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Headline News Mark Taylor New Senior VP Of Nickelodeon Animation Studio

Nickelodeon has promoted Mark Taylor to Senior Vice President and General Manager, Nickelodeon Animation Studio.

He will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of Nickelodeon's Burbank Animation Studio, the largest producer of television animation in the U.S.

He will report to Brown Johnson, President, Animation and Alison Dexter, Executive Vice President, Production, Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids and Family Group.

Headline News SWAY Studio's Sleight Of Hand Opens Columbia's 21

Renowned for its groundbreaking photo-realism and lighting techniques in commercial visual effects, SWAY Studio is currently showcasing its creative versatility with a spectacular 3D opening sequence for Robert Luketic's feature film 21, now the #1 movie in America.

Utilizing expert techniques with macro photography, specialty lighting and animation, SWAY's talented team of artists created a stunning photo-realistic environment mirroring an iconic Las Vegas casino.

Headline News MGM Chief Operating Officer Departs

Rick Sands, Chief Operating Officer of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios since January 2006, today announced his departure from the studio in order to pursue other opportunities in entertainment and content.

In line with the roadmap set forth by Harry E. Sloan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MGM, Sands accomplished several key strategic goals for the studio. Sands' contributions included the revitalization of a full service theatrical marketing and distribution infrastructure that allowed for the North American release of the studio's films.

Headline News Web Series Headed To Sci Fi Channel

Production begins this month on Sci Fi Channel's groundbreaking new original series SANCTUARY.

Shot in the style of the feature films 300 and SIN CITY, SANCTUARY is the first television series to feature live-action actors against primarily virtual sets. The 13-episode season of this one-hour drama is slated to debut this fall.

Headline News Superhero Movie Gets Effects From Entity FX

Entity FX, an award-winning visual effects company in Santa Monica, California, and Vancouver, British Columbia, has completed visual effects for SUPERHERO MOVIE.

Leveraging its experience creating visual effects for comic book and graphic novel-based properties including the hit television series SMALLVILLE, Entity FX turned around more than 126 visual effects shots for the motion picture comedy in about three weeks.

Headline News PlayStation Makes A Cameo In New Wyclef Video

PlayStation 3, PSP and hit game title, BURNOUT PARADISE have been integrated into FAST CAR, the new music video from Grammy-winning Sony BMG artist Wyclef Jean.

BURNOUT is from Criterion Games, an Electronic Arts studio.

In this unique integration, Jean and the video's other characters utilize the PlayStation platforms to drive the video's storyline, as they interact in a surreal world brought to life with footage from BURNOUT PARADISE. The video will be available for download on PlayStation Store beginning on March 27 for a limited time.

Headline News Robosapien To Star In New Feature

The feature film rights for Robosapien robot have been sold to producing team Avi Arad of Arad Productions and Steven Paul of Crystal Sky Pictures. WowWee Group, an Optimal Group company, owns the rights.

In collaboration with WowWee, Arad has developed the lead character for the film from graphic designs created by WowWee and Arad.

Headline News College Television Award Winners Announced

Students from UCLA, New York University, Cornell University, Pasadena's Art Center College of Design, University of Florida, Florida State University Graduate Film School in Tallahassee, Southern Illinois University, Northwestern University and Manhattan School of Music (in collaboration with Columbia University) took first place at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation's 29th College Television Awards.

The winners were announced Saturday at a black-tie gala ceremony at Culver Studios.

Headline News Canadian Animator Potterton To Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Three-time Academy Award- nominee Gerald Potterton will be awarded the Pulcinella Lifetime Achievement Award 2008 from the 12th Annual Cartoons on the Bay International Festival of Television Animation next month in Salerno, Italy.

The award, presented each year to "a prestigious personality of the world of cinema and television animation," will be given to Potterton during the awards ceremony on April 12.

Headline News Sony Names Osher President of Digital Production and Minghella Animation Head

Following Yair Landaus announcement this week that he is departing as president of Sony Pictures Digital, Sony moved quickly to regroup and proclaim that any contemplated sale of its vfx and animation units is now off the table. Bob Osher has been promoted to president of the newly named Digital Production division (comprised of Sony Pictures Imageworks and Sony Pictures Animation), and Hannah Minghella has been upped to president of production at Animation, replacing SEVP Sandra Rabins, who will continue working with the division as a producer.

Headline News Uprising In The Cards For Petersen

Columbia Pictures' UPRISING will be directed by Wolfgang Petersen, produced by Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher through their Sony-based Red Wagon studio, VARIETY reports.

The sci-fi thriller is about the resistance efforts of citizens after Earth has been occupied by an evil alien race.

BLOOD DIAMOND scribe Charles Leavitt is writing the script.

Petersen has worked with Columbia on DAS BOOT, IN THE LINE OF FIRE and AIR FORCE ONE.

Red Wagon's most recent films with Sony include MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA and RV.

Headline News Wiseman To Direct Sci-Fi Shell Game

Director Len Wiseman is set to direct SHELL GAME, a film he helped write, VARIETY reports.

The Lakeshore Entertainment and Columbia Pictures' sci-fi thriller follows a detective who investigates a black-market immortality business.

Justin Bondi and Andrew Ludington wrote the original screenplay; Wiseman and Chris Morgan created the most recent draft.

Wiseman has previously worked with Lakeshore and Sony (via Screen Gems) on UNDERWORLD and UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION and is producing UNDERWORLD: RISE OF THE LYCANS.

Headline News This Lawyer Isn't An Animal

Columbia Pictures has purchased disaster flick ANIMALS from newcomer Mike Sobel, a former criminal lawyer VARIETY reports.

Sony-based Original Films' Neal Moritz will produce; Trevor Engelson and Nick Osbourne are executive producing.

The story revolves around animals turning on humans and taking back their planet.

Sobel was working as a lawyer in New York until a year ago, when he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his writing career.

ANIMALS, his first screenplay, was sold for a mid-six figure amount.

Headline News Former Disney Marketing Head Goes To Marvel

Geoffrey Ammer, former Sony and Disney marketing head, will now oversee advertising, publicity and promotional campaigns for Marvel Studio's self-produced flicks.

He'll start with IRON MAN (opening May 2) and THE INCREDIBLE HULK (opening June 13), working with studios issuing those releases; Paramount for IRON MAN and Universal for HULK.

Ammer will handle marketing for the home video releases as well, including direct to DVD titles and will report to David Maisel, chairman of Marvel.

Headline News Crowd Shot The Challenge With Vantage Point

CIS Vancouver and CIS London (both formerly Rainmaker Visual Effects) completed 397 shots for the new Columbia Pictures' action thriller VANTAGE POINT, which opened No. 1 at the box office on Feb. 22.

The film revolves around eight strangers with eight different points of view who try to unlock the one truth behind an assassination attempt on the President of the United States.

Headline News Voting Underway For Kids' Choice Awards

Animated films, video games and TV shows are among the nominees for Nickelodeon's 2008 Kids' Choice Awards, which kids can start voting on today.

Pop sensation and 2007 KCA winner Miley Cyrus and Nickelodeon's own The Naked Brothers Band will perform live at the awards show telecast from UCLA's Pauley Pavilion, March 29 (8 p.m. ET; tape delay PT) with host Jack Black.

Kids will be able to cast their vote online at www.nick.com/kca beginning Monday in 18 categories. Surprise awards also will be announced during the show.

Headline News Cable Nets Grabbing Unreleased Titles

Cable networks TNT, TBS, USA and FX have been buying up theatrical releases by the dozens in recent weeks, including a package of yet-unreleased Warner Bros. films 10,000 B.C., THE DARK KNIGHT, SPEED RACER to Turner Broadcasting's TNT and TBS, VARIETY reported Wednesday.

The Warners/Turner deal also includes released pictures like TMNT, ANT BULLY and I AM LEGEND.

Details and monies weren't discussed by the parties, but generally with prebuys, the network pays about 11 percent of the final domestic box office, capped at $250 million gross in U.S. theaters.

Headline News Power Integration Tour for Maxon

MAXON Computer, the developers of CINEMA 4D and BodyPaint 3D, announced Monday the 2008 schedule of its highly anticipated Power Integration Tour.

The tour is a joint road show with Adobe Systems that highlights the ease of integrating MAXON CINEMA 4D 3D software with Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium for a powerful 2D/3D cross platform solution.

Headline News Silly Science Series Pedro and Frankensheep Coming Soon

PEDRO AND FRANKENSHEEP, a new series by The Brothers McLeod (Greg and Myles) and Phil Cooper, will be released on Children's BBC this week on CBBC.

The show's creators announced today their 10-episode series will begin airing Feb. 25.

A popular pre-release on the CBBC website garnered several hundred thousand views on YouTube after a "rogue guinea pig" posted the episode "Sleep Guinea Pig Sleep."

Headline News Second Annual Elan Awards Announced

Video game, animation and digital arts students, creators and bosses gathered Friday for the Second Annual Elan Awards in Vancouver.

FAMILY GUY creator Seth MacFarlane hosted, closing his performance with a singing "Stewie" act and won his first Elan.

Here are all the winners:

Animation Categories:

Best feature length animated production: BARBIE AS THE ISLAND PRINCESS (Rainmaker Animation, Jennifer Twiner-McCarron).

Headline News Aniboom Award Winners

Animation network Aniboom unveiled the winners of its Second Annual Aniboom Awards Thursday; grand prize winner JUNGLE JAIL was awarded a $25,000 development and distribution deal.

Choosing from about 1,600 entries from more than 60 countries, millions of online viewers and a panel of judges chose JUNGLE JAIL, a humorous short by French animator Aymeric Palermo.

JUNGLE JAIL also won in the Funny Category.

Headline News Nintendo Wants Solution to Piracy Problems

Nintendo of America Inc. wants the U.S. Trade Representative to encourage governments around the world to take a "more aggressive stance to combat piracy of Nintendo video games and systems."

China remains the primary manufacturer of pirated Nintendo DS and Wii games, Korea has emerged as the leader in distributing illegal game files over the Internet.

Brazil and Mexico remain saturated with counterfeit Nintendo software, and Paraguay and Hong Kong continue to serve as major transshipment points for global distribution of illegal goods.

Headline News Azaria To Escape From The Smithsonian

Hank Azaria will portray all-powerful Egyptian pharaoh Kah Mun Rah in Fox's NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2: ESCAPE FROM THE SMITHSONIAN, joining Ben Stiller in the follow-up to the 2006 hit NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM

Amy Adams and Dick Van Dyke are also set to appear in the sequel, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

Shawn Levy will direct, Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon and Scott Frank wrote the script and Levy's 21 Laps Entertainment and 1492 Pictures' Michael Barnathan and Mark Radcliffe will produce.

Headline News Ex-Pats Create Daily Shorts From Costa Rica

A new animation studio out of Costa Rica launched their website Monday, offering free digital shorts.

PodComics is not only the name of the studio, it describes the content available: original animated shorts posted five days a week.

PodComics are intended to be watched through the internet or on portable media players. We also provide a Hi-Definition version of most episodes for our members, said founder Patrick Davidson.

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