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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Morning links: `Grindhouse' contest ... HD DVD hackage ... Sundance tech ... YouTube's new CMO ... Brightcove VC funding ... MSFT and Hollywood

- Mike Curtis at HD for Indies calls your attention to a cool `Grindhouse' promo contest: make a movie trailer for a non-existent movie, and director Robert Rodriguez will pick the best one to show during his presentation at South by Southwest this year. (Note: I don't think the trailer will be included in the actual release of `Grindhouse.')

- NY Times has more on HD DVD hacking. Brad Stone writes:

    The move could send the technology companies behind the new wave of advanced DVDs scrambling back to the drawing board to improve their copy protection, and prompt Hollywood studios to rethink their alliances in the war between the HD DVD and Blu-ray formats.

- CNet runs an overview piece on the tech themes at Sundance this year, which includes commentary from Sundance digital maven Ian Calderon, and the directors of `Chasing Ghosts' and `In the Shadow of the Moon.'

- The Wall Street Journal has a Q&A with YouTube's new chief marketing officer, Suzie Reider, mostly about integrating advertisers into the site. Reider seems to agree with the site's founders that advertising shouldn't interrupt the videos on the site. She tells the WSJ, "There is no commercial video messaging that is interrupting their enjoyment of the entertainment content on the site."

- Brightcove, the video service that Barack Obama used to announce his presidential exploratory committee yesterday, just grabbed $59 million in fresh venture capital funding, according to this release.

- Chris Gaither's LA Times piece, `Microsoft hooking up with Hollywood' suggests that as Yahoo is scaling back its investment in original Web entertainment programming, Microsoft is doing more. Gaither writes:

    In recent months, the portal bought online syndication rights for the canceled sitcom "Arrested Development" and struck deals for Web-only shows with NBC Universal and such producers as Silverman, whose company, Reveille, has backed "The Office," "Ugly Betty" and "The Biggest Loser."


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