Is the Amazon-Hachette Dispute About More Than Book Sales?

Amazon is making books unavailable for pre-ordering and extending shipping times due to its dispute with one of the country’s largest publishers, Hachette Book Group. These tactics put pressure on Hachette as the two companies negotiate new terms of a deal for Amazon to sell the publisher’s books online. Amazon wants to increase its cut of the sales from Hachette books and e-books. In a statement Tuesday night, the online retailer said it does not expect the dispute to be resolved any time soon. Continue reading Is the Amazon-Hachette Dispute About More Than Book Sales?

‘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

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

Threat Report Indicates Mobile Malware Increase for Android

Security firm F-Secure released a 40-page Threat Report this week for the second half of 2013, which shows that Android receives the most malware attacks. Mobile malware on the Android platform increased 18 percent from 2012 to 2013, from 79 percent to 97 percent. Three fourths of the malware detections came from Saudi Arabia (42 percent) and India (33 percent). The United States and Finland are next on the list at 5 percent each, followed by Germany, Great Britain and Hong Kong. Continue reading Threat Report Indicates Mobile Malware Increase for Android

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

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

New TNT Series “Mob City” Releases Script Via Twitter Cards

“Mob City,” a three-week event about mobsters in 1940s Los Angeles, premieres Wednesday night on TNT. In an effort to generate early social buzz, the script for the first episode is being released in its entirety (minus the surprise ending) as a stream of Twitter messages. The first episode was written by the show’s creator, Frank Darabont (“The Walking Dead,” “The Green Mile,” “The Shawshank Redemption”). The tweets began distribution yesterday using Twitter Cards. Continue reading New TNT Series “Mob City” Releases Script Via Twitter Cards

“Breaking Bad” Fans Flock to Social Media for Series Finale

Sunday’s series finale of AMC’s “Breaking Bad” led to unprecedented social media activity, especially on Twitter and Facebook. While AMC was running a marathon of the Emmy-winning drama leading up to the finale, Twitter experienced more than 100,000 tweets a day, sparked in part by interaction with cast and crew. Additionally, Facebook says that more than 3 million users generated about 5.5 million interactions on its social network during the finale. The activity comes as both social platforms are pursuing television dollars. Continue reading “Breaking Bad” Fans Flock to Social Media for Series Finale

Writers Profit as Their Comic Books Become Shows and Films

Some comic book publishers are now offering writers a greater share of revenue from comics that end up on the screen. This contrasts to larger comic book publishers that are typically the major beneficiary of published content. Some small publishers have been the source for film and TV studios creating new projects, such as “The Walking Dead” series and the film “2 Guns.” Both were comics, and both are sharing returns with the original creators. Continue reading Writers Profit as Their Comic Books Become Shows and Films

Free Amazon Storyteller Tool Converts Scripts to Storyboards

Amazon Studios, the production arm of Amazon.com, has introduced a new tool called Amazon Storyteller to help with its initiative to develop original movies and TV series. The free online tool enables writers and content producers to easily convert RTF scripts into storyboards. According to Amazon, Storyteller scans the script and then “identifies the scenes, locations and characters from scene descriptions, and ‘casts’ them from a library of thousands of characters, props and backgrounds.” Continue reading Free Amazon Storyteller Tool Converts Scripts to Storyboards

Kindle Worlds: Amazon Debuts Fan Fiction Publishing Platform

Amazon announced Kindle Worlds yesterday, a digital publishing platform that enables fan fiction authors to publish under official licenses and receive royalties. The current deal is limited to “Gossip Girl,” “Pretty Little Liars” and “The Vampire Diaries” from Warner Bros. Television Group’s Alloy Entertainment, but Amazon promises licenses for more Worlds in the future. Stories will be made available via Amazon.com, Kindle devices, iOS, Android and Kindle Free Reading apps. Continue reading Kindle Worlds: Amazon Debuts Fan Fiction Publishing Platform

NYC Startup Looks to Revolutionize Magazine Publishing

New York-based startup 29th Street Publishing wants to make it easier for freelance writers and independent editors to publish in a digital world. The company helps develop and maintain iOS apps for serialized content and, in the process, just may help revolutionize magazine publishing. 29th Street already builds apps for about 20 publications, some of which are established names and others that are brand new. Continue reading NYC Startup Looks to Revolutionize Magazine Publishing