The Animated Trailer of “Irma La Douce”

Irma La Douce

What’s the best way to promote a romantic comedy about prostitution? The producers of the 1963 Billy Wilder film Irma la Douce decided to advertise it with an animated trailer. They commissioned John Wilson and his studio Fine Arts Films to create the piece. Animation director Michael Sporn has scanned the trailer’s artfully designed, never-before-seen storyboards and posted them onto his blog. They can be viewed HERE and HERE.

The Films of Michel Klofkorn

Fluid Paper

I’m new to the work of Michel Klofkorn, but he’s been creating music videos, commercials and experimental films in Germany since the 1990s. He’s a relentless experimenter whose animation techniques look familiar but foreign at the same time. Take, for example the first short after the jump, Fluid Paper. We’ve seen books used as the raw material for animation before, but Klofkorn charts exciting new territory with the concept.
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We’ve Got the Winners of Cartoon Brew’s Oscar Survey

The results are in from Cartoon Brew’s Oscar survey and the winners are Pixar’s La Luna in the Animated Short Category and ILM’s Rango for Animated Feature. The full results are below:

Short Oscar Survey

Feature Oscar Survey

As an unfortunate sidenote, we had to end the survey a few days earlier than we’d anticipated because someone attempted to hack the survey over the weekend. Despite the system’s restrictions for allowing one vote per IP, a user with the IP 75.128.42.114 who lives in a residential neighborhood of Glendale, circumvented these safeguards. This person voted a total of 224 times, 221 of those votes for Kung Fu Panda 2. In a show of generosity, the other three votes were awarded to Puss in Boots. We eliminated all of those results and ended up with 618 legitimate ballots.

Anima, The Brussels International ANimation Film Festival, Set for February 17-26, 2012

The next Anima, the Brussels International Animation Film Festival, will take place in Flagey from February 17 to 26, 2012.
Over one hundred and fifty films in the international competition (shorts and features, commercials, music videos), retrospectives, exhibitions, lessons, workshops for the kids, the Futurama professional days, round-table discussions, numerous guests and concerts make Brussels an international appointment not to be ignored. It’s also the place to find out about Belgian animation with a national competition and screenings in panorama. Add to that a very “Animated Night” full of films, a special animation Cosplay show, and Anima easily confirms itself a “must” for the thirty five thousand spectators that flock to Flagey, the prestigious cultural centre of Belgium’s capital city.

Anima 2012 Competition:
-Awards for Best Feature
-Awards for Best Shorts Films
-Awards for Best Advertising Film
-Awards for Best Music Video
-Nomination for the Cartoon d’Or

The 2012 poster, was created by the Belgian illustrator Peter Elliott. His work includes a number of comic books published by Pastel / L’Ecole des Loisirs, such as Poussin Noir or Barbedure, along with the series Les chouettes aventures de Ringo, Nénette et Napoléon, in collaboration with Rascal and published by Delcourt. He also regularly works for the press.

John Carter meets “Beany & Cecil”

In ancipation of Andrew Stanton’s (Finding Nemo, Wall-E) live action debut, John Carter, this clip of Bob Clampett’s 1936 John Carter of Mars test footage has recently gone viral (thanks to Geeks of Doom, io9 and The Animation Guild, among others):

Of course, longtime readers of Cartoon Brew know this clip comes off the 1999 Beany & Cecil The Special Edition (Vol. 1) DVD, which we have championed for years. I am happy to report Volume 1 was just re-released in a newly remastered version last month. You can only get it through the official Beany & Cecil.com website, and according to the site “the remastered disc has new menus and loads faster, adds Spanish tracks for all of the cartoons (except Beanyland) and several new audio commentaries by Clampett’s kids on three cartoons. There is also a recently discovered storyboard for an unproduced Clampett autobiographgical cartoon titled Cecil’s Scrapebook. What makes it really unique and strange is that it recounts Bob Clampett’s creative and “surreal” life in the person of Cecil.”

I can’t tell you how much I personally love the work of Bob Clampett. These DVDs (Volume 1 and Volume 2) are vital for anyone interested in classic Hollywood cartoons – or anyone who simply wants to laugh. I’ll end this post with one of my favorite Beany and Cecil cartoons (many are now available on You Tube’s Beany & Cecil Channel). I’d be hard pressed to pick my favorite B&C cartoon, but this one is in the top ten – one of the funniest, cleverest and coolest TV cartoons ever, The Wildman of Wildsville:

“Prologue: The Recurrent One” by Andres Tapeton

Here’s the perfect film for me to post in the middle of the night. Andres Tapeton’s graduation film from the Classical Animation program at the Vancouver Film School. It’s quite a trip. Tapeton wrote us to explain:

“This one is really personal, since it’s a representation of the most recurrent dream I have since childhood. I’ve been writing my dreams sporadically through the years, and I always joked when I was in school that some day I would make films out of them. And well, luckily my life brought me to the point that I actually know how to do that now, hah. And that’s why this one is just a prologue of what hopefully will become a personal animated project.”

ShortsHD To Release 2012 Oscar-Nominated Short Films In Theatres On February 10

Los Angeles, CA, January 26th 2012 – ShortsHD working with Magnolia Pictures will release The Oscar® Nominated Short Films 2012 in over 200 theatres across the United States and Canada on February 10th, 2012.

Three theatrical programs will give audiences around the country an opportunity to watch the nominated shorts in the Animation, Live Action and Documentary categories prior to the 84th Academy Awards® ceremony on February 26th. This year will mark the second theatrical outing for the nominated Documentary shorts, after an enthusiastic reception from audiences for last year’s inaugural run.

The Oscar® Nominated Short Films has become a key fixture of the awards season. Last year, the theatrical release broke all records, grossing over $1,350,000 nationwide and playing in significantly more theaters than in previous years. Since the inception of the program in 2005, attendance has grown by 800%.

Along with the theatrical run, the nominated short films will be released individually on iTunesfrom February 21st in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany and other iTunes Stores throughout the world. The release will also be available via cable’s Movies On Demand (MOD), distributed by leading MOD distributor, iN DEMAND L.L.C. and will be available via Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Brighthouse, Cablevision and Cox Communication.

“This year’s Oscar® Nominated Short Films ride the wave of the rapidly growing popularity of short movies. Audiences are watching them and filmmakers are responding,” said Carter Pilcher, Chief Executive of Shorts International. “The Academy chose films that are incredible entertainment: animations that are solidly family-friendly, live action films ranging from heart-warming to out-right hilarious and short docs dealing with issues of immediate interest. Like many of the best picture nominees this year, these movies are light, fun and great entertainment.”

Nominations for the 84th Academy Awards® were announced on January 24th. For more information, visit www.shorts.tv/theoscarshorts or find us on Facebook:facebook.com/shortshd and twitter: twitter.com/shortshd.

Call For Entries: Slovakia’s Fest Anca

Submit your entries now for the fifth edition of Fest Anca, the international animation festival in Slovakia. There´s no entry fee and you can win a cash prize in both of two categories: the Anca Award for best animated short and the Anca Music Video Award for best animated music video. Final deadline for all entries is March 30, 2012.

Entrants may submit their films and music videos through the Fest Anca online application system HERE

Festival rules and conditions are available HERE

Address for DVD screeners for festival preselection:
Fest Anca
International Animation Festival
Krizna 10
811 07 Bratislava
Slovak Republic

Contact [email protected] with any questions.

Nexus Signs Directorial Talents Philippe Gamer and Kris Hofmann

Leading production company Nexus is to expand its roster of international talent with the signing of top directors Philippe Gamer and Kris Hofmann.

Originally from France and Austria respectively, Philippe and Kris are winning worldwide acclaim for their brilliant, though stylistically and technically very different, animation work. Having both directed award-winning short films, as well as working with major global brands on high profile campaigns, their storytelling techniques could not be more different. Philippe specialises in fast-paced CGI while Kris focuses on the crafting of beautiful stop-motion work bringing carefully selected objects to life but the effect they each achieve has equally compelling creative impact.

Kris Hofmann studied at Camberwell College of Art where she graduated in Graphic Design, making the move to animation during her MA at the Royal College. Her fantastic graduation film, Breakfast, caught the attention of the international film-making community and has subsequently been screened at numerous festivals around the world, its appreciative reception helping secure funding from the Austrian Film Council for her second stop-motion film, Screwed Up. Kris has also won a Victoria & Albert Museum Illustration Award for her work on Anna Kavan’s novel Ice and has recently completed a number of commissions, both moving and still, including work for Granta and Madrid Fashion Week. Kris has already began to receive a lots of interest since joining Nexus.

Chris O’Reilly, Co-Founder & Executive Producer at Nexus, added, “Kris is a really exciting young talent. She’s helped us in recent months with the creative development of some projects and has shown fantastic design skills, a very clear thought process, and a tremendous amount of energy.  We’re big fans of her previous work and think she will be great addition to the Nexus team.”

Philippe’s career has come full circle, having first started directing before turning his attention to the then-emerging area of digital post and directing special effects until 2000. His first short, Gouill & Gar, in 2000 saw him return to directing animation, not to mention getting selected in over 100 festivals around the globe and winning prizes at 22 of them.  Philippe opened his own animation studio, Space Patrol, in 2004 and has worked on commercials for blue-chip clients including Nescafe, Kellogg’s and Danone.  His absolute mastery of CGI animation, not to mention his expertise directing special effects, can be witnessed to maximum jaw-dropping effect in his latest short, Chase, which is just starting what we anticipate to be an amazing festival run.

Charlotte Bavasso, Co-Founder & Executive Producer at Nexus, added,” When we saw the Chase, we knew this guy was special. We met him and he’s absolutely that. We are really looking forward to working with Philippe and his team. He is an amazing craftsman, the basic key to any outstanding work. This is what we always look for.”

Pixomondo Taps David Garber as Executive Producer of Motion Graphics

Los Angeles, CA — David Garber has joined international visual effects company Pixomondo as Executive Producer of Motion Graphics where he will head up the newly formed design division in the Los Angeles office, one of Pixomondo’s 11 studios around the world. With extensive experience in the motion graphics field, Garber will be focusing on the creation of main titles and graphics for feature films and commercials as well as mixed media projects and graphic VFX.

“I am always on the lookout for new and interesting ways for Pixomondo to grow,” said Thilo Kuther, Pixomondo founder and CEO. “We have been very involved in the motion graphics and mixed media fields through some of our international offices but haven’t really yet focused on projects in the U.S. David understands the artistic potential in these arenas and has the background to execute amazing work.”

“Pixomondo was a natural fit for me. Thilo and I both come from the worlds of architecture and design so we have similar aesthetic sensibilities,” said Garber. “Pixomondo is a very flexible, fluid company that is creatively attuned to what is going on in the industry. They can adjust to projects of varying magnitude because of their superstructure of render farms and talent around the world. Motion graphics and especially mixed media projects hold infinite creative possibilities so it’s great to have access to such extensive resources.”

Garber is in the process of building out a dedicated team of artists and designers that will also contribute to feature film and commercial projects as needed. Throughout his career, Garber has worked on main titles for over 60 projects including Watchmen, The Bee Movie, John Adams, and has done commercials for high-profile clients including Ubisoft, Acura, Tylenol, Nissan, McDonalds and AT&T.

Prior to joining Pixomondo, Garber was the Executive Producer and Head of Production at Rok!t Studio where he oversaw the design and creation of main title sequences, promos and trailers along with graphic effects for feature films, television and commercials. While at Rok!t, he worked on the main titles for Captain America, Gulliver’s Travels, Michael Jackson’s This Is It, Tosh.0 and Never Say Never, among other projects.

Garber has also held producing positions at yu+Co; Framework Studio, Creative Domain; Kaleidoscope; Pittard, Sullivan, Fitzgerald; and Universal Studios. He holds a Masters of Environmental Design from Yale University’s School of Architecture and a Bachelor of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon.

French’s César Awards For Animated Film

France’s Academy Of The Arts & Technique of Cinema have announced this year’s nominees for the César Awards. The awards cerenomy is planned for February 24th in Paris, and these are the nominees for Best Animated Film.

Le Chat Du Rabbin, directors: Joann Sfar, Antoine Delesvaux
Le Cirque, director: Nicolas Brault
La Queue De La Souris, director: Benjamin Renner
Le Tableau, director: Jean-François Laguionie
Un Monstre A Paris, director: Bibo Bergeron

Trunk Animation Creates Moving Image Exibition For Smile For London

Trunk Animation is working with Smile for London on their new moving image exhibition, “Word in Motion,” that aims to uplift and inspire commuters with poetry and moving images during January 2012.

Smile for London invited new and established poets to submit work that has been turned into 20-second typographic films by leading motion artists. The finished silent projections are being shown across 60 screens on the underground including stations such as Angel, Oxford Circus, Covent Garden and Euston. Over the two weeks from 16th January approximately 1.5 million commuters will get to see each video.

Trunk has produced two of the films for the project; Alasdair + Jock created a fabulous piece of work that matches each word of Nikesh Shukla’s brilliant poem about litter and Lore&Jun created a film for a poem by Courttia Newland. The film is full of texture and colour that follows the lines and pace of Courttia’s poem with perfect timing. Both films are sure to bring a smile to the lips of those engaged in the morning or evening commute.

CD Projekt Red S.A. Creates Animated Intro For Xbox 360 Game “Witcher 2: Assasins of Kings”

During a press conference held on 26th January, CD Projekt Red S.A. has started the campaign promoting Xbox 360 version of the Witcher 2: Assasins of Kings. The main part of the promotion is animated intro directed by Tomek Bagiński and produced by Platige Image. The Xbox version of the game will premiere on 17th April 2012.

The film introducing the player to the game’s world, is a consecutive cooperation between CD Projekt Red S.A. and PI. It was made especially for this Xbox 360. The movie is available at www.gametrailers.com.

“We got first, sketch version of the script from CD Projekt couple years ago, right after the premiere of the The Witcher. It was so called “soft” version which for us was the basis we could use to work on. In spite of vast changes we made, the project went on hold for almost two years until it was brought back to life in Xbox 360 version.

As it turned out these two years gave both parties necessary perspective and once we started working on a script again we were able to create new, better, richer version in a very short time.

What was left from the original is the ship and main characters. All the rest has been changed. For example in the first version the assassination was made with the hornet’s nest and the ship was supposed to be very chaotic place full of people running and batting away. It would probably look like a group of electrocuted man people. Well…we got rid of ”the dance”, left the chaos and add a lot of steroids. It helped.” — says Tomek BagiÅ„ski, the director.

„It was one of the most demanding projects in Platige Image history. The script set up a very high standards. As for such a short movie there were a lot of main, detailed characters, difficult face close-ups, very dynamic action full of special effects: cloth and particles simulation and hard slowmotion shots.

The ship also became one of the main characters. First our graphic artists created a fantastic scenery and most of all great, very detailed sailing ship. Then the particles simulation team went rough with it. They created a vast interaction system covering the whole construction, later they covered it with ice and millions of ice crystals, and finally they smashed the whole thing.” — adds Maciek Jackiewicz (CG Supervisor).

The team of 40 graphic designers and animators was involved in the project for couple moths.

Don Hertzfeldt Launches His 2012 Tour

Don Hertzfeldt

On February 1st, indie animation rockstar Don Hertzfeldt kicks off a coast-to-coast 13-state US tour. The main event is the debut of It’s Such A Beautiful Day, which completes his ambitious trilogy about a mysterious man named Bill. Head to BitterFilms.com for ticket info, and go there quick because tickets have already sold out for a number of the cities.

FEATURE TRAILER: “Asphalt Watches”

Asphalt Watches

Canadian cartoonists Seth Scriver and Shayne Ehman recently finished raising over $10,000 to complete their animated feature Asphalt Watches. They describe their collaborative two-man animated epic in the following way:

Asphalt Watches is a true adventure story: in 2000, we hitchhiked across Canada together. The animation captures our crazy journey, full of hilarious and amazing encounters. Using music and songs we make ourselves, alongside hand-drawn Flash animation, we tell the tale of making our way from a 7-11 near Chilliwack, BC where a guy was hanging out with a knife in his belly… to meeting one of only “two real Santas” in the world outside Calgary… to barely escaping death near Regina, SK. Our style is to turn real-life characters and settings into funny and poetic abstractions that depict the feeling and essence of what happened.

The film should be finished this year. There’s an official film blog and the trailer below:

(via Meathaus)

Cartoon Brew Will Livestream the Annie Awards on February 4th

Actor/comedian Patton Oswalt (Ratatouille) will host the 39th Annual Annie Awards on Saturday, February 4th at UCLA’s Royce Hall. The annual event will begin with a pre-reception at 5 p.m. followed by the Annie Awards ceremony at 7 p.m. and an after-party celebration immediately following the ceremony. All events will be held at Royce Hall. And for the first time ever, Cartoon Brew will live stream the event!

This year’s Winsor McCay recipients are Walt Peregoy, Borge Ring and Ronald Searle. Searle’s award will be posthumous, as he passed late last year at the age of 91. Other animation luminaries and voice actors scheduled to present awards include Ty Burrell, JK Simmons, James Hong, Jib Jab founders Greg and Evan Spiridellis, Tara Strong, Daran Norris, Dee Bradley Baker and animation legend June Foray – among others to be announced.

For complete ticket information and up-to-the minute details on the 39th Annual Annie Awards, please visit www.annieawards.org or the new Annie Awards Facebook page. And remember, if you can’t be there in person, Cartoon Brew will live-stream the ceremony from 7pm PST (10pm EST). Now you have no excuse to miss this event!

“Secret World of Arrietty” Comics, Art And Picture Books Coming Via Viz

MINIATURE ADVENTURES OF STUDIO GHIBLI’S THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY TO READERS IN A NEW SERIES OF BOOKS

Releases Based On The New The Film By Hayao Miyazaki’s Famed Animation Studio Include Film Comics, Art And Picture Books

San Francisco, CA, January 26, 2012 — VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, brings the miniaturized adventure of famed Studio Ghibli’s newest animated creation — The Secret World Of Arrietty — to readers everywhere with a collection of Arrietty film comics, art and picture books set to debut on February 7th, 2012. The Secret World Of Arrietty is scheduled for North American theatrical release on February 17th, 2012.

The Secret World Of Arrietty is based on the celebrated novel, The Borrowers, by Mary Norton and was produced by Studio Ghibli, the famed animation company founded by Hayao Miyazaki, which also created Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle and Ponyo. The new film, with planning/screenplay by Hayao Miyazaki and directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, will feature the voice talents of Bridget Mendler, Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett and Will Arnett for its English language release.

Arrietty isn’t your ordinary fourteen-year-old girl — she is small enough to make her home under the floorboards of a typical house, “borrowing” what she and her family need from the giants in whose shadows they live. A young boy named Shawn befriends Arrietty, but when adults discover the Borrowers, Arrietty and Shawn must work together to save her family.

the Secret World of Arrietty Picture Book • Rated “A” for All Ages • MSRP: $19.99 U.S. / $22.99 CAN • Available February 7th, 2012
The colorful and easy-to-read The Secret World of Arrietty Picture Book is a full-color hardcover edition that will appeal to younger readers especially. The book uses the vividly colored animation cel art from the feature film combined with simplified text to retell the story of Arrietty and her adventures.

The Secret World of Arrietty Film Comics • Rated “A” for All Ages • MSRP: $16.99 U.S. each / $19.99 CAN each • Available February 7th, 2012
The official 2-volume film comic of The Secret World Of Arrietty re-tells the film’s story with vivid full-color frames.

The Art Of The Secret World Of Arrietty • Rated “A” for All Ages • MSRP: $34.99 U.S. / $39.99 CAN • Available February 7th, 2012
Co-founded by the legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli films enthrall and enchant audiences across the world. The Art of series gives fans the opportunity to follow their favorite film from initial concept to the silver screen, thanks to hundreds of sketches, concept drawings, and animation cels, plus in-depth interviews with the creators.

“Fans and readers of all ages won’t want to miss these new additions to VIZ Media’s Studio Ghibli Library of titles,” says Masumi Washington, Senior Director, Editorial. “Studio Ghibli has mastered the ability to tell poignant and engaging stories that captivate both children and adults, and their latest film, The Secret World Of Arrietty, continues this tradition. Our forthcoming picture book and film comics are fun ways for young readers to visit the world of Arrietty while the gorgeous art book will be a must-have for the ardent Studio Ghibli fan or those who want to know more about the evolution of the film. Discover the adventures in-store for this band

The Visual Effects Society (VES) Announces the 2012 Board of Directors Officers

Los Angeles, January 26, 2012 —The Visual Effects Society (VES), announced the 2012 Board of Director officers who were elected at the January 18, 2012 board meeting. The list of officials includes Jeffrey A. Okun, head of visual effects for Prana Studios, who was re-elected for a fourth one-year term as Board Chair.

“I could not be more excited to serve again,” states Okun. “I am thrilled to be allowed to focus on our core mission: creating community, promoting visual effects and the artists who create them.  And I am equally thrilled to continue to push the VES 2.0 initiative forward — the initiative to reach out and bring all parties to the table to secure rights and benefits for our industry — across the board — in film, broadcast, special venue, commercials, games and animation!”

“I look forward to continuing the incredible working relationship Jeff and I have,” states Eric Roth, VES Executive Director. “He is an extraordinarily talented gentleman with a bottomless passion for visual effects and the VES while being uniquely suited to be the voice of the entertainment industry’s defining resource for our craft.”

The 2011 Officers of the VES Board of Directors are:

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10th Ave Productions Announce Six Animated Features for 2012

St-Augustin-de-Desmaures Following a very busy year in 2011 with numerous productions and the start-up of its first 3D animation co-production, Sarila, 10th Ave Productions and its president, Nancy Florence Savard, are pleased to announce that five more 2D and 3D animation featurelength projects are in preparation at the regional production house in Saint-Augustin-De-Desmaures, near Quebec City.

“It is true that developing a niche in animation feature-length films is a long-term project,” notes producer-director Savard. “Development alone is more demanding than a fiction film due to the visual development process. We have to find an artistic direction, create characters and sets, and make at least one version of the story in storyboards. The storyboard is an essential form of writing in animation: it gives us an understanding of the visual narrative line, and it also makes it possible to accurately assess the production needs and find good partners. Development thus demands more time and money.

Fortunately, a well-crafted story has a longer average market life, and the Cinéac results show that animation does well in both Quebec and Europe. The genre generates revenues all over the world, not just on Quebec screens.

“And I’m particularly happy,” Savard concluded, “to see that animation currently has good momentum, as distributors and investors now see potential for spreading the word about Quebec talent and they believe in a return on the investment made by the public purse.”

Europe’s FMX Conferences Announces 2012 Line-Up

Preparations for this year‘s FMX are in full swing. The new subtitle “Conference on Animation, Effects, Games and Transmedia” sums up the essence of the 17th edition of Europe’s largest conference on the creation, production and distribution of Digital Entertainment. In 2012, FMX focuses on new Animated Features, Visual Effects and Games as well as specific topics such as Virtual Production, Previs, Digital Worldbuilding, Lighting und Rendering, Cloud Computing, Industrial CG and Transmedia. While a majority of this year’s program is still being planned, FMX is delighted to announce that Transmedia pioneer Henry Jenkins has already confirmed. What’s more, FMX will offer four exciting days filled with world-class keynotes, presentations and workshops as well as excellent networking possibilities at the FMX Marketplace, School Campus and Recruiting Hub.

Jean-Michel Blottière, FMX 2012 Program Chair, knows from long-standing experience that successful events are the sum of individual efforts that cannot be esteemed highly enough:

“It’s my great honor to thank all wonderful curators who help us shaping the FMX 2012 Program. On behalf of the whole FMX team, we would like to express our deepest gratitude. Without the curators’ kind help and wonderful support, we couldn’t build such an amazing program.”

Discovering Transmedia
FMX 2012 places a special emphasis on the growing field of Transmedia. Transmedia focuses on the convergence of film, TV, computers, consoles and mobile devices and reflects their relationship and contextualization. Curated by Inga von Staden, this year’s track features renowned speakers such as Prof. Henry Jenkins who ranks among the most important of Transmedia scholars or Nuno Bernardo, the award-winning writer, producer and founder of beActive. At FMX, Henry Jenkins will give an overview of this expansive topic including some of his own research topics. In contrast, Nuno Bernardo will provide the FMX audience with insights on Transmedia production pipelines such as his very own interactive on-line series Sofia’s Diary – the first international series of its kind.

Cloud Computing
Cloud Computing promises huge benefits by enabling shared remote computing resources and lowering the barrier of entry to high-performance computing. But what does this mean for animation and visual effects production? FMX will feature a series of sessions on this very timely topic. Curated by Ludwig von Reiche, Senior Director for Business Development of NVIDIA, this track will explore current offerings of Cloud Computing and their relevance to animation, games and visual effects production. Users and vendors will discuss advantages and challenges for different application areas as well as upcoming trends in Cloud Computing technologies and business models.

FMX meets Industrial CG
This new track – curated by Ludwig Fuchs (RTT) addresses the use of Computer Graphics (CG) for industrial purposes, from design and development right up to marketing and sales. CG enables product designers and marketers to tell their stories in an innovative and distinguished manner. Speakers from companies such as Audi, Porsche and PSA Peugeot Citroën will provide insight into how they apply CG inside their organizations. The track will consider the importance of using real-time and offline CG, and how the use of CG across the industry can fundamentally influence the way people work.

Focus on Canada, Poland and the Baltics
Each year FMX spots the unique successes and achievements that have taken place in particular regions. In 2012 FMX looks, amongst others, to Canada: the regional animation and VFX industry is flourishing and many US companies have opened subsidiaries. At FMX the Focus on Montreal and Focus on Vancouver will pursue this trend in-depth. Moreover, these tracks will consider complex issues from local and international perspectives. Two further, separate tracks will focus on Poland and the Baltics; both explore current developments and trends in Eastern Europe. Focus on Poland will feature a presentation on the post production of Marek Koterski’s film Baby sa jakies inne executed by the post production house The Chimney Pot. FMX, ITFS and APD

In 2012, FMX and the Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film (ITFS) will further continue their long-standing, successful partnership. For the 19th time in a row, ITFS invites directors, production companies, distributors and international sales companies to present their animated films. In addition to the auspicious ITFS Screenings shown at FMX, ITFS offers the FMX audience the possibility of concluding their day in one of the nearby cinemas – the parallel event takes place from May 8 to 13. Furthermore, FMX 2012 and ITFS mutually host the Animation Production Day (APD) 2012, a business platform for the international animation industry, thereby transforming Stuttgart into the “Animated Capital of Europe.” The APD takes place from May 8 to 9.

Disney’s D23 Magazine To Spotlight 75 Years of Disney Animated Features

BURBANK, Calif., Jan. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — D23 devotes its entire Spring issue of Disney twenty-three magazine to the remarkable legacy and influence of Disney animated films. From Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to the animated classics of tomorrow, the official Disney fan club takes readers on a fantastic journey from the drawing board to the silver screen.

Available nationwide on February 14, this special issue of Disney twenty-three magazine is an extraordinary treasure trove of fascinating stories, insights and details of Disney animation’s heritage. From pre-production to music composition, every facet of making classic Disney animated features is explored–including the transcriptions from Walt’s story meetings with his animation team as they developed such classics as Fantasia, Pinocchio and Cinderella.

Plus, especially for Gold-level members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, this all-new issue also features an inventive, breathtaking cover that incorporates a removable replica animation cel from Snow White.

“It’s often been said that animation is the heart and soul of Disney, so we knew we needed to do something truly spectacular with our magazine in this milestone year,” said Steven Clark, head of D23. “Whether you’re interested in the first Golden Age of Disney animation or you’re looking forward to the next beloved classic, there’s something in this issue for every Disney fan.”

Fittingly, the magazine’s first story examines the legacy of Walt Disney himself and the vision he set forth even before Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs hit the screen. FiIm historian and Academy-Award® winner John Canemaker looks at how Disney animated films have continuously raised the bar for three quarters of a century, since audiences were first enchanted by the “fairest of them all.”  Also included in the Spring issue are:

  • The Six Older Men: A revealing look at the rarely seen talented artists and illustrators who helped train Disney’s legendary “Nine Old Men”;
  • Ralph’s Wrecking Crew: An early glimpse at the process of producing Wreck-It Ralph, the next feature film from Walt Disney Animation Studios;
  • Ballyhoo and Buzz: A colorful look at some of Disney’s off-the-wall stunts for marketing new movies before the advent of broadcast and digital media;
  • Striking the Right Chords: An exploration of the memorable music written for animated features, with insight from film historian Leonard Maltin;
  • Still Soaring: A touching interview with talented artist Tyrus Wong, now 101 years old, who helped create the extraordinary look of Bambi;
  • A Work of Art: An introduction to Disney’s Animation Research Library, home to 65 million individual pieces of original animation art.

There’s even more to discover–including spectacular photography and artwork–in the Spring issue of Disney twenty-three, which will be delivered directly to all Gold-level D23 Members beginning in early February with the limited-edition Snow White reproduction cel as their collectible gift.

Disney twenty-three magazine is available at retail locations across the country for $15.95, and can also be purchased online at DisneyStore.com and throughout the Disneyland® and Walt Disney World® Resorts. Gold-level members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club are treated to each issue delivered directly to their mailbox, accompanied by a special collectible gift.

D23: The Official Disney Fan Club celebrates the remarkable past, present and future of Disney, taking its name from 1923, the year Walt Disney founded his world-famous company. D23 brings its members a host of exclusive benefits, including a bi-weekly e-mail newsletter; an array of discounts and special offers; free gifts throughout the year; and exclusive, member-only special events.

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French Channel TV5MONDE Coming to U.S. Dish Network Subscribers

LOS ANGELES, Jan 26, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — TV5MONDE has reached a new agreement with DISH Network L.L.C. to launch America’s first French-language channel devoted solely to children’s programming. Tivi5MONDE launches nationally today, January 26. Tivi5MONDE will be offered to DISH subscribers as part of its French bouquet which already includes TV5MONDE USA, America’s 24/7 French language entertainment channel. The package is available for a monthly fee of $19.99.

Tivi5MONDE will offer the best of French-language programming including animation, education and dramatic series targeting tweens and young teens. The new channel is being programmed to appeal to children and youth audiences ages 4-14.

Remarked Marie-Christine Saragosse, General Manager of TV5MONDE, “We are very pleased to launch this new channel with our long-time partners at DISH Network and to expand the TV5MONDE brand in the U.S. We anticipate Tivi5MONDE driving interest among young American Francophones and Francophiles while further promoting French-culture and language in the states.”

“DISH leads the pay-TV industry with more than 200 ethnic channels in 29 languages,” said Chris Kuelling, DISH Network’s vice president of International Programming. “We consistently look for opportunities to expand our extensive collection of international options, and we are pleased to add Tivi5MONDE for DISH customers interested in French programming.”

Some highlights from Tivi5MONDE’s initial programming line-up will include:

Les Daltons (The Daltons / 78 episodes x 7-minutes) — The Dalton brothers (Joe, William, Jack and Averell) are the worst bandits of the Wild West. Sentenced to hard labor in maximum security penitentiary, they make every attempt to escape. But the Daltons are unfortunately more stupid than evil.

Galactik Football (Galactic Soccer / 78 episodes x 26-minutes) — Galactik Football is the most popular sport in the entire galaxy. Fantastic creatures with special powers compete in matches in a high-tech environment.

Marsupilami — Houba Houba Hop! (Marsupilami — Houba Houba Hop! – 52 episodes x 26-minutes) — Hector was exiled for one year with his aunt Diane. This young boy, in search of adventure, became friends with the legendary Marsupilami. But his happiness is threatened by the arrival of the industrial megalomaniac, Felicia Devort.

Chasseurs De Dragons (Dragon Hunters – 52 episodes x 26-minutes) — Dragons infest the world. They are swarming in multiple places and are dangerous altogether. They eat sheep and devastate crops. Despite the danger, Lian-Chu and Gwizdo, two inseparable friends, hunt these monsters.

Anime Media Licensor/Distributor T3 Networks Shuts Down

From T3‘s Website:

Dear Friends, Colleagues and Supporters of T3 Networks Inc.

Lately you may have visited our website only to see that it was blackened out and probably wondering “what’s up?” and “why is your website down?” Last week we joined thousands of others around the world that went also went black and shut down their websites including Google, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, Yahoo, eBay, LinkedIn, AOL and Zynga and many others in protest of two pending pieces of legislation in the United States referred to as the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA).

In a nutshell these bills pitted television and media companies against online entities to combat and protect the interests of copyright holders and intellectual property from being downloaded and/or otherwise would block access to sites that fuel it. Its targets include “rogue” overseas sites and torrent hubs which essentially operate as a trading ground for illegal downloads of movies and other digital content. And while we are not a fan of those that would illegally download and/or pirate content, the provisions as originally written would have required Internet access providers and other companies to block access to targeted sites in ways that were rife with potential unintended consequences that many (including us) believe is a risk to cyber-security using DNS blocking and invites hacking, and further may shut down legitimate websites that are the staple of user generated content.

For our filmmaker partners, clients and television producer entities, we highly encourage that you take time out to learn more about both PIPA and SOPA; (it’s all over the Internet and you can do your own searches and due diligence).

The Future of T3: our company has ceased operations

So as you are reading all of this you may wonder why all of the PIPA and SOPA hype – and if it all may sound obscure to you and unrelated to T3, yet we assure you that’s not the case at all.

Each day we struggle with clients that come to us with various films and television projects where we painstakingly spend hours uploading, encoding, and preparing clips in our submission to the various television networks only to learn later that our clients may have “borrowed” a Willie Nelson song and/or where even classical music and Top 40 tracks are used widely in promo reels without the required licensing in place. And, while perhaps well-intended if these new rules were in place we’d be shut down.

This is only one aspect of how complicated our business has become and the result is then often we can’t sell our products in its current form and we have a work stoppage in place. And with this legislation in place its then fair game to shut down our site (and/or wherever the video may reside) despite the fact that we may be not aware of any such violation.

Similarly we have additional daily challenges when we spend hours in pursuing the sale or licensing of a project that requires the same level of effort only to learn that there’s not any E&O insurance in place and/or when our clients forget or don’t take the time out to register their intellectual property and works with the Library of Congress.

Conversely, we’ve seen it happen the other way where our clients themselves find their works pirated by the television networks who “borrow” a clip from our submissions and post it on their website as the fine print in the submittal allows them to do so (and while the content was not deemed worthy enough for licensing on television, the network finds that these “free” clips drive traffic to their website; wouldn’t it be fitting then to turn off their network?)

Beyond licensing, copyrights and related issues, each day we deal with other headaches that include: HD vs. SD, 4:3 vs. 16:9, countless hours of FTP uploading (only to have it fail and start over again), a dizzying array of encoding protocols, resolutions, network quality guidelines, color correction, audio levels, streaming bitrates, and hours upon hours of editing clips, sending video emails, database updates, revisions of show treatments/show bibles — and all of this on top of keeping tabs on the current list of projects, buyers, programming and acquisition executives, and keeping our submitted content on the minds of those who buy and procure content for the television marketplace, (and all while keeping our heads above water financially).

If it sounds daunting it is, and all along we wanted to make clear that we would leverage existing technology where possible — and we have spent literally hundreds of hours in vetting out various Online Video Players (OVP) and pay-per-view streaming platforms.

Many of our clients have heard us say “which is harder, to implement PPV on a website or mobile device — or getting people to go to that website/portal and buy it”. Of course it’s the latter, but at the same time we believe that users don’t want to go through the hassle of entering their credit card data on a per-video viewing as its way too cumbersome. So while the technology is there that offers the ability to monetize content (other than television licensing) that doesn’t always translate into sales/results as we again did not want to build a business that would compete with Brightcove, Ooyala, Blip, etc. and again we are/were a TV-licensed focused business. Further, do you truly want to sit and watch something on the small screen that was intended for the big screen or TV?

Our daily challenges and that of our clients are further evident by the speed in which convergence in the marketplace is taking root — and we find that our clients have poorly prepared for straddling the gulf that is the “lean back” television marketplace with that of the “lean forward” online viewing offered in portals and websites where content must be prepped for tablets, i-Phones, and screens and operating systems of all types.

Suffice it to say that as a company we lack the sales, personnel and additional resources essential to continue operations as a business which requires that we prep this content, attend film festivals, recruit new clients, and as we are geographically challenged by not being located in NY or LA — we struggle with being able to keep our submissions on the radar of these various programming and acquisition executives who are bombarded daily with programs and project submissions with each network becoming narrower each day in terms of its needs and requirements.

In the end — it has proven to be too much and sadly we must say goodbye to T3 as we do not have the financial and human capital resources to take on all of these challenges, and at the same time build the kind of critical mass that is essential in becoming an aggregator of “over the top” or “TV everywhere” content.

In whatever capacity you may have supported our firm we would like to say “thank you” and as we have no assets or sales, our firm has reached a point of dissolution we will let the camera fade to black and consider what may have been and chalk this up as a learning experience. And, if you are a producer or filmmaker we can truly understand what it means to put your lifeblood into your project and the constant promotion that goes along with finding your audience. In a similar fashion, we have invested our time and energy into something we hate to see come to an end, yet that’s where we are.

In turn, the global economy as a whole has also made it tough on us as well as audiences in general have retreated from theatres to $1 video kiosks, $3.99 DVD’s, and a plethora of online movie providers with a wide variety of well-known (and often free) titles that makes it difficult for us and our clients to achieve the kind of growth we would have anticipated. In parallel with this tepid marketplace, television networks are less inclined to take risks that are associated with our clients, and alternatively favor projects and films that offer them assuredness of a particular demographic and where their programming content will deliver guaranteed results.

Going back to PIPA and SOPA then for a moment having your content copyright protected and/or your intellectual property licensed is not enough; your video has be ubiquitously everywhere and simultaneously in competition with content found on web-integrated televisions and where we believe that the future is headed with the TV’s themselves become huge tablets and serving up app videos on demand.

Today there is time-shifting, place-shifting and so many other elements in play that if you’re a television producer or filmmaker, you need to get your head around the fact that your audiences are everywhere and your content needs to be prepared, licensed and readied for viewing in just about any viewing environment. And, instead of a cooperative effort in doing this — we have taken it upon ourselves to do these tasks with the net result that it has deterred us from our sales and marketing efforts, keeping our pipeline full, and the essential task of recruiting new clients. Thus the true measure for our business is that our top line revenue is nil, and certainly not then enough to sustain our business.

Further, social media and promotional adverting is not enough as each project needs marketing, legal, and all sorts of help in getting your film and/or television project picked-up. Again, trying to do this given our limited resources has been a recipe for failure, and one of the reasons that there are so few companies like us that perform on a success-based commission structure.

For those that have contributed and supported T3 in whatever capacity you may have assisted our firm, we are eternally grateful – and effectively immediately we have shuttered our company, closed our computers, shut down our encoding, turned off our streaming, and headed for a quiet spot to read a book, pray, meditate and reflect upon our learning experience.

May God Bless You — and from T3 thanks again for all your support!

“Stellaluna” to Arrive on DVD on February 14, 2012


Take Flight With a Heartwarming Tale for the Whole Family, Beautifully Adapted from the Children’s Best-Selling Classic!

STELLALUNA

Street Date: February 14, 2012
SRP: $12.95

Based on the beloved, best-selling children’s book by Janell Cannon, the fun-filled animated feature Stellaluna follows a spirited young fruit bat who finds friendship, love and acceptance in the most unexpected places!

When the adorable young fruit bat Stellaluna is separated from her mother, she’s adopted by a family of birds. Soon, however, she discovers finds that she just can’t fit in. Her playmates like to sleep at night; she wants to fly. They whistle and sing; she doesn’t even have a beak! But just when it seems like Stellaluna will always be an outsider, she makes an amazing discovery that’ll help her to cherish the things that make her different. And, she’ll also discover that an open mind and an open heart can lead to the greatest gifts of all.

Brimming with music, laughter, warmth and excitement,Stellaluna — a story which wonderfully illustrates the very essence of friendship in humorous and touching ways — is sure to capture the hearts of families everywhere!

BONUS FEATURES
·Stellaluna Activity Booklet
· Innovative Read Along Function
· Sing-Along Feature

AWARDS
· Parents’ Choice Recommended Award
· iParenting Media Award
· Newport Beach Film Festival Outstanding Achievement in Family Entertainment Award
· Grammy winner for Best Spoken Word Album

PROGRAM INFORMATION
Type: DVD/Single
Catalog #: NNVG264651
Running Time: 41 minutes + extras
Genre: Kids’/Animation
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audio: Stereo 5.1 Surround