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AWN Headline News
HOLLOW MAN holds on as WHAT LIES BENEATH makes top notched debuts in France and Brazil. The Harrison Ford starrer scared up US$3.26 million in its French premiere. SPACE COWBOYS fell to second with a gross of $1.51 million, escalating its French cume to $3.56 million. Falling from second to finish in fourth, GONE IN 60 SECONDS raced in with $1.28 million, advancing its French cume to $13.31 million. Slipping one to sixth, U-571 surfaced another $706,419, lifting its French cume to $1.83 million.
In conjunction with the Ottawa International Animation Festival, ASIFA held its general assembly and the election of its new executive board. Abi Feijo of Portugal was voted president and said that ASIFA is at a turning point where he hopes to redefine ASIFA`s goals and priorities. Marco de Blois (Canada), Sayoko Kinoshita (Japan), Andy Wyatt (United Kingdom) and Antran Manoogian (USA) were voted in as vice presidents. Vesna Dovnikovic of Croatia will serve as secretary general and Pierre Azuelos of France as treasurer.
Red Sky, an interactive solutions provider, announced the acquisition of Olive Jar Studios, a Boston and Los Angeles-based animation and film production studio, and White Noise Productions, a Los Angeles-based full service multimedia firm. "A concept we believe strongly in is 'applied entertainment,' which means that our solutions transcend mere functionality and bring emotion to interactive experiences delivered across all media, from narrow to broadband platforms and devices," said Bill Bingham, chairman and CEO of Red Sky.
The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) has finalized a new two-year collective bargaining agreement with domestic producers, which now covers animation scribes. This conclusion ends 18-months of negotiation between the WGC, Canadian Film and Television Production Association and its Quebec counterpart, lAssociation des Producteurs de Films et de Television du Quebec (APFTQ). The new Independent Production Agreement (IPA) sets out minimum workplace requirements for Canadian film and TV writing. The long unprotected Canadian animation writer is finally covered under the new plan.
Quiet Man created the chip bouncing effects in the new Doritos commercial featuring Miami Heat basketball point guard Tim Hardaway. Phalana Dias was the lead visual effects artist on the spot. Entering a corner store, Hardaway is observed by an awestruck young fan, who watches the star purchase a bag of Doritos 3Ds, a new pyramid shaped chip. Following Hardaway into the street, the pair engages in a trick-shot-type competition, using chips instead of basketballs. "For Dorito's 3Ds, the chips were shot on rigs in the studio," explained Dias.
a.k.a. Pizazz has rapped on three spots for a new campaign for Sanatogen vitamins. All three spots state that we are all aware by now that a healthy diet is the best way to stay fit, but a vitamin supplement is a reassuring way of maintaining the healthy balance, "Just To Make Sure." "Baby Monitor," "Passport" and "Alarm" were done in a 2D painting style. "Baby Monitor" shows a mother, in spite of the presence of her monitor going to check her child. "Passport" shows a family group going on holiday and the mother constantly checking in her handbag for the passports.
AtomFilms and German carmaker Volkswagens U.S. division have sealed a content deal which will send AtomFilms shorts to vw.com. Aardman Animations ANGRY KID will be among the shorts aired on Volkswagens Website. As part of the deal, Volkswagen will be one of the sponsors of AtomFilms upcoming college promotional tour. The deal marks a prime opportunity for AtomFilms to get mass offline exposure for its content and brand.
According to the new issue of the trade magazine ANIMATION UK, a range of new TV productions are in preparation in Britain. HAMILTON MATTRESS is a "stop-frame comedy drama" about an Aardvark and his caterpillar companion. The director is Barry Purves, celebrated director of films including NEXT and SCREENPLAY, while the writers are John Webster and Anna Farthing. The film will be made by Harvest Animation, commissioned by BBC1, with global TV/video rights handled by Link and Egmont Animation.
URBAN LEGEND II: FINAL CUT just edged out the impressive release of the directors cut of THE EXORCIST to claim the top spot at the U.S. box office. The teen terror sequel, with primary visual effects by Pacific Title Digital, scared up US$8.51 million. The horror classic, THE EXORCIST, with some creepy new stop-motion animation and digital clean-up by Pacific Title Digital, made an amazing $8.18 million on only 664 screens. Adding 1,062 screens to last weeks 131, ALMOST FAMOUS jumped up to third with a gross of $6.93 million.
Anteye.com has signed an agreement with HBO, giving the pay cable channel exclusive rights to taking Anteye content to television. "Linking with Anteye helps us to stay in the forefront of talent discovery," said Chris Albrecht, HBOs president of original programming. "HBO will now get the first look at some of the Webs hottest filmmakers." Anteye CEO Matti Leshem said, "Theres no network I would want to be in the business with more.
A British spec script about two rival gangs of gnome neighbours has been put on the fast track in Hollywood. The trade paper SCREEN INTERNATIONAL reports A GNOME'S STORY, written by Rob Sprackling and John Smith, has been acquired by Walt Disney Feature Animation and Rocket Pictures, the production outfit owned by pop star Elton John and David Furnish. The big-budget project "may use TOY STORY-esque digital effects." Disney has a first-look pact with Rocket, and is funding development on GNOME'S STORY.
The 2000 edition of the Ottawa International Animation Festival has come to a close with the announcement of this years winners. The winners were chosen by an international jury, comprised of acclaimed Canadian animator Suzanne Gervais, former ASIFA-Hollywood general manager and critic, animator and teacher Wendy Jackson Hall, Wild Brain co-Founder and creative director John Hayes, renowned Estonian animator Priit Pärn, and the head of the Shanghai Animation Studio in China Jin Guo Ping.
Web content site Sightsound.com has signed a deal with Comedy Central to sell the back episodes of SOUTH PARK and recently cancelled DR. KATZ: PROFESSIONAL THERAPIST in a downloadable format. Both TV series episodes will be available for US$2.50 for a two-day rental fee or $4.95 for a full purchase on Sightsound.com and ComedyCentral.com. Download times will range from 5 minutes for DSL users to over an hour for dial-up subscribers. The Pennsylvania-based Sightsound made a name for itself by commissioning the $3 million mini-feature QUANTUM PROJECT for a direct-to-Internet release.
DIC Entertainments CEO Andy Heyward is set to purchase DIC from owner Walt Disney Co. The deal backed by investment firms Bain Capital and Chase Capital Partners is valued in the nine digits. Disney acquired a majority stake of DIC in 1995 when it purchased ABC/Capital Cities. In 1986, Heyward purchased the toon house from France-based CLT and retained a small minority interest in the firm after ABC/Capital Cities obtained the majority share in 1993. DIC television properties include INSPECTOR GADGET (Disney co-produced a live-action feature version), G.I.
Animation World Network announced two new enhancements to its Website yesterday at the Ottawa International Animation Festival...
Plympton's new series of comics extracted from the comic book, "Sleazy Cartoons of Bill Plympton," is for ADULTS ONLY...
- The Ottawa 2000 International Animation Festival Catalog: No need to worry if you are unable to attend this year's Ottawa International Animation Festival. The bilingual festival catalog is now available for sale for $15.
Planet X Animation is looking for a 2D/3D ANIMATOR to create 3-10 minute segments of own design or follow a script. . . El Segundo, California-based Inertia Pictures, a growing animation development and production house, is looking for 2D/3D/FLASH ANIMATORS. . . Newark, New Jersey-based Genie Network, a revolutionary entertainment company, is looking for a 3D ANIMATOR MODELER. . .
Cologne-based licenser and children's TV producer BKN International has acquired international TV, video and merchandising rights for New York-based childrens animation production company GoodTimes Entertainments 51 title library. The deal worth US$13 million includes titles such as RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER, THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO and MOBY DICK.
Scandinavias leading computer and video game developer, UDS (Unique Development Studios), has gained the computer gaming rights to Foxs hit series FUTURAMA. The three-year deal grants UDS the right to co-publish with Fox Interactive FUTURAMA games for all gaming platforms. Fox Interactive will publish the games in North America, while UDS will handle the rest of the world. The first game is scheduled for release in the first half of 2002. This co-production deal for such a well-known TV series marks a first for European gaming companies.
Disney has decided to divide its toy merchandising between rivals Hasbro and Mattel. Disney has had a long licensing relationship with Mattel, which now will only handle their preschool and plush toys, dolls, games and puzzles. Hasbro will handle the more lucrative toys, action figures and games portion of Walt Disney products.
PI director Darren Aronofsky is set to helm the newest in Warner Bros. BATMAN franchise, BATMAN: YEAR ONE. Aronofsky will write and develop the screenplay with Frank Miller, writer of the graphic novel BATMAN: YO from which the film will be based. The noir-styled graphic novel was originally published by DC Comics in 1987 and chronicles the trials and tribulations of Bruce Waynes first year as Batman. Aronofsky as director is an interesting direction for Warner to take with the BATMAN movie franchise.
Digital Hollywood, Japan, and DH Institute of Media Arts (DHIMA),
Santa Monica, California, one of the world's largest digital media
institutes, have recently appointed John Hughes, President and CEO of
Academy Award-winning studio Rhythm & Hues, to their advisory board.
John Hughes will provide curriculum advice and deliver periodic
lectures, introducing state-of- the-art technologies to the school
curriculum. For more information, check out the school