Will Vinton Studios created two CGI spots for AT&T's "Boundless" campaign. In "Splat," AT&T's blue-striped globe logo races forward several times splatting itself on the TV screen until in finally shatters the glass and disappears into space. In "Whirlwind," a blue whirlwind spins around a white ball until in finally wraps itself around the globe forming the AT&T logo. The commercials were done in Maya and started airing during the Sydney Summer Olympics. Jim Hardison directed the spots for New York ad agency Young & Rubicam.
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R!OT has created the CGI tornado for a new spot for Chevrolet's Monte Carlo. The spot starts out with a realistic tornado traveling down an urban street. The twister final stops backs up and parks in a parking spot. After the storm cloud settles and reveals the Monte Carlo SS, Warner Bros.' animated character the Tasmanian Devil hops out of the car and drops change into the meter. "The idea was to create a realistic tornado in order to take the audience by surprise at the end," said ad agency Campbell-Ewald's executive producer Craig Mungons.
Stan Lee Media (SLM) and SciFi.com have signed a deal to Netcast 12 Webisodes of SLM's newest series THE DRIFTER. Debuting next year, the series follows Zane (a.k.a. the Drifter), who travels into the past to prevent a global computer meltdown in 2074 that kills 423 million people. SciFi.com has signed distribution deals with other Net content creators such as Wildbrain.com's SPACE IS DUM and Othervision.com's INDIE PLANET. SciFi.com is the official Website of cable channel the SciFi Channel, which is owned by USA Entertainment.
Francisco "Paco" Rodriguez is closing down his animation production-distribution house PPM Multimedia to head up the animation arm of Madrid's burgeoning content creator Filmax. He will oversee the development of animated projects, international sales, coordinating co-productions and directing services at Filmax's animation studio Bren Entertainment. Rodriguez formed PPM Multimedia in 1990 and quickly transformed the small company into a major force in the Spanish market.
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This past week, the international box office got a bit frightful with SCARY MOVIE, WHAT LIES BENEATH and HOLLOW MAN taking top spots around the globe. In Mexico, SCARY MOVIE debuted in first place with a gross of $2.33 million. In second, WHAT LIES scared audiences to the tune of $917,416, lifting its Mexican cume to $6.23 million. U-571 thrilled audiences in third, with a gross of $648,055, raising its Mexican cume to $1.6 million. In sixth, HOLLOW MAN made $406,055 disappear from Mexican moviegoers' pockets, advancing its cume to $5.14 million.
Brilliant Digital Entertainment (BDE) is branching out into the music business with its new Brilliant Animated Music division. So far DreamWorks Records and Island Def Jam Music Group have signed on to have music from their catalogs transformed into 3D Multipath videos. Heading up the new arm will be Grammy-award winning record producer Lee Jaffe, attorney David Codikow and Andrew Lee, who was recently promoted to BDE's senior VP of strategy and development.
A new site has been designed to connect voiceover talent with casting directors, agents, animation studios and advertising firms via the Internet. Voicebank.net will allow voiceover talent the chance to post their work or listen to demo reels by searching through a Web database. The site is set up to interconnect all aspects of the voice casting process from receiving audition requests, printing copy and spec sheets to recording, encoding, sending and receiving voice auditions, approvals and finished spots.
Dimension Films has just signed on to foot part of the US$75 million bill for the film version of Marvel Comics GHOST RIDER. Dimension joins Castle Sky Productions as the production companies on the flick. Crystal Sky Entertainment CEO Steven Paul, Marvel Studios head Avi Arad and actor Jon Voight are producing the flick with Dimension handling Stateside distribution. David Goyer will write and Stephan Norrington will direct the live-action adaptation. The team last collaborated on BLADE.
In light of the upcoming theatrical release of the live-action feature HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS!, Warner Bros. Home Video is re-releasing the classic HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! cartoon on VHS and DVD, plus a new THE BEST OF DR. SEUSS compilation video. Both the VHS and DVD editions of HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! will feature the Dr. Seuss short, HORTON HEARS A WHO!
Released on October 3, 2000, the direct-to-video SCOOBY-DOO AND THE ALIEN INVADERS will make its television debut after less than two months on video. Cartoon Network will air THE ALIEN INVADERS on November 25, 2000 at 7-9 pm in the U.S. This time around the Mystery, Inc. gang get stranded in a desert town and have a run in with less than friendly extra-terrestrials. This Thanksgiving weekend airing could help put the direct-to-video on Christmas lists around America.
After making its initial nod last weekend in second place, the bewitching comedy BEDAZZLED fell to fourth place at the U.S. box office. Coming in behind MEET THE PARENTS, the debut of BLAIR WITCH 2 and REMEMBER THE TITANS, the Elizabeth Hurley devil dance, with primary visual effects by Rhythm & Hues, grossed US$7.83 million, down 41% from its debut, thereby lifting its 10-day cume to $24.15 million. The only other F/X flick in the top ten was the premiere of THE LITTLE VAMPIRE, which flew in at #6.
On Friday, October 27, 2000, four-year Sony Pictures veteran Bob Levin officially settled out the remaining 1 1/2 years of his contract and left his post as president of worldwide marketing for Columbia TriStar Pictures Group. His resignation came one day after Sony restructured the executive arm and gave chief of worldwide distribution, Jeff Blake, Levin's duties. According to insiders, there were tensions between Blake and Levin. Levin is best known in the animation community for playing a key cog in the phoenix run of Walt Disney animation.
AWN's Web Animation Guide is the place for what's new on the Net. This week's installment features a new WEEKEND PUSSY HUNT, tons of Halloween themed Webtoons and much, much more.
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Also every week AWN's associate editor Rick DeMott highlights what he thinks is the top new toon in cyberspace in "Rick's Picks!"
Sari Rosen has joined new York-based ATTIK, a leading all-media creative solutions firm, as executive producer. Previously, Rosen worked at the broadcast design and media company Pittard Sullivan. Rosen started as a production coordinator and within a year was producing projects for ABC, VH1, Lifetime, TNN, The Netherlands' RTL4, Germany's DSF and Discovery Kids Latin America. ATTIK's New York managing director/group executive producer, Jim Moran, said, "I couldn't be any happier about Sari joining ATTIK.
SciFi Channel has signed writer/director John Harrison to create a sequel to his forthcoming miniseries, FRANK HERBERT'S DUNE. The sequel will be adapted from Herbert's novel DUNE MESSIAH. Harrison has hopes to adapt all of Herbert's six DUNE novels into several additional miniseries. "What I've been able to achieve with this one gives us real hope we can carry this on as a highly unusual and groundbreaking series of miniseries," said Harrison. "The DUNE epic is really a wonderful tapestry, and it would be great to see the whole thing play out. The first one turned out terrifically.
Over the past year, Sweden has been urging the European Union to ban TV advertising aimed toward children under 12, however policymakers have reassured the advertising and children's programming industry that they are moving away from the notion. Currently in Sweden, ads targeted to kids are banned, because the government is worried that children could unnecessarily influence their parents' shopping habits. In January, Sweden hopes to win favor for their plans when they take over the six-month rotating presidency of the EU.
Cinar Corp. has signed a deal with Bahamas-based Globe-X Management to recover US$50.9 million that was invested in offshore accounts without board approval. The investments were originally to be paid by November of this year, however the new agreement has Globe-X paying out weekly installments between now and August 17, 2001. As part of the new arrangement, Cinar has dropped all legal charges made against Globe-X.
In an attempt to strengthen its executive ranks, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) has retooled, leaving a worldwide marketing executive seemingly without a job. Chief of worldwide distribution, Jeff Blake has assumed the duties of Bob Levin, who had held the post of marketing exec. Levin, who was in New York yesterday for the CHARLIE'S ANGELS premiere, was not available for comment and no word was announced on his definite future with the company or otherwise. According to insiders, there were tensions between Blake and Levin, who has 1 1/2 years left on his contract.
News and entertainment destination site, iFuse.com, is about to go under unless it can find a buyer immediately. The company has run out of money and told its 30 staff members on Tuesday, October 24 that they no longer would be paid. The Marina del Ray, California-based company's CEO Rich Battista and president and COO Michael Dowling are in talks with several Websites to buy the sinking Netcaster. Battista told the DAILY VARIETY that, "Our doors are still open.