Vintage comic strip hero Dick Tracy is being adapted as a new animated series by Film Roman, which signed a development deal with Classic Media. This announcement follows on the heels of former AOL Time Warner exec Robert Friedman's appointment as president of Classic Media (AF February 18, 2003). Friedman said his mandate was to take his company's comic characters into the television and film mediums.
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IDT Media is expanding its animation business, offering its services to toy companies to create low-cost 3D series for television or home video. IDT's production subsidiary Digital Production Solutions (DPS) and its Global Animation Studio plan to provide high-quality 3D animation solutions at a lower cost for toy manufacturers.
Andrea DAmico has been appointed vice president of visual effects sales for Ascent Media, and will act as a liaison between the Ascent Media Creative Services companies, including Encore and R!OT, that provide visual effects services for feature films and television. DAmico will also continue in her role as executive producer of visual effects with R!OT, Santa Monica.
ILM animation director Tom Bertino and senior VP Patty Blau head a roster of presenters at Expression Center for New Media's "Insider Day," January 10, 2003. Ex'pression hosts ten Insider Days a year and each includes workshops and seminars featuring technology movers and shakers, famous producers and engineers, musical and digital artists, and other resources to keep students on the new media front lines. The Insider Day experience provides a valuable networking arsenal for students after graduation.
On December 19, 2002 the National Institute on Media and the Family released their Seventh Annual MediaWise Video Game Report Card and gave the gaming industry a failing grade for the first time in the seven-year history of the report. The report provides a snapshot of the interactive gaming industry with a focus on issues related to child welfare. Areas of special concern include growing levels of video game addiction; inaccuracy of ratings; parental lack of awareness regarding content; and the failure of many retailers to restrict children from "M" for mature-rated games.
The U.K. MEDIA Desk is now offering U.K. industry professionals the opportunity to apply for development funding for long fiction, documentary, animation and multimedia projects. The MEDIA Plus program, based in Brussels, is calling U.K. production companies to apply for development funding for their projects throughout the first six months of 2003. The funding covers single projects and slate funding. The final date for submissions is June 16, 2003. In 2002, £1.6 million was awarded to U.K.
Detroit, Michigan's College for Creative Studies (CCS) Animation and Digital Media department will welcome a group of industry experts in 2002. Lanfranco Aceti, Thom Gillespie and Bill Tomlinson will be guest speakers at a series of presentations hosted by the college. Lanfranco Aceti is a digital artist and a Ph.D. researcher in fine art at Central Saint Martins in London. He has been focusing on the cross-platform media as expression of the contemporary avant-garde. Aceti will be giving an open presentation on November 25, 2002 from 5:00 7:00 pm.
Television executive John Bullivant has launched Kickback Media, a new executive production and development outfit. According to Bullivant, the aim of Kickback is to create, develop and finance character and design-based intellectual properties. The television activities will focus predominantly on the children's market and will include both animation and live-action content.
In keeping with the ever-growing popularity of video games, and the increasing technology behind them, the Illinois Institute of Art -- Chicago recently announced it is offering a new bachelors degree program in Game Art & Design for students who want to prepare for entry-level positions in the game development field. Students will learn character animation techniques, complex modeling, computer mapping, game level design and how to script within a game.
Design studio B1 Media has added producer Dudley Johnson to its recently launched production division. Johnson, a former assistant producer, technical writer and product specialist at Disney Interactive, will be writing and producing for B1. While at Disney Interactive he helped produce the CD-Roms CINDERELLAS DOLLHOUSE, YOU CAN FLY! WITH TINKER BELL and PRINCESS MAGICAL DRESS UP. Johnson previously wrote for the NBC sitcom DIFFERENT STROKES, and was a co-producer, executive story editor and writer for the ABC series WEBSTER.
Director Marco Bertoldo has joined San Francisco-based animation production company Mondo Media. In his new position, Bertoldo will assume creative responsibilities for Mondo Medias 3D animation division. Bertoldo is best known for his 3D short GONE BAD, which was featured at the Sundance Online Film Festival 2001 and 2002, and recently won the animation category for the Alice Radio 3-Minute Film Festival. Previously, Marco Bertoldo worked as a freelance animation director for Mondo Media, supervising projects for clients such as Fox Interactive, Activision, Crystal Dynamics and 3DO.
Jeff Stabenau, founder and former president of Crush Digital, has launched a new company, Blink Digital, to offer content preparation services for a broad range of digital media. DVD authoring will be the focus of the new company, a division of Liberty Livewire, but it will also offer preparation, conversion and optimization services for streaming media, interactive television media and archival digital media formats. Stabenau and former Crush Digital technical director Michael Ory, have been joined at Blink Digital by many other former Crush Digital staff.
Artmachine, a provider of brand management software, announced the availability of Studio Edition, a customized version of its flagship software product, Artmachine 2.0. Studio Edition provides television and motion picture distributors with asset digitizing, management and delivery of marketing and press materials for their media properties worldwide.
Los Angeles-based design studio B1 Media has launched a games division, B1/Games, and hopes to develop products for set-top game consoles. B1 Media has primarily been a provider of interactive design for DVDs and has created games and interactive content for numerous DVD titles like DINOSAUR, UNBREAKABLE, THE SIXTH SENSE and PLANET OF THE APES. The company also recently launched a broadcast design division, B1/Broadcast.
Thursday, April 11 - Sunday, April 14, 2002. Taos, New Mexico, USA.
Entry Deadline: Tuesday, January 15, 2002.
Thursday, April 11 - Sunday, April 14, 2002, Taos, New Mexico USA. Entry Deadline: Tuesday, January 15, 2002. Established as an artists' colony more than a century ago, Taos is known for it's eclectic mixture of cultures, traditions & philosophies. It is in this light that festival organizers program over 150 new indie films & videos, incl. features, documentaries, animation, videos & shorts during its four-day event.
Viewpoint Corporation, a provider of digital marketing technologies, has launched the newest version of the Viewpoint Media Player. This latest version showcases Viewpoint's HyperView feature, which enables viewers to expand rich media content beyond the browser window and utilize the entire desktop as real estate for the content. The Viewpoint Media Player allows for the integration and interaction of rich media formats such as Flash, 3D, animation, text, audio and zoomable 2D graphics.
Plazmic, creator of the Mobile Media Platform, which enables the creation and distribution of rich mobile media to wireless devices worldwide has partnered with Walt Disney Internet Group Japan to launch an enhanced rich mobile media entertainment service on NTT DoCoMo's i-mode network. Disney-i customers can access a graphically enhanced, interactive and animated version of the entertainment service Magical Fortune using the Plazmic Media Engine, an interactive wireless media player based on Java technology.
Universal Digital Communications Inc. (UDC), a privately held digital marketing company, has acquired new media content creator and distributor Spunky Productions. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Spunky Productions brings UDC tremendous new media capabilities including their remarkable 2D and 3D animation. This adds a truly unique dimension to the marketing solutions we create and produce for our clients, said Jim Burkhart, President of UDC.
Autodesk announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire the software product line from Media 100, a leading provider of digital media products. With this acquisition, Autodesks Discreet Division enhances its content creation product portfolio with Media 100s streaming media software solutions -- allowing Discreet customers to create, distribute, re-purpose and publish media content for consumption via the Internet, corporate Intranets and IP-enabled devices such as cell phones and PDAs.
Santa Monica-based Olsen Media has finished production of 13 episodes of SOLVE THE MYSTERY, an interactive Flash-animated crime-puzzle for the Internet. The series has viewers aiding Police Inspector McClue and his dim-witted assistant, Alvin, in their efforts to solve a mystery or crime by mouse-clicking back and forth checking for suspects and clues. The Web series is produced in collaboration with Egmont, a multinational media company headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, and TV2 of Denmark.
* NATPE Content Marketplace: Monday, January 21 - Thursday, January 24, 2002, Las Vegas, Nevada USA.
Universal Studios and Mondo Media have teamed on a multi-level ad campaign in support of AMERICAN PIE 2. The campaign consists of a blend of advertising and original content in a new advertising package called the Mondo Side Show. Ads will run on Mondo Web-syndicated Flash animation Mondo Mini Shows such as THUGS ON FILM, GARY THE RAT and ELMO AARDVARK OUTER SPACE DETECTIVE. Commercial content will include an interactive game, a viral marketing component, a commercial and mini Website.