlisted Into Networks PlayNow.com to create the Disney Interactive Channel for Disney-themed games on the Net. The new channel will be like Sonys Station, which features on-line versions of JEOPARDY and WHEEL OF FORTUNE. Into Networks will produce 12 titles for Disney that will be available on a pay-for-play basis through high-speed Internet services available from cable set-top box providers. Games will be based on Disneys feature films THE LION KING, TOY STORY and TARZAN.
Mattel Interactive has signed a licensing agreement with Harmony Gold to create games based on the popular anime series, ROBOTECH. Mattel Interactive plans to have ROBOTECH games ready for next-generation console systems and PCs beginning in fourth quarter 2001. Specific details regarding platforms and developers have yet to be announced. The ROBOTECH series helped ignite the anime phenomenon in America, with an 85-episode animated series that aired in early 1985. The series was re-aired in 1994 on Sci-Fi Channel and once again on Cartoon Network in 1999.
With CHICKEN RUN claiming victory at theatres, Aardman Animations ANGRY KID on AtomFilms Web site has set Internet records. In just seven weeks, ANGRY KID, Aardman's first character created exclusively for the Web, has been watched by over 1 million people -- an Internet record. With roughly 300,000 people downloading the mischievous miscreant and sending it to their friends, the total audience is nearing one and a half million people. "We knew that the Internet had vast potential as a major entertainment medium," said Dave Sproxton, co-founder and managing director of Aardman.