The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts

Archive for July 16th, 2010



$10 is the ‘magic’ digital-media price point

$10 is the ‘magic’ digital-media figure

Tell you what Hulu Plus, make it $15 and advertising free, and we can talk. While you charge me *and* place advertising, there’s no deal.

In fact that’s inspired me to another post you’ll see tomorrow.

Porn Industry Weighs In On Flash vs. HTML5 Video Debate

And of course, by mobile devices not playing Flash well, that would be all but the most recent release of Android. Since there’s a demand for adult content on portable devices (let’s just say iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad have some influence here) the producers have been following the market and:

While the whole Flash vs. HTML5 video debate started making headlines a few months ago, the porn industry had already been a long time HTML5 video user.  Why?  Because they wanted to push their content to mobile devices and Flash caused too many issues.  Or as Ali Joone, founder of Digital Playground (a porn giant) stated “HTML5 is the future”.

Yes, increasingly the future – and for simple video playback we’re good to go as soon as we get some agreement among browsers or browser share changes – but right now there are some areas where Flash shines (streaming and rights management in particular are of interest to video distributors).

The former is under control and real time HTML5 streaming is nearly a reality. The other should be dealt with by changing business models instead of trying to King Canute-like hold back the inevitable tide of change.



Publishers Need Popcorn, Not Paywalls.

Publishers Need Popcorn, Not Paywalls

Until I read this article I had no idea that popcorn was so important to the cinema business. According to the article I had no idea that popcorn – along with improved movie technology and enhanced movie-going experience (air conditioning) – helped save the motion picture exhibition business.

Think of cinema, the great survivor of 20th century media. What did cinema owners do when the US economy tanked in the 1920s and 30s? As well as innovating the product (introducing sound, then colour), the packaging (offering double bills), and the user experience (introducing air-conditioning), they also found a new revenue stream that ultimately saved their business — popcorn.

We think of the movies as a content-based business but cinemas then as now make their profit from popcorn (which has an operating margin in excess of 90%). It also drives additional revenue streams by making you thirsty. And somehow it’s become an integral part of the content experience. What 21st century media businesses must do now, as they rebuild themselves, is find their popcorn.

The author wonders that, instead of erecting the paywalls around newspaper content online (which are proving spectacularly unsuccessful):

We may speculate as to whether 2%, or 5%, or 10% of Times readers will pay for the paper’s content online in the face of competition from free rivals. We will have to see. But we have plenty of evidence that consumers do spend money online on products and services. Indeed, online news fans are even more likely than the average online user to buy books, tickets, travel, or clothing online. The key is not to monetize the content but to monetize the audience.

High Quality Fan Flick Leads To $8 Million Hybrid Fan/Investor Funded Pro Film

If you missed Star Wreck a couple of years back, you should take the time to revisit. I was privileged to interview the founders on the Digital Production BuZZ back when I was more actively involved in that show. Made in a 10×12′ room, on green screen, even the main deck is a composite shot if there are more than 2 people in it. The animation work was amazing. It was the work of a core crew of dozens and more than 300 people were involved at some point in the three year creation process.

Well, the success of that film – it’s made a lot of money despite being available for free download and is the most popular Finnish movie ever.

They’ve been working on the sequel for some time and the good news is that it’s been funded with a combination of fan funding and more traditional professional funding in a combination not tried before.

But what’s most interesting to me is how this story progressed. It went from some fans messing around and creating a rather impressive film visually speaking, to a new $8.5 million production. $8.5M is still a small amount from a movie-making perspective, but it’s not nothing. Plenty of excellent indie films have been made for a lot less. And, of course, you never know what happens next, after this film is made as well. And that was really the point. It was never that the model that created Star Wreck was the answer, but that the overall ecosystem is evolving, and its evolving to a world where the fans and the community really area a part of things, rather than looked at as evil people who just want stuff for free. Embracing your community leads to wonderful possibilities.

Seems maybe you don’t need $200m for every blockbuster!

July 2010
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