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Monday, April 23, 2007

iKlipz: Trying to put old-school Hollywood muscle behind new media

An interesting piece from today's LA Times about iKlipz, a video site. Right now, the site is a jumble of different videos (many of which originate on other sites, like FunnyOrDie.com).

But one of the site's new ideas is buying the rights on the festival circuit to air the first 10 or 15 minutes of a movie on the Net. That's helpful in marketing a new movie -- but why wouldn't the studio distributing it just do the same thing themselves?

Deborah Netburn writes:

    In September, David Dinerstein, former head of Paramount Classics and a consultant for iklipz, heard about a documentary film called "A Clown Short of Destiny" being shown on the festival circuit. It was a sort of revenge film against the metal band Slipknot and told how the band had abandoned the scene in which it had grown up.

    Dinerstein brought the film to iklipz, where Cohen and his team recognized they might have a moderate hit on their hands. The director, Chad Calek, agreed to give them the first 20 minutes of his film, but rather than just upload it to the site and wait for viewers to find it, they decided to give it a small promotional push. They took out ads in heavy metal magazines and did radio spots. The budget was different from what Cohen used when promoting "Braveheart," but when they premiered the film on Sept. 27, they got 160,000 views over two days.

    Like so many destinations on the Web, iklipz seems to be more about what it could be than what it actually is, and Cohen has no plans to promote other films, although he says he hopes to do that. Next year, he would like to go to Sundance as a buyer — or at least part buyer. His idea is to put $10,000 toward helping a studio buy a film and then get the right to air the first 10 or 15 minutes exclusively on his site. Eventually, he sees iklipz as being a marketplace for independent film — a year-round film festival where filmmakers and film buyers can meet and hold discussions.

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