Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Hotel Transylvania 2 Home Video Details

Arriving on Digital HD Dec. 22 in time for the Holidays!
On Blu-ray 3D™ Combo Pack, Blu-ray™ Combo Pack & DVD Jan. 12

Special Features Include Fifth Harmony Music Video, Sing-Along Scary-oke, Deleted Scenes, and more
Culver City, Calif. (Nov. 16, 2015) – Sony Pictures Animation’s monster family box-office hit HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2, which grossed more than $430 million in theaters worldwide to date, will debut on Digital HD Dec. 22, just in time for holiday viewing and on Blu-ray 3D™ Combo Pack, Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD on Jan. 12 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The Hotel Transylvania sequel reunites ‘Drac’s Pack’ of loveable characters, led by “Vampa” Drac (Adam Sandler, Grown-Ups) as they try to put Mavis (Selena Gomez, Spring Breakers) and Johnny’s (Andy Samberg, TV’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) son Dennis through a “monster-in-training” boot camp to bring out his vampire side. But little do they know that Drac’s grumpy and very old, old, old school dad Vlad (comedy legend Mel Brooks) is about to pay the family a visit to the hotel.  And when Vlad finds out that his great-grandson is not a pure blood and humans are now welcome at Hotel Transylvania, it doesn’t take long for things to get batty!

The record-breaking film, which scored the best September opening of all-time previously held by the original Hotel Transylvania and was the #1 family film internationally for eight consecutive weeks, also features Kevin James (Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2), David Spade (TV’s “Rules of Engagement”), Steve Buscemi (TV’s “Boardwalk Empire”), Keegan-Michael Key (TV’s “Key and Peele”), Molly Shannon (TV’s “Saturday Night Live”) and Fran Drescher (TV’s “The Nanny”). HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 marks the return of 3-time Primetime Emmy winning director Genndy Tartakovsky (Star Wars: Clone Wars), along with producer Michelle Murdocca (Hotel Transylvania). The screenplay is by Adam Sandler and Robert Smigel (TV’s “SNL”).

The Blu-ray combo pack and DVD are full of extras, including Fifth Harmony’s “I’m in Love With a Monster” music video, a character sketch gallery, an inside look at how the filmmakers and animators created Hotel Transylvania 2 and director commentary with Genndy Tartakovsky. Exclusive to the Blu-ray are interactive featurettes on how to throw the ultimate monster party and draw your favorite characters from the film, a special Monster Scary-oke, which gives viewers the chance to sing along with Dennisovitch to spooky versions of three classic songs, must-see deleted scenes and much more.

Synopsis:  In this all-new monster comedy adventure, everything seems to be changing for the better at Hotel Transylvania! However, Drac is worried that his adorable half-human, half-vampire grandson, Dennis, isn’t showing signs of being a vampire. So while Mavis is on vacation, things get batty as Drac enlists his monster friends Frank, Murray, Wayne and Griffin to put Dennis through a “monster-in-training” boot camp!

DVD Special Features (also on Blu-ray & Digital*)
  • Fifth Harmony Music Video: “I’m In Love With A Monster”
  • Character Sketch Gallery
  • Feature Commentary with Adam Sandler, Robert Smigel and Allen Covert
  • Feature Commentary with Director Genndy Tartakovsky

Blu-ray & Digital Exclusives*
All DVD Bonus Features Plus…
  • Sing Along with Monster Scary-Oke!
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Make the Scary, Silly Sounds of Hotel Transylvania 2
  • How to Throw The Ultimate Monster Party
  • How to Draw Your Favorite Characters
  • The New Guys: Meet Vlad, Dennis, Kakie and More!

* Digital Extras only available with iTunes Extras and Vudu Extras+

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 has a running time of 89 minutes and is rated PG for some scary images, action and rude humor.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Get Your Story Animated



“COG” Will Include New Works By & Interviews With National Figures,
Writers And Other Notables

Cogswell is a Top Digital Arts School in San Jose

San Jose, CA, November 10, 2015 – Cogswell College, an historic, 600-student educational institution offering a unique curriculum fusing Digital Art, Engineering and Entrepreneurship, has announced the launch of “COG”-- a multimedia publication launched yesterday by noted writer and Cogswell Professor Soma Mei Sheng Frazier and the students who comprise her English 299STHA publishing course. Please see: www.cogzine.com

Frazier and her class have created an “All-Star Literary Lineup” that will be featured within Issue 1 of COG. Artist Ajuan Mance, whose “1001 Black Men” series has earned attention, is creating the Issue 1 cover, which will depict a figure drawing with cogs integrated within.

Highlights will include:

** The announcement of the “COG: Page to Screen Awards,” a global literary competition open to everyone and adjudicated in 2015-16 by Daniel Handler, author of the Lemony Snicket book series. The winning piece from each year's competition will be adapted as a short animated film, 2D animation, graphic novel or interpretive illustration series by Cogswell College’s Digital Art & Animation students. Says Handler, “A literary contest is like a full moon.  It casts a striking and comforting glow across the bleak sky, and turns a small number of people into werewolves.”

** The announcement of the “COG: Poetry Awards,” a global poetry competition judged in 2015-16 by celebrated poet A. Van Jordan. The winning poetry set will also be adapted as visual art by Cogswell’s Digital Art & Animation students.

** Brief text interviews with literary luminary Gish Jen, and with NPR/PRI’s “Snap Judgment” radio show host Glynn Washington, along with Cogswell’s Academic Dean and Director of Game Design & Development, Jerome Solomon.

** New work by award-winning poet Arisa White, who has been featured on rap star Jay-Z’s website; HBO “Def Poetry Jam” veteran Paul S. Flores; celebrated fiction writer Molly Giles; author and performance artist Opal Palmer Adisa; rising musical group Antique Naked Soul; author/editor Ron Austin; “Rad Dad” creator Tomas Moniz, and others.

** The first issue of COG will also premiere “Cogitate,” an original audio broadcast formatted similarly to NPR’s “Snap Judgment” and “This American Life” radio programs.

At present, plans are underway for three online issues, and one print issue, per year for COG. Frazier and her students are also planning various promotional events on behalf of COG, including an on-campus speaking event with Dan Handler/Lemony Snicket that will be open to 50-80 local residents, and readings and performances by the publication's high-caliber contributors and supporters, in 2016.

“We are delighted to be launching COG,” said Dr. Deborah Snyder, President, Cogswell College. “Our goal with COG is to increase our school’s visibility on a national level. Those of our students who work on the creation of COG will also be enhancing their resumes and job prospects by enabling them to staff a soon-to-be nationally known publication. Professor Soma Frazier, who is leading this effort, is a gifted writer. An award-winning author and active member of the literary community, she is the perfect person to be helming the launch of COG!”

Adds Frazier, “I developed COG with a dual purpose: First, to offer audiences a fresh, unique and carefully curated publication, and secondly, to give my students a hands-on, multimedia publishing experience. We will strive to make COG as credible as ‘ZYZZYVA,’ 'Glimmer Train' or ‘Ploughshares,’ with the added digital art component that is our students' sweet spot. I look forward to the day COG is recognized by art and literature lovers everywhere, as well as ‘Poets & Writers,’ ‘AWP,’ and other similar outlets.”  

She adds, “The first thing I asked our student staff as we were conceiving COG was, ‘What do Lemony Snicket, NPR/PRI’s Glynn Washington, Gish Jen, Molly Giles, Paul S.Flores, Opal Palmer Adisa, Antique Naked Soul, Arisa White, Tomas Moniz, Ron Austin, and other stellar artists, musicians, and writers all have in common?’ It was the first day of our Fall 2015 class. They stared blankly until I answered with: ‘The first Issue of Cog.’ My next question to the class was: ‘How will we top that all-star lineup in Issue Two?’ Stay tuned to COG for the answer...”


Soma Mei Sheng Frazier serves as Assistant Professor and Chair, English and the Humanities, at San Jose’s Cogswell College. Her book Collateral Damage: A Triptych earned praise from Nikki Giovanni, Daniel Handler, author of the Lemony Snicket book series, Antonya Nelson, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, and others. Frazier's second book is forthcoming in 2016 from Nomadic press, along with scheduled to appear in “ZYZZYVA” and “Glimmer Train,” as she completes a novel and screenplay.
A native of rural New Hampshire, Frazier supplemented a basic public school education with whatever additional opportunities her mother’s income – or her own resourcefulness – could afford. These included her attending Odyssey of the Mind, the St. Paul’s School Advanced Studies Program, the Governor’s Mentorship Program, and a Creative Writing course that she “finagled her way into” auditing at Dartmouth College while still in high school.
After graduating high school, Frazier attended Middlebury’s intensive summer immersion program in Japanese. She later earned a B.A. in Asian Studies from Pomona College, and an M.F.A. in Writing at Sarah Lawrence College. She has taught in prisons and schools alike.


Designed as a “fiercely collaborative, living laboratory,” Cogswell College is located in the heart of the legendary Silicon Valley in San Jose, California. The school is a WASC accredited, four-year institution of higher education with a specialized curriculum that fuses digital arts, audio technology, game design, engineering and entrepreneurship. In 2015, Cogswell was cited by Animation Career Review as “One of the Top 50 Private Game Design Schools and Colleges in the U.S.”

Numerous alumni of Cogswell College have secured prominent positions within the entertainment, videogame, technology, computer, animation, and motion graphics industries throughout California and beyond. Several of these alumni have established careers with such high profile companies as Activision, DreamWorks Animation, Disney, Electronic Arts, Pixar, and Microsoft Game Studio. Many other alumni have launched their own creative ventures.

Recent Cogswell alumni were members of the Academy Award-winning production teams that worked on the blockbuster films “Frozen” and “Life of Pi.” Some of the other well-known consumer projects to which Cogswell alumni have contributed include the feature films “Big Hero 6” and “The Avengers,” and the popular videogames “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare,” “Halo 4” and “Battlefield Hardline.”    

Cogswell College is located at 191 Baypointe Parkway, San Jose, California, 95134. For more information, please call 1-800-264-7955 or visit  http://www.cogswell.edu

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Disney - Pixar's INSIDE OUT Home Release

Disney - Pixar’s INSIDE OUT

On Blu-ray® 3D, Blu-ray® Combo Pack and On Demand this Tuesday, November 3rd

Images Now Available
And includes an extensive line-up of bonus features as well as the all-new animated short “Riley’s First Date?" Now Available:
Do you ever look at someone and wonder what’s going on inside their head? Disney-Pixar’s “Inside Out” takes an exciting and hilarious journey into the mind to find the answer. Based in Headquarters, the control center of 11-year-old Riley’s mind, five emotions are hard at work, led by lighthearted optimist Joy. She strives to make sure Riley stays happy as she operates alongside fellow emotions Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. It’s “an instant classic,” raves Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times. Experience it like never before on Disney Blu-ray!
INSIDE OUT releases on Blu-ray 3D™, Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and On Demand November 3
(Already been available on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere since October 13)
And includes an extensive line-up of bonus features as well as two all-new animated short “Riley’s First Date?

Here's a couple other fun Inside Out videos:

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

First Place VIEW Award for 2015


Turin, Italy, October 26, 2015 – The First Place VIEW Award for 2015 was awarded to “Shift,” a CG film directed by Maria Cecilia Pugliesi and Yijun Liu, of the School of Visual Arts, New York. The awards event was held late last week in Turin, Italy.

The members of the jury unanimously agreed that this was the strongest film in the competition. They particularly praised the director’s attention to lighting and composition. It is a memorable film with an exciting, unique look for a CG film.

The Second Place VIEW Award for 2015 went to “Phantom Power” submitted by Sam Bourner.

The jury selected this film for its high concept design, character design, strong animation and story, and the beautiful pacing.

Honorable VIEW Award Mentions to:
** “Dawit” submitted by Fabian Driehort
** “The Story of Percival Pilts” from Yummy Films submitted by Francois Heiser
** “Olilo” submitted by Ao Li

The jury honored these three films for their innovative design and technique and to encourage these filmmakers to continue their outstanding work.
MARK OSBORNE - Director, “The Little Prince”
KIM WHITE,  Director of Photography,  Pixar Animation Studios
JORGE R. GUTIERREZ, Director, “The Book of Life”
SHANNON TINDLE,  Director, Google Spotlight Story: “On Ice”
MARIA ELENA GUTIÉRREZ,  Director, VIEW Conference & VIEW Fest

The Prize for First Place was 2000 Euros.
The Prize for Second Place was a Wacom Tablet.                                               
Honorable mentions received Gift Certificates.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

News from VIEW 2015


Turin, Italy, October 7, 2015 – VIEW 2015 has added a special Celebration of Laika’s 10th Anniversary, and also several special presentations about the Future of Videogames, and the making of “Everest,” to this year’s extraordinary gathering of talent. “This year’s VIEW Conference will be, without question, the best one we’ve ever presented!” says Professor Maria Elena Gutierrez, Executive Director. “I can’t wait for this year’s conference to begin.” VIEW 2015 takes place in beautiful Torino, Italy October 19 to 23. To register, and for more information, visit: www.viewconference.it
Among its dozens of outstanding presentations, VIEW 2015 will host a special 10- Year Anniversary Presentation by stop-motion animated specialists Laika. Visual effects supervisor Steven Emerson will present the world of big visual effects inside the tiny world of Laika, and will screen the Laika hit films “Coraline” and “Paranorman.”
VIEW is also hosting various sessions on the Future of Videogames:
** “Let’s Play Together: The Culture of Multiplayer in Videogames” & “Message In A Bottle: The Story of Telling Stories in Videogames”:
Led by Marco Mazzaglia, IT Manager/Videogame Evangelist with Ovosonico, the “Let’s Play Together” workshop will discuss how Massively Multiplayer Online games like “World Of Warcraft” are only the final step of different ways of playing with other people. The goal of the workshop is to teach different ways of “playing together,” not only bounded to usual controller devices like keyboard/mouse/joypad, in order to enable attendees to start making their own best multiplayer game.
In his talk “The Story of Telling Stories in Videogames,” Mazzaglia will discuss how sometimes technology evolves faster than human creativity and how technology offers tools that wait to be used to tell stories or “send messages” to people in most disparate ways. Videogames are now one of the mediums that follow this rule. What are these tools and these techniques today? What “powers” do users have to tell their own stories? This session presents a journey through history and technology that will allow audience members to experience the new “alphabet of the future.”
** Additional Videogame themed presentations will include those from Harvey Parker and Scott Harber of Natural Motion Games talking about the new “CSR2” autoracing game, Oscar Nominee Henry Labounta & Chief Visual Officer at Zynga, and Art Director Ben Brundenell, who creates the “Dawn of Titans” game
Recapping the remakable Highlights of VIEW 2015:
** World premiere presentations of “The Little Prince,” “The Peanuts Movie,” and “Kung Fu Panda III”
** Visual Effects Supervisor Dadi Einarsson takes a look at “Everest” 
** A 40-year anniversary tribute to ILM with Oscar nominated visual effects supervisors Ben Snow and Tim Alexander, and a look at the making of “Jurassic World,” the number three box office leader of all time, with ILM’s Glen McIntosh, Animation Supervisor, and Tim Alexander, ILM’s Visual Effects Supervisor
** A panel of powerful “Women in Animation,” featuring Producer Jinko Gotoh, Pixar’s Kim White, SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival Director Mikki Rose, SCAD Professor Deborah Fowler, and Producer Eleanor Coleman.
** Animation Film Directors’ Panel with Mark Osborne (“The Little Prince,”) Jorge R. Gutierrez (“The Book of Life,”) Kris Pearn (“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2,”) Richard Starzak (“Shaun the Sheep Movie,”) and Shannon Tindle (“On Ice”)
** Aardman’s creative director Richard Starzak and producer Paul Kewley present “Shaun the Sheep Movie”
** Michael Kurinsky explores “Hotel Transylvania 2”
** Keynote speaker director Jorge Gutierrez journeys through his life of storytelling with pictures. Keynote speaker Shannon Tindle shares his adventures making a Google Spotlight Story. Oscar winner Glenn Entis recounts the spirit and stories of PDI.
** Director of Photography Kim White illuminates Joy, the main character in Pixar’s “Inside Out”
** Presentation of “The Peanuts Movie” with Supervising Animator Scott Carroll
** Keynote Speaker Randy Thom, Director of Sound Design at Skywalker Sound and two-time Oscar winner, presents “Teaching the Camera to Listen: From Apocalypse Now to The Peanuts Movie”
** A look at “Home” with Jason Reisig, Head of Character Animation at DreamWorks Animation
** “Pixels” presentation with Daniel Kramer, Visual Effects Supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks
** Behind the scenes with “Night at the Museum 3,” with MPC’s Visual Effects Supervisor Erik Nash
** VIEW Conference Finale: World premiere Keynote address about “Kung Fu Panda III,” by Co-Director Alessandro Carloni of DreamWorks Animation. Also: Keynote address from Oscar nominated Visual Effects Supervisor Chris Townsend, presenting “Avengers: Age of Ultron, Hulk, Vision, and the Gang”
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VIEW Executive Director Maria Elena Gutierrez adds, “In addition to our extraordinary conference planned for this year, I also want to tell people to be sure to register now for the interactive workshops that happen on Monday, October 19, and during the conference. We are presenting a wonderful opportunity for students and professionals from around the world to learn from Screenwriter David Misch, Director Kris Pearn, Photographer Michael Rubin, Chief Creative Officer Henry LaBounta, and all our other wonderful workshop coaches. I can’t think of any other gathering in the world where such a diverse array of talent would ever be possible.”                                                               
This year’s VIEW Conference’s digital movie Festival, VIEW FEST, takes place October 16-18th also in Turin: www.viewfest.it                                                                
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