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AWN Headline News

Animation Headline News

Tampere's Tooned In Festival

The Tampere International Short Film Festival in Finland has always been a place for animation. This year was no exception. Animation is an integral part of the programme. The Tampere Festival, which celebrated its 30th edition March 8-12, 2000, is often regarded as one of the major short film festivals in Europe, even in the world. However, among the general short film festivals it has the clearest emphasis on animation. The festival enjoyed beautiful weather; the sun shone and the ground was completely covered with soft white snow.

Festival Headline News

Cartoons on the Bay Festival Unveils its Program

The 4th edition of Cartoons On The Bay, the International Festival of

Television Animation, will be held in Positano (Amalfi Coast), Italy,

April 14-18, 2000. Cartoons on the Bay is the only festival in the

world solely dedicated to television animation. Promoted by Rai

Radiotelevisione Italiana and conceived and organized by Rai Trade,

the festival is an international event with awards, workshops,

lectures and events centering on the ever-changing world of

Series Headline News

Strangers With Candy New Tooned Opening

J.J. Sedelmaier Productions has created the new opening for Comedy Central's second season of STRANGERS WITH CANDY. The opening, produced by J.J. Sedelmaier and directed by Ward Sutton, sums up the premise of the live-action series in 30 seconds. It follows the crazy life of series star Jerri Blank (Amy Sedaris) after she drops out of high school. Ward Sutton's heavy line and bright colors warps an animated Blank through a whirlwind ride of sex, drugs and prostitution that leads back to high school 30 years later. The lead animator on the project was Tony Eastman.

Headline News

One Week Left to Win $25,000 and a One Year Contract with Playboy

Be a part of Playboy's rich heritage of cartoon humor. Participate in

Playboy's Comix and Animation Contest. All multimedia formats

welcome: Shockwave, Flash, videotape, pen and ink and more! The grand

prize winner receives $25,000. Five honorable mentions will also be

selected. Judges include Scott Adams, Award winning creator of

"Dilbert," and Kevin Smith, writer/director of hit films "Chasing

Amy" and "Dogma." The deadline for submission is April 1, 2000. As

Headline News

SOFTIMAGE Gives Birth To XSI

SOFTIMAGE, the producers of popular 3D tool SOFTIMAGE|3D, announced that their eagerly anticipated next-generation 3D system code-named Sumatra has been given a name. Sumatra is to be released simply as SOFTIMAGE|XSI - a very humble and straight-forward name, but an effective one all the same. Why SOFTIMAGE|XSI? Unfortunately there's no funny story as to why SOFTIMAGE chose this name, it is simply the file extension of SOFTIMAGE's interactive media format.

Animation Headline News

The Acrobat Issue of Animation World Magazine Is Now On-Line!

March focuses on Production Technology and has a number of special contributors and features. J. Paul Peszko discovers how DreamWorks integrated digital technology with traditional animation for their latest release "The Road to El Dorado." Eric Huelsman interviews Mike Milne, the man behind the amazing "Walking with Dinosaurs," a show which took Britain by storm and is now coming to the U.S. Howard Beckerman takes a historical look at a few early "real-time" animation techniques, like Mobilux Lumia.

Union Headline News

Cartoonists Union Pickets PBS

In response to PBS directing its animated work to Canada, MPSC Local 839 Cartoonists Union is set to picket Los Angeles' PBS affiliate KCET. PBS, the United States' public broadcasting network, is funded by U.S. tax dollars and recently struck a US$40 million deal with Canada's Nelvana [AF 1/5/00]. Upset with the ever increasing practice of studios sending work outside the States, the Union will picket in front of the KCET building on Thursday, April 13, 2000 between 11:30 am and 1:30 pm. Local 839 members earn credit toward dues for picketing or sign-drawing.

Headline News

Heavenly Ratings, Devilish Reviews For God

The new NBC animated series, GOD THE DEVIL AND BOB, received heavenly ratings in spite of the devilish controversy surrounding the sitcom. After being axed or shifted by a total of nine NBC affiliates due to religious concerns, GOD, THE DEVIL AND BOB garnered time slot-winning scores of 14.42 million viewers, a 7.3/19 rating in adults 18-49 and 8.0/23 in adults 18-34. However, the show's premiere, positioned between the network's top shows FRIENDS and FRASIER, lost about 30% of the viewers from its FRIENDS lead-in.

Series Headline News

Max Steel Ratings Solid

The new animated series MAX STEEL premiered at #1 for its rating slot. The new CGI series scored a 7.6 rating/24 share, finishing #1 with Boys 6-11 against all of its Saturday morning competition. The show also garnered Kids WB! a #1 rating with teens for the first time since May of 1999. The series, set in the fictitious, futuristic city of Del Oro Bay, centers around Max Steel, a young secret agent pitted against the evil plots of the mercenary organization, DREAD.

Software Headline News

DEN Summons Sim As Head Of Digital Programming

DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK, INC. (DEN), an on-line network targeting Generation Y, announced the appointment of MORRIS SIM as head of digital programming. Formerly with Microsoft, Sim held a variety of top-level managerial positions, supervising entire teams of programmers and designers for Microsoft's extensive line of consumer software. During his seven-year tour-of-duty, Sim was a key player in the development and design of some of Microsoft's top software products, like Access, VisualFoxPro, Visual Basic, Microsoft Works, Home Suite and Microsoft Office.

Headline News

Alias|Wavefront Ships Maya Fusion 2

High-end 3D software developer Alias|Wavefront began shipping Maya Fusion 2 last week. Maya Fusion is Maya's NT-based compositing and effects software, which is integrated within the Maya UI to give artists the power to combine their live action footage with their Maya CG elements realistically.

Tools Headline News

NewTek Ships Lightwave [6] For NT

During the week of March 6, 2000, NewTek began shipping the eagerly anticipated Windows NT versions of LightWave [6]. This is NewTek's most significant upgrade to LightWave in 10 years, and the new upgrade features advanced modeling tools, groundbreaking rendering capabilities, advanced character animation features and a refined working environment. The new version boasts more features than we could possibly list.

Japan Headline News

PlayStation 2 Jumps Off Shelves In Japan

In its first weekend on the market in Japan, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.'s PlayStation 2 has reached 980,000 units sold. This initial sales milestone blows away the original PlayStation's three-day mark in 1994 by nearly 10 times. A total of 26,400 retailers in Japan, including 18,500 convenience stores, approximately 7,900 retail stores, current PlayStation retailers, as well as PlayStation.com (Japan) Inc., began selling the PlayStation 2 units on March 4.

Headline News

Dodgers Daly Dumps Millions In Shockwave

Former Time-Warner chairman and CEO Robert A. Daly has signed a check for an undisclosed million-dollar figure to animation Netcaster Shockwave.com. As part of the investment, Daly joins the board of the San Francisco-based company, which broadcasts games, animation and music programming on-line for free. Since leaving Time-Warner, Daly has been focusing on his chairman and CEO post overseeing all operations of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team. At Shockwave, he will help sign up big name talent to produce original programming for the site.

Million Headline News

Star Wars Sinks British Publisher

London-based publisher Dorling Kindersley has lost US$40 million on the book adaptation of STAR WARS EPISODE 1: THE PHANTOM MENACE. The educational and CD-Rom publisher had 13 million of the STAR WARS books printed for last holiday season and sold fewer than 3 million copies. After the initial news was released earlier this year, shares plummeted 40% and CEO James Middlehurst resigned. Chairman and 30% shareholder Peter Kindersley has taken over the head position. An unnamed worker told the LONDON DAILY EXPRESS that founder Kindersley has "fallen victim to a terrible error of judgment." Mr.

Headline News

Wolfmill's Elfquest With Living Toys

Wolfmill Entertainment has signed a worldwide licensing deal with Living Toyz for a line of action figures based on Wolfmill's upcoming CGI animated feature film ELFQUEST. The fantasy-action film follows the journey of Cutter, a young elven chief, and his tribe across a hostile world to find a safe refuge. Before the theatrical release of ELFQUEST, Los Angeles-based Living Toyz will produce several sets of action figures based on the original ELFQUEST comic book designs by Warp Graphics.

Story Headline News

Toy Story 2 Scores Mucho Yen In Japan

Over the weekend beginning Friday, March 10, 2000, TOY STORY 2 made history in Japan by grossing US$3.8 million on only 364 screens to become the biggest opening for a U.S. animated film in Japan and finishing #1 at the box office. The Buena Vista International release crushed the old record set by Disney's THE LION KING by nearly 80%. Woody and Buzz more than doubled this weekend's debut of the 21st installment of the Japanese animated feature series, DORAEMON.

Million Headline News

Missions To Mars Lands At #1

With bad reviews a side Buena Vista's MISSION TO MARS finished #1 at the U.S. box office. Serving as the closest thing to an event flick currently in U.S. theatres, MISSION TO MARS became the third highest March debut in U.S. history. The space spectacle, with primary special effects by ILM and Dream Quest Images, grossed US$22.9 million in its first weekend. Finishing in second place in its opening weekend was THE NINTH GATE, with primary special effects by Sony Imageworks and Mikros Image. Teaming Roman Polanski and the Devil once again, the film released by Artisan grossed $6.6 million.

India Headline News

India Reincarnates Dead Stars

In Chennai, India, Penta Media, 3D Max Media and Hewlett Packard have announced plans to produce a film, STARWAY, which will star two deceased Indian actors, brought back to life through CGI. The TIMES OF INDIA reported that no decision has been made on which stars would be reincarnated as themselves. In regards to ethical concerns, the newspaper published a comment from S. Rangarajan, director of special effects at Media Dreams: "This mixing of the real and unreal has a dangerous dimension.

Headline News

Live-Action Tomb Raider Lead

Oscar nominee Angelina Jolie is in final discussions to play buxom cyber-hero Lara Croft in TOMB RAIDER, a live-action feature based on the mega-hit video game. The Paramount project is set to begin production this summer, with director Simon West (CON AIR, THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER). Jolie is up for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for GIRL, INTERRUPTED, a film for which she has already won the Golden Globe. Known for playing wild and tough women, Jolie's star is on the rise and can easily play Croft, who is described as a female Indiana Jones.

Marvel Headline News

Daredevil & Spider-Man Directors

Mark Steven Johnson is in talks to pen and direct DAREDEVIL, the live-action adaptation of the Marvel Comics superhero franchise. The project originally started at Fox where directors such as Chris Columbus and Carlo Carlei developed the production. Now based out of Columbia Pictures, comic fan Johnson will breathe life into the story of the blind lawyer who uses his other, heightened senses to fight for justice. Marvel moved DAREDEVIL from Fox, because the studio is already busy putting together the Marvel titles X-MEN, FANTASTIC FOUR and SILVER SURFER.

Headline News

Planet Of The Apes Gothic Director

Tim Burton is going ape over the chance to remake 20th Century Fox's 1968 sci-fi classic PLANET OF THE APES. If the final negotiations finish as planned, Burton could be helming Fox's big picture for summer 2001. Rumors have attached names like Oliver Stone, Chris Columbus, James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger to the project. In development since 1993 (longer than it took to make the original and four sequels), Bill Broyles has written the newest and hopefully final version of the new APE flick.

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