The Federal Communications Commission gave the final approval to the US$106 billion merger of America Online and Time Warner. The deal will give AOL access to Time Warner's high-speed cable lines allowing the merged company to leverage content to AOL subscribers. The two conditions put on the merger opened Time Warner's cable lines to other Internet Service Providers and stipulated that any upgrades in AOL's instant messenger service would allow communication with other instant messenger services. Currently, AOL instant messenger users can only communicate to other AOL subscribers.
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AARON AUGENBLICK's animated films include award-winning shorts "The Midnight Carnival" and "The Wire"...
AWN's Web Animation Guide is the place for what's new on the Net. In this week's installment find what toon won AtomFilm's Animation Showdown 2, more holiday specials, a new installment of John K's THE GODDAMN GEORGE LIQUOR PROGRAM and much, much more!
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Toronto broadcaster CTV has gained the Canadian TV rights for the STAR WARS franchise. The three-year deal gives CTV broadcast rights to EPISODE 1: THE PHANTOM MENACE and the original STAR WARS trilogy. In addition, the network has purchased the documentaries FROM STAR WARS TO STAR WARS: THE STORY OF INDUSTRIAL LIGHT & MAGIC, A LONG TIME AGO: THE STORY OF STAR WARS and THE MYTHOLOGY OF STAR WARS. PHANTOM MENACE will debut on April 29, 2001 on the same day that the film premiere's in the States on Fox.
Rumpus.com has done it again gaining top Hollywood talent for its online animated features. Frankie Muniz, the star of Fox's live-action comedy MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE, will voice the character of Rocky in Rumpus' new THE RED BISON. Also featured in the new film will be Josh Charles (SPORTS NIGHT), Michael Black (ED), and Alexander Chaplin (SPIN CITY).
Disney's initiative to release their new animated feature THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE in Spanish to theaters in Los Angeles has failed. Disney decided to place a Spanish dubbed GROOVE in theaters in 16 Latino communities alongside the English version [AWN 01/02/01]. This effort was the first time that Disney released a film in English and Spanish in the States at the same time. For years Disney has released Spanish dubbed or subtitled prints of their films to theaters that have requested them.
Nickelodeon Latin America and TV Globo have signed a deal that will send Nicktoons to Brazilian airwaves. The two-year deal gives Globo the rights to air Nicktoons on Saturday mornings. Nick has similar deals with Mexico's Televisa and Venezuela's Radio Caracas Television. The cartoons that will air from 7 8 am will be dubbed versions of CATDOG, SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS and THE WILD THORNBERRYS.
Cartoon Network Online has promoted Sam Register to the role of senior VP and creative director. Register oversees CartoonNetwork.com's original content and the tie-ins to the cable channel like "Toonami: The Intruder" and "Theater," and has been instrumental in the site's development and growth since its inception. Previously, he served as creative director for Colossal Pictures and Turner New Media.
* Thursday, August 2 Monday, August 6, 2001. Hollywood, California, U.S.A.
Entry Deadline: March 31, 2001.
At Macworld Expo this week, Electric Image announced that a professional version of its Amorphium real-time 3D sculpting and painting program would start shipping later this month. The new product, Amorphium PRO, builds upon its predecessor's real-time interface, while adding significant new modeling, animation and rendering capabilities that make it ideal for 3D artists, Web animators and graphic designers.
Toms River, New Jersey-based Theme Studios has opened a new visual design studio. The company will focus on the production of graphics, illustrations and 2D3D visuals. Theme currently creates projects for distribution on the Web or in digital formats. For more information contact Robert Breisch at: 882 Salem Dr., Toms River, New Jersey 08753; Tel.: (732) 270-1220; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; or Web: www.themestudios.com.
* Thursday, January 11 Friday, January 12, 2001. Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A.
Larry Lauria will be conducting a "hands on," interactive animation fundamentals and character design workshop. The event is being held at Al Collins Graphic Design School. On Thursday, Lauria will present a talk on "Careers in Animation." The workshop will be held on Friday. For more information contact Jeff Marcus at: Tel.: (800) 876-7070.
* Friday, January 19, 2001. Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
The newly formed ASIFA-Colorado is holding a big kick off bash. Chris Robinson, an ASIFA-International board member and the Ottawa International Animation Festival executive director, will present "The Best of Ottawa," a program of international award-winning animation. For more information contact Edward Bakst at: R.M.C.A.D., 6875 E. Evans Ave., Denver, Colorado 80224, U.S.A.; Tel.: (800) 888-ARTS or (303)-753-6046; E-mail: EBakst@RMCAD.edu; or Fax: (303) 694-2314.
NIGHTWALKER "Midnight Detective" descends into video stores on January 9, 2001. The series follows Shido, a midnight detective who is half-human half-vampire, who must hunt down supernatural murderers. Other volumes will arrive in stores later this year; "Prescription for Death" on April 10 and "Eternal Darkness" on June 12. The "Midnight Detective" DVD will be released on April 10, with the "Eternal Darkness" DVD arriving on June 12. The dubbed VHS version will retail for US$19.99 with the DVDs priced at $29.99.
The erotic anime feature DEMON WARRIOR KOJI will heat up video stores on January 9, 2001. Man-demon Koji, with the aide of a morbid psychic, hunts down a monster hungry for blood. The film is from Toshio Maeda, creator of LA BLUE GIRL, UROTSUKIDOJI: LEGEND OF THE OVERFIEND, DEMON BEAST INVASION and NIGHTMARE CAMPUS. The dubbed VHS tape will retail for US$29.99. A dual-language DVD will be available on March 13, 2001.
Rhinoceros Visual Effects and Design has created photo-realistic scissors and performed the compositing for 3M's Scotch Tear-by-Hand Packaging Tape. In the 15-second "No More Scissors," a fleet of scissors float from their worldly bonds and head into deep space to form a ring around a distant planet, their former users now free to tear fresh tape without them. Rhinoceros project leader/animation director Arman Matin said, "The sheer number of scissors and the data involved made the 3M project a tremendous task to pull off. There were literally millions of scissors to render out.
TOPIX/Mad Dog has completed the digital compositing and clean-up, character animation and synchronization of elements for six 15-second spots and one regional 30-second spot for Thrifty Car Rental. Set against a clean, white background, each of the spots features a different twist or gag, like a duck swimming in a convertible during a rain storm and a car being swallowed by a giant hole. T/MD inferno* artist Marco Polsinelli said, "For "Rainy Day," we proposed to line the interior of the car with a water-resistant foam core and fill it with water.
Mondo Media has named David McCoy, former vice president of advertising sales for Comedy Central and CNN, as its new vice president of advertising sales. "We are thrilled to welcome David McCoy to the Mondo Media team," said Douglas Kay, president of Mondo Media. "His extensive background and experience in television and cable are vital building blocks to the Mondo Media business model, and we look forward to his expertise for our continued growth and success." McCoy said, "What really excites me about Mondo Media is their desire to create a high value, new model Internet syndication company.
Cinesite, Inc. has appointed Jon Townley as their new senior designer. He helped found Metro Light Studios where he served as creative director from 1987 to 1993. Since then he has worked at Sony Imageworks, L-Squared Entertainment and most recently as a founding partner of Click3X in Los Angeles. Townleys credits include visual effects design for such films as HIDEAWAY, WOLF, TO DIE FOR and VIRTUOSITY. He also worked as a visual effects designer on such large format films including A LICENSE TO THRILL, THE MAGIC BOX and JOURNEY OF MAN.
After a decade on the air, THE SIMPSONS continues to do well with a top 20 finish this past week. At #19, the longest running U.S. sitcom scored a 10 rating/15 share. KING OF THE HILL tied for 41st place with a 7.2 rating/11 share. A 10-minute bonus installment of HILL ranked #101 with a 1.7 rating/3 share. Also at #101 was THE PJS, pulling down the same rating and share. These ratings and shares represent primetime TV in the U.S. on broadcast networks for the week starting Monday, January 1 through Sunday, January 7, 2000.
SGI recently announced that the source code for its digital media software development kit (dmSDK) for the Linux operating environment is now available to the open source community. The dmSDK toolkit shortens the time required to create digital media applications across the SGI product line by allowing SGI software partners to write to a single application-programming interface (API). dmSDK provides Linux developers with a proven, cross-platform digital media API and is a key enabler allowing digital media developers to deliver applications for this increasing popular operating system.
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