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Thompson on Hollywood

Sundance Institute Pushes Deeper Into Digital Distribution Alternatives--Analysis

Sundance Institute Pushes Deeper Into Digital Distribution Alternatives--Analysis
Two things pop from this week's announcement from Robert Redford's Sundance Institute about their "Artists Services Initiative." First, who it's for--Sundance Institute filmmakers only--and second, how it contrasts with Robert De Niro's for-profit New York-based Tribeca Films, which picks up films to release, some of them from its own festival.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 29, 2011 8:51 AM
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Media Watch: Amazon Streaming Goes Universal, Netflix vs. Hulu User Behavior, Fighting Piracy

Amazon is teaming up with NBC Universal to stream movies to subscribers, continuing its direct competition with Netflix. THR reports that Amazon now offers 9,000 movies and TV shows to its subscribers—Prime customers who pay $79.00 a year (compared to Netflix’s annual $96, for many more options). This after Amazon struck a similar deal with CBS last week. Movies and TV shows to stream include Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Fletch, Cheers, Frasier, and Star Trek.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • July 29, 2011 5:42 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Digital Platform Bookish Launches, Backed by Hachette, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, AOL

Books continue to go digital as a group of book companies--Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group (USA) and Simon & Schuster, Inc.-- put their combined might behind new digital platform Bookish.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 6, 2011 5:19 AM
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Amazon Studios Offers Free and Licensed Library of 2,000 Songs

Amazon Studios -- which invites filmmakers and screenwriters to submit their works for discovery -- announces the release of 2000 free and licensed movie-production music tracks for any registered and signed-in member on their site. Amazon Studios says they added the feature: "in order to enhance the overall viewing experience of the movies they upload to the site. Amazon Studios also recognizes that it’s hard for filmmakers to get valid licenses to soundtrack music for their test movies. Sound and music are important parts of how test movies garner more engaged feedback from movie fans than just scripts alone. Every month, Amazon Studios offers a $100,000 award to the best test movie."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 28, 2011 7:54 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Fandor Streams Indie Video: Sundance Meets Netflix

Fandor Streams Indie Video: Sundance Meets Netflix
Finally, the promise of streaming movies has become a practical reality, from Amazon to Netflix. But as multiple indie sites come and go (from Jaman and Mubi to Spout), on the eve of SXSW, a new indie site launches Wednesday, Fandor, that promises a better subscription indie streaming service via its website and Facebook. For $10 a month, you can browse, sample, clip and stream its library of 2500 films, from Fritz Lang and Maya Deren classics to Alex Cox and Derek Jarman indies or Sundance docs. (Shorts are in the mix too, especially as a mobile app comes online.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 9, 2011 4:58 AM
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EXCLUSIVE: Amazon Studio's December $20,000 Script Contest Winners: The Alchemist Agenda and Villain

Amazon Studios chief Roy Price is thrilled with the first phase of his radical online movie studio experiment. So many submissions came in the first month, more than 2500, that he opened up a December script contest and his panel of judges has picked the first two winners: Richard Stern for action comedy Villain, about a bad guy who decides to switch sides, which also earned the most responses online, and Marty Weiss of the rollicking international mystery adventure The Alchemist Agenda. "It's Fool's Gold meets the Da Vinci Code," says Price. "Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt should definitely check this one out." Both winners will collect a $20,000 prize and can move on to the next phase of the Amazon Studios competition: test shorts and table reads.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 27, 2011 7:51 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Needham Talks IMDb 20th Year Overhaul, Top 20 Lists

Needham Talks IMDb 20th Year Overhaul, Top 20 Lists
As someone who turns to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) every hour, much less every day, I can't believe that the popular movie buff destination is celebrating its 20th anniversary on October 17.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 6, 2010 11:29 AM
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Andreessen Talks Tech Turkey on Charlie Rose

I saved this Marc Andreessen Charlie Rose interview on TiVo because Andreessen is brilliant and loves to share his insight. Months later, as the iPad is coming out and the internet continues to dominate our lives, this Silicon Valley maverick reveals how much he knows about how start-ups and the Internet work from in front. He just gets it. He co-founded and sold Netscape to AOL for $1 billion, and more recently, created Ning and a start-up fund (Andreessen/Horowitz). As an investor and/or board member, his fingers are in many pies, from Twitter to Facebook.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 4, 2010 6:23 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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