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

Amazon Studios Orders Full Season of First Woody Allen Series

Online streaming continues to make headlines — from notable CES announcements (including upcoming HDR support from Netflix) to Golden Globe wins for “Transparent” and “House of Cards.” In the wake of Amazon unveiling its full lineup for the next pilot season and Netflix revealing a planned reboot for cult comedy “Wet Hot American Summer,” it looks like Woody Allen fans may also have a reason to celebrate. The iconic writer, director and performer has been tapped to create his first series, which will premiere exclusively on Prime Instant Video. Continue reading Amazon Studios Orders Full Season of First Woody Allen Series

Focus on Personalization: The Netflix Vision for Internet TV

Neil Hunt, Netflix’s chief product officer, announced several of Netflix’s predictions for the future of TV at New York City’s Internet Week conference. He said the company is perfecting its personalization technology so that Netflix will know exactly what you want to watch, and will give you one or two suggestions rather than an endless grid of movies and shows. The vision also includes elimination of the commercial, more smart TVs, and maybe even live sports on Netflix. Continue reading Focus on Personalization: The Netflix Vision for Internet TV

Creative District: Technicolor Launches Pro Networking Site

Similar to how business networking site LinkedIn services the needs of recruiters, professionals and job seekers, Technicolor has launched a social network called Creative District that is geared toward media producers and creatives. The platform is designed to help film and media creators collaborate and share resources, and find work and funding. Creative District operates as a startup, while Technicolor serves as the network’s sole investor. Continue reading Creative District: Technicolor Launches Pro Networking Site

‘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

Tech Startup Offers Compelling New Way to Watch Audiences

During the NAB Show, thousands of companies descend on Las Vegas. Perhaps one of the smallest is a three-man startup called Eyeris, that aims to change the way we gather data about consumer preference. Featured by the SPROCKIT program, a new venue co-sponsored by NAB that aims to highlight nascent tech companies that may have a big impact on the entertainment industry, Eyeris tracks viewer response to motion picture content using clever software and the cameras already embedded in the the devices most of us carry. Continue reading Tech Startup Offers Compelling New Way to Watch Audiences

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

USC Cinematic Arts Professors Installed in New Endowed Chairs

In a ceremony at the Ray Stark Theater on USC’s Cinematic Arts campus last Thursday, Dean Elizabeth Daley joined George Lucas in welcoming three USC film professors to their new endowed chairs. Made possible by a generous gift from Lucas, the three new chairs — The Sergei Eisenstein Endowed Chair for Cinematic Design, the George Mélies Endowed Chair in Visual Effects, and the William Cameron Menzies Endowed Chair in Production Design — are now held by Bruce Block, Michael Funk, and Alex McDowell respectively. Continue reading USC Cinematic Arts Professors Installed in New Endowed Chairs

Disney Teams with Shanghai Media, Producer Forms New Studio

Disney has signed a multiyear deal with Shanghai Media Group that will have writers in the U.S. collaborate with Chinese writers and filmmakers to develop Disney-branded movies that incorporate Chinese themes. The partnership will also expand training opportunities between the creative teams of both countries. Meanwhile, film producer Robert Simonds is forming a new movie studio that intends to meet the growing needs of China and self-distribute the types of films that have been displaced by summer blockbusters. Continue reading Disney Teams with Shanghai Media, Producer Forms New Studio

Capturing Winter Olympic Footage From the Air Using Drones

You may have noticed that drones are being used this month at the Winter Olympics in Sochi to capture footage of ski and snowboarding events. While drones can cost upwards of $40,000, they are quieter and cheaper than using a manned helicopter. Also with drones, filmmakers can typically get much closer to the subject. While limitations currently exist due to regulations and concern of potential crashes, we should expect to see more use of unmanned aerial vehicles for sports photography in the future. Continue reading Capturing Winter Olympic Footage From the Air Using Drones

ILM Has Plans to Open New Visual Effects Facility in London

Carolyn Giardina of The Hollywood Reporter forwarded us news that Industrial Light & Magic, the visual effects division of Lucasfilm, has major expansion plans including a new facility in central London, just outside of Soho, and a move for the Vancouver team to a larger space that will allow the group to double from 100 to 200 employees. Lucasfilm also recently opened an ILM facility in Singapore. The VFX arm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. Continue reading ILM Has Plans to Open New Visual Effects Facility in London

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

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

USC Event: Andy Nicholson on Designing the World of ‘Gravity’

The 5D Institute and USC School of Cinematic Arts will host a special presentation this Friday with production designer and art director Andy Nicholson, who will discuss the 3D space drama “Gravity.” Nicholson will be introduced by USC professor and filmmaker Bruce Block. Following the presentation, a Q&A session will be moderated by editor and author Bill Desowitz. The event will take place 3:30-5:30 at USC’s Eileen Norris Theater. Continue reading USC Event: Andy Nicholson on Designing the World of ‘Gravity’

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