Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Spurlock Skips Rights Issue in Girl Talk Show

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Girl Talk
The fourth episode in Morgan Spurlock‘s web series for Hulu, A Day In the Life, which premiered today, features remix artist Girl Talk, aka Greg Gillis, also the star of Brett Gaylor‘s film RIP: A Remix Manifesto. Oddly, at least to viewers of Gaylor’s film, the episode doesn’t mention the issue of copyright at all, and indeed there are no attributions at the end of the credits to suggest Spurlock himself felt compelled to clear the rights of the songs used by Gillis in the performance. (This may simply be a choice due to constraints on the program; typically it’s a requirement of music clearances to list them in end credits).

If that’s the case, it may indicate a much more liberal interpretation of copyright on the part of Hulu (who presumably have plentiful legal counsel).

The Future of Networking

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

I’m doing a series of blogs over at NAMAC this week. The first one, called The Future of Networking, looks at how the hackathon could replace (or at least supplement) the typical panels and conferences we currently endure in the pursuit of connection.

Story + Money: The Tribeca Film Institute New Media Fund

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

The Tribeca Film Institute’s New Media Fund was launched this year to support social issue nonfiction storytellers expand the scope of their engagement with audiences. Designed to fund ambitious projects that expand the ideas of what is possible and available to documentary filmmakers and storytellers via the web and other digital media as well as other kinds of unique or cross-platform projects.

Ingrid Kopp, Editor-in-Chief of Shooting People has been working with TFI as a consultant to launch the fund and here she talks about some of the ideas related to the new opportunities.

Transmedia tools: Storify Social Media Storytelling

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Storify LogoTransmedia aka “Cross-Platform” storytelling has gained traction from the most commercial content creators in advertising to the most artistic media makers at the National Film Board of Canada. To look at how transmedia can enhance an independent filmmaker’s relationship with their audience, their story, and their revenues, I will check out a few of the tools and resources available to help you create a more dimensional experience.

First up, Storify, a tool to create stories from different content feeds. Here is a Story I made to give you a sense of what is available.

Un-Digital Filmmaking: FLICKER NYC

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Digital is cheap and sexy but sometimes, you really just want to go old school. That’s the premise of FLICKER NYC, a Super-8 Festival produced by filmmaker and Final Cut Pro expert David Teague (full disclosure: we went to high school together). FLICKER offers new filmmakers the opportunity to make a movie the old fashioned way: on film, but with a DIY aesthetic and many surprises along the way.

Check out the next FLICKER NYC at their 10th Anniversary this Sunday, April 17th, 7PM at Southpaw in Brooklyn, 125 5th Avenue (b/w St. John’s & Sterling). A showcase of international Super-8, a raffle, and afterparty will be highlights.

Can Fandor Make Indie Film Profitable Online?

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Reaching the niche market of independent film fans has been a goal for a number of online film platforms. Fandor is the newest entry in the contest. Launched late last year by Jonathan Marlow from GreenCine and ‘serial entrepreneur’ Dan Aronson, Fandor is getting buzz for offering a large selection of curated titles at a $10/month subscription fee. Unlike Netflix, which pays a fee based on a contracted license period, Fandor offers a per-use model in which 20% of revenues are divided among the filmmakers regardless of plays and 30% are split based on an “attention algorithm” which presumably measures the amount of time people spend watching each film, perhaps accounting somehow for how long each film is. In any case, what that means, if we were considering gross revenues (which perhaps is not the case), if Fandor has 50,000 subscribers, you would be looking at a base of $33/month for your film to be on the service.

Netflix has 20 million members, so perhaps Fandor has room to grow. On the other hand, MUBI, formerly The Auteurs, seems to have stalled a bit and sites like IndieFlix have never really caught on in the mainstream. Fandor is betting on a specialty audience and a editorial viewpoint to draw people to the site.

There is no reason not to place a film on Fandor if you are selling to Netflix, and even if you don’t make a Netflix sale, Fandor touts that they will carry a wide selection of films Netflix doesn’t have. Will independent film fans pony up? And will there be enough cinephiles to make it worth it?

SXSW 2011: Cool New Film Business & Tech Panels

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

It’s SXSW! I’m sitting in the sun! Here are some great looking panels that will suck me into fluorescence and A/C.

3/12 11 AM Broadband Matters for Content Makers – My “conversation” with John Bergmayer of Public Knowledge will give creative people the chance to talk about issues in broadband access, monopolies, net neutrality, and more.

3/12 12:30 PM Makers of Geek Documentaries – this one is of personal interest.

3/12 5 PM Can Transmedia Save the Entertainment Industry?

3/13 11AM Transmedia Storytelling: Constructing Compelling Characters and Narrative Threads

3/13 12:30PM Putting It Together: The Film Financing Equation – Aaron Kaufman and John Sloss

3/13 12:30PM Unexpected non-fiction storytelling – with Ze Frank, the NFB and IDFA DocLab

3/13 2PM Branded Documentary: A Case Study, Concept to Cannes

3/13 5PM Crowdsourcing: Innovation and/or Exploitation?

3/14 11AM Cryptography, Technology, Privacy: Philip Zimmermann, Inventor of PGP

3/14 11AM The SINGULARITY: Humanity’s Huge Techno Challenge

3/14 2PM DIY Production Contracts: 7 Agreements Every Filmmaker Needs

3/14 3:30 Pimp My Movie: Online Marketing Makeovers

3/15 2PM Alternative Financing For Independent Film

3/15 3:30PM Production For Emerging Platforms

Cultural DIY?

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

In the New York Times, Michael Kimmelman recently wrote about what he termed DIY Culture- sort of the positioning of local versus global commerce. There seem to be assumptions that go along with this kind of thinking that confuse global and modern or local and old-fashioned, as he writes about the prevalence of bookstores in Berlin:

This was more than just a system of distribution and sales; it was a cultural as well as economic affair. It influenced civic life and social relations in ways that browsing books on Amazon or Google can’t.

Now, I am a huge bookstore fan- I spend many hours in them each month. But to suggest that social relations or communities that aren’t powerful in their own way- in some ways more powerful- can’t emerge on Amazon does seem to be willfully ignoring the reality of culture today. This is true as well of other kinds of cultural interactions- just because they don’t happen in physical spaces, doesn’t make them less valid.

For filmmakers who have traditionally created work to be shared in groups, the challenge may be to create experiences of sharing (or simultaneous viewing) that are not so dependent on shared physical space. On the other hand, people who interact online seem interested in meeting up “in real life” when circumstances permit- so don’t give up on screenings yet- but look to successful models of transitioning between the kinds of spaces. As someone asked me yesterday, where is the Last FM for movies?