David Eick has been named to the newly created post of evp, USA Cable Entertainment (UCE). He will oversee all aspects of the division, which develops, finances and acquires original programs for broadcast on the USA Network and SCI FI Channel.
Geographical Region: North America
KOCH Entertainment Distribution, a growing music and video distributor in Port Washington, New York, signed an exclusive distribution deal with AnimEigo, a leading Anime label that specializes in releasing the finest Japanese Animation and Samurai films in the North American market. KOCH will distribute AnimEigo's entire catalog, which includes well-known classic titles such as MACROSS (the series that became the core of ROBOTECH), BUBBLEGUM CRISIS, URUSEI YATSURA, KIMAGURE ORANGE ROAD, OH MY GODDESS!
Bauhaus Software Inc., a new digital visual effects provider, has formed a strategic partnership with TVPaint Developpement Inc. for product development, marketing and distribution of TVPaint technologies. Bauhaus Software and TVPaint are combining their expertise to develop a new generation of cross platform computer graphics software for visual effects artists, video professionals and animators. These new products will be sold and distributed under the Bauhaus Software brand.
Keith LeGoy, svp of sales, Europe, at Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI), was promoted to md, Latin America, relocating from London to Miami. Dorien Sutherland, who held the post at SPTI since March 1994, has left the company to pursue other interests and consulted to SPTI during the transition period.
Michael Grindon, president of SPTI, said LeGoy's most recent efforts, "have led to significant improvements in our licensing business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and he is well prepared to assume this new leadership role."
SplutterFish, a high-end 3D rendering software solutions provider, has appointed Gary Meyer to the new position of director of worldwide sales and marketing. Meyer will handle SplutterFish's sales and marketing efforts in the company's core film, broadcast and visualization markets. His responsibilities will also include the expansion and development of the company's reseller and channel networks as well as direct sales for the company's award-winning Brazil Rendering System and other software products.
Adobe Systems Inc. launches After Effects 6.0, an extensive upgrade of its award-winning motion graphics and visual effects software. This major release integrates a new text engine for creating unique and compelling typographic animations. Available for Windows and Mac OS X, Adobe After Effects 6.0 helps professionals meet tough production challenges by increasing productivity with features such as OpenGL support, and other major performance improvements.
UPN gave its pilot project, MEET THE BREAKNECKS, from Carsey-Werner-Mandabach, the greenlight to series, renaming it GAME OVER. UPN entertainment president Dawn Ostroff ordered the series as a mid-season replacement for the net's first ever CGI series in prime time.
The 39th Chicago International Film FestivalChicago, Illinois, USAOctober 2 16, 2003Deadline: July 25, 2003
As reported by AWN on July 3, 2002, the Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) has regained its primary funding from Telefilm Canada through the end of the fiscal year 2004. OIAF received more than 300 letters of support from all over the globe, which were forwarded to Telefilm. Supporters included Canadian animation companies such as Funbag, Head Gear, Bardel Animation and Atomic Cartoons; U.S.
Chris Robinson, artistic director for the Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF), has informed AWN that Telefilm Canada, the federal film funding branch of the Ministry of Heritage, has renewed the festivals funding for the 2003-2004 fiscal year. More details will be posted when they arrive.
The Oscar-winning creators of the acclaimed animated TV series BOB AND MARGARET, Alison Snowden and David Fine, are set to produce their latest primetime animation series, SIMON SIMPLE, with Vancouver's award-winning Studio B Productions. The 26x22 series is in development for Canadian broadcaster TELETOON.
Montreal-based CinéGroupe Distribution, a division of CinéGroupe, has signed with HOLA Entertainment to sell its shows in Latin America and the Caribbean. Marie-Christine Dufour, evp of distribution, licensing and marketing for CinéGroupe said HOLA president Mercedes Alvarez "offers an unbeatable combination. She has extensive experience in television sales in Latin America, and, she is based in Montreal. She will be able to build on the relations CinéGroupe has acquired over the years, and solidify our position in this growing market." CinéGroupe (www.cinegroupe.com) is the animation partner of Lions Gate Entertainment.
Some of the shows Alvarez will handle include THE CHINESE SIAMESE CAT, (CinéGroupe/Sesame Workshop) and PIG CITY (CinéGroupe /AnimaKids). CinéGroupe has more than 800 half-hours of animation and live-action family programming. CinéGroupe is producing TRIPPING THE RIFT, a 3D animation series with Film Roman for primetime on the Sci Fi Channel (U.S.) and Space (Canada) plus P3K: PINOCCHIO 3000, a 3D animated feature with Animakids and Castelao.
Canadian TV execs are on the move to Toronto-based Portfolio Entertainment which has named Kate Horton as creative director and Stephen R. Kelley as head of sales and acquisition. Horton, previously director of development at Cabium Entertainment, where she produced MONSTER BY MISTAKE, then oversaw the development and implementation of a successful merchandising program for the show, which generated books, plus dolls and home video product. Horton will seek development partnerships for Portfolio.
ZODIAC MEDIA founder/president H. Paul Gill died suddenly of heart failure while playig basketball on June 25, 2003 at the age of 28 in Toronto, Canada.
Comedy Central plans to celebrate America's birthday on July 4, 2003 with a 1:00 am broadcast of SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT, uncensored by the cablenet with encore presentations July 5 and 6 at 1:00 am. The feature film based upon the hit series by Trey Parker and Matt Stone grossed more than $52 million in the U.S. and won both New York and L.A. Film Critics awards. It also received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song, "Blame Canada."
The new Internet has gotten a lot of press in Europe and Asia, but is still relatively unknown in the United States. It was therefore a real stunner when John Osterholz, the director of architecture and interoperability for the Department of Defense (DoD), announced last week that the Pentagon would only buy networked products that conform to the new specification, starting in October of this year, and DoD hopes to be totally transitioned by 2008 that more than $30 billion of product and services per year.
After a four-year hiatus for Disney comic books in the U.S. market, Disney Publishing Worldwide has signed a deal with Gemstone Publishing to bring Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and other Disney favorites back onto the printed page. Gemstone will release the first two monthly comics, WALT DISNEY COMICS AND STORIES and UNCLE SCROOGE, in June at $6.95, while the first bi-monthly, DONALD DUCK ADVENTURES ($7.95), debuts in July, and monthlies DONALD DUCK AND FRIENDS and MICKEY MOUSE AND FRIENDS ($2.95), arrive in September.
The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF), the oldest, largest and most prestigious animation festival in North America, has had its funding completely cut by Telefilm Canada, which is the federal film funding branch of the Ministry of Heritage.
Kelly O'Brien, former Ottawa Festival director in the '70s and 80s, died May 5, 2003, at age 50 at her home in Beaches, near Toronto in Canada. According to a report in the TORONTO STAR, she suffered from liver disease, but autopsy results were inconclusive, so the matter is still under police investigation.
Flash specialty studio ANIMAX is producing a 35mm-animated short film for Jellyman Prods., CATCHING KRINGLE, in a mix of 2D techniques. ANIMAX is using Flash, USAnimation and traditional hand animation for the holiday themed short, featuring the voices of Danny De Vito and John Rhy-Davies, with a cameo by Larry King. The film will be ready to exhibit at film and animation festivals in time for the holiday season.
Leading childrens and family entertainment specialist, DECODE Entertainment in Toronto, has appointed Los Angeles-based The Sharpe Co. as worldwide licensing agent for its digital 2D animated preschool show FRANNY'S FEET. The series tells the exciting stories of a little girl whose fantastic feet take her on magical adventures when she tries on shoes in her grandfathers repair shop.
FRANNY'S FEET (13x22) has been commissioned by Channel Five in the U.K., ABC in Australia, France 5 and Teletoon in France, Discover UYK and Canada's TeleQuebec.
Vancouver-based Bardel Entertainment seems to be doing exceptionally well with holiday programming. Bardel's big Leo Award-winning production, THE CHRISTMAS ORANGE, has recently been sold to SVT Sweden and is in final negotiations with TV2 Denmark and CBBC London. This family holiday classic has aired on ABC Family in the U.S., TELETOON in Canada, TV12 in Singapore, Asia TV in Hong Kong and Teletoon in France, charming audiences with its thoughtful message and unique 2D and Flash-animatied style.
Due to the success of Digital Fusion and DFX+, eyeon Software Inc. has opened two new offices eyeon USA and eyeon Europe. Los Angeles-based eyeon USA is lead by Digital Fusion guru and director of business development, Rony Soussan, who has been influential in Digital Fusion's proliferation on the west coast, and has a long history as a digital compositor. Soussan offers expertise with both the product and the pipeline, as well as advanced training.
Bravo! NewStyleArtsChannel got animated with the world premiere of the new sitcom HEY JOEL on June 3, 2003 at 10:30 pm. Produced by Blueprint Entertainment and Curious Pictures in association with CHUM Television, this half-hour, 13-part adult-themed cartoon series depicts the adventures of Joel Stein, the host of a daily three-minute rock star interview show on the music channel VH1, and offers an irreverent behind-the-scenes look at the recording industry.