AWN Headline News
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.
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.
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.
Get your Web Animation Guide here!
Also every week AWN's associate editor Rick DeMott highlights what he thinks is the top new toon in cyberspace in "Rick's Picks!"
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.
J.J. Sedelmaier Productions has wrapped on a series of 1 1/2-minute interstitials entitled "A Stranger in Town," starring caped crusader Capt. Linger, who has a tendency to talk your ear off after saving your life. Stuart Hill sold the Linger idea to Cartoon Network and producer Lynn Slowinski presented the concept to Sedelmaier. At first the concept was written in a DUDLEY DO-RIGHT style, but Sedelmaier envisioned it with a flat comic book look. "Stuart (Hill) had a clear idea of what to retain from the original concept but he didn't hold onto anything unnecessarily," said Sedelmaier.
New York-based Rhinoceros Visual Effects and Design has completed the digital imagery work for three new Alka Seltzer spots. In the 30-second "This Cold Season" and two 15-second spots, "Just Picked" and "Dew Drop," legions unite as a single cold sufferer in one digital mosaic transition. The spots also contain a multitude of CG bubbles and a photo-real CG Alka Seltzer package. "The recent Alka Seltzer spots had a lot of challenging aspects that made them call for more CG than originally anticipated," noted Arman Matin, Rhinoceros' CG project leader.
Venice, California-based Blur Studio has added four artists to its creative staff -- character animator Noel McGinn, visual effects designer and 3D animator Ed Lee, animator Paul Taylor and animator Asier Hernaez. Previously, McGinn served as a character animator for Pacific Data Images. He has worked on ANTZ and the upcoming SHREK. "I wanted to join a company where I would have an opportunity to be involved in all facets of computer animation and work on a variety of projects," said McGinn.
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.
From Manga Video, the ANGEL COP COLLECTION is coming to DVD. Violent terrorists called the Red May have started a wave of bombings and murders across Tokyo and the Special Security Force has been called in to restore order before the entire country comes tumbling down. The compilation contains six episodes of the popular series, in an English dubbed version, English subtitled version and Japanese version, plus there are Manga previews, links, fan club info and a DVD catalog. The DVD will sell for US$29.95 and hits stores October 31, 2000.
In celebration of the upcoming holidays, Walt Disney Home Video will be releasing MICKEY'S ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS and ROLIE POLIE OLIE: A ROLIE POLIE CHRISTMAS. ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS will be available on both VHS and DVD, while A ROLIE POLIE CHRISTMAS will be on VHS. ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS will feature holiday tunes, Christmas themed cartoons starring Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck and Goofy, all linked together by narration from FRASIER's Kelsey Grammer. A ROLIE POLIE CHRISTMAS features three holiday themed episodes of the popular 3D animated children's series.
Spurred on by overwhelming high-end interest, Joe Alter, Inc. will release Shave EXTREME, a high-end version of "Shave and a Haircut," the hair and fur software that has true integrated dynamic hair simulation, inverse kinematics and collision integrated into the modeling environment. Currently, the program works with LightWave and Messiah. Shave EXTREME will endeavor to replace/augment cumbersome in-house hair creation and rendering pipelines. Amongst an ambitious list of planned enhancements is direct and efficient support of Pixar's Renderman rendering software.
Montreal 3D digitizing firm, InSpeck, Inc., announced the official launch of its new Multi-Head 3D digitizing system, FAPS. The product is a single-unit, modular solution that uses multiple digitizers to acquire data of a complete 3D surface within a few seconds. The company's software has also been updated, offering a new, intuitive user interface and the ability to handle acquisition data from the Multi-Head system. InSpeck's new Multi-Head System is designed to digitize/compile up to six different views of a 3D model, and automatically merge them into a composite 3D image.
Icebox.com, an Internet animation content creator, has named entertainment industry veterans Cheryl Parnell as chief operating officer and Christos Garkinos as senior VP and chief marketing officer. Previously, Parnell served as executive VP and chief operating officer for Roger Corman's production company, Concorde-New Horizons, where she oversaw shows such as Showtime's ROGER CORMAN PRESENTS. "Cheryl is a passionate and talented entertainment executive who has a tremendous breadth of experience," said Icebox CEO Steve Stanford.