Geographical Region: South America
DreamWorks is backing out of GameWorks, a string of location-based entertainment centers, which it helped found five years ago. DreamWorks' spokeswoman Vivian Mayer said, "Our commitment was a creative input. We fulfilled our commitment." Steven Spielberg was one of the original initiators of the company and oversaw the design of many of the coin-operated arcade versions of his films, like JURASSIC PARK. GameWorks has reported that same store sales are up an average of 10% in the past six months and overall revenue is up US$10 million from last year.
This week's updates to the Calendar of Events includes the "Little Prince And The 8 Headed Dragon" screening, January 31, Burbank, California, U.S.A.; FlashBang 2, February 19, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.; The Animation Business Marketplace, March 1-2, Hollywood. California, U.S.A.; eStreaming World, March 6-8, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.; The Canadian Film Centre's Worldwide Short Film Festival, June 6-10, Toronto, Canada; and Anima Mundi, July 13-29, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Brazil.
Columbia Pictures has snatched up the feature film rights to the comic book SPAWN. Recently, New Line Cinema, who produced the original live-action feature, let their claim on the rights expire, thus reverting them back to creator Todd McFarlane. Columbia was quick to pounce on the film rights to the popular Imagine comic book series. Already, Don Murphy has signed on to produce the next feature through Sony-based AngryFilms. Currently, McFarlane and screenwriter Steve Niles are working on the first draft of the SPAWN sequel.
DIC Entertainment has signed on to create 26 half-hour episodes of EVOLUTION, based on Ivan Reitman's forthcoming summer live-action feature. This project re-teams DIC's president and CEO Andy Heyward with Reitman, who collaborated on REAL GHOSTBUSTERS and MUMMIES ALIVE. Producing the series along with DIC will be Reitman's The Montecito Picture Co. (TMPC) in conjunction with DreamWorks and Columbia Pictures. Heyward, Reitman and TMPC's co-founder Tom Pollack will executive produce the traditionally animated show.
Valley Cottage, New York's Southeast Design Co. is looking for a 3D ANIMATOR with 4-5 years broadcast animation experience. . . Santa Clara, California's Believe, Inc., a pre-IPO start-up, is looking for experienced SOFTWARE ENGINEERS who will create, implement and support new features, tools and other improvements in custom software. . . New York's Center for Advanced Digital Applications - New York University, an advanced training facility for animation and visual effects, is looking for PART-TIME INSTRUCTORS with experience in digital production and/or art in a professional environment. .
Nickelodeon Latin America and TV Globo have signed a deal that will send Nicktoons to Brazilian airwaves. The two-year deal gives Globo the rights to air Nicktoons on Saturday mornings. Nick has similar deals with Mexico's Televisa and Venezuela's Radio Caracas Television. The cartoons that will air from 7 8 am will be dubbed versions of CATDOG, SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS and THE WILD THORNBERRYS.
The Havana Film Festival, Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano, is traditionally the major cinema event in Latin America, and is still one of the major events in the region in spite of the growing problems to organize it. The number of films, audience members and guests is very impressive. The latest 22nd edition was held from December 5 - 15, 2000. The ten-day event focused on feature films, but also included a separate competition for Latin American animation. The selection is comprehensive, but not too big, however the films are not always new.
Class-Key Chew-Po has signed 3D animation director David Foss. The director has worked with Class-Key in the past on projects for Columbia Tri-Star, Nickelodeon and San Diego's Wildlife Park's Festival of Lights promotion. In the past he has worked for such studios as Optimus, Hgun Labs and Runandgun. Foss' personal work has toured with festivals around the world. His film 47 HURTZ was screened as part of Resfest and his short HORNED GRANDMA is part of Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival.
On November 27, 2000, Microsoft filed legal papers with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to prevent the company's break up. In its first filing, the company attacked U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who originally ordered the split, as being biased.
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.
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.