Mellow Manor, Netcaster to b'cast animated shorts

Mellow Manor Prods., organizer of the touring “Spike & Mike” classic and twisted animation festivals, has paired up with Netcaster IFilm to exclusively broadcast its collection of shorts online.

Through the exclusive two-year deal, visitors to IFilm will be able to view shorts that are normally only showcased through the “Spike & Mike’s Classic Festival of Animation” and “Spike & Mike’s Sick & Twisted Festival of Animation” events hosted around the country.

Shorts shown at the events have included pics produced by then-newcomers “Beavis & Butt-head” creator Mike Judge, “South Park’s” Trey Parker and Matt Stone, John Lasseter (“Toy Story”) and Tim Burton (“Sleepy Hollow”).

Drawn in

Additionally, “Spike & Mike” co-founder Spike Decker has joined IFilm’s board of advisers. He will select and curate all animation — including new, library and custom 2-D and 3-D animated pics — to be distributed through IFilm. The first shorts are scheduled to debut on IFilm in late January.

“IFilm demonstrated to us not only a deep understanding of building a community and conducting business on the Internet, but also a passionate commitment to artists and their work,” Decker said. “After evaluating a number of options, we decided that IFilm’s unique vision and approach toward providing entertainment online made them the natural partner.”

Fest presence

In return, IFilm will receive marketing and promotional space at the “Spike & Mike” festivals, which play in more than 50 cities in the U.S. and Canada each year.

“Spike & Mike” should easily benefit from leaping onto the Web, with its fan base of thousands possibly growing into millions. The Internet broadcasting arena has quickly become a space in which short animated films have far surpassed live-action fare in popularity.

The deal marks the second major distribution deal IFilm has signed in the past few months. In October, the San Francisco-based company said it inked an exclusive relationship with management company Bender-Spink to broadcast shorts produced by its clients.

William Morris Agency’s Corporate Advisory/New Media Department and Jim Strader, a partner and the head of the Internet efforts at Spike’s management firm, AniManagement, brokered the deal.

“Spike & Mike are pioneers and continue to take animation in new directions,” said Lewis Henderson, veep, head of new media at William Morris. “We wanted to bring them to the next level, and this partnership with IFilm is a perfect fit for both.”

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