Pulse Entertainment has hired Leo Hourvitz, Pixars former technical director and multimedia producer, as their new vice president of creative content technology. Hourvitz will oversee Pulses drive to up the use of its proprietary technology in the production of 3D Web animation. He will also be responsible for testing new technology and ensuring its functionality in real-life production environments. During his six-year tenure at Pixar Animation Studios, he worked on Pixar's award-winning films and interactive products.
AWN Headline News
DreamWorks GLADIATOR is still the golden boy in many international box offices. In the most recent reports, the Roman revenge romp finished atop the charts in Brazil with US$1.18 million, Germany with US$1.06 million, Italy with $303,200, Sweden with $336,708 and the U.K. with $926,371. The Russell Crowe-starrer has grossed a total of $4.6 million in Brazil, $14.67 million in Germany, $7.2 million in Italy, $2.78 million in Sweden and $34.36 million in the U.K. Like it did in the U.K., the box office blood bath held off the debut of BATTLEFIELD EARTH.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who ordered the split of Microsoft into two firms, has asked the Supreme Court to hear the software giants appeal case directly. By using the obscure Antitrust Expediting Act, Judge Jackson has put the Microsoft matter on a fast track to the top court, therefore avoiding multiple appeals if Microsoft would lose again in a lower appeals court. Jackson has also postponed business restrictions against the software company until the appeal is heard.
Seagram Co.-owned Universal Studios, producer of the LAND BEFORE TIME series, will now be housed under the Canal Plus roof. The move is a result of French media mogul Vivendis recently board-approved acquisition of Seagram. The stock for stock deal values Seagram at US$34 billion. Vivendi shareholders will own 60% of the new firm, Seagram shareholders will hold 29% and the minority shareholders in Vivendi-owned Canal Plus will hold the remaining 11%. The new motion picture division of Vivendi will be entitled Canal Plus and will be lead by Canal Plus chairman and CEO Pierre Lescure.
The opening week failure of TITAN A.E. may have been the final straw that has pushed Fox Filmed Entertainment chairman and CEO, Bill Mechanic, to resign. Mechanic has decided to leave Fox and form his own production company much like former Disney chairman Joe Roths Revolution Studios. However, insiders say the abrupt exit was a result of pressure from parent News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch over financial losses and questionable movie greenlights.
On June 19, 2000, Activision, Inc. announced that on June 9, 2000, it reorganized into a holding company structure. The purpose of the reorganization was to provide the company with a more flexible organizational and capital structure and to enhance its financing options. As a result, the new Activision Inc. owns 100% of the previously publicly held Activision, Inc., which has been renamed Activision Publishing, Inc. The company structure will not change as a result of the reorganization. The company's existing stock certificates represent shares of the new holding company.
Microsoft Corp. announced it acquired Chicago-based Bungie Software Products Corp., a leading developer of action oriented computer and video games. As a result, Microsoft gains exclusive publishing and distribution rights to select Bungie-developed titles, including the highly anticipated HALO. Bungie's development staff will become an independent studio within the Microsoft Game Division. Microsoft expects the Bungie team to play a key role in the development of content for Microsofts X-Box console.
Threshold Digital Research Labs has announced the commencement of production on their first digitally animated feature film, FOODFIGHT! The branch of Threshold Entertainment received a large portion of the funding for the US$50 million picture from Korean company Natural Image. As part of the promotion for the film, Thresholds Web entertainment site TheThreshold.com will produce a 3D animated prequel series entitled FOODFIGHT!: THE ADVENTURES OF DEX DETECTIVE. The film chronicles the secret lives of product icons once the lights are turned off at the grocery store.
With the remake of the blaxplotation classic SHAFT reigning at the U.S. box office, Foxs new animated feature TITAN A.E. and the wide 35mm release of FANTASIA/2000 felt the weight of Hollywood star power. Paramounts SHAFT, starring Samuel L. Jackson, became the big man at the box office with an opening weekend gross of US$21.71 million. The bad mother moved Buena Vistas GONE IN 60 SECONDS down to second.
Shockwave.com announced a production pact with Artists Management Group (AMG). As part of the deal, shockwave.com will provide a US$10 million fund for AMG and its clients to develop animated content for distribution on the site. All work produced through the deal will be co-owned by both companies. Additionally, AMG and its affiliates will help shockwave cut deals in other entertainment mediums. "This partnership will allow us to provide even more opportunity for AMGs roster of clients," said Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, head of the AMG Animation Group.
Test your skills and challenge your brain with AWN's
Quiz. This week, we're asking questions about expansive careers.
Which UCLA graduate began working at the Mintz Studio, went to
Disney, began his own studio, went back to Disney then to
Hanna-Barbera, over to Larry Harman Productions then back to
Hanna-Barbera? Who was the animator who designed and used the first
multi-plane camera in Japan, made the first stop-motion puppet
SteeleVFX, Inc. has relocated its visual effects studio to Santa Monica. The new facility includes: a Java-enabled Henry Infinity suite (with Masher and Chaser planned); a Mac Graphics Suite featuring After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightwave 3D; a Sony 2000 D1; a Sony A-500 DBC; Beta SP; 60 Sec. DDR; dubbing facilities; a Tascam DAT; and D2, PAL DBC and FTP file transfer services. SteeleVFX was founded in 1996 by Jo Steele and visual effects artist Jerry Steele and specializes in non-linear on-line editing and visual effects compositing.
* Friday June, 30 Thursday, July 6, 2000. Santa Monica, California, U.S.A. Friday, July 7 Thursday, July 13, 2000. Pasadena, California, U.S.A.
Steve Tisch, film and television producing veteran, has joined the board of directors of Film Roman Inc. His film credits include Oscar Award winner FORREST GUMP, AMERICAN HISTORY X, THE POSTMAN and RISKY BUSINESS. For television, Tisch produced the Emmy nominated THE BURNING BED, SILENCE OF THE HEART and PRIME SUSPECT. Tisch is also known for his philanthropic activities, which include AIDS Project Los Angeles serving on the board of directors and the Steve Tisch Foundation, a non-profit organization that raises funds to benefit many charities like the UCLA Medical Center, The H.E.L.P.
Hoping to make big profits like Warner Bros. did on POKEMON: THE MOVIE, Twentieth Century Fox has announce they will release DIGIMON: THE MOVIE on October 6, 2000. Based on the #1-rated show on Fox Kids Network, the new flick centers on eight kids who team up with friendly monsters called Digimon, and together defend a mystical realm called the digital world from a gathering darkness. Fox says DIGIMON: THE MOVIE will contain "more lush and detailed animation than seen in the series." For fans of the series, the film will reveal pivotal continuity points linking DIGIMON seasons one and two.
The National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation has inducted Walt Disney into the Inventors Hall of Fame. Disney was recognized for his creation of the multiplane camera, which yielded better looking, richer animation. The National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation Selection Committee, comprised of representatives from national scientific and technical organizations, votes each year to select the most qualified inventors from those proposed in open nominations. The criteria the committee takes into consideration is whether the invention is covered by a U.S.
In a new animated short entitled WILLS WORLD, U.S. pop star Britney Spears seduces the trousers right off Prince William. Airing on June 21, 2000 on the U.K.s Channel 4, the special cartoon is a funny send off to celebrate the Princes 18th birthday. The 18-year-old singer, Spears, has long expressed her hots for the hunky prince, elder son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana. One portion of the cartoon shows the teenaged temptress pulling down the prince's trousers as she pursues him.
On Wednesday, June 21, 2000, Italian animation studio Mondo TV, owner of the country's largest library of domestic and imported TV cartoons, will go public on the Milan stock exchange. Currently, the Rome-based company is owned by Orlando and Matteo Corradi. For the first-quarter, the TV toon maker saw revenue of 6.5 billion Italian lira (US$3.25 million) and net earnings of 1.3 billion ($650,000).
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) announced it has acquired the on-line game company Verant Interactive, Inc. and named digital gaming executive Kelly Flock as president and CEO of Sony On-line Entertainment (SOE). Verant will be blended into SOE, which will base its operations in San Diego, California. The new arm of Sony has been responsible for operating the popular on-line games EVERQUEST, TANARUS and SOVEREIGN. Verant President John Smedley will become SOEs executive vice president and chief operating officer.
Palo Alto, California's Pacific Data Images (PDI) is looking for
EFFECTS ANIMATORS AND DEVELOPERS and CG LIGHTERS. . .Lombard,
Illinois-based Big Idea Productions, Inc. is looking for a 3D
MODELING SUPERVISOR. . .South River, New Jersey-based Big Brad's South
River Tattoo Studio is looking for an ARTIST/TATTOOIST to draw Flash
and tattoo pictures for customers. . .WPRI/WNAC TV of East Providence,
Rhode Island wants to find an AVID EDITOR to edit commercials,
Last week, we announced that our first participants in the AWN
Animator Affiliate Program are Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbes,
directors of the amazing "When The Day Breaks," which won Annecy
1999's Grand Prix and Cannes' Palm D'Or for Short Film. Now, you can
download the complete program application packet, which includes all
the specifics you need to find out how you can participate as well.
All you need is Adobe Acrobat to read and print out the materials.