HBO Experiments with Branching Narrative TV Series and App

Against the backdrop of eroding live TV viewership and the expansion of video games and Web video, acclaimed filmmaker Steven Soderbergh (“Traffic,” “The Knick”) has directed “Mosaic,” an interactive series with branching narratives. Co-developed by Soderbergh and former Universal Pictures head Casey Silver with screenwriter Ed Solomon, “Mosaic” is a multi-episodic mystery that allows audiences to choose the story threads they experience. The series is now available for free download from Android and Apple stores and for viewing with Apple TV. Continue reading HBO Experiments with Branching Narrative TV Series and App

Amazon and Netflix Acquire Movies and Visibility at Sundance

After coming up empty at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, streaming services Amazon and Netflix made some significant acquisitions at this year’s indie film festival in Utah. Prior to the festival, Netflix spent $5 million for the streaming rights to “Tallulah,” starring Allison Janney and Ellen Page, and almost $7 million for “The Fundamentals of Caring,” starring Paul Rudd and Selena Gomez. Amazon inked a deal for Kenneth Lonergan’s “Manchester by the Sea,” with Kyle Chandler, Casey Affleck and Lucas Hedges. Continue reading Amazon and Netflix Acquire Movies and Visibility at Sundance

VR Films Are Expected to Make a Splash at Sundance Festival

At the Sundance Film Festival in Park City next month, attendees can expect to watch both great films and virtual reality experiences. Ten of the 13 installations in the festival’s New Frontier program involve VR or other digital interactive technology. These projects use several different brands of headsets, from Oculus Rift to Google Cardboard and Samsung’s Gear VR, and for one of the first times, the content for these devices will be original, not a promotion for an existing movie. Continue reading VR Films Are Expected to Make a Splash at Sundance Festival

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

Increasing Number of Sundance Films are Being Crowdfunded

Of the 140-plus films in this year’s Sundance Film Festival, 26 of them were crowdfunded through Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Zach Braff’s “Wish I Was Here” was one such film, which raised funds from more than 47,000 fans to make up part of its $5 million budget. Some question what kind of impact crowdsourcing might have on sales and distribution, but many filmmakers insist it’s a great way to raise awareness and interest in their productions. Continue reading Increasing Number of Sundance Films are Being Crowdfunded

Vimeo Looks to Crowdfunding Sites for its On Demand Platform

Content licensing has seen a paradigm shift with the iTunes Store and emerging online alternatives for distribution. Now Vimeo, largely touted as a competitor to YouTube, has announced a program to help indie filmmakers market their films if they have raised at least $10,000 from crowdfunding sites. Vimeo searches for movies to license, and offers creators free Pro accounts and promotion financing, in exchange for the movies being made available on its paid distribution platform Vimeo On Demand.

Continue reading Vimeo Looks to Crowdfunding Sites for its On Demand Platform

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

Sundance Draws Big Spending and Wide Release Commitments

Indie films are selling impressively well, and for high prices, at this year’s Sundance Festival in Park City, Utah. According to Variety, there were five seven-figure deals “that came with the promise of a healthy run on big screens.” The reason, says former ICM international and indie film topper Hal Sadoff, is that “indies are rising to fill the niche the studios have all but abandoned.” Continue reading Sundance Draws Big Spending and Wide Release Commitments