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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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  • The Costner idea is a good one, but you already have to be part of the Hollywood system for this to work. My buddies on O'ahu did a web series (Ninjai) that surely has beaten anything that Costmore will come up with and yet they still don't have financing. My own project with hits in the many millions has been on so many top rated lists that I don't even keep track any more, but every Hollywood exec said that it won't find an audience. Yes, I do think that the web helps, but the financial models still aren't changing. I was talking with an investment firm's agent just a few days ago and he said that if there isn't an opportunity to but AT LEAST $50 million into something, they don't even look at it. He even admitted that it was a poor way of doing business, but added that it is the only way they can given the legal requirements for investments.

    By Blogger strangeframe, at 4:20 PM  

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