Quick Takes 7/12/07

  • filmstrip1.jpgTime Magazine has a recap of some of this summer’s movie’s more innovative marketing efforts. What’s really nice about this is that it shows how each one really tried to do something different but at the same time stayed true to some aspect of the movie it was promoting.
  • The Florida Times-Union looks at how studios are targeting Christian groups and how some people aren’t a fan, feeling those groups are being used by Hollywood in a way that’s not wholly Christian.
  • PaidContent has a really good synopsis of where talks stand between content producers and writers on the eve of contract negotiations between the two parties. At issue specifically is writer compensation for the distribution of their works across media.
  • DVD sales and rentals could be impacted by Microsoft’s allowing people to rent movies through the Xbox 360 console. Doing so would be cheaper than renting the physical DVD and there’s nothing to go out and get or need to return.
  • IKlipz.com is launching a new online series that pairs people trying to break into Hollywood with established veterans.

LOTD: 7/12/07

  • The idea that big radio station owners like Clear Channel are using stats related to the most popular illegally downloaded music to determine their own playlists makes me warm and fuzzy for some reason. Anyone else? (CT)
  • The CEO of Whole Foods appears to have gotten himself into an all-naturally sticky situation now that it’s been revealed he left comments on blogs questioning the stock valuation and overall intelligence of his chief rival. The Cycle has a good recap. (CT)
  • Crowne Plaza is opening conference rooms in Second Life you can rent out for your event. This will only become truly useful if they’re able to replicate the little burners that keep the virtual-reality chicken and beef sandwiches warm. (CT)
  • Note to Self Next Time Lightening Starts Flashing: Don’t stand under a big tree, don’t go golfing even if I’m having the best game ever and take off my iPod. (CT)
  • The Chicago Tribune appears to be the next major newspaper planning a Web 2.0-esque makeover, adding comments, user-submitted content and more to its online offerings. You can check out a preview here.  [via Merge] (CT)
  • The appearance of a BusinessWeek story on when to fire your ad agency at the same time as Jaffe once again weighing in on how advertising broken is, I think, God trying to tell us something. (CT)

United Talent Agency exec leaves to run online distribution company

60frames.JPGBrent Weinstein, who has headed the online division of United Talent Agency, has left UTA to run 60Frames, a new online syndication company, reports Variety – and AdAge – and The New York Times.

60Frames has the financial backing of both UTA and SpotRunner, a firm that allows companies to advertise on TV through the use of demographically/regionally targeted spots. A couple of VC firms also contributed.

The venture will distribute content that’s been created been created by top Hollywood talent who are frustrated with current distribution platforms and are hungry for the freedom of the online world. UTA clients The Coen Brothers will be the first such talent to provide content. 60Frames may eventually also tap into the amateur creator market. It will provide limited funding for help with production.

Right now there are no distribution deals that have been definitively signed and the company faces strong competition from existing players. 60Frames will seek to monetize its operations through a mix of direct payment from consumers and placing in-video ads.

It’s that last part that makes the financial backing from SpotRunner so interesting. SpotRunner has, so far as I know, focused exclusively on TV commercials to date. It has not joined the crowded field of companies that are placing in-video ads online. That being said, the service SpotRunner provides – which allows advertisers to upload creative materials and then customize how they’re presented based on regional information – closely mirrors what many are doing online.

Lionsgate invests in Break.com

lionsgate_logo_240.jpgMajor-minor studio Lionsgate has invested an undisclosed sum in online video site Break.com, reports MediaWeek.

The partnership will turn Break.com into an online distribution platform for Lionsgate’s library of movies and TV shows. Break, in turn, will become a minor league system the studio can look to for new talent. Lionsgate will also likely use Break as an outlet for promotional efforts for its movies and more.

The deal is the latest one signed by Break to bring professional, big media content onto the site. It signed a similar deal with Twisted Pictures earlier this year.