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6 items from 2016


Hologram Specialist Pulse Receives $10 Million Investment From Chinese Companies (Exclusive)

5 February 2016 8:00 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Pulse Evolution, a specialist in creating holograms, has received a $10 million investment from Chinese companies Original Force Computer Animation Co. and Shanghai U9 Game Co., Variety has learned exclusively.

The companies have bought $10 million in Pulse common stock at a valuation of $1 per share. Both Original Force and U9 Game are backed by Chinese digital-entertainment giant Tencent Holding Limited.

Pulse Evolution’s principals gained notice for their computer-generated animation of Tupac Shakur, projected in holographic form at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music Festival. In 2014 they launched Pulse with the production of a “virtual” Michael Jackson at the Billboard Music Awards.

“We are certainly pleased to have the support of Original Force and its chairman, Harley Zhao,” said John Textor, executive chairman of Pulse. “We have great respect for their commitment to story-based content, and we share a belief that the greatest of stories deserve the very best in visual imagery.”

Textor »

- Dave McNary

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Jim Gaffigan, Carl Reiner Join ‘Duck Duck Goose’ Animated Movie

2 February 2016 4:33 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Jim Gaffigan and Carl Reiner have joined the voice cast of China-based Original Force Animation’s animated feature “Duck Duck Goose.”

Gaffigan will voice a goose who rescues two ducklings from an eccentric cat. Reiner will voice a wise turtle. The cast includes Stephen Fry, Jennifer GreyMolly Shannon, Diedrich Bader and Rick Overton.

Duck Duck Goose” is the first of three feature animated films currently in production at Original Force Animation. The company opened a Los Angeles-based production and development office in August, led by Penny Finkelman Cox and Sandra Rabins.

The film is directed by Christopher Jenkins (“Home”) from a screenplay he co-wrote with Rob Muir. Jenkins previously collaborated with Finkelman Cox and Rabins on “Surf’s Up” when the two execs launched Sony Pictures Animation.

Rabins and Finkelman Cox are producing the feature along with Viola Chen.

The story will center on Gaffigan’s character, Peng, being »

- Dave McNary

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Us Briefs: Lauren Russell earns StarStream stripes

2 February 2016 3:23 PM, PST | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Plus: FilmBuff acquires world on ‘Who’s Driving Doug’; and more…StarStream has promoted Lauren Russell to vp of production and development. Russell was a key figure in bringing three productions to Sundance: Jeff Beana’s Joshy (pictured), Kevin Smith’s Yoga Hosers and Frankie Shaw’s short film Too Legit.

FilmBuff has picked up worldwide rights to David Michael Conley’s Who’s Driving Doug that will premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 5 ahead of launch in select theatres and VOD on February 26. Rj Mitte of Breaking Bad, Pamela Kwiatkowski of Bates Motel and Ray William Johnson of The Equals Three Show star. Jake Hanley of FilmBuff negotiated the deal with Nicola Carbonetta and David Katz.

Jim Gaffigan has been cast in one of the lead roles of Original Force Animation’s first feature Duck Duck Goose alongside Carl Reiner and the previously announced cast of Stephen Fry, Zendaya, [link »

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Jim Gaffigan, Carl Reiner Join Voice Cast of Animated Movie ‘Duck Duck Goose’

2 February 2016 11:33 AM, PST | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Jim Gaffigan and comedy legend Carl Reiner have joined the voice cast of Original Force Animation’s first animated feature “Duck Duck Goose,” while Mark Isham has come on to compose the score, it was announced Tuesday by the company’s co-presidents Sandra Rabins and Penney Finkelman Cox. Gaffigan will voice one of the leads, a rebellious yet lovable goose named Peng, who rescues two young ducklings, Chi and Chao (Zendaya and Lance Lim), from an eccentric but deadly cat named Banzou (Greg Proops). Reiner will voice a wise turtle named Larry. The cast also includes Stephen Fry, Jennifer Grey, »

- Jeff Sneider

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Abe Vigoda: 13 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Godfather,’ ‘Barney Miller’ Actor

26 January 2016 8:49 PM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Before there was Tessio, before there was Fish, Abe Vigoda made his name on the stage.

In the 1950s and ‘60s, the actor who died Tuesday at 94 did everything from Shakespeare to musical comedies, from Broadway to Baltimore, from New Haven to San Francisco. His movie career took off after “The Godfather” in 1972, but he was still playing heavies on “Hawaii Five-0” and “The Rockford Files” after the first “Barney Miller” pilot aired in 1974.

Vigoda was such a fan favorite as “Barney Miller’s” Det. Fish that producers quickly ginned up a spinoff after the show’s first season. But behind the scenes, Vigoda and producers tussled publicly over money matters, a spat that played out in the pages of Variety like so many salary fights before and since.

Here are 13 things you didn’t know about Abe Vigoda:

Vigoda’s first appearance in Variety came in the April 26, 1950, weekly edition, »

- Cynthia Littleton

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‘Big Fish’ Writer John August Honored by Writers Guild

7 January 2016 11:22 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Screenwriter John August (“Big Fish,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”) has been named the recipient of the Writers Guild of America West’s Valentine Davies Award.

The honor has been given in recognition of his humanitarian efforts, civic service and his role in fostering a community of writers. August will be honored at the Writers Guild Awards West Coast ceremony on Feb. 13 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles.

“John is the writer we’d all want to be: wildly intelligent, deeply practical, effortlessly inventive, and generous to a fault,” said WGA West President Howard A. Rodman.

“Whether he’s creating apps, campaigning for marriage equality, mentoring younger writers, podcasting with Craig Mazin, sitting on our Negotiating Committee, or constructing a school in Malawi, John has made service to the larger community a part of his second nature. Protip: when you find yourself in difficult straits, ask yourself ‘What would John August do? »

- Dave McNary

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6 items from 2016


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