VON: Film, TV Incorporate The Net

    September 12, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

“Snakes on a Plane” became the latest film to capitalize on the power of the Internet to build buzz, and it won’t be the last film to do so.

WebProNews publisher Rich Ord sent us his account of the Fall 2006 VON session, ‘Film and Television Incorporate the Internet.

Nick DeMartinoModerator Nick De Martino said Hollywood has noticed in a bigger way the opportunities for content distribution the Internet offers. In making this content available, metadata, the descriptors of the content, becomes increasingly important as well.

GoFish CEO and co-founder Michael Downing made an observation about movies and PCs. “Web delivered movie services are not yet popular. What is important is that content be watched on the TV. People don’t want to watch a movie on a PC,” he said.

That is of particular interest today, now that Apple has finally announced its updated iTunes store, now with movie downloads.

“I’m going to say something controversial,” Downing said. “If everyone at this conference is successful with video we are going to have a bandwidth crisis. I hear some hear some say that bandwidth is unlimited. I’m sorry to say that they are wrong, especially at the metro level.”

Revenue will come from online distribution eventually, said Adam Shapiro. He has made a bet on this, as his production company, Automatic, will release the horror film “Incubus” online in partnership with AOL on Halloween this year.

“The idea being that if anyone is going to bridge the convergence of the Internet and TV it is going to be young people like my 14 year old daughter,” said Shapiro. “This film will be the first theatrically budgeted film for the Internet.”

Downing believes the number of people with the skills to make movies should be a significant number. He claimed 80 percent of Hollywood is unemployed at any given time, so why shouldn’t they be willing to work in a new medium?

Expense will be one reason why not. Shapiro said, “The reality is that when you move away from video blogs to long form video, it is actually very expensive.” Bandwidth would be one of those costs. Right now, people like Shapiro are looking at what kind of price points will be needed to entice people like his daughter to purchase movies online.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.