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Monday, July 02, 2007

Monday Links: Costner on the Web ... CustomFlix to Support HD DVD ... New Edition of Film Financing Book ... And More

- This is an interesting model: Kevin Costner is financing an animated Web series called "The Explorer's Club." It'll debut later this year, as 12 four-minute episodes, with Costner's voice. The goal is to later turn "The Explorer's Club" into a live-action feature. This approach uses the Internet as a proving ground for new characters and stories, before committing to make a feature -- something I think we'll soon see a lot more of.

- CustomFlix, part of, will now accept indie films in high definition, and sell them in the HD DVD format, according to the NY Times. From the story: "The company said it would waive processing fees for the first 1,000 films it accepts for production by its CustomFlix Labs subsidiary."

- Via Lance Weiler's WorkbookProject Web site, I learned about a new edition of The Film Finance Handbook. They're offering a free chapter online, too, which deals with using the Net to distribute movies -- one of my favorite topics. The authors' premise in this chapter is that the Internet is evolving into the seventh major studio. They write:

    "...We have seen the gradual emergency, very loosely, of a seventh major studio-like power. It is neither owned by a single organisation or individual. It does not even have a manager. Rather it is a collection of tools, networks, information and communities which collectively could be said to be beginning to offer similar functions to a traditional vertically integrated studio. ...And of most interest to the independent producer, this 'studio' is neutral, largely meritocratic and completely global."

- This piece about Xbox users watching movies and TV shows on the system really annoyed me, because it contains not a single statistic about how many people have paid for TV shows or movies through Xbox...yet it's basically a wet kiss to Microsoft. If Xbox is doing so well, why not back it up with some data, guys?

- Robert Katz will be head of production at The Film Department, a new indie production company founded by Mark Gill and Neil Sacker.

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