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Tim Burton's Animated Series 'Stainboy' Premieres

Shockwave.com (http://www.shockwave.com) has announced a new fall line-up of programming that includes as its centerpiece "Stainboy", a new animated series by Tim Burton. Shockwave.com has also beefed up its content offering with an interactive video featuring Madonna's new hit single, new games, and an additional episode of "Radiskull and Devil Doll", a shockwave original animation series.

In addition to offering new content, the site is launching an e-commerce effort. According to a Shockwave.com spokeswoman, one of the most demanded items has been Devil Dolls, and they will now be available on the site along with t-shirts and other merchandise.

Tim Burton, who is renowned in Hollywood as the director of such films as Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and the Batman films, was recruited by Shockwave's content acquisition team in L.A. with the assistance of the William Morris Talent Agency. Burton created, wrote and directed the new series for shockwave.com based on a character from his book, The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories. Shockwave.com intends to build hype and community around the release by packaging the release of "Stainboy" with digital trading cards and interactive games designed by Burton himself. After Burton sketched the story boards, the characters were animated by Flinch Studio, an Internet entertainment studio specializing in Macromedia Flash animation.

The new episode of "Radiskull and Devil Doll" also debuts this evening, and is a creation of Joe Sparks from the Shockwave.com studio. Shockwave is promoting BLiX, a puzzle game set to techno music, as its strongest new game. Shockwave currently acquires their content through both "Hollywood" deals, finding unknown talent, and in-house production. Shockwave is focusing on content the leverages the medium by promoting interactivity and community. According to their spokeswoman, the site is not planning on pursuing as many Hollywood deals in the future, but that could change depending on the reaction of the audience.

Several content sites have caved under financial pressure in the past few weeks, and Shockwave.com has also shown some sings of this pressure by laying off some of their staff earlier this month. Nonetheless, the site continues to pursue advertising and sponsorship opportunities, as well as its merchandising efforts. The Tim Burton series is sponsored by Compaq, shockwave's first high profile corporate sponsor. Shockwave.com is also keeping an eye on programs like Real's GoldPass to see if the subscription model proves viable.

According to Shockwave.com's spokeswoman, there is simply no exact formula. Shockwave.com intends to keep offering new content that appeals to anybody who "likes popcorn and candy." To say the least, that keeps their target demographic wide open.

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