'Early Bloomer' Makes a Splash in Theaters!

Second Short Film From Academy Award® Winning Visual Effects and Character Animation Facility Sony Pictures Imageworks Debuts Nationwide


"Early Bloomer," the latest CG animated short film from Sony Pictures Imageworks, opened nationwide in theaters last weekend from Columbia Pictures. "Early Bloomer" is a comical coming-of-age tale about an awkward, but adorable, tadpole just trying to fit in and keep up with his mischievous and playful friends.

"Early Bloomer" was created and directed by Kevin Johnson, who served as lead storyboard artist on "The ChubbChubbs!," the winner of the 2002 Oscar® for best animated short film. "The ChubbChubbs!" is the first Academy Award® for Sony Pictures Imageworks.

"Audiences love short films like 'The ChubbChubbs!' and 'Early Bloomer' and it's a win for both audiences and Sony. It allows us to showcase the wonderful strides being made by our Academy Award-winning team at Sony Pictures Imageworks and it is the perfect value-added accompaniment for moviegoers," noted Tim Sarnoff, president, Sony Pictures Imageworks.

Director Kevin Johnson is a thirteen-year veteran of the animation industry, who joined the staff of Sony Pictures Imageworks two years ago, and served as head storyboard artist for "The ChubbChubbs!"

Prior to joining Imageworks, Mr. Johnson held staff positions at Warner Bros., Disney and Don Bluth Studios. He serves as the assistant director of the Character Animation Program in the School of Film and Video at the California Institute of the Arts. He currently is employed as a Storyboard Artist for Sony Pictures Animation.

In addition, Mr. Sarnoff announced that "Early Bloomer" has been selected for presentation in the internationally recognized Electronic Theater at SIGGRAPH 2003, a showcase of exceptional computer generated imagery, as a result of a jury process in which hundreds of submissions from around the world are reviewed for possible inclusion.

The short film began as in-house training exercise at Sony Pictures Imageworks under the guidance of Sande Scoredos, executive director of training and artist development, for its animators and effects artists to perfect the latest commercial and proprietary animation and rendering tools and to explore visual storytelling. Ms. Scoredos also serves as the associate producer on "Early Bloomer."

Last year, Sony Pictures Imageworks helped revive the tradition of combining a feature film and a short when the studio released "The ChubbChubbs!" in front of both "Men in Black II" and "Stuart Little 2." A standalone DVD of "The ChubbChubbs!" is currently available in retail stores and web-retailers from Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment.

"Early Bloomer" is a Columbia Pictures release of a Sony Pictures Imageworks production.

About Sony Pictures Imageworks

Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc. is an Academy Award®-winning, state-of-the-art visual effects and character animation company dedicated to the art and artistry of digital production and character creation. The company has been recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences with nominations for its work on "Spider-Man," "Hollow Man," "Stuart Little" and "Starship Troopers" and was awarded an Oscar® for the CG animated short film "The ChubbChubbs!" Imageworks continues to raise the standards in the visual effects and character animation businesses, becoming a major force in the industry by providing leading-edge technologies to its world class artists.

Additional credits for Imageworks include "Contact," "Cast Away," "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," "Men in Black II," "Stuart Little 2" and "The Matrix Reloaded." Imageworks is currently in production on "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle," "Haunted Mansion," "Big Fish," "The Amazing Spider-Man," "Seabiscuit," and "The Polar Express."

Sony Pictures Imageworks is a division of Sony Pictures Digital, which oversees the digital production and online entertainment assets of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

SOURCE: Sony Pictures Imageworks

CONTACT: Jerry Schmitz of Sony Pictures Imageworks, +1-310-840-7326,