2 weeks left to submit your cross-media project to the Pixel Market & compete for a £6000 prize

Applications for Power to the Pixel's groundbreaking PIXEL MARKET will remain open for two more weeks. The innovative marketplace takes place on 13 & 14 October 2010 in London and will showcase 20 of the world’s best cross-media projects at Power to the Pixel’s Cross-Media Forum.

On 13 October up to 10 of the teams will compete for the £6,000 ARTE PIXEL PITCH PRIZE at Power to the Pixel’s public event, The Pixel Pitch at BFI Southbank. Producers will present their cross-media project to a handpicked roundtable of international judges made up of decision-makers, commissioning executives and financiers working in film, broadcast, publishing, online, advertising, gaming, the arts and interactive media.

On 14 October The Pixel Meetings will allow all 20 project teams to take part in one-to-one business meetings with potential investors and partners from across the tech, online, interactive, film, broadcast, arts, publishing and gaming industries.

Print

The Pixel Lab - new cross-media workshop - is open for applications

Posted by Ines @ Power to the Pixel

tpl_blackPower to the Pixel has opened applications for The Pixel Lab - its new cross-media residential workshop, to be held 4-10 July in Wales.

The Pixel Lab is a unique, project-led workshop which will enable European producers and media professionals to tap into the business knowledge-base of the film, online, gaming, broadcast and mobile industries.

This intensive week-long workshop, led by international cross-media experts, will consist of a mixture of group work, one-to-one meetings, plenary sessions and case studies; a tailored, hands-on opportunity for developing, packaging, marketing and distributing cross-media stories.

Producer participants will additionally benefit from focused distance learning project-work between the end of the residency and October, when they will be invited to attend Power to the Pixel’s Cross-Media Forum in London and present their projects to potential international partners.

Print

Ditto - a new film and music experience launches on 16th May

From PR Marek Steven:

Ditto is a new multi-platform collaboration between top names in music, film and writing. Individual, exclusive pieces inspired by classic works from various fields will come together live in an inspiring celebration of life - Creation, Joy, Love, Despair, Hope, Destruction and Farewell. The performance is broadcast live online for literally one time only; as all the work created will be erased forever at the finale. With events coming up at Latitude and The Big Chill, Ditto is always looking for new collaborators. With international musicians and producers influenced by dance, electronica and sonic landscapes composing, contributing and performing new works:

Sander Kleienberg, Rolando Rocha, Fluke / 2BIT, John Hendicott, Bruno DiasMieko Shimizu and James Gillespie (aka Scope). Including a piece created by Richard Norris (Beyond The Wizards Sleeve). Alongside these music pieces, newly created film and animation is being contributed by leading film and visual artists among whom are a mulitude of successful and talented visual artists.

The project brings together 23 newly commissioned pieces of visual art, with accompanying composed soundtracks delivered in a mixture of live and pre-recorded performance and a global broadcast. At the end of the event all the performance material is permanently erased and will never be replayed. This is a one-time event. For a full listing and how to get involved visit www.ditto.tvwww.twitter.com/dittotv and www.facebook.com/pages/Dittotv/174303660083?ref=ts

Print

The Digital Future of Storytelling - Free Martijn de Waal Lecture

Has anyone seen the new interactive narrative uses of YouTube Flash format? A promising development, and one that may come up in the latest free lecture from Bridging the Gap..

martijn.jpg Friday  6th February 2009 14.00-17.00pm
Main Lecture Theatre, Edinburgh College of Art,
74 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, EH3 9DF    Free but please RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In this lecture Dutch new media specialist Martijn de Waal (work pictured) will give an oversight of the most important developments in digital storytelling, both fiction and documentary. What are the most profound changes in the media landscape? What new opportunities for storytelling have come out of these changes? How is the relation between professional storytellers and their audiences changing? And how do online projects reach and involve an audience?

A lecture with lots of examples of existing projects, that addresses – amongst others - a shift from narrative products to narrative processes, poetic databases, real-time documentaries, user generated content, alternate reality games, viral distribution and the ever important role of the director as a creative genius.

Print

GTA sales of $500m give Edinburgh's Rockstar no.1 entertainment launch of all time

gta.jpgThe Scottish games developers behind the highly controversial yet critically acclaimed Grand Theft Auto IV: Liberty City have announced first week sales of $500m, on over six million copies. The figure - with $310 on the first day - not only sets a record for video games, beating Microsoft's Halo 3, but surpasses that of any entertainment product, with the violent-crime-pays game also boosting flagging sales of the Playstation 3 and XBox consoles by up to 50% in the week.

It's a long way from Lemmings - the try-to-save-as-many-lives-as-you-can game - which brought the developers to prominence in the early 90s. Then based in Dundee and called DMA, the studio was approached by Nintendo to be part of the 'dream team' for the launch of the N64, but ended up in 'development hell' on their N64 title, Body Harvest, so turned their attention to creating the first Grand Theft Auto for the PC. It was a similar fusion of driving game with roleplay narrative, except the body harvesting aliens were replaced with more straightforward criminals and joyriders.

A series of acquisitions has left Rockstar North under the ownership of Take Two Interactive, who in turn are currently under a hostile takeover bid from video games giant EA, trying to buy them fogta2.jpgr $2billion. But the developers of Grand Theft Auto - and other controversial titles such as Bully (be a school bully) and Manhunt (be a, erm, mass murderer) are still based in the UK, with offices in in Edinburgh and Leeds.

For its blend of sex and violence in high-rendered 3D, the Trainspotting of the video-game world has received wide criticism and calls from conservative Christian attorney Jack Thompson in the US to ban the game, who even took to writing to the mothers of Take Two's executive board pleading for them to make their sons act. The ability to not just pick up prostitutes in the game, but to run them over, maim and kill them after virtual sex has caused widespread concern, especially with the game released in the same week that the new UK Criminal Justice Bill made it illegal to own images that contain "an act which threatens or appears to threaten a person's life" in a sexual context (one also wonders if this will apply to Basic Instinct and Bond film GoldenEye). 

The publishers argue that it is up to the players to decide what they do in each game - it provides the means for players to runover countless civilians, or attack prostitutes, but it is their choice. Furthermore, they say that the game has received boombloxfirst.jpgunparalleled high critical acclaim with many reviewers describing it as the game of the decade, and some pointing out psychological maturity with the main character become increasingly unsatisfied with his brutal lifestyle as the game continues. Either way, with the breathtaking graphics pushing the genre closer to reality, the critics are unlikely to move on, any more than the film industry is likely to stand back from a sector which makes so much money, and is largely free from piracy (in consoles, at least). Steven Spielberg just last week announced details of his first collaboration with EA - Boom Blox - a kind of tennis-meets-Jenga game for the Wii (pictured).

Print

500k from Nesta and UKFC for digital innovation in film

Digital Innovation in Film is a new initiative from NESTA and the UK Film Council, which will help drive growth in British independent film companies by encouraging them to take better advantage of new technologies.

NESTA and the UK Film Council are calling film companies, who want to explore the potential of online sales, distribution and marketing, to come forward.

How it works

The 'Digital Innovation in Film' project will team-up independent film companies with specialist partners to reach audiences in new ways.

The project is the first in a series from NESTA's Innovators Growth programme, which will explore ways for creative businesses to grow by exploiting new technologies.

Over the next few months, NESTA and the UK Film Council will select up to 10 film companies from across the UK to take part in the project. They will be involved in workshops and receive one-to-one support from partners to explore emerging opportunities for new revenue streams.

Getting involved

 

If you are a film business and would like to be considered for participation in the project, please download the application form.

If you are a potential partner and would like to be considered for participation, please download the tender document.

Print

And so it begins: Miro debuts 1.0, freeing online video

the real miroA future of TV free from the monopolistic control of a single company or country has moved a step closer with the launch of Miro 1.0. Miro is two things - a far more powerful web video manager and viewer than siblings iTunes, Windows Media Player and Joost - and it's open source and developed by a non-profit company. This means there should be no privacy invading ads based on your private user data, clunky DRM or attempts to sell you anything - including lousy TV.

I've just downloaded and installed it, and already can search and download YouTube vids, HiDef channels and DailyMotions, subscribe to ZeFrank, BoingBoingTV and National Geographic, manage all the video on my machine, create playlists and so on.

search

Best of all its open source so if the Participatory Culture Foundation ever took their eye off the ball and became the Big Evil Web Video Censor that Google and Yahoo seem OK with becoming, because the software is open source anyone else could pick up and continue. If you care about freedom of speech and are involved in web video as a viewer or maker you should check this out and get a copy.

 

Print

Apple Unveils Final Cut Studio 2

 

Apple logoApple® has unveiled Final Cut Studio® 2, a significant upgrade to the industry's leading video production suite that delivers new creative tools designed expressly for editors. Final Cut Studio 2 includes Final Cut Pro® 6, which introduces Apple's ProRes 422 format for uncompressed HD quality at SD file sizes and support for mixed video formats and frame rates in a single Timeline; Motion 3 featuring an intuitive 3D environment, paint and new behaviors; Soundtrack® Pro 2 with dozens of innovative tools for multitrack editing, surround mixing and conforming sound to picture; Compressor 3 delivering powerful batch encoding for multiple formats with a single click; and DVD Studio Pro 4.2 for SD and HD DVD authoring. Final Cut Studio 2 also introduces "Color," a professional color grading and finishing application for ensuring consistent color and creating signature looks.

Print

Play Station 3 – Is it a Blu-ray Trojan Horse?

 

Sony's Film Sale Back Door Platform

Blu-ray climbing the digital mountainIt certainly looks that way to us - writes Charles Arthur of The Guardian Technical - particularly after talking to Matt Brown, executive vice president of Sony Pictures Europe, whose job it is to persuade us all to buy Blu-ray media. Formerly with Dreamworks, and steeped in films, Brown declares that "the future is high-definition TV" and that the PS3 - which at £425 in the UK is steeply priced for a games console, but comparatively cheap for a high-definition player (Blu-ray players in the UK cost more than £500) - is "the ultimate home entertainment device". All of which you'd expect him to say. But talking to Brown, it's clear that Sony is happy to take its financial lumps in terms of losses in the games console market if it means guaranteeing a win in the high-definition video war. And the best way to do that? Lose money selling the players, and rake it back by selling the "software" - games and especially films. In the long term, Sony has far more to gain from winning the DVD format wars than it stands to lose in the gaming ones, since it could keep making the PS3 for the next decade.

Print