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reportedly had these talks but the current TV model is simply too profitable for content makers and networks to move away from.)Apple's WWDC (Worldwide Developer's Conference) kicks off in two weeks, so, of course, the tech press is full of rumors. There has been a lot of speculation about Apple TV -- no, not the hockey puck some of you have next to your flatscreen but a new product, one that could revolutionize the television business as we know it. Personally, I'm not holding my breath. Yes, Steve Jobs reportedly said he "cracked it" in the Walter Isaacson biography, but what I'd like to see as a consumer -- the cable business disrupted by a la carte and subscription models -- seems too disruptive to expect at this stage. (Apple has
What is being discussed, however, is the possibility of a new interface for the existing Apple TV. This could be nothing more than a UI refresh... or it could be more interesting. Again, I'm not holding my breath, but I was intrigued by an article at TechCrunch entitled "Please Don't Ruin the Second Screen." In today's three-screen TV viewing experience (TV for watching; iPad/laptop for simultaneous surfing; phone for texting), the second screen is, according to author Somrat Niyogi, where the action is. "This is space rife with opportunity," he writes. "In the same way I can watch Modern Family on any TV via any operator, can I get a second screen experience for any show via one device? ...Everyone, and I mean everyone, is competing for attention on the second screen. The entire ecosystem is striving to aggregate audience for the second screen to sell new, personalized, and meaningful types of ad units."
After arguing against what could turn out to be inevitable fragmentation -- some people using Facebook as their second screen, others a Verizon app, some a branded show app, and still others just answering their email -- Niyogi proposes a unified approach that asks, "What do people want as they watch TV? What kind of experiences scale for different TV shows?"
The tech story here is quite interesting, but so is a simple consideration of second-screen viewing as a newly accepted practice. I always feel vaguely disreputable surfing my second screen as I watch TV or a movie. In fact, a consideration of my attention span now comes into play when I decide whether to see a movie in a theater or not. If I want to especially focus, or if the film demands the immersive environment of a theater, I make sure to see it there. Sometimes I guess wrong. I watched an independent feature that was part of the Tribeca Film Festival on my iPad as it was offered by the festival as an online screener. The moment it was over I regretted not seeing it on the big screen because its tantalizingly slow pacing and beautiful compositions were its best qualities.
But let's say these concerns go away, and that independent content comes to set-top boxes alongside designed "second-screen experiences." What will these experiences look like? Will we be ready to supply them? Or will the second screen be a wasteland of bad promos and ephemeral chat logs?
I'm sure I'll circle back on this topic and discuss it more substantively as it develops. For now, I'll leave you with a somewhat tangentially related link: Brian Newman on the disruption of indie filmmakers themselves.
See you next week.
PRODUCER FELLOWS ANNOUNCED FOR TAP PROGRAM IFP is pleased to announce the fellows for its second annual Trans Atlantic Partners (TAP). A three-module training and networking program, Trans Atlantic Partners will allow select producers from New York City, Europe and Canada to participate in an intensive, year-long series of programs, including workshops in Berlin, at IFP's Independent Film Week, and Strategic Partners, Canada's premier international co-production event. IFP's 2012 fellows are: Keisha Cameron Dingle (exec-producer, Africa First: Volume One), Alexandra Johnes (producer, Magic Trip), Susan Lewis (exec-producer, Pariah), Guneet Monga (producer, Peddlers), Katie Mustard (producer, Restless City), Monique Peterson (producer, Khsara), Jodi Redmond (producer, Fray), Jenny Schweitzer (producer, Magnificent Girl), and Ryan Zacarias (producer, Septien). For more information on TAP, go here.
Five Broken Cameras
Pink Ribbons, Inc.
Onur Tukel, Richard's Wedding
Producer Fellows Announced for TAP Program
5 BROKEN CAMERAS Palestinian cameraman Emad Burnit and Israeli filmmaker Guy Davidi collaborate on 5 Broken Cameras, a documentary exploring the conflict between West Bank Palestinians and the Israeli army. The film focuses on Bil'in, a small village threatened by encroaching Israeli settlements. Burnit and Davidi chronicle the non-violent protests centered in Bil'in with the titular video cameras, each of which is subsequently destroyed during the escalating struggle. HIDE AWAY Chris Eyre's film Hide Away follows the story of an enigmatic and nameless protagonist (Josh Lucas), who, in the wake of a terrible tragedy, retreats to a small harbor town in Michigan. The man with no name buys a dilapidated boat and sets to repairing it as he struggles to cope with a deeply personal loss. The film also stars James Cromwell and Ayelet Zurer. PINK RIBBONS, INC. Lea Pool's thought-provoking and controversial documentary Pink Ribbons, Inc. examines the capitalistic motives behind the breast cancer awareness campaigns of institutions such as the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Pool and the women featured in Pink Ribbons, Inc assert that these groups are guilty of "pinkwashing" -- emblazoning the iconic pink ribbon across every available medium in a PR effort to boost public opinion of their corporations -- rather than making any real progress on understanding breast cancer and finding a cure for the disease. This week on the blog, Scott Macaulay interviews Aaron Hillis about his new Brooklyn-based video store, offers beginning filmmakers tips on networking from Cannes, and reveals the world's first motion picture projector. And, Jordan Bayne (pictured left) details her experience at Cannes.
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ONUR TUKEL, RICHARD'S WEDDING By Brandon Harris
In Richard's Wedding, which follows a bevy of wedding guests and the soon-to-be-wedded on their way to a small Central Park wedding, director Onur Tukel has crafted a delightfully funny, seemingly real-time ensemble piece. From British blowhard Russell (Darrill Rosen) to the writer/director/editor/star's Tuna, the characters live on the edge of likability and the film's narrative deftly frames the torrent of just-this-side-of-racist jokes, downright delusional character asides, and a general decline of civility. The unconventional comedic approach gives proceedings a hard-won warmth and generosity that lesser films skating this kind of textual irony and cutting, ribald humor frequently fail to achieve. Co-starring a number of terrific performers who have begun to make names for themselves as filmmakers (Dustin Guy Defa, Lawrence Michael Levine), the project has an intimacy and freewheeling feel to it that suggests the filmmakers were having as much fun off camera as they were on. Read more
Illinois International Film Festival
Regular Deadline: May 31
Late Deadline: August 31
WAB Deadline: September 30
Festival Dates: November 9 - 11
Kingston NY Film Festival
Earlybird Deadline: May 31
Regular Deadline: July 15
Late Deadline: July 31
WAB Deadline: August 15
Festival Dates: September 7 - 8
South Dakota Film Festival
Regular Deadline: May 31
Late Deadline: June 15
WAB Deadline: July 2
Festival Dates: September 27 - 30