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Animation Headline News

The London Effects & Animation Festival Calls For Entries

The deadline to register your film for competition at the 7th annual London Effects & Animation Festival (LEAF) is September 15, 2000. Europe's leading computer generated animation and special effects festival will award the best work from around the world in the following categories: Commercials (Animation); Commercials (Live-Action); Short Film; Music Video; Feature Film; Student; Titles, Idents & Stings; and Education & Simulation. This year the festival has introduced a new category: Web Animation. An independent panel comprised of industry experts will judge entries.

Festival Headline News

A Closer Look: Imagina Put In Danger

French authorities, through INA, the Audiovisual National Institute, have pulled their support of Imagina, the foremost European visual effects event. For 19 years, Imagina has served as the testing ground for new talents and technologies in Europe. In the past few years the event has drawn over 1,300 participants and 5,000 visitors, growing to fill venues in two cities. A group has been formed to save the festival, which many professionals cite as being a wonderful meeting place to not only exchange ideas but also network and make valuable production deals.

Animation Headline News

Today's Hot Topics In Creative Planet's Discussion Forums

Do you have specific questions about how they do certain visual effects? A community member offers his advice on how to shoot background plate shots when intending to add CG elements. Hosted by Terrence "T-man" Masson, Creative Planet's Visual Effects forum is not about specific software packages, but about how to improve and educate yourself by asking questions and getting constructive and honest feedback from those who have gone before. Join the party and meet the visual effects pros.

Cancer Headline News

R!OT Brings World War II To Malibu Beach

Santa Monica-based R!OT, a digital production studio, recently finished the visual effects for a commercial promoting Tennessee's Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Digital artist Verdi Sevenhuysen helped turn Malibu Beach into the shores of Omaha Beach during D-Day. Sevenhuysen used Discreet Inferno system to alter the live-action footage to match the European topography. He also placed a series of steel tank traps onto the sandy shore. "It was a very close collaboration between director Karsten and I," said Sevenhuysen. "They didn't have the budget to shoot in France, but it didn't matter.

Film Headline News

Store Specials: Opera Imaginaire, Lotte Reiniger Compilation

- Opera Imaginaire: Twelve popular operas are brought to life through the interpretations of some of Europe's most talented animators. All styles of animation are represented, including computer animation. Films by Ken Lidster, Monique Renault, Pascal Roulin, Jonathan Hills, Jimmy Murakami, Raimund Krumme, and more!

Wild Headline News

Wild Brain Thinks Up Spots For Scandinavian Designs

Wild Brain, the San Francisco-based animation house, has wrapped on three 30-second spots for Interline/Scandinavian Designs. The fast-paced commercials pop the furniture companys many types of chairs and sofas onto the screen with an up-tempo sleek design. "The challenge was to design the spots to showcase their huge selection of furnishings in a visually compelling manner, yet remain true to the clean, sleek feel of the line," said spot director and designer Julia Tortolani.

India Headline News

Derek Lamb & Jeffrey Hale Team On New Short

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 7, 2000 at 12:00am

Award winning filmmakers, Derek Lamb & Jeffrey Hale are teaming up with Toonz Animation India to produce THE LAST BRITISH COLONEL IN INDIA, a short animated comedy film. The flick is based on an original song by Derek Lamb and satirizes the British Empire days in India, bringing to light for the first time the real reason why the British quit India in 1947. "This entire project began to percolate at last years Week with the Masters hosted by Toonz Animation in India. Both Derek and Jeffrey thought it was time to tell this previously unknown story.

Headline News

ToyFare Magazine Names 25 Best Action Figures of All Time

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 7, 2000 at 12:00am

ToyFare, a leading magazine about action figure collectibles, has put together a list of the best individual action figures of all-time. The October 2000 issue, on sale August 29, awarded 5 spots to Hasbro, with McFarlane Toys coming in second with 4 entries. "The list covers three decades of action figures," said editor Douglas Goldstein.

Effects Headline News

Blur Studio Promotes Shier To Producer

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 6, 2000 at 12:00am

Al Shier has been promoted to visual effects producer at Venice-based Blur Studio, a 3D animation, visual effects and motion graphics design company. For the past two years at Blur, Sheir has served as a line producer and visual effects coordinator. In his new role, Shier will oversee the production of 2D and 3D visual effects and act as liaison between clients and the company's artistic staff. Shier began producing over a year ago, during which he received numerous producing credits.

Shorts Headline News

DMA Dances In The Sky With Delta Airlines Ad

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 6, 2000 at 12:00am

Director Tony Caio and DMA Animation have created a campaign for Delta Airlines' new entertainment programming. The in-air series is a collection of animated shorts featuring a 3D microphone that introduces each video channel. Each short is a comic spoof of movie genres from comedy to romance. Landor Associates, Delta's branding agency, worked in collaboration with DMA and Caio to create the WorldFest winning shorts.

Film Headline News

Digital Film Snatches Opening For New Guy Ritchie Flick

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 6, 2000 at 12:00am

Digital Film @ The Moving Picture Company has completed the opening title sequence for LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS-director Guy Ritchie's new gangster film, SNATCH. The titles, created by Digital Film and designed by So, a division of Picasso Pictures, depict the main characters in the movie. Spinning and strobing images, glimpses, flashes, quick cuts, flipped images, jump frames and freeze frames were added to create a hard-edged look for the opening.

Headline News

Computer Cafe Creates F/X Maze For Radio Shack

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 6, 2000 at 12:00am

Santa Maria-based Computer Cafe has created the computer animation for a new spot for Radio Shack. "Topiary" is part of Radio Shack's ongoing campaign featuring Hall of Fame American football player Howie Long and actress Teri Hatcher. Computer Cafe formed the massive garden maze in which Long and Hatcher appear. The celebrities were shot on stage with several green covered set pieces, which were replaced with photorealistic computer animated greenery. Computer Cafe created the 3D hedges using Lightwave 3D software and used Digital Fusion to do the compositing.

Cartoon Headline News

Spazzco Nets 3 Toon Deal With Cartoon Network Online

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 6, 2000 at 12:00am

Spazzco, a San Francisco-based animation studio, has signed on to produce three original Web Premiere Toons for Cartoon Network Online. TIME-E-LAPSE will uncover the dos and donts of time travel. JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF MY DOGS HEAD answers the question what is my canine thinking? THE BICKLESHNOTZ COUNTY FLYING CLUB recalls the exploits of some of the worlds most outlandish aviators. Sam Register, vice president/creative director of Cartoon Network Online, said, "Spazzco has a real understanding of classic cartoon production.

Headline News

Animation Stock Ticker For Wednesday, September 6, 2000

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 6, 2000 at 12:00am

AWN's stock ticker features the most prominent publicly traded companies in the world of animation. AWN, Inc. makes available certain financial information from third party information providers. AWN does not give advice in any such fields, and has not reviewed, and in no way endorses the validity of such data. This information is provided solely as a means to keep our readers informed of the market performance and trends of certain companies. AWN strongly suggests that one seek advice from a competent professional regarding any investment or financial issues.

Union Headline News

Union Urges Members To Vote Down New Deal

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 6, 2000 at 12:00am

The negotiating committee for Los Angeles Motion Picture Screen Cartoonist Union Local 839 has recommended that its 2,000 members vote down the new three-year pact with the studios. On a vote of 12-1, Local 839 cited problems with the negotiating process, unequal salary increases, artist testing, credit placement, late payments to freelancers and the definition of writers.

Headline News

French Authorities Kill Imagina

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 6, 2000 at 12:00am

French authorities, through INA (Audiovisual National Institute), have pulled their support of Imagina, the foremost European visual effects event. For 19 years, Imagina has served as the testing ground for new talents and technologies in Europe. In the past few years the event has drawn over 1,300 participants and 5,000 visitors. A group has been formed to save the festival. Anyone who wishes to sign the petition can on the Web.

Company Headline News

Pop.com Closes Up Shop

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 6, 2000 at 12:00am

On Tuesday, September 5, 2000, Pop.com laid off roughly 65 of its 80 person staff. Without additional comment the company released this statement: "Although the Internet continues to represent an exciting creative opportunity for us, the market has shifted dramatically since our original announcement, resulting in this being a less viable business for us. We will retain a small staff to support our creative endeavors.

Headline News

Shockwave Moves From Toons To Games

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 6, 2000 at 12:00am

After making big content deals with stars like Tim Burton and David Lynch, Shockwave.com has decided to change its focus from big celebrity toon deals to interactive games. Shockwave receives most of its hits in its game section. As part of the new move Shockwave has laid off 20 employees in its San Francisco and Los Angeles offices. Production on content in the works, such as programs from Oscar-winning producer/director James L. Brooks and game show host Ben Stein, will continue until the lay off becomes effective in October.

Headline News

Discreet Names New Executive Vice President

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 6, 2000 at 12:00am

Discreet, a division of Autodesk, Inc., has named Paul Lypaczewski as its executive vice president. Based in Discreet's Montreal headquarters, Lypaczewski will oversee all aspects of Discreet's worldwide business entities including research and development, sales, marketing, operations and finance and administration. With 20 years of experience in graphics software development and management, he was most recently the COO for CyberWorld, Inc., a privately held Web-based software development company.

Million Headline News

F/X Flicks Fade At The US Box Office

With the special effects-light fall schedule starting, the top two spots were claimed by newcomers BRING IT ON and THE ART OF WAR, leaving THE CELL holding on to third. The stylized shocker, with primary visual effects by Toybox, grossed US$9.68 million, bringing its cume to $33.75 million. Meanwhile, SPACE COWBOYS continues to orbit around the top with a stop in fourth this weekend. After four weeks in theatres, the wrinkled space wranglers, with primary visual effects by ILM, lassoed another $6.51 million, raising its cume to $63.71 million.

Design Headline News

Sideshow Motion Design Livens Up Olympic NBC Coke Ads

Sideshow Motion Design has created 81 20-second promotional spots for NBC and Coca Cola to highlight the Summer Olympic Games. The ads utilize still photos of over 40 athletes in a moving fashion evocative of gold photo albums. Jie Shen designed and directed the commercials. "Our client, NBC, saw the importance of collaborating with Coke and wanted to do something with still photography and bring it life with an emotional wallop," said Sideshow president Scott Mantel. "This campaign shows Jies talents off beautifully.

Live-action Headline News

Wildlife & Fugitive Creates New World For Sketchers

Wildlife & Fugitive director Jay Torres created an amusement park world of rides using Sketcher shoes. Torres placed live-action kids inside shoes that served as the cars of the rides. "We had to shoot each element, be it the live kids or the stop-motion shoe elements separately," said Torres. "Since the amusement park wasnt meant to be realistic, we tried to create more of a surreal environment by using a combination of still frames, live-action and 3D animation. Its definitely a new look and a way to come up with ideas that fit into certain budget limitations.

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