Academy Award Nominations Lead to Spike in Pirated Downloads

Digital piracy tracking firm Irdeto reports that global downloads of pirated Oscar-nominated films jumped 385 percent in the 30 days following the nomination announcements on January 15. Irdeto suggests the pirated downloads represent about $41 million in lost revenue. While Hollywood studios and motion picture companies continue to struggle with the problem of piracy, some have recommended embracing the Internet for initial releases, making films available theatrically and online at the same time. Continue reading Academy Award Nominations Lead to Spike in Pirated Downloads

Video Equipment Rentals Plans to Acquire Cameron Pace Group

Journalist and ETCentric contributor Adrian Pennington forwarded us news that Los Angeles-based Video Equipment Rentals (VER) will purchase 3D film and television leader CAMERON PACE Group (CPG). Led by James Cameron and Vince Pace, CPG is an innovator in 3D technologies and production services, including the FUSION 3D workflow system. VER, with headquarters in Glendale, California, has dozens of locations across the United States, Canada and Europe. Continue reading Video Equipment Rentals Plans to Acquire Cameron Pace Group

Cloud Computing Proves an Asset for Productions on a Budget

Today’s cloud services — including CGI, digital intermediate, asset management and storage — are allowing small productions to realize their big visions with less money. Independent films and live events are more frequently using cloud computing to get the rendering and storage services they need without the high costs of traditional physical infrastructure. Productions can also save money because cloud computing helps speed up the long shooting and filmmaking process. Continue reading Cloud Computing Proves an Asset for Productions on a Budget

SMPTE Tech Summit at NAB: The Trials of Global Distribution

The first day of SMPTE’s Technology Summit On Cinema at NAB featured a session called “From Camera to Consumer — the New Post Production.” Digital Studio GM for Walt Disney Studios, Leon Silverman, gave a funny and animated presentation during the session about the many versions of a movie that Disney must produce for international audiences. In the case of the animated feature “Planes,” not only did Disney create dozens of native language dubs and subtitled versions, but it also changed details in the animation to please the local audience. Continue reading SMPTE Tech Summit at NAB: The Trials of Global Distribution

Update: Ellen and Samsung Stir Up Oscars with Tweeted Selfie

Ellen DeGeneres helped the Oscars take over Twitter on Sunday night, with her selfie taken with several Hollywood celebrities. Overall, there was a 75 percent jump in tweets related to the Oscars since last year. Although Samsung sponsored the Oscars, and spent an estimated $20 million on ads, the company may have gained its largest promotional value from DeGeneres’ pre-planned selfie with Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Lawrence and others. Continue reading Update: Ellen and Samsung Stir Up Oscars with Tweeted Selfie

Early Oscar Numbers Look Strong, Ellen Breaks Twitter Record

While total viewer numbers will not be available from Nielsen until later today, last night’s telecast of the 86th Academy Awards from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood scored impressive numbers in the major markets, up 7 percent from last year. In addition, host Ellen DeGeneres set a new social media record by taking a celebrity-filled selfie during the broadcast that has been retweeted more times than any photo in Twitter history, besting President Obama’s tweet after he won the 2012 presidential election. Continue reading Early Oscar Numbers Look Strong, Ellen Breaks Twitter Record

ABC to Live-Stream Academy Awards via Web and Mobile Apps

ABC plans to live-stream Sunday’s Oscars telecast in eight markets via online and Watch ABC apps for customers of participating pay TV partners including AT&T U-verse, Cablevision, Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox Communications, Google Fiber, Midcontinent Communications and Verizon FiOS. ABC also announced it has retired its standalone Oscars app; red carpet and backstage action will be folded into Watch ABC, available to Oscar fans for free. Continue reading ABC to Live-Stream Academy Awards via Web and Mobile Apps

Disney Returns to 1928 for Animated Short Featuring Mickey

Fresh from last year’s win for “Paperman,” Disney is nominated for an Academy Award in the Animated Short Film category. Animators for “Get A Horse!,” which is partly done in a 1920s style, drew inspiration from early Disney holiday cards. The animation blends computer-generated imagery with traditional hand-drawn work, and the story involves Mickey Mouse on a mission to save Minnie Mouse from her lascivious kidnapper Peg-Leg Pete. A win for Disney would mark a first for an animated short starring Mickey.

Continue reading Disney Returns to 1928 for Animated Short Featuring Mickey

Actress Generates Pre-Oscar Buzz Using Twitter and Instagram

Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o, currently generating buzz for her performance in “12 Years a Slave,” is the only actress who is campaigning for an Oscar through social media engagement this year. Nyong’o has gained a significant number of followers on Twitter and photo-sharing site Instagram. She has been actively linking photos of herself in magazines and retweeting mentions of her appearances on both sites, which has helped her gain publicity during the ramp-up to this weekend’s Academy Awards.  Continue reading Actress Generates Pre-Oscar Buzz Using Twitter and Instagram

VFX Industry Plans Oscar Demonstration to Protest Offshoring

PandoDaily and TheWrap are among those reporting that visual effects industry workers are planning a demonstration outside the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood during Sunday’s Academy Awards to protest ongoing efforts to send post-production work overseas. The group believes that offshoring has led to a slow collapse of the VFX industry in the U.S. While there was little the effects industry could do about this in the past, it may now be armed with a new weapon based on the MPAA’s attempts to combat Internet piracy. Continue reading VFX Industry Plans Oscar Demonstration to Protest Offshoring

BitTorrent Offers Hollywood Bundle Options for Promo Content

BitTorrent is making efforts to appeal to Hollywood — and help generate legitimate revenue — by offering studios and artists the opportunity to sell and distribute their material in Bundles as a way to entice customers to buy the full content on iTunes or other similar services. BitTorrent Bundles has already teamed up with Lady Gaga, Madonna and Vice Media to launch promotional content including photos, trailers, videos, songs and other extras. Continue reading BitTorrent Offers Hollywood Bundle Options for Promo Content

Oculus Rift: Virtual Reality Headset Goes Beyond Video Games

The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset was developed with video games in mind, but is becoming a compelling possibility for filmmakers as well. A 360-degree interactive video of a live performance by Beck proves to be truly immersive, making the viewer feel as if he or she is on stage with the musician. Makers of the Rift took to this year’s Sundance Film Festival to interact with filmmakers and see how the virtual reality technology can potentially be used in cinema. Continue reading Oculus Rift: Virtual Reality Headset Goes Beyond Video Games

Motorola Plans Interactive Short Film with Disney Animator

Motorola Mobility has announced that animation veteran Glen Keane will work on the third installment of Motorola’s “Spotlight Stories” series, which features short, interactive projects designed specifically for smartphones. The longtime Disney animator’s credits include “Aladdin,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Pocahontas,” “Tarzan” and the Oscar-winning short “Paperman,” among others. The Motorola projects are being made available via the built-in Spotlight app on Moto X phones. Continue reading Motorola Plans Interactive Short Film with Disney Animator

Full-Length Feature Film to Be Shot Entirely on Apple iPhone

Production is scheduled to begin in June for what is claimed to be the first full-length feature film shot entirely with an Apple iPhone. The film is under a SAG-AFTRA production contract — “Ultra Low Budget” — and will be shot on the newest iPhone, the 5s. Writer/director/producer Brian Kowalchuk and crew are working with Apple executives to address the challenges of logistics. The production has a target release date of April 2015. Continue reading Full-Length Feature Film to Be Shot Entirely on Apple iPhone

Netflix Plans to Release Sundance Award-Winning Documentary

Netflix is making good on its promise to compete directly with movie theaters now that it’s in final negotiations for the exclusive rights to a Sundance Film Festival documentary. The film, “The Square,” is about the Egyptian revolution and will be released through Netflix. It could make Netflix an Oscar contender, just a short while after its success at the Emmys with “House of Cards.” According to one source, this will be the first of many films to be released first on Netflix. Continue reading Netflix Plans to Release Sundance Award-Winning Documentary

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