German media group, ProSieben Media AG has bought a 20 percent stake in Los Angeles, California-based Aréte Image Software (AIS). The strategic alliance marks the first time the Munich-based company has invested in the American market. AIS, established in 1996, specializes in creating software--such as RenderWorld and Digital NatureTools--that enables animators to integrate water and atmospheric effects. The deal gives ProSieben exclusive rights to use AIS' technology and market it in Europe. Dr.
On October 8, McDonalds restaurants in the U.S. will start distributing a new animated video series starring the company spokes-clown, Ronald McDonald. All three of the productions were produced by Los Angeles-based animation studio, Klasky Csupo. Just in time for Halloween, the first release is a 40-minute video titled Scared Silly (directed by John Holmquist), featuring Ronald and friends on a camping trip to a haunted house. It will be available for $3.49 with any purchase.
Venice, California-based DIGITAL DOMAIN has hired ENRIQUE SANTOS as director of technology, a role in which he will oversee the companys technology department and assume responsibility for its overall technical direction. Santos was previously senior manager of technology at WALT DISNEY FEATURE ANIMATION, where he managed technical support for animated features from The Lion King to Mulan. At Digital Domain, Santos will report to vice president of digital operations, Edward Kummer, with whom he worked at Disney for four years.
Coryphaeus Software, recently renamed Centric Software, has hired Neil M. Mitchell and Edward Marchiselli as vice president of sales...
North Hollywood, California-based FILM ROMAN has hired WILLIAM SHPALL as chief operating officer. For the past two and a half years, Shpall has been a principal in the financial consulting firm, Inter.comm, and was previously CFO of Carolco Pictures. Film Roman CEO David Pritchard commented on Shpalls appointment, Im delighted to have Bill join me in shaping the company as we continue to implement the new strategy at Film Roman. The critical ingredient of a successful entertainment company is financial planning and operating discipline and Bill brings us both.
The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television presented the 13th annual Gemini Awards on Sunday, October 4 in Toronto. The winner in the Animated Program or Series category is Nelvana Limiteds 2D series, Sam & Max, produced by Patrick Loubert, Gwenn Saunders Eckel, Michael Hirsh, Stephen Hodgins, Robert Ross, Clive A. Smith and J.D. Smith. The winner in the Preschool Program or Series category is Cochran Entertainments mixed-media show, Theodore Tugboat, produced by Andrew Cochran.
* Tuesday, October 13 - Friday, October 16. Pasadena, California, U.S.A.
Miller Freeman presents the Digital Video (DV) Conference and Exposition at the Pasadena Center. Highlights include courses on Maya and After Effects software, character modeling and animation for the web. For information visit www.dvexpo.com.
* Tuesday, October 13. New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Animation legend Chuck Jones will make an appearance at the Warner Bros. Studio Store Gallery at One East 57th Street (corner of 57th and 5th). The event is by invitation only, so be sure to call first: (212) 754-0300.
* Sunday, October 11. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Griffith Place Entertainment presents Hollywood Shorts, a monthly film festival dedicated to introducing emerging directors/writers and producers to Los Angeles film community. This months animated film is Exo-Skeleton and companion cartoons, a 10-minute computer animation by Pyros Pictures. The screening will take place at The Joint, 8771 West Pico Boulevard (at Robertson) in West L.A. from 6 to 9 p.m. Guests must RSVP by October 10. Call (310) 358-7634.
* Saturday, October 10. San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
The Mill Valley Film Festival presents an animation program including Dave Thomas A Dog Cartoon, Ryan McCullochs Without You, Frazier Bradshaws Baker, Paints, Cakes, Velvy Appletons Hervic in Cloudland, and Matt Broersma and Shari Rubins documentary on San Francisco independent animators, Meet the Mole People. For information and location, visit www.finc.org/mvff.
* Friday, October 9 - Sunday, October 11. Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.
Anime Weekend Atlanta, the largest Japanese animation event in the Southeast U.S., takes place at the Marriott North-Central Hotel. Scheduled guests include Amy Howard, the voice of Nova on Star Blazers; George Lowe, the voice of Space Ghost and C. Martin Croker, the voice of Zorak and Moltar, from Cartoon Planet; Tim Eldred, artist and animator and Steve Bennett and Kuni Kimura from Studio Ironcat. For information visit www.anime.net/~awa/.
* Thursday, October 8, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Jeffrey Scott, Emmy-winning writer of over 450 animation scripts (Wacky World of Tex Avery, Dragon Tales), is scheduled as speaker for the Women In Animation Writers Seminar series. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. at Saban Entertainment. Admission is $5. Reservations are required. Call Jean Ann Wright at (818) 360-8321.
Canadian animation channel Teletoon announced the winners of its first Animation Scholarship Competition, at the Ottawa International Animation Festival awards ceremony on October 4. The prize money--a total of Canadian $28,500--is being divided among 15 selected winners in three categories. First place winners received $4,500, second place $2,000, third place $1500, fourth place $1,000 and fifth place $500. The winners are as follows:
1st place: Liem Nguyen, Kelvin High School (Winnipeg, MB).
Paris, France-based Salsa Distribution has sold several animated series to the international market.
One-year-old Gloucester, U.K.-based The Little Entertainment Company (LEC Ltd.) has two new series, Magical Mystery Merlin and Charlie Marmalade. The companys first two animated shows have recently secured broadcast spots on BBC (Little Monsters) and ITV (Billy).
New York-based GLC Productions is seeking partners for a computer-animated series called The Buddy System. The pilot episode, titled The Third Ticket portrays a couple of hockey fans at a game, one of whom, to the disappointment of his buddy, invited his girlfriend. Animation was produced on SGI machines with Alias|Wavefronts PowerAnimator and Maya software. The Third Ticket is also being screened as a short film at festivals such as the recent Los Angeles International Short Film Festival.
Copenhagen, Denmark-based Interactive Television Entertainment is launching several new interactive game shows, including two that will incorporate animation, based on the concept used for the series Hugo the TV Troll. Tush Tush will use real-time motion-capture animation to allow viewers to interact with the program via the Internet and telephone. Yo-Yo, developed with Los Angeles-based Dream Entertainment, will offer animated carnival-type games linked to video games which viewers can play simultaneously on consoles in their homes.
U.K. company Fairwater Films has a new series of animated interstitials for the international market, titled World Wide Webley. The 52 one-minute shorts depict the adventures of the title character, a spider, in cyberspace, covering such topics as electronic mail and Internet etiquette.
Dublin, Ireland-based Monster Productions, an animation studio and distribution company formed in 1995 by former management and artists from the Don Bluth studios, has acquired the rights to produce a television series based on 7th Levels video game Arcade America. Monster is also currently distributing the 13-episode animated series The Storykeepers, while seeking co-production partners for several other animated projects including an animated feature film based on Jack and the Beanstalk, a series called Kwiatkowski based on detective nov
TOM SITO has left his post as head of story at DreamWorks Feature Animation, entering a one-year development deal with WARNER BROS. FEATURE ANIMATION. At Warner Bros. he will join development on the animated feature, Osmosis Jones, which sources say will be directed by Sito if the film is green-lit. As president of the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Union (M.P.S.C.) Local 839 and vice president of ASIFA-Hollywood, Sito is an influential force in the animation industry.
OTTAWA WINNERS. The Ottawa International Animation Festival wrapped up on Sunday night with an awards show at the National Arts Center in Canadas capital city. The grand prize went to the new Estonian film, Night of the Carrots, by Priit Pärn who was on hand to accept the award as the festival also hosted a four-part retrospective of Estonian animation.
After 20 years in the animation industry, including Oscar and Emmy wins, animation producer and consultant NICK BOSUSTOW and his wife Julie have fulfilled a lifelong dream and accepted an invitation from the U.S. Peace Corps to work in Guatemala for the next two years, where they will assist small businesses. The Bosustows will leave the U.S. in January, after selling their home. Nick is the son of Steven Bosustow, a founding member of the legendary UPA animation studio.
Copenhagen, Denmark-based INTERACTIVE TELEVISION ENTERTAINMENT has named PREBEN HENRICHSEN to the newly-created position of promotion and new business manager. He was previously sales and marketing manager for the broadcaster Kanal2/TV Denmark.
Paris, France-based SALSA DISTRIBUTION has hired XAVIER GONZÁLES DEL VALLE as marketing manager, replacing Marianna Herrera-Brun. Del Valle has a background in journalism and public relations, and has worked in creating exchange programs between executives in Latin America and Europe.Paris, France-based SALSA DISTRIBUTION has hired XAVIER GONZÁLES DEL VALLE as marketing manager, replacing Marianna Herrera-Brun. Del Valle has a background in journalism and public relations, and has worked in creating exchange programs between executives in Latin America and Europe.