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

Amazon Fire TV to Feature Android Games Created In-House

Amazon’s new Fire TV will serve as a game console in addition to streaming movies and TV shows. To help distinguish itself from industry giants such as Xbox One or PlayStation 4, Amazon plans to develop some of its own Android games. While Amazon Game Studios has not released a full list, sci-fi shooter “Sev Zero” has the potential to be the most popular. Amazon recently acquired Double Helix Games, the company that made the Xbox One launch title “Killer Instinct.” Continue reading Amazon Fire TV to Feature Android Games Created In-House

Amazon Announces Six New Shows After Another Pilot Season

Amazon.com announced yesterday that it has picked up two dramas, two comedies and two kids shows from the batch of 10 television pilots it was testing with viewers. Amazon considered feedback and ratings submitted by users, as it did with an earlier pilot season. However, this time twice as many viewers (more than two million) were involved with the process. While Amazon’s streaming service normally does not include ads, the pilots were sponsored by Geico so they could be available to all users, not just Prime subscribers. Continue reading Amazon Announces Six New Shows After Another Pilot Season

Disney to Acquire Popular YouTube Network Maker Studios

It has been confirmed that Disney is acquiring Maker Studios, a top YouTube multichannel network, for $500 million, with a performance-based earn-out of up to $450 million. The deal is expected to provide Disney with insight into new patterns of discovery and interaction regarding short-form online videos, especially among millennials. Maker Studios was founded in 2009. The network generates more than 5.5 billion monthly video views from its 380 million subscribers. Continue reading Disney to Acquire Popular YouTube Network Maker Studios

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

Disney Launches Online Movie Service Powered by Keychest

Disney has launched its new Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA), that allows consumers to purchase movies and store them in the cloud. Launching initially for iOS and the Web, the service is integrated with the Apple iTunes Store. Users can browse, buy and view more than 400 Disney, Pixar and Marvel movies (however, R-rated movies are not included). DMA is powered by Keychest digital storage and streaming tech, developed by Disney, the first to offer movies and TV shows through iTunes. Continue reading Disney Launches Online Movie Service Powered by Keychest

Amazon Discusses New Streaming Service with Music Labels

Amazon continues to expand into the entertainment realm with its delivery of movies and TV via Amazon Prime, the launch of Amazon Studios, its recent acquisition of video game developer Double Helix, and now, the possibility of a streaming music service that would likely be bundled into its Prime delivery option. Amazon has been hiring executives with digital music experience in recent years, and has reportedly been in talks with major music labels for the past few months. Continue reading Amazon Discusses New Streaming Service with Music Labels

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

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

Amazon Launches its Second Pilot Season with 10 New Shows

Amazon Studios is releasing its second batch of original pilots, all vying for the opportunity to become a series to be made available on Amazon’s Instant Video service. Viewers are encouraged to stream the 10 pilots at AmazonOriginals.com, write reviews and rate each show. Feedback will help the studio determine whether or not to commission a full season. The current batch includes five shows for children and five geared toward adults from the likes of Chris Carter, Roman Coppola and Jill Soloway. Continue reading Amazon Launches its Second Pilot Season with 10 New Shows

Amazon Denies Rumors That It is Planning a Pay TV Service

Yesterday, we reported two stories related to Verizon’s acquisition of Intel’s OnCue cloud-based TV platform. In our reporting we noted that a number of companies were believed to be developing Internet TV services, including Amazon, which was reportedly working on a set-top box for delivering streaming video. In response to multiple reports from leading news publications, Amazon reps made a public statement denying any plans the company is rumored to have regarding an Internet TV initiative. Continue reading Amazon Denies Rumors That It is Planning a Pay TV Service

Netflix Joins European Cable Boxes, Targets U.S. Operators

Although Netflix apps are currently offered on over 1,000 devices, they have been absent from cable boxes. This week, Netflix launched an app on Swedish TiVo boxes used by the cable operator Com Hem, which allows viewers to see Netflix’s catalog adjacent to live TV programming. The video service announced a similar deal with cable operator Virgin in the U.K. last year, and is working with Waoo in Denmark. Netflix is looking to pair with U.S. cable operators before the end of this year. Continue reading Netflix Joins European Cable Boxes, Targets U.S. Operators

2013 a Big Year for Digital HD: Expected to Continue in 2014

Digital HD had a big year in 2013, and 2014 will likely have more in store for digital home and on-the-go entertainment. Though the model of renting or buying physical movies still exists, a shift in the standard model was palpable as streaming and electronic sell-through methods became increasingly popular. This was intensified by the commonplace offers from studios to consumers for early online releases of movies before physical copies hit the shelves. Continue reading 2013 a Big Year for Digital HD: Expected to Continue in 2014

Amazon Studios to Shoot Original Programming in 4K Ultra HD

Amazon Studios, the film and TV production arm of Amazon.com, announced this week that it plans to shoot all of its original series next year in 4K Ultra HD. Amazon plans to debut five new comedy and drama pilots in 2014, from producers and performers such as Chris Carter, Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, Michael Strahan and others. Viewers will help determine which pilots should be produced as exclusive series on Prime Instant Video and LOVEFiLM in the UK. Continue reading Amazon Studios to Shoot Original Programming in 4K Ultra HD

YouTube Changes Ad Revenue Split: No More Sweetheart Deals

As its contracts with producers come up for renewal, YouTube is changing its terms for ad revenue splits, no longer providing major Hollywood players like CBS or Warner Bros. with special deals over smaller names such as Machinima or AwesomenessTV. Previously, YouTube offered up to 70 percent of its ad revenue to encourage film and TV producers to place content on the site. Now that YouTube has exploded in popularity, it plans to keep 45 percent of all advertising profits starting in January. Continue reading YouTube Changes Ad Revenue Split: No More Sweetheart Deals

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