Newark, N.J. and Vancouver, BC, September 23, 2004 – Mainframe Entertainment (TSX: MFE), an IDT Entertainment company, has entered into an agreement with skateboarding legend Tony Hawk to produce a computer generated (CG) animated feature for direct-to-video release. IDT Entertainment Sales will handle worldwide television and video/DVD distribution. IDT Entertainment is a subsidiary of IDT Corporation (NYSE: IDT, IDT.C), an international telecom, entertainment and technology company.
Mainframe will produce the film, which is tentatively titled “Tony Hawk in ‘Boom Boom Goes the Circus’.” The film will feature the voice and animated likeness of Tony Hawk and utilize advanced motion capture and Computer Generated animation technology to bring Tony Hawk’s incredible skateboarding skills to life on the screen. Production is scheduled to begin in November 2004 with delivery planned for early 2006.
“With grace, skill and imagination, Tony Hawk transformed an extreme sport into an art form,” said Morris Berger, IDT Entertainment’s CEO. “Now IDT Entertainment, Mainframe and Tony Hawk are taking the art of animation and pushing it to the creative limits. Tony joins Stan Lee, Todd McFarlane, Rob Zombie and other entertainment icons who are working with IDT Entertainment on groundbreaking animation projects.”
“Tony Hawk is a legend in the sport of skateboarding and is the world’s most recognized extreme sports athlete,“ said Rick Mischel, CEO of Mainframe Entertainment. “With this film, Tony will add animation star to his long list of credits. Mainframe will pull out all the stops to make this feature a total ‘in your face’ experience with all the excitement and drama of one of Tony Hawk’s mind-blowing performances.”
The film tells the story of an evil and devious circus owner who plots to ruin Tony Hawk’s Boom Boom HuckJam show by kidnapping Tony. Tony’s fans witness the abduction but can’t convince the authorities that a crime has occurred. With nowhere to turn for help, it’s up to Tony’s loyal fans to rescue their hero. Featuring extreme skateboarding tricks, fast paced car chases, ultra-realistic CG animation and Tony Hawk, the film will have worldwide appeal.
In 2004, Tony Hawk was a Teen Choice award winner for Choice Male Athlete; included on the cover of Forbes Magazine’s annual Top 100 celebrity issue; named the #1 Most Influential Person in Action Sports by Sports Business Journal this year; had 23 million Tony Hawk’s Boom Boom HuckJam Happy Meals distributed at McDonalds restaurants in North America; featured in the August issue of Disney Adventures Australia; featured in the leading UK teen magazine Kerrang; featured on the cover of Swedish youth magazine Kamratposten; and commentated at the 2004 X Games on ESPN.
Mainframe Entertainment Inc. (TSX: MFE), is one of the world’s most prolific producers of computer animation for television and direct-to-videos, and is expanding into long-form CGI for feature films, commercials and interactive entertainment. In addition to its production of the award-winning Barbie of Swan Lake direct-to-video feature, a new Popeye CGI primetime television special, and the new Spider-Man animated series, the company created the animation, logo, and branding for the 2003 MTV Movie Awards. The company is best known as the pioneer of computer animated television series for the groundbreaking ReBoot. Mainframe has produced over 240 half hours of computer animation since its inception in 1993. The company employs approximately 240 artists, animators, technicians and production personnel, and has won many prestigious awards of its creative technical innovations, including a Laureate of the 1998 Computerworld Smithsonian Awards. Mainframe is currently in production of a new CGI animated Inspector Gadget DVD feature, as well as a slate of new proprietary television specials and DVD features. Mainframe’s majority shareholder is IDT Entertainment. IDT Entertainment is the IDT subsidiary focused on developing, acquiring, producing and distributing computer-generated and traditionally animated productions and other productions for the film, broadcast and direct-to-consumer markets.
IDT Entertainment, a division of IDT Corporation, is a vertically integrated entertainment concern that develops, produces and distributes proprietary and licensed entertainment content, with a particular focus on high-quality animation. IDT Entertainment also owns a minority interest in Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment. In connection with IDT Entertainment’s investment in POW!, the companies agreed to co-develop and co-produce a minimum of six animation projects for Direct-to-DVD distribution and broadcast. Recently, IDT Entertainment entered into a multi-faceted development, production, and distribution agreement with Todd McFarlane Productions (TMP) to produce animated programming and merchandise based on Spawn and other TMP original intellectual properties.