Geographical Region: North America
Toronto-based Comet Ent. has opened Vitamin Cartoons Inc., an animation services division to provide high quality pre- and post-production services. Vitamin draws upon the skills and experience of some of Canada's most talented artists, Flash animators and directors to offers character, background and prop design, special effects design, stock breakdown planning, storyboards, slugging; X-sheets, color styling, s-reel and pre-layout.
RAI Trade held a special launch reception for its new edutainment series, AMAZING HISTORY, at its stand during MIPCOM. The series strives to explain, in an entertaining manner for kids and adults, great historical events via live-action and lots of computer graphics, narrated by 3D animated hosts Mr. Chan, an alien from Mars, and Betty the sheep. They are tutored by the impeccable Prof.
To support the evolution of its home video sales department, FUNimation Prods. Ltd. has brought aboard Larry Griffin as sr national sales manager. Griffin, formerly the west coast regional sales manager for Pioneer Entertainment USA, brings more than 15 years of home video experience to FUNimation. He is known for his expertise in the anime industry, which will assist FUNimation as the company continues to increase its dominance in the growing anime market.
On October 19, 2003, the Ottawa International Student Animation Festival (SAFO 03) announced its winners. An international jury selected winners in seven categories from 72 films. CalArts student Jean-Jacques Villard took home the top honors with the Nelvana Grand Prize for his film SON OF SATAN. Turku Arts Academy of Finland garnered the Grand Prize - Best School for exhibiting a high level of consistency and diversity in its show reel.
The Academy of Machinima Arts and Sciences has announced the nominations for the 2003 Machinima Awards, which showcases the best in films created in a realtime virtual 3D environment, known as 3D game engines. The winners will be announced at a ceremony on October 25, 2003 at the American Museum of the Moving Image in New York as part of the Machinima Film Festival.
Computer Game Technology Conference 2004Toronto, Ontario, CanadaApril 8 10, 2004Deadline: November 15, 2003
CineGroupe, along with Film Roman, launched its new 3D animation series TRIPPING THE RIFT at MIPCOM 2003 in Cannes, France. The sci-fi spoof follows the adventures of Chode, the horny purple captain of the Free Enterprise, and his conflicted and extreme crew, as they travel the universe, looking to make a quick buck and avoid getting thrown in jail.
Tribune Media Services International (TMSI) will launch News In Motion International (www.niminternational.com) in December, to deliver News In Motion and Knight Ridder/Tribune (KRT) animations, TV graphics and related editorial content to television stations and their Websites on a subscription and spot sales basis. Prior to the launch of the international site, producers can access the service at www.newsinmotion.com.
Tim Pyle Animation has developed a new technique of using CG software to create automatic "inbetween" frames for 2D animation. This allows them to turn out animation much faster and cheaper without relying on animators to draw every frame by hand.
On Wednesday, October 8, 2003, NBC and Vivendi Universal made official the merger of their entertainment businesses. Newly named NBC Universal joins the ranks of Time Warner, Disney and Viacom. The new mega-conglom will control a broadcast network (NBC), various cable entities (USA, CNBC, Bravo, MSNBC, Telemundo, SCI-FI and Trio), a film and television studio (Universal Pictures and Television) and theme parks (Universal Studios Hollywood and Orlando).
With growing numbers of buyers, sellers and programs, MIPCOM Jr 2003s screenings (October 8 9) broke all viewing records since the shows launch in 1996. A total of 13,815 individual screenings were carried out by program buyers, a 15% increase compared with 12,052 last year. Previously, the highest number of screenings took place at MIPCOM Jr 2000 with 12,572 viewings.
P. Jayakumar has been elevated to coo and Tiersa Christine has been moved up to director of production of Toonz USA, the Burbank-based studio's operations in India, headed by president/ceo Bill Dennis.
In conjunction with its attendance at MIPCOM in Cannes, France, Dupuis has announced that it will be launching its new TV series KID PADDLE. The show follows Kid Paddle and his friends Big Band and Horace, whose imaginations transport the troublesome trio into videogames, horror films and sci-fi comics. The show has already developed a following in France and Benelux and is available in 26x26 or 52x13 packages in both French and English. Also available are 15 three minute Flash shorts.
At a time when 2D feature animation is currently under assault in the U.S., Montreal-based H2V Entertainment has proudly announced that its initial slate of three films are all in 2D and will be ready for distribution in April 2004. Not only that but MANGA LATINA: KILLER ON THE LOOSE, MONICA MADE IN AMERICA and PIÑATAS are all contemporary, Latino-flavored stories aimed at teens and adults.
4Kids Entertainment Inc. has set MIPCOM 2003 for the launch of 26 episodes of the new TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES and 47 new episodes of the Japanese sensation, YU-GI-OH!
Paramount Pictures THE SCHOOL OF ROCK toped the box office hcarts in its debut, taking in $19.6M for the weekend ended October 5, 2003. MGMs OUT OF TIME opened in more theaters but came in second at $16.2M. Boy Wonder Visual Effects worked on this action/thriller as did Dennis Hoffman, vfx producer and special effects director Kevin Harris, along with Tim Laundry, vfx supervisor. Universal's THE RUNDOWN, starring The Rock, dropped to third in its second week with $9.7M and a $32.67 cume.
Elastic Rights is looking to secure strategic, local partners at MIPCOM, including theatrical, TV, home entertainment, licensing, publishing and Internet companies for its portfolio of projects. The aim is to add value, by developing an integrated brand management strategy for each property.
Munich-based TV-Loonland has a two new series and pilots to unveil at MIPCOM and screen at MIPCOM Jr. Its U.K. production house, Telemagination, has completed production on its brand new, madcap animated series, METALHEADS, according to David Ferguson, coo, operating out of TV-Loonlands London office.
Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) will bring a diverse slate of programming to MIPCOM, including the animated series ASTRO BOY and CYBORG 009, as well as STEPHEN KING'S KINGDOM HOSPITAL, JOAN OF ARCADIA, MISSING and RESIDENTS, the hit Chilean telenovela, MACHOS, according to SPTI distribution evp Peter Iacono. The SPTI booth will be at top of the Palais at M5.01.
Universal's THE RUNDOWN, which may prove to be The Rock's breakout starring vehicle, scored a whopping $18.5M in its debut for the weekend ended Sept. 28, 2003. Topping the box office chart also gives Rhythm & Hues some vfx bragging rights as well. Disney's Diane Lane romancer, UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN, debuted in second place with $9.7M.