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Thursday - August 30, 2001
- Nickelodeon Animation Studios Picketed!
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Update
- Pinocchio 3001
- News Link of the Day - Spielberg Terrified of Intelligent Computers

Nickelodeon Animation Studios Picketed!
(by The Writers Guild of America west (WGAw) is picketing Nickelodeon Animation Studios today from noon to 1PM claiming that Nickelodeon is "retaliating against employees of animated series who are seeking union representation and coverage by the Guild's contract."

In the Guild's complaint, it asserts "that Nickelodeon illegally reduced the benefits of writers on the television show Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius in retaliation for their activities in seeking WGAw representation."

To help promote its position, the Guild has put out a press release which includes the following quote:

"This action by Nickelodeon is the latest round in the company's escalating efforts to deny the benefits of the guild's contract to these writers," said Paul Nawrocki, Assistant Executive Director of the WGAw. "These writers are seeking the basic rights that artists in this industry gained 60 years ago. Viacom owns a number of other companies that are signed to the guild's MBA, and, if necessary, we will carry this struggle into those unionized sectors of the company."

The Guild further claims that its unfair labor charges, "followed a Writers Guild petition for certification of representation with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board after Nickelodeon Animation Studios ignored a demand for recognition by the writers of six Nickelodeon animated programs (Invader Zim, SpongeBob SquarePants, Constant Payne, Hey Arnold!, Fairly Odd Parents and Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius). An overwhelming majority of the writers on the six shows have signed authorization cards designating the Writers Guild as their collective bargaining representative."

The Writers Guild of America, west represents 8,500 writers in the motion picture, broadcast, cable and new media industries. It has successfully organized the writers of every network primetime animation program and is expanding its efforts to provide representation for animation writers in the cable industry.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Update
(by A few months ago, Digital Media FX outlined plans for The Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles to return to the big screen - as a CGI animated film. The CGI film is only one part of a massive attempt to refranchise the once famous turtle team. Rights to the ninja gang are owned by Peter Laird's Mirage Studios, which also plans on launching a new cartoon series (darker in nature), a Hallmark TV miniseries, and several video games.

The CGI movie is being produced by John Woo and Terence Chang of Digital Rim Entertainment. It isn't expected to be complete until 2004. Meanwhile, the 2D animated TV series is expected to begin airing around 2003, which will be the approximate time that the video games will launch and the miniseries will air. The dark miniseries will feature CGI turtles interacting with live action characters.

Rainbow Studios, at one time producing a full CGI movie called Blue Planet, is said to be on board to help with the CGI for movie.

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Pinocchio 3001
(by CineGroupe has announced that it is beginning work on a new animated movie titled Pinocchio 3001, which will throw the classic children's tale centuries into the future. Animation work has been assigned to Castelao Productions SNA (Spain), and AnimaKids Productions (France) for the production. Details of the movie are sketchy at this point except that Pinocchio must escape from a futuristic amusement park.

In addition to the movie, CineGroupe is also creating a Pinocchio 3001 video game that sticks closely to the movie's story. The game requires players to help Pinocchio escape his captors in a bumper car repair shop hidden underneath an amusement park. The team is using, in part, NDL’s NetImmerse to aid in the development and rendering of the projects.

Digital Media FX is working on securing images of Pinocchio 3001.

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News Link of the Day - Spielberg Terrified of Intelligent Computers

According to Ananova:

"Steven Spielberg says he is terrified of computers developing minds of their own. Spielberg told German magazine Cinema his latest film, Artificial Intelligence, is a warning against irresponsible development of science..."

Click here for the full story.

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