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Friday, September 29, 2006

The Hollywood Reporter's 2006 `Future of Entertainment' issue ... Cuban on YouTube ... Illinois Cinema Protests Against Bad Movies

- The Hollywood Reporter's 2006 `Future of Entertainment' issue is now online. It includes interviews with ABC TV's Anne Sweeney, Netflix founder Reed Hastings, and Paramount's Thomas Lesinski on wireless entertainment.


I've got three pieces in the issue: An interview with Jonathan Rothbart and Stuart Maschwitz of The Orphanage, a San Francisco visual effects and animation firm; a story about cinematic think tanks, at places like Walt Disney Imagineering and the Institute for Creative Technologies at USC, where they're trying to devise new theatrical experiences; and a piece about the problem of interoperability -- why don't all of our new technologies play nicely together? (I'll post the full text of the Rothbart/Maschwitz interview later today.)


- In other news, Mark Cuban has been on an anti-YouTube tirade, most recently at an advertising conference in New York. He also posted about YouTube on his blog, titling the entry `The Coming Dramatic Decline of YouTube.' I think he's wrong - and that there's plenty opportunity for YouTube and copyright holders to work as partners.


- Finally, just a fun read: `Instead of Bad Movies, Cinema Shows None.' Bob Secter writes:


    HOOPESTON, Ill. — The "closed" sign went up a few weeks ago on the flashy neon marquee outside the Lorraine Theatre, but the 84-year-old movie palace on Main Street hasn't played its last picture show. Business isn't bad. It's the movies that are wretched.


    "Both theaters in Hoopeston are closed … because of such poor film choices available," explains a recording on the Lorraine's customer hotline. "Go to Danville to see 'Jackass 2.' "


    Lorraine owner Greg Boardman put his two screens on hiatus rather than sell tickets to the gross-out and freakout fare he said Hollywood distributors had made available in recent weeks. Boardman said he'd rather show nothing than such recent offerings as "Beerfest," "The Covenant" or the "Jackass" sequel, which topped the nation's box office last week despite being panned by critics.