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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

60Frames Entertainment: Model for a New Kind of Studio? Plus, Disney movies on Xbox

- Ad Age reports that Brent Weinstein, head of United Talent Agency's digital division, is starting a new venture in partnership with Spot Runner, an online advertising firm. It'll be called 60Frames Entertainment, and has an initial bankroll of $3.5 million, according to the WSJ.

The idea is to fund professionally-produced short-form comedic content for the Web. Spot Runner will sell ads around the content. This is similar to what Barry Diller has been up to, Michael Eisner's Vuguru, or the Atom Films Studio.

All these experiments, it seems to me, are essential to figuring out how a next-gen TV "network" or movie "studio" will work: how it will identify and fund cool content, support creatives, structure the costs of production, market the finished product, and spin it off from the Web into other media. One important milestone that probably isn't more than a year away: a Web series that attracts a big enough audience to get a movie greenlit. We've already seen an animated cell phone series spawn a TV show, after all.

Here's the official press release.

- About 35 Disney movies, including 'Aladdin' and 'Armageddon,' are now available on the MSFT Xbox. WSJ story...LA Times. The Times notes that there had previously been 192 movies from Warner Bros., Paramount, Lions Gate, and New Line, and 179 TV shows available on Xbox. From the story:

    Xbox Live's users can rent high-definition versions of new release movies for $6, or $4 for standard definition. Older movies are $4.50 for high definition, $3 for standard.

    Once downloaded, consumers have 14 days to begin watching the films before they are erased from the console's hard disk drive.

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