MARK SIMON, president of Animatics & Storyboards, and author of the book Storyboards: Motion in Art, and producer DAVE KALLAHER have joined forces to start a new company, AARGH! ANIMATION, INC. Based in Orlando, Florida, the company will specialize in cel and stop-motion animation, character design and storyboards. JEANNE PAPPAS SIMON, co-owner of Animatics & Storyboards, will be head writer for AARGH!
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CAMBRIDGE ANIMATION SYSTEMS (CAS), creators of Animo 2D animation software, has hired Mark Watt as director of research and development. Watt co-founded Second Nature Industries, a company in Los Angeles. He was previously a senior programmer with Xaos, Thomson Digital Image and Digital Pictures. Watt will be based at CAS U.K. office. TOM CARRIGAN, recently hired by CAS as director of international sales, will be based at the companys Glendale office, not in U.K. office as was stated in last weeks news.
Warner Bros. Family Entertainment has released a new, direct-to-video animated title, Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island. The production was done at Hanna-Barbera (now a part of the Warner Bros. family), executive produced by Jean MacCurdy, produced by Cos Anzilotti with supervising producer Davis Doi, directed by Jim Stenstrum and written by Glenn Leopold. The video was released today and is priced at U.S. $19.96. A huge promotional push for the video includes tie-ins with 1-800-COLLECT, Wendys Restaurants, Cartoon Network, LEGO and Nascar.
* Thursday, September 24 - Saturday, September 26. Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
The University of the Balearic Islands presents ANI.MAR 98, short for the Amateur Animators Focused International Festival. This competitive festival has three categories: 3D animation short films, traditional animation films less than 15 minutes and traditional animation films more than 15 minutes. The event will also offer workshops, retrospectives and exhibitions. For information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Friday, September 25 - Sunday, September 27. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
UCLA hosts three puppet performances brought over from the Henson Festival of Puppet Theater, in conjunction with the new Cotsen Center for Puppetry at Cal Arts: Ubu and the Truth Commission by South African group The Handspring Puppet Company (featuring animator William Kentridge), Electric Shadows by American-Indonesian act Wayang Listrik and Short Stories by Peruvian Teatro Hugo and Ines. For show times and tickets, call (310) 825-2101.
* Friday, September 25. Utrecht, Netherlands.
The Utrecht School of the Arts faculty of Art, Media & Technology holds their annual presentation of the European Media Master of Arts, including Computer Animation. The event will take place at Baby in Amsterdam. Admission for Baby members is free, All others are admitted by invitation only. Contact email@example.com for more details.
* Friday, September 25. London, England, U.K.
In honor of Warner Bros. 75th anniversary, The Museum of the Moving Image (MOMI) launches an exhibition of original Looney Tunes art work. In honor of MOMIs tenth anniversary, admission is free until the end of September! For more information about MOMI, visit the Hidden Treasures feature in Animation World Magazines October 1997 issue.
* Saturday, September 26. New York City, New York.
Animazing Gallery hosts an appearance by layout artist Maurice Noble, starting with a gala tribute from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.. Noble will be present, and available to sign artwork purchased at the show. Animazing is located at 415 West Broadway in Soho. RSVP to (212) 226-7374 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read Karl Cohens article, Maurice Noble: Animation's Old Rebel in the March 1998 issue of Animation World Magazine.
* Saturday, September 26. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
From 5 - 8 p.m., Los Angeles art gallery and book store Every Picture Tells A Story hosts a reception with Michael Bedard, illustrator of the new childrens book Sitting Ducks. Bedards work is currently being adapted for an animated TV series and feature film by Polygram. The exhibition of Bedards illustrations will run through October 18. To pre-order signed books or to RSVP for the reception, call (310) 932-6070.
Golden Books Family Entertainment has signed a deal with animation production company Varga tvc Ltd. (formed last year between Hungarian Varga Studios and TVC London) to produce animated video specials based on the Golden Books titles: "The Poky Little Puppy," "Saggy Baggy Elephant" and "Scuffy the Tugboat." The three videos will be available by Spring 1999. All animation production will take place at Varga tvc's London studio, with a production team that includes writer Bruce Talkington, creative director Dave Unwin and director Ramon Modiano.
Czech production and distribution company Kratky Film Praha a.s., which owns the Bratri v triku and Jiri Trnka animation studios, has been substantially restructured. The company has been struggling financially since 1994, and has been facing possible bankruptcy since 1997, a measure prevented by a recent investment from insurance company Ceska Pojistovna, now the majority shareholder in Kratky Film. The restructuring has also caused a management shake-out.
Santa Monica, California-based Epoch Ink Animation and Phoenix, Arizona-based Todd McFarlane Entertainment collaborated on a fully-animated music video for Pearl Jam's song "Do the Evolution." The four-minute video was produced in just 12 weeks with a budget of U.S. $220,000.
Recycling is alive and well in Hollywood. An astounding number of animation properties are being optioned for adaptation as live-action films, such as "Inspector Gadget" and "Sailor Moon." This week, two more such deals have been announced. "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," a book by Dr. Seuss and then an animated feature directed by Chuck Jones at MGM, will have its next reincarnation as a live-action feature starring Jim Carrey. Universal, which already owns the theme park rights to Dr. Seuss properties, and Ron Howard's Imagine Films paid Dr. Seuss' widow Audrey Geisel nearly U.S.
Animation director CHRIS BAILEY has joined the full-time staff of DREAM QUEST IMAGES, the effects studio owned by Disney.
MARIE-LINE PETREQUIN will leave ProSieben and join another German company, IGELFILM as managing director of animation and development in the area of production/co-production of animation. She was previously vice president and head of the animation department at ProSieben Media AG, where she has worked since 1990.
The Independent Feature Project (IFP) and the Independent Film Channel (IFC) have announced the winners of their first student film competition, IFC2000. The U.S. $2,500 "Outstanding Achievement in Animation" prize has been awarded to "Hisao" by Masahiro Sugano, a student from the University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Art & Design.
The National Film Board of Canada (NFBC) has entered into a license agreement with Los Angeles-based producer Jean Madar to develop new TV series and films based on a collection of popular animated shorts from its library. Madar, a Montreal native whose background includes work with Pixibox and Medialab, will use the animated shorts as ready-made pilots for new projects. He has grouped the NFBC films into four collections: "Kids" for children's animation, "Tunes" for musical shorts, "Crazy" for more adult-oriented films, and "Insane" for late-night fare.
BLUE SKY | VIFXs Harrison, New York studio has promoted JOHN DONKIN to managing technical director. He joined the company as senior technical director earlier this year after serving as a director of animation/studio manager for Lamb & Company (Minneapolis, MN).
Palo Alto, California-based PACIFIC DATA IMAGES (PDI) has hired PAUL COOK as corporate controller, a role in which he will report to CFO John Batter and be responsible for implementing internal financial controls. Cook was previously corporate accounting manager at Adobe Systems.
Animator Mark Osborne is wrapping up production on a new short film. Titled More, the film is believed to be the first stop-motion animated large-format film. It is being shot on 65mm film that will be printed on 70mm for projection in large-format cinemas such as the IMAX chains. The film, a co-production of Swell Productions and Bad Clams Productions, is being funded by a private investor, was shown in trailer form at last weeks International Space Theater Consortium conference in Australia.
As of this Sunday, The Simpsons will become the longest-running sitcom currently on television. Creator and executive producer Matt Groening said he is surprised the show has gone on this long, but, he added, The real surprise is that this coming season is as good as any we've ever done. The writers, led by executive producer Mike Scully, are fantastic. They get the characters and they are creating original stories that don't repeat what we've done or anything else I've seen on television. Audience: you be the judge!
On October 29, 30 and 31, 1998, the Los Angeles-based art gallery and book store, Storyopolis will host English Soup, a performance featuring six actors and a cast of hand-made puppets, devised and directed by Edward Gorey, followed by Dramatis Artifacti, a one-month exhibition of original art work and ephemera by the artist.
* Thursday, September 17. Burbank, California, U.S.A.
Women In Animations Writers Group will meet at ASIFA-Hollywoods Animation Center. This months topic is Copyright and Trademark: Protecting Your Idea, with speaker Ronda Dixon, entertainment lawyer and creator of the animated show Hip House. Admission is $10 for WIA L.A. members, $20 for non-members. Call (818)842-8330 or contact email@example.com.