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Things I Learned at Digital Hollywood

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 21, 2009 at 11:55AM

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.
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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.

This article is related to: Genres, Independents, Web/Tech, Digital Future, Documentaries


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.