Geographical Region: Europe
Without one Y2K fear we are slipping into 2001 already. This issue we are taking on the big questions that are facing the animation industry on the brink of the new year. For instance, Eric Oldrin discusses everyone's favorite topic, the Internet, and its current identity crisis. Michael Hurwicz is ponders whether or not the Internet is actually helping independent animators. Are there increased distribution outlets in this new age or are our fearless independents still in an unfunded jam? Finally, we take a long hard look at the U.S.
New York's Curious Pictures, a commercial animation and effects studio, is looking for a LEAD AFTEREFFECTS COMPOSITOR for miniseries. . . Kirkland, Washington's KnowWonder, a digital media works company specializing in the production of computer games and "edutainment" for children and young adults, is looking for a CHARACTER ANIMATOR/MODELER. . . Den Haag, The Netherlands' LetsLook, a company providing services for 3D visualization of real estate, is looking for a MODELER/ANIMATOR. . . Rome, Italy's Mamut is looking for a 2D ANIMATOR and a LAYOUT ARTIST for a television series. . .
Asun Gil has been named channel manager of Cartoon Network Spain. Gil joined Cartoon Network Spain as head of research where she played a key role in building 1.2 million subscribers for the network in just over one year on air. "It is very exciting to take on the channel at this stage and my brief is to increase viewers as well as moving further into the area of new media and launching additional services," said Gil.
Children's TV executive Haim Saban has exercised his option for News Corp.'s Fox Broadcasting to buy his 49.5% in the Fox Family Worldwide Inc. cable network. As part of the original agreement, each side will enlist an investment bank to determine the fair market value of the company. If the two numbers come within 10% of each other, the final purchase price will be the average of the two numbers. If they differ by more than 10% than a third bank will be brought in to mediate the settlement. Each parties' bank must determine Fox Family Worldwide's value by January 31, 2001.
The government of Spain's Balearic Islands is organizing a fully paid retreat for animators from around the world to come and hone their craft in Majorca. The attending animators, writers and technicians will have their travel, living and working expenses paid for by the non-profit fund. Moreover, the foundation will invite recognized names in the field to lead seminars and workshops. Projects created during the retreat will screen at Majorca's yearly animation festival ANI.MAR. However, the foundation needs the animation community's support to receive full funding for the project.
HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS and DINOSAUR picked up steam at the international box office as former champ CHARLIE'S ANGELS faded a bit. In Mexico, THE GRINCH made its debut in first with a gross of US$2.29 million. BEDAZZLED fell to second with a ticket take of $1.51 million, raising its Mexican cume to $3.51 million. In fourth, CHARLIE'S ANGELS flew in another $645,425, elevating its Mexican cume to $3.91 million. Rounding out the Mexican top ten, THE CELL captured $48,406 to push its cume to $2.36 million.
Milan-based Phoenix Tools announced the release of RealFur 2.0 a major upgrade to their fur rendering technology. The new version introduces renders up to 10 times faster than the previous version. The key to this speed is that the old volumetric technology has been replaced with a new geometry-based system that allows artists to render millions of polygons without having to display them in the 3D authoring application. An optimized cylinder, with the given color, transparency and other global material parameters, replace each hair strand at the rendering stage.
December's feature articles are based on the themes of location-based entertainment and anime. Karl Cohen is profiling Imax -- is animation's next frontier in peril? Also, Martin "Dr. Toon" Goodman is discussing the past and future of LBE, specifically VR. On the anime side of things Fred Patten is profiling "Vampire Hunter D," the latest anime release to arrive on U.S. soil. Andrew Osmond is interviewing a number of experts and scholars on the stylistic merits of Japanese animation. Be ready to put on your thinking cap before reading this one.
Shockwave.com and AtomFilms announced they have signed a definitive merger agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, shockwave.com will acquire AtomFilms in a stock-for-stock deal giving Shockwave shareholders 70% of the combined company. In addition, Macromedia, parent of shockwave.com, will now own less than 50% of the new firm. The combined company will announce its new name at the closing of the deal.
Vancouver, B.C., Canada's a.k.a. Cartoon, Inc., producers of a television series currently airing on Cartoon Network, is looking for a STORYBOARD SUPERVISOR to supervise an in-house staff of storyboard artists. . . Santa Maria, California's BSR Entertainment Group, a movie production company, is looking for EXPERIENCED LIGHTWAVE ANIMATORS with strong character animation skills. . . Fenton, Michigan's Creative Reign has immediate openings for several ANIMATORS and MODELERS to work on a 3D animated children's movie set for release in 2002. . .
Wild Brain, Inc. announced the appointment of John A. Schwallie as the company's new chief financial officer. As CFO, he will oversee all financial and IT, Facilities and HR operations. Previously, he served as CFO of London-based Central European Media Enterprises (CME), a publicly traded company. While there he helped launch and operate NOVA TV, CME's first national broadcast television station in the Czech Republic. "We are very pleased to welcome someone of John's caliber to Wild Brain," said Jeff Ulin, CEO of Wild Brain, Inc.
Jack S. Liebowitz, the comic book publisher who first brought Superman to the page, passed away on Monday, December 11 at his home in Great Neck, New York. He was 100 years old. Liebowitz immigrated to New York in 1910 from his birthplace in Proskurov, Ukraine. He and his partner, former pulp magazine publisher Harry Donenfeld, started publishing the series DETECTIVE COMICS in 1937. This title was the first successful comic centering on one theme. The series later provided the name for the company DC Comics.
CHARLIE'S ANGELS is still kicking at the international box office, but HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS and DINOSAUR are knocking on the door. The premiere of ANGELS in Germany knocked THE GRINCH out of the top spot with a gross of $4.1 million. THE GRINCH fell to second with a ticket take of $1.98 million, elevating its German cume to $4.58 million. In its third week in Germany, DINOSAUR slipped to third with gross of $1.7 million, advancing its cume to $9.52 million. In fourth, THE CELL captured another $1.58 million, pushing its German cume to $4.52 million.
Disney's DINOSAUR was released without any restriction in Italy and is gaining quite a bit of heat over the violent content. The film was released on December 1 with a suitable-for-all-ages rating, spurring complaints from parental associations like Italy's Parents Movement, child psychologists and government agencies like the Special Senate Commission for Infants. Currently, Italy has three rating levels: suitable-for-all-ages; under 14 not admitted; and under 18 not admitted.
Stephen Johnstone has been named head of interactive for Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) Europe. He will oversee content creation across the Internet (including Cartoon Network), broadband, wireless devices, interactive and enhanced TV. Joining Turner in 1994, Johnstone played a key role in launching Cartoon Network in European territories including Holland, France and Spain. He will move back to London from the company's Madrid office where he was Channel Manager for Cartoon Network Spain, the number one channel on Canal Satellite Digital.
Prestigious life drawing instructor Glenn Vilppu will teach two drawing classes at Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, March 5-9, 2001: "Drawing Animals" and "Head Drawing, Expression And Drapery." For more information, call the school at (941) 955-8866. Plus, Vilppu's Sketching Tours Of Italy will return next summer. Take a tour of Italy where you will draw the sights and receive personal instruction from world class life drawing master Glenn Vilppu. Participants will go to places where most tourists never dream of going!
This week, in honor of the WIA Website launch, AWN is proud to highlight the works of various women as animation directors.
- Sally Cruikshank: Cels and videos are available from some of her popular works, such as "Quasi at the Quackadero" and "Face Like a Frog."
EuropaCinema & TV Film Festival has announced its 2000 winners. First
prize in the animation short category went to AU PREMIER DIMANCHE
D'AOUT by Florence Miailhe. The jury, composed by Francesco Tullio
Altan (Italy), Terry Inglese (Switzerland) and Georges Wolinski
(France), made the following statement about the winning film: "For
the grace and beauty of the drawings, for the refined work of
painting. For the editing and the music and also for the ability in
Eyeball, a New York design studio, has created the new spot for NTL, Europe's largest broadband company, promoting their listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The commercial opens with the bright organically colored NTL logo followed by a purple colon. A matter-of-fact male voice-over tells the story of NTL's impending move to the NYSE as the points of the colon morph into two wires, which follow the camera through NTL's vast array of services. "We learned on a Thursday morning that we had won the NTL job," said Eyeball founder and creative director Limore Shur.
Around the world, moviegoers are being swept up in the sexy, high-kicking, MATRIX-like action of CHARLIE'S ANGELS. The television redux made its nod in the U.K. with an outstanding gross of US$6.74 million. In its sixth week in Britain, WHAT LIES BENEATH sunk to second, grossing $1.12 million, thus escalating its cume to $17.41 million. In fourth, BEDAZZLED possessed another $680,873, lifting its U.K. cume to $4.21 million. PITCH BLACK turned up in fifth, grossing $572,299, thereby pushing its U.K. cume to $3.64 million.
Creative Planet, Inc., a business-to-business solutions firm for the film and TV production industries and parent company of Animation World Network, has announced that it has received US$30 million in financing from United News & Media PLC, a $6 billion media and market information company based in London. In addition, Creative Planet has acquired United News "The Knowledge," an industry-standard database of film and TV production professionals in the U.K and Ireland. As part of the deal, United News gains exclusive sales and marketing rights in the U.K.