Private Division and V1 Interactive announce ‘Disintegration’, an upcoming sci-fi FPS

Private Division and V1 Interactive have announced Disintegration, an upcoming sci-fi, first-person shooter that will be fully unveiled next month at Gamescom 2019. Disintegration is the debut title from V1 Interactive, the independent development studio co-founded in 2014 by Marcus Lehto, former creative director at Bungie and co-creator of Halo.

“The opportunity to create not only a new game but this entire studio has been exhilarating. It is great to be able to share what this amazing team has been working on, and we can’t wait to introduce this new game that our team is building to the world next month,”  said  V1 Interactive president game director Marcus Lehto.

“We’re lucky enough to work with someone like Marcus, a gaming icon whose creativity has influenced an entire industry. We’ve been with Marcus and the V1 Interactive team since the studio’s inception and have seen the organization grow its talent base throughout our partnership. As such, we have high confidence in Disintegration, and cannot wait to introduce it as another unique experience that further enhances the Private Division lineup,” said Private Division executive vice president and head Michael Worosz.

Disintegration will be available in the calendar year 2020, during the take-two’s fiscal year 2021 (1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021). Disintegration is not yet rated by the ESRB.

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Animation industry leaders to gather in Ottawa

The 2019 editions of the Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) and The Animation Conference (TAC) are fast-approaching. These annual events bring industry leaders from around the globe to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada to celebrate the unique and evolving medium of animation.

The OIAF, taking place September 25 to 29, is the largest animation festival in North America and the second-largest animation festival in the world. As such, it showcases cutting-edge and thought-provoking work from the world’s most prominent and game-changing animators. The 43rd edition of the OIAF is set to screen animated content that explores a huge array of styles and techniques, ranging from shorts to features, to virtual reality content.The Festival attracts over 30,000 attendees and will be five days of entertaining screenings, informative talks, and engaging exhibits.

TAC, running from September 25 to 27, is the OIAF’s industry track. It is North America’s only event that allows animation industry professionals to pitch, network,  keep up with industry trends, and gain access to the most creative, original, and innovative animated content. This animation business forum is ideal for connecting professionals in content creation, distribution, and development. TAC provides a space conducive to active networking, practical information exchange, and trade, in a comfortable and intimate environment.

TAC is currently inviting professionals in senior development, acquisitions, or programming positions from platforms that are actively seeking animated content to participate in the Festival. TAC is offering each of these buyers a complimentary Festival Pass. Buyers can apply for a buyer pass by filling out the form at this link

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Presenting India’s largest kids’ conglomeration : KAM Summit and ANN Awards

Kids’ content ecosystem has been on an all-time high with a multiplicity of brands and developers rushing to tap into the market. There has been an unprecedented rise in the consumption of kids’ content over the last couple of years. 

The upward spurt in viewership in the kid’s category has been due to the animated IP rush which enabled the numbers to rise from average 499 GRP to 550 GRP in the last year. According to the recently launched FICCI EY report, animation segment is estimated to reach at Rs. 24.4 billion by 2021 from Rs. 18.8 billion in 2018.

As the kids’ content ecosystem aims for the skies, they are continually faced with the vagaries and challenges of the market. The demand to encapsulate, summarise and study the market to get a firmer grasp over the ebbs and flows of the market has never been more aggressive.

In a bid to evangelise and recognise the best in the sphere of kids’ content, Animation Xpress is bringing together all the important players and media experts of the kids’ content industry in a one of a kind event titled ‘Kids, Animation & More (KAM Summit)’ followed by ANN Awards – India’s largest premium full scale awards in animation and all its aspects on 30 August 2019 at The LaLiT, Mumbai.

Spanning over myriad themes that will range from brand stories, brand integration, creativity, licensing & merchandising to brand integration; KAM intends to explore multiple major sub-sectors in the industry and how they are aiding in giving shape to the kids’ content scenario in the country.

With the Indian animation industry creating world class content, this is the perfect hour to honour the names behind the amazing animated content being produced. ANN Awards, thus, intends on bringing recognition and set a bar for the Indian animation industry and all its aspects.

Having been in the business for so many years now, Animation Xpress realised the importance of orchestrating an event that would encompass all the notable themes in the kids’ animation ecosystem.

With an aim to play host to numerous top subject matter experts, studios, production houses, animators and the best content & projects from all over the country to provide exposure and know -how to the professionals, artists and students, KAM Summit is set to be a premium event that Animation Xpress is endeavouring to make as grand as it gets in its gala offerings.

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Lawrence Card named RTS Young Technologist of the year 2019

The Royal Television Society (RTS) has unveiled the winner of its annual RTS Young Technologist Award, sponsored by Netgem, internet TV service provider and presented in memory of A.M. Beresford-Cooke. Lawrence Card, Broadcast Engineering Trainee at BBC, was chosen to receive the prestigious award by a panel of industry expert judges, chaired by Digital Media consultant Terry Marsh.

Lawrence has spent the last two years on the BBC Broadcast Engineer Trainee graduate scheme, working towards his MSc in Broadcast Engineering. During this time, Lawrence has worked with the Radio Projects, World Service Distribution and Research and Development’s Immersive and Interactive content team. Lawrence is currently investigating how AI and machine learning can assist programme teams who require vision monitoring for his final project.

The RTS Young Technologist Award jury chair Terry Marsh, said: “We are thrilled to name Lawrence the RTS Young Technologist of the Year and celebrate the wealth of talented young individuals entering the field. The standard of entries was remarkably high this year but Lawrence’s broad industry perspective and wide technical knowledge, coupled with his self-motivated, tenacious and confident approach make him a very worthy winner.”

Prior to joining the scheme, Lawrence studied a masters in electronics engineering and gained a distinction, leading to his first industry role as an operations engineer at ITV. He also volunteers as the engineering team leader at St Albans based community radio station Radio Verulam.

Lawrence Card added: “Winning the RTS Young Technologist of the Year Award is a great accolade and sense of achievement that I am proud of. I hope my enthusiasm and desire to win the award helps encourage others to both go the extra mile with everything they do and consider applying for the award themselves.”

BBC New Talent Tech Schemes programme manager Catherine Summer said: “Throughout the scheme, Lawrence has displayed an enthusiasm to harness new technology and provide the production teams with tools to enhance the way they engage audiences, and this determination and innovative thinking is why he’s thoroughly deserving of the Young Technologist award.”

The runner up and recipient of the Coffey Award for Excellence in Technology 2019 is Jake Brightman, Studios Technical Assistant at ITN. Jake became an apprentice at ITN in 2017 and went onto to secure a full-time role in ITN’s studios and technology department working across output for international clients including BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Discovery, NBC Universal and Netflix.

Netgem MD Sylvain Thevenot,added: “It was an honour to sponsor the RTS Young Technologist of the Year Award, and we were very impressed with the passion for TV and technical knowledge of the candidates. We are very supportive and grateful to the RTS for encouraging young talent in the UK TV industry.”

The Young Technologist Award was established by the RTS with funds received from the family of A.M. Beresford-Cooke – a distinguished engineer who contributed much to the development of British broadcasting technology through his work on towers and masts for VHF and UHF transmission. The aim of the award is to advance education in the science, practice, technology and art of television and its allied fields. The winner is awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to IBC in addition to an invitation to the RTS Cambridge Convention 2019, while the runner-up receives the Coffey Award and a technical book of choice.

The RTS Young Technologist of the Year Award 2019 will be presented to the winner at the RTS Craft & Design Awards, which will take place on Monday 25 November at the London Hilton on Park Lane.

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Silvergate Media drives growth with new IP, ‘Monkey with a Tool Belt’

 Silvergate Media has inked a deal with China-based Wanda Kidsland for its new educational animated television series, Monkey with a Tool Belt.  The new deal will see Wanda Kidsland manage TV distribution, tie-in publishing, consumer products and live-attractions for Monkey with a Tool Belt in China to firmly establish the brand in the market and build a fanbase for the series.

 The agreement further strengthens Silvergate’s presence in China and will build upon its existing partnership with Wanda which has delivered great success in the region for Octonauts -an IP that currently boasts more than 30 billion views on web TV in China.

 Monkey with a Tool Belt is a 40 x 11’ episode series for kids aged three to six years. The pre-school action comedy follows the fantastic adventures of monkey star Chico Bon Bon and his Fix-It Force. With the help of a fantastical tool belt, they solve engineering problems for the city of Blunderberg — and boy do they need the help! It’s bananas — engineering has never been so much fun!

Wanda Kidsland Group, CEO Gao Yimin said, “We are excited to expand our successful collaboration with Silvergate on this new entertaining and educational series. The opportunities that this IP will open up are boundless — we are delighted to be a partner on this fresh new brand.”

 The series represents another major opportunity for Silvergate in the Chinese market as its strong educational features and carefully curated Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) content is perfectly suited for Asian audiences. Wanda Kidsland is a leading producer of educational content in China and Monkey with a Toolbelt will fit seamlessly into the digital curriculum of Wanda Kidsland’s 100+ educational centres throughout China.

 “It is exciting to be able to build upon and extend our successful partnership with Wanda Kidsland with Monkey with a Tool Belt. We look forward to bringing this STEM-focused series to screens, Education Centres, and retail shelves with the help of the market leader in China and strong advocate for the very best in children’s entertainment,” said Silvergate Media EVP Commercial Ron Allen.

 Based on the best-selling book series by Chris Monroe, Monkey with a Tool Belt, is being brought to life by Silvergate Media and its EVP of Creative Kurt Mueller with an all-star team of creatives including Bob Boyle (Wow Wow Wubzy), Gabe Pulliman and Stephanie Simpson (Octonauts) and Michael Goldberg (Sesame Street).

Beyond the screen, numerous opportunities for publishing, toy and consumer products will be explored as the series perfectly lends itself to many fast-growing categories including role-play, vehicles, playsets and construction toys. The STEM aspects of the series will open up several exciting opportunities in a growing Chinese market with an appetite for age-appropriate and challenging educational content.

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Lyft – “Growth”

Activision and Infinity Ward to roll out new generation of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Activision and Infinity Ward will reveal a new generation of the multiplayer universe of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on  1 AugustRecently named Best Online Multiplayer by Game Critics Awards Best of E3 2019, Modern Warfare multiplayer delivers a game-changing online experience.

As players enlist in the heart-racing Modern Warfare story, multiplayer continues the experience as players head online into the ultimate playground for the global balance of power. Featuring unified progression across modes, Modern Warfare seeks to unite the community with plans to support cross-play across platforms and the removal of the traditional season pass in order to deliver a greater mix of more free maps, content and community events post-launch.

Moments ago, fans got the first glimpse of the game’s new 2 vs. 2 Gunfight mode, which is only a fraction of the full, online multiplayer experience in Modern Warfare. Shown live on Twitch, Gunfight delivers a new level of quick-action, close-quarters duo-based combat that is a blast to play and to watch.

Tune-in to official CallofDuty Twitch account for the full reveal of the Modern Warfare Multiplayer Universe and deep look at gameplay coming to fans at launch.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is scheduled for release globally  25 October on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

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Red Bull takes over Willis Tower for ‘Halo Rise Till Dawn Tournament’ this weekend

Red Bull is bringing back Red Bull Rise Till Dawn this weekend, for an epic Halo 3 tournament in partnership with 343 Industries’ HCS Grassroots program. 

From sundown to sunrise, 200 players will compete in a special dusk-till-dawn Halo 3 2v2 team tournament with the chance to win the grand prize of $10,000. Halo and esports fans can tune-in and catch the live action on both Mixer and Twitch on 13 July beginning at 9:30 pm ET / 6:30 pm PT.

Red Bull Rise Till Dawn returns to the top of Chicago’s famed Willis Tower and is bringing the heat this year with leading Halo commentators, including David “Walshy” Walsh, Tom “Tsquared” Taylor, Andy “Bravo” Dudynsky, Kyle “Elamite” Elam and Jon “Fallout” Kefaloukos. The Halo 3 2v2 team tournament, which will kick-off at sundown at 8:26 pm CT and continue until sunrise at 5:28 am CT. Teams will earn points for their match wins throughout the evening, with the team who earns the most by the end of the night will win the grand prize. 

To help bring Rise Till Dawn to life, HyperX and Alienware join the event as official partners. They will provide hardware for gameplay throughout Rise Till Dawn.

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The Colonie hires Ashley Lee to expand its design department capabilities

The Colonie has brought in motion designer and 3D artist Ashley Lee to its full-service editorial and post-production company’s staff.  Lee joins the motion design department’s growing talent roster, further expanding its formidable motion graphics design and animation offerings while taking its 3D capabilities to the next level.

Lee’s new position at The Colonie follows a two-year stint at We Are Unlimited. Her experience in animating and crafting motion design content tailored to a variety of online platforms for the company has enabled Lee to transition into her new position seamlessly.

She mentioned, “I really enjoy working as part of a team of multi-disciplined talent under one roof. The Colonie is an inspiring collaborative environment that gives me the opportunity to get a deep understanding of an editor’s creative vision during the conceptual stage of a project and follow a job right through delivery. As a designer, getting insights and feedback from a mix of perspectives is invaluable. Working here has been a great experience from day one.”

The Colonie’s motion-graphic department is home to a growing roster of innovative, experienced, and technically savvy designers, 3D artists and conceptual thinkers, skilled at creating content that optimizes the impact of social media, enhances broadcast spots, and efficiently adapts to multiple platforms.

Lee comes onboard on the heels of the appointment of creative director Jennifer Moody as head of the company’s motion graphic design division and the signing of Motion Graphics Designer Jeff Borowiak.

Commenting on this appointment, Moody said, “Lee’s fresh aesthetic sensibilities, strong 2D and 3D animation skills, and collaborative spirit make her a great fit with our team. Her experience and skill sets align with the expanding needs of the industry.  It’s exciting to see our clients’ demand for innovative design across multiple platforms grow along with our well-rounded roster of artists.”

Guided by Moody, Lee’s recently created a social media-package for Facebook, a multi-platform campaign for AT&T out of We Are Unlimited, as well as social media spots for Toyota Corolla and McDonald’s, both out of Burrell.  She has also worked on projects for Nissan, Chilly Cow, Colgate, Estee Lauder and led the 3D work on a video for Havas. The 2019 AICP Post Awards Show recently selected the submission of an ambitious concept and design developed by Borowiak for this year’s event. The company’s team of artists created over 100 graphic elements introducing segments for the show’s 33 post-production categories.

Executive Producer and partner Mary Caddy added, “The addition of Lee further enhances our capabilities and the skills we bring to creating concepts and executing designs that continue to attract brands and agencies that rely on The Colonie to maximize the effectiveness of social media as a marketing tool. While The Colonie’s roots are in creative editing, we’ve evolved into a full-service editorial, design, visual effects and finishing house that aligns with industry’s ever-changing needs. Clients appreciate the benefits of working with a company that provides editors and creatives with unfettered access to designers. Our goal is to keep raising the bar in terms of talent and creativity. The addition of Ashley does just that.

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Disney’s next live-action remake – ‘Pocahontas’

Seems like Disney can’t have enough of live-action remakes!

With The Lion King going to be released just round the corner on 19 July, as sources report, next up on the list of live-action remakes appears to be Pocahontas

The Academy Award-winning 1995 film is a special one on Disney timeline and was met with mixed reviews from critics and fans alike. While the animation and music was praised, many people raised eyebrows to the movie’s plot and racial overtones.

Hopefully, The House of Mouse will try to avoid these mistakes this time around. In an effort to avoid yet another casting controversy, Disney is already trying to find a Native American actress to star in the titular role. Much like the upcoming remake of Mulan. It remains to be seen what they intend to do away with the music, which is what made Pocahontas so memorable to begin with.

It’s also likely that Disney will try to be much more historically accurate in this re-imagining. The 1995 movie played very fast and loose with the facts, thereby drawing the ire of the community they were hoping to represent on-screen. The new Mulan is supposedly attempting to stick close to the real story as well, though China wholeheartedly disagrees.

The film is still is still in its nascent stage and details might not be revealed soon! Pocahontas is actually one of the few flicks that deserves another shot though. While there’s plenty to like about the original, there are also a lot of flaws that can hopefully be ironed out in a remake with help from the Native American community.

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