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Studio Beyond Launch May 25th: A Groundbreaking Concept For The Movie making World

Like many successful businesses, Studio Beyond was created to solve a problem. In Hollywood, there are often significant barriers for film makers who often find themselves unable to tap into Hollywood resources.

Since Hollywood is a giant business oriented towards making ‘safe’ decisions, it favors cautious choices, tending to use ‘proven’ people to work with (actors, directors, producers, editors, etc.). While this low-risk approach is understandable, it is not always the ideal way to put together the most creative or profitable product. 


itzon – a new film platform. It’s film, but different.

Film is changing, TV is changing, distribution and audiences are changing.

itzon is setting out to showcase and market films on a unique online platform by converging TV, Internet video and film festival with the latest in cloud and streaming technologies.

The platform delivers independent films, documentaries and animations from around the world all scheduled into a linear stream. itzon is a curated, hassle-free, high-definition ‘TV’ experience, available through Internet browsers or Internet-ready TVs.

itzon offers filmmakers a host of services in one place. For example, the opportunity to earn revenue from views, a broad audience and a global reach, festival awards and prizes, their rave reviews sent to industry professionals who may be interested in developing projects, active promotion through our IPG, magazine and social media, the ability to sell their DVDs and merchandise through our site commission free, and so much more.

The itzon team is passionate about providing digital promotion to independent films in all stages of distribution, not just the latest releases. Whether this is a re-launch of a popular film that is now experiencing a plateau in viewing numbers or DVD sales, a date-specific screening, or a simultaneous multiplatform launch, itzon is flexible and curated to maximize the platform for the individual filmmaker’s needs.



Register now for Power to the Pixel's Cross-Media Forum, 12-15 October

Power to the Pixel’s Cross-Media Forum has gained a world-class reputation for bringing together the leading international innovators and pioneers who are changing the way films and other stories are being created, financed and are reaching audiences in a digital world.

Boasting keynotes from Michel Reilhac, Executive Director ARTE France Cinéma; Mike Monello, Co-founder Campfire, Co-creator The Blair Witch Project; Thomas Hoegh, Founder Arts Alliance, the forum is once again held in association with the BFI London Film Festival.

With its eye firmly focused on the business of storytelling, Power to the Pixel this year launches The Pixel Market, a first-of-its-kind, two-day marketplace which will showcase 18 of the world’s best cross-media projects with stories that span a combination of film, TV, online, gaming, live events, mobile.

Nine of these projects have been selected to present In Competition at The Pixel Pitch, a pitching forum that takes place in front of a public audience, to compete for the £6,000 ARTE Pixel Pitch Prize.


One week left to submit a proposal for the Open Video Conference 2010

openvideoconference-lt-lgArriving at last year's Open Video Conference, after a decade of writing mostly outside of the tech sector about how the web is shaping film, was like walking into a bar after walking across a desert with little water. The excitement of meeting so many similar (and more talented and inspiring) people lasted long into the year.

The inaugural OVC in New York was the first attempt to bring together web pioneers, indie film and videomakers and Open Source and free speech activists. It was a chance to listen to and meet the people who make Wikipedia, Firefox, VLC, Miro and Creative Commons, along with the likes of Xeni Jardin, Ted Hope, Jonathan Zittrain and Nina Paley.

The second coming will run October 1-2 and one of the organisers tells me they are aiming to get 1400 delegates this time round. If you have something to present or discuss, there's seven days to get a proposal submitted to the conference organisers - if accepted they may be able to assist with travel expenses.

More information about the conference here, and the submission details here.


Seven projects selected for Power to the Pixel Pitch, 15 October

An all-star jury ranging from UKFC Premiere Fund head Sally Caplan to YouTube's Sara Pollock will judge the Pixel Pitch award for a cross media project, with details of the seven finalists now released and detailed below. One winner will walk away with the £6,000 Babelgum Pixel Pitch Award.

Tickets are now on sale for the event, which will accompany the Power to the Pixel conference, where a host of names from the Open Video Conference (including Brian Newman, Ted Hope, Nina Paley, Lance Weiler) along with Age of Stupid's Franny and Lizzie - will talk about digital marketing and distribution strategies for filmmakers.


Scott brothers launch Purefold - Blade Runner inspired video universe for brands under CC license

New digital agency AG8 has partnered with Scott Free - digital agency for Tony and Ridley Scott - to launch PureFold, which 'enables participating brands to take an alternative route to brand integration than traditional product placement and embrace invention within a narrative framework'. The project will launch at the upcomming B.Tween Festival in Liverpool.

From Paid Conent:

Purefold is described as an “open media franchise” and has the rather grand aim of answering “what does it mean to be human?” But the short, inter-linked, sci-fi styled films are real and will be created by RSA’s global pool of directors—and the film-makers will use the web as their inspiration, taking chatter from FriendFeed and turning it into plotlines and dialogue. The clips will be distributed via YouTube on a Creative Commons basis. The Leftbrainrightbrain blog reports that there will be seven interlinked storylines and the project wants 10 brands to come on board.

And from the AG8 site:

"What happens when content production frees itself from the shackles of copyright?

What happens when people’s lifestreams influence and drive fictional storytelling?

What happens when storytelling becomes decentralised, grown through a collective rather than through an individual author?

What happens when product and service invention, rather than product placement, drives the development of branded content?

What happens when transmedia thinking is embedded into stories from the very beginning rather than as an afterthought?

What happens when media agencies are able to sell StorySpace rather than AirTime?


Sony Pictures CEO 'doesn't see anything good having come from the Internet - period'. Question mark?

walkman_by_edvvcIt's kind of like a guy who grows his tomatoes in his kitchen complaining about never benefiting from all that lovely sunshine outside. Sony was the company who were five years behind Microsoft with web access for the Playstation, created the web hoax PR bomb, and resisted shipping an MP3 player in favor of their own proprietary DRM'd format for three years after the record breaking launch of the iPod (and which they've only just conceded was a mistake). Sony Pictures CEO Michael Linton's blaming of the web for his company's first loss in 14 years is - as we say round where I'm from - like a bad workman blaming his tools.

The film industry has had over 10 years to prepare for the web as it exists today. In an early life back then I wrote management reports that I know were sold to the media executives as did many people around me. The success of broadband, filesharing, youtube and the lack of central control or agreed-upon delivery standards is unsurprising, other than for being slightly slower to materialise than expected and - I suppose - for the film industry's failure to learn the lessons of the music industry and produce a legitimate service which competes with the piracy model, if not on price, at least on availability and ease of use.

To this day it is still near-impossible to rent or purchase some of Hollywood's greatest films online, forcing those too lazy to order a copy from Amazon an easy excuse to download it illegally. While some kind of penalty for major pirate filesharers may be only a matter of time, for as long as the industry resists providing a legitimate alternative, as the music industry finally has with Spotify, then at least the filesharers are keeping the pressure on the studio executives to resolve the licensing disputes and put their libraries online asap. It's not like they aren't already available illegally, taking away any argument about waiting until DRM/watermarking issues are resolved - if people want to rip these films, they probably already have. And if they couldn't grab them online, they'd just get it from their local DVD-wielding pub tout. For the majority of us who don't want to steal (but may like to sample from time to time when unsure if a film will be any good) we are just being encouraged to learn a new way to break the law. This is before we come onto the thousands of incredible films that aren't available - even on DVD or VHS - and are otherwise consigned to the dustbin of fading memories.


Which video sharing sites offer the best filmmaker-friendly licenses? Not Vimeo

Apologies for the quiet around here lately - I've been completely emerged in a family health crisis. I hope to pick things up in the next few days. Meantime here's some suprising news (by way of BoingBoing) from Markus Weiland, who has compared the license agreements from the main video sharing sites. Netribution's (until now) prefered site Vimeo comes off the worst:

"By submitting your Submission to VIMEO, you hereby grant VIMEO [...] a worldwide, perpetual, non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free, sub-licensable (through multiple tiers) and transferable license (with a right to create derivative works) to use, copy, transmit or otherwise distribute, perform, modify, incorporate into other works, publicly perform and display your Submission or any portion thereof, in or through any medium, [...]. VIMEO shall be entitled to unrestricted use of any Submission for any purpose whatsoever, commercial or otherwise, without compensation to the submitter."

YouTube doesn't come off much better - only, which we were pushing in the last funding book - has a filmmaker friendly End User License Agreement (EULA) that lets the producer choose the license under which their content appears. DailyMotion, which has been premiering some great indie features recently, also gets a thumbs up. The full list is at the Advancing Usability blog.