Archive for September, 2009

Thursday Links

The voting for South by Southwest presentation proposals ends tonight.  If you haven’t voted yet, I’d really appreciate your vote for my presentation on film blogging.   Thanks to everyone who has voted and commented so far.  I really appreciate it.  Now, here are some of my recent film and media reads:

  • First, the Nielsen Wire’s latest Three Screen Rpeort, tracking viewing practices across TV, the internet, and mobile screens.  What seems notable to me, among other things, is that TV consumption remains high but that viewers are increasingly likely to multitask, or watch multiple screens at once.  In fact, 57% of respondents report watching TV and going on the internet simultaneously at least once a month (and to be honest, I’m a little surprsied that number isn’t higher).  One other surprising detail, at least from my perspective: “Short form video (such as YouTube clips) still makes up the lion’s share of online video viewing – 83% in May 09 – while name-brand TV network content comprises the majority of mobile video viewing.”
  • The Hollywood Reporter has an article discussing plans to premiere Sally Potter’s latest film, Rage, in a series of seven episodes distributed via mobile phones, followed by a multiplatform, multiterritory release later in September.  I’m happily stuck in the Dark Ages when it comes to my mobile, but I’m intrigued by the attempts to reach audiences via multiple platforms and media.
  • Anne Thompson reminded me of Wired’s declaration that we are enteraing a moment in which (some) consumers may be privileging “cheap and simple” rather than cutting edge technologies.  Although Wired overstates the case, declaring this shift a “revolution” (how many tech “revolutions” do we need anyway? maybe one per month just to keep people buying magzines?), as Thompson observes, this osunds like one possible reason for the recent success of companies like Redbox.
  • The Hollywood Reporter also announces that YouTube is considering entry into streaming movie rentals (a la the Netflix Watch Now player). NewTeeVee has further information, including speulation that rentals would cost $3.99 per movie.  Not much to add here, other than to point out that we’ll continue to see quite a bit of experimentation in terms of how content is delivered.  Interesting to see YouTube potentially enter the world of paid content, though.
  • An IFC blogger, Vadim Rizov, has a somewhat more cynical take on Sundance’s announcement to launch “Next,” a series of 6-8 low-to-no budget films designed to counteract the belief that festival has become increasing driven by major indie fare and possibly to compete with SxSW’s rep in fostering the growth of Mumblecore.  I do think that some of Rizov’s skepticism is fair, especially if the “Next” program essentially isolates these films form competition for major awards, even if I think his dig on Miranda July is a little unfair. But it’s a pretty clear admission by Sundance that their programming is beginning to appear increasingly stale. Karina has some further details.
  • Finally, Scott Rosenberg notes that the blog publishing software, Blogger, just turned ten, and offers some interesting numbers regarding the continue role of blogging in online culture.

Comments (2) Interview

Here is the English translation of an interview I recently conducted with Luciano Trigo, a journalist for the Brazilian website  Luciano is an astute observer of some of the changes taking place in the film industry today, and it was especially beneficial for me to learn from him about how these changes might be felt differently outside the United States.  I’ve included the English transltion of the interview below the fold.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (3)

Tuesday Links

Some of the recent film and media links that have crossed my radar recently:

  • Martha Irvine’s Washington Post article about the increased competition that movie theaters face now that digital distribution streams, such as Hulu and iTunes are becoming viable, has spawned quite a bit of discussion. Irvine, in my reading, offers a pretty thorough analysis, noting that theaters may increasingly serve as locations for special premium events and, following Charles Acland, author of Screen Traffic, predicts that current practices will lead to “more blockbuster action films geared toward the theaters, while character-driven films might open at theaters to create buzz, but ultimately get more play online.”  Like most of the experts Irvine interviews, I don’t think movie theaters will be obsolete any time soon, but the article does address a number of the important shifts that are taking place in the practices of moviegoing.
  • Henry Jenkins has a report on some fascinating research on the relationship between movies and video games conducted by Alexis Blanchet, showing that over 20% of games produced for some popular platforms have movie tie-ins.  Blanchet has also passed along to Jenkins a “graph which looks at film to game translations based around their original ratings.” You can check out Blanchet’s own website, in French and English, for further information.
  • Steve Pond and Anne Thompson, among many others, have weighed in on the new voting process for the best picture Oscar.  Rather than simply counting the number of first-place votes, a tiered system, in which voters rank their favorites from 1 to 10 in order of preference, will now be used.
  • Anne Thompson also has a discussion of a promotional video for the reboot of At the Movies, the show that helped launch the reputations of Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert but had seen its ratings falter in recent years.   For what its worth, I generally like the update: A.O. Scott and Michael Phillips seem very knowledgeable about cinema and speak about it with eloquence and enthusiasm.  That being said, I found myself contemplating ways in which the format could be tweaked, especially given that both Scott and Phillips seem to have similar backgrounds.  As I watched, I wonderedhow it would play to have a panel of four participants discussing movies and movie culture more broadly, with two regulars (Scott and Phillips, perhaps) and a slate of rotating guests, not unlike the approach used on Real Time with Bill Maher.  Such an approach might be an effective way of introduing a diversity of opinions and perspectives into the mix.
  • Finally, Microsoft UK’s Ashley Highfield offers a stern warning to TV producers to get their online acts together lest they face an “iTunes moment.”

Comments off