Netflix Considers Introducing Bonuses For Successful Movies

Netflix, which traditionally has paid talent with upfront deals, is reportedly considering bonuses for filmmakers, actors and producers when their movies prove to be successful. Insiders indicate that the number of awards a movie wins or its viewership numbers could measure the level of success. The new incentive model would be designed to win film projects for the streaming service that would otherwise be picked up by other studios. While Scott Stuber, head of Netflix’s original film division, has been discussing possibilities with producers, details regarding the types of bonuses or who might receive them have not been revealed. Continue reading Netflix Considers Introducing Bonuses For Successful Movies

Snap Is Latest Social Company to Plan Original Video Push

To better compete with social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, Snap Inc. is launching a scripted video initiative called Snap Originals. Teaming with media titans such as Viacom and NBCUniversal to produce original content and syndicate existing shows, Snap aims to ramp up its serialized offerings as Instagram readies its IGTV hub for mobile video. Snap has already been experimenting in this space through partnerships with networks including E!, NBC and ESPN to produce content for its Discover section.

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The Obamas Are the Latest to Sign Production Deal with Netflix

Netflix yesterday announced a multi-year partnership with former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama to produce original content for the streaming service. The Obamas created production company Higher Ground Productions for the Netflix deal, which is reportedly valued in the high eight figures. According to Netflix, the partnership may include scripted, unscripted and docu-series, in addition to documentary and feature films. Two months ago, the Obamas signed a joint book deal with Penguin Random House worth a reported $65 million for their respective memoirs. Continue reading The Obamas Are the Latest to Sign Production Deal with Netflix

Game Engines Are Now Entrée to Better Titles, Faster Delivery

With its game engine, Electronic Arts can apply code created for one game to another new game. EA has evolved its engine, now integrating the features of a dozen into a single game engine, dubbed Frostbite, which was used most recently to create the title “FIFA 17.” Now, Facebook, Amazon and other tech companies are also interested in game engines, which can handle graphics and physics as well as save time and money on R&D, and open doors to development in new media markets such as virtual reality. Continue reading Game Engines Are Now Entrée to Better Titles, Faster Delivery

Magic Leap and ILMxLAB Plan to Make ‘Star Wars’ Immersive

Magic Leap and Lucasfilm’s ILMxLAB have partnered to develop “Star Wars”-related content for the former’s technology. Because Magic Leap has kept its mixed reality developments under wraps, neither company would reveal details about specific experiences that would result from the partnership. But Magic Leap founder Rony Abovitz, at the WIRED Business Conference in New York City last week, did show a teaser that showed two iconic “Star Wars” characters, computer-generated but very real looking, interacting with participants. Continue reading Magic Leap and ILMxLAB Plan to Make ‘Star Wars’ Immersive

Networks Use Data From Social Media to Produce New Shows

Entertainment companies are increasingly paying attention to trends on tweets and Facebook posts to create content that will appeal to viewers. The idea is that giving viewers what they want, as judged by their current conversations, is a barometer of success and loyalty. At NBCUniversal Media’s leadership conference last year, the focus was on this topic: how to use big data — as found on a variety of social media platforms — to create content that resonates with today’s viewers. Big data is now becoming a key factor in the development process. Continue reading Networks Use Data From Social Media to Produce New Shows

ETC Panel: AI, Neuroscience & Data Revolution in Hollywood

ETC@USC has scheduled a panel discussion — “Audience Intelligence at the Frontier: AI, Neuroscience & the Data Revolution in Hollywood” — for Tuesday, June 21. Yves Bergquist, co-founder & CEO of Novamente, and director of ETC’s new Data & Analytics Project will moderate. Leading data scientists, neuroscientists and senior studio execs will discuss the application of next-generation cognitive computing to the audience intelligence challenges in Hollywood. Sponsored by Cloudera, the event will take place 2:00–4:00 pm at the USC Ronald Tutor Campus Center, followed by a cocktail reception. For more information and to register, visit the panel’s Eventbrite page. Continue reading ETC Panel: AI, Neuroscience & Data Revolution in Hollywood

Sony’s Future Lab R&D Program to Showcase Tech at SXSW

Sony announced the launch of its Future Lab Program, a new research and development initiative “that emphasizes an open creative environment and direct lines of communication with society, through which it aims to co-create new lifestyles and user value in the future.” Sony’s program will share prototypes with the user community during development and welcome feedback to help refine projects. The first project — a hands-free interface that offers a new way to experience audio — will be featured in Austin at the SXSW Interactive Festival. Continue reading Sony’s Future Lab R&D Program to Showcase Tech at SXSW

Pop Star Taylor Swift to Release Mobile Game Later This Year

Move over, Kim Kardashian. Taylor Swift is entering the mobile gaming space with the help of game publisher Glu Mobile, which has created popular games for Kim Kardashian and Katy Perry. Swift’s first mobile game is expected to be released in late 2016. The announcement gave investors some confidence and Glu Mobile’s stock jumped 29 percent in after-hours trading. Glu Mobile’s “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood” mobile game generated $43 million in its first three months. Continue reading Pop Star Taylor Swift to Release Mobile Game Later This Year

Panasonic Revives 8K Research, New Cameras Slated for 2018

Panasonic has renewed its efforts to develop 8K image sensors for video. The company had stopped R&D in this area in 2011, in response to financial considerations, but as its earnings increased, it revived its work in this sector, now pledging to invest $80.8 million (10 billion yen) into R&D. Production of the sensors is likely to be outsourced, and production models are expected on the market by 2018. The first targeted use for the 8K sensors will be consumer and broadcast cameras. Continue reading Panasonic Revives 8K Research, New Cameras Slated for 2018

Apple Considers Move into Producing Original Video Content

Sources indicate that Apple has recently been meeting with Hollywood executives to discuss the possibility of the tech giant taking a more active role in the entertainment business by producing original programming. The group exploring the possibility reports to Eddy Cue, who handles content-related issues for Apple. According to one high-level exec who met with Apple, the goal is to launch development and production units by next year that would produce streaming content to take on Netflix and similar services. Continue reading Apple Considers Move into Producing Original Video Content

AOL and NBCUniversal Plan to Share Content Across Platforms

AOL and NBCUniversal have reached a licensing and distribution agreement that will allow the two companies to share and develop content. Shows from NBC, CNBC and Telemundo could start streaming via online video platform AOL On. NBCUniversal and AOL may also start developing original content together to be distributed on the platforms of both companies. The agreement means that advertisers will be able to reach consumers watching this shared content on television as well as mobile and desktop devices. Continue reading AOL and NBCUniversal Plan to Share Content Across Platforms

AES Announces Standard for 3D Binaural Audio Development

The Audio Engineering Society has published its AES69-2015 standard to address the evolving field of 3D audio. The new standard offers a framework for binaural technologies (growing in popularity due largely to the increase of headphone use with smartphones and tablets) and 3D personal audio. Developed in AES Standards Working Group SC-02-08, it defines a file format to exchange acoustic data in multiple forms, including head-related transfer functions (HRTF) and directional room impulse responses (DRIR). Continue reading AES Announces Standard for 3D Binaural Audio Development

Virtual Reality Poised to ‘Cross the Chasm’ to the Wider World

Beau Cronin, co-founder of Prior Knowledge and current senior manager of predictive products at Salesforce, recognizes that VR is in the process of transforming from a specialty technology where innovation is driven by small groups of experts, to a general-purpose technology that will tap into a huge, broader market of users and hackers. In a recent article, he postulates that VR today is where the Internet was in 1993, just before Netscape. At that time there was a re-evaluation of all the rules, often done by outsiders. Continue reading Virtual Reality Poised to ‘Cross the Chasm’ to the Wider World

Sony to Launch First Scripted Series for PlayStation Console

“Powers,” a scripted series based on a comic book, won’t make its debut on TV, but on Sony’s PlayStation gaming console. PlayStation consoles have long offered video streaming apps, but this is the first time that Sony has created an original scripted series for the gaming system. Sony is hoping that the series will encourage more people to buy the $50 PlayStation Plus membership, which include access to “Powers” along with free games and online storage. Continue reading Sony to Launch First Scripted Series for PlayStation Console

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