Things I Learned at Digital Hollywood

by Anne Thompson
October 21, 2009 11:55 AM
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Thompson on Hollywood
A Digital Hollywood conference seems to comes around every few months, as folks like me trek out to Santa Monica to see if there's anything new to be gleaned about the digital future which seems to be trashing livelihoods all around us. Just this week cuts were announced at the LA Times, NY Times, and Conde Nast. Even online indie Spoutblog is letting critic Karina Longworth go. No more original content, warns the site.

On Tuesday, anxious documentary filmmakers gleaned info about online distribution from SnagFilms CEO Rick Allen and vet documentarian Les Guthman. I hung out in the corridors with the likes of digital entrepreneur Sandy Grushow (Filmaka), LAFF's Rebecca Yeldham, Vanity Fair editor-turned-documentarian Matt Tyrnauer, who says he definitely caught the filmmaking bug from Valentino (which I recommend), and Marina Zenovich, who's just back from Switzerland, where she's filming her follow-up to Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired.

She's worried about Polanski, who was in the hospital while she was there. His wife Emmanuelle Seigner and two kids are also affected. So are his finances, which are tied up in finishing his latest film, The Ghost. Today's news: Polanski's lawyers may be leaning toward returning to face justice in the U.S. now that a Swiss judge has refused to let him out of jail on bail, considering him a flight risk.

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  • christina simpkins | October 23, 2009 7:46 AMReply

    Bravo Ms. Thompson!!!!!!!
    With Warm Aloha
    PS as always you raise the bar! I have had the priveldge to produce three films for Filmaka's Competition series ( with my brilliant writer/director and Sundance alum Brett Wagner) Filmaka is certainly above the rest in both their team's integrity, their organization and their content
    And though grateful for the experience the whole 'state of affairs' and distribution drain tend to create a tad bit of anxiety.. In other words, your insight, your wisdom and your wit are energizing and thought provoking!
    I always feel just a little closer to my carrot when I read your work...Thank you!

  • Anne Thompson | October 23, 2009 1:36 AMReply

    participated in the fireworks and asked Mr. Stiles to clarify his remarks. wrote it up, too.

  • Rickovitz | October 22, 2009 8:18 AMReply

    you must have missed the fireworks on the Media Transformers panel expertly moderated by Jerry Zwerling. Neil Stiles from Variety kinda said "journalism is dead" which Sharon Waxman thankfully picked up on and rebutted even though he tried to recant. i compared notes with another audience member and that is what happened. sharon's got vision and energy; print pubs like LA Times and the trades have so many barriers to transformation, well, I hope that's not the right writing on the wall we seem to see. Or don't look at the wall, look at Twitter!

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