Studios Consider Options for Early Movie Release to the Home

Apple is reportedly in conversations with numerous Hollywood studios for earlier access to movies. The goal would be to offer a higher priced home video rental of movies shortly after they are released in cinemas, a move that has been vigorously resisted by motion picture theater owners, who have occasionally and en masse boycotted movies given an early home release. 21st Century Fox, Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures have all confirmed they are looking into this kind of early release. Continue reading Studios Consider Options for Early Movie Release to the Home

Live Nation and Hulu Pursue Original Programs, VR Content

Live Nation Entertainment, the world’s largest concert promoter, entertains 70 million people who attend its live musical events annually, selling many of the tickets via Ticketmaster, which it owns. Now, the company is leveraging its access to headlining musicians to create videos and virtual reality content featuring them. It hired MTV vet Heather Parry to build the TV/film production studio and announced co-production plans with Hulu, Vice Media, and VR company NextVR. The end goal is to generate more advertising revenue. Continue reading Live Nation and Hulu Pursue Original Programs, VR Content

Screening Room Proposes Bold Day-and-Date Release Model

Last year, the motion picture box office surpassed $11 billion for the first time in history. But that hasn’t kept distributors and exhibitors from guarding the traditional 90-day window between theatrical release and home entertainment. When major studios attempted to shrink that window five years ago, theater owners fought back. Now, Screening Room, a startup backed by entrepreneur and former Facebook/Napster executive Sean Parker, as well as some Hollywood heavyweights, is trying again — and may succeed by offering anti-piracy tech and revenue sharing. Continue reading Screening Room Proposes Bold Day-and-Date Release Model

New Form Digital Debuts Its “Oscar’s Hotel” Series on Vimeo

New Form Digital, a video distribution/production company funded by Discovery, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, has launched its original pilot — “Oscar’s Hotel for Fantastical Creatures” — on Vimeo On Demand. The series, which began life as one of the dozen or so shorts that New Form commissions each year via its incubator program, includes Jim Henson’s Creature Shop-created beasts that run a magical boarding house, YouTube stars Chris Kendall, Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart, and appearances by Patrick Stewart and Alfred Molina. Continue reading New Form Digital Debuts Its “Oscar’s Hotel” Series on Vimeo

Hollywood to Target Older Audience with Large Format Films

Large-screen format theaters have typically played action-adventure blockbusters aimed at the younger crowd. This fall, however, Hollywood plans to release more adult-oriented stories on the bigger screens, and often in 3D. Proof of that trend can be found in the films chosen to open recent festivals, including the 3D “Everest” at the Venice Film Festival and Robert Zemeckis’ 3D “The Walk” at the New York Film Festival. Exhibitors and their partners are also wooing adults to watch 3D films, which peaked in 2013 with “Gravity.” Continue reading Hollywood to Target Older Audience with Large Format Films

YouTube Stars to Launch Video Series via Vimeo On Demand

New Form Digital Studios announced it has signed YouTube stars PJ Ligouri and Sawyer Hartman for a pair of video series to be made available exclusively through Vimeo On Demand. Ligouri and Hartman, who collectively have more than 3 million YouTube subscribers, were awarded deals after creating shorts with New Form Digital, the MCN backed by Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Discovery Communications. Jim Henson’s Creature Shop has been tapped to create the mythical beasts for Ligouri’s series, “Oscar’s Hotel for Fantastical Creatures.” Continue reading YouTube Stars to Launch Video Series via Vimeo On Demand

Vimeo Enters into Deal with Maker Studios for Original Content

Streaming service Vimeo is planning to team up with YouTube network Maker Studios to fund and distribute projects this year that will get exclusive release windows via Vimeo On Demand, the platform’s premium VOD tier. As part of the deal, Vimeo On Demand will be made available to Maker Studios’ 55,000 creators. Disney-owned Maker Studios has started looking into distribution options, including its own Maker.TV player and a new programming partnership with Dish’s soon-to-launch streaming service, Sling TV. Continue reading Vimeo Enters into Deal with Maker Studios for Original Content

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