Ted Rae will serve as visual effects supervisor on Mel Gibsons APOCALYPTO, the mythic action-adventure set against the turbulent end times of the once great Mayan civilization, now shooting in Mexico and slated for a summer release by Disneys Touchstone Pictures.
Geographical Region: North America
HIT Ent. has reorganized the HIT European consumer product business, designed to simplify future communications with its partners and support future growth across a new category-based infrastructure.
The multiple brand group structure is now disbanded. The three new business units, according to Peter Byrne, evp HIT Int'l are:
UK Consumer Products: Focusing on the core U.K. licensing business teams aligned by category, supported by an international marketing group, managing the entire HIT portfolio of brands.
Mexico's media conglom Televisa is preparing an animated version of its 1970s children's comedy EL CHAVO DEL OCHO, reports VARIETY. Televisa plans to open pre-sales for the series later this month in Las Vegas at the National Association of Television Program Executives meeting.
Anima will produce the 26x30 series, which will update the Spanish-language afternoon classic with a modern spin. The series will be ready to air in late 2006.
Building on the success of the game and simulation programming (GSP) baccalaureate degree program at 11 of its campuses nationwide, DeVry University will offer the GSP degree program online beginning in spring 2006.
The relatively young academic specialty of computer game technologies has grown in popularity in response to the skyrocketing videogame industry. According to the NPD Group, Inc. a global leader in sales and marketing information, videogame sales have grown from $6.6 billion in 2000 to $9.4 billion in 2004.
New England Anime SocietyBoston, Massachusetts, USADecember 31, 2005
Boston is home to America's longest running First Night celebration, and for the past two years, the city's New England Anime Society has been a part of this tradition. This year, the New England Anime Society is back and hopes to have its largest and most successful First Night anime event yet. On Dec. 31, 2005, the New England Anime Society will be welcoming in 2006 this time with a little help from Central Park Media.
4Kids Ent. Inc. and Pokemon USA Inc. announced that they have agreed not to renew the POKEMON representation agreement set to expire on Dec. 31, 2005. Beginning in 2006, Pokemon USA Inc.'s in-house licensing group will handle all POKEMON licensing outside of Asia.
Carrie Dumont joins Cookie Jar Ent. as vp of its business affairs group to lead its expanding property acquisition, development and merchandising activities. Dumonts immediate focus will be in overseeing agreements with the ever-expanding roster of partners involved in Cookie Jars latest global television and merchandising sensation, THE DOODLEBOPS, as well the companys other renowned classic preschool brand, CAILLOU.
Brickyard VFX expanded its work for Volkswagen from visual effects to end-to-end creative direction with 14 short films to promo the 2006 Volkswagen (VW) Passat. VW and advertising agency Arnold Worldwide tapped Brickyard as one of a handful of production entities to conceive and produce the clever and artsy :15-second films, each of which focuses on one of the features of the new "beyond-loaded" Passat. The Volkswagen Passat Feature Films Project has been rolled out via www.vw.com and traditional broadcast media.
Marc Ruxin has been hired as the coo of The Mill Group North America and Alistair Thompson has been promoted to md of The Mill New York.
Ruxin will be responsible for the growth, management and development of new products and services for The Mill and BEAM.TV. Ruxin brings 13 years of experience leading strategy, business development and marketing efforts on both the client and agency side of the technology and entertainment business.
Bill Burke joins HIT Ent. as vp, brand management, to oversee the brand development of HIT's premiere properties BARNEY and THE WIGGLES, as well as the portfolio of brands from The Jim Henson Co. that HIT acts as worldwide representative for, including FRAGGLE ROCK and ANIMAL JAM. Additionally, he will focus on brand management for new content development. Burke is based in the HIT's New York City office and reports to Jamie Cygielman, svp, consumer products.
THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE will be released spring 2006 in China.
Carmike Cinemas Inc., the third largest national movie theater chain, has signed a deal with Christie/AIX for the installation of up to 2,300 Digital Cinema projection systems throughout the U.S. With this agreement, Carmike and Christie/AIX will begin installing 2K DCI-compliant DLP Cinema projectors. The rollout is scheduled to begin in January 2006 and to be completed by Oct. 31, 2007.
The ION Festival is now over. The winners of the second ION International Animation, Games & Short Film Festival include:
ION International Animation Of The Year AwardTHE MANTIS PARABLE, Josh Staub (USA)
ION International Short Film Of The Year Award ANTEBODY, James P. Gleason (USA)
ION International Music Video Of The Year Award CON TODA PALABRA, Brigitte Henry, Ralph Dfouni (Canada)
ION International Game Of The Year Award CALL OF DUTY 2, Activision (USA)
Designer/illustrator Charles O. McElmurry passed away Dec. 5, 2005, at the age of 84 in Santa Rosa, California. McElmurry grew up in Los Angeles and attended Chouinard Art Institute. He began his career in the animation industry at Walt Disney in 1942, but was soon drafted into the Marine Corps and sent to Quantico, Virginia. He spent the war years in a film unit there. He attended Chouinard Art Institute on the GI bill.
He later worked for many independent studios in New York, France, and California including Quartet Films, Jay Ward, Cartoon Farm and Bill Melendez.
Following its agreement with Canadas Amberwood Ent. for the U.S. broadcast, video and merchandising rights to the animated series, THE SECRET WORLD OF BENJAMIN BEAR, PorchLight Ent. has launched its branding campaign for the preschool hero by signing a home entertainment deal with Genius Products Inc. The inaugural deal grants Genius exclusive DVD and video distribution rights in the U.S. for nine half-hour episodes. The series is already an international hit throughout Canada, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
DIC Ent. has been appointed the global entertainment licensing agent for Zizzle Toys new, innovative musical icon iZ. As part of the licensing initiative, DIC will translate the toy into animated direct-to-DVD movies.
The winner of Miss Digital World 2005 is the Asian model Mi, designed by Shinichi Yoshimoto. Miss Digital World is a virtual beauty competition, open to only exceptionally beautiful models designed in 3D graphic.
In the final of four program announcements, Sundance Institute announced the short film program at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, taking place Jan. 19-29, 2006, in Park City, Utah.
The Slamdance 2006 Film Festival, which runs from Jan. 19-27, 2006, in Park City, Utah, has announced the films to screen at the 12th annual festival. Festival films come from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Cuba, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, New Zealand, Poland, South Korea, Spain, U.K. and the U.S.
The films competing in the Animated Short Competition include:* THE FLOODED PLAYGROUND (2005, 20 min., USA) Directed by Lisa Crafts.* THE LOVE TRAIN (2005, 8 min., UK) Directed by Eva Bennett.
Adobe Design Achievement AwardsToronto, Ontario, CanadaJuly 20, 2006Deadline: April 26, 2006
Students in 24 countries will have the opportunity to test their skills in a number of creative endeavors and, perhaps, get a jump-start on their careers with a prestigious award from Adobe Systems.
Adobe has this date issued a call for entries for the sixth annual Adobe Design Achievement Awards for promising students in graphic design, photography, illustration, animation, digital filmmaking and computer arts.
REAL D, a leader in the delivery of premium 3-D experiences, plans to expand to Japan with the installation of the first two screens after the successful launch of CHICKEN LITTLE in Disney Digital 3-D, which has grossed more than $7 million through the Thanksgiving weekend. REAL D will open screens at Oriental Land Co.'s AMC Ikspiari 16 and Warner Mycal's Tama for the presentation of CHICKEN LITTLE starting Dec. 23, 2005.
Wave 5 in the illustrious Walt Disney Treasures DVD collection arrives Dec. 6, 2005 (Buena Vista Home Ent., $32.99 each). Individual two-disc sets (packaged in collectible tins) consist of: The Chronological Donald Volume Two, Disney Rarities: Celebrated Shorts 1920s-1960s, ELFEGO BACA and THE SWAMP FOX: Legendary Heroes and THE ADVENTURES OF SPIN & MARTY: THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB
Donald Duck extras include:* A Day in the Life of Donald Duck* Drawing and Talking Duck with Tony Anselmo
The premiere of night one of SCI FI Channel's original miniseries THE TRIANGLE averaged a 3.7HH rating and more than 4.3 million viewers (P2+) in its 9-11:00 pm block. Night one of THE TRIANGLE is the highest-rated program to air on SCI FI since 2003 and is the channel's highest-rated and most watched miniseries premiere night since the Emmy Award-winning STEVEN SPIELBERG PRESENTS TAKEN (12/2/2002, 4.9 HH/6.1 million P2+).
ASIFA-Hollywood has announced the nominees for the 33rd annual Annie Awards, which will take place Feb. 4, 2006, in Glendale. WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT led the list of nominees with 16, including Best Animated Feature. The film also swept the Feature Voice Acting category with nods for Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Peter Sallis and Nicholas Smith. DreamWorks MADAGASCAR came in second with nine nominations.