“The Hive” Heads to the U.S.

Toronto, Canada — Bejuba! Entertainment has announced that The Hive is set to launch on the Disney Junior channel in the US starting October this year. The launch completes the total global platform with The Walt Disney Company, who have acquired the show in all territories for cable/satellite rights except for Australia and Israel. Most other major territories are already on-air, with excellent ratings.

“The Disney US deal once again spotlights the series’ charm and appeal for young children”, says Tatiana Kober, president of Bejuba!. “We’re delighted that American kids will soon be sharing their lives with Buzzbee, his family and his friends. The global success of the show has been instrumental in securing the US and we’re thrilled.”

The Hive has sold extremely well terrestrially with TeleQuebec, and Knowledge Network both in Canada, YLE Finland, ABC Australia and Hop in Israel closing recently. More deals are in the works.

Space Enterprises, the M & L agent has also recently reported that toys, plush, and apps for both the popular Leapfrog and iPad are soon to be launched.

The Hive is the successful CGI series from The Hive Enterprises Ltd, produced by Lupus Films, Monumental Productions and DQ Entertainment, and made with the support of the MEDIA programme of the European Union. The 26 x half hour or (78 x 7 min) series follow the exploits of Buzzbee, Rubee and the rest of the extremely cute Bee family, who live together in the hive. Storylines explore themes such as working together to solve problems, being part of a diverse community and valuing family and friendships.

“We are very excited to be launching on Disney Junior in the US,” says Camilla Deakin, Series Producer of The Hive. “We’ve worked hard to make the show compelling viewing for children, and it is clearly paying off when we see the fantastic ratings it is getting around the world. I’m delighted and proud that we can now say it has a truly global audience.”

Call For Entries: Animation13

Animation13 – the sixth annual UK Schools Computer Animation Competition, has launched!

Open now for teacher registration at http://animation.cs.manchester.ac.uk, Animation13 is a free-to-enter, not-for-profit competition run by The University of Manchester, designed to enthuse young people about Computer Science.

The competition is open to all UK schoolchildren aged 7-19. Teacher registration is free and carries no obligation to submit any entries. All registered teachers will receive free colour A2 Animation13 posters for their school, to be sent out in November.

Entrants can create their animations (maximum duration: one minute) using any of the following programs: Alice, Scratch, Adobe Flash, Serif: Draw Plus, KoolMoves, SWiSH Max4 and Blender.

There are great prizes, awarded at the Animation Festival and Inspirational Computer Science Day held at The University of Manchester on July 12, 2013.

Last year’s Animation12 competition was bigger than ever, with over 870 entries from 180 schools across the UK. Prizes were awarded to 58 students (working as individuals, or in groups) from 31 schools. You can see all the winning entries, as well as photos from our Awards and Inspirational Computer Science Day, at http://animation.cs.manchester.ac.uk.

Key dates:

March23, 2013: Deadline for submitting entries.

July 12, 2013: Animation Festival and Inspirational Computer Science Day at The University of Manchester

Animation12 is funded by Electronic Arts, in association with cs4fn.

DOK Leipzig Preparations in Full Swing

Some 2,850 films from 77 countries were submitted to this year’s International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film, among them 2,200 documentaries and 650 animated films. The number of entries is down slightly from last years, when DOK Leipzig received a record 3,012 entries. The 55th edition of DOK Leipzig will take place from 29 October to 4 November 2012.

Around 75 films will be selected from among the entries to compete for the Golden Dove awards in the five competition sections. In all, DOK Leipzig will showcase around 200 documentaries and 150 short animated films. In addition, the festival will present a number of special programs and tributes. This year’s retrospective will be on the German-Russian film studio Mezhrabpom, whose films in the 1920s and ‘30s inspired the entire European film avant-garde. The traditional country focus will be devoted to the young documentary cinema of Spanish-speaking Latin America. Awaiting animation enthusiasts at DOK Leipzig will be a journey of discovery through a century of Polish puppet animation. Shortly before the presidential election in the United States, the festival will pay tribute with its special program on democracy to the U.S. documentary showcase POV (Point of View), which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

DOK Leipzig has in recent years become one of the industry’s major gatherings in Europe. Since 2011, the festival has been expanding its DOK Training professional development activities and focusing increasingly on new and interactive media. Thanks to the DOK Market, the International Co-Production Meeting, numerous panel discussions and many other offerings, the number of international visitors has doubled since 2004 to more than 1,400. For both the general viewing public and filmmakers from around the world, DOK Leipzig represents a film program at the highest artistic level. Enthusiasm for the festival is growing steadily, with the number of attendees having reached a record 37,000 last year.

*NEW DATE AND TIME ALERT* The Looney Tunes Show Premieres on Cartoon Network Oct. 2

***NEW PREMIERE DATE AND TIME***
The Looney Tunes Show will now premiere on Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 8/7c

The Looney Tunes Show is back on Tuesday nights! Tune in to Cartoon Network on Oct. 2 to catch the season premiere of the hilarious prime time animated sit-com starring Bugs, Daffy, Porky and the rest of the Looney universe! This season begins with “Bobcats on Three,” where Daffy’s fibs and Bugs’ vices cause all kinds of trouble in the neighborhood.

Daffy, AKA “Dr. Duck,” has performed nearly every occupation – at least in his head. But there’s just one missing – coach! Gossamer and his friends approach Daffy and ask that he coach their water polo team. Daffy accepts, in spite of not knowing how water polo is played or even knowing how to swim. The kids teach him a life lesson about winning and losing, and he also learns that horses don’t belong in the pool.

Meanwhile, Porky is excited to get his catering business off the ground, but his healthy fare leaves lots to be desired. At Bugs’ urging, Porky starts using his grammy’s old recipes which are full of all things delicious like butter, sugar and heavy cream. Bugs can’t get enough of the artery-clogging food and resorts to throwing neighborhood parties just so he can get another taste of Porky’s cooking. His girth reaches new and epic proportions, and it isn’t until Daffy needs his help at the final water polo match that Bugs realizes just how large he’s become.

A new Merrie Melody, ”Laser Beam,” joins this episode. Marvin the Martian sings a 1980’s-style power ballad lamenting his dear laser beam’s sudden demise. It’s a heartfelt number that proves even Martians who want to destroy the world have feelings.

“Monsieur Flap” By Nicolas Athané And Brice Chevillard

Since I haven’t had a chance to post much in the past week, I can do no less than offer you a very special piece of animation: Monsieur Flap.

CREDITS
Directed by Nicolas Athané and Brice Chevillard
Animation by Nicolas Athané, Brice Chevillard, Alexis Liddell and Françoise Losito
Music: “Living In the Sunlight” by Tiny Tim

(via @Doiion)

“Pinched” by David Vandervoort

Pinched is an animated short with slick production values written and directed by David Vandervoort. He produced it in 2009 at Titmouse, but debuted it online just a few days ago. More recently, Vandervoort has worked as a character designer on the Laika feature ParaNorman.

[UPDATE/Nov. 10, 2013]: The short was removed from Vimeo, but can now be purchased on the iTunes store for $2.99.

Weldon Owen To Release Two New “Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs” Books

In honor of the 75th anniversary of Walt Disney’s first feature-length film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Weldon Owen is releasing two new collections that chronicle the complete making of the ground-breaking animated movie beloved by so children and adults around the world.

The Fairest One of All: The Making of Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a stunning, hardcover, collector’s tome. This book is the first to reconstruct the making of the film and the process in exacting detail, with the loving attention it deserves from an internationally noted film scholar. Author J.B. Kaufman spent years researching the film’s history, interviewing participants, and studying the marvelous archival art that appears in these pages. The result is a work that can be appreciated equally as a piece of film history and as a collectable art book, a joy for anyone who loves film, animation, and the magical world that Walt Disney created.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Art and Creation of Walt Disney’s Classic Animated Film features over 200 pieces of art, many reproduced from original concept sketches, background paintings, and production cels, as well as alternate character concepts, deleted scenes, and step-by-step process shots. Filled with phenomenal stories, never-before seen artwork, and surprising details from the Walt Disney Animation Research Library, this pair of books are the first to reconstruct the filmmaking behind Snow White with the loving attention it deserves from internationally noted film scholar, J.B. Kaufman.

A true pioneer in animation, Disney Studios four-year labor of love has only grown in relevance, named as one of the best movies of all time by the American Film Institute, and starring as this fall’s premiere exhibition at The Walt Disney Family Museum.

75 years later, Snow White’s legacy lives on and these books provide beautiful testament to the film’s rich history and the artistry behind the magic of Disney, making them true collectibles for years to come.

About the Author

J.B. Kaufman is an author and film historian on the staff of the Walt Disney Family Foundation, and has published extensively on topics including Disney animation and American silent film. He is coauthor, with Russell Merritt, of two essential reference works on Disney animation history: Walt in Wonderland: The Silent Films of Walt Disney (1992; winner of the Kraszna-Krausz Award and the Society for Animation Studies’ Norman McLaren-Evelyn Lambart Award, and chosen by The New York Times as a Notable Book of the Year), and Walt Disney’s Silly Symphonies: A Companion to the Classic Cartoon Series (2006). Kaufman was also a regular contributor to the Griffith Project at Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, the distinguished annual silent-film festival in Pordenone, Italy.

Matt Thunell Joins Carbon as Executive Producer Of New West Coast Studio

Santa Monica, CA — VFX house Carbon announced that it has hired Matt Thunell as Executive Producer of the company’s new West Coast studio. Thunell will lead the studio with over a decade of experience working at prominent creative studios and visual effects facilities in LA and San Francisco.

Thunell joins Carbon from Motion Theory/Mirada, where as Senior Producer he produced projects for directors and executives such as Mathew Cullen, Grady Hall, Javier Jimenez, and Jeff Scruton — and top clients such as McGarryBowen, The Martin Agency, and Disney/Pixar. Thunell produced the recent lauded Wrigley 5 Gum spot “Choose Your Energy,” directed by Jon Favreau, featuring parkour athlete Daniel Ilabaca and a fully CG, interactive environment.

Thunell began his career as an intern at Lucasfilm, in the Skywalker Ranch film archive, while finishing his degree in rhetoric and film studies at UC Berkeley. He developed an appreciation for VFX after logging hundreds of hours of behind-the-scenes Star Wars footage. Inspired, Thunell convinced ILM, George Lucas’s VFX studio, to hire him as a production assistant for Terminator 3; and was subsequently hired as a VFX coordinator at The Orphanage. There he worked on high-profile features such as Superman Returns and Hellboy.

In 2006, Thunell joined Radium LA to produce visual effects, design, and editorial. After Reel FX’s acquisition of Radium in 2007, he forged the studio’s entrée to special venue projects (Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, The Cosmopolitan Hotel Las Vegas) and interactive media — while managing the studio’s production department. Frequent collaboration with Dave Meyers at Radical led to a penchant for pop star projects (Katy Perry, Rihanna, Christina Aguilera).

Thunell will extend Carbon’s reach into photo-real CG work, including digital environments, FX animation, and automotive, with art direction and concept design. He strives to run with low overhead at a time when clients are demanding higher complexity with less money.

“We are strongly considering cloud computing as opposed to a traditional render farm, as we build out the office and strategize pipeline,” Thunell said.

Carbon will also take advantage of a high-speed line between the NY and LA offices, to facilitate larger projects, share work, and accommodate diverse requests — whether working with editorial partners at Whitehouse Post, or directly with agencies and production companies.

Carbon is a New York-based design and VFX studio launched by Creative Director Kieran Walsh and EP Frank Devlin in 2009 in partnership with Whitehouse Post. The new West Coast studio shares space with Whitehouse in Santa Monica, emphasizing the strategic alignment of the two companies.

“Things You’d Better Not Mix Up” by Joost Lieuwma

Animator Joost Lieuwma graduated in 2005 from the Utrecht School of Arts and has since then been working as a freelance animator in The Netherlands. Here is his first independent film, Things You’d Better Not Mix Up, direct from the festival circuit. It’s slick and silly – but it won me over, with its clever concept and simple charm.

(Thanks, Seppe)

The Foundry and Luxology Join Forces

Combined group will provide a new avenue for computer graphics production

LONDON, September 25, 2012 — Leading visual effects software developer, The Foundry, today announced its merger with Luxology. The two companies are a great fit in terms of technology and markets. The combined portfolio will open doors to new ways of working, providing artists and designers with increased creative choice.

The Foundry with its stable of award-winning 2D and 3D VFX software, including industry standard compositor NUKE, sees Luxology’s complementary technology as a natural addition.

Luxology’s innovative 3D modelling and rendering technology and its flagship product, modo, are world class and favoured by thousands of artists and designers globally.

The collective product range is very exciting, but equally important is the shared ethos of the two companies and the staff within them. Both The Foundry and Luxology have strong reputations for being community driven and good collaborators. They are widely recognised for building tools around customer needs, providing artist-friendly workflows and great support.

This union will allow us to push the boundaries for our customers across a wide range of industries.

Bill Collis, CEO of The Foundry comments, “We were impressed by modo’s strong roots in a variety of markets – including VFX, design and games – and by Luxology’s focus on creating artist friendly, highly advanced technologies. Both comapnies are a great match for each other. The Foundry and Luxology’s products are highly complementary, and we both like our products to be open and flexible, letting the customers choose how they want to work. In the short term we will be continuing to develop the interaction between our products, which will be of immediate benefit to all of our customers. We can’t wait to see what our combined experience and knowledge will allow us to build in the long term.”

Brad Peebler, President of Luxology comments, “The Foundry has an impressive pedigree in the visual effects industry, where its products and attention to customers are second to none. Creative industries are converging in terms of media, quality and deliverables. Joining forces with The Foundry will allow us to accelerate the development of modo, ushering in a new era for our customers. We simply can not wait to leverage our combined strength to change the landscape for content creators everywhere.”

A year ago, at a chance meeting organised by ILM, John Knoll threw down the challenge of integrating products from both companies. This initially sparked the idea that the two companies could be a greater force together than apart and the merger idea snowballed from there.

John Knoll, Visual Effects Supervisor at Industrial Light & Magic comments, “I am a big fan of both Luxology and The Foundry having been using modo for quite a while and KATANA here at ILM in the last 18 months. Their marriage is really exciting for the VFX community. Their combined technology and similar approach to working with customers is a very interesting development. I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes on them.”

Brenda Wooding Launches Kid Glove

LOS ANGELES – Entertainment industry veteran Brenda Wooding has set MIPCOM 2012 for the international launch of Kid Glove, a boutique production, distribution and rights management company focused on the development and management of intellectual properties for exploitation across the entire spectrum of entertainment platforms and retail opportunities around the globe.

The first project under the new Kid Glove shingle is Viking Kong, an animated comedy for 6-11 year olds. Kid Glove will present Viking Kong at MIP Junior and MIPCOM.

The new Kid Glove is organized into three divisions. Kid Glove Creative specializes in development and pre-production financing, and is developing programming previously handled under the B Wooding banner. These programs include Project Evo and Kaiju Patrol, among others. Kid Glove Distribution specializes in catalog distribution and includes the entire catalog previously distributed by B Wooding. In addition, Kid Glove Consulting offers consulting services to original intellectual property owners seeking to maximize the global potential of their IPs.

Brenda Wooding is founder and president of Kid Glove. Over the past 20 years, as a consultant, she has helped many creators find financing and distribution for their original IPs. She has been commissioned by entertainment companies around the world including Starz Animation (9, Gnomeo and Juliet), Film Roman (The Simpsons) and Sprite Animation in Los Angeles; Penguin TV in the UK (Peter Rabbit and Friends and Spot); and Moody Street in Australia (SheZow); in addition to a variety of independent producers. Wooding also helped launch DK Vision and Adams Wooding Television/The Future is Wild Productions. As director of international sales at Sunbow Entertainment she handled such iconic children’s brands as Transformers, GI Joe, and My Little Pony.

In addition to Brenda Wooding, Heather Kenyon works with Kid Glove as a lead creative consultant. A veteran production and development executive, Kenyon brings to Kid Glove an extensive background in animation, having served as senior director of development, original series at Cartoon Network (Chowder, Camp Lazlo, Flapjack). Kenyon also served as vice president of project development and sales for Starz Animation, the production studio behind Tim Burton’s 9, and Miramax’s Gnomeo and Juliet.

“We are building Kid Glove to create, acquire, manage and consult with IP owners on realizing each IP’s fullest potential in the marketplace,” said Wooding. “My vision for the company is to share all of our experience and enthusiasm for entertainment with the vast creative community. We want to help turn their ideas into vibrant entertainment that broadcasters will deliver to global audiences and to extend these entertainment brands into viable products retailers will stock on their shelves.”

At MIP Junior and MIPCOM, Kid Glove will be showing a bible and screening an animatic of Viking Kong complete with its catchy opening song written by David Freedman and pop producer Eric Renwart.

Viking Kong is based on the designs and an original idea by award-winning animators, Joke Van Der Stern and Valere Lommel, better known as Ministry of Animation, and is created by the Ministry paired with show runner David Freedman (Groove High, Lucky Fred, King Arthur’s Disasters, Santa’s Apprentice II) and British comedy writing duo Keiron Self and Giles New (The Canterville Ghost, Groove High, Flynn, Shawn The Sheep). Ministry of Animation’s credits include Franklin, and Nelly and Caesar, among other feature films, television shows and numerous adverts and TV spots. Wooding and Kenyon are serving as executive producers.

 

“SpongeBob Squarepants” 4-D Attraction Coming Soon

Hollywood, CA — Who lives in a pineapple under the sea and may be coming soon to a theme park, zoo or aquarium near you? SpongeBob SquarePants.

Nickelodeon is teaming again with attraction powerhouse SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment and creative studio Super 78 to bring the smash hit cartoon series to life in SpongeBob SquarePants 4-D – The Great Jelly Rescue.  With stunning 3-D graphics and a dramatic assortment of scents, sounds and physical interplay, the new attraction will offer an immersive, one-of-a-kind 4-D experience.   Production of the film is currently underway and the experience will debut around the world at select venues spring 2013.

Fans of all ages will join SpongeBob and his trusty pals Patrick and Sandy on a deep-sea adventure as they try to prevent their arch-enemy, Plankton, from harvesting the ocean’s jellyfish for his own evil use. The race is on as SpongeBob and gang encounter obstacles and mishaps as they try to foil Plankton’s villainous plot.

“SpongeBob is an international super star and this exciting new attraction gives fans the opportunity to feel like they are part of his undersea world,” said Brent Young, principal of Super 78.  “This experience shares a conservation message using a charming storyline and special effects that engage all the senses.  It even adds a fifth dimension of sorts that taps the capricious humor SpongeBob is famous for.”

“This is our third film partnership with Nickelodeon,” said Mike Frueh, Senior Vice President of Film Distribution for SimEx-Iwerks.  “Based on the success of the original SpongeBob 4-D Experience and most recently, Dora and Diego 4-D Adventure, we are delighted to be partnering with both Nickelodeon and Super 78 to bring a new SpongeBob 4-D experience to the 4-D screen.”

SpongeBob SquarePants is an iconic and beloved property, with a global fan base,” said Gerald Raines, Vice President, Nickelodeon Recreation Business Development. “This new experience, which integrates 3-D technology and dazzling in-theater effects, will engage fans the world over with a positive and entertaining message.”

ASIFA-Hollywood To Premiere Open-Source “Tears of Steel”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAWkU3rk0iw&feature=youtu.be

LOS ANGELES — After seven months of work in Amsterdam by a dozen of open source visual effects specialists, the Blender Institute will release director Ian Hubert’s new short film, Tears of Steel, online and at a special event in Los Angeles hosted by ASIFA-Hollywood. The online release will be on Wednesday, September 26, around 17h UTC.

For over half a year an international team of 3D visual effects artists worked in the studio of the Amsterdam Blender Institute on the short film Tears of Steel, written and directed by Seattle talent Ian Hubert. This independent production was financed by the online user community of the free program Blender and was supported by the Netherlands Film Fund, the Cinegrid consortium, and by corporate sponsors such as Google.

The film project’s primary target was intended as an incentive for the development of a free and open source pipeline for visual effects in film, using the popular Blender 3D creation software. The film itself, and any material made in the studio, will be released as Creative Commons shortly after the premiere. This concept, a true Open Movie, allows filmmakers to study and reproduce every detail of the creation process.

Following the short animated films Elephants Dream (2006), Big Buck Bunny (2008) and Sintel (2010), this is the fourth short created in the Amsterdam studio with crowd-funding support. For Tears of Steel, the ambitions were again set high — using as a reference the international standard of visual effects applied to a fun and witty science-fiction theme in the old city of Amsterdam.

“The results are truly spectacular,” said producer Ton Roosendaal, “It’s a rare occasion to see your own city transformed with this level of visual effects and storytelling. Best is of course that we now have a complete open source pipeline for visual effect work in Blender — ranging from camera tracking and roto, all the way to color grading.”

“This was the Blender Institute’s first foray into shooting live-action,” director Ian Hubert said, “so every day we were covering new ground. Shooting with the state-of-the-art Sony F65 camera, and with such a talented production crew and actors, meant that we were able to not just to make a gorgeous film, but also provide filmmakers and developers around the world with optimal reference footage.”

The film’s premise is about a group of warriors and scientists, who gather at the “Oude Kerk” in Amsterdam to stage a crucial event from the past in a desperate attempt to rescue the world from destructive robots.

The online premiere will be on Wednesday 26 September, 17h UTC, at www.tearsofsteel.org  and on YouTube. Hosted by the ASIFA-Hollywood association of animation studios, the official theatrical premiere will be held Friday, September 28th, at 7:00 p.m., at the Fletcher Jones Auditorium at Woodbury University.

Saban Acquires “Digimon” Brand

LOS ANGELES, CA – Saban Brands has acquired the Digimon franchise, adding the long-running Japanese anime property to its growing portfolio of entertainment assets. The acquisition, which encompasses rights to the property outside of Asia, continues Saban Brands’ dramatic growth since reacquiring the Power Rangers property and purchasing lifestyle brand Paul Frank in 2010, amongst others.  Saban Brands will work with MarVista Entertainment for distribution of the series outside of Asia. Japanese animation studio, Toei Animation Co., Ltd. will handle licensing and distribution of the property in Asia.

The Digimon franchise, which was first brought to the U.S. in 1999 by Saban’s Fox Family Worldwide, explores a digital world where powerful creatures known as Digimon, or digital monsters, battle for supremacy. With the help of their young human partners, the Digimon defend their world and ours from various evil forces.

“We’re thrilled to reconnect Saban Brands with Digimon, an entertainment franchise that embodies the strong fan base and growth potential we look for in new additions to our portfolio,” said Elie Dekel, President of Saban Brands. “We look forward to reintroducing the brand in new and exciting ways that will allow more fans to engage with Digimon.”

Saban Brands will debut the newest season, Digimon Fusion, at MIPCOM, which will be held Oct. 8-11 in Cannes, France.  MarVista Entertainment has been appointed to handle international distribution (outside of Asia) of the new season, as well as distribution for more than 250 half-hours episodes of Digimon content from the library.

“We are naturally excited to further extend our relationship with Saban Brands to represent the Digimon franchise and to present the latest iteration, Digimon Fusion, to international buyers at MIPCOM,” commented Fernando Szew, Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer of MarVista Entertainment. “Children worldwide have embraced the Digimon television series since its launch, providing strong ratings success for broadcasters around the globe, and we anticipate a lot of enthusiasm from current and new partners whowill undoubtedly want to play a key role in the continued growth of the Digimon franchise.”

Disney Promotes Programming Execs at Disney Channel

Jennilee Cummings has been promoted to Vice President, Disney Channel and Disney XD Original Series, and Nikki Reed has been named Vice President, Disney Channel Original Movies, it was announced today by Adam Bonnett, Senior Vice President, Original Programming, Disney Channels Worldwide.

Bonnett said, “We have long pursued a very successful strategy which focuses on unique storytelling for kids and families, and that strategy is enhanced by Jennilee and Nikki who bring experience, skill, creative instincts and a deep appreciation of the Disney heritage to their jobs. It is my pleasure to recognize their contributions to our success.”

Ms. Cummings has been with Disney Channel since 2004 in roles of increasing responsibility, most recently as Executive Director, Original Movies, overseeing Good Luck Charlie: It’s Christmas which was cable TV’s #1 live-action movie of 2011 in Total Viewers, Let It Shine, the #1 TV Movie of 2012 to-date among Kids 2-11, Kids 6-11 and Tweens 9-14 and the soon to premiere Girl Vs. Monster.

In her new role, she oversees a slate of live action series development for Disney Channel and Disney XD, acting as the primary liaison to the creative community while working closely with Disney Channels’ Casting team to identify new talent. She will report directly to Mr. Bonnett.

Nikki Reed has more than 15 years experience overseeing feature films and television series development. She served as Vice President, Original Series, for Disney Channel and Disney XD since she joined the company in 2010. Among the series she developed are the hit comedy Austin & Ally and the soon to premiere Dog With A Blog for Disney Channel, and the hit comedy Lab Rats and the upcoming Crash & Bernstein for Disney XD.

In her new role, Ms. Reed oversees an extensive slate of Disney Channel Original Movie scripts, generating new areas of interest, developing projects, cultivating writers and directors and overseeing the creative storytelling throughout production. She reports directly to Michael Healy, Senior Vice President, Disney Channel Original Movies.

For summer 2012, Disney Channel charted a momentous win against all cable channels, ranking as the #1 cable TV network in Total Day in Total Viewers and the #1 TV network among Kids 2-11, both for the first summer ever; and for the fourth consecutive summer in Kids 6-11 and for the seventh consecutive summer in Tweens 9-14.

Disney XD posted its most-watched summer on record in Primetime and Total Day in Total Viewers and among Kids and Boys 6-14, 6-11 and 9-14, delivering its fourth consecutive summer of increases and its #1 month of all time in July 2012.

The Animation Guild To Host “The State of TV Animation Development” At September Membership Meeting


The Animation Guild (TAG), Local 839 IATSE‘s next membership meeting, next Tuesday (September 25), will feature a panel discussion on “The State of TV Animation Development”.

“Development”: that enigmatic place where all television shows get their start. What’s happening in TV Animation Development today? How does it work and what are they currently excited about? What are they looking for and what makes a great pitch?

Executive Board member KAREN CARNEGIE JOHNSON will host the panel. Panelists will include:

  • JENNA BOYD (Senior Vice President of Animation Development, Nickelodeon);
  • JONATHAN DAVIS (Executive Vice President of Comedy Development & Animation, Fox Animation);
  • ERIC HOMAN (Vice President, Development, Frederator); and
  • MICHAEL McGAHEY (Vice President, Development, Disney Television Animation).

GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
Tuesday, September 25

Pizza & refreshments, 6:30 pm
Meeting, 7 pm

1105 N. Hollywood Way, Burbank
(Between Chandler and Magnolia)

Galloping Horse America and Reliance MediaWorks Jointly Submit Winning Bid to Acquire Assets of Digital Domain and Mothership in Digital Domain Media Group Bankruptcy Auction

Beijing, China; Mumbai, India and Venice, Calif.—September 23, 2012— Digital Domain Media Group, Inc. (“DDMG”) (OTCQB: DDMGQ) announced today that a joint venture, led by Galloping Horse America, LLC (“Galloping Horse”), in partnership with Reliance MediaWorks (USA), Inc., (“Galloping Horse – Reliance”) submitted the winning bid to acquire the visual effects, Mothership Media (“Mothership”) and certain other businesses and assets of Digital Domain Productions, Inc. (“Digital Domain”) and subsidiaries for $30.2 million at a September 21, 2012 auction in New York. The sale is subject to execution of an asset purchase agreement and Bankruptcy Court (“Court”) approval, the hearing for which is currently scheduled for Monday, September 24, 2012.

Galloping Horse—Reliance will acquire all assets constituting the businesses of Digital Domain and Mothership — feature film and advertising visual effects, commercial production and virtual humans, studios in California and Vancouver, BC, Canada and a co-production stake in the feature film Ender’s Game. Pursuant to section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code, Galloping Horse – Reliance will acquire these assets free and clear of all claims and encumbrances, with the proceeds going to the bankruptcy estate. The businesses will continue to operate in the normal course of business, with the joint venture assuming ownership upon Court approval.

Ivy Zhong, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Beijing Galloping Horse Film Co., Ltd., said, “Digital Domain is a legend in the industry, known for its world-class quality of work and creative talent. We are thrilled to have found a partner in Reliance MediaWorks that is as committed as we are to ensuring Digital Domain’s continued excellence and success.”

Venkatesh Roddam, Chief Executive Officer, Film & Media Services, Reliance MediaWorks, said, “We have had a wonderful working relationship with Digital Domain over the years and we could not be happier to take it further through the joint Galloping Horse – Reliance acquisition. We are looking forward to working with Digital Domain employees and customers to make the operation better and stronger.”

Beijing Galloping Horse and Reliance MediaWorks have a combined enterprise value of more than $25 billion, complementary offerings and presence in multiple worldwide geographies strategic to the entertainment industry. Galloping Horse—Reliance gives Digital Domain, a multi-Academy Award®-winning digital production studio long established as a pioneer in high-quality visual effects, strong infrastructure and significant financial support. Galloping Horse America holds a 70% stake with Reliance MediaWorks holding a 30% stake in the Digital Domain joint venture. China eCapital served as the exclusive financial advisor to Galloping Horse and its affiliated parties in this transaction.

“This is a great day for Digital Domain,” said Digital Domain Chief Executive Officer Ed Ulbrich. “Our new partners have incredible strength and reach in the global entertainment marketplace. They are powerful strategic partners that understand our business and our clients’ business. Their support enables us to continue creating the highest quality entertainment and advertising and puts us in the strongest financial position that Digital Domain has ever been in. We are grateful to all of the bidders and couldn’t be more pleased with this outcome.”

As previously announced, Searchlight Capital Partners had submitted a stalking horse bid for the Digital Domain and Mothership assets in the amount of $15 million. Under the Bankruptcy Code DDMG was required to engage in the process of seeking the highest and best bid for these assets in accordance with the bid procedures approved by the Court.

“We are so pleased that the visual effects businesses will be continued under the strong financial and strategic ownership of Galloping Horse and Reliance. This represents a wonderful outcome for the business, its studio and advertiser customers and partners and valued employees, and for the Digital Domain Chapter 11 estate. Many are to be thanked for their incredible efforts to achieve this milestone,” said Mike Katzenstein, DDMG, Chief Restructuring Officer. “I would also like to recognize Searchlight Capital for agreeing to be the stalking horse bidder in the auction. I am certain that their commitment to the company under the most urgent of circumstances, helped save the business and allowed for the robust auction that led to this result.”

DDMG filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on September 11, 2012 and ancillary relief in Canada, pursuant to the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Vancouver Registry on September 18, 2012.

“Dust and Glitter” Leads AniMazSpot Awards

AniMazSpot 2012 closed out its festival week on Sunday, September 16, the Dust has now cleared, so to speak, and lo & behold the Best of Festival winner was Dust and Glitter, here’s a complete list of the winners of AniMazSpot 2012:

Best of Festival: Dust and Glitter by Michaela Copikova, from Pietany, Slovakia

2nd Best of Festival: Legacy by Adam Floeck, from Metuchen, New Jersey

3rd Best of Festival: Party in the CIA by Roque Ballesteros, from San Francisco, California

Best Story: Being Bradford Dillman by Emma Burch, from London, United Kingdom

Best Humor: Nest by Michael J. Ruocco, from East Rockaway, New York

Best Character Design: Fisher by Yoram Benz, from Milton, Georgia

Best Overall Design: Threadbare by Brett Underhill, from Brooklyn, New York

Best of Foreign Short: Jack and the Beanstalk by Fish Wang, from Chung-Ho City, Taiepi, Taiwan

Best First Short: Chased by Emily Quinn, from Burbank, California

Best Student Short: Libidinis by Rosa Peris Medina & Mercedes Peris, from Valencia, Spain School: Universidad Plotécnica de Valencia

Best Short for Children: Backstage by Pierce Davison, from Mount Lawley, Western Australia

Non-Narrative (experimental): Ballpit by Kyle Mowat, from London, ON, Canada

Besides the Awards Ceremony where clips from all 54 nominees were shown, other highlights of the week long festival, depending on who you talked to, included any one of the ten Studio and School Tours, the gorgeous 35mm prints of 20 UPA shorts at the Alex Theatre, the new Educational Animation Forum at Woodbury University, the look back at Three Years of AniMazSpot Shorts, or the engaging panel conversation between Tom Sito, Bob Kurtz, and Fred Crippen, on the influences of UPA Pictures.  So, after a few weeks rest, planning will begin on the next AniMazSpot Festival Week.

KidsCo to Launch New Look and Content in Q1 2013

New on-air look and graphics
Playout transitions to Corus Entertainment’s state-of-the-art facilities
Original series, ZuZu and the Supernuffs, to air in 2013

London, UK, – KidsCo, an international children’s television channel that reaches 15 million subscribers worldwide, today announced plans for a new look and new content that will roll out globally in Q1 2013. The refreshed KidsCo will feature a redesigned on-air look and graphics and be complemented by original, new content and a new website. In 2013, KidsCo playout will also transition to Corus Entertainment’s state-of-the-art facilities at their Toronto-based headquarters, Corus Quay.

KidsCo will also be introducing a raft of new titles into its schedule including a new original production: Zuzu and the Supernuffs. Currently being produced by award-winning production company Matchbox Pictures (NBCUniversal) – with whom KidsCo announced a content deal earlier this year – the series will air in Q2 2013. Additional content from Nelvana, which is owned by KidsCo shareholder and key strategic partner Corus Entertainment, is currently being finalised for KidsCo’s programming pipeline and titles will be announced later this year.

Zuzu and the Supernuffs follows five furry intergalactic Nuffs who crash land on earth in a rusty old bathtub, where they meet a new friend Zuzu. Together Zuzu and her furry friends venture through the galaxy harnessing their unique superpowers to free the planet of negative thoughts. The announcement of this commission comes shortly after KidsCo securing global rights to Shelldon from Shellhut Entertainment and My Place from the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF).

Hendrik McDermott, Managing Director of KidsCo, comments: “2013 is set to be an exciting year for KidsCo. We will leverage the global capability and expertise of both our shareholders, NBCUniversal and Corus Entertainment, to deliver a refreshed and much stronger channel, which will allow us to compete on the global stage. We will continue to drive our international growth plans through investment in safe, responsible and localised content and provide excellent value for our affiliates.”

Doug Murphy, President, Television, Corus Entertainment, adds: “Corus Entertainment has a wealth of experience in the kids TV space and we look forward to continuing to add more high-quality Corus content from our Nelvana Studio to KidsCo’s pipeline. We are also excited to welcome KidsCo to our world-class technical facility based in Toronto.”

Zodiak Kids Announces Acquisition & Partnership with Nickelodeon for new 52-Episode Animated Comedy

Marathon Media’s First “Squash And Stetch” Series to be produced with Nickelodeon and French net Gulli

Paris, France (Sept 25, 2012) – Marathon Media, part of Zodiak Kids, is starting production on Blake and the Aliens [working title], an exciting new animated comedy series developed in partnership with Nickelodeon and Gulli (France).

Blake and the Aliens (52 x 13 min) is Marathon Media’s first “board-driven” squash-and-stretch series, a pure cartoon style comedy filled with visual gags, wherein the story’s fast pace is led by the exaggerated actions of its characters.

Vincent Chalvon-Demersay (CEO, Marathon Media) and David Michel (General Manager, Marathon Media) comment, “We’re thrilled to be producing Blake and the Aliens. This board-driven cartoon series with truly delirious characters is a first for Marathon Media. We have a feeling this series might be just as exciting to produce as it will be to watch!”

Jules Borkent, Senior Vice President, Global Acquisitions and International Programming for Nickelodeon adds, “We are especially excited about this project and to be working with Marathon Media as it’s our first development partnership with a French producer around an acquired series. This proven model enables us to deliver relevant content that resonates with our audiences worldwide and Blake and the Aliens will be a fantastic addition.”

This hilarious new animated comedy starts one morning when a 13-year-old boy gets jumped by three small, evil, alien squirrels who have been sent to earth from the future with just one mission: thwart Blake in anything he wants to accomplish, by any means necessary, so that he will never grow up to be the future famous Captain Blake, Defender of the Universe, and sworn enemy of their planet!

The series boasts a world-renowned creative team with long-standing credentials in animation: executive producers Antoine Guilbaud (Phineas & Ferb) and Kaz Prapuolenis (SpongeBob SquarePants, Underworld, Phineas & Ferb); writer Reid Harrison (Rekkit Rabbit, The Simpsons); director Eric Gosselet (Rekkit, MBC), and producers Vincent Chalvon-Demersay and David Michel (Totally Spies!, Gormiti, Rekkit Rabbit). Production on Blake and the Aliens [working title] will begin in September at Marathon Media’s studios, with a broadcast launch date on Nickelodeon worldwide and Gulli (France) planned for winter 2013.

All TV rights will be managed by Zodiak Kids while licensing will be handled by Zodiak Kids CP Paris.

Bob Clampett remembered

Writer Chris Lukather has just posted a nice interview with Ruth Clampett which contains some new insights into her father – the legendary animator/director Bob Clampett. Bob, of course, created the Emmy award winning characters Beany and Cecil, as well as being one of the great Warner Bros. cartoon directors of the 30s and 40s, guiding Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Porky Pig through some of their greatest cartoons, as well as creating Tweety, The Do-Do, Beaky Buzzard among many many others.

In the interview Ruth also discusses her former role supervising Warner Bros. animation art for the Studio Stores (remember those?) and her hopes to see an art book and biography of father Bob. Yes, Ruth – I’ll happily instruct Brew readers to buy such a book the moment it exists! In the meantime check out Lukather’s literary blog, The Writing Disorder for more memories and info.

“Gulliver” wallpaper

I’m never going to let you forget that I’ll be co-hosting an evening (6 hours!) of Classic Animation on Turner Classic Movies on Sunday October 21st. To that end, I just started a dedicated Facebook page with daily updates and related eye-candy for this Earth-shattering animated event. And TCM has created a beautiful piece of Gulliver’s Travel’s wallpaper art, which you can use as desktop background on your various computer screens – and they’ve produced a video podcast featuring me to promote the evening. So spread the word, buy a lot of popcorn and gather your friends – classic cartoons are returning to television, in prime time, and I wouldn’t want you to miss a minute!

“Junkyard”, “Arrugas” Win Top Ottawa Festival Honors

The winners of the 2012 Ottawa International Animation Festival were announced earlier tonight at the National Arts Center in Ottawa. The top prize for short film went to Dutch filmmaker Hisko Hulsing for his short Junkyard. The animated feature prize went to the Spanish feature Arrugas (Wrinkles) directed by Ignacio Ferreras. It’s Such a Beautiful Day by Don Hertzfeldt picked up the audience prize.

I Am Tom Moody by Ainslie Henderson picked up two awards, including the grand prize for best student animation. Two films in this year’s Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival were also recognized: Kyle Mowat’s Ballpit won best graduate animation and Noam Sussman’s Gum won the Canadian student animation award.

The complete list of winners is below:

Nelvana GRAND PRIZE for Best Independent Short Animation
Junkyard directed by Hisko Hulsing, Netherlands

GRAND PRIZE for Best Animated Feature
Arrugas (Wrinkles) directed by Ignacio Ferreras, Spain

Walt Disney GRAND PRIZE for Best Student Animation
I Am Tom Moody directed by Ainslie Henderson, Edinburgh College of Art, UK

GRAND PRIZE for Best Commissioned Animation
Primus “Lee Van Cleef” by Chris Smith, USA

Best Animation School Showreel
Supinfocom (France)

BEST Narrative Short
A Morning Stroll by Grant Orchard, STUDIO AKA, USA

BEST Experimental/Abstract Animation
Rivière au Tonnerre directed by Pierre Hébert, Canada

Adobe Prize for BEST High School Animation
The Bean by Hae Jin Jung, Gyeonggi Art High School, South Korea

Honourable Mention:
La Soif Du Monde (Thirsty Frog) by a Collective: 12 Children, Camera-etc, Belgium

BEST Undergraduate Animation
Reizw“sche by Jelena Walf & Viktor Stickel, Germany

BEST Graduate Animation
Ballpit directed by Kyle Mowat, Sheridan College, Canada

BEST Promotional Animation
Red Bull ‘Music Academy World Tour’ by Pete Candeland, Passion Pictures, UK

BEST Music Video
The First Time I Ran Away by Joel Trussell, USA

BEST Television Animation for Adults
Portlandia: “Zero Rats” by Rob Shaw, USA

BEST Short Animation Made for Children
Beethoven’s Wig directed by Alex Hawley & Denny Silverthorne, Canada

Honourable Mentions:
Au Coeur de L’Hiver directed by Isabelle Favez, Switzerland
Why do we Put up with Them? directed by David Chai, USA

BEST Television Animation Made for Children
Regular Show: “Eggscellent” by JC Quintel, Cartoon Network

Honourable Mention:
Adventure Time: “Jake vs. Me-Mow” by Pendleton Ward, Cartoon Network, USA

The National Film Board of Canada PUBLIC PRIZE
It’s Such a Beautiful Day directed by Don Hertzfeldt, USA

Canadian Film Institute Award for BEST Canadian Animation
Nightingales in December directed by Theodore Ushev, Canada

Honourable Mentions
Ballpit directed by Kyle Mowat, Sheridan College, Canada
MacPherson directed by Martine Chartrand, National Film Board of Canada, Canada

BEST Canadian Student Animation Award
Gum by Noam Sussman, Sheridan College, Canadaa

Honourable Mentions
Ballpit by Kyle Mowat, Sheridan College, Canada
Tengri by Alisi Telengut, Concordia University, Canada

The Ottawa Media Jury Award
For the best short competition film, as deemed by the local Ottawa Media, consisting of:

-Peter Simpson (Ottawa Citizen)
-Sandra Abma (CBC)
-Fateema Sayani (Ottawa Magazine)
-Denis Armstrong (Ottawa Sun)

I Am Tom Moody by Ainslie Henderson, Edinburgh College of Art, UK