The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the winners of the 36th International Emmy Awards Monday night at a gala event held in the New York Hilton, hosted by award-winning stage and screen actor Roger Bart, currently leading in Mel Brooks' new Broadway musical, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN.
Geographical Region: South America
Blizzard Ent.'s WORLD OF WARCRAFT’s second expansion, WRATH OF THE LICH KING, has sold more than 2.8 million copies in its first 24 hours of availability, making it the fastest-selling PC game of all time.
VFXWorld had the chance recently to speak exclusively with Bob Osher and Hannah Minghella, the two new heads of Sony Pictures Digital Prods., about their artist-centric approach to vfx and animation. Six months ago, Osher was named president of the fledgling division while continuing to serve as COO of Columbia Pictures. Minghella was appointed president of production for Sony Pictures Animation. They tell us how they've already begun making their mark and what their future roadmap is. Meanwhile, J. Paul Peszko takes a look at a fascinating new music video, HEART ATTACK, from Low vs.
Guillermo del Toro and the Jim Henson Co. are working to develop a PINOCCHIO stop-motion feature with a darker tone, per VARIETY.
Henson Co. co-presidents Brian Henson and Lisa Henson will produce with SVP Jason Lust. Del Toro will exec produce. Del Toro revealed his involvement with the project on BLOODYDISGUSTING.com; saying he was working on the screenplay with Gris Grimly, who was the illustrator on 2002's PINOCCHIO. Grimly and Adam Parrish King will co-direct.
Aaron Eckhart is now attached to star in sci-fi actioner BATTLE: LOS ANGELES at Columbia from director Jonathan Liebesman, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.
Neal Moritz' Original Films is producing. Eckhart, who memorably played Harvey Dent/Two Face in this summer's THE DARK KNIGHT, will be the star of a major action film for the first time. He's also had starring roles in IN THE COMPANY OF MEN and THANK YOU FOR SMOKING.
After sitting out the first sequel, actor Vin Diesel and director Rob Cohen will come back to the XXX story, with writers Michael Ferris and John Brancato (TERMINATOR: SALVATION) in early talks to pen the script, per VARIETY.
XXX: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE represents a trend for studios to bring back branded material. Diesel and Cohen teamed on the 2002 original, then declined the second, XXX: STATE OF THE UNION, which starred Ice Cube and was directed by Lee Tamahori.
This week in AWN's Forums, a member is working on an independent short film called INVINCIBLE IRON MAN and is looking for feedback on a teaser trailer. Discussion continues on how to put together an animation business plan. With digital animation techniques replacing traditional hand-drawn/film approaches to animation, how is the 12 and 16 field guide being employed? A member is looking for the best animation school in Mexico or Argentina.
Toronto-based distribution company, Breakthrough Ent. has promoted Nat Abraham as its Head of Distribution. Abraham will oversee daily operations including worldwide sales, pre-sales and co-production opportunities.
The third annual aniBoom Awards are open for submissions from independent animators of all types around the globe through December 1, 2008. More than 850 submissions have been received so far, and are now being viewed and ranked by the community on aniBoom.com and by a select panel of entertainment industry luminaries. At stake is a Grand Prize for the overall winner that includes a $25,000 investment in commercial development and a distribution deal with aniBoom that will enable the winning animator to receive significant career-making exposure through a variety of outlets and channels.
Alain Prost, who held the record for most Grand Prix victories from 1987-2001 and received the 1999 World Sports Award of the Century along such greats as Pele and Muhammad Ali, is conquering new heights as he voices the role of race car driver Raymond in the CGI animated feature film LOUIS LA CHANCE, directed by Phillipe LeClerc and Xavier Aliot. Joining LeClerc and Aliot in the director's chair will be Guillaume Ivernel (DRAGON HUNTERS).
Academy Award-winning digital production studio Digital Domain announced a number of major feature films that are currently in production at its studio:
--THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, directed by David Fincher, releasing December 25, 2008 from Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures.--TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN, directed by Michael Bay, releasing in June 2009 from DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures.--2012, from director Roland Emmerich, releasing in July 2009 from Columbia Pictures.
David Lindsay-Abaire, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his play RABBIT HOLE, is in final negotiations to write Columbia's SPIDER-MAN 4, reports THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.
Sam Raimi is already confirmed to direct, with Tobey Maguire to star. Series producers Laura Ziskin and Avi Arad are also on board, with star Kirsten Dunst expected to also return.
Columbia did not comment on the deal for the fourth installment featuring the Marvel Comics character, and plot details are highly secret.
Team Latin America walked away as winner of the ENGINE ROOM, an original, short-form online series in which four teams of digital artists from around the world showcased their cutting-edge digital art skills in a bid to win $400,000, programming control of MTV's high-definition screen in Times Square for a night, HP technology products and global bragging rights.
The subscribership for Blizzard Ent.'s WORLD OF WARCRAFT, the award-winning massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), now exceeds 11 million players worldwide. This milestone was reached as the beta test for WRATH OF THE LICH KING, WORLD OF WARCRAFT's second expansion, nears completion. WRATH OF THE LICH KING will launch in several regions around the world starting on November 13.
Director Sam Mendes will direct PREACHER for Columbia, reports THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The studio just picked up the rights to the popular 1990s Vertigo comic series about a down-and-out Texas preacher possessed by Genesis, a supernatural entity born from an angel and a demon.
The preacher travels cross-country with an ex-girlfriend and an alcoholic Irish vampire to find God, who has abandoned his duties in heaven.
Entertainment Rights has secured distribution rights to the latest 13 episodes for the new TRANSFORMERS ANIMATED series, bringing the total number of episodes of the series currently available to 42 (42x22). The announcement follows on the heels of Cartoon Network in the U.S. having confirmed the commission of an additional 13 episodes for delivery in spring 2009.
Today is positively Smurfy as the world marks the 50th Smurfday of the Smurfs, the blue heroes that first appeared in the comic books by Belgian cartoonist Peyo (aka Pierre Culliford) October 23, 1958.
After his recent success with MONSTER HOUSE, director Gil Kenan put his talents to work on this adaptation of the Jeanne DuPrau novel, CITY OF EMBER. Together with Production Designer Martin Laing, the team set out to create a world where light is the lifeblood and a failing generator is the faintly beating heart of a dying race.
IRON KID continues conquering territory. Well-known in Europe, Asia and the Americas, the BRB International series will be aired soon in Holland and Belgium through Nickelodeon Benelux. The group has just acquired the broadcast rights to this fun-filled action/adventure saga in 3D, and will distribute it in both countries on NickToons under the title EON KID -- in honor of the lineage of the young protagonist.
A record 67 countries, including first-time entrant Jordan, have submitted films for consideration in the Foreign Language Film category for the 81st Academy Awards.
The 2008 submissions are:
Afghanistan, OPIUM WAR, Siddiq Barmak, director;Albania, THE SORROW OF MRS. SCHNEIDER, Piro Milkani and Eno Milkani, directors;Algeria, MASQUERADES, Lyes Salem, director;Argentina, LION'S DEN, Pablo Trapero, director;Austria, REVANCHE, Gotz Spielmann, director;Azerbaijan, FORTRESS, Shamil Nacafzada, director;
New York-based design and effects studio Click 3X recently expanded their roster, signing artist J.D. Yepes, a specialist in editing, motion design and vfx compositing. The hire is the latest in a series of efforts to widen their production capabilities to offer a full suite of visual solutions for commercials, feature films, television, music videos and broadcast clients.
Animation studio Encuadre, who creates the TV series CITY HUNTERS for Fox Latin America, is working on a full-length animated feature tentatively called OLOCOONS, MISION A LA TIERRA with Mexico's Televisa and Antoni Sole's ABS Film of Spain, per VARIETY.
Production is expected to commence later this year, coinciding with the fifth seasons of OLOCOONS series on Televisia. A simultaneous release is planned in Argentina, Mexico and possibly other territories in 2010, according to Encuadre CEO Rosanna Manfredi.
5D: The Future of Immersive Design Conference has added two industry luminaries to its program, scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday on the California State University at Long Beach (CSULB) campus.
Evan Hirsch, Creative Director of Microsoft Live Labs, will join the Saturday panel, "Narrating Space," while Emmy-winning production designer J. Michael Riva will participate during the Sunday session, "Bigger Bang: Colliding Science and Design."
DIVE OLLY DIVE!, the environmentally-conscious preschool series from Taffy Ent. and Mike Young Productions, will be released on DVD in the U.K., Germany, Italy, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Portugal, South Africa, Brazil and other selected territories by Universal Pictures International Ent. in 2009.
SplutterFish, creators of Brazil Rendering System, are working with a new rendering technology, and are offering cash prizes in exchange for help from the 3ds Max community. Brazil r/s is already one of the most advanced renderers available, and SplutterFish is developing the next generation of the product -- a technological leap that will transform the creative workflow of visual effects artists, industrial designers and architects worldwide.