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Hollywood is Broken, Does Netflix Have the Answer?

It’s seemed to me for a long time that the model of going to the movie theatre is broken. With the advent of our DVR-infused, binge watching, watch anywhere culture — the idea of going to a theatre to watch a movie for several hours seems antiquated, it just doesn’t appeal to me, and I’m sure I’m not alone. The question at hand then is, how does Hollywood tackle adjusting its business model to fit within the current culture. Regardless of the cultural shifts and the ability to access content from pretty much any corner of the globe, Hollywood has had a pretty tight grip on the distribution of new movies and the structure of the screening window (the system of when a movie is in theaters, available for purchase, rental, and then via cable and streaming) because there is a lot of revenue at stake. Despite that, from a consumption point of view, the current Hollywood system is broken; and I would argue that with these new technologies the reality is there is an entirely new world of revenue potential for these studios if they can find the right methodology to reach consumers. In order for Hollywood to catch-up with these shifts the answer lies in finding a path to the revenue to supplement the traditional Box Office. To that end, earlier this week, Netflix and the Weinstein Company announced a partnership. This relationship will debut the sequel to Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon simultaneously on both IMAX screens across the country, as well directly to the consumer via Netflix. Now, while the number of IMAX theaters is smaller than general...

Can You Hear Me Now?

Audio is vital to a successful video production.  Typically, it's so well done that we take it for granted, because well produced audio is perfectly in sync and our mind easily marries the video with the sound in perfect harmony. Clean audio means ensuring that your talent and the footage you're trying to capture are properly recorded; this ensures that you have the right sound to reinforce the visual picture and allows your audience to easily follow along and focus on your message.  While this seems obvious, there are a number of issues that can arise with poorly recorded audio, including: Difficulty hearing the presentation Muffled or distant audio No natural sound, feedback or other noise can be distracting Audio that is out of sync with the video To avoid these issues for your video production, you will want to evaluate what you're shooting, how your telling the story, and what the best approach is to capture the audio.  This will ensure that you take the right steps to record clean, crisp, quality audio during your video shoot, and successfully tell your story while enhancing the quality of your...

Reading Between the Lines; Movie Rentals Come to Facebook ** Updated **

After thinking about the news that movies are going to be available for sale and rent on Facebook, I think there's a new battle brewing in the content distribution business.  Sure this is just one announcement by one studio, but rest assured Facebook is seeking to identify and develop similar relationships with other movie studios and music labels.  For Facebook, this is a natural fit, because so many of today's social interactions about pop culture are held on the social networking site.  So, why not establish relationships with the content owners, and monetize those discussions.  The relationship between Warner Brothers and Facebook does just that, it places movies in close proximity to the dialogue by Facebook's users about them.  For example, a user can comment that they saw a movie and loved it; while another can disagree, but in-line with that discussion and available for all users can be a simple one-click option to purchase the content.  Gone are the barriers of now heading to a brick & mortar location, or searching for the content on another site.  This relationship provides for a simple integrated experience.  Further, Facebook can foster those conversations and extend it's relationship with it's users while keeping them on the site longer. In a sense, with this news Facebook is reverse engineering the immensely popular iTunes store…where Apple is trying to build-out a social network with it's Ping offering, instead Facebook is bringing the content purchasing experience right into their site.  In an age old chicken or the egg type of debate, we're left to wonder which will prove to be the winning strategy: first...

Which Came First the Apple or the App?

With today's pending launch of the iPhone on Verizon, beyond the hardware windfall for Apple, there is a little golden nugget that comes with each phone sold: the App store.  As the iPhone continues to land in more hands both in the US and around the world, the software sales generated by the App store will mean big bucks both for Apple's bottom-line as well as the developers who have applications in the store. As a matter of fact, just last week Apple took the App store concept to the desktop, and launched the App store for Mac. It's a brilliant concept – a curated centralized destination for the purchase and download of virtually any kind of software a user can imagine.  On the mobile devices this made the concept and practice of downloading programs both streamlined and reliable.  Prior to the App store concept installing software on a mobile device was a fragmented and disconnected space.  On older devices before the iPhone essentially everyone lost; for consumers it was hard to know what would work on what device and platform, while developers were tasked with the challenge of selling their software as there was no easy promotion and distribution network. However, with the release of the iPhone, it's advanced capabilities, and ease of use there was a new-found opportunity and a natural desire by both users and developers to tap into the power of the iPhone platform. Yet, upon it's initial release Apple did not offer any type of access to the operating system for developers, at first only offering the ability to make icon-styled bookmarks that could...