The FCC has fined RadioShack and other stores for willfully failing to label television sets that don’t have digital tuners and warn customers that 2009 is the cutoff for televisions that will need a converter box to watch digital-only signals when the technology changes.

As of May 25, according to FCC rules, sets without digital tuners must be clearly marked, either on the set or in close proximity, with the warning that the sets will not receive over-the-air broadcasts after February 2009 unless equipped with converter boxes.

Yesterday, police arrested a 24-year-old man from the Northeast English city of Middlesbrough on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and copyright infringement. The chap is the mastermind behind BitTorrent music file-sharing website, which has an estimated 180,000 paid members.

Those members received this chilling message as of this morning: “This site has been closed as a result of a criminal investigation by International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, British Phonographic Industry, Cleveland [U.K.] police and the Fiscal Investigation Unit of the Dutch police, into suspected illegal music distribution. A criminal investigation continues into the identities and activities of the site’s users.”

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This is awesome. But it reminds me heavily of a ‘CG Training’ movie called Hellweek which is a classic. I don’t think I’ve posted Hellweek here before, so I’ll do so shortly.

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Just in time for Halloween, Peur(s) du Noir (Fear[s] of the Dark) is a collective animation film featuring the work of six top comic book and graphic art talents. The film focuses on childhood nightmares and ‘talents’. The project is being defined as “intertwined stories that make up an unprecedented epic where phobias, disgust and nightmares come to life and reveal fear at its most naked and intense.”

The six episodes are designed by Strasbourg-born Blutch (Christian Hincker) whose career began in 1998 with a Fluide Glacial publication; Paris-based Lorenzo Mattotti – a prolific comic book artist, painter and illustrator whose film experience includes creating links between the trio of films in the 2004 film Eros; and award-winning American illustrator Charles Burns; French illustrator Marie Caillou who is active both in Europe and Japan; American illustrator Richard McGuire who has, among other works, illustrated covers of The New Yorker magazine; and Pierre Di Sciullo – known for his graphic ‘urban poetry’ style.

VFX Wiz Richard Edlund, ASC will receive the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Presidents Award in recognition of his filmmaking contributions during the 22nd Annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards celebration at the Hollywood & Highland Grand Ballroom on Jan. 26, 2008.

Edlund has earned four Academy Awards for his visual effects work on Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and Return of the Jedi (1984), and six additional nominations for Poltergeist, 2010, Ghostbusters, Poltergeist II: The Other Side, Die Hard and Alien 3. He has also earned three Scientific and Engineering Awards. Earlier this year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented the coveted John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation to Edlund in recognition of his significant contributions to the Academy.

This weekend, fans of The Nightmare Before Christmas who returned to IMAX to see the movie in Disney Digital 3-D got a first peek at the teaser trailer for the New Line summer 2008 release, Journey 3-D.

In this update of Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth, Brendan Fraser plays a geologist who, with his teenage son, discovers a message hidden in an ancient artifact, leading them into a previously unseen world. Journey 3-D was shot in live action, with the otherworldly landscapes and creatures supplied by high-definition, photo-real 3-D technology.

(Source:         This year’s rerelease was kicked off with a special event at the El Capitan: director Henry Selick and co-producer Kathleen Gavin participated in a chat with Don Hahn, producer of some of Disney’s modern animation classics. While they were talking about the making of the film – budgeted at a scant 18 million dollars – animator Mike Belzer stood to the side with a naked stop motion armature. His mission: animate something before a live audience. It was a smashing success as the armature did a graceful dance move on the screen, although perfectionist Belzer asked Selick not to judge him too harshly.

Early pre-production work seems to have begun at Pixar on  John Carter Of Mars as last week saw the guys working on the movie travel to Edgar Rice Burroughs archives in the ERB, Inc. offices on Ventura Blvd hunting out various artwork and books to stimulate and research ideas for their film.

That creative team is said to have included Pixar Vice President Jim Morris along with:

director: Andrew Stanton – (A BUG’S LIFE, FINDING NEMO, upcoming WALL-E)
writer: Mark Sanders (story supervisor on RATATOUILLE, THE INCREDIBLES)

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