Saturday, January 26, 2008

Tools You Can Use: Sundance 2008 and Sony

Scott Kirsner from the very enlightened and knowledgeable blog Cinematech has posted important tidbits from his Sundance panel. Especially interesting business-wise are the lessons that Paramount learned when it released JACKASS 2.5 online.

What they experienced was something they call "scraping" in the online world - that is, someone scraped your content off your site and put it up on theirs. This happens all the time in the online world - I scrape and acknowledge this very story - and it is a methodology that the studios will have to understand and brand around. That means making sure everyone knows where the source of the media came from through url's, etc... posted through the content.

You can read it here.

There's also a discussion in Scott's story about grabbing the viewer right away - in the first ten seconds - or risk having them click off the window on their computer.

That means give 'em the pulp early, people!

Another quiet yet major bit of business that happened this week was Sony announcing its move to create a MOD (Manufacturing on Demand) component to its DVD business. What this means is that Sony will compete with's Createspace, and others for the niche DVD business. What it also means is that you have the marketing power of a major studio behind you if they acquire the rights to manufacture your DVD. This has major implications as to how the business will shift in the coming years...especially since Sony is pacting with HP.

All this has major implications for those of us building our online studios. Yes, I am building an online studio and other folks you and I know are doing the same.

Welcome to the future. Learn it. Live it. Love it long time.


Jason Sanders said...

I worked for industry canada to help SMEs (Small/medium enterprises) with the internet. Basically from beginner level "This-is-Firefox." and "No! Don't use internet explor- Idiot." to more sophisticated strategies like clickthroughs, eye tracking studies etc.

One thing I stressed to the clients is that the time they have to attract a visitor is measured in microseconds. Even then, the bastard'll probably skip to another site after about 6 seconds (Like what Scott said). This is where DRM=Bad for digital filmmakers.

The clients would suggest putting up blinking banners and flashing lights to keep interest, but (at least my generation) people have been struck by a terrible disease known as... banner blindness; at least it's considered an epidemic by marketers. This is where your mind ignores those annoying advertisements. However, video hasn't fallen prey to such evolutionary processes, and still manages to catch the attention of an astounding number of people.

What online filmmakers seem to forget is that while their video might be this great piece of work; the rules still apply. It's in our genes (And if you wear Levi's, the result of their marketing is actually in your jeans.)

Videos, like websites, are conveying stories and information to the watcher/reader. They're both multimedia, and the lines are beginning to merge. One is not mutually exclusive from the other, and that is the thing almost everyone forgets.

Don't rely on just Youtube to host your website replacement and videos. Use it for what it is: a place to promote your work, but not the final resting place.

Sorry for going off topic Bill, it's just something I've noticed for awhile, and I guess I commandeered the closest topic to segue.

Cunningham said...

Jason -

No problem. Always good to hear from someone who runs into these sorts of situations.

I find Youtube "convenient" for posting up little bits here and there that I shoot with my camera -- It uploads easily and quickly.

I do not think it's the best presentation for video. Of all that I've seen, I think comes in pretty true to what was shot.

However, you MUST place your video on every site possible and it should have your home URL on it at all times so people know where to get more of the same.

Now what's also interesting in light of the new and the WGA's drive to put their members on the web to raise awareness and money is that they were concentrating on video, when the internet is video, audio, prose, games, widgets, discussion boards, etc... who's going to write all that stuff?

But that's a discussion for another time perhaps...

pretty shaved ape said...

i trust sony about as far as i can toss a sherman tank. after the root kit fiasco and their serial run of dealing in bad faith, i'll hold off on considering any involvement with them. they are also among the biggest promoters and purveyors of drm crippleware going. i've stopped buying their hardware and they'll have a hell of a job winning me back. i know i'm not alone in those sentiments either. for the time being, sony can lick me where i stink.