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johnny_riptide
09-05-2002, 05:35 PM
It sounds like Jobs and Eisner may be parting ways.

The Walt Disney Studios and 'Shrek' Producer John Williams Partner For New CG Animated Film Output

BURBANK, Calif., Sept. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The Walt Disney Studios and John Williams' Vanguard Films have teamed up in a strategic partnership to produce a slate of computer animated feature films, it was announced by Dick Cook, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios and John Williams, CEO of Vanguard Films.
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The first film to go into production will be "Valiant," followed by an anticipated slate of three more CG-animated films. Additionally, "Valiant" will mark the launch of a new venture, Vanguard Animation, which will expand Vanguard from an independent production company into a fully financed digital animation studio with the capability to internally develop and finance its own projects. John Williams will act as CEO of the new company and new Vanguard addition, Neil Braun, will act as President.

Commenting upon the announcement, Cook said, "We are thrilled to join forces with John, Neil and their incredible team of top animators in this extraordinary production partnership. 'Valiant' is a terrific story that will live up to the highest standards of animation, and Vanguard's exciting development slate promises great entertainment that will certainly appeal to all audiences."

Thomas Schumacher, president of Walt Disney Feature Animation, added, "John, Neil and the team at Vanguard have certainly shown that they possess a fine sense of story and are capable of the highest-quality animation, certainly worthy of the Disney name. We're excited to be making this partnership."

"We have set-up a unique approach to funding and making these movies," explains Williams. "Our production approach is best summarized by the fact that we will make these films for under $40 million each, and they will be delivered within two years of their start date. We will deliver 'Toy Story'- to-'Dinosaur'-to-'Shrek'-level animation. We came to Disney with confirmed financing, completed scripts, completed budgets, multiple CG tests for each film, and advanced character designs, and production design concepts."

"Valiant" is a ne'er-do-well wood pigeon who aspires to the prestigious position of a messenger homing bird for the Royal Air Force during WWII. Vastly unqualified for the job, Valiant serendipitously squeaks his way through training and is abruptly sent on a mission into occupied France. Finding himself in the line of fire, the prankster recedes and a hero emerges.

"Valiant" will start pre-production this month in Los Angeles then move to Ealing Studios in London for production. The picture will be released in fall 2004. The film will be co-produced with Barnaby Thompson who is a producer/partner of Fragile Films and Ealing Studios. Eric M. Bennett, president of production for Vanguard Animation, will co-produce the picture.

"Our objective with all of these films is to make animated films that are great comedies, great adventures, and great entertainment and which are suitable for a broad family audience, and that can also attract anyone who likes a big comedy entertainment," says Williams.

As the newly formed alliances move forward, John Williams will continue in the top post as Chairman and CEO of Vanguard Animation, directly overseeing all aspects of the company. John was the originating producer of the critically acclaimed box office success "Shrek." His other credits include next month's live-action action-adventure "The Tuxedo," starring Jackie Chan, and "Seven Years in Tibet."

Neil Braun, who recently joined the company as President, has pursued a very aggressive and successful round of financing for Vanguard Animation as the company looks to scale up operations. In the past, Neil has held numerous senior positions within the media and entertainment industry, including President of the NBC Television Network, Chairman and CEO of Viacom Entertainment, President of Imagine Entertainment, and Senior Vice President of HBO.

The buildout of Vanguard's physical animation studio will be directly overseen by Curtis Augspurger and Buckley Collum of Menace FX. Menace has joined forces with Vanguard Animation in a joint venture to oversee the establishment of the vast CG operation. Curtis and Buckley, who have worked extensively on digital production with companies including Warner Bros., Disney, and Electronic Arts, will also co-produce "Valiant."

Roy Furman and Tom Lewyn are directors of Vanguard Animation and were instrumental in pulling together the company.

For further information, please contact Heidi Trotta, Senior Vice President, Publicity of The Walt Disney Studios, +1-818-560-7280.


http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/020905/lath053_1.html

FatAssasin
09-05-2002, 10:23 PM
Anyone have any insider info on Vanguard Animation, like where they're located and if they're going to need to be hiring for these new productions?

xynaria
09-05-2002, 10:48 PM
Setting up in West London huh.....mmmnnn now who else did that.......let me think... oh yes.. those Amblin people.
Meanwhile they shouild be in competition for talent with Water Rats(?)........sounds a familiar kind of scenario. :p

johnny_riptide
09-05-2002, 10:55 PM
The first film to go into production will be "Valiant," a comedy penned by George Webster and George Melrod, followed by an anticipated slate of three more CG-animated films.

"Valiant" will start pre-production this month in Los Angeles, then move to Ealing Studios in London for production. It will be released in fall 2004.


Here are couple more links:
Yahoo (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=848&ncid=805&e=4&u=/variety/20020905/film_variety/film_disney_dc)

Animation World Network (http://news.awn.com/index.php3?newsitem_no=7340)

playmesumch00ns
09-06-2002, 09:09 AM
This is funny, my Mum mentioned to me the other week that she'd heard on Radio 4 that there was to be a new 'Digital Production and Computer Animation' (or somesuch) studio at Ealing, and yes they are looking for talent.

Not such a bad place in the world to be working. Don't they make Eastenders at the BBC studios there?

playmesumch00ns
09-06-2002, 09:14 AM
Thinking about it, there was also something on BBC Breakfast about reviving the film studios there, they did a whole nostalgia piece about the great films of old with Peter Sellers and Alec Guiness and the rest of them.

Does anyone else watch BBC Breakfast of a morning? it's about the only thing that keeps me awake long enough to get out of bed. Without it I'd probably never make it to work. i can't believe Jeremy's left now *sob*

Dougy
09-06-2002, 12:17 PM
yep - I watch BBC breakfast every morning and your right - shame about Jeremy:thumbsdow

Dougy
09-06-2002, 12:25 PM
yep - I watch BBC breakfast every morning and your right - shame about Jeremy:thumbsdow

gabe28
09-08-2002, 04:42 AM
Awwww, man. It's bad enough that Disney had to take control of Pixar for four films but now they also have to hijack another cool computer animation company? Why don't they build their own cg team and leave these other companies alone? You know none of the new movies will be as cool as Shrek. Don't get me wrong, I loved the Toy Story movies but I think the Disney influence dilutes the potential of these companies.

Array
09-08-2002, 05:24 AM
gabe- im sure the extra revenue from disney will allow these companies to grow. look at what it did for pixar.

gabe28
09-08-2002, 05:46 AM
Array- Yeah, that's true, I just wish the contracts weren't for four movies. That's a lot to commit to when you only make a movie every couple years. But yeah, Disney has deep pockets. Then again, it's not like Shrek made chump change either. I'm sure an animation studio could grow based on what Shrek earned. Anyway, I'm just tired of Disney's monopoly on feature length animation. It's not like I hate every Disney move but I like Shrek style movies too. Well, at least maybe Pixar may be is free to do as they please now. I'm eager to see what they come up with once they no longer work for Disney. Then again, maybe Disney plans to use both Vanguard Films and Pixar to make movies.

johnny_riptide
09-09-2002, 02:07 PM
This link might be of interest to some here that live in the LA area or the UK. It's info regarding the recruiting for the "Valient" film.

We are seeking artists in the following categories:
- Modeler
- Character Rigger
- Character Animator
- Technical Director
- Shader and Lighter
- Compositor
- Texture Painter
- System Administrator
- Developers
- Wranglers


http://www.menacefx.com/Jobs.html

Good luck to those that apply. Don't send your resume by email, though....

artifish
09-09-2002, 02:28 PM
hehe, yeah :)

" Please do not submit your resume in an email at this time unless you have been asked to do so. -
This will change shortly, but til then this serves as a great means to filter those who cannot follow directions."

facial
09-09-2002, 03:05 PM
Disney ..:bowdown: :bowdown:

Wow. I couldn't wait to see.

RobinOberg
09-10-2002, 10:14 PM
shrek in a disney-way, sounds like a mix of "the sword in the stone" and "winnie the pooh" :)

nothing im lookings forward to then

angelman
09-12-2002, 04:40 PM
Well my cv and reel will be in the post to them tomorrow!

If it all happens as they say it will it could really upset the apple cart in soho. The place could suck up most of the talen in london I reckon, certainly all those with feature film experience.

interesting times

Larry_g1s
09-12-2002, 05:21 PM
Originally posted by gabe28
You know none of the new movies will be as cool as Shrek. Don't get me wrong, I loved the Toy Story movies but I think the Disney influence dilutes the potential of these companies.

:surprised

Aww Gabe, I couldn't disagree more. I thought Shrek was a great movie, but nothing compared to A Bug's Life, Monster's Inc., & Toy Story 1 & 2. But I think those have more to do with Pixar then Disney's influence. :shrug:

johnny_riptide
09-12-2002, 06:32 PM
As far as I understand it, The Walt Disney Co directly has no creative influence or input whatsoever on Pixar's films. However, it does seems that the people at Pixar with a lot of creative input came from CalArts, where Disney does have considerable influence. Infact, CalArts was founded by Disney. So, in an indirect way, the Disney "style" has rubbed off on the people of Pixar.

xynaria
09-12-2002, 08:23 PM
Originally posted by angelman
Well my cv and reel will be in the post to them tomorrow!


LOL even though they say they don't want them yet.. oh well....but is it dog me wonders???? :)

gabe28
09-12-2002, 09:18 PM
Aww Gabe, I couldn't disagree more. I thought Shrek was a great movie, but nothing compared to A Bug's Life, Monster's Inc., & Toy Story 1 & 2. But I think those have more to do with Pixar then Disney's influence.

In terms of animation prowess I would agree. In terms of story I disagree. The Pixar stories are great but I'm tired of watching animated movies that are clearly aimed at children. And I believe that is where the Disney influence comes in. I enjoy seeing animated movies that are written for grown ups. Ants may not have been as good as Bugs Life in many ways but I personally enjoyed it more. Same goes with Shrek vs. the Pixar movies. I'm sure it just comes down to personal taste but that's the whole problem. With Disney putting out movies from Pixar and Vanguard Films doing their own films we have a choice. If Disney controls all the cg feature films we're forced to watch childrens movies (ok in truth, I watch and enjoy them all). Anyway, I guess it's not that big of a deal if going to Vanguard Films means that Disneys relationship with Pixar is over.... but what if Disney continues to control both?

Larry_g1s
09-13-2002, 08:57 PM
Originally posted by gabe28
The Pixar stories are great but I'm tired of watching animated movies that are clearly aimed at children. And I believe that is where the Disney influence comes in. I enjoy seeing animated movies that are written for grown ups.

I understand where you're coming from, but again, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. Cause I don't associate a movie aimed at everyone as "clearly aimed at children." Rugrat's movie, that's aimed at children, but TS 1&2, ABL, & Monster's Inc. where aimed at everyone. So I guess that's why I loved there stories. :shrug:


Originally posted by gabe28
... I guess it's not that big of a deal if going to Vanguard Films means that Disneys relationship with Pixar is over...


Actually that was my question as well while I was ready the article. What's Disney's relationship with Pixar now? :shrug:

AJE
09-18-2002, 09:38 AM
I can assure you that Disney will remain tight with Pixar until their contract is up.

Disney is out to buy competition or fend off competition.

Sony's new division will be putting out a full CG feature every 18 months, and with Dreamworks stepping up it's CG feature production, Disney needs to keep up.

They'll be able to slap that bastard 'Disney' name on 2-3, or more, projects a year...

I will bet money that Disney picks up another studio within a year to even furthur their position.

The problem that I have, is that Disney has a habit of buying up companies that has solid teams working in them, and putting them to work on one or two projects, then disbanding the guys that did the projects.

I would just hate to see a repeat of the 'Dreamquest/Secret Lab'
clusterf*ck.

Frankly, I would love it if Disney took a step back and/or got out of the game entirely. They're old and tired. The only way they've made money in the last few years is through second rate rehashes of old characters and stories going straight to video.
With the marginal exception of Lilo & Stitch, the rest of the quality projects that they've been involved with have been from real quality studios, and they've just paid to 'slap their name on the box'.

I love the fact that other studios are getting into the market in a big way. Disney held the animation crown for 60 years, Pixar has had it for just over 10. We'll see if Dreamworks can hold onto it...

Oversaturation scares me though...

The next few years is going to be very interesting to be sure...

AJE

What if ILM got into the full CG features ala Shrek and Monsters Inc.......?

xynaria
09-18-2002, 10:58 PM
Unlike traditional animated features, to date (unless you count FF in the genre), there hasn't been any real flops. Consequently, the world being what it is, wants in, just like they did at the beginning of Disney's resurgence with 'The Little Mermaid'. A few flops later and the success of 'The Lion King' meant that even more were cranked out, mostly to oblivion.
Part of this is storytelling, part of it is marketing, part of it is bad ideas, and part of it would almost seem to be fate. No-one had a bad word to say about 'The Iron Giant' but it flopped.
At the moment people will risk going to see an unknown CG film because they've not been very disappointed, but as they ramp up and the failures start, the safe genre aspect will go, and so probably will the investment.
Pixar, and Dreamworks actually use the format often attributed to Disney, which is that getting a feature going and completed is an arduos task and very wasteful for one movie, so a production line is set up that is looking 3 films ahead and as much as possible of the workable team retained so as to ease those headaches.
Other companies entering the fray for one offs will find that that in itself can cause quite a few nightmares. When Valiant starts up next year in London, they will be competeing for staff against the other CG film starting at about the same time(in theory). Doesn't look like they have considered that in their thinking.
It would be nice if all of these worked, but as more and more start looking at 3D features as a cash cow, the chances of them being so get slimmer and slimmer. :)

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