New York-based animation/live-action studio PITCH, INC. signed London-based director/animator DAVID FREEDMAN to its new commercial division. His background includes directing, writing, agency work and stand-up comedy. Plus, with his writing partner, Alan Gilbey, he is currently writing an animated series, The Foxbusters. Pitchs commercial division is represented by KELLY FLINT, who joined the new company from Curious Pictures, where she worked with Pitch co-founders RUSS DUBE, CHRIS GILLIGAN and STEVE KATZ.
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GREG PAIR has completed an eight-month stint as animation supervisor on MTVs stop-motion show Celebrity Death Match. He is returning to the studio he is a partner in, AMPNYC, to direct and produce stop-motion commercial work.
Animation educator Gail Banker died of a stroke on Sunday, September 13, the day after her 60th birthday. For the past 13 years, she taught animation to children and adults in the New England area: as an instructor at Hanover High School in Hanover, New Hampshire; as a counselor at the Charles River Creative Arts Program in Dover, Massachusetts; and as founder of Single-Frame Studio in Norwich, Vermont, where she ran weekly animation workshops for children. She also taught adult animation classes at her studio and through various continuing education programs.
U.S. network NBC aired only three episodes of the prime-time animated series Stressed Eric before pulling it off the air due to disappointing ratings (Nielsen average 4.8). The show, produced with British broadcaster BBC by Klasky Csupo and Absolutely Productions, had been specially dubbed with a new voice track for American viewers, and was slated to air for six episodes through the end of the summer season.
Due to minor post-production delays, CARTOON NETWORK has moved the premiere of its newest animated half-hour series, Ed, Edd n Eddy. The show, produced by Danny Antonuccis A.K.A. Cartoons, will now debut on Monday January, 4, 1999, pushed back from its original November launch date.
NICKELODEON will air the Kablam! Life With Loopy Birthday Gala-bration on Friday, September 25 at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT). Created by Steven Holman and his San Francisco-based production company Wholesome Products, the special is a spin-off from the animated variety show Kablam! mixed-media skit, Life With Loopy.
* Wednesday, September 23. Burbank, California, U.S.A.
ASIFA-Hollywood presents Tom Sitos An Evening With... series featuring Lou Scheimer. Scheimer started out as a layout artist on the Paramount Popeye series. In 1967 he started Filmation Studios, which produced animated series such as Fat Albert, He-Man and The Archies. The program starts at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $7.00 at the door. For information call (818) 842-8330.
San Rafael, California-based INDUSTRIAL LIGHT & MAGIC (ILM) has expanded its executive ranks with several internal promotions. GAIL CURREY has been upped to the newly-created position of vice president and chief operating officer, from her previous position as director of digital production operations. JEFF MANN has been promoted to executive in charge of creative operations, up from his previous post as director of production operations. ALAN KEITH has been named vice president/chief administrative officer, up from a position as director of business operations and finance at LUCAS DIGITAL.
Fox's prime-time animated series, "The Simpsons" received three Emmy Awards this year, including the craft categories. For the fifth time (1990, '91, '95, '97), the show won the award for "Outstanding Animated Series (for programming one hour or less)," beating out other nominees "King of the Hill" (Fox), "Cow & Chicken" (Cartoon Network) and "Dexter's Laboratory" (Cartoon Network). "The Simpsons" also won in the "Outstanding Music and Lyrics" category, for the song "You're Checkin' In (A Musical Tribute to the Betty Ford Center)," by composer Alf Clausen and lyricist Ken Keeler.
The 11th Society of Animation Studies Conference will be held in Australia for the first time. The conference, to be held in Brisbane in August or October 1999 (exact date to be confirmed), is timed to coincide with the Third Asia Pacific Triennial exhibition of Contemporary Art at the Queensland Art Gallery. The theme of the conference is "Animation: Contexts and Identities," with a focus on Asia Pacific animation. A call for papers and presentation proposals is now open. Proposals should contain a 50-word summary and a 250-word abstract.
London-based distributor LINK ENTERTAINMENT has promoted GENVIEVE DEXTER from sales manager to head of sales and acquisitions. She joined Link in 1997, leaving a post as sales manager at Eva Entertainment. Link also promoted ANNIKA BLUHM from script development executive to head of script development. She joined Link in 1996 and previously worked in development and as a script editor at BBC.
Friday, September 11. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
The 50th annual Prime Time Emmy Awards will take place, and will simultaneously air on the cable network, TV Land. The winner in the animated series category will be included in the next Animation Flash.
BILL DENNIS has been named Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Mumbai, India-based UTVI ANIMATION and RM/USL STUDIOS, the largest animation studio in India. Dennis will be responsible for overseeing and growing the operations of the companies' studios in Singapore and Bombay and for developing new animation studios around the region. He will also oversee all in-house development and co-production deals. Dennis, now based in Los Angeles, was previously president of Fil-Cartoons in Manila, a studio which serviced Hanna-Barbera and Turner Broadcasting before they merged with Time/Warner.
CARTOON NETWORK has promoted DEA CONNICK PEREZ to vice president of programming and production, a role in which she will direct all aspects of programming, including scheduling, acquisitions and program operations. She joined the Atlanta-based company in 1997 as program director, and was previously director of acquisitions at Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite/TV Land.
NELVANA LIMITED has promoted EMMANUÈLE PÉTRY to director of co-productions. She was previously director of the company's Paris office, where she will remain. Pétry has been responsible for securing co-production partners for Nelvana, including Neurones, Marathon and Ellipse. Also at Nelvana's Paris office, MARIE-LAURE MARCHAND has been promoted to director of international sales.
Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, is launching the largest expansion in its history. New attractions that will be added in the next 12 months include "Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin," an interactive film ride; "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh," a ride for youngsters which will replace "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride;" and a return of "The Main Street Electrical Parade," featuring floats of Dumbo, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, and other animated characters.
HBO will launch its new 24-hour channel, HBO Family, in February 1999. The venture is being headed up by Sheila Nevins, senior vice president of original programming for HBO, and Dolores Morris, who left Children's Television Workshop (CTW) in June to become vice president of HBO Family [AF 6/2/98].
Humongous Entertainment has released the first two CD-Roms based on Nickelodeon's animated/live-action series, "Blue's Clues." "Blue's ABC Time Activities" is available for U.S. $19.99 and "Blue's Birthday Adventure" is $29.99. Both titles are Windows and Macintosh compatible, and feature games and educational activities aimed at 3-6 year-olds. The games are the first releases to come out of an exclusive, five-year worldwide deal with Nickelodeon.
The International Center for Gibbon Studies (ICGS) in Santa Clarita, California has agreed to host a private event for artists interested in sketching the live animals. Presented by Women In Animation Los Angeles on Saturday, September 19, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., the trip will include a lectured tour and a rare opportunity to practice life drawing of more than 30 animals. "Gibbons are fast-moving small primates that are active in the morning and slow down during the afternoon, so the day will satisfy quick sketch to intense study for all artists," said event coordinator Susan Palmer.
The Nashville Independent Film Festival (NIFF) (formerly known as Sinking Creek) is accepting submissions for its next edition, June 9-13, 1999. A first prize in the animation category at this festival will qualify your film for Academy Award consideration. Entry fees vary, and the deadline is December 4. The first 100 entries will receive a free pass to the festival. For entry forms and information, visit www.nashvillefilmfestival.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hollywood Shorts, a monthly short film series that presents new shorts andtheir directors to the Hollywood film community, is seeking submissions.Three shorts, including one animated film, will be featured each month; thenext screenings are October 11, November 15 and December 13, 1998. Eachfilm must be no longer than 40 minutes and the entry fee is $5 per film.The deadline for the October screening is September 15, however, lateentries will be considered for future screenings. For information, contact
By special arrangement with Nielsen Media Research, AWN publishesthe Nielsen ratings for animated programs on a monthly basis in theAnimation Flash. The ratings included herein are only for U.S. nationalnetwork television. The following list of animated national networkprograms is ranked by Household Ratings. A Rating is the percent ofhouseholds that tuned into the program. This percentage can provide us withthe number of households that tuned into the program on average during the
Animation historian John Canemaker is working on his eighth animationhistory book, titled "Walt Disney's Nine Old men and the Art of Animation"to be published by Hyperion in 2001. It will contain detailed biographicalportraits of Les Clark, Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, Marc Davis, WardKimball, Milt Kahl, John Lounsbery, Eric Larson and Wolfgang Reitherman.The book will also discuss the early Disney animators who influenced "theNine," such as Ub Iwerks, Norman Ferguson, Fred Moore, Ham Luske, Vladimir