As everyone predicted LORD OF THE RINGS, with primary digital effects by WETA in New Zealand, was easily number one at the U.S. box office this long, holiday weekend. Opening on Wednesday, December 19, the film pulled in over $18 million in the first 24 hours alone. As of Sunday, December 23, the film has a cume of $73.1 million and shows no sign of slowing down as other newcomers had weak openings. Ultra-slick OCEANS ELEVEN, with visual effects by E=mc2 and Cinesite, is holding strong with a second place finish of $14.6M and a cume of $95.2M.
Geographical Region: Australia
AUSFEST 2002. Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Wednesday, August 28 - Sunday, September 01, 2002
Entry Deadline: Thursday, May 30, 2002
Tropfest: Sunday, February 24, 2002, Sydney + world-wide web, NSW Australia. Entry Deadline: Thursday, January 17, 2002. Tropfest aims to support emerging filmmakers and gives them the opportunity to showcase their work to a broad audience in a festive environment. Tropfest also enourages production - films entered must include the Tropfest Signature Item (TSI) to show that the film was specifically made for Tropfest. Sixteen films in total are chosen for screening at Tropfest and prizes are announced in the lead up to the event.
Australian Effects & Animation Festival 2002: Tuesday, February 26 - Thursday, February 28, 2002, Sydney, NSW Australia. The Australian Effects & Animation Festival 2002 is a unique opportunity for Australians to learn the creative and technical secrets behind some of the biggest VFX/animation projects from Hollywood and around the world. It provides an exclusive access pass to the leading personalities in the global VFX and animation community.
Pepper's Ghost Productions (PGP) has inked an agreement with Cambridge Animation Systems whereby Cambridge will be the exclusive worldwide distributor for PGP's production management software tool, PG Studio. PG Studio was developed by PGP to manage all facets of production for its 3D CGI properties. The software was an integral part of the award-winning television series, TINY PLANETS, which was co-produced with Sesame Workshop, and is already on air in Australia, sold to territories throughout the world, and with a U.K. version to be seen on CiTV in the spring of 2002.
A new animated series called THE KANGAROO CREEK GANG is bouncing into production. Based on the books and comic strip of the same name, the 26 x 12 animated series is an international co-production between production and distribution outfit Southern Star Pacific, the Shanghai Animation Studios (China) and Australian-based company The Kangaroo Creek Gang. The series is scheduled to air in Australia on the Nine Network and will be sold internationally by Southern Star Kids.
STVDIO Media, an American-run animation house based in Hong Kong and specializing in 2D character animation, has been awarded a grant by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council to develop THE FENG SHUI DETECTIVE. Based on characters from author Nury Vittachi's book, a bestseller in Australia and Hong Kong, the animated version has already generated interest from regional media companies. The FENG SHUI DETECTIVE follows the adventures of a Chinese feng shui expert and his Australian teenage girl assistant who travel across Asia assisting the police with their investigations.
Peppers Ghost Productions CGI-animated series TINY PLANETS has been licensed to Germanys Super RTL network and ITV1 in the U.K. The show recently received two BAFTA Interactive awards nominations and is scheduled to debut in the U.K. and Germany in the first quarter 2002.
French childrens cable and a satellite channel Canal J has partnered with Nickelodeon U.K., Spain, Australia and Latin America and acquired Japanese anime series YU-GIOH, which will be broadcast in France in spring 2002.
Animindia is looking for an ANIMATION DIRECTOR and KEY ANIMATORS for its Hyderabad, India-based studio . . . Detroit, Michigan's BIG GAME PRODUCTIONS is looking for a WRITER . . . Portland, Oregon's cartoonmonkey studio is looking for a ANIMATION AGENT . . . Melbourne, Australia's Glen Art Productions, a stop-motion animation studio, is looking for an AGENT / REPRESENTATIVE . . . Detroit, Michigan's KPC ANIMATION STUDIO is looking for a 2D/3D ANIMATOR and a STORYBOARD/ILLUSTRATOR . . . The Ninjai Gang, an online & offline content creation group is looking for a KEY ANIMATOR . . .
Margaret Loesch, founding president and CEO of Crown Media U.S., will be departing the company next month at the conclusion of her contract. On leaving her post at Crown, Loesch said I'm very proud of the many accomplishments made by the team that I've helped build. But, while the experience has been exciting, it has also been all-consuming personally and professionally. As I near the end of my contract, it seems like an ideal time to take a much-needed break and put some focus on my family, and then begin to pursue my other career goals.'' She will be replaced by Lana E.
The Sharpe Company has appointed Italys BIC Licensing and Australian apparel company Barrymores Pty. Ltd., as licensing agents for Great Britains popular pre-school program HUMPHREYS CORNER. These agents join the HUMPHREYS CORNER licensing team headed by Charles Day, president of The Sharpe Company, worldwide licensee of the elephant character. HUMPHREYS CORNER is based on characters created and written by Sally Hunter in a series of books for preschool children about an elephant named Humphrey.
Jim Russell, artist for Australia's THE POTTS comic strip, passed away on August 15, 2001. He was 92 years old. Russell held the world record for the longest running comic strip done by one artist unaided. For 62 years, he drew THE POTTS, which was created in 1920 by Stan Cross and was handed over to Russell in 1939. In the 1950s, Russell decided to liven up the series with the creation of Uncle Dick, who became the star of the series and is widely regarded as Russell's alter ego. He was a member of the National Cartoonists' Society in the U.S.
* 2nd Annual Festival of Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction: Friday, August 03 - Sunday, August 26, 2001, Los Angeles, California USA.
Ubi Soft Entertainment generated consolidated sales of US$53.2 million (60.39 million euros), up 162.5% for the first quarter of 2000/2001 ended June 30. Without taking into account the acquisition of 3D Planet (Italy), Sinister Games (U.S.), Red Storm (U.S.), and Blue Byte (Germany), and the assets of TLC's Entertainment division, consolidated sales for the quarter were $32.44 million dollars (36.81 million euros), up 60%. Highlights of the quarter were the release of MYST III: EXILE, launched in the U.S. and Australia in May.
Anima Mundi has released the winners for its 2001 festival, which took place from Friday, July 13 Monday, July 23, 2001 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil then moved to São Paulo, Brazil from Wednesday, July 25 Sunday, July 29, 2001. The festival is the major animation festival in South America. The festival included a wide range of open activities, including workshops, lectures and exhibitions. The winners were chosen by a panel of 26 animation industry professionals from around the world. Below is a complete list of winners.
Anima Mundi 2001 took place from Friday, July 13 - Monday, July 23, 2001 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil then moved to São Paulo, Brazil from Wednesday, July 25 - Sunday, July 29, 2001. The major animation festival in South America, Anima Mundi included a wide range of open activities, including workshops, lectures and exhibitions. A panel of twenty-six animation industry professionals from around the world chose the 2001 festival winners: Best Film: "Father And Daughter" by Michael Dudok de Wit, Holland.
Swatch has announced the winner of the Swatchbeat 2 Flash Animation Competition on August 1. Hundreds of entries from around the world were submitted to a panel of Swiss judges and Internet audiences. The top prize was US$5000 dollars and a trip to the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland from August 9 -13. Each participant had to create a Flash animation no greater than 30 seconds on the theme of "Waiting for the Movies." The winning entry was by Frank Gapinski of www.flashtoonz.com in Australia. The toon features a movie-goer's struggle to get a comfortable seat at the movies.
DECODE has sold 26 episodes of its newest series, THE BLOBHEADS, to Nickelodeon and Frances Canal J. The series is scheduled to premiere in 2002. For Nickelodeon, this deal marks the first program pre-sale across multiple territories in the U.K., Europe and Australia. Co-produced by DECODE and C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures, the series is aimed at 8-12 year olds and mixes live-action human characters with CGI aliens.
The World Animation Celebration will offer the only West Coast screening of "Mutant Aliens," Bill Plympton's new animated feature that premiered at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. This sci-fi comedy about totally evil but cuddly aliens coming to Earth to get their revenge won the Feature Film Grand Prix at the 2001 Annecy Animation Festival. Bill Plympton, who did all the animation, will be present at the screening. He will also be signing copies of his graphic novel of "Mutant Aliens." The first 50 attendees will get special collectible viewers with raunchy stills from the film.
Brisbane, Australia's Blue Rocket Productions has started pre-production on their new 3D animated television series entitled HOOTA & SNOZ. The interstitial series of 26 episodes are being co-produced with RTV Family Entertainment and Pacific Film and Television Commission. The show follows the antics of two creatures that constantly bicker about everything. The characters speak in squeaks and grunts, which breaks down the culture barrier and has allowed the series to be sold into nearly 40 countries since its release at MIPCOM last October.
The May Acrobat issue of Animation World Magazine is now on-line! As we have recently changed to a weekly format with the magazine many of you have noticed that this has also changed our publishing schedule for the downloadable, monthly PDF version. Never fear! We are going to keep publishing the Acrobat version. Each 15th of the month we will publish the previous month's articles.
Mainframe Entertainment, Inc. has licensed its popular REBOOT animation series to Infogrames, Inc., for development on various interactive game platforms. The multi-year licensing agreement was negotiated by licensing and merchandising veteran Joy Tashjian, president of Joy Tashjian Marketing Group, the exclusive representative for Mainframe's properties, who is also contributing to Mainframe's expansion into the consumer products area through a recently formed strategic alliance.
Universal's SITTING DUCKS, a new CGI children's animated series, has been licensed in multiple international territories. ITV has secured rights to the show in the U.K., with other licenses going to France's TF1, Australia's ABC, Mexico's Televisa S.A., Portugal's TVI and Star TV in Greece. Cable rights to SITTING DUCKS have been acquired by Canada's YTV and by the Nickelodeon Channel in Australia. In the Netherlands, the show will be shown exclusively on the SBS group of channels.
Each week, Animation World Magazine offers new articles, specialfeatures and theme-based coverage of the art, craft and industry ofanimation. New this week:
While you might not realize it, you've probably already seen some ofAustralia's top effects houses in action. Stephen Lynch explains.