Winners selected for Coelho’s “Witch of Portobello” MySpace film experiment

September 5, 2008

When I first heard about Paulo Coelho’s MySpace collaboration for turning his latest book into a film, I knew this was the kind of experiment in filmmaking by crowd sourcing that would be interesting to follow. 

Over 6,000 people subscribed to Coelho’s proposition.  I don’t know if that means he received 6,000 video entries, or if it also represents other forms of participation from MySpace users.  In any case, he recently announced the provisional selection of the winning videos that will be part of the film.  As expected, the provisional winners will have to comply with some fine print and complete required legal transactions. 

Coelho mentioned the film now runs at 380 minutes, much too long for commercial distribution. He does want, however, to show the full cut on the Internet, before submitting an edited version to film festivals.

In the meantime, you can watch the provisional winning videos.


Paulo Coelho turns his book into a feature film with MySpace users’ videos

June 10, 2008

This should be interesting. Author Paulo Coelho is going to collaborate with MySpace to make his latest book into his first feature film. The MySpace collaboration will center around creating a mashup of videos and songs created and submitted by MySpace users.  Coelho will choose the winning videos and songs to use in his film.

But here’s the rub: Coelho is going to own the film.  What do the MySpace filmmakers and musicians get?

Winners will enjoy significant publicity, and their work will be featured across MySpace worldwide including the homepage, MySpaceTV and an extensive banner campaign.

Well, exposure is always a good thing, right?  Not as sweet as a percentage of the gross, or residuals, but you have to start somewhere.

Oh, and the fine print says that if there aren’t enough videos and songs submitted that meet the required standards, the whole project will be scrapped.

It’ll be interesting to see what comes of this. [Via Publishers Weekly]


Is news still news if it’s yesterday’s news?

May 30, 2008

Here’s an interesting concept:  crowdsourcing the news.  Even more interesting:  getting paid to crowdsource the news.  That’s Knewsroom’s new model.   One thing about it seems a bit off to me:  the freshness of the news.  Their process, in their words:

“The Knews” gets published every morning, featuring the previous day’s top stories in Politics, Business, Technology, Design, Sports, and Entertainment.

Just about everything is, or is moving towards being, instantaneous on the interweb.  Reading the previous day’s news smacks of taking a step in the direction of the Pony Express.  I understand it takes time for a crowd to, er, source.   And I applaud the Knewsroom’s efforts in democratizing news.  It just seems there could be a way to manage it so that they could present the news while it was still news. 

[Via mycreativeteam]


A Filmmaker Live Twitters Tribeca All Access

April 22, 2008

Full Disclosure: Double 7 Film is a client of mine.

I’ve convinced a busy Director and Writer to try Twitter .  I don’t usually bring my client work over to my blog, but I’m really excited about Pete Chatmon’s willingness to embrace the idea of reaching out directly to fans through a variety of Web tools, including Twitter.

Pete’s production company is in the midst of retooling their online presence, to include a total redesign of the corporate website and an expansion of their presence on YouTube (in addition to writing and directing feature films, Pete also directs music videos ). 

Pete has a lot of irons in the fire.  He’s in development on his next feature, he’s writing a couple screenplays, and preparing some commercial shoots.  However, he’s dedicated to the idea of finding new ways to connect with movie fans.  He understands the power of interaction and wants to join the conversation. 

He’s an invited participant in Tribeca All Access, and plans to live twitter his experience there today.

This should be an interesting experience and opportunity to get behind-the-scenes with a filmmaker. Check it out.

Vote for your favorite AWESOME film

April 18, 2008

Audience voting has begun in  From Here To Awesome – a Discovery and Distribution Film Festival . Over 70 films from around the globe are participating in the fest, including shorts, features, and documentaries. Some films are making their world premiere at FHTA. At least one film is also an entry in the Tribeca Film Festival. All the films have embraced the “embed-and-spread” philosophy of reaching out on the Web to find and build an audience.

Check out the film’s FHTA submission videos to discover why the filmmakers think their film is awesome. Rate their videos, favorite, subscribe to their various on-line presence points and help determine which films get a variety of distribution opportunities.

How NOT to publicize your film on YouTube

April 15, 2008

Running a successful viral video campaign for a film can be tricky and complicated.  It requires a lot of upfront planning and the implementation of the campaign requires careful management.  Screw up, and lots of things could go wrong: no one will watch it, or maybe, if you’re really unlucky, tons of people will watch it but not understand it, resulting in your film being yanked from the festival in which it was supposed to debut, people you don’t know will send you threatening e-mails, and you’ll have the local police and the FBI on your tail.

The latter is exactly what happened to Outsiders Productions, an Oklahoma-based indie film studio, when they tried to use the “Cloverfield” approach by loading a mysterious and ominous-looking video clip onto YouTube for their latest film A Beautiful Day. The teaser freaked people out in Oklahoma, who thought it might be some kind of cryptic terrorist threat. Things quickly spiraled out of control from there.

The main problem with the video? It made no mention of the movie! The filmmakers have now been spending time explaining themselves and apologizing.  They’re also trying to find some way of turning this fiasco into something positive with their “It’s Just a Trailer” campaign.  It’ll be interesting to see how that works out.

This is a cautionary tale that teaches an important lesson in viral video publicity campaigns. Yes, the results were that the film got some publicity, but I’d bet not quite the kind of publicity the filmmakers were hoping for.

Great tips on building online street teams to generate viral buzz

March 18, 2008

Substitute “movie-goer” for “customer” and “film” for “brand” whenever used in this excellent How-to and you’ve got a fantastic guide on finding and building an audience for your film, and getting that audience involved as partners to promote your film.