Jim Henson Co. will begin production Dec. 15 in Australia on a four-hour miniseries based on the cult favorite TV series FARSCAPE, reported SCI FI WIRE. Citing sources close to the production, the story will pick up and resolve issues left open at the end of the cancelled series. Stars Ben Browder and Claudia Black among others will be reprising their roles. The miniseries has no television distribution deal to date. Both Jim Henson Co. and the Sci Fi Channel had no comment on the rumor.
Geographical Region: Australia
LORD OF THE RINGS helmer Peter Jackson has been quoted in various trade publications saying that he would love to make J.R.R. Tolkens prequel to the RINGS series, THE HOBBIT into a feature. Jackson said if he were presented the chance, he would work with some of the same actors he worked with on the RINGS trilogy. If Jackson gets his wish, it would come after his remake of KING KONG, which is next on the directors plate as well as his visual effects house, Weta in New Zealand.
Pune, India-based animation house Digikore Studios Ltd looks to acquire an equity stake in a 2D animated TV series, reported IndianTelevision.com. This deal is part of a larger co-production agreement the company entered with New Zealand's Gtoyz Management Co. earlier this year. As part of that agreement, Digikore and Gtoyz will produce a 2D TV series as well as a 95-minute feature film. Digikore is looking for a credible Indian production firm with a project that attracts solid pre-sales. The studio hopes to aid the co-production partner in selling the series to international markets.
Wim Stocks has been promoted at Atari as evp, responsible for sales, licensing, marketing, distribution and logistics in North America, Latin/South America, Australia and the Pacific Rim region.
Three award-winning veterans of the animation industry have joined forces to form a new media company, phuuz entertainment in North, Hollywood, California. Co-founders of this new enterprise are Emmy Award-winning producer/director and former exec creative director at Film Roman, Eric Radomski, former production vp at Warner Bros. Animation, Ken Duer, and former vp/gm for LEVEL13.NET (Film Romans Internet entertainment site), Jay Francis.
Syd Mead, the renowned designer behind such films as BLADE RUNNER, TRON, 2010, and ALIENS, has joined the EXPOSÉ 2 Advisory Committee. EXPOSÉ 2 is the second in Ballistic Publishing's series of award-winning digital art books celebrating the talents of digital artists worldwide. Advisory Committee members will collaboratively assist in the selection of artwork to be presented in EXPOSÉ 2, as well as take on an advisory role ensuring the highest quality standards.
Adam Benjamin Elliot (BROTHER, COUSIN, FATHER) has received four awards for his newest short, HARVIE KRUMPET, at the 2003 Cinanima Festival, which ran Nov. 1016. This year was the 27th edition festival, which took place in Espinho, Portugal. Besides the international competition, the event holds panorama sessions, retrospectives, sessions with last edition's winners and special screenings. One of the retrospectives this year was dedicated to the work of Joanna Quinn.
THE BASIL BRUSH SHOW has been sold to German public service broadcaster ZDF. This deal coincides with Basil's first ever Christmas music single, the double A-side Boom Boom and Christmas Slide that will be released on Dec. 15, 2003 in Germany. The songs will be released in the U.K. on Dec. 8. The 16-year-old singing sensation, India Beau, performs on Boom Boom with Basil. The series will also air on the top rated children's digital channel KIKA, starting fall 2004.
Worldwide licensing agent, The Sharpe Co., has negotiated a number of licensing partners for DECODE Entertainments 3D animated pre-school show, THE SAVE-UMS!
New licensing and merchandising partners include Copyright Promotions Group in the U.K., France, Spain, Portugal, the Benelux territories and Italy; Licensing Works in Australia and Newman International in New Zealand. Plus Licens is a licensing partner for Scandinavia and Eastern Europe with the company also picking up merchandising rights for Scandinavia.
Character Animation Technologies Ltd. of Dunedin, New Zealand, announced the worldwide availability of the company's first product offering, Character Animation Toolkit (CAT) Version 1.0. Designed for animators by animators, CAT is a fully integrated next-generation character animation system plug-in for Discreet's 3ds max. CAT provides production-proven technology to animation professionals in film, video, broadcast and games development, who are seeking overall speed, efficiency and flexibility in creating fully customizable rigs and animation sequences.
Visual effects vet Hael Kobayashi has joined Animal Logic, the Sydney-based visual effects house as digital artists manager to oversee recruiting, training and career development of the studios expanding ranks of digital artists.
Gamers can save the City of Angels and take out the bad guys Hong Kong action flick style with Activisions release of TRUE CRIME: STREETS OF L.A., which has just been shipped to retail outlets for PlayStation2, Xbox and Nintendo GameCube. The game is rated "M" ("Mature" - Blood and Gore, Mature Sexual Themes, Strong Language and Violence) by the ESRB.
Elevating its position as a leading 3D animation company, Hornet Inc. recently completed ANGELS, an advertising campaign for the new BMW X5 and Fallon Worldwide. The package includes TV, print, interactive, merchandising and point-of-sale elements for BMW.
Cutting Edge VFX of Australia (www.cuttingedge.com) recently completed the animated opening and closing credits for Disney's just-released DVD premiere GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE 2 (Walt Disney Home Entertainment, $29.99).
DIC Consumer Products has significantly expanded its licensing/merchandising programs across Europe, Latin America, Australia, Asia, South Africa and the Middle East to gear up for the international launches of kids entertainment brands, including STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE, MADELINE and SUPER DUPER SUMOS.
Electronic Arts shipped HARRY POTTER: QUIDDITCH WORLD CUP videogame to stores on Oct. 28, 2003, just in time for Halloween. In the game, Harry Potter fans are able to fully experience the magical power, speed and competition of Quidditch, the favorite sport of witches and wizards, for the first time.
Artisan Entertainment has announced that upcoming release on August 27, 2004 of the feature film rendition of Marvel Comics MAN-THING. Produced by Marvel Studios and Fierce Entertainment in association with German equity fund Screenland Movieworld, the film just wrapped production after an eight-week shoot in Sydney, Australia. Effects pioneer Brett Leonard (THE LAWNMOWER MAN, T-REX BACK TO THE CRETACEOUS) directed the film. Hans Rodionoff (THE HOLLOW) adapted the comic for the screen.
4Kids Entertainment Inc. has set MIPCOM 2003 for the launch of 26 episodes of the new TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES and 47 new episodes of the Japanese sensation, YU-GI-OH!
At long last, Disney's mega hit, THE LION KING, arrives on DVD Oct. 7, 2003 (Walt Disney Home Entertainment, $29.99) in a special edition worthy of the phenomenon. For starters, the two-disc set contains gorgeous transfers of both the theatrical release and the extended edition featuring the Elton John/Tim Rice song from the play, "Morning Report," digitally cleaned and enhanced in painstaking fashion by the original filmmakers from Feature Animation.
Elastic Rights is looking to secure strategic, local partners at MIPCOM, including theatrical, TV, home entertainment, licensing, publishing and Internet companies for its portfolio of projects. The aim is to add value, by developing an integrated brand management strategy for each property.
The Indigo Group will venture to Cannes with four new projects in tow for MIPCOM. The new projects include TOBY THE PRINCE OF WHALES, TINGUARO, BRADYS BEASTS and FREDDIE THE FROG.
In further belt-tightening, the Walt Disney Co. plans to shut down Walt Disney Animation (Japan) in Tokyo. Part of DisneyToon Studios that specializes in DVD-premieres (101 DALMATIANS II: PATCH'S LONDON ADVENTURE) and smaller-budgeted theatrical releases (PIGLET'S BIG MOVIE, THE TIGGER MOVIE), the Japanese facility employs about 100 animators and will cease operations after completing the WINNIE THE POOH spin-off, THE HEFFALUMP MOVIE. Work for 2004 and beyond will quickly segue over to Walt Disney Animation (Australia), which recently made JUNGLE BOOK II.