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Posted by r2d2 03/13/2009 @ 10:12

Tags : dreamworks, film studios, cinema, entertainment

News headlines
Dreamworks Plans Film About King's Life - New York Times
DreamWorks has acquired the rights to the life story of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and plans to make a film about him, Variety reported. The film will be produced by Steven Spielberg, a founder of the DreamWorks studio, as well as Suzanne de...
Kung Fu Panda gets spin-off TV cartoon - Boxwish
Disney's been at it for years and now rival animation studio DreamWorks is bringing one of their big screen hits to the small screen. Last year's summer hit, Kung Fu Panda followed the antics of tubby martial artist wannabe Po (voiced by Jack Black)...
Who'll play Dr. King in big-screen bio? - Philadelphia Inquirer
But with word yesterday that dreamworks and Steven Spielberg have acquired rights to the civil rights leader's life from the King Estate, a royal battle to find the right King is sure to develop. Does the actor go for impersonation or mimickry?...
Quick Takes - Los Angeles Times
DreamWorks plans the first big-screen portrayal of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life, the studio announced Tuesday, but two of King's children immediately threatened legal action because the film deal was brokered without their blessing....
Cherry Lane Announces Administration Agreement with DreamWorks for ... - Playbill.com
By Andrew Gans Cherry Lane Music Publishing Company, Inc. has announced a multi-year, worldwide administration agreement for the Tony-nominated score from Shrek The Musical, the first theatrical production from DreamWorks Theatricals....
"Monsters vs. Aliens" to duke it out as TV pilot - Reuters
By Georg Szalai NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Nickelodeon has ordered a pilot from DreamWorks Animation for a series based on the studio's recent "Monsters vs. Aliens" movie, DWA CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said Tuesday. He was speaking at the 37th Annual...
DreamWorks Sells Out With Kung Fu Panda TV Show - /FILM
DreamWorks Animation is not only developing a sequel to Kung Fu Panda, due out June 3rd 2011, but they are co-producing a television series for Nickelodeon. Nickelodeon has ordered 26 episodes after the success of The Penguins of Madagascar....
Game Developer Steps Onto Fashion Week Runway - Mediapost.com
A game based on DreamWorks Pictures' "Hotel for Dogs," for example, had a "reasonable budget" that generated a "descent profit." 505 Games entered North America last year from Europe. Aside from DreamWorks Pictures, the video game publisher in North...
Parkes, DiGilio to adapt 'Daemon' - Variety
Parkes and Laurie MacDonald are producing the project through their DreamWorks-based shingle. Their upcoming slate includes the Steve Carell-Paul Rudd comedy "Dinner With Schmucks" and the Len Wiseman-helmed actioner "Motorcade....
A new Fright Night mulled by DreamWorks - Malaysia Star
The horror-comedy fan favourite Fright Night is also being eyed as prime remake material, this time by DreamWorks SKG. The Hollywood Reporter said no creative team has been signed yet but the new movie will retain the comedic-horror tone of the...


DreamWorks SKG logo

DreamWorks, LLC, also known as DreamWorks Pictures, DreamWorks SKG or DreamWorks Studios, is a major American film studio which develops, produces, and distributes films, video games, and television programming. It has produced or distributed more than ten films with box-office grosses totalling more than $100 million each. Its most successful title to date is Shrek 2.

DreamWorks began in 1994 as an ambitious attempt by media moguls Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen (forming the SKG present on the bottom of the DreamWorks logo) to create a new Hollywood studio. In December 2005, the founders agreed to sell the studio to Viacom. The sale was completed in February 2006. In 2008, Dreamworks announced its intention to end its partnership with Paramount and signed a US$1.5 billion deal to produce films with India's Reliance ADA Group.

DreamWorks' animation arm was spun-off in 2004 into DreamWorks Animation SKG. Its films were distributed worldwide by Paramount, but the animation studio remained independent of Paramount/Viacom.

On February 9, 2009, DreamWorks entered a 6-year, 30-picture distribution deal with The Walt Disney Company and its other partners starting in 2010, after breaking off negotiations with Universal Pictures just days earlier.

The company was founded following Katzenberg's resignation from The Walt Disney Company in 1994. At the suggestion of Spielberg's friend, the two made an agreement with long-time Katzenberg collaborator Geffen to start their own studio. The studio was officially founded on October 12, 1994 with financial backing of $33 million from each of the three main partners and $500 million from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

DreamWorks Interactive is a computer and video game developer founded in 1995, as a subsidiary of DreamWorks SKG.

In 1998, DreamWorks released their first full-length animated feature, Antz.

In 1999, 2000 and 2001, DreamWorks won three consecutive Academy Awards for Best Picture for American Beauty, Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind (the latter two with Universal).

On February 24, 2000, Electronic Arts announced the acquisition of DreamWorks Interactive from DreamWorks and merged it with EA Pacific and Westwood Studios. DreamWorks Interactive became EA Los Angeles (EALA).

DreamWorks Records, the company's record label (the first project of which was George Michael's Older), never lived up to expectations, and was sold in October 2003 to Universal Music Group, which operated the label as DreamWorks Nashville. That label was shut down in 2005 when its flagship artist, Toby Keith, departed to form his own label.

The studio has had its greatest financial success with movies, specifically animated movies. DreamWorks Animation teamed up with Pacific Data Images (now known as PDI/DreamWorks) in 1996 to create some of the highest grossing animated hits of all time, such as Antz (1998), The Prince of Egypt (1998), Shrek (2001), its sequels Shrek 2 (2004) and Shrek the Third (2007); Shark Tale (2004), Madagascar (2005), Over the Hedge (2006), Flushed Away (2006), Bee Movie, and Kung Fu Panda (2008) Based on their success, DreamWorks Animation has spun off as its own publicly traded company. In fact, PDI/DreamWorks has emerged as the main competitor to Pixar in the age of computer-generated animation, and is based in Redwood City, California.

In recent years, DreamWorks has scaled back. It stopped plans to build a high-tech studio, sold its music division, and has only produced a few television series, Las Vegas, Carpoolers, and On the Lot, for example.

Recently, David Geffen admitted that DreamWorks had come close to bankruptcy twice. Under Katzenberg's watch, the studio suffered a $125 million loss on Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, and also overestimated the DVD demand for Shrek 2. In 2005, out of their two large budget pictures, The Island bombed at the domestic box office, while War of the Worlds was produced as a joint effort with Paramount which was the first to reap the profits.

In December 2005, Viacom's Paramount Pictures agreed to purchase the live-action studio. The deal was valued at approximately $1.6 billion, an amount that included about $400 million in debt assumptions. The company completed its acquisition on February 1, 2006.

On March 17, 2006, Paramount agreed to sell the DreamWorks live-action library to a group led by George Soros for $900 million. Paramount retained the worldwide distribution rights to these films, as well as various ancillary rights, including music publishing, sequels, and merchandising -- this includes films that had been made by Paramount and DreamWorks. The sale was completed on May 8, 2006.

In June 2008, Variety reported that DreamWorks was looking for financing that would allow it to continue operations as an independent production company once its deal with Paramount ended later in the year. Most of the money to do the new studio would come from an Indian investment firm called Reliance ADA Group. The DreamWorks trademarks are owned by DreamWorks Animation, and the new company would need their approval to use the trademarks. In September 2008, it was reported by Variety that Dreamworks closed a deal with Reliance to create a stand-alone production company and end its ties to Paramount..

As of 2009, DreamWorks Animation is planning on releasing all their films in 3-D starting with films such as Shrek Goes Fourth.

The Dreamworks logo features a young boy sitting on a crescent moon while fishing. The general idea for the logo was from company's co-founder Steven Spielberg. Spielberg originally wanted a computer generated image, whereas Visual Effects Supervisor Dennis Muren, of Industrial Light and Magic suggested a hand-painted one. Muren contacted friend and artist Robert Hunt to paint it. Hunt worked both versions featuring his son William as a model for the boy, and Spielberg liked the CGI one better. The music accompanying the logo as a movie starts was composed by John Williams.

The logo that you see in the movies was made at ILM based on paintings by Hunt, in collaboration with Kaleidoscope Films, Dave Carson, and Clint Goldman.

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DreamWorks Animation

The PDI/DreamWorks Studio in Redwood City, California

DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (NYSE: DWA) is an independent American animation studio which primarily produce a series of critically and commercially successful computer animated films, including Shrek, Shark Tale, Madagascar, Over the Hedge, Bee Movie and Kung Fu Panda. It was formed by the merger of the feature animation division of DreamWorks SKG and Pacific Data Images (PDI). Originally formed under the banner of DreamWorks SKG, it was spun-off into a separate public company in 2004.

They are currently distributed only through Paramount Pictures (in turn owned by Viacom) who acquired the rest of DreamWorks SKG in February 2006. DreamWorks Animation maintains two studios: the original DreamWorks feature animation studio in Glendale, California and the PDI studio in Redwood City, California.

In 1980, Pacific Data Images was founded by Carl Rosendahl with a small loan from his father. In 1982, he was joined by Richard Chuang and Glenn Entis, who wrote the foundation of the in-house computer animation software that was to be used for the next two decades. During the 1980s, PDI created many animated logos and commercials for television for companies like NBC and Sky Movies. They shifted into motion picture visual effects beginning in 1991 with a contribution to Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

On October 12, 1994, DreamWorks SKG was formed and founded by a trio of entertainment players, director and producer Steven Spielberg, music executive David Geffen, and former Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg. DreamWorks signed a co-production deal with PDI to form subsidiary PDI, LLC (PDI owned 60% of PDI, LLC while DreamWorks SKG owned 40%). The new unit would produce computer-generated feature films beginning with Antz in 1998. In the same year DreamWorks SKG produced The Prince of Egypt using traditional animation techniques.

In 2000, DreamWorks SKG created a new business division, DreamWorks Animation, that would regularly produce both types of animated feature films.

The traditionally animated feature films were produced by the division's Southern California branch. DreamWorks SKG acquired majority interest (90%) in PDI, reforming it into PDI/DreamWorks, the Northern California branch of its new business division.

The business division separated from its parent in 2004, forming DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. and purchasing the remaining interest in PDI as well as its subsidiary PDI, LLC.

Since its official launch in 2004, the studio is dedicated solely to producing CG animated films in-house and has committed itself to make two computer-animated feature films a year. No more traditional 2D animation is expected.

DreamWorks Animation also had a partnership with Aardman Animations, a stop-motion animation company in Bristol, England. This partnership had DreamWorks participating in the production of stop-motion films in Bristol, and also had Aardman participating in some of the CG films made in the US. This partnership ended after the release of Flushed Away in November 2006; the announcement was made before the film's release, on October 3, citing "creative differences" as the reason.

The logo, adapted from the parent studio's logo, consists of a boy fishing on the moon, against a backdrop of the daytime sky albeit with more colorful lettering. The soundtrack of this logo was originally an adaptation of the DreamWorks theme; however, following the global success of Shrek in 2001, this became an shortened adaptation of True Love's First Kiss (the Love Theme from the Shrek soundtrack), composed by John Powell.

Employees at Dreamworks get to enjoy breakfast and lunch for free, a perk not found at many other companies.

In 2009, Dreamworks Animation made the list of Fortune Magazine's best 100 companies to work for, at number 47. This is its first year on the list.

Dreamworks Animation has an on-going partnership with HP, and the studio exclusively uses HP workstations and servers. In 2005, AMD signed a 3 year deal to provide processors to the studio. This relationship ended in 2008, and Dreamworks announced that they will use Intel processors for future productions.

Note: All traditionally animated films were made at the Glendale studio.

Note: All stop-motion films were produced by Aardman Animations.

Note: Only one computer-animated film was produced by Aardman.

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DreamWorks Television

DreamWorks Television is a television production company that is a division of DreamWorks SKG, a former subsidiary of Viacom-owned Paramount Pictures. The syndication rights to DreamWorks' TV series were held by CBS Paramount Television until fall 2008, the successor-in-interest to Paramount's TV unit owned by CBS Corporation.

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DreamWorks Records


DreamWorks Records was an American record label. Founded in 1996 by David Geffen, Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg as a subsidiary of DreamWorks SKG, the label operated until 2005 when it was shut down. The label itself also featured a Nashville, Tennessee based subsidiary, DreamWorks Nashville, which specialized in country music and was also shut down in 2005.

In 1996, six years after Geffen sold Geffen Records to MCA Music Entertainment, he joined Spielberg and Katzenberg to form DreamWorks SKG, which included the subsidiary DreamWorks Records. The label's logo was the last project completed by artist Roy Lichtenstein. Geffen Records distributed DreamWorks until 1998, when Interscope Records took over distribution duties. Rufus Wainwright was the first to be signed to the new label in early 1996. Henry Rollins (both as a spoken-word artist and with Rollins Band), George Michael, Randy Newman, Morphine, Eels, and others were also signed to the label.

The label was presided over by Lenny Waronker and Mo Ostin, who had previously ran Warner Bros. Records up until the mid-1990s. In a quest to cut costs, Dreamworks SKG sold the label to Universal Music Group (MCA's successor company) in October 2003. Despite high profile attention, the DreamWorks Records label ultimately failed to live up to full commercial expectation. With consistently lacking revenue, the label would eventually be dismantled, with much of its roster absorbed into Geffen Records in 2004. Its country music division, meanwhile, remained operational until January 29, 2006, when it was shut down by Universal Music Group Nashville.

Between 1999 and 2005, DreamWorks also operated a division in Nashville, Tennessee for country music acts. Among the artists signed to the DreamWorks Nashville division were Jessica Andrews, Emerson Drive, Toby Keith, Tracy Lawrence, Randy Travis, Jimmy Wayne, and Darryl Worley. After DreamWorks Records' dissolution, former executive Scott Borchetta formed Big Machine Records in late 2005, signing several country music acts to the label. Borchetta also signed Show Dog Records in partnership with Toby Keith, although Keith dropped his association with the latter label in 2006.

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Viacom (NYSE: VIA) (NYSE: VIAB), short for "Video & Audio Communications", is an American media conglomerate with various worldwide interests in cable and satellite television networks (MTV Networks and BET), and movie production and distribution (the Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks movie studios). Sumner Redstone is the Chairman and, through National Amusements, the majority shareholder.

The new Viacom (legal successor to the former Gulf+Western/Paramount Communications) is considered to be the "high-growth" side of the much larger former Viacom. The former Viacom was renamed CBS Corporation, from which this firm was split off on December 31, 2005. CBS, not Viacom, retains control of the over-the-air broadcasting, TV production, and publishing assets formerly owned by the larger company. However, National Amusements remains the common majority shareholder of both firms.

In March 2005, the prior Viacom (now known as CBS Corporation) announced plans of looking into splitting the company into two publicly traded companies. The company was not only dealing with a stagnating stock price, but also the rivalry between Leslie Moonves and Tom Freston, longtime heads of CBS and MTV Networks respectively.

After the departure of Mel Karmazin in 2004, Redstone, who served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, decided to split the offices of President and Chief Operating Officer between Moonves and Freston. Redstone was set to retire in the near future, and a split would be a creative solution to the matter of replacing him.

The split was approved by Viacom's board June 14, 2005, approved December 31, 2005, and effectively undid the Viacom/CBS merger of 1999. The original Viacom changed its name to CBS Corporation and is headed by Moonves. It now includes Viacom's "slow growth businesses", namely CBS, The CW (formerly The WB and UPN), CBS Radio, Simon & Schuster, CBS Outdoor, Showtime, CBS Records, CBS Paramount Television and most television production assets.

These, according to some analysts, were suffocating the growth of the MTV Networks cable businesses (the split was structured such that CBS Corporation is actually the company previously known as Viacom). At the time of the split, CBS Corporation was also given control of Paramount Parks. CBS sold Paramount Parks to amusement parks management company Cedar Fair, L.P. on June 30, 2006.

A new company, the present Viacom, was also spun-off and was headed by Freston. It comprises MTV Networks, BET Networks, Paramount's movie studio, and Paramount Pictures' home entertainment operations. These businesses are categorized as the high-growth businesses (MTV Networks and BET Networks in particular), and if they were split into a separate company, it could infuse new capital to allow for future acquisitions and expansion.

Sumner Redstone still controls 71 percent of the voting stock of both companies and is the chairman of both companies.

In June, Viacom announced its purchase of Neopets, a virtual pet website. That December, Paramount announced it would acquire DreamWorks. All indications are that the whole of DreamWorks - both live-action film and TV studios, albeit not the DreamWorks archive - which was sold to a group led by George Soros in March 2006 - (nor the animated unit, which was not part of the deal) will remain owned by Viacom, even though CBS acquired Paramount's own TV studio.

On February 1, Paramount completed its long-awaited acquisition of DreamWorks. As of April 24, Viacom has obtained Xfire. In August, just hours before announcing its most recent quarterly earnings, Viacom announced that it had acquired Atom Entertainment for $200 million. In September, Viacom acquired game developer Harmonix for $175 million dollars.

In February, Viacom ordered leaked copyrighted video clips be taken off the videosharing service YouTube for copyright reasons. On February 21, Viacom publicly announced they would be offering free online access to their own material through Silicon Valley's distributor Joost thanks to a thorough content licensing deal.

On May 21, Viacom entered into a 50-50 joint venture with Indian media company Global Broadcast News to form Viacom-18 which will house Viacom's existing channels in India - MTV, VH1 and Nick as well as Network 18's Bollywood movie business. All future Viacom content for India and new ventures such as a Hindi entertainment channel and a Hindi movie channel would be housed in this joint venture.

On December 19, Viacom signed a five year, $500 million contract with Microsoft that included content sharing and advertisement. The deal allowed Microsoft to license many shows from Viacom owned cable television and film studios for use on Xbox Live and MSN. The deal also made Viacom a preferred publisher partner for casual game development and distribution through MSN and Windows. On the advertisement side of the deal, Microsoft's Atlas ad-serving division became the exclusive provider of previously unsold advertising inventory on Viacom owned web sites. Also, Microsoft purchased a large amount of advertising on Viacom owned broadcasts and online networks. Finally, Microsoft will also collaborate on promotions and sponsorships for MTV and BET award shows, two Viacom owned cable networks.

On December 4, three weeks before Christmas, Viacom announced layoffs of 850 personnel, or 7% of their workforce.

As of December 31, 2008, Time Warner Cable (along with partner Bright House Networks) and Viacom's MTV Networks have not agreed to renew any Viacom channel beyond the end of year. Therefore, Time Warner and Bright House would have lost all 19 Viacom channels (including Comedy Central and Nickelodeon) starting on January 1, 2009. Time Warner Cable's operations include New York City and Los Angeles, with Bright House including the Tampa Bay and Orlando markets, both top-20 markets. This blackout was narrowly avoided when a zero-hour deal was reached shortly after 12 Midnight ET on 1/1/2009.

In February 2007, Viacom sent upwards of 100,000 DMCA takedown notices to the video-sharing site YouTube, alleging large-scale copyright infringement. Of the 100,000, approximately 60–70 non-infringing videos were erroneously removed under the auspices of copyright infringement.

On March 13, 2007, Viacom filed a US$1 billion lawsuit against Google and YouTube alleging massive copyright infringement, alleging that users frequently uploaded copyrighted material to YouTube—enough to cause a hit in revenue for Viacom and a gain in advertisement revenue for YouTube.

The complaint contends that almost 160,000 unauthorized clips of Viacom’s programming have been available on YouTube and that these clips had collectively been viewed more than 1.5 billion times.

Google and Viacom, on July 14, 2008, agreed in compromise to protect YouTube users' personal data in the $1 billion (£497 million) copyright lawsuit. Google agreed it will make user information and internet protocol addresses from its YouTube subsidiary anonymous before handing over the data to Viacom. The privacy deal also applied to other litigants including the FA Premier League, the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organisation and the Scottish Premier League. The deal however did not extend the anonymity to employees, since Viacom would prove that Google staff are aware of uploading of illegal material to the site. The parties therefore will further meet on the matter lest the data be made available to the court.

In 2007 Viacom, claiming copyright infringement, requested the removal of a YouTube video that contained a part of their show, Web Junk 2.0, which featured a political advertisement uploaded to YouTube that Viacom allegedly used without permission. Christopher Knight, the creator of the video, and the candidate in the ad, wrote in a blog post: "So Viacom took a video that I had made for non-profit purposes and without trying to acquire my permission, used it in a for-profit broadcast. And then when I made a YouTube clip of what they did with my material, they charged me with copyright infringement and had YouTube pull the clip. Folks, this is, as we say down here in the South, ‘bass-ackwards.'" Knight subsequently filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act counter-notification claim with YouTube. Two weeks later Viacom yielded to Knight and the disputed clip was restored.

As with the old Viacom, the current company owns Viacom International, which is the formal owner of copyrights associated with Viacom's corporate website and its cable networks. This division now owns the rights to a majority of Elvis Presley films made for Paramount Pictures, such as Blue Hawaii and King Creole.

It also continues to focus on its own in-house productions made for its various networks (MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, etc.) – these programs include Dora the Explorer, Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!, LazyTown, SpongeBob SquarePants, Catscratch, The Hills and Behind The Music.

The previous board of directors of Viacom were George Abrams, Vincent Erazo, David Andelman, Joseph Califano, Jr., William Cohen, Philippe Dauman, Alan Greenberg, Charles Phillips, Shari Redstone, Sumner Redstone, Frederic Salerno, William Schwartz, and Robert D. Walter.

Following the Viacom/CBS split, the Viacom board consisted of George Abrams, Philippe Dauman, Thomas E. Dooley, Ellen V. Futter, Robert Kraft, Alan Greenberg, Charles Phillips, Sumner Redstone (Chairman), Shari Redstone (non-executive Vice-Chair), Frederic Salerno, and William Schwartz.

On September 5, 2006 Tom Freston resigned from the company. He was replaced by Philippe P. Dauman.

This is a summary of the main Viacom divisions. For detailed assets see List of assets owned by Viacom.

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Source : Wikipedia