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Film Roman Launches Level 13

This weekend, Film Roman, Inc., producers of THE SIMPSONS and KING OF THEHILL, launched Level, an innovative multi-channel animation networkto be delivered via the Internet. Level 13 is the industry's firstregularly scheduled, animated television-like network made directly for theWeb. William Shpall, Chief Operating Officer of Film Roman, and architectof the company's Internet strategy, said, "While many of today'sentertainment and Internet leaders are still testing enhanced televisionprogramming strategies and offering various limited entertainmentprogramming on-line, we at Film Roman have eagerly and wholeheartedlylaunched a wide array of compelling animation content produced or acquiredspecifically for Internet distribution." The 18 to 28 year-old focusednetwork will provide new programming for each channel at set times startingin mid-December. Each of the 13 individual channels will have a focus allof its own. "Level 13 Shorts" will broadcast premiere animation shorts andspecial events produced exclusively by and for Level 13. "Buy Me" willprovide consumers the chance to purchase everything from t-shirts andposters to videos and collectibles based on Level 13 franchise propertiesand other Level 13 related animators. "Adult Humor" will be available for aUS$4 a month charge to subscribers over the age of 18. The channel willfocus on original animated adult humor shorts. "SKIDMORE THE FLASHER" willfeature the popular flash animation of the same name. "Reviews" will offerLevel 13's animated answer to traditional broadcast television'sentertainment news, reviews and current affairs programming. WILLIS ANDJONAH are security guards who, while watching their security cameramonitors, review current movies, concerts, videos, and music. Alsofeatured on the channel will be FLICK AND FLORA, two teenagers who willoffer Net surfers their opinions on a variety of current events and socialissues all spiced up with a little good old fashioned American teen angst."Featured Artists" will offer live-action interviews with today's topanimation artists. "In the Dirty World" will bring to viewers 3D animatedBabs Babylon and her often opinionated gossip on the lives of the celebs."Free Crap" will provide free screen savers, sound bites, art work andother downloadable elements from Level 13's library. "International Shorts"will broadcast foreign language animated short films. "Air Out Your Shorts"will provide Web surfers the chance to check out animated innovative shortfilms produced outside the company collected by Level 13. "ExperimentalAnimation" will provide a platform for new animation techniques, styles andinnovations. Available in January 2000, "Make Your Own" will allow fans thechance to create animated shorts and/or custom e-mail using Level 13'srecurring episodic characters. Finally,the home page, willgive surfers network-wide navigation tools and will offer advertisers andsponsors premium placement opportunities. According to Shpall, Film Romanlooks forward to expanding their shows as broadband technology develops onthe Internet. When speaking with Shpall about the launch of his brainchild, he said the thing which made him most excited was that "a year agowhen I approached people with this idea they thought I was nuts. They said,'What is this guy talking about?'" With the current success of animatedmaterial on the Net, the "theys" may be redefining their criteria forinsanity. With some 400 animators included in its worldwide creativefamily, Film Roman's Level 13 has the potential to be a formidable leaderin animation on the Net.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
Creator of Rick's Flicks Picks