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Digital Media FX Newsletter
Vol. 1, No. 1 - March 15, 2001

Table of Contents:

(1) Welcome Message
(2) More Iron Giant Special Edition Information
(3) Charlie Brown and Snoopy Statue Unveiled
(4) Anime Theme Park Being Built in Japan
(5) Update on The Matrix Sequels
(6) Close Encounters with the Collector's DVD
(7) Exclusive Sneak Peek - Interview with Scott Christian Sava

Welcome Message
Welcome to the first issue of the Digital Media FX (dFX) newsletter, covering the world of animation and visual effects. This newsletter is published on the 1st and 15th of each month with original content, insider news, and sneak peeks at new dFX features.

There's a lot of material in this issue - everything from exclusive information on The Iron Giant Special Edition to a new anime theme park being built in Japan. So sit back, relax, and see what the power of imagination is bringing to life. -- Joe Tracy

More Iron Giant Special Edition Information
(digitalmediafx.com) On March 5, Digital Media FX broke news that The Iron Giant Special Edition DVD was being released this summer. Since breaking the news, we've acquired a few more details on the DVD. Before presenting those details, however, you should be provided with a glimpse on how the information is obtained and the reliability of such information.

Before publishing a story, we require a confirmation from at least two different reliable sources. In this case that means confirmations from two people connected directly (i.e. personnel assembling material for the DVD) or indirectly (i.e. personnel working on marketing details for the DVD) with The Iron Giant Special Edition DVD.

By applying this journalism standard, the information published is usually accurate and far more reliable than general "rumors" found online. However, until Warner Brothers publicly announces details, this information cannot be relied upon as absolute hard facts. This especially applies to release dates, which change often for DVDs. With that said, here is the latest information obtained on the special edition release:

1) The Iron Giant Special Edition DVD will be released in July or August of this year.

2) A commentary from Brad Bird will be on the DVD.

3) Deleted scenes (including one where the Giant has a dream giving a mysterious glimpse of his origins) will appear on the DVD.

4) There will be several outtakes included on the DVD.

5) There will be storyboards included on the DVD.

6) The few bonuses on the regular DVD will also appear on the special edition DVD.

7) Warner Bros. has already moved the DVD release date twice this year. July/August is the latest release deadline.

In other Iron Giant news, here are some interesting video stats:

1) To date, there have been over 3 million copies of The Iron Giant sold, which is decent for an animated movie on video. Let's see, 3 million times $19.95. nearly $60 million. Then, of course, there are the costs, store percentages, etc. But still, that's a fairly good amount and much more than the movie made in theaters.

2) On May 1, the price of The Iron Giant video will be dropped to $14.95.

Stay tuned to Digital Media FX for further details on The Iron Giant as they occur.

Charlie Brown and Snoopy Statue Unveiled
(digitalmediafx.com) On March 3, the City of Santa Rosa unveiled a $270,000 4-foot high statue of Charlie Brown with his arm around Snoopy. It is located in Depot Park on Santa Rosa's historic Railroad Square.

More than 550 donors from across the United States and Japan contributed to the sculpture to honor Charles M. Schulz. The City of Santa Rosa, the Cultural Arts Council of Sonoma County and the Sonoma County Community Foundation joined together to raise funds for the bronze statue, a project that had been in the works before Schulz's death last February.

More than $260,000 of the $270,000 needed was raised. Donors giving over $10,000 were given a miniature replica of the statue.

Santa Rosa Mayor Mike Martini welcomed the assembled group of dignitaries, including sculptor Stan Pawlowski, Schulz family members, city and county officials and Peanuts fans from around the world. Snoopy was also in attendance.

The plaque under the statue reads, "In celebration of the life and works of Charles M. Schulz, from the people of Santa Rosa and his fans across the world."

The statue was in the works a year before the death of Schulz. Originally, the project committee wanted the statue to be of Schulz, however he refused saying he would only approve the project if it was of his characters. After presenting Schulz with the Charlie Brown and Snoopy concept, the project was approved.

Anime Theme Park Being Built in Japan
(digitalmediafx.com) Anime fans will soon be able to take their passion to new heights when "Japan Fantasy World," a new anime theme park, opens in 2005. Construction is expected to begin later this year on Japan Fantasy Word in Yokahama, Japan. Twelve companies, most with anime connections, are involved in the park concept, planning, and design. The companies are contributing a total of $30 billion yen to the park. The shops, restaurants, attractions, and rides will all be anime themed. Nihon Animation and Bandai are two of the 12 companies investing in the park.

The MatrixUpdate on The Matrix Sequels
(digitalmediafx.com) The Matrix 2 and 3 are set to begin simultaneous filming at the end of this month. Set designs in San Francisco, where filming will begin, are almost complete. In addition, a local casting agency in San Francisco, Beau Bonneau Casting, is actively recruiting extras for the movie (at the time of this writing). In addition to recruiting Agent Smth look-alikes, Beau Bonneau is also looking for good drivers with neutral colored cars and athletic built people with tattoos. If you fit into any of these categories and live near San Francisco then click here for full casting details. You will be required to work long hours, at low pay, for the six weeks of filming.

In other Matrix news, Carrie-Ann Moss, who plays Trinity, has just completed six months of intensive martial arts training for the movies. Moss and the other cast will be on location in San Francisco for nearly four months of filming before heading to Australia where filming will continue for up to 14 months at FOX Studios. FOX Studios Australia is located in Sydney.

The Matrix has a lot to lose if a planned Hollywood actors strike takes place this summer. The costly strike will inflate the budget for The Matrix sequels, set filming back by several months, and delay the release of the movies for a year or more. A Hollywood actor and writer strike will begin in June unless studios meet union demands for higher pay and other benefits. The potential strike has already caused numerous Hollywood productions, including Batman: Year One to be put on hold.

Close Encounters with the Collector's DVD
(digitalmediafx.com) On May 29, Steven Spielberg will release a special DVD Collector's Edition of the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. In many ways the DVD will mimic the special laser disc edition that was released in 1998. It will include a 100-minute documentary and nearly a dozen deleted scenes. The suggested retail price will be $27.95.

Blue Dream StudiosExclusive Sneak Peek - Interview with Scott Christian Sava
On Friday, Digital Media FX will publish an interview with Scott Christian Sava, founder of Blue Dream Studios, a new Hollywood FX company. The interview also contains the first public information on Blue Dream Studios original animated production, "The Lab."

As a reader of the Digital Media FX newsletter, you can take an early look at the interview by clicking here.

Thank you for being a part of the Digital Media FX team through your daily visits to www.digitalmediafx.com. I hope that you've enjoyed this first edition of the Digital Media FX newsletter and I look forward to providing you with continued coverage of the animation and visual effects industries.

Best Wishes,

Joe Tracy, Publisher
Digital Media FX - The Power of Imagination

If you are not currently a subscriber to the Digital Media FX newsletter, then click here for your free subscription which is delivered on the 1st and 15th of every month.

All stories in this newsletter are ©Copyright 2001 by Joe Tracy / Digital Media FX and may not be reprinted in any form without the expressed written consent of Joe Tracy. To request such consent, click here, and provide details of which article you wish to republish and the Website location where it will be published. You will receive a response within 48 hours with whether your request has been accepted and, if so, the proper credit wording that must appear with the article.

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