Archive for the 'distribution' Category

Hotel Chevalier: A New Era of Promotion.

September 26, 2007

 Hotel Chevalier

Wes Anderson’s new feature film, The Darjeeling Limited, is opening in theaters in a couple of weeks. In anticipation, Hotel Chevalier, a 13 minute prelude starring Jason Schwartzman and Natalie Portman, has been released onto iTunes for all to enjoy.

Previously, Hotel Chevalier was being screened with The Darjeeling Limited as it played film festivals. It has now been released for free on the web only through iTunes. It may mark the first time that a potential opening scene has been aired on the internet before a big screen.

Wes Anderson, shot the film using his own money and only later decided to incorporate one of the characters into The Darjeeling Limited. Hotel Chevalier is the backstory of one of Darjeeling’s main characters played by Jason Schwartzman.

It’ll be interesting to see just how much attetion Hotel Chevalier gets in the next couple of weeks. Given that it includes Natalie Portman’s first nude scene, it will probably help to expose an incredible amount of people to the characters in Darjeeling before the release. Let’s see if Wes Anderson has found a new way to bolster his opening weekend numbers. It’ll be fascinating either way!
Watch Hotel Chevalier,  the trailer for The Darjeeling Limited and checkout the official site.
– Chris


Facebook Diaries Launches

August 16, 2007


Buckle yourself in, Facebook has released Facebook Diaries, an “actual reality” show featuring user-submitted video edited by experienced producers. The show clocks in at the traditional 21 minute mark and will be distributed on the web and on Comcast.

Personally, I found the show to be bit boring, a little cheesy and a little heavy handed, but it did feel surprisingly honest. Of course it’s an impressive feat of editing, direction and let’s be honest here, logging.

I’d venture that this is the first time that a show made this way will be hitting the airwaves and for that reason alone you should make note of it.

To check it out on facebook you’ll need a facebook account. You can also see it at, their distribution partner in this one.

– chris

(via NewTeeVee)

The Wholphin Quarterly DVD Issue #1

July 2, 2007

Wholphin Logo 2

This weekend I started watching the first issue of Wholphin, McSweeney’s quarterly DVD magazine. The Wholphin team compiles an array of interesting, rare and quirky short films which are sent straight to your door in glossy DVD format.

McSweeney’s note on the name:

What, you may ask, is a Wholphin?! Photographic evidence can be found languishing in the nooks and crannies of the internet, but those too busy to visit Google for the 28th time today can trust us that it’s the lovechild of a bottlenose dolphin and a false killer whale. A beautiful hybrid born of invention and exploration.

I’ll save you the trip to google.
The first issue has some amazing work on it. In fact, when putting together my highlights I realized that I was going to name almost all the films. Instead I’ll point out a few gems for now and you can grab out the DVD for more.

The Al Gore Documentary directed by Spike Jonze.

This doc, produced at the beginning of Gore’s 2000 presidential run, may have changed the world we know today if it had been released. It would have shattered the impression that people had of the ‘stone-like’ Al Gore. It was shot in one day, entirely by Mr. Jonze.

Are You the Favorite Person of Anybody?

Directed by Miguel Arteta on a budget of less than $150, this is a short but poignant film questions our place in life. It was written by Miranda July and filmed in a weekend. Watch it.

Grab the DVD to enjoy all the other great films. I’ll report in on the later issues at another date.

– chris

Clark and Michael: The Ultimate Webshow

June 28, 2007

Clark and Michael 1

Clark and Michael is a hilarious new web-based mockumentary featuring the talents of Michael Cera, of Arrested Development fame, and newcomer Clark Duke. The premise: Clark and Michael, two best friends trying to make careers in Hollywood, hire a camera crew to document their journey to fame.

Clark and Michael 2

The show features the dry humor of The Office and the awkwardness of Curb Your Enthusiasm. This amazing combination, has succeeded in keeping me engaged through the entirety of each 10 minute show, an impressive feat for a web show.

Clark and Michael 3

The show is written and directed by its two stars and funded by CBS. So far 6 of the 10 episodes have been released, with new episodes coming out each Wednesday. Clark and Michael is surely a sign of things to come, so pay close attention.

Check it out starting with episode 1.Enjoy!

– chris

(via trendmaster Vinit)

The Glitch is One Funny Film

June 28, 2007


The Glitch 2

The Glitch, a new short film featuring Jason Biggs, is one of the funniest web videos I’ve ever seen. Take Groundhog Day, mix in some overt sexual humor, add a dash of over-the-top Jason Biggs and you’ve got The Glitch.

The Glitch

The Glitch is currently only available on Funny or Die, which uses terrible quality video, so until a higher quality version is released you’ll need to endure some pixelation. Don’t worry it’s worth it.

Watch it.

– chris

(via Ticklebooth)

JibJab Creator on Online Audience Building

June 25, 2007

This Land

Diane Kristine, a writer for Blog Critics magazine, recently chatted with Gregg Spiridellis, one of the creators of JibJab, about his experience growing a successful web entertainment brand.

Spiridellis has some unique insight into creating video on the web as he’s been doing it longer than pretty much anyone. In 1999 Spirdiellis and his brother started JibJab, fronting the costs themselves years before web video was part of ‘proven’ business model. After surviving the dot com burst, they forged ahead until success found them in 2004 with the release of This Land. This Land, a political short released during the 2004 elections, was seen 80 million times over the course of a couple months.

From the interview:

Working in Los Angeles, the brothers are confronted by the reality of a system of agents, managers, executives, and lawyers that was designed long before anyone thought of the Internet, never mind creating video content for it.

“It’s so hard to get anything done,” Spiridellis complains. “The whole system was created to produce a small number of really big investment productions, but with the web you’ve got to be able to produce a very big number of small productions.”

Check out BlogCritics to peruse the whole article. Head to JibJab if you’ve got a few hours to spare.

– chris

Real Time Ad Changes on MTV

June 20, 2007


AdAge is reporting that MTV has just inked a deal with Visible World, a company that allows custom fitted ads to be placed in real time. That is to say, an advertiser can change an ad 5 minutes before it airs to reflect the recent developments of a live broadcast or anything else they want.

This technology brings with it the possibility of intriguing interactions between advertiser and consumer. The ads could change dramatically from commercial break to commercial break. A well designed campaign could even help to stop the ‘dreaded’ Tivo take-over. I’m sure Fallon Worldwide could think of something even more effective than their incredibly successful Buddy Lee Control Freak.

As the good people at Unbeige point out, “The question, of course, becomes: does this mean a lot, lot, lot more money for ad agencies if they’re going to have to start creating 15 spots for every :30 buy? And it also seems like potentially great news for production companies.”

Sounds good to me.  Time to contact your local ad agency and let them know why you’re the production company they should choose for all their new commercials. Money in the bank.

Read the AdAge article, take a look at Unbeige’s thoughts and then head to Fallon Worldwide’s website. Check out their work on Buddy Lee and the BMW films if you’ve got time.

– chris

Chime.TV: Watch Web Video in Style

June 19, 2007


For the last week I’ve been playing around with Chime.TV, a newly launched web video player, and I have to say I’m really impressed with it. Chime.TV pulls videos from all over the web so that you can watch them from the comfort of one site, with a minimal player and on a black backdrop.

Chime.TV has created some neat things that most video providers can’t get away with. For one, Chime.TV will download videos in the background before you start watching them. The result is a faster browsing experience, but more bandwidth is used. This is good for you and me, but not so good for YouTube. The excess bandwidth for potentially unwatched videos is expensive and with minimal branding there will be even less of a need to go back to YouTube’s site. And bada bing, less revenue.

Watching videos on Chime.TV is more like watching a channel on TV. Without touching anything the next video automatically loads, causing vegging out to occur quickly. Chime.TV has created a bookmarklet that will grab all the videos on a particular page and pull them into a Chime.TV playlist. This is especially convenient when watching episodes of Real Time with Bill Maher, or so I’ve heard.

I recommend Chime.TV to any serious video addicts out there, but for those one-at-a-timers it’s probably not worth it.

I’ll be watching.

– chris

Hmm… Those Book Covers Look Similar

June 18, 2007


New Moons

Novelish, a great new blog about creative writing, has put together an insightful post  about the use of stock photography as book covers. After noticing some striking similarities and doing a little research, it was clear that book cover designers were grabbing their material from the same places.

Thorn, Novelish’s writer, has only found a few examples but I’m sure there are many more. I was shocked that fairly high profile books would use stock photography and run the risk of a double-take, but I guess that goes with the territory. You never know where you’re photos will turn up.

I’d love to see a display of all the different uses of one stock photo.  I’m sure it would be enlightening.

Head to Novelish for more creative writing news.

– chris

Val’s Art Diary: This is How to Promote Yourself Online

June 18, 2007

Vals Art Diary

Are you an artist looking to promote yourself online? Well pay attention to this one. Val’s Art Diary is an excellent example of a web presence built by a talented painter, known only online as Valentina.

Valentina is a painter and a personality who is building an impressive online following by engaging her audience and involving them in her creative process. Val documents her painting on video and edits a punchy artist’s statement that she releases onto the inter-webs. She then sells the featured paintings on ebay. She has built a brilliant viral marketing platform and if the ebay auctions are any indication it looks things are paying off nicely.

Her first painting video was put on YouTube in November and has been seen an amazing 750,000 times. Her most recent video, YouTube on the iPhone(embedded below), has all the makings of a well timed viral hit. She’s going to fool quite a few people into thinking she has an iPhone, which she has tied into her motivations for this week’s painting. I can’t wait to see happens to her views and her auction.

You can bid on Val’s most recent painting, watch her vlog and check out her official site. If the ebay thing turns you off, you can also purchase prints on DeviantArt.

– chris