Who remembers Atom Films and IFILM, particularly back when the two companies launched online at essentially the same moment (see 7th item on the page) in early 1999? Now, both companies have been acquired by MTV, Atom for $200 million in a deal announced today and IFILM for $49 million last fall.
I can't say that it feels like yesterday, but I still clearly remember founders Mika Salmi (from Atom) and Roger Raderman (from IFILM) pounding the pavement at fests in those early days, trying to woo filmmakers and sharing with us their goals for the respective companies. By Sundance 2000, a host of new online sites for short films had sprung up, ushering in what they collectively hailed as "next-generation" entertainment. At indieWIRE, we covered this emerging space aggressively, hoping to maintain a front row seat as indies carved out an important role. The momentum faded...but not for Atom and IFILM.
Now, as the latest wave of dotcom money continues to eye film space, there seem to be a number of unique opportunities for indies to really make some headway. Thoughts?