NewTek has named Jim Plant to the newly created position of executive vice president of business and strategic development. NewTek is a leading provider of full-featured video editing, animation and special effects tools. The company's products are used worldwide on projects ranging from home video, broadcast television and feature films (CHARLIE'S ANGELS, HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, X-MEN). "Jim is a proven executive who is very familiar with the video and 3D marketplace," said Tim Jenison, CEO and founder of NewTek.
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Attracted by his passion for film and food, and a design aesthetic beyond his years, Black Logic has signed Alessandro Swainston as a designer/director, announced vice president and executive producer Karen Stewart. Black Logic is a comprehensive, creative collaboration company offering full-service visual effects, graphic design, high-end compositing, 2D and 3D animation, and complete live-action production.
Continuing the vigorous expansion of its presence in New York, the Click 3x Group has hired Michael Porte, the co-founder of Mad River Post, to serve as managing director of its digital studio. The move to Click 3x heralds a return to visual effects for Porte, who previously was a producer at Intercom, CPC and Coast Effects. Porte will supervise all day-to-day activities at Click 3x, New York, with particular emphasis on growing the studio and reinventing its role to suit the future needs of the advertising and broadcast industries.
New Yorks Curious Pictures has created CHEESE CHANNEL, a 30-second spot for Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Chicagos Foote, Cone and Belding ad agency. Switching between several classic daytime TV vignettes, the comic spot blends stock footage and a variety of mixed media techniques, including live-action, stop-motion animation and computer/cel animation. Were proud of the cheese-surfing Kraft Mac and Cheese spot, said Jim Shirreff, art director, Foote, Cone and Belding. The universe of television is condensed to a world of macaroni and cheese.
Santa Monicas Side Effects Software has announced new dates for free Houdini introductory workshops and training in Santa Monica, San Francisco and Toronto. In these sessions, artists will be exposed to the power of Houdini, the award-winning 3D animation software package used in such recent blockbusters as Dr. Seuss' HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, X-MEN, HOLLOW MAN and THE MATRIX. This class includes an introduction to the object, SOP (surface operator), material, composite and output editors.
BLOOP.tv, a syndicated science-fiction Web cartoon series, announced their launch on more than 40 science-fiction, cartoon and general-interest entertainment Websites, including Time Warner Cable's Road Runner networks, GALAXY.tv, BMonster.com, TOONORAMA.com and MEDIAJONEZ.com. According to company founder Steve Conley, BLOOP.tv was created specifically for web distribution with an eye toward the mainstream movie-going audience. The character designs and stories were built with the limitations of web animation in mind.
Venice, Californias Blur Studio's broadcast design division recently created a show open for ROBOTICA, The Learning Channel's new 1-hour robot competition series airing on Wednesday nights. Creative director Tim Brown came up with the piece's innovative design, centering on a chrome-plated, flying robot that mounts an aggressive assault on the television screen. Blur Studio concept artist Feng Shu designed the robot character and 3D artist Juan Granja modeled and animated it. Blur Studio also handled the production of the open, composed entirely of photo-real 3D computer animation.
In a three-year worldwide agreement announced on May 2, 2001, Fox Interactive granted Vivendi Universal Publishing (VU Publishing) the exclusive rights to manufacture, market and distribute key titles for PC and next-generation console platforms. Under the agreement, VU Publishing's Sierra studio will co-publish the following action/adventure titles: ALIENS VS.
Portland, Oregons Vinton Studios announced The Tiki Challenge, an unusual contest aimed at advertising agency employees only. The winner will be awarded a certificate worth $50,000 off the cost of a computer-generated commercial production at Vinton Studios, or an all-expenses-paid weekend for two in Las Vegas. Runners-up will receive invitations for an all-expenses-paid trip to the studios renowned Animation Camp in Portland, or other prizes including a MP3 player, a digital camera and a Palm Pilot.
Leslie Carlsons new short, SHRIMP AND CRAB COCKTAIL, made its debut on Ifilm May 4, 2001. This 2-minute animated short explores the shifting tides of emotion between a shrimp and crab as they flirt in an undersea cocktail lounge, with a dark twist to the old line "there are other fish in the sea." For more information, visit: www.ifilm.com/ifilm/skeletons/film_detail/0,1263,1236475,00.html. WHITE BREAD BLUES, a new animated Web series from the San Francisco office of interactive design and production company Deepend, debuts this week.
New Yorks Curious Pictures has completed TOONZ CAUGHT ON TAPE!, a set of promotional spots for Nickelodeon. The mixed media pieces are a series of interstitial vignettes that feature some of Nickelodeons characters. We created a spoof of reality-based television shows, showing famous toonz captured in hidden-camera situations, said Steve Oakes, Curious Pictures director. The result is a commercial that shows the dark underbelly of Nickelodeons off-screen toon lifestyle.
yU + co has designed and produced a television advertising campaign for Turner Network Television in support of TNT and CNN/SI coverage of WUSA, the women's professional soccer league. Directed by yU + co creative director Garson Yu, the campaign launches with a 60-second television spot in which soccer stars Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain, Julie Foudy and Brianna Scurry morph into animated superheroes.
Shockwave.com has launched two new game collections exclusively for the Shockmachine player, spearheading the companys push into direct-to-consumer paid content distribution. The move is part of the companys strategy to sell content to their registered audience of more than 40 million users. Now, users can play offline, whereas previously they could only play on the Shockwave.com Website.
In an about face to his January 2001 sworn declaration, former Stan Lee Media vice president Stephen Gordon issued a Further Declaration in a Los Angeles Superior Court action which retracted and corrected previous allegations made by Gordon against Stan Lee Media co-founder Peter Paul, as well as detailed a series of new accusations of fraud and libel against Stan Lee Media CEO Ken Williams.
New holiday adventures of THE WILD THORNBERRYS and poignant favorites of RUGRATS and HEY, ARNOLD! will sweeten the Mothers Day mix on Nickelodeon. Moms the word on Nickelodeon, May 10 - 13, 2001 when a quartet of live-action and animated series will sing her praises with all-new and favorite offerings. Episode premieres will chronicle the life-saving Mother's Day exploits of filmmaker Marianne in THE WILD THORNBERRYS ("Gem of a Mom," Thursday, May 10 at 8 pm; repeats May 12 at 6:30 pm and May 13 at noon).
Santa Monica, California's R!OT, a creative digital studio, announced that New Yorks Manhattan Transfer, a part of the Livewire Television Group, became R!OT Manhattan. The company will form a synergistic relationship with the original R!OT, also a Livewire Television Group company, sharing their pools of talent and technical resources to serve the global needs of the advertising, film and television industries. Along with changing its name, the Manhattan studio will undergo a refurbishing that will include physical upgrades and high level additions to its creative staff.
David Forbes, former executive vice president of Orion Pictures Corp. and president of MGM/UA Distribution Company, has been named CEO of Global Animation Holdings, whose family of companies includes Los Angeles-based Spectrum Studios and Manila, Philippines-based ImagineAsia and VirtualMagic Asia. Forbes assumes the new post immediately.
Paramount Pictures announced the launch of its new TOMB RAIDER Website, a full-screen cinematic experience that brings movie fans directly into Lara Croft's world. The feature film opens in U.S. theatres on June 15, 2001. The site uses iPIX technology, allowing visitors to explore 360 degree panoramas of the sets and locations from the movie.
In a May 2, 2001 announcement, Macromedia reported fourth quarter and fiscal year results for its software business. For the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2001, revenues were $89.1 million as compared with revenues of $86.4 million reported in the same quarter a year ago. Pro forma net income was $8.4 million, or $0.15 diluted earnings per share during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2001, compared to pro forma net income of $16.8 million, or $0.30 diluted earnings per share in the same period a year ago.
Animator Patricia Beckmann was voted one of the top 25 Women of the Web by the San Francisco Women on the Web chapter (www.sfwow.org), a San Francisco-based grassroots, non-profit organization providing networking and professional development opportunities for Bay Area women in the Internet, hi-tech and new media industries. This year's Women of the Web awards recognize the achievements of women who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of technology and to the advancement of women in technology-related fields.