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Burton toons up Web pact

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Tim Burton, who dazzled audiences with “Sleepy Hollow,” “Batman” and “Edward Scissorhands,” is taking his visuals to the Web, inking a deal with shockwave.com to create a series of animated short films for the Netcaster based on his character Stainboy.

Inside Moves

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Who is Morty Fineman? That’s a question Daily Variety readers may be asking following the appearance Thursday of an improbable full-page ad touting the 30th anniversary of Fineman Films. In an open letter imploring acquisitions executives to invest in his catalog of more than 400 independent features — such titles as “Groovy Hippie Slumber Party,”… Read more »

10-plex tapped for Park City

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With hordes of showbizzers jamming this year’s Sundance fest, organizers cheered Resort Theaters of America’s announcement Thursday that it plans to build a 10-screen theater complex near Park City, Utah.

Constine tapped for film org

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Karen Constine, the top aide to Los Angeles City Councilwoman Laura Chick, has been selected by Gov. Gray Davis as the new director of the California Film Commission after the post had been vacant for nearly a year.

NATPE in court, online & o’seas

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FROM NATPE

The onslaught of dot-com companies on NATPE energized activity, but did not significantly distract traditional TV program sellers away from the task at hand — chalking up station clearances for a potpourri of pilots for the upcoming fall season.

Fran Ryan

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Fran Ryan, longtime character actress with dozens of TV, feature and legit credits to her name, died Jan. 15 in Burbank of natural causes. She was 83. Her career began in Oakland at age 6 onstage at the Henry Duffy Theater. Before moving into television and film in the 1950s, Ryan played opposite comedian Red… Read more »

Leonard Goldenson memorials

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Three separate memorial services for ABC network founder Leonard Goldenson, who died Dec. 27 at the age of 94, will be held in New York; Sarasota, Fla.; and Los Angeles. The first service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 11 at Temple Emanu-El, 1 East 65th Street/5th Avenue, New York, NY 10021, with… Read more »

Review: ‘Wit’

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Margaret Edson’s “Wit” won last year’s Pulitzer Prize for drama, and it was clearly a deserving choice. Although the play premiered at the South Coast Rep in 1995, it was director Derek Anson Jones’ production at the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven that traveled to New York and now makes it way to the Geffen Playhouse.

Review: ‘Runaway Virus’

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NBC recently made a movie that capitalized on Y2K fears. CBS tackled an earthquake in New York. It only goes to follow that ABC would address germ phobia just in time for the cold and flu season. Next up: Global Warming, the miniseries. “Runaway Virus” is billed as “suggested by the magazine article ‘The Dead Zone’ by Malcolm Gladwell,” but the truth is, you could name a dozen movies or telepics with the same plot.

Review: ‘Grizzly Falls’

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Shot through with the kind of Boy Scout innocence that’s rarely been seen since the days of ’60s adventure pics for Disney, “Grizzly Falls” is a fable for young boys who can only imagine what it’s like to get lost in the woods and hang with a big bear. Undemanding saga is such a weak brew that teens who might have fond memories of pics like “Wild America” won’t get near this one, leaving biz strictly for pre-teens.