Manex Entertainment, Inc. reported revenues of approximately $1,750,000 with an operating profit of $400,000 in its preliminary unaudited results for the three-month period ended March 31, 2003. Manex Entertainment has been best known in the past for providing Oscar-winning visual effects for big-budget feature films such as THE MATRIX, WHAT DREAMS MAY COME and CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON. It has west coast facilities in Los Angeles and Hayward, California and is proposing to build east coast facilities in Trenton, New Jersey.
Geographical Region: North America
Brooklyn International Film Festival (BIFF) announced its animation line-up of 20 projects including three world premieres and three U.S. premieres, running April 28-May 4, 2003 at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in Brooklyn, New York. The show features a mix of everything from hand-drawn and computer-animated shorts, as well as several experimental projects that mix animation and live-action for maximum effect. U.S. premieres include LONELY BOY by Becalelis Brodskis (U.K), WOMAN by Signe Baumane (Latvia) and IN THE BACK OF THE BUS by Paul Hurwitz (Canada).
Creative solutions company mOcean is expanding its business outreach to the worldwide marketplace by naming Javier Prelooker director of new business development, international markets. Prelooker will focus on bringing the Venice, California-based studio's entertainment marketing services across all media to the Ibero-American marketplace. Kevin Aratari, managing director of mOcean, said, "The international Hispanic market has grown and matured enormously in recent years.
The United States won half of the 10 main Pulcinella Award statuettes, including those for the Best Program and the Best Character of the Year, at the 2003 edition of Cartoons On The Bay in Positano, Italy, on April 12, 2003. KIM POSSIBLE, produced by Walt Disney Television Animation, has won the Pulcinella for the Best Program as well as for the Best TV Series for Children. HOME MOVIES, by Soup2Nuts won for Best Character as well as the award for the Best TV Series for Adolescents & Adults.
Cartoon Network is adding 3D animated series, SITTING DUCKS and PECOLA, to air weekday mornings, starting April 21, 2003. "PECOLA and SITTING DUCKS are both whimsical and sweet series that feature popular CGI animation. We think they'll be perfect additions to our weekday morning line-up," said Jim Samples, gm/vp of Cartoon Network.
The College Art Association's Annual Conference is looking for speakers to present papers on a panel/session "Fine Art and Experimental Animation: Creative and Theoretical Affinities" during the conference Februrary18-21, 2004 in Seattle, Washington. Deadline to submit papers in English from proposed speakers is May 12, 2003. Submissions must be mailed by the deadline to session chair, Janeann Dill, Europäische Universität für Interdisziplinare, Studien, 1217 Greycourt Avenue, Richmond, Virginia 23227, USA or they may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. for the official rules and to receive a proposal form contact CAA at (212) 691-1051 or email email@example.com. This session will focus on those in-between spaces exciting fine arts and animation in their creative, theoretical and historical affinities. Animation for this purpose is defined as the art of single-frame filmmaking. All points of view are welcome: critical theory; art and film history; the studio practice of narrative and non-narrative genres of animation/fine art; media art, interactive art, sculpture, painting, printmaking; 2D, 3D, stereoscopic animation, cameraless animation; installation, performance, video; and philosophical research instigated by each.
MR. BEAN, the eccentric character created by British writer/actor Rowan Atkinson, is set for his U.S. animated television debut on American Public Television (APT) in April 2003 and will launch on home video in fall 2003 via a full-scale retail release by A&E Home Video. "We have quite a few stations who have committed to airing this series," an APT spokesperson said. They expect high carriage from this series especially since "adult animation is quite a hot topic at the moment." APT has U.S. distribution rights from April 1, 2003 through March 30, 2004.
Toronto-based CCI Entertainment, which just recently formed a cross-Atlantic partnership with Collingwood OHare in the U.K., now has a co-production deal with Australian production outfit Ambience Entertainment to produce ERKY PERKY, a (26x11) 3D animated series. The show was developed in-house by Ambience, a Sydney-based animation and broadcast design firm.
Vancouver-based animation company SecondSun Entertainment and Minds Eye Entertainment, will produce CREEPSHOW, a new half-hour animated series in development with YTV for an older 12-17 audience. "It will be a suspense thriller series with all kinds of bizarre characters and unique plot twists and turns to keep kids on the edge of their seats," series producer Chris Delaney. "We are confident that the series edgy and stylish content will appeal to teenage viewers in Canada and around the world," Minds Eye Entertainments executive producer Kevin DeWalt. SecondSun designer John Delaney (BATMAN, SUPERMAN, FUTURAMA) has created a stylish, hybrid look for the series that combines an anime style with North American design sensibilities. Delaney (CHRISTOPHER THE CHRISTMAS TREE, THE LITTLEST ANGEL) is developing the creative concept with consultants Ivan Cohen and Barney Cohen (FOREVER NIGHT, SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH). A teen character in each episode will encounter a seemingly normal, everyday situation that quickly turns into a variety of terrifying, suspense filled situations. It may be that a babysitter is attacked by 'monster' children or a robot comes to life and does battle with its owner. Aaron L. Gilbert brought the parties together who will executive produce the series with DeWalt. CREEPSHOW is licensed from Jim Dudleson's Taurus Entertainment (NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD). Minds Eye International, a division of Minds Eye Entertainment, will distribute the series worldwide. Production is expected to begin in Vancouver in the fall of 2003. Established in 1986, Minds Eye Entertainment (formerly Minds Eye Pictures) is a fully integrated production, post-production and distribution entity with offices across western Canada. Check out the company's Website at www.mindseyepictures.com. SecondSun Entertainment (secondsunentertainment.com) is a "transmedia" company specializing in the creation of animation based content for various media platforms, formed in May 2002 by the amalgamation of Brainchild Studios Inc. a 3D company, its interactive game division Furious Entertainment, and Delaney & Friends Cartoon Productions Ltd., a 2D animation company.
Vancouver-based Mainframe Entertainment, Inc., a leading creator of computer animation, has digitized the last pixel on it's first one-hour primetime special, SCARY GODMOTHER HALLOWEEN SPOOKTAKULAR, scheduled to air on Canada's YTV network this coming Halloween, October 31, 2003. Mainframe CEO, Rick Mischel, said this is the first time an animation company has made a television special using feature-film quality SOFTIMAGEXSI software. The show is based on the popular comics and children's books by the award-winning artist and writer, Jill Thompson, who also served as the art director.
TELETOON, Canada's all-animation channel, is holding its TELETOON Animation Scholarship Award Competition 2003, recognizing the efforts and financial needs of young Canadian art students. A total of C$30,000 will be divided between 12 talented students with the prize amounts ranging from $1,000 to $4,000. The scholarship is separated into four categories: Entrance Scholarship (for high school students moving on to an animation program), Continuing Education Scholarship (for students pursuing their animation studies), Most Promising Student Scholarship (for students graduating from an animation program) and Mature Student (for an arts graduate pursuing further studies or career development in animation). The three finalists in each category will be announced at the closing ceremonies of the Student Animation Festival of Ottawa in October. The winners' work will also be showcased on TELETOON'S Website, and on both English and French networks. The submitted portfolios and reels will be judged by an advisory committee comprised of Canadian animation educators and industry professionals. The submission deadline is 5 p.m., Friday, May 16, 2003. For additional information or to obtain an entry form and regulations go to www.teletoon.com/corp or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Since the launch of the scholarship five years ago, almost C$150,000 has been awarded to students in Canada.
Cambium Catalyst International Entertainment (CCI) in Toronto, Canada has reacquired the majority of the Gullane Entertainment library from HIT Entertainment. CCI was associated with Gullane through the merger of Cambium and Catalyst in February 2002. The combined new entity had been operating alongside its U.K. affiliate Gullane when it was acquired by HIT and HIT became the minority shareholder of CCI. A year later, CCI amicably has ended its relationship with HIT, re-acquired HIT's share of CCI and hundreds of hours of the Gullane library. "We have a company that is larger than either Cambium or Catalyst was before. As a result, our distribution division, CCI Releasing, has grown. Its current library includes childrens (live action and animation), documentaries, family movies and lifestyle programming," said Arnie Zipursky, chairman/CEO of CCI. CCI recently formed a partnership with Collingwood OHare in the U.K. to produce HARRY AND HIS BUCKETFUL OF DINOSAURS. For more on CCI, check out www.ccientertainment.com.
While most of Nelvana's computer animated programs have been done with the assistance of outside studios, the Toronto-based production house, which is part of Corus Entertainment, turned out an entire 3D CGI one-hour special, ç, completely in-house, now airing on Nickelodeon. It premiered in primetime March 31 with rebroadcasts on April 1 and 14 at noon. The studio is becoming increasingly more self-contained, under the direction CGI pioneer and production chief Scott Dwyer. Based upon the best-selling book series by acclaimed children's author, David Kirk, MISS SPIDER stars Brooke Shields as the voice of a full-grown spider who discovers she doesn't know everything there is to know about being a terrific mom. Having been adopted herself when she was young, Miss Spider's lessons multiply when she and her young ones try to reunite an abandoned chicken egg with its mother. Nelvana used primarily Maya and combustion to create the rich, colorful natural environments and soft characters. The Nelvana production in association with Callaway & Kirk was exec. produced by Michael Hirsh, Dyer, Kirk, Nicholas Callaway and Nadine va der Velde. Pam Lehn served as supervising producer and Susie Grondin was producer. Mike Fallows directed the script by van der Velde while Mike Shiell was animation director. While animation remained at Nelvana, voice recording was done in Canada and the U.S. Tony Jay as the voice of the evil Spiderus was recorded at Voice Trax West in Los Angeles. Shields and Rick Moranis (the voice of her husband Holley) were recorded at Magno Sound in New York City. The majority of the voices were recorded at Studio 306 in Toronto under the direction of Jessie Thomson. Nelvana also produced in-house the ROLIE POLIE OLIE: GREAT DEFENDER OF FUN special last year that aired on Disney in the U.S. and CBC in Canada. MISS SPIDER'S SUNNY PATCH KIDS will air later this year on TELETOON in Canada. The special is sponsored by U.S. retailer Target, which just launched a lifestyle brand for children called Sunny Patch, in stores across America featuring images of Miss Spider and friends on clothing, garden tools and home décor.
Joseph Gilland, who headed up Walt Disney Feature Animation EFX department in Florida for LILO AND STITCH and TARZAN, has joined Bardel Entertainment in Vancouver, Canada to be special effects supervisor on the SILVERWING animated series. "SILVERWING is just such a fantastic story. It is one of my son's favorite books and I absolutely jumped at the chance to be part of bringing SILVERWING'S story to life!" said Gilland.
Hitting theaters in the U.S. March 28, 2003, Paramount Picture's action film THE CORE relied on many visual effects houses to help depict the unnatural events taking place around the world due to changes in the earth's rotational inner core, resulting in catastrophic events for some of the world's most recognizable city scenes and monuments.
Noticed those amazing 3D graphics and animation CNN has been using in its coverage of the war in Iraq? AWN was able to get some questions answered about how they're done from Mike Kraft, director of graphics at CNN USA and his beleaguered department pounding out the images round the clock, seven days a week.
AWN: How do you create the terrain do you do it in-house, with what tools?
Toon Boom released its latest version of USAnimation with improved features and a new name to distinguish one of the most widely used 2D animation softwares in the world. USAnimation OPUS features a new user interface for users to configure layouts to suit their own workflow preferences. Camera, Xsheet, Paint and Scene Planning functions have been merged into one Universal Stage Module. "Our next generation of vector technology allows more functionality and increases quality of the work," said Joan Vogelesang, Toom Boon Technologies' COO.
Sunwoo USA, the Burbank, California based division of Sunwoo Entertainment in Korea, has entered into a co-production and co-development agreement with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), to make THE UNHUGGABLES, a 26x30 animated series based on the book published by the NWF. The NWF will premiere a comic strip based on the book in spring of 2003. THE UNHUGGABLES features a group of school-aged animals, whose unappealing characteristics make them the outcasts. The action-packed coming-of-age misadventures of a spider, snake, porcupine, skunk, armadillo and an Asian False Vampire Bat is targeted for kids 2-11 and tentatively scheduled for the 2003/2004-television season. "We are very excited to be working with Sunwoo, one of the most innovative production and animation companies in the business," said Christopher Palmer, president/CEO of National Wildlife Productions, the production arm of the NWF. In addition, Sunwoo USA is offering in its first MIP product slate, SPACE HIP HOP DUCK, a 52x11 animated series already sold to KBS Network in Korea, according to Jae Moh, president/CEO of Sunwoo USA. SPACE HIP HOP DUCK features two near-do-well slackers who hip hop across the Hip Hop Galaxy in search of odd jobs while pursuing their dreams of becoming rock stars. It stars Hip Hop, a green sharp billed female duck and her human companion Wangja, a young male with a talent for gadgetry, who travel aboard Argo, a multi-purpose robot who serves as both a butler, a spaceship and a peacemaker. Sunwoo Entertainment, headquartered in Seoul, Korea, is comprised of three animation studios: Sunwoo Animation, Grimsaem Animation and Anivision Korea. These studios work closely together with Sunwoo Digital International to provide state of the art animation services. Its recently launched U.S. division seeks co-production deals, recruits talent and develops content with international appeal for its Korean-based studios.
Vancouver-based Atomic Cartoons is showcasing four new properties at MIP-TV 2003. The creators of ATOMIC BETTY (recently picked up by TELETOON Canada, Teletoon France and Cartoon Network Europe), are presenting animated trailers of DENNIS, DYSFUNCTION JUNCTION, DIRTY LIL BASTER and THE CARNEYS at the spring television market in France. DYSFUNCTION JUNCTION (26x22) is an irreverent primetime social commentary for adults about a well-to-do family that goes bankrupt and is forced to move into a trailer park.
Just in time for MIP TV 2003, international producer-distributor TV-Loonland has brought on Jamie Lynn as sales executive in its distribution division. Based in the London office, Lynn will be responsible for TV-Loonland's extensive rights portfolio of children's programming throughout Asia, Southern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Lynn headed SSA Public Relations' London office for three years where he spearheaded several successful publicity campaigns for a wide range of high profile clients from the international television and film business and generated new business. David Ferguson, COO at TV-Loonland said," Lynn has developed vital and strong relationships with many top executives within the film, television and licensing industry. His acquired knowledge of the international television distribution business is highly valued and I look forward to working with him." TV-Loonland (www.tv-loonland.com) is an integrated media company producing and distributing internationally animation for children, youth and families. With its own development teams and production facilities in Europe, Great Britain, Asia and the U.S.A., a comprehensive rights catalog as well as a focused distribution effort for Europe, North and South America and Asia; TV-Loonland has become a world leader among the independent majors in the industry.
The North Sydney, Australia-based Kapow Pictures is taking its first animated series YAKKITY YAK the brainchild of KPs founder Mark Gravas to MIP-TV. The co-production with Canadas Studio B for kids 8-12 is already airing on Canada's TELETOON and has been sold to sold to TF1 (France) and Channel 10 (Australia). KP partner and executive producer Sandra Walters is presenting the 52x11 series at MIP. "Its a character-driven series, and its quirky by nature, she said. "That gives us license to reference reality, but to really push the boundaries," she said. Kapow (www.kapowpictures.com) has built its six-year-old reputation doing commercials for Kellogg's, Optus and Bonds, as well as pilots EGO FROM MARS and AGENT GREEN, which aired on Nickelodeon. The outfit made a big impact with its animated short film SHOW AND TELL, which was nominated for an AFI in 2002, and was named best short film at the Telluride Indie Fest and Most Popular Animated Film at Ausfest 2002. It followed on the heels of Kapows first short film, WYATT EARP, which won Best Animated Short in the Vancouver animation festival in 2000. WYATT EARP has since screened at more than 20 festivals, while Australian television rights have been bought by SBS.
Umbrella organization European Broadcasting Union is coproducing an animated series PITT & KANTROP (26x26) with Millimages (France), using funding from nine EBU member broadcasters ARD (Germany), BBC (U.K.), France 2 and France 3, RAI (Italy), RTBF and VRT (Belgium), RTVE (Spain) and SRG-SSR (Switzerland). Targeted at kids 6-12, the toon features 13-year-old Pitt and his pterodactyl pet Kantrop, created by Isabeau Merle and Fethi Nedjari. The series is an off-beat modern comedy set in prehistoric times, which recounts the adventures of Pitt, and Kantrop, the last pterodactyl, as they try to bring progress to Pitt's tribe. Wolfgang Wegmann (ARD), Theresa Plummer-Andrews (BBC) and Babette Vimenet (France) are set to exec produce. Millimages Licenses, Millimages UK and Millimages USA will handle international distribution rights when the series launches in fall 2004. "We are confident that the series PITT & KANTROP will be another success for the EBU and its members in providing quality European programming to children across Europe," said Philippe Jacot, head of the EBU coproduction unit. Millimages, based in Paris (www.millimages.com), is one of the largest producers and distributors of animated programming with its own post production and stop-motion service studios. The Geneva-based EBU (www.ebu.ch) is the largest professional association of national broadcasters in the world. It serves 71 active members in 52 countries of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East and 45 associate members in 28 countries around the world. Working on behalf of its members, the EBU negotiates broadcasting rights for major sports events, operates the Eurovision and Euroradio networks, organizes program exchanges, stimulates and coordinates coproductions, and provides a full range of other operational, commercial, technical, legal and strategic services.
France Animation, one of Europes leading production and distribution companies specializing in youth programming, has a number of MIP-TV 2003 offerings for the teen and pre-school markets. COSY CORNER is a preschool series (52x6 or 13x26) that features a host of soft, cuddly CGI animated animal characters with strong merchandising potential. It tells the story of a group of Stella, Margot, Arthur and Jacky, who have been thrown together by chance. Living as neighbors in a huge tree, called COSY CORNER, they soon discover that it isnt always easy to get along and put up with each other! Produced by French production company Storimages and co-produced by France 5 and Teletoon France, France Animation has worldwide distribution rights. Also on France Animations MIP-TV 2003 slate, is the second season of hit show WHEEL SQUAD 2 (13x26) which completes the series of 39 episodes. WHEEL SQUAD combines wheel sports, rap, hip-hop and techno for older children. Is a co-production between France Animation, M6, Praxinos, Colorland, RAI and for series one Canal + Belgique. The show can already be seen on the Disney Channel in Asia, Hong Kong and the Middle East, and in Latin America (Fox Kids), Spain (Antena 3), The Netherlands (Kindernet), Portugal (SIC) and Poland amongst other territories. Concluding France Animations animated lineup is the well-known TITEUF (78x7 or 26x26), a successful property all over Europe based on the comic books by Swiss cartoonist Zep. Already a major hit on France 3, the series has already sold to broadcasters in Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Greece, Turkey, North Africa, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Korea, Ukraine, Singapore, Hong Kong, Israel, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, Iceland, Japan, Korea, Ireland and the Middle East. In addition, TITEUF has inspired lucrative product ranges across a variety of markets with 250,000 GameBoy games sold by Infogrames in Europe alone and 250,000 video cassettes selling in the last 12 months through Universal Pictures Video France. Other merchandising available includes Lafuma school bags, a confectionery deal with Cadbury and a pan-European card deal with Hallmark. Various deals have also been struck with Hasbro, McDonalds, Danone and Kellogg's. TITEUF is a co-production between France Animation, Editions Glenat, Canal J, France 3 and SMEC, in partnership with RAI, Infogrames and Universal. France Animation also brings factual entertainment to MIP-TV with new completed episodes of the fascinating documentary series INSECTOSCOPE and live-action kids series CYBERGIRL. Maia Tubiana, managing director of France Animation said: "We are maintaining our strategy of seeking quality properties for our catalog, partnering at the earliest possible stages on new projects and developing or co-developing series in formats varying from 5 to 26 minutes. We are also happy to announce that we have started production on PETIT VAMPIRE (working title LITTLE VAMPIRE) which we launched with our co-production partner Story at Cartoon Forum this year. The 52x13 series will be ready for delivery in 2004. PETIT VAMPIRE is a Story, France Animation, France 3 and Telegael co-production." Formed in 1984, France Animation (www.france-anim.com) is subsidiary of Wanadoo (France Télécom) and has a sales catalog with more than 1,200 half-hours sold in more than 100 countries.
On March 23, 2003 at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the winners of this year's Oscars. Hayao Miyazakis SPIRITED AWAY (Walt Disney) was awarded the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, while visual effects stunner THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS (New Line) took home the Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects. Eric Armstrong's THE CHUBBCHUBBS (Sony Pictures Imageworks) won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film.
In spite of battles in the Persian Gulf and concerns over a new Asian virus, most of the animation producers, distributors and broadcasters AWN polled are traveling over the next few days to attend the MIP-TV market in Cannes, France, which gets underway Monday, March 24. Iain Pelling, managing director of Cosgrove Hall Films, said, "It's a difficult time for everybody, but we have to carry on in as normal a way as possible. We will be going to MIP as usual.