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June 21 2013


How Machinima And Ridley Scott Are ‘Incubating’ Digital Sci-Fi

CANNES — Marketers are being called upon to sponsor the 12 filmmakers picked to make next-generation science-fiction digital shorts for Ridley Scott.

Machinima global brand strategy VP Seth Bardelas, whose video publisher firm is helping Ridley Scott Associates on the project, called it an “incubator”.

“The idea is to incubate the next great science-fiction franchise,” Bardelas told Beet.TV in this interview during Cannes Lions. ”We’ve received about 60 treatments. Each director gets a budget in the six-figure range.”

Bardelas said the project comes with a commercial opportunity, too: “This is about a brand becoming part of this movement, to help sponsor these creators and develop them.”

Named after the artform in which films are made using video game engines, Machinima is now a video publisher targeting males aged 18 to 35 with technology, gaming and entertainment material. Separately, CEO Allen Debevoise told Beet.TV during Cannes Lions that Machinima videos are watched around 2.5 billion times each month.

June 15 2011


4 Filmmakers Use Social Media to Crowdsource Their Stories

The second line of filmmaker Tim Burton's new short story is this:

burton story tweet.jpg

It is, of course, a tweet -- and one that encapsulates a new participatory era where contributions and voices from the public are reflected in all forms of art and storytelling, film included.

One of the early adopters of emerging media was filmmaker Kevin Smith, who now has a thriving personal media empire via a popular podcast (SModcast), nearly 2 million Twitter followers and even his own iPhone app. While Smith is a standout in digital engagement, he isn't the only one experimenting with today's digital connectors: Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. These four prominent directors have embraced new media tools and social networks to connect and co-create with audiences, and their projects are capturing a new kind of imagination.

1. Tim Burton


Last year, director Tim Burton embarked on his own big storytelling adventure on Twitter around a character named "Stainboy," as the "Tim Burton" exhibit opened at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) Bell Lightbox. Called #BurtonStory and integrating a sequential storytelling technique called Cadavre Exquis or "Exquisite Corpse" (Burton's 2005 film "Corpse Bride" was nominated for an Oscar), users submitted tweets and the best one each day was added to the story. From the 88,967 tweets submitted, 87 were selected from 2,141 users.

This open, participatory approach to storytelling gave people access to perhaps a new iconic Burton character -- from the mass-marketed "Batman" to the mass-created "Stainboy." The "Tim Burton" exhibit is currently at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art through Halloween.

2. Ron Howard

Oscar-winning director Ron Howard ("A Beautiful Mind," 2002) partnered with Canon on Project Imagin8ion, "the first user-generated photo contest in history to inspire a Hollywood short film." Shutterbugs are encouraged to submit their photos for a chance to be one of eight grand prize winners (prizes include camera equipment, a trip to the film's premiere and a meeting with Ron Howard).

Photos will be judged on how imaginative and inspiring they are in eight categories: Setting, Time, Character, Mood, Relationship, Goal, Obstacle and Unknown. The deadline has already passed for submitting photos, but you can still vote online for your favorite images among the finalists. Here's a video explaining the contest:

3. Ridley Scott


As previously discussed, Ridley Scott (director of "Gladiator" and "Blade Runner") produced a crowdsourced YouTube project titled "Life in a Day" -- a documentary that "tells the story of a single day on Earth" on July 24, 2010.

The film, directed by Oscar-winner Kevin Macdonald ("One Day in September," Best Documentary in 2000), strives to be the largest user-generated feature film ever created. The ambitious film project received more than 80,000 video submissions. National Geographic will release the movie in theaters on July 24, the one-year anniversary of "the day." And if the movie fails to entertain or attract audiences, we only have ourselves to blame (especially those who submitted videos or curated them).

4. Judd Apatow


Twitter has become an immediate, collaborative tool for many filmmakers on and off the set. To help write jokes for his speech at the Producers Guild Awards, Judd Apatow hit up his community of followers. Apatow ("Bridesmaids," 2011, "Knocked Up," 2007) included this joke from @omitofo: "Inception is really about Hollywood. Everyone's constantly trying to ruin your dreams so they can make a buck." Follow Apatow on Twitter (@JuddApatow) and tell him a joke. If you're lucky, he may just use your creation to amuse and entertain others.

Whether we collectively tell the story of a character, offer up a single joke or jointly experience a single day, all these examples point out how social media is opening doors for the public to the big screen.

What filmmaker would you want to collaborate with to share your story?

Nick Mendoza is the director of digital communications at Zeno Group. He advises consumer, entertainment and web companies on digital and social media engagement. He dreamstreams and is the film correspondent for MediaShift. Follow him on Twitter @NickMendoza.

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September 07 2010


YouTube publishes footage from Life in a Day project

The results of YouTube’s documentary experiment ‘Life in a Day’ are now up on the project’s channel.

Life in a Day, which invited the public to submit videos documenting their experiences on July 24, received a total of 80,000 videos from 197 countries. YouTube claims it is the world’s largest user-generated film.

Director Kevin Macdonald and producer Ridley Scott will be using some of the footage to produce a feature-length film to be premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.Similar Posts:

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