Despite the threat of an actors' strike at the end of June, Columbia Pictures and Amblin Entertainment have decided to start the production of MEN IN BLACK 2 on June 3. Priority will be set on New York exteriors and heavy effects shots. Therefore, if an actors' strike does disrupt shooting the visual effects artists can start on the effects in the interim. The first MEN IN BLACK stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are set to return with Barry Sonnenfeld reprising his role as director.
Geographical Region: South America
Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England's Smartdog, a gaming company that is part of the Titus/Virgin/Interplay group, is looking for 3D MODELERS and TEXTURERS to work on their state of the art PSXII title. . . Victoria, British Columbia, Canada's Disney Interactive is looking for an ANIMATION LEAD/INTERACTIVE to overview the entire animation process from pre-production design to delivery of final post-production animations. . . London, UK's Granada Media, one of the biggest TV production companies in the UK, is looking for an ANIMATOR. . .
Three new artists are profiled in the Animation Showcase, offering a wide range of techniques, from life drawing to TV station IDs. Linda is an independent animator and instructor at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. Edwing is an independent animator from Columbia. Tobias is an independent animator from Northern California. Plus, a new series called "Pandora" from Jean Detheux, with a clip.
This week's updates to the Calendar of Events include the Victoria Independent Film & Video Festival in British Columbia, Canada; the Interactive TV & Mobile Games Conference in London, U.K.; the 2nd Outer Limits Film And Video Series in New York; and many more! With multiple search capabilities, AWN's new calendar of events gives you a customized way to look through the upcoming events - by Name, Location, Entry Deadline, Category, Event Type and more. Use it to stay abreast of animation related activities across the globe.
Columbia TriStar Home Video will be releasing Destination Films and Gullane Pictures' THOMAS AND THE MAGIC RAILROAD on VHS and DVD October 31, 2000. Based on the wildly popular THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE franchise, this feature film tells the story of a young girl's trip to visit her grandfather and their very special train-ride upon the famous tank engine named Thomas. This is the first THOMAS DVD and will include one deleted scene from the motion picture, as well as the theatrical trailer. The VHS tape will retail for US$19.99 and the DVD for $24.05.
On Friday, October 27, 2000, four-year Sony Pictures veteran Bob Levin officially settled out the remaining 1 1/2 years of his contract and left his post as president of worldwide marketing for Columbia TriStar Pictures Group. His resignation came one day after Sony restructured the executive arm and gave chief of worldwide distribution, Jeff Blake, Levin's duties. According to insiders, there were tensions between Blake and Levin. Levin is best known in the animation community for playing a key cog in the phoenix run of Walt Disney animation.
In an attempt to strengthen its executive ranks, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) has retooled, leaving a worldwide marketing executive seemingly without a job. Chief of worldwide distribution, Jeff Blake has assumed the duties of Bob Levin, who had held the post of marketing exec. Levin, who was in New York yesterday for the CHARLIE'S ANGELS premiere, was not available for comment and no word was announced on his definite future with the company or otherwise. According to insiders, there were tensions between Blake and Levin, who has 1 1/2 years left on his contract.
* Wednesday, February 28 Friday, March 2, 2001. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Entry Deadline: December 31, 2000.
HOLLOW MAN holds on as WHAT LIES BENEATH makes top notched debuts in France and Brazil. The Harrison Ford starrer scared up US$3.26 million in its French premiere. SPACE COWBOYS fell to second with a gross of $1.51 million, escalating its French cume to $3.56 million. Falling from second to finish in fourth, GONE IN 60 SECONDS raced in with $1.28 million, advancing its French cume to $13.31 million. Slipping one to sixth, U-571 surfaced another $706,419, lifting its French cume to $1.83 million.
Red Sky, an interactive solutions provider, announced the acquisition of Olive Jar Studios, a Boston and Los Angeles-based animation and film production studio, and White Noise Productions, a Los Angeles-based full service multimedia firm. "A concept we believe strongly in is 'applied entertainment,' which means that our solutions transcend mere functionality and bring emotion to interactive experiences delivered across all media, from narrow to broadband platforms and devices," said Bill Bingham, chairman and CEO of Red Sky.
AlwaysI.com, an independent content destination Website, has signed a production, development and distribution deal with comic book production company Platinum Studios. As part of the pact, Platinum will have a first look option on all of AlwaysIs independent content for development into feature or TV properties, as well as licensing and merchandising. Platinum has a production deal with Miramax/Dimension Films and owns a portfolio of over 1,000 comic book characters.
Columbia Pictures has optioned the feature film rights to Image Comics POWERS, created by writer-artist Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming. Financial terms of the deal were listed as the duo receiving low six figures up front leading to high-six figures following the films release. The comic follows the cases of two homicide detectives -- who live in a world full of superheroes and villains assigned to the "powers" division to investigate superpower-related murders. Bendis will either receive a co-producing or an associate producing credit on the film.
Award winning filmmakers, Derek Lamb & Jeffrey Hale are teaming up with Toonz Animation India to produce THE LAST BRITISH COLONEL IN INDIA, a short animated comedy film. The flick is based on an original song by Derek Lamb and satirizes the British Empire days in India, bringing to light for the first time the real reason why the British quit India in 1947. "This entire project began to percolate at last years Week with the Masters hosted by Toonz Animation in India. Both Derek and Jeffrey thought it was time to tell this previously unknown story.
Digital Film @ The Moving Picture Company has completed the opening title sequence for LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS-director Guy Ritchie's new gangster film, SNATCH. The titles, created by Digital Film and designed by So, a division of Picasso Pictures, depict the main characters in the movie. Spinning and strobing images, glimpses, flashes, quick cuts, flipped images, jump frames and freeze frames were added to create a hard-edged look for the opening.
The X-MEN are gaining more ground in international theatres with top seat debuts in France, U.K. and Brazil. In France, the superhero saga racked up an impressive US$5.83 million in its opening weekend. Holding steady at #2, Americas summer smash, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2, amassed another $2.65 million, bringing its French cume to $23.18 million. THE PERFECT STORM sank from first to fourth, with a gross of $2.33 million, raising its French cume to $6.77 million. Falling a spot to land in sixth, GLADIATOR garnered $861,846, advancing its French cume to $29.59 million.
Serving as the major animation festival in South America, Anima Mundi has rolled out its list of winners for the 2000 competition in both Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The festivals goal of highlighting different styles and points of view was achieved with a list of winners from around the world. From Portuguese director José Miguel Ribeiro, A SUSPEITA took home the top prize in both Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The five-day event drew 16,000 people.
This weeks international box office saw big premieres for X-MEN and GONE IN 60 SECONDS and the quick disappearance of THE PATRIOT. In the U.K., X-MEN hit it big with a stellar US$7.08 million three-day take. The mighty mutants had the second highest opening of the year behind TOY STORY 2 and the eighth highest in the countrys history. Holding on at #2, STUART LITTLE landed another $1.11 million, lifting its British cume to $20.24 million. GONE IN 60 SECONDS slipped from first to third, with a gross of $952,847, raising its British cume to $7.95 million.
After its first full week in theatres, THE PATRIOT finished at the top in Germany, Spain and Brazil. In Germany, THE PATRIOT fought out the debut of CHICKEN RUN with a gross of US$1.62 million, bringing its cume to $6.05 million. CHICKEN came in with a gross of $1.35 million. Dropping two slots to fourth, THE PERFECT STORM washed up $569,269, advancing its cume to $9.63 million. TITAN A.E. premiered in fifth with a gross of $491,902. Slipping to sixth, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2 added $463,141 to its German cume of $23.08 million.
Former Disney chairman Joe Roths Revolution Studios will turn the Web series, LIL PIMP, into a Flash-animated feature. The MediaTrip.com series will be the first feature length film to be animated using Macromedias Flash software. Creators Paul Gilstrap and Mark Brooks with their team of four animators are set to scribe, produce and direct the project. Production on the flick could begin as early as three to four weeks. No monetary details have been released, however Gilstrap and Brooks look to make most of their money from backend revenues.
With several debuts around the globe, THE PATRIOT has won the war for international box office supremacy. Premiering at #1 in Germany, the Mel Gibson-starrer grossed a hefty $3.23 million. Slipping to second, THE PERFECT STORM garnered $1.29 million, raising its German cume to $8.62 million. Down one to #4, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2 added another $1.01 million to its $22.42 million German cume. At #8, THE TIGGER MOVIE rounded up an additional $206,761, bringing its German cume to $3.97 million. In its 10th week in Germany, GLADIATOR grossed $119,979 in tenth, advancing its cume to $19.99 million.
Columbia TriStar Home Video is set to flood stores with HEAVY METAL 2000 and the original 1981 Heavy Metal in a two-pack release. On October 17, 2000, the HEAVY METAL sequel, which never found theatrical distribution in the U.S., will be available on VHS and DVD. The special widescreen DVD will feature Dolby Digital 5.1 sound and two-channel Dolby Surround Sound. The extra features on the HEAVY METAL 2000 DVD release will include: the short film JULIE STRAIN: SUPER GODDESS, animation tests, the trailer and multiple language tracks in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
With more summer blockbusters arriving in international theatres, the old guard is weaning. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2, however, is still strong, finishing atop the charts in Italy, Sweden Japan and Spain. In its second week, M:I 2 grossed another US$700,928 in Italy, raising its cume to $6.82 million. GLADIATOR is losing its power, slipping a spot in Italy to finish at #4 with a gross of $103,693, bringing its Italian cume to $8.64 million. In Sweden, GLADITOR also finished in 4th place with a gross of $217,952, advancing its cume to $3.93 million.
Infogrames, Inc., announced that entertainment industry veterans Jason Bell and Alyssa Padia have joined Infogrames' North American management team. Bell will become senior vice president of publishing for Infogrames' North American operations, while Padia will become senior vice president of corporate evolution. Bell will head all publishing activities for Infogrames' labels in the U.S. For the past six years, Bell has worked at Electronic Arts and Kesmai. During that time, he held senior management roles focused on development of single player and multi-player games.
Effective July 1, 2000, VanArts (Vancouver Institute of Media Arts) has received full accreditation status from the Private Post-Secondary Education Commission of British Columbia, Canada. This achievement gives the institute formal recognition for its high standard of excellence in operations and delivery of animation education. VanArts offers intensive one-year certificate programs in both classical and computer animation and a two-year diploma in commercial animation.