(Source: HollywoodRepoorter.com) After two hit “Robot Chicken” parodies of “Star Wars,” “Chicken” masterminds Seth Green and Matthew Senreich get to do the real thing.

Lucasfilm Animation on Monday announced it is developing a new animated “Star Wars” series that will take a comedic and irreverent look at the characters from the sci-fi franchise and feature creative involvement from Green and Senreich as well as writing from Brendan Hay (“The Daily Show”).

Jennifer Hill (“The Backyardigans”) will produce, with Todd Grimes (“Back at the Barnyard”) on board to direct.



For Ricky Gervais, 2010 may as well be dubbed “The Year of Animation.” In addition to his new animated HBO series, The Ricky Gervais Show, which is set to debut on Feb. 19, he’s working on turning a series of hit children’s books into a 3D animated film.

Gervais, who’s joining forces with Simpsons writer Matt Selman for the project, is preparing his popular book series, Flanimals, for the silver screen. The star? A crew of 50 species of creatures that are ugly-yet-endearing. The premise? Gervais’ character, a particularly purple, perspiring, blobby being, sets off on a mission to change the world. For the literary versions, Gervais penned the organism’s adventures, and illustrator Rob Steen provided the visuals. In the upcoming film, Selman serves as writer.



(Source: telegraph.co.uk) Animation in the country “is at a tipping point: it either survives or dies”, industry leaders wrote in a joint letter to The Daily Telegraph.

Shows such as Wallace & Gromit, Bob the Builder and Noddy have made England “a recognised centre for animation”, they said.

But they forecast: “Within a matter of years, we will not be producing any such fantastic properties as a result of tax breaks and government incentives in other countries.”

They are calling on the Government to extend the Film Tax Credit to animation companies working on television programmes so that they have a “level playing field” with those in countries like Ireland, France and Canada.



(Source: latimes.com) The Walt Disney Co. said Wednesday that it would build a 56-acre production facility in northern Los Angeles County, casting a ray of light on an otherwise gloomy film economy that has hemorrhaged thousands of jobs in the last decade.

The Burbank company said the proposed Disney/ABC Studios at the Ranch would occupy a corner of the Golden Oak Ranch, a sprawling 890-acre parcel off California 14 that has been the setting of such classic films as “Old Yeller.” Plans call for 12 soundstages, production offices, a commissary and other facilities that could be used for film, television, commercial and new media projects.



(Source: c21media.net) Sesame Workshop is giving its Muppets a CGI makeover as well as unveiling a new slate of projects launching in October.

Abby Cadabby, the fairy in training who has appeared in Sesame Street, is getting her own show and 3D animated look in Abby’s Flying Fairy School.

The characters in the nine-minute CGI-animation series were designed by Peter De S\ufffdve, character designer for the Ice Age movie franchise.

Elsewhere in Munchin Possible (26×5′) to save the cookies of the world from Cookie Monster’s voracious appetite, The Man, a gingerbread cookie who heads up the CIA (Cookie Intelligence Agency) sends the blue monster out on location to discover healthy alternatives.



(Source: examiner.com) Lucas wants to film the live action series covering the “dark times” period of Star Wars lore between Episode 3 and Episode 4, in Prague, the capitol of the Czech Republic. He hopes to get a tax break from the government there. The series is intended to elaborate on the rebellion against the Empire whose head is Palpatine, a Sith Lord, (the Jedi’s greatest enemy, an anti-Jedi), but supposedly will not feature either the emperor or Darth Vader. However, there is always the possibility the series will focus on Vader’s hunt for the remaining Jedi that survived the purge in Revenge of the Sith. In any case, the primary characters will not be Jedi but ordinary beings from the Star Wars universe whose roles are usually overshadowed by the pivotal Jedi characters in all of the six movies.

(Source: LATimes) California’s share of U.S. feature film production dropped to 31% in 2008 from 66% in 2003, according to the California Film Commission. That largely reflects a falloff in the Los Angeles area, where feature filming activity in 2008 was nearly half what it was at its peak in 1996.

Television production, which recently has been a more reliable source of jobs in the region, is also declining. A recent survey from FilmL.A. Inc. found that 44 of 103 TV pilots this year were shot in such disparate locations as Canada, Illinois, Georgia, New York, Louisiana and New Mexico.



(Source: news.awn.com) Lucasfilm Ltd. and G4 are joining forces for a milestone in San Diego Comic-Con’s 40-year history — the first-ever, exclusive television broadcast of a presentation from pop culture convention. The Star Wars Spectacular! will air Saturday July 25th at 2:00 pm ET/PT only on G4, and will feature never-before-seen footage, breaking news, surprise announcements, guest stars and more. In addition, G4 will present three hours of live coverage from the Comic-Con floor, beginning at 4:00 pm ET/PT.



(vfxworld.com)    Tony Stark upped the ante for superheroes everywhere, and the digital wizards at Gentle Giant are the ones responsible for bringing him to life. This episode begins with a trip to their studios, where Williams gets scanned and made into an action figure by the same minds that helped bring “Iron Man” to life. Then, it’s off to Zoic Studios, who create vampire effects for HBO’s hit TV series “True Blood,” for a demonstration in how they use actual rattlesnakes as models for their digital fang work on the series. Finally, Nar and a karate sensei use science to examine the veracity of Peter Parker’s punch from “Spider-Man.”



(Source: blogs.discovermagazine.com) What’s not to like about watching mega-geeks create  effects for the coolest movies on earth? Very little—which leads one to wonder why producers didn’t think of it before. Oh wait…they did.But there’s plenty of room for a condensed run-through of all the latest technology, from motion capture to the ever-ubiquitous CGI. Which is reason enough to like the Science Channel’s Science of the Movies series,  premiering Tuesday, May 26. Hosted by AchieveNerdvana.com blogger and Geekscape columnist Nar Williams, it’s six episodes on the behind-the-scenes geekosity that’s responsible for everything from Terminator 3 to The Fast and the Furious to Dexter to, yes, Star Wars.

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