#DH09 Digital Hollywood/Celebrity Economics, Phenomenally Paranormal

22Oct09

Digital Hollywood, the standard by which all digital media conferences are measured, a gathering at the intersection of film tv music gaming social mobile, an intense, exhilarating, deliriously exhausting brain squeeze where the brightest in the business try to piece it together while moving faster than the speed of light.  On stage and off were blockbuster producers, award-winning filmmakers, showrunners, web-celebs, network execs, festival programmers, publicists, press and brands. Even other stellar confabs (Westdoc, NY Television Festival, Digital Media Wire, SanFranMusicTech) were there soaking it in.  Co-located with the Variety Summit, Gerber Rigler Content Summit, EPPS Summit and CodeSpace Summit, infused with fresh and compelling happenings like a pitchfest with acquisition executives and screenings of the Interactive Emmy nominee reels and a Sundance winner.  The networking was outstanding, the information gold, and there was never a dull moment.  So many speakers and surprises, it wasn’t possible to get it all.  Luckily, the video is up at www.digitalhollywoodlive.com.  And the Twitter stream at #DH09.  Below is just a small summary of what was said:

Neil Stiles, Variety
WSJ estimated YouTube earned $250mm on $1B in storage costs/year, puzzled by this, just don’t get it.  Hulu is trading analog dollars for digital pennies, CPMs gravitating to zero, when it gets to 5000 channels, everyone is a producer.  Every blogger is 9 years old, throw it up quick without regard to accuracy, leaving it to the wisdom of the crowd to clear mistakes. Web revenue will never be as attractive as print, if you spend money creating TV film content someone has to pay, consumers will pay for engagement, for what they can do with the content.  New models of content as a service, pay once, use in whatever form you want.

Orly Adelson, Dick Clark Productions
Our brand is our award shows, putting embeddable preshow online to drive interest onair.   There are an infinite number of eyeballs to attract so why not put it everywhere. Social media is a great filter, fans see something they like, they pass it around. With the Country Music Awards, there is a 200% spike in music sales the day after CMAs because viewers tell friends to check out the songs featured.  Would love to put  So You Think You Can Dance online but too expensive because of music rights.  Make great content and they will come…Paranormal was made for $11,000, now in 160 theatres, at that cost there is no risk, my kids said it was scary, when a film evokes a strong reaction like that you’re going to have a big draw.  Many are watch shows online because they don’t know when it’s on air, it’s easier to find them online.

Peter Guber, Mandalay Entertainment
Technology was not born 4 years ago, it was born thousands of years ago.  One of the largest owners of baseball teams and stadiums in the US.  Teaches class at UCLA.  Today you need to be a renaissance person, cant just be movies, or just be music. Started out in 1968 at Columbia Pictures when there was an elitism, tv didn’t speak to film or music, today is the greatest opportunity that ever existed to bring audience directly to the artist.  Can no longer think of yourself as a movie guy, landscape is changing too rapidly, the rate of change is 3D omnipresent, no longer linear, how do you stay present, its the beginning of the beginning.  Now things are being pulled by you, by interest, we’re in a sea change, can’t have linear philosophy.  We are no longer talking to one monolithic audience of a million, rather we are talking to an audience of one, a million times over. Will watch dailies on iPhone but not Forest Gump.  Regarding interactivity, may not be interested in changing the outcome of the story but might want to buy that thing on the show, so there will be an integrated benefit.  The opportunity to talk back and intersect with the host, the immediate audience reaction changes the outcome, similar to what happens when your onstage and you make a bad joke, you move on.  The medium will dictate.  Can’t be without a phone.  When producing a product you go after a niche.  Paranormal, the new Blair Witch, was made for $15,000, Avatar epic is closer to half a billion sitting in theatres side by side, does it make sense to charge the same ticket price?

Carson Daly, Last Call with Carson Daly @carsonjdaly
Launched TRL in 1998 in response to how bad music videos were on MTV, wanted to empower viewers to choose, in a way it was the beginning of social media on TV when we turned the programming reigns over to the viewers.  If only Viacom would have bought MySpace would have been able to get a deeper connection with the kids.  Now at NBC and at the end of the day it comes down to money, NBC is owned by GE, we need to get paid.  We still don’t see lonelygrl15 driving around in a Porsche. Last Call with Carson Daly breaks bands. Artists are fueled by ego.  Many older musicians don’t have much of a digital footprint, they want to know what’s the play, is it worth their time, takes a lot of time to post (Miley Cyrus, eh), make more money elsewhere, they want to know where is Twitter’s value? Post 20x/day to 38,000+ Twitter followers for #militarymondays, like the idea of microblogging but not that into it personally.  Would post a picture of my mom but never of my kid.  In 2006, got Kevin Reilly’s backing to take a fresh spin on AFV with IYS, It’s Your Show.  Went to the web for talent, lots of tastemakers online, recruited those with big followings, one was Brookers, the most viewed female on YouTube.  But the NBC.com people never met the programming people and it didn’t go anywhere.  At the end of the day, the bills have to be paid. As for integrations, used to hate the Coke on Idol as a blatant sell out but now I get it.  The DVR has killed the 30 second spot, so now selling integrations, pitch Chevy on Mary J. Blige getting out of a Chevy truck at MSG.  As long as you’re selling stuff that relates to my wheelhouse, that’s relevant to me – golf, girls, guacamole, guns, beer – no problem.  As far as cost, content creators need to start factoring into production the way content is being consumed.  Why spend to shoot in panoramic, why not tv ratio.  25y ago you could spend $40,000 to create a show for a guy and hope he watches but now that guy is not just watching tv, he’s gaming, he’s tweeting, he’s elsewhere.  Richard has invited me out to Hanger 8 but have an exclusive with NBC, so can’t, but if I was out of work would be at Hanger 8 filming, why not.  Fox has done things for $15,000 as well as $.5B successfully.  There is a cyclical nature to film that circles round CGI and Arthouse…I want to feel a movie again.  In some ways I miss the days of the movie star, as SNL’s Seth Myers puts it, today celebrity just means mammal.  Balloon Boy is a celebrity.  Go to Starbucks everyone is talking to each other but no mouths are moving, noone is looking at each other.  The good news is the value of the live social experience is on the up.  (More from CD at #w2s, here onstage with Mark Cuban)

Richard Rosenblatt, Demand Media, @demandrichard
Serial entrepreneur built over $1.4B in internet media companies, credits include MySpace and Demand Media.  In the old days they’d pay 400x profit for future platforms but it was early.  This is a great time now, we are finally at the point where digital and hollywood come together.   This is the first time ever the audience is telling you – who is that guy and what he wants.  In 2004, MySpace profiles weren’t real for fear of who was reading it, now on FB everything is real, pictures of kids, family, there is so much personal information on FB profiles. (Carson – it’s a big mistake, trusting too much) But you can now find 100,000 people interested in bocce ball, culling for niches has never been easier.  Even Yahoo is going open and shared.  When you know what people want, you can connect them to the stuff they need.  That’s why I bought eHow.  There are 100,000/month looking to make homemade detergent.  1mm articles, 200,000 videos on long tail topics with Digg features, etc.  Demand’s Livestrong.com has 6mm visitors/month allows Lance to bypass media, at the Tour de France he was tweeting from his bike.  Wife Brooke has Modern Mom show.  See Comcast/NBC as a good move, Comcast is very progressive.  Follow trends, to see where we’re heading you must immerse yourself in the technology first, FB, Twitter, try different things but make the right choices where to focus time, you can’t follow every company TechCrunch, PaidContent, Variety writes about, pick game changing trends, if a lot of people are doing it, there’s something to it.  Twitter works great for celebrities and marketers, great way to send links and filter information.  A great example is the movie Couples Retreat, critics hated it but friends were recommending it and caused a spike despite bad reviews.  Follow 5-6 people you trust, see what they say, with 70mm on the mobile web and 100mm tweets a day, a good search engine can filter valuable information like what’s skiing like on Mammoth today.  Twitter search is better than Google.  Sun Valley Media Conference chatter – 31% of retail companies are using FB connect.  People buy in their network, what to see what friends are shopping for.  As soon as advertisers can figure out ROI, the whole market will open up.  Regarding Chris Anderson’s Free, there’s always someone paying whether its the user or the advertiser.  If time is a scarce resource would its good to have the choice to pay then spend time watching commercials.

Stuart Levine, Variety
A lot of great shows this season:  Modern Family, Glee, Biggest Loser, Sons of Anarchy.  More watching NCIS than going to Transformers.  There is an enthusiasm for TV.  Personally have 37 season passes on AppleTV, watch 7 days later, some great shows cancelled due to bad time slots.  Mark Cherry has been talking about Desperate Housewives – when is it going to end (Lost similar), some shows have a limited life, want to go out with a bang. / What was a 22 episode season, we are now seeing more 10-12-13 episode mid-seasons. / The broadcast 18-49, 25-54 demo is antiquated, Viacom has it as 18-24, 18-34, everyone calls it something else as they sell to different niches.

Marc Graboff, NBCU
TV has a 90% failure rate, but the networks need to get out of the way and provide a platform for creatives vision.  People don’t realize networks don’t get paid for shows that are TiVo’d.  The numbers are off  full rating points because the DVR causes a 4 week delay.  DVR usage hurts more than streaming.  Networks don’t get compensated for time-shifting.  25% The Office and 30% of Heroes are time-shifted.  Being worked on by CIMM, the Council for Innovative Media Measurement, comprised of 14 advertisers, agencies and TV companies, who are developing cross-platform metrics intended to measure total audience consumption on any platform anytime. / At NBC mid-season orders not happening, difficult to accumulate enough stuff to sell in backend, 13 episodes is not enough. USA, TBS, TNT largest 3 cable networks take couple of hundred episode order, 5 22-episode seasons.  That said, with windows collapsing, perhaps 13 episodes can be monetized instantaneously.  Why delay syndication pot of gold for four years, why not take little bags of gold along the way.  / Audience is so fragmented, hits no longer pay for losers. Have to retool because of a change in consumption.  / Glad we’re equity owners of Hulu, remember Hulu was an antipiracy move, if it wasn’t on Hulu 24 hours after it was on air it would be pirated.  Hulu as a destination site for quality fully produced masters of the show.  Just wish we weren’t training viewers to watch programming online with so little ad viewing.  FOD windows, pay to watch earlier.  NBC.com is a superfan site, place to go when show is not on to interact with characters, creators, stars, chat, blog.  Then there is the blogosphere, twitterverse where viral word of mouth spreads fast, its a phenomenon.  Bruno had huge numbers Friday night, word of mouth was bad and numbers fell off on Saturday. / Regarding Leno it’s too early to tell, doing better than projected, will evaluate in 52 weeks, not affecting House at 8 or Law & Order at 9.  It’s a transitional year for NBC, Jay happened last December, didn’t want to lose Jay or Conan, wanted comedy to counter the crime/dramas on the other networks, this was the solution.  Impact on local news, everyone is down in the 11pm slot:  CBS 10%, ABC 11%, NBC 12%. / Higher CPMs with more targeted audiences, still need to aggregate eyeballs.  / Cable model is robust, subscriber base is there, free TV syndication not, cash license fees on barter, 30 Rock syndication all barter whereas The Office years ago was all cash.  / We’ve been guilty of derivative reality shows like everyone else.  Looking for next big tent pole watercooler reality show, not drama, comedy or next ABT, Biggest Loser.  Something fresh.  (Marc Graboff, NBCU also delivered EPPS Keynote later in the conference:  http://www.mobilizedtv.com/nbc-entertainments-marc-graboff-keynotes-at-digital-hollywood) Advertising scatter market strong sell in the last minute, % held back from summer upfronts.  For many years we were #1, not fun being #4, great projects in development with Bruckheimer, Abrams.  On the right path creatively.  ABC was #4 for awhile now ahead with Lost, Desperate Housewives, Grey, CBS Survivor, CSI, Fox has Idol.  NBC wants a big fat reality shows that drives 20mm+ viewers an episode into the network.  NBC has its brand of comedies 30Rock, The Office.  Want a quality drama in the aftermarket.  A million great ideas, it’s in the execution.  Partnering with experienced  showrunners who can deliver 22 episodes of quality TV year after year.  / Branded entertainment – Bud Golden Wheat sponsored entire SNL episode and there were 9 minutes less commercials as a result.  Harkens back to Texaco Star Theater.  Product integration can’t compensate for loss of 30 second spots.  12-15% decline in upfronts will never recover.  Biggest shift in ad spending is from TV to cable.  Don’t know if it will ever come back.  Luckily NBC is in both.  TV is still the best way for big reach, mass audience – Olympics, Superbowl, 25mm weekly watercooler show.  Making shows available online has been additive, not cannibalizing.  Most avid viewers only watch half the episode.  Online gives a chance to catch up. And a chance to sample to other shows like Dexter.  The Office came alive on iTunes and made it a hit.  ABC.com, NBC.com, Fox.com stream online first before there was a Hulu, Hulu was the answer to piracy.  Safe legal environment to stream shows, not bootlegged rough cuts.  Hulu 4th most trafficked site.  Now its bolstering its economics. TV windows are collapsing, not watching Mash by default anymore because there is nothing else on.  No middle class anymore, hit tv drives revenue. Hits like Seinfeld will survive collapsing of windows.  Twitter and the blogs great place for instantaneous feedback, can’t control messaging, word of thumb.  Twitter killed Bruno, made Paranormal.  Glee @ Fox hit show because of tweeters, released pilot early.  Some tweeters are from the networks, plenty of that goes on.  Rebecca Marks at NBC culls social media on NBCU execs and shows.  Have to treat bloggers as journalists.

Mark Koops, Reveille
The Office the first season didn’t have the biggest ratings, but it did well for the network and they supported Greg Daniels with press, promotion, marketing, not telling him how to write a script. / Would have loved to have had Millionaire, the first $B failure continues to live on in syndication as a $B franchise.  / Talking about the cycle model, Biggest Loser took 2 cycles to increase ratings, now attracting marketing partners and advertisers on a more consistent basis, high-end sponsors:  Subway, General Mills integrations.. The only one showing up to watch Project Runway in the beginning was Laura Zalaznick.  / People turn up and watch The Biggest Loser and The Office because they know when its on, when you move the time slot the message to the audience is forget it.  / Mercy great scripted show on NBC, well cast, well written series, hope they stick with it.  / When you watch 24, you know you’re getting 24 original episodes, no more 3 originals with a repeat a week, with Biggest Loser (Tu 8) you know you’re getting 32 weeks of original programming.  / House business model works, control cost of it, powerful storytelling.

John Landgraf, FX Networks
Don’t have a huge slate, 11 scripted series, still read every script, watch every rough cut.  Creative stuff is fragile, need to baby it and nurture it in its infancy til its grows to be a robust adult.  / Damages viewing is up 80% from DVR but don’t get paid for it.  Nielsen needs to be revamped, follow viewers where they are, FOD cable partners cant track it and sell it, as viewing experience changes, measurement needs to chance too.  Now viewing over weeks and months, not over 3 days.  / Knowing when show has reached its potential, this is the last season of The Shield (Th 9)/ Seinfeld was an acquired taste, an unusual show leading 25mm into it./Now when we market to live-only viewer, make it an event for the viewer.  They know FX will repeat it or can catch up on iTunes or VOD but they’ll never get back to it, a decision delayed is never made, need to eventize and market the show. / Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Th 10) is a hit show after 5 years, up 70% in ratings.  FX is not a network known for comedy, model is about less expensive shows perhaps taking a loss on the first run, but having patience to to grow it 5 years and turn it into a compelling product.  FX owns Sunny, and took it off of Hulu to make it available for DVDs and syndication.  Damages value to leave it up forever.  But Hulu helps with discovery of previously obscureshow, wasn’t originally in heralded group of comedies, Hulu elevated it.  At first made all 50 episodes available to find audience.  The Hulu ecosystem even with a hybrid of ads and subs can’t replace linear airing to DVD to syndication, need to protect ability to create hits or don’t have a business. / FX caters to a yunger generation, but no one really knows who is watching, multiscreen challenge of tracking elsewhere, STB data not accurate. /Audience is not as attached to big ticket, The Shield and Sons of Anarchy have proved you can stick to your overall budget.  If changed production value on 24 audiences would notice, needs to be the same storytelling, intimacy of characters in the bedroom, less car chases, explosions. / Every network needs a healthy balance, look what Idol did for House/ Look How I Met Your Mother, a single camera sitcom with no middle, no buzz, is going strong thanks to Neil Patrick Harris as the breakout star. / Want 100 episodes, when you get to 80, you’re in good shape.

Dana Walden, 20th Century Fox Television
Can’t have a mid-level hit get to 4 seasons anymore, need to have a property people want to watch again for a viable DVD, syndication, international, EST and digital platform business.  Depressing when you get a bad time slot.  Joruneymen – highest testing pilot since 24, plum time period after Heroes, no longer enough, see it with Lie to Me, got best time period, best audience, audience found clicker and its premeired poorly.  Arrested Development was ahead of its time, sure Fox would love it on air now.  FBC didn’t have right fit for it, it was a bit narrow. / Big hit in the ratings:  Sons of Anarchy, successful 13 episode oder international and home entertainment, big eventized shows on lesser orders/  Its not one size fits all, need to be facile, business changing quickly, don’t want to burn out new revenue streams / X Files released favorite episodes in one million different ways, consumers will pay for cult shows/ Talking end of life – Ideally you want a show that is highly serialized but not episodic like Law & Order with an outstanding cast. For a show like Prison Break, how many prisons can they break from, if you try to stretch beyond its limits you creatively hurt the show long term, that incredibly bad ending memory of an asset in its afterlife of syndication, etc.. Prison Break is hugely lucrative DVD, International people want to collect it, own it. / DVRs make it hard to monetize videos. / We have two great shows:  Glee and Modern Family, and the luck of them being scheduled against each other.  Miss one, watch the other the next day on Hulu. We support Hulu and are part of NewsCorp which has an equity interest in Hulu but it’s personally challenging to have shows available so quick after airing.  The priority is to watch on air, then watch completed master in living room via Hulu, better than bootleg.  / Meanwhile in the past 2 years cost of production has escalated out of whack.  Need to make changes.

Mike Farah, Funny or Die
Specializing in celebrity content (Will Ferrell, Chris Henchy, Neil Patrick Harris, Mandy Moore, Christopher Lloyd, Renee Romjin..).  No celebrities are compensated for FOD, can’t pay for content but video producers can insert their own pre-rolls, FOD has ads on the site, brands buy into the entire slate, higher end productions that get seen, free publicity, cheap effective celebrity content shot on short notice, not much to crack the code, look for quality and quantity for good diversions from work, training ground for UCB groundlings, hands-on uber-control, cost effective,

Mike Polk, Break.com
Known for nutcake videos, skateboard stunts, rodeo donkey, whatever is entertaining for millennial men, try not to turn off advertisers.  Site has series and one-offs. Branded content for Cheetos, Mountain Dew.  Produced hilarious video:  Cleveland, II.

Josh Spector,Comedy.com
4mm monthly uniques, now a guide to what’s funny right now.

Maria Kermath, ATT Interactive
Rebranding Yellow Pages for those born after 1977: Have to Eat, Drink, Snack, Pee.

David Zucker, Secret Secret Service, Airplane, Scary Movie..
Brand is zany comedy laugh-out-loud spoof.  Movies are in Oscar-free zone, get joke onscreen.  Shooting in HD – makeup has to be better.  Like to make people laugh, target audience is 4-11y, slapstick humor.  Classic 70s film aesthetic embracing new tools, with pre-vis make movie before you get to the set so you can show cast and crew what you are thinking of before they perform it.  Remaking Kentucky Fried Movie. Airplane didn’t lend itself to being a franchise but Paramount wanted a franchise. Naked Gun by contrast lent itself to unlimited adventures.  Uncomfortable doing R films, for brand of slapstick want to take it down to PG.  Mentors – Frank Wells, USC Film School, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Ted Turner, Weinsteins.

Brett Ratner, Beverly Hills Cop IV, X-Men
Billion dollar director known for Rush Hour Trilogy grossed $800mm worldwide. Brand is action thriller but tastes are eclectic.  Would like to make a ronatic fantasy film too.  Old school, stuck on film, not embracing digital yet.   Likes Canon better than Red.  Spielberg said Dreamworks sends list of top 50 YouTube videos a month.  Hollywood is looking or fourth quadrant – fun, family-oriented films.   Paranormal Activity  incredible film – huge box office like Blair Witch, it’s all anyone is talking about.  Also use pre-vis to show actors and crew how to move Golden Gate Bridge in Xmen, all action sequences were animated.  Mentors:  NYU professor, Dino de Laurentiis, Bob Evans “The Kid Stays in the Picture.”

Bob Osher, Columbia Pictures
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs just hit $100mm mark.  Brand is good stories with good characters well told. Character driven even when its for kids.  New kids every 7 years.  Don’t want to have a studio style, want it to feel fresh and original.  Animated films rely on A-list talent voices for marketing.  Pixar uses shorts program to develop young directorial talent.  Sony too.  Sony Imageworks 3D pre-vis tools allows for real-time re-rendering so we only animate what we’re going to use.  Even show pre-vis to marketing team.  Proprietary right now but soon enough will be a tool on Apple for 9y to use.

Ondi Timoner, We Live in Public, Dig! (Sundance winners)
Big Brother is not one man, rather Big Brother is our collective consciouness.  Internet is so insidious, technology is alienating, humans have a desire not to be alone, to go off the grid and have live experiences.  When born, the cord is cut, and we spend the rest
of our lives reconnecting.  Secured all music rights in perpetuity for We Live In Public including track from Spoon, all music is on DVD. Oscar-qualified – abiding by windows – scheduled invitation-only screenings online.

Josh Harris, Wired City
Serial entrepreneur that proved early has little to do with sustained success.  Fan of Truman Show, edges between real and virtual, in 5 years it will all be on. Founder of Jupiter Communications, created chat for Prodigy, worth $80mm, blew it all on excesses of next ventures, escaped to Ethiopia during dot com bomb, festival circuit resurrected him, now living in pool house of Jason Calacanis, Mahalo.com, repped by WME, pitching Wired City, a competitive celeb-reality multiplatform game show.  In LA to learn how to do reality at scale with partners like Endemol, Reveille, Fremantle.  Maybe he’s got the next Intervention for Rob Sharenow, A&E.  We Live in Public Show in the 90s had an engaged online community of 1,000 – small even for niche.

Jeffrey Gordon, Writers Boot Camp
Email, texting, listmaking is writing.  5 story components:  main character, dynamic character, third party opponent, adventure, genre.  Beat out beginning middle end.  Write first draft quickly.  Need progressive dredge material.  Don’t quit day job to write.  Can do it PT, 10hr/wk, 6 months.  Too much free time not good for writers, writers need experience to make it more lyrical.  Plot needs to be character driven to care.  Talked about Ylse.com, high production value not easily monetizable.  See portals as marketing vehicles, companion websites to define and extend brand.    Don’t have to write a tentpole  franchise to be successful.  High concept romantic comedy is hot, action adventure fantasy and supernatural thrillers.  Seek sponsors, sell $100 ads/month to 10 people, or create content for other brands.

Kevin Yen, YouTube
Topped 10B video streams in April.  For $5-10/day buy search keywords to rise above the din on YouTube, allows you to put your video right in front of the person searching for it.  Not interested in being a gatekeeper, it’s becoming harder to tell the difference between UGC and premium.  Rightsholder should max rev from consumption of content.

Russ Schafer, Yahoo! Connected TV
Right now SDK is invite-only.  Public post CES, 1Q10.  Just had web/mobile/tv developers conference in NYC.  Everyone in household has their own personalized dock.  NBC widget allows for relevant personal ads, only serve stuff relevant to you, profile makes it a more personal experience.  In time, allow different economic models – pick shows a la carte or by subscription, all models can coexist.

Jared Tobman, Reveille
Reveille making money with branded entertainment, activate people around an idea, not a shill or product placement.  Promotion is the metric that drives success. Guarantee distributions when ad-supported with paid promotion.  CPA ads.  What percent of digital copies can be monetized depends on convenience, quality, immediacy – people will pay different amounts.  Better ways online than the 30 second spot you can TiVo passed.  Leverage talent across distribution channels, bring known quality online.  YouTube will build a model for reach and frequency, get redistributed in viral marketplaces and make viral video monetizable.  TV Everywhere is walled garden.

Keith Quinn, Paramount Pictures
Product strategy – hybrid of transactional and ad-supported.  Dr. Horrible was available for free on Hulu and paid on iTunes at same time, and people bought it.  Choice for consumers is good.  Windows breaking down in distribution.  A brand cuts above clutter.  Top 3 iPhone apps are brands.  Social networks are a great place to launch, mass opinion, curation from friends.  Add in microtransactions, FB will be pretty powerful.  $30-40mm made on Paranormal.  5-6 of iTunes Top 100 are cover tunes or mashups from Glee.  Journey is in the Top 100 because of Glee.

Jessica Schell, NBCU
Social media is incredibly important now, viral marketing complements reduced budgets, need it to get bigger audiences, making it portable to enable fans to share with networks, talent on shows engage fans and viewers, have that direct connection, bringing community onto NBC sites.  Go to NBC.com, USAnetwork.com for the network brand, go to Bravo, Sy Fy, USA for the show brand.  Loves FB Connect!  Port identity around web with you, warm welcome, when want a deeper experience with the show, notion of portable community, you can see your friends from FB when you show up on NBC sites, shows up on feed, lowers barriers to entry, no need to reenter information and create new profile.  Seek great tech partners via Peacock Equity Fund like EveryZing voice to text SEO product makes live TV searchable, provides transcript.  Moving beyond metadata to real-time data, valuable for an unscripted show like CNBC where you don’t know what they’ll talk about ahead of time, huge library of clips.    You don’t see a lot of cable content on Hulu, more braodcast content, TV Everywhere will have to figure out how to protect dual revenue streams for content producers.  Still early days, need to be a business model to support premium content without watching 5x the ads.  Kindle opens new revenue streams for content producers.

Kenneth Hertz, Goldring Hertz & Lichtenstein LLP
FB connect powerful platform, increased Jib Jab’s transaction flow.  Web levels playing field to get content to market but its the tyranny of transparency, content still has to be great: U2/BB didn’t move the needle on record sales.  Paramount’s Pranormal #3 watershed, went direct to consumers.  FB 80mm US, 266mm WW in 2 years.  Can’t launch new content widely in walled garden.  Gatekeepers were all about shelf space, challenge now is discoverability, how to get marketing and promotion to rise above the din.  How does good content find audience to be monetized.  Hulu earned $120mm, no profit.  Market is $100B in US.

Felicia Day, The Guild
Loves sponsors and are transparent with fans whereas McFlurry on 30 Rock seemed very sneaky, not sure whether it was paid product placement or not.  Become sensitized to it.  Prefer pre-roll, more honest.

John Fasano, Woke Up Dead
Have no problem with integration only wish Kodak wouldn’t have taken cameras back.

Michael Oates Palmer, West Wing
Mad Men genius at making product placement feel organic to story.

Eric Berger, Sony Pictures Television
Go where customers are, set up branded environments, embed video player on YouTube, provide DRM, control the user experience, incubating shows online.  Angel of Death went on to SpikeTV, DVD, put through pilot program online.  Crackle has 150 movies, classics, dip in dip out strips, take advantage of windows where content wasn’t monetized before, minisodes keep the story arc beginning, middle, end but super condensed, using the web to unlock library value.  Started partnership with What the Buck, has 25y under young female audience.  Doing well with $4-5/movie rentals on Sprint.  PPV does millions.  In mobile there is a willingness to pay, ringtone wallpaper, subscription movie service.

Neil Tiles, G4
G4 is owned by Comcast, 5-6y old.  Not highest rated in network space, niche.  Different programming tv to web.  Need to protect cable source of revenue.  From a scripted standpoint, web enhanced tv experience, partner with Stickam to bring in viewers, live to itneract with guests, talents.  Why does Discovery have Cash Cab? Has little to do with the brand.  Dynamic ad insertion tool help advertisers find the people amidst theis fragmented media.  Difficult time to plan because we don’t know what platform is next.  Can’t pull full shows online.   Rights issue.  Np presence in full episodes based on deal structure.  Force Hulu to put some free content behind paywall.  Comcast cable ops win writing checks to G4.  Bud TV sucked, BK doing it right.  Microtransaction is so key.  iPhone is conditioning people to do it.  Dialing 411 was a microtransaction.

Sab Kanaujia, NBCU
Solution is to aggregate eyeballs on the backend in order for the content to go everywhere. Seamless to the audience.  Valuable analytics to advertisers.  Get more uniques with distributed widgets, than on destination website.  Top Chef or Heroes widgets, deliver ads against them.  Mobile is different than web or tv, need to create content from scratch.  Value of compelling storytelling not going away, reaggregation is a huge issue in industry now.  Mass media has been dead for years except tentpoles like the Superbowl.  Need to reach out to one individual at a time.  85% sold out on video network, the rest sold through remnant ad network, other through bundled ad buys.  User authentication via TV Everywhere will lead to higher CPMs.  People will pay for gret content, microtransactions let you pay where you consume.  Watch FB, people will pay for what they like.   (Average cable home watches 15 channels, brands are comfortable knowing what they’re going on which is why soap opera model worked for so long, brands haven’t really migrated yet.)

Albie Hecht, Worldwide Biggies
Kids & Family animations, winner of two Oscars, launch, iterate, find audience, leverage to new media, 30% are kids under 3y.  30% of iPhones are sold to kids under 17y.  Going from web to inanimate objects, connected toy biz will be huge.  Manipulate action figure watch it onscreen.  Toys are a new medium.  Youth oriented virtual worlds interaction with real world action figure.  Future is interoperability of avatars, take monkey to another world with wallet and status.  Hybrid models:  media sponsorship, subscriptions, per use, micropayments, distributed hosted economies, gifts, apps, casual mmo, VW, if the digital wallet is easy to use, people will pay more.

Greg Goodfried, EQAL
Lawyer by background, partner is doctor, financed start of EQAL.  TMZ started online as a totally different production.  Need to treat mediums different in content creation business.  New platform:  UMBRELLA low cost monthly subscription, currently in beta, enables content producers to publish to website and simultaneously post it everywhere.  Arrington is the voice of TechCrunch so there is a huge added benefit to go back to the site.  Hub + Spoke approach.  Content can go everywhere with ads baked in. Paula Deen established broad style guide, brand look, rules across properties.  Umbrella will allow a blogger with a Flip who gets millions of views to make money with ads served.

Danae Ringelman, IndieGoGo, @gogodanae
Helps artists do it with others, provides free online audience-building tools.  Offer DIWO Live every Friday at Noon, a free conference call to ask questions.  Internet gives filmmakers direct access to fans, 1B WW, finance with crowdfunding, use the festival circuit as launchpad (bring DVDs, merchandise, take advantage of publicity), be everywhere your customers are, savvy sm outreach, Ted Hope’s power of $1, provides market validation, increases chance of pick up.  Participatory culture-offer value and incentives, know the basics: audience sizing, ID comps, production vs P&A, start now, production is the new promotion, capture emails, identify assets, VIP perks, post web presence, create pitch clip, determine trailer strategy, cross-platform engagement with audience, have a dialogue – ask questions, run a poll.  Engage audience via website, blog/rss, email, reaching out to bloggers, influencers, orgs, FB, MySpace, Twitter, Stumble, Digg, widgets, house parties, festivals, ask fans to request screenings.  Theatrical distribution:  Festivals, Fathom.  DVD/VOD – CreateSpace, NeoFlix, DiscMakers.  Online Aggregators – New Video, Cinetic, Indieflix, Film baby. Josh Kornbluth (Haiku Tunnel) using IndieGoGo to raise $15,000 for Love & Taxes.  Video sharing sites: YouTube, Vimeo, Viddler, Metacafe, Revver.., Analytics:  TubeMogul, YouTube Insight Tracking Tool, FB, MySpace, Bebo, hi5, Twitter, Digg, Yahoo Buzz!  Email:  Vertical Response, Constant Contact, iContact.  Influencer search tools:  Technorati, Blogger.  Use Google alerts to track buzz.  Press: HelpaReporterOut.com.  Daily reads:  www.indiegogo.com/blog, www.workbookproject.com, cinematech.blogspot.com, www.peterbroderick.com, www.indiewire.com, www.kk.org/thetechnium.  Lance Weiler’s $8000 film grossed over $4mm.

Matt Tyrnauer, Valentino
Clips posted on IDA, www.documentary.org.  Couldn’t have been made with film. Needed a small unobstructive camera for small friend to stand with under desk with boom to allow for intimate conversations.  Has done $1.7-2mm theatrically in NA over a 6m run.  Got a seven figure guarantee at TIFF.  Platform release in 4 cities DIY classic model, #1 grossing film for three frames for 3w in a room.  $1.2mm production + legal fees, flying crew from NYC to Italy, dress code, glamour crew, spent on helicopter to get a beauty shot of yacht.  Expected ancillaries to be everything – intl audience, DVD.  Don’t cut too deeply, spend if you think it will help you.  Niche: nationwide sewing groups, marauding hoards of midwestern ladies.  Valentino has 6 pugs, another niche film appealed to.

Courtney Sexton, Participant Productions
Food, Inc., The Soloist, The Informant.  Have social action teams to promote film.  Deal with Magnolia.  Often use filmmaker as celebrity.  Need a powerful sizzle reel.  Twitter was a huge part of Food,Inc.

Rebecca Yeldham, Anvil
LAFF director.  Shooting on video was a revelation.  Amazing what you can catch when you’re not thinknig ca-ching!  Not obsessed accumulating hundreds of hours of footage.  Forged connection with Digital Domains to find audience for film.  When Anvil presented at Sundance in 2008 docs were declared dead.  All art houses had folded.  Now market is alive again.  Had to convince people it wasn’t about heavy metal, but about friendship, not letting others define you, and never giving up on a dream.  Devastated after Sundance, had Lips and Robb Reiner as assets and wonderful director Sahca Gervasi.  Had to wait 8m til TIFF.  Became festival sluts because team was dying, incredible experience at LAFF, gave DVDs away to tweeting talent, generated enormous buzz.  VH1 executive saw it in Prague, fell in love with it, got sizable six figures, film was self-financed.  Screened for specialty divisions, spent a week at Angelika.  42 West excellent publicity.  Every attendee became a walking ad.  Reviews reverbed.  Fertile year cultivating word of mouth.  150 cities, still screening. Anvil was on Conan 2weeks ago, opened for AC/DC at Giants Stadium.  Doing a 40 city tour in January where the band does 3 songs at the end of the film, eventizing the screening, calling it the Anvil Experience.  Keep production costs as low as possible without compromising aesthetic, $300-400,000 doc budget for a 90min feature.  Epic quality not inexpensive.  But the lower it goes the better chance for upside.

Marina Zenovich, Polanski:  Wanted and Desired
Emmy-nominated.  Every film has its sotry, took 5y tomake, sold to HBO and Think at Sundance, Weinstein for international.  Think is now defunct.  HBO did a great job.  Conscious decision not to go theatrical.  Needed to pay back investors.  Had a small theatrical just to expeience it on the big screen.  Tragic brilliant historic figure, a holocaust survivor, called a malignanttwited dwarf, perfect villian, made big money, famous, controversial, legacy of wife’s murder behind him.  Must have interesting characters or its boring.  Not all films are meant to be theatrical.  Gets as much content as money.  When the topic is controversial, not many want to take the risk.

Scott Hamilton Kennedy, The Garden
Oscar-nominated, always retain rights to sell DVDs, have them at first screening, $25. Need strong story every step of the way.

David Gale, MTV
Not a golden age of anything, we’re at the dawn of the digital media revolution.  Last piece in the puzzle is distribution.  Amazed at the pitchfest, everyone had something worthwhile, democratization of media, for the longest time the hollywood gates were shut, now allowing people with true talent to get in.  Seeing new talent hadn’t seen before, more willing to take a chance, it’s not the same level risk at issue, question now is how to create a sustainable business.

David Tochterman, Versatility Media
Fuuny or Die just sold a show to HBO commercial cable.  Kold Kast, Warner 2.0, 15 gigs, Babelgum.  Longer episodes with mainstream extensions.  Guild, Dr. Horrible, Secret Girlfriend.  Revision 3 is now on Roku.  Funding, Audience, Metrics, Revenue.  Katalyst HQ and NBCU’s Community debuted on FB to large audiences.

George Ruiz, ICM
Atom, Crackle, Paramount, Revision3, Next New Networks, Microsoft are all paying for content. Big fan of Roku, interesting way to get content into the living room.  Seek talent with significant online followings.  The Guild was a great script targeted to a large online audience of gamers.  Also represent  Amber Mac, Girls Go Geek on Xbox LIVE, and Hoodlum, won Emmy for ABC Lost companion.

Justine Bateman, fm78.tv
20 scripts in development and were in talks with many brands including P&G and IBM, distribution partners including Hulu and blip.tv, but not CBS TV.com yet. Spend little, don’t incur overhead, don’t pay salary, completely mobile, do own PR.   Started studio during the writers strike when traditional distribution bottomed out as a workaround.  Creating something magical, know many directors, actors, formed many partnerships to monetize online web series.  Present sponsors with an ROI spreadsheet showing them the economic value of celebrity, ability to draw traditional press vs. how much that would cost as a half-page ad in People, a cover is priceless, you can’t buy the cover, what’s the reach 56mm people, a 15 minute spot on Letterman vs. how much a TV spot costs, $.64mm value for example, what the sponsor gets for their money, how they can reach their targeted demographic.  On finding sponsors:  Got in a room with Digitas, they liked what we were doing, met P&G and IBM on a panel.  When Nestle at the doorstep said I’m not carrying you over the threshold, we went to Candy Convention and met brand managers for Mars.  Had good luck with cold-calling CMOs and CEOs, chatting them up.   A TV show without promotion doesn’t work.  People won’t mistakenly stumble upon your hub url.  It’s a joke that the basis for the industry’s currency, the Nielsen ratings are determined by a poll.

Kim Evey, The Guild
The Guild owns IP, Microsoft has exclusive window, using New Video for other windows as well as Amazon, YouTube.   Microsoft profited day one from The Guild.  When Felicia goes on Jimmy Fallon she always thanks her sponsors MS, AMazon, Sprint.  They find it very thoughtful of her, that she values the business relationship.   Date My Avatar made it to #1 both on iTunes and Amazon with George and Kim on Twitter egging on 1.5mm fans – we’re at #2 let’s get it to #1, and a Josh Whedon blog post helped too.  When needed a retail store to line up in front of for a shoot, the natural choice was Game Stop, approached them and said what’s it worth to yo and they paid a fee for the integration and let them shoot in a shop.   Thanked them by showing it at Comic-Con in front of tweeting passionate eyeballs.

Paul Kotonis, For Your Imagination
Aggregators are the only ones that make money from CPM, not producers.  Not all views are created equal, a view from The Guild is not counted the same as a Rev3 view or YouTube view.  When does it count, 15 sec into it, 100% viewed, what about auto-play.  Have no idea what rate of completion is on YouTube.  Views don’t equal people.   (Edelman – Use media buys to drive views and engagement back to online, success metrics are is consumer making connection to brand.  ManiaTV – Need 1000 shows online to get critical mass online, need a quantity of programming)

Amber J Lawson, Babelgum
Where frat boy comedy ends, and evolved hipster comedy begins, political, timely, topical, female, sci-fi, celebrity, animation.  Looking to acquire content with brilliant concepts from producers with proven track record of building loyal audiences.

Kate Neligan, Lionsgate
Mobile messaging movies, can pre-order for TV.  Factor in budget for niche title to market home video, go to Ning, Fear.net for reach.  When it goes FOD (free video on demand) the advertising is entertainment.  Connected TV provides more on demand orders.  Stuff virally via Comcast VOD, push iTunes, Xbox in digital space, MOD focuses on the customer instead of blockbuster, not just push title but include platform.  FiOS widgets – what’s hot on demand, DirecTV apps.  From a PR perspective, have to drop content in and let fans use it the way they want to. Don’t know what the next best thing is.  It’s about listening, and putting stuff out there.  Try to influence and immerse, let them move it for you.

Gary G-Wiz, Public Enemy
Raised over $50,000 from fans for new album with the fan funding engine, www.SellABand.com. Aiming for $250,000 by end of year.  Artist direct to fan platform.  Like to see advances in media like ringtone consumption, IMAX – can’t be pirated, have to go to the theater to experience it.

Julie Supan, Ning
Ellentv.com, TwilightSaga.com is on Ning.    180,000 organize fan movements on Ning.  Incorporating game mechanics into platform, connect more emotionally in publicity campaigns, watch for virtual gifting, looking at Nokia feature phones, iPhone is only 10% of the market and on the high end.

Thomas Hughes, MGM
42000 little movies, 10000 hours of television.  Bullish on the space.  Aggressively distributing libraries in FOD, mobile, EST, can experiment more with deeper library titles.  Also heads up clip and still licensing.  Had a great summer with FOD.  Fall is tougher because new episodes are back.   Don’t oversee DVDs.  Stargate saw very little erosion in EST (iTunes) when added FOD (Hulu). People that want to own still download.  FOD is a supportive platform of EST.

Adam Powers, Rovi
Young guys 18-34y have a sense of adventure to play around with the technology which is why they tend to be early adopters.  (90% doing 5% of clickthroughs per emarketer). Current navigation by time and channel is clunky.  Rovi, formerly Macrovision which owns TV Guide, throws away the grid for global search based on name of show.  Total Guide will allow for better STB measurement of online and cable/broadcast content.  $3B investment.

Eric Gould Bear, Monkey Media
Seamless contraction, expansion technology, reduces amount of material needed on DVD for versioning.  1991 Apple shipped QT, 1993 NCSA shipped Mosaic, 1997 Toshiba shipped first DVD player in US, MS acquires WebTV, 1999 TiVo shipped first DVR, Matrix first DVD got people to buy DVD players, 2001 TiVo announced telescopic advertising, 2006 Samsung shipped Blu-Ray, 2008 Tru-Two Way, Comcast TiVo DVRs.  Build affinity within the context of the program.  Interactive advertising will drive functionality of the boxes.  (Right now it’s so clunky that by the time you buy the sweater the show is over, UK has the red button for interactivity.)

Geoff Katz, ATAS Interactive Emmy Winners
(metric of FB fun, $4 value of one fan)
– Stephen Andrade, NBC, SNL, Jimmy Fallon, The Office, 30 Rock
– Lisa Hsia, Bravo Digital Media,
Top Chef
– Michael Benson, ABC, Lost (Flash Forward FB app)
(Alison Moore, HBO Voyeur)

Josh Weltman, Mad Men
Ad consultant that sits in writers room to make sure agency work is accurate, products integrated into story, some exist, some are made up.  Don’t know which are actual deals, not told, church/state, brands have no approval on how portrayed in storyline, everything is beholdent to the story, second season seeing more flexible brands.  Knows what brands want and how to integrate them to maintain integrity of brand and story.

Mark Ely, Sonic Solutions/CinemaNow
Understanding platform payment pain threshold.  Windows digital distribution EST, VOD, rethinking how to merchandise content, 10,000 sme free, portability is key, android app, iPhone app in development, not on PS3, Xbox or US Wii but on Wii in Japan.

Jason Rubenstein, Redbox
Movies are only 1% of video consumed on internet.  Windows collapsing won’t happen overnight.  Millions opt-in for email/zip code, double digit open rate, $1 a day DVDs, can reserve DVDs, return to any box, working on 30 second digital download on SD card.  Goes anywhere, don’t have to return it.  won’t always be a kiosk play,

Doug Sylvester, Avail-TVN
Fear of piracy causing the collapsing of international windows, used to be 6m or 1y, now same as domestic, but still need to pony up larger guarantee for earlier window. (60% watch 10-15 channels)

Ted Mundorff, Landmark Theaters
Some festivals are markets.  Game has changed, no one wants to make a film deal first time seen at festival.  Filmmaker needs to be patient.  Can always get someone to release it but can’t always get someone to market it.

Laura Kim, I Wake Up Screening
Theatrical marketing for NatGeo.  Was at Warner Independent, spent 18 years at Sundance, TIFF, Cannes, EFM, Telluride (since 1992-3).  Sundance is not hte best for business, 99% come back with no distribution.  Love LAFF, buyers, filmmakers well treated.  Slumdog world premiered at Telluride, great word of mouth festival, curatorial process makes it prestigious but little business is done. Sundance can be very expensive.  LAFF body of films are a joy.  World premieres balanced with audience satisfaction.  Want to show film with engaging filmmaker who will win you over.  Sometimes with the festivals its better to be highlighted than spotlighted.  Be generous with screeners, make it as easy as possible for buyers.  They buy because of critics not buzz, too risky otherwise.

Amy McGee, Sundance Institute
Most filmmakers feel they have made it if they show at Sundance.  Mission is to support the artist beyond the 10 days throughout the year with distribution opportunities.

Rebecca Yeldham, LAFF
Anvil was the centerpiece of LAFF last year.  Premiered, played teh Ford Amphitheatre, connective tissue betwen the industry, filmmakers and audience.  Hone identity of festival – balance blockbusters with experimental.  LAFF is LA’s secret treasure, largest festival in LA to a different level of prominence.  Sundance is a rapturous experience, programming from the heart.  Was at Sundance, doesn’t bow to industry.  Days of 7 figure offers are gone.  With 5000 submissions, surely you miss stuff.   In LA, the festival experience has to be compelling enough to get everyone off the sofa.  Not a destination like Sundance.  They live and work in this town.

Sharon Swart, Variety
Covers the markets – Cannes, EFM (market/fests), AFM (killed Mifed)  LA is a company town, Cannes is arty, less pictures.  TIFF is a defacto market for press, oversees buyers and sellers.  There used to be a stigma 5-6y ago direct to VOD but no longer.

Rooftop Comedy, MGM, Fox…
http://www.mobilizedtv.com/marketing-hollywood-cross-platform-branding
http://www.mobilizedtv.com/digital-holllywood-discussing-broadband-content

International Academy of Web Television
In addition to all that was going on at Digital Hollywood there was also the inaugural meeting of the IAWTV.  Festively gathered were Felicia Day of The Guild, Ned Cantu of NYTVF, Tim Street of French Maid TV, George Ruiz of ICM, Dina Kaplan, of blip.tv, Drew Baldwin of Tubefilter, Jim Louderback of Revision 3 (releasing first scripted comedy series, Web Zeroes), Justine Bateman and Dominik Rausch of Easy to Assemble and many others.  The IAWTV is putting a call out to grow its 100+ membership to better process Streamys submissions, 100,000+ were submitted for 2009.  Dues are free through 2008, $90 for 2010, benefits include peer groups, voting, tickets, directory listing, industry events discounts, job listings, newsletter..  2010 Streamys tentatively set for April 11, venue TBA.  (1300 attended the first at the Wadsworth Theater.)  Next meeting is at NATPE in Vegas.  For membership details, email membership@iawtv.org or visit www.iawtv.org. Here’s video from the follow-on Hollywood Web Television Meetup: www.stickam.com/tubefilter.

Advertisements


4 Responses to “#DH09 Digital Hollywood/Celebrity Economics, Phenomenally Paranormal”

  1. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I enjoy seeing websites that understand the value of providing a prime resource for free. I truly loved reading your post. Thanks!

  2. Thanks for writing about this. There’s a mass of good tech info on the internet. You’ve got a lot of that info here on your web site. I’m impressed – I try to keep a couple blogs somewhat current, but it’s a struggle sometimes. You’ve done a great job with this one. How do you do it?


  1. 1 Twitter Trackbacks for #DH09 Digital Hollywood/From Polanski to Mad Men, Phenomenally Paranormal « Content NOW [contentnow.wordpress.com] on Topsy.com
  2. 2 ¤ Brief Write Ups Of A Unique Selection Of Hollywood Hits ¤

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: