With movie prices having increased to nearly $15 a ticket in places like New York City, it is no wonder that 88% of seats go unsold. Dealflicks is trying to change that. The Silicon Valley start-up, which recently released its iPhone app, allows theaters to discount seats that might otherwise remain empty. Although constrained by their contracts with distributors, theaters are able to offer Dealflicks users a discount of up to 60%, with such offers frequently being for weekday tickets or package deals. A typical offer might consist of a ticket, popcorn and soda for the normal price of a ticket.
Bonico Communications, the Canadian company that publishes the nonfiction film and TV industry magazine Realscreen and the children’s entertainment industry mag Kidscreen, announced recently that it will be holding the first conference and market devoted to original digital television. Stream, as it’s being called, will take place at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows in Santa Monica on June 3 and 4. The conference aims to bring “the independent production community together with the leading internet TV development executives, media agencies and brands to network, do business and learn how to work together more effectively.”
Vevo, the music video platform delivering content on-demand for three of the four major record labels (Sony, Universal, and EMI), recently launched Vevo TV, a new linear channel that will broadcast videos 24/7 in much the same way that MTV once did. Of course, “TV” doesn’t mean the same thing these days; viewers can access the channel on their television via Roku and Xbox 360, on iOS, Android and Windows devices, or on the web, and can save videos to a personal playlist to watch later. The channel shows videos in one-hour blocks curated by its staff, as well as live events and original programming like CBS’ Live on Letterman, American Express’ Unstaged and Vevo’s own Music Is My Sport. Vevo hopes the broadcast-style format will differentiate the platform from YouTube, as well as appeal to millennials who never experienced MTV in is original incarnation and older generations nostalgic for the heyday of the music video.
While movie theaters have taken creative approaches to combat the use of cell phones, a new horror flick is actually encouraging audience members to use their smartphones. Working with Service2Media, Dutch film company 2CFilm has created an app to accompany the latest film from director Bobby Boerman, a chiller appropriately titled App. Moviegoers can download the app for free, and during the film they will receive the same frightening text messages as the film’s protagonist, a psychology student who is being terrorized by an app called Isis that has mysteriously appeared on her phone.
JVC’s Professional Products division announced earlier this week that it will be releasing the GY-HM70 ProHD shoulder-supported camcorder in May. Priced at less than $2,000, delivering 60p full HD images, and including a swappable dual-battery system, among other features, this new camera is an attractive entry-level full-size camera. And with its 1/2.3-inch 12 megapixel CMOS imager capable of 1080/60p, 1080/60i, and 480/60i (SD) footage at various bit rates, the camera has the potential for many professional uses. It will also shoot at 300 fps, but only at 720×480.
As the magazine and newspaper industries have continued to shift their focus from print to digital, media companies have naturally been gravitating toward video. To wit, both the The New York Times and Time have devoted new resources to video production in recent months. Now, Condé Nast, one of the largest magazine publishing houses, has launched online video networks for two of its 18 titles, Glamour and GQ. The new venture, which is being sponsored exclusively by Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, and Mondelēz International, is being overseen by the company’s president of entertainment, Dawn Ostroff, who previously held the same position at The CW and, before that, was executive vice president at Lifetime.
Via a feature in The Hollywood Reporter, Funny Or Die, the comedy video website founded by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, recently announced that it is making the move to the big screen. The company has partnered with production company Scott Pictures and is set to begin work on its first feature films as early as this summer. The site, which launched in 2007, generates more than 60 million page views a month by 20 million unique visitors, has garnered 5 million Twitter followers, and has grown into a studio replete with a stable of writers, directors and comedians. Last year, the Funny Or Die team helped produce Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie, though the film was really the creative product of Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, who wrote and directed it. In the new venture, Funny Or Die hopes to produce two or three movies a year and establish itself as a mark of comedic quality, much like National Lampoon did in the ’70s and ’80s.