Nickelodeon has signed a deal with Italian broadcaster Radio Televisione Italiana (RAI) to produce the first localized foreign-language version of Blues Clues. The show will premiere on the RAI UNO network in the second quarter of 1999. In Italy, RAI will localize the series by using the same blue-screen technology used on the original production to insert an Italian, live-action host into the existing computer animation. Nickelodeon plans to make similar sales to other countries, as this production concept was designed into the show from its inception.
AWN Headline News
* Saturday, October 17. Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
The Museum of Fine Arts Boston presents the premiere screening of Mary Kocols independent animated film, My Fathers Story. The screening takes place at 2 p.m., and general admission is $7 ($6 for students and members). For information about the film and future screenings, visit www.ne-arts.net/mkocol.
The producers of Maya and PowerAnimator, Alias|Wavefront recentlyannounced that they were jumping into the technical surfacing market withthe introduction of its new SurfaceStudio. SurfaceStudio, which will bereleased later this year, will be a complement to the Alias Studio 9 familyof CAID products. "The introduction of SurfaceStudio is a natural extension of theAlias|Wavefront leadership in CAID tools. Our automotive customers, inparticular, have encouraged us to make this move and we greatly benefited
Robert McNeel & Associates will be releasing the final version of Rhino3D, a powerful NURBS-based modeling package, this month. The software, whichhas undergone an extensive public beta program (for the last 2 years), willbe available for Windows 95, 98 or NT, and is designed as a companion topackages like 3D Studio MAX and Lightwave. Priced at $795 US, the packageboasts features such as 3D digitising support (for Microscribe 3D and Faro),surface and solid modeling, an intuitive UI, and support for all major 3Dfile formats.
Registered MAC users of LightWave 3D 5.5 and 5.6 can now downloadOpenGL from the NewTek web site. "LightWave 3D with Mac OpenGL seems like acompletely new product. The speed in redrawing and real-time viewing hasbeen amazing," said Brad Peebler, NewTek's vice president, 3D graphicsgroup. "Macintosh users have been at a disadvantage in the industry by nothaving access to OpenGL. With our new Mac OpenGL update, NewTek has leveledthe playing field for our customers who use Macs."
By special arrangement with Nielsen Media Research, AWN publishes the Nielsen ratings for animated programs on a monthly basis in the Animation Flash. The ratings included herein are only for U.S. national network television. The following list of animated national network programs is ranked by Household Ratings. A Rating is the percentage of households that tuned into the program. This percentage can provide us with the number of households that tuned into the program on average during the month. The universe estimate for the 1997-98 television season is 98 million TV homes.
North-Hollywood-based FILM ROMAN has been hired as the production company for the WB's new prime-time cartoon, "The Downtowners," the first animated series to be developed by Castle Rock Entertainment's Television unit, whose live-action credits include "Seinfeld." Thirteen half-hour episodes of "The Downtowners" have been ordered, for debut on the WB network in fall 1999.
CARTOON NETWORK will debut two new "World Premiere Toons" shorts on November 6 at 8:00 p.m. "Mike, Lu & Og" by Chuck Swenson is about a girl named Mike who leaves her home in New York City and ends up on a remote island where the natives are friendly. "Kenny and the Chimp" by Tim Warburton is about an awkward 11-year-old and his best friend, a primate named Chimpy.
DreamWorks animated feature film, Antz has grossed over $36 million in the past 10 days since its U.S. theatrical release, topping two weeks box office charts. Reeling from this success, DreamWorks is developing a direct-to-video sequel to Antz. The film would, like its predecessor, be produced by computer animation studio Pacific Data Images (PDI). It is also being considered for theatrical release. Either way, a studio spokesperson confirmed that if the production is green lit, it would be 18-24 months before its release.
The German broadcaster RTL has purchased four Nickelodeon animated series for broadcast in its weekend morning kids programming block. Hey Arnold!, Rockos Modern Life, CatDog and Angry Beavers will be introduced to the networks program line-up over the course of the next year. The sale comes on the heels of Nickelodeons withdrawal from the tough German market [AF 6/2/98] as a network. Nickelodeon ceased broadcasting on German airwaves in May, a decision motivated by weak ad sales and increased competition for viewers.
In celebration of Disneys 75th anniversary, the Disney Channel will air a collection of rarely seen early films by Walt Disney. Films such as the 1920s live-action/animation shorts, The Alice Comedies will air October 16-29, nightly on the Vault Disney programming block, Monday-Saturday at 11 p.m., Sunday at 9 p.m. Although other studios had been putting animated characters into live-action environments, Disney, with The Alice Comedies, was the first to place a live-action character into a cartoon world.
* Tuesday, October 13. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
The Goethe Institute of Los Angeles presents a screening of abstract animated films by German artist, Bärbel Neubauer. The artist will be in attendance and a wine reception will follow. A chronological selection of films will be screened, including her latest film, Firehouse. The Goethe Institute is located at 5750 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 100. For information, call (213) 525-3388.
At its membership meeting on September 29, the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists and Affiliated Optical Electronic and Graphic Arts, Local 839 IATSE re-elected the following officers, who were nominated without opposition: President: Tom Sito, Vice-President: George Sukara, Business Representative: Steve Hulett, Recording Secretary: Jeff Massie, Sergeant-At-Arms: Jan Browning.
The Writer's Guild of America's Animation Writers Caucus presented its first-ever Animation Writing Award to Gordon Bressack, at its annual meeting and reception on Wednesday, October 7, 1998.
German media group, ProSieben Media AG has bought a 20 percent stake in Los Angeles, California-based Aréte Image Software (AIS). The strategic alliance marks the first time the Munich-based company has invested in the American market. AIS, established in 1996, specializes in creating software--such as RenderWorld and Digital NatureTools--that enables animators to integrate water and atmospheric effects. The deal gives ProSieben exclusive rights to use AIS' technology and market it in Europe. Dr.
The Harrison, New York-based East Coast office of Blue Sky | VIFX has promoted Michael Feder to associate producer. Feder came to Blue Sky | VIFX in 1997, following production stints at Turner Pictures Worldwide and Jersey Films in Los Angeles. Blue Sky | VIFX's CEO David Brown stated, Mike really deserves this promotion and I believe with his strong production background and experience he will continue to make significant contributions to building the studio's relationships with the New York production community.
The International Teleproduction Society (ITS) has issued its call for entries for its 20th annual International Monitor Awards, which will be presented in New York, July 24, 1999. The awards are mainly for the teleproduction and digital media industries, honoring excellence in various fields of production and post-production. The 20 categories include Short Subjects, Children's Programming, Commercials and On-Air Promotions. The early-bird deadline (discount entry fees) is December 11, 1998 and the final deadline is January 15, 1999. For information and entry forms call (703) 319-0800.
Girls, Inc. (formerly Girls Clubs of America), a U.S. non-profit organization devoted to helping every girl become strong, smart and bold, has announced that six women in the childrens entertainment industry will be honored at its annual celebration luncheon. The event will take place on Tuesday, November 10, 1998 at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California.
North Hollywood, California-based FILM ROMAN has hired WILLIAM SHPALL as chief operating officer. For the past two and a half years, Shpall has been a principal in the financial consulting firm, Inter.comm, and was previously CFO of Carolco Pictures. Film Roman CEO David Pritchard commented on Shpalls appointment, Im delighted to have Bill join me in shaping the company as we continue to implement the new strategy at Film Roman. The critical ingredient of a successful entertainment company is financial planning and operating discipline and Bill brings us both.
The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television presented the 13th annual Gemini Awards on Sunday, October 4 in Toronto. The winner in the Animated Program or Series category is Nelvana Limiteds 2D series, Sam & Max, produced by Patrick Loubert, Gwenn Saunders Eckel, Michael Hirsh, Stephen Hodgins, Robert Ross, Clive A. Smith and J.D. Smith. The winner in the Preschool Program or Series category is Cochran Entertainments mixed-media show, Theodore Tugboat, produced by Andrew Cochran.
* Tuesday, October 13 - Friday, October 16. Pasadena, California, U.S.A.
Miller Freeman presents the Digital Video (DV) Conference and Exposition at the Pasadena Center. Highlights include courses on Maya and After Effects software, character modeling and animation for the web. For information visit www.dvexpo.com.
* Tuesday, October 13. New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Animation legend Chuck Jones will make an appearance at the Warner Bros. Studio Store Gallery at One East 57th Street (corner of 57th and 5th). The event is by invitation only, so be sure to call first: (212) 754-0300.
* Sunday, October 11. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Griffith Place Entertainment presents Hollywood Shorts, a monthly film festival dedicated to introducing emerging directors/writers and producers to Los Angeles film community. This months animated film is Exo-Skeleton and companion cartoons, a 10-minute computer animation by Pyros Pictures. The screening will take place at The Joint, 8771 West Pico Boulevard (at Robertson) in West L.A. from 6 to 9 p.m. Guests must RSVP by October 10. Call (310) 358-7634.
* Saturday, October 10. San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
The Mill Valley Film Festival presents an animation program including Dave Thomas A Dog Cartoon, Ryan McCullochs Without You, Frazier Bradshaws Baker, Paints, Cakes, Velvy Appletons Hervic in Cloudland, and Matt Broersma and Shari Rubins documentary on San Francisco independent animators, Meet the Mole People. For information and location, visit www.finc.org/mvff.