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More4 Creates Virtual Pub Quiz

More4 launched a brand new online pub quiz on March 20th, held in virtual pub The More4 Arms. The game will allow players to pit their knowledge against four of the channels most famous faces – Jon Snow, Tony Robinson, David Starkey and Kevin McCloud – at the presenter’s specialist subjects. All four will also be seen in The More4 Arms bar, where a pub blackboard promotes upcoming programmes and seasons.


David Holroyd's MI6 thriller WMD premieres at CineCity and Daily Motion simultaneously

wmd2.jpgDavid Holroyd's independent British thriller WMD, produced by Netribution member Christine Hartland , is to receive its online world premiere on Daily Motion simultaneously to its screening at the Brighton CineCity Film Festival. It is part of a campaign to promote and sell the film which is utilising every digital option.

"We are hoping that you, as someone who enjoys film and cares about the issues in wmd., will honour our decision to [release film free online] and hopefully pay (at least once) for the chance to see it"
The filmmakers
Filming began in January this year on the story of Alex Morgan, an  MI6 desk officer who uncovers critical inaccuracies in the evidence being used by politicians to justify the imminent invasion of Iraq and attempted to expose the truth. Written after extensive research and filmed on surveillance, CCTV and home video cameras, ‘WMD’ is a fictional account inspired by real events, aiming to show what intelligence circles really knew in the build-up for the recent Iraq war. The film was shot in London, Rome, Berlin, Washington DC and Morocco.

With the massive online success of films such as Loose Change, Four Eyed Monsters and Zeitgeist Addendum the filmmakers are hoping to get a level of exposure for the film previously unheard of for a micro-budget, self-distributed feature.

You can watch the film exclusively on Dailymotion from 6th to 8th December. You can also apparently buy the film from the WMD website and Amazon, although links did not work at time of writing. The filmmakers intend to donate some of the proceeds to the WarChild charity.


Happy 10th Birthday Shooting People

shooting-2.jpgRemember, if you can, ten years ago. You connected to the web by rubbing two telephones together. The film world was a dark and mysterious place, illuminated only by the appearance of Jones and Joliffe's Guerilla Filmmakers Handbook, and Rodriquez's Rebel Without A Crew some three years before. For most outside the demilitarised zone of Soho, digital was just a watch that was not yet retro enough to be cool, and film jobs were for the most part passed through families like hereditary peerages. Until one day, out of this primordial soup, a mailing list appeared.

A year later, on a dark night, in a pre-Nathan Barley Hoxton, a group of early Shooters came together for the first birthday party. We were all stunned to see that a) we were mostly real normal people, b) no-one told us we weren't important enough to stay and c) quite how many of us there were - at least twice as many as expected with the planned screening split in two. It's easy to disregard it in today's web with a gazillion websites and contests trying to appeal to filmmakers, and 13 hours of content uploaded to YouTube every minute - but back then - other thanshooting-2.jpg The Eejits Guide to Filmmaking and a monthly updated Six Degrees, there was nothing for UK film. And in turn we had no idea how many of us there were making films - I remember being shocked to learn of 3,000, then 6,500 members when Tom interviewed Jess for Netribution in 2000, long before it hit 20, 30 and 40,000.

To think of the number of careers, friendships and films that have been started and inspired as a result of Jess and Cath's baby is quite awe inspiring. Indeed it was that evening I first started asking people's opinions about a free website of funding info and industry resources and it was on the SP bulletins again a few months later than Netribution was launched. Two years on (almost seven years ago, gawd!) when Netribution had run out of money and steam I was fortunate to join Jess, Cath and Stu as preparations were made for the switch to a subscription service. It was an exciting time, brimming with possibilities. Even just learning the secrets of the then crude moderation system felt like being admitted to a secret society (every possible post arrived in your inbox as an email, which could either be rejected or accepted by clicking a link, and which if you were clever you could do in the right order to get the paid work at the top and the chatter at the bottom, and if you were dumb could see you post a whole heap of gunk to the list irretrievably).

shooting-people4.jpg.pngIf there is a winning quality to Shooters, which launched before Cluetrain was published, I'd say it was the approachable human-ness of it all amidst a huge amount of energy. Even now, as Jess heads up the UK's leading doc organisation, she finds time to respond to criticism in blogs. It always amazed me how between keeping full time jobs, running SP, making shorts, studying, DJing and keeping abreast of the cool they still managed to cook a cracking dinner for the weekly meetings. And how huddled around their kitchen tables, the overwhelming memory from discussions that could go well into the night was the sense of responsibility to serve the members well, while constantly moving forwards, something I was proud to be a part of and played a hand in.

So Happy Birthday Shooting People! Many Happy Returns and congratulations on being such a vital part of indie filmmaking for so long. It's brilliant to see you such an established and important part of the film world now - here's to many many more years.

  (some great images and messages from SP members, here )



Viacom signs deal to let people repost video on MySpace

Apparently when YouTube's big content partners are offered the choice between pulling copyrighted content that a member has uploaded, or serving adverts on it, 90% of the time they choose to keep it up with adverts - ie they prefer to profit from that 'infringing' content than act against it.

With this in mind, the AP news report MySpace has signed a deal with Viacom to let members repost Comedy Central and MTV Networks video, such as The Daily Show (below) and share the ad revenues with MySpace.

{htmlfix:}<embed FlashVars="videoId=183509" src='' quality='high' bgcolor='#cccccc' width='332' height='316' name='comedy_central_player' align='middle' allowScriptAccess='always' allownetworking='external' type='application/x-shockwave-flash' pluginspage=''></embed>{/htmlfix}


In case anyone thinks this news story was largely an excuse to post a Daily Show clip, well, after a near year mesmerised by The Huff, poll trackers, election blogs, middle of the night primary counts and presidential debates for an election I can't even vote in, with a final 24-hours of breath-holding, I can only answer with this cheese-fest from Ultimate Improv:

For those wanting to watch the results online, the Guardian has a good list of links and an excellent roundup of some of the key TV moments, cut and tracked by YouTube users.


Top Celebrities and Politicians Come Together for Green Shoot in London

From PR Rachel:


Gordon, Tony and Boris lead CEO and celebrity support in new viral sensation supporting climate action 

Shoot the Company are leading the way in green filmmaking with their new viral created to celebrate the anniversary of Together ( – the UK’s biggest climate campaign. The London-based production company made the commitment to produce the video with the lowest possible carbon foot print.

Shoot the Company shot the video in just two weeks, travelling in between locations on public transport and using natural light to illuminate their handy work. The company minimised energy output by pooling resources and crews with contributors such as Sky and The Premier League.


Big Art Mob collects images of public art across the UK

louiusebourgeoise by Arkangel from C4 MobiA new public art ‘mobile blogging' website - called the Big Art Mob - is now live. The site at is designed to build a web-based resource and community ahead of next year's Big Art Project television series on Channel 4 and with a life well beyond the broadcast.

[‘Mobile blogging' involves sending photos, text and other media direct from your mobile phone to appear within seconds on a widely accessible website.]

The Big Art Mob invites people to help make the UK's first comprehensive map of public art by sending photos (and text, video or audio, if they so desire) to do with public art straight from their mobile phones. Using a combination of Google Maps, a geo-coding facility  and ‘tags' (i.e. labels/keywords - created by the senders and viewers alike), these photos and moblog ‘posts' will collectively form an interactive map to celebrate and preserve the country's wealth of public art.


Putnam Ponders Problems with Virtual Worlds for kids

"Might we not prefer to build worlds that encourage those same values and skills we wish them to exercise in the real world?"


Virtual worlds threaten 'values'

Opening the Virtual World Forum in London, Lord Putnam, one of the architects of current British film policy and an Oscar winning producer, has talked of the dangers of companies creating immersive worlds aimed at children, with many worlds rewarding children for consumption, as opposed to developing useful life skills or qualities.


More lessons from the music industry: from Yahoo exec

ian rogers skateboard"Inconvenient experiences don’t have Web-scale potential, and platforms which monetize the gigantic scale of the Web is the only way to compete with the control you’ve lost, the only way to reclaim value in the music* industry."

(* publishing / software / film / media )  

Yahoo's Music exec Ian Rogers this week gave a presentation to the music industry saying that Yahoo will no longer support DRM or restrictive practices from record labels. (via BoingBoing).

"Want radio? No problem. Click play, get radio. Want video? Awesome. Click play, get video. Want a track on-demand? Oh have we got a deal for you! If you’re on Windows XP or Vista, and you’re in North America, just download this 20MB application, go through these seven install screens, reboot your computer, go through these five setup screens, these six credit card screens, give us $160 dollars and POW! Now you can hear that song you wanted to hear…"


Majority of films watched online are not through video sharing site

netneutralpricing9 billion films were watched online in July 2007 in the US alone, according to the latest figures from comScore Networks. The figure is up from around 7 billion in March, with 134 million people each watching an average of 181 minutes of video during the month.

Interestingly, just 27% of clips watched were through Google/YouTube, which nevertheless far outstripped its rivals - Yahoo nabbed a distant second place, serving up 4.3 percent of the clips, while Fox Interactive Media (MySpace), came in third with 3.3 percent. Viacom (3.1 percent) and Disney (2 percent) rounded out the top five. Google also ranked first in July in unique video viewers with almost 68 million, followed by Fox Interactive (35.8 million), Yahoo (35.3 million), Time Warner Inc. (26.6 million) and Viacom (22.6 million), comScore said.

That means over 50% of films watched online on either very small video sharing/hosting sites or on people's own sites.