Director Michele Band has joined Vee Pee Films, the live-action production division of Virtual Persuasion. Band was a director and producer at MTV Networks and Nickelodeon Studios where she did live-show production, new show launch campaigns, on-air promotions and high-profile celebrity interviews.
Geographical Region: North America
Mike Wald has been promoted from vp to svp of Worldwide Pay Television at Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI), reporting to Peter Iacono, evp of sales, SPTI. Wald will remain based at the studio's Culver City, California headquarters and continues to oversee all worldwide pay television activities for the studio, managing SPTI's relationships with major domestic and international pay television clients.
Nominees for the 1st Annual International 3D Awards have been announced and Jason Schleifer, animation lead at Weta Digital (LORD OF THE RINGS), will host the Short Films category at the ceremony to be held in the evening, May 9, 2003 at the 3D Festival 2003 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Schleifer also chaired and oversaw the judging process for the Short Films category with an international panel of jury members from the 3D industry. The short film nominees are: - SHOW & TELL, Kapow Pictures, Australia- THE CHUBBCHUBBS, Sony Pictures Imageworks, USA
Rick Feldman has taken over as new president/ceo of the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE), responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations and strategic planning of the organizations worldwide activities. Feldman is based in the associations global headquarters in Los Angeles and reports to the NATPE Board of Directors Executive Committee. He replaces Bruce Johansen, who served in the position for 10 years.
Canadian animation Studio B Productions has hit one into the U.S. network ballpark, scoring a slot on Kids' WB! for a toon about baseball-playing birds that will debut in September 2003. This original production by Vancouver-based Studio B, features the adventures of a team of birds who barnstorm the circuit of D'MYNA LEAGUES playing baseball, and learn a lesson or two along the way. "We're very excited to break into the U.S. with the first ever baseball cartoon series," says Blair Peters, creator and executive producer. "I think kids will really dig the unique combination of traditional 2D characters and 3D backgrounds that capture the exciting on-field action. And adults will get a kick out of the nostalgic tributes to the likes of Shoeless Joe Jackson, Harry Carey and Babe Ruth." D'MYNA LEAGUES already has a strong batting average in its home territory of Canada, with success on both CTV (it was the broadcaster's first venture into kids programming), and kids network YTV. The show, which is distributed by Sony Pictures Television International globally, also airs in territories from Venezuela to Singapore.
The UK's Entertainment Rights has chalked up a number of recent licenses for its kids properties resulting from MIP-TV, in Europe and in North America, via its New York City office. The NYC office has placed several shows with U.S. and Canadian networks. Discovery's Hispanic channel has acquired CGI preschooler CUBEEZ for a 2003 launch and HAMILTON MATTRESS has been sold to HBO while TeleQuebec in Canada has taken PRESTON PIG, SHORT CUTS and MERLIN THE MAGICAL PUPPY. ER's new boy action series TRANSFORMERS ARMADA debuted well on Carton Network in the U.S.
Rolling~C~Productions of Toronto has completed SUMMER MORNING, the fifth spot in a series for Kraft Canada and its agency FCB Toronto. "The complexity of both composition and animation has evolved and got more elaborate in each spot since the initial concept three years ago," commented exec producer Michael Crabtree, "Creative/animation director Terry Godfrey continued this trend and really upd the amount of animation and brought in some very nice changes to the format and flow."
Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the writing/producing team behind MTV's animated comedy CLONE HIGH USA, have landed at two-year seven-figure deal with Twentieth Century Fox Television to develop live-action and animated fare, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Fox TV president Gary Newman said the pair have the "fresh and twisted view of the world" his network looks for and they will also work on existing projects. CLONE HIGH, which features a high school populated with teenage clones of historical figures like Abraham Lincoln, John F.
Broadcast design industry leaders Paul Newman, Jim Moran and Gary Bonilla have formed CO-OP, a new advertising and design company in New York City that operates as the strategic core of a network of partners with a full range of complimentary creative companies. CO-OP offers its clients brand strategy and brand development through advertising, vertical marketing, business to business communication, direct marketing, interactive, brand design and identity and broadcast design.
Kim Hatamiya has joined Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) as svp, sales and marketing, based in Culver City, California. Hatamiya brings 20 years of experience and extensive expertise in marketing for international television ventures, Internet content and children's television. Hatamiya has launched and managed international channels, including Canal Fox, Fox Kids U.K. and Fox Kids Latin America. She also has in-depth experience with new product launches and business development.
Vancouver-based Studio B Productions hit a triple treat of industry honors from the Writers Guild of Canada (WGC), the Leo Awards and the Alliance for Children and Television's (ACT) Awards for Excellence.
Studio B received an award from the WGC for its original series YVON OF THE YUKON on April 14, 2003. The second season episode, "The Trouble with Mammoths," written by Dennis Heaton, won a Top Ten Award from the WGC, which honors the 10 best Canadian screenplays in the country.
DECODE Entertainment has concluded a number of pre-sales for its illustrative digital 2D animated show FRANNYS FEET. The pre-school series features a little girl whose fantastic feet step into magical adventures when she tries on shoes in her grandfathers repair shop. Commissioned by Channel Five in the U.K. and the Family Channel in Canada, the 13x30 minute show will step onto the schedules at Discovery UK and ABC in Australia. DECODE is seeking licensing partners for all categories.
Spellbound Entertainment has granted an international toy license for its new pre-school property, THE KOALA BROTHERS, to leading toy company Hasbro Inc. The deal covers key merchandise categories including plush toys, figurines, play sets and Play-Doh. Items will be available in stores next year following the show's premiere on the BBC later this year.
Toon Boom Studio will be the main tool to teach 2D animation to the children attending the 2003 Summer Camp sessions in Canada this summer. The Children's Technology Workshop is a year-round business dedicated to developing and delivering applied technology curriculum to kids. With more than eight years of experience designing and testing camp programs and curriculum, their activities are under constant review by their educators, engineers, technologists and enthusiasts. The summer camp sessions are spread over nine locations, including Burlington, Oakville, Etobicoke, Mississauga, Scarborough, Toronto, Markham, Richmond Hill and Newmarket. These five-day sessions are offered from June 16 through August 25, 2003. For more information check out www.icamp.ca, and, for ToomBoom, visit www.toonboom.com.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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 email@example.com. for the official rules and to receive a proposal form contact CAA at (212) 691-1051 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 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.
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.
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 email@example.com. Since the launch of the scholarship five years ago, almost C$150,000 has been awarded to students in Canada.