Hot off signing a deal that will transform his Urban Entertainment series UNDERCOVER BROTHER into a feature at Universal, writer and producer John Ridley (THREE KINGS) is revving up his new animated series for UrbanEntertainment.com. The new series will be an adaptation of Ridleys crime novel WALK IN DARKNESS. Urban Media, parent of the Web site, will produce the show, and revenues will be shared 50/50 with Ridley. The story chronicles the perils of a rookie cop whose mission is to hunt down mutants with superhuman powers. Ridley is set to produce, write and direct the series.
AWN Headline News
At the end of June, before a securities commission, Cinar Corp. will have to defend why they feel their stock should not be delisted from stock exchanges in Canada and the U.S. The Montreal-based childrens producer has dates to appear with the Ontario Securites Commission on June 30 and with the Nasdaq exchange sometime next month to reveal the reason behind why the firm has been unable to file its financial statements since the period ended November 30, 1999.
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.
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.
* Friday, July 14 Sunday, July 23, 2000. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Tuesday, July 26 Sunday, July 30, 2000. São Paulo, Brazil.
* Thursday, July 13 Saturday, July 15, 2000. Reno, Nevada, U.S.A.
The 10th Annual Sensual & Erotic Art Exhibition is open to all artists using animation as their primary medium in the category of erotic art. This year's exhibition will focus on challenging works by promising new talent in this medium. For more information contact SASE at: The Lifestyles Organization, Attn: Curator, 2641 W. La Palma Ave. Suite C, Anaheim, CA 92801; Tel.: (714) 821-1235; Fax: (714) 821-9919; or E-mail email@example.com.
From Saturday, June 24 to Monday, June 26, 2000, MTV will air Animationfest Weekend, which will feature the series debut of SPY GROOVE. Throughout the weekend, MTV will air fan favorite episodes of DARIA and CELEBRITY DEATHMATCH. MTV will run sneak peeks at SPY throughout the marathon, with the premiere of the new show at 10:30 pm June 26. GROOVE follows the missions of two suave secret agents sent out into the world to protect the Average Joe from bad style.
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.
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.
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.
Plympton's new series of comics extracted from the comic book,
"Sleazy Cartoons of Bill Plympton," is for ADULTS ONLY...
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,
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