Until now, animators who have wanted to learn about acting have had no option but to study the subject side by side with stage and movie actors, a group that uses acting techniques in a wholly different way...
AWN Headline News
Microsoft Corp. announced it has reached a preliminary agreement to acquire Digital
Anvil Inc., a Austin, Texas games developer. Under the terms of the
deal, Microsoft would gain the rights to Digital Anvil titles, such
as FREELANCER, the highly anticipated space-combat simulation game.
This deal gives Microsoft more leverage in game development for its
forthcoming Xbox console. Microsoft and Digital Anvil have worked
together on PC games since 1997. Microsoft has recently acquired such
On Wednesday, December 6,
2000, Comedy Central will start an eight-week run of comedian Robert
Smigel's TV FUNHOUSE, a live-action satire of 1950s children's shows
including twisted cartoons. Animated shorts include "Wonderman," a
superhero who uses his super powers to line-up dates for his alter
ego and "The Baby, The Immigrant and the Guy on Mushrooms," each of
whom always says, "Ahhhhhh." "I get a lot of pleasure out of writing
things that maybe I couldn't have WRITTEN when I was 10 years old,
At 3December, Alias|Wavefront announced that they are giving away copies
of their Maya Paint FX plug-in for free. The 3D Paint FX tools will
be present in the next major release of Maya. But as Jill Ramsay,
product manager for Maya and Brush Technologies explained, "We wanted
to make this powerful brush-based technology available to our
customers as part of our 3December celebration, instead of waiting
for the next major Maya release." So for registered users of Maya the
EuropaCinema & TV Film Festival has announced its 2000 winners. First
prize in the animation short category went to AU PREMIER DIMANCHE
D'AOUT by Florence Miailhe. The jury, composed by Francesco Tullio
Altan (Italy), Terry Inglese (Switzerland) and Georges Wolinski
(France), made the following statement about the winning film: "For
the grace and beauty of the drawings, for the refined work of
painting. For the editing and the music and also for the ability in
It appears that Iceboxs announcement of a deal with Fox to take on their Webtoon ZOMBIE COLLEGE was premature and ill-timed. As AWN reported on November 29, Icebox announced that it had signed a deal with Fox to have FUTURAMA writer-producer Eric Kaplan draft a pilot script for a live-action rendition of the Webtoon ZOMBIE COLLEGE. If the pilot had been picked up the Internet company would have been able to claim executive producing fees. However, Fox is now reported to be miffed at Icebox for several reasons.
Eyeball, a New York design studio, has created the new spot for NTL, Europe's largest broadband company, promoting their listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The commercial opens with the bright organically colored NTL logo followed by a purple colon. A matter-of-fact male voice-over tells the story of NTL's impending move to the NYSE as the points of the colon morph into two wires, which follow the camera through NTL's vast array of services. "We learned on a Thursday morning that we had won the NTL job," said Eyeball founder and creative director Limore Shur.
ViewPoint Studios has zapped up the relaunch of technology channel ZDTV as TechTV with a new ID campaign. The ViewPoint team developed concepts based on both the evolution of the network and the personality of the new logo. In a montage of live-action and visual effects work, a biological twist turns simple cell division into the logo at the microscopic level. Another ID gives a science lesson that demonstrates the fundamentals of logo conception. Maya was used to create the animation. "There were very few limitations," said ViewPoint Studios' design director, Michael Frederick.
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The first two-hour installment of the Sci-Fi Channel's mini-series FRANK HERBERT'S DUNE broke the network's ratings records. The Sunday, December 3 9 pm broadcast scored a 4.6 rating and reached 3.06 million households. The final two installments aired on Monday and Tuesday at 9 pm. The previous record was set in June with the premiere of Sci-Fi's THE INVISIBLE MAN, which garnered a 2.4 rating in cable homes, reaching 1.534 million households. Sci-Fi has signed John Harrison, the writer-director of the first six-hour mini-series, to write and direct a sequel.
Around the world, moviegoers are being swept up in the sexy, high-kicking, MATRIX-like action of CHARLIE'S ANGELS. The television redux made its nod in the U.K. with an outstanding gross of US$6.74 million. In its sixth week in Britain, WHAT LIES BENEATH sunk to second, grossing $1.12 million, thus escalating its cume to $17.41 million. In fourth, BEDAZZLED possessed another $680,873, lifting its U.K. cume to $4.21 million. PITCH BLACK turned up in fifth, grossing $572,299, thereby pushing its U.K. cume to $3.64 million.
Fox's THE SIMPSONS scored increased numbers this past week with a 9 rating/13 share in a five way tie for 28th place. Specials ruled the animated field with CBS' broadcast of the Rankin/Bass classics FROSTY THE SNOWMAN and FROSTY RETURNS. The December 3 8 pm airing of FROSTY THE SNOWMAN garnered a 5.9 rating/11 share with the 8:30 follow-up broadcast of FROSTY RETURNS also pulling a 5.9 rating but with a 10 share. ABC's Sunday night animated specials were close behind with the 7:30 broadcast of TANGERINE BEAR: HOME IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS receiving a 5.8 rating/9 share.
Pulse Entertainment announced last week that they are developing a Pulse Exporter for Maya. This would allow Alias|Wavefront users to export interactive, real-time 3D animation created using the Maya platform directly into Pulse and onto the Web.
Animation house Film Roman has filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission to keep the company's stock traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange. On November 28, 2000, Nasdaq notified Film Roman that it no longer met the minimum price to keep its listing on the Nasdaq Small Cap Exchange. Regulations say that if a stock price slips below US$1 per share for more than 30 days it risks being pulled from the market. Film Roman will defend its stance that its stock should continue to be traded at a hearing on December 19. At Monday's close, Film Roman stock was priced at $.56 per share.
Based on the graphic novel and TV series, CITY HUNTER: SECRET SERVICE is coming to VHS on December 5, 2000. This new 90-minute adventure has the savvy agent Joe Saeba hunting more assassins and chasing more women. The dubbed version of the film will retail for US$19.98.
Volumes 5 and 6 of the MONSTER RANCHERS TV series are hitting video stores across America on December 5, 2000. In volume 5 "Moo Attacks!," Genki and friends with the help of some dragons set out to rescue Holly after she is kidnapped by Moo. In volume 6 "Big Baddies & Brave Buddies," Genki and gang must navigate some choppy seas and get cornered in a city rune by unruly robots. Each volume contains three episodes and volumes 1-4 are currently available. The dubbed VHS tapes retail for US$9.99 each.
MARTIAN SUCCESSOR NADESICO Volume 7 "Contact!" is coming to video on December 5, 2000. The adventures continue with a Jovian spy infiltrating the spaceship Nadesico while Earth's network of alliances begins to crumble. Like the other volumes in the series, ADV Films will release an English-dubbed edition for US$19.98 and English-subtitled version for $29.95.
ADV Films will be heating up homes for the holidays with the fourth volume of the SAKURA DIARIES. When Urara plans her life around her boyfriend, Tomoe, her relationship with her cousin Touma becomes very strained. The rating of this series is 17 years +. Volume 4 will hit stores on December 5, 2000. All four English-dubbed volumes retail for US$19.98 each.
All five episodes of the erotic anime series, NIGHTMARE CAMPUS, are coming to DVD on December 5, 2000. The series was created by Toshiro Maeda, creator of UROTSUKIDOJI: LEGEND OF THE OVERFIEND and LA BLUE GIRL. The series chronicles 19-year-old Masao's fight to save the world when a bloody sacrificial rite opens the gates of Hell. The DVD features: a "meet the cast" section; yearbook; promos; parental control features; interactive chapter stops; and three language tracks in English, Japanese and Japanese with English-subtitles.
Click 3X, a digital commercial studio, has added award-winning effects veteran Glen Bennett to their Los Angeles team. Bennett, who has worked in video and digital effects since 1986, was a pioneer in the use of Discreet Logic's Flame* software, winning a Monitor Award for Best Special Effects in 1995 for the Guinness "Enigma" spot directed by Michael Hausseman. He received the 1998 MVPA Award for Best Visual FX for his work on 311's music video "Transistor" directed by Jay Papke. Click 3X VP, executive producer Phyllis Nix said, "What can I say?
Fox 2000 has brought Ron "Gustin" Parker in to write the action-comedy-mystery feature script for THE HARDY MEN. The story will feature grown-up feuding Hardy Boys, who must re-team to save their kidnapped father. The original idea for the project came to Fox four years ago by writer Michael Sargent. Parker, who has sold his scripts TYPHOID HARRY to Paramount Pictures and IMAGING NATHAN to Universal Pictures, will do a complete rewrite of the original Sargent script.
Without any major new releases in U.S. theaters, HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS grabbed the top spot once again. The cartoon redux, with primary visual effects by Digital Domain, grossed another US$27.1 million, climbing its total take at U.S. box offices to a whopping $172 million. The rest of the top five also remained the same, with UNBREAKABLE collecting $14.44 million in second. The superhero drama, with primary visual effects by The Secret Lab and TSL, has a cume of $66.35 million thus far. 102 DALMATIANS was spotted in third, with a gross of $8.3 million.
Oxygen Media, the year-old television/Internet media company dedicated to programming for women, has received a hefty investment of US$100 million from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's Vulcan Ventures. Allen's investment firm was an early fund supplier to the fledgling network. The channel has struggled since its inception to find major cable systems to carry its programming. Oxygen was founded by Gerry Laybourne, the former president of Nickelodeon, who helped build the children's network into one of the top rated cable channels in the U.S. and around the world.
EM.TV & Merchandising has announced a profit warning for its year-end report. The German children's production and merchandising firm will miss the mark by DM475 (US$214 million) the company said. EM.TV said earnings before interest and tax will be DM50 million ($22.5 million) instead of DM525 million-600 million ($236 million-$269 million) originally thought. The company also said that their 2000 revenue will be decreased 2.7% from last year's revenue of DM1.38 billion ($621 million).