Google Teams with Director to Create Mobile Spherical Videos

Justin Lin, who directed four films from the “Fast and Furious” franchise, has been collaborating with Google on a mobile movie project. “Help,” Lin’s five-minute short intended for mobile phones, is being released at the Google I/O developer conference this week. The film tells the story of an alien attack on Los Angeles. It is distributed via a mobile app that enables viewers to explore multiple angles by moving the phone around. Google also recently teamed with animation legend Glen Keane on three animated shorts. Continue reading Google Teams with Director to Create Mobile Spherical Videos

WSJD Live: James Cameron on Virtual Reality and Cinema

Speaking at the WSJD Live global tech conference in Laguna Beach on Wednesday, filmmaker James Cameron discussed how his upcoming “Avatar” sequels will be influenced by virtual reality, noting that he now directs his cast using VR headsets and is increasingly involving CGI designers more closely during the scriptwriting process. While he does not anticipate his three films to be viewed on VR headsets, Cameron envisions a future in which VR devices will impact how audiences experience movies. Continue reading WSJD Live: James Cameron on Virtual Reality and Cinema

Auteur Structure: Are Film Directors Reimagining Television?

Notable film directors are increasingly making the transition to television as networks are providing more creative control and encouraging the use of distinctive styles. Cary Fukunaga directed every episode of HBO’s “True Detective,” illustrating that the auteur model could be an effective approach to a TV series. With Steven Soderbergh directing every episode of “The Knick” on Cinemax and David Fincher doing the same for the upcoming “Utopia” on HBO, the shift seems to be more than a mere trend. Continue reading Auteur Structure: Are Film Directors Reimagining Television?

New Form Digital Studio to Launch Program at USC This Fall

Director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer’s newly launched digital studio, New Form, will team up with students from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts to develop digital content. Two-person teams of students will participate in the year-long program to develop scripted series for the Web and pitch their projects. At the end of the first semester, three of the pitches will be selected for production to take place during the second semester. Continue reading New Form Digital Studio to Launch Program at USC This Fall

Marvel Experience is Immersive, Next-Gen Traveling Attraction

“The Marvel Experience” is an upcoming traveling attraction that combines a theme park 4D motion ride, 360-degree display, and a collection of popular superheroes. Hero Ventures, the entertainment company behind “The Marvel Experience,” announced that it has tapped Jerry Rees, a Disney theme park attraction director, to help create the multimedia traveling show. Rhythm & Hues and Prana are the studios in charge of the VFX and animation. Continue reading Marvel Experience is Immersive, Next-Gen Traveling Attraction

Google Glass Available to All, IHS Breaks Down Materials Cost

Google announced Tuesday evening that its Google Glass product, although still in beta, is now available to anyone in the U.S. while supplies last. IHS released a product breakdown of Glass, and says that the cost of hardware and manufacturing is approximately $152, a small fraction of the product’s $1500 selling price. While IHS did note nonmaterial expenses such as software development, engineering and tooling, Google claims that the IHS cost estimate is “wildly off.” Continue reading Google Glass Available to All, IHS Breaks Down Materials Cost

‘In Your Eyes’: Joss Whedon Releases New Movie via Vimeo

With little fanfare, Joss Whedon’s Bellwether Pictures has released its newest film, “In Your Eyes,” for online distribution via Vimeo. During the film’s premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this week, Whedon announced that the movie was already available online for $5. Whedon, the writer and producer of the film, previously experimented with bypassing traditional distribution methods with his 2008 Web series, “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.” This is his next step in exploring ways to release content directly to the audience. Continue reading ‘In Your Eyes’: Joss Whedon Releases New Movie via Vimeo

Maker Studios Says Disney Offer Approved by Shareholders

Maker Studios announced that Disney’s offer to acquire the YouTube multichannel network (MCN) has been approved by a majority of its shareholders, despite Relativity Media throwing its hat in the ring with a surprise bid of $1.1 billion (mostly stock) on Sunday. Also, the Superior Court for the State of California in L.A. yesterday rejected a request by former Maker executives, including former CEO Danny Zappin, seeking to block the shareholder vote on the proposed Disney acquisition. Continue reading Maker Studios Says Disney Offer Approved by Shareholders

Junction: Crowdfunder Allows Fans to Invest in Film Projects

The new San Francisco-based Junction provides wealthy movie fans with an opportunity for investing in films online. It is not another Kickstarter that helps projects get made, but instead allows potential investors to contribute to projects that already have enough finances secured for production. Junction is only open to individuals with annual income of more than $200,000 a year or net worth of $1 million. The incentive for producers is that outside investors will help minimize risk. Continue reading Junction: Crowdfunder Allows Fans to Invest in Film Projects

EVE Online: The Move From Game to Comic Book to TV Series

Gamemakers are increasingly looking to other platforms. CCP Games announced its plan to create a TV series based on the popular space game “EVE Online” almost one year ago. While the company has met with numerous networks and studio execs to develop a series, they claim to be in no rush to produce it. CCP wants to capitalize on the growing number of the online game’s worldwide players, and will launch “EVE: True Stories” as a comic book before a TV series is produced. Continue reading EVE Online: The Move From Game to Comic Book to TV Series

It’s Official: Satya Nadella to Serve as Microsoft Chief Exec

Following a five-month search, Satya Nadella has officially been named Microsoft’s third CEO in the company’s nearly four-decade-long history. Yesterday, the 22-year Microsoft vet was named to succeed Steve Ballmer. In addition, co-founder Bill Gates will vacate his chairman’s post to become technical adviser to Nadella and help shape Microsoft’s product strategy moving forward, including a focus in the mobile space. Gates is not expected to play a role in day-to-day management. Continue reading It’s Official: Satya Nadella to Serve as Microsoft Chief Exec

Tarantino Suing Gawker and AnonFiles.com for Leaking Script

Screenwriter and director Quentin Tarantino is suing online media publisher Gawker Media LLC and the website AnonFiles.com for over $1 million for copyright infringement. Tarantino filed the complaint on Monday after Gawker and AnonFiles.com posted an online copy of “The Hateful Eight,” written by Tarantino. The filmmaker said he was depressed the screenplay had been leaked, and is cancelling all plans to develop the script as his next project.  Continue reading Tarantino Suing Gawker and AnonFiles.com for Leaking Script

Mark Duplass Offers Advice to New Filmmakers: Get on Netflix

During a talk at the Variety Studio at the Sundance Film Festival, director/producer/actor Mark Duplass offered some straightforward advice to peers and young filmmakers navigating the world of distribution. He stressed the importance of making films available on Netflix, saying the release of his first movie on the streaming media service “made his career.” Duplass, who has debuted nearly 10 films at Sundance, was there to premiere his new project, “The One I Love.” Continue reading Mark Duplass Offers Advice to New Filmmakers: Get on Netflix

Will Consumers See Any Real Need for a Curved TV Display?

Curved TVs were a hot topic at this year’s CES, and many of them were promoted as giving a “3D-like” effect — more theatrical and cinematic. But some analysts are questioning whether there is a need for a curved display. “3D-like” may not serve as an accurate description of the experience for average viewers. Some say it even alters the experience in a way a director might not intend, as the effect could easily be achieved by a special camera lens instead. Continue reading Will Consumers See Any Real Need for a Curved TV Display?

Sundance: Some Indie Films are Opting for Smaller Screens

The annual Sundance Film Festival kicked off this week in Park City, but despite the buzz surrounding the event, the indie distribution landscape is changing. Filmmakers are not profiting from festival exposure like they were only a few years ago, and some are choosing to deliver movies directly to an audience on smaller screens. Many independent films, even those that get scooped up at festivals, run the risk of not making it to theatrical distribution. Continue reading Sundance: Some Indie Films are Opting for Smaller Screens

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