R!OT has created the CGI tornado for a new spot for Chevrolet's Monte Carlo. The spot starts out with a realistic tornado traveling down an urban street. The twister final stops backs up and parks in a parking spot. After the storm cloud settles and reveals the Monte Carlo SS, Warner Bros.' animated character the Tasmanian Devil hops out of the car and drops change into the meter. "The idea was to create a realistic tornado in order to take the audience by surprise at the end," said ad agency Campbell-Ewald's executive producer Craig Mungons.
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Stan Lee Media (SLM) and SciFi.com have signed a deal to Netcast 12 Webisodes of SLM's newest series THE DRIFTER. Debuting next year, the series follows Zane (a.k.a. the Drifter), who travels into the past to prevent a global computer meltdown in 2074 that kills 423 million people. SciFi.com has signed distribution deals with other Net content creators such as Wildbrain.com's SPACE IS DUM and Othervision.com's INDIE PLANET. SciFi.com is the official Website of cable channel the SciFi Channel, which is owned by USA Entertainment.
Francisco "Paco" Rodriguez is closing down his animation production-distribution house PPM Multimedia to head up the animation arm of Madrid's burgeoning content creator Filmax. He will oversee the development of animated projects, international sales, coordinating co-productions and directing services at Filmax's animation studio Bren Entertainment. Rodriguez formed PPM Multimedia in 1990 and quickly transformed the small company into a major force in the Spanish market.
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This past week, the international box office got a bit frightful with SCARY MOVIE, WHAT LIES BENEATH and HOLLOW MAN taking top spots around the globe. In Mexico, SCARY MOVIE debuted in first place with a gross of $2.33 million. In second, WHAT LIES scared audiences to the tune of $917,416, lifting its Mexican cume to $6.23 million. U-571 thrilled audiences in third, with a gross of $648,055, raising its Mexican cume to $1.6 million. In sixth, HOLLOW MAN made $406,055 disappear from Mexican moviegoers' pockets, advancing its cume to $5.14 million.
Brilliant Digital Entertainment (BDE) is branching out into the music business with its new Brilliant Animated Music division. So far DreamWorks Records and Island Def Jam Music Group have signed on to have music from their catalogs transformed into 3D Multipath videos. Heading up the new arm will be Grammy-award winning record producer Lee Jaffe, attorney David Codikow and Andrew Lee, who was recently promoted to BDE's senior VP of strategy and development.
In light of the upcoming theatrical release of the live-action feature HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS!, Warner Bros. Home Video is re-releasing the classic HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! cartoon on VHS and DVD, plus a new THE BEST OF DR. SEUSS compilation video. Both the VHS and DVD editions of HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! will feature the Dr. Seuss short, HORTON HEARS A WHO!
Released on October 3, 2000, the direct-to-video SCOOBY-DOO AND THE ALIEN INVADERS will make its television debut after less than two months on video. Cartoon Network will air THE ALIEN INVADERS on November 25, 2000 at 7-9 pm in the U.S. This time around the Mystery, Inc. gang get stranded in a desert town and have a run in with less than friendly extra-terrestrials. This Thanksgiving weekend airing could help put the direct-to-video on Christmas lists around America.
After making its initial nod last weekend in second place, the bewitching comedy BEDAZZLED fell to fourth place at the U.S. box office. Coming in behind MEET THE PARENTS, the debut of BLAIR WITCH 2 and REMEMBER THE TITANS, the Elizabeth Hurley devil dance, with primary visual effects by Rhythm & Hues, grossed US$7.83 million, down 41% from its debut, thereby lifting its 10-day cume to $24.15 million. The only other F/X flick in the top ten was the premiere of THE LITTLE VAMPIRE, which flew in at #6.
On Friday, October 27, 2000, four-year Sony Pictures veteran Bob Levin officially settled out the remaining 1 1/2 years of his contract and left his post as president of worldwide marketing for Columbia TriStar Pictures Group. His resignation came one day after Sony restructured the executive arm and gave chief of worldwide distribution, Jeff Blake, Levin's duties. According to insiders, there were tensions between Blake and Levin. Levin is best known in the animation community for playing a key cog in the phoenix run of Walt Disney animation.
A new site has been designed to connect voiceover talent with casting directors, agents, animation studios and advertising firms via the Internet. Voicebank.net will allow voiceover talent the chance to post their work or listen to demo reels by searching through a Web database. The site is set up to interconnect all aspects of the voice casting process from receiving audition requests, printing copy and spec sheets to recording, encoding, sending and receiving voice auditions, approvals and finished spots.
Dimension Films has just signed on to foot part of the US$75 million bill for the film version of Marvel Comics GHOST RIDER. Dimension joins Castle Sky Productions as the production companies on the flick. Crystal Sky Entertainment CEO Steven Paul, Marvel Studios head Avi Arad and actor Jon Voight are producing the flick with Dimension handling Stateside distribution. David Goyer will write and Stephan Norrington will direct the live-action adaptation. The team last collaborated on BLADE.
AWN's Web Animation Guide is the place for what's new on the Net. This week's installment features a new WEEKEND PUSSY HUNT, tons of Halloween themed Webtoons and much, much more.
Get your Web Animation Guide here!
Also every week AWN's associate editor Rick DeMott highlights what he thinks is the top new toon in cyberspace in "Rick's Picks!"
Cinar Corp. has signed a deal with Bahamas-based Globe-X Management to recover US$50.9 million that was invested in offshore accounts without board approval. The investments were originally to be paid by November of this year, however the new agreement has Globe-X paying out weekly installments between now and August 17, 2001. As part of the new arrangement, Cinar has dropped all legal charges made against Globe-X.
In an attempt to strengthen its executive ranks, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) has retooled, leaving a worldwide marketing executive seemingly without a job. Chief of worldwide distribution, Jeff Blake has assumed the duties of Bob Levin, who had held the post of marketing exec. Levin, who was in New York yesterday for the CHARLIE'S ANGELS premiere, was not available for comment and no word was announced on his definite future with the company or otherwise. According to insiders, there were tensions between Blake and Levin, who has 1 1/2 years left on his contract.
News and entertainment destination site, iFuse.com, is about to go under unless it can find a buyer immediately. The company has run out of money and told its 30 staff members on Tuesday, October 24 that they no longer would be paid. The Marina del Ray, California-based company's CEO Rich Battista and president and COO Michael Dowling are in talks with several Websites to buy the sinking Netcaster. Battista told the DAILY VARIETY that, "Our doors are still open.
J.J. Sedelmaier Productions has wrapped on a series of 1 1/2-minute interstitials entitled "A Stranger in Town," starring caped crusader Capt. Linger, who has a tendency to talk your ear off after saving your life. Stuart Hill sold the Linger idea to Cartoon Network and producer Lynn Slowinski presented the concept to Sedelmaier. At first the concept was written in a DUDLEY DO-RIGHT style, but Sedelmaier envisioned it with a flat comic book look. "Stuart (Hill) had a clear idea of what to retain from the original concept but he didn't hold onto anything unnecessarily," said Sedelmaier.
New York-based Rhinoceros Visual Effects and Design has completed the digital imagery work for three new Alka Seltzer spots. In the 30-second "This Cold Season" and two 15-second spots, "Just Picked" and "Dew Drop," legions unite as a single cold sufferer in one digital mosaic transition. The spots also contain a multitude of CG bubbles and a photo-real CG Alka Seltzer package. "The recent Alka Seltzer spots had a lot of challenging aspects that made them call for more CG than originally anticipated," noted Arman Matin, Rhinoceros' CG project leader.