Coming Soon To A Cellphone Near You

Want to watch a movie on your cell phone? Well, maybe not a movie, but perhaps a short film or music video? One Hollywood company is banking we will (at least kids will).

The
New York Times has a good piece on News Corporation's new cell phone entertainment company Mobizzo.

In what is the boldest venture yet by an established media company to insinuate itself into millions of cellphones, the News Corporation has created a mobile entertainment store called Mobizzo and a production studio to focus exclusively on developing cellphone entertainment in much the same way that 20th Century Fox creates movies and television.

Analysts predict that the number of global mobile phone customers will double to four billion in five years. And that has spurred a wireless gold rush among media companies that, as in the early days of the Internet, do not want to be left behind.

This is to me the obvious next step in the "new world of distribution". I have actually encoded the movie trailer for my new film "
Killing Down" to play on my Motorola Razor phone (soon I'll post it to my movie's website for anyone to download). It's very cool technology.

Only problem is most people in the U.S. don't have video capable phones yet. A lot of folks in Europe and Asia do though. And I never understood that? Why does most of Europe, often Korea, Japan, etc. always get the newest toys and technology before the United States? Don't we invent half this stuff? Didn't Al Gore invent the Internet (or that's what he claimed - although his new "invention"
Current TV is doing some cool things). In Korea they have web bandwidth double or triple the speed we have. I know it's actually their governments that embrace and make this newer technology available, but it still is odd to me that we (the United States) often lag behind these other places when it comes to the latest and greatest techno toys. But, I digress...

Mobizzo looks like a pretty good idea. They are going to sell content directly to consumers, in lieu of going through a third party company such as the cell phone service provider. You'll be able to download content directly to your phone on a per use basis (for $1.99 to $2.99 per show) - or subscribe to the service for $5.99/month. This pricing structure is very new and I'm sure will change, as I'm sure the entire model will too as it's embraced or not embraced.


I'm sure too that sources will come about (if they're not already there) allowing indies to make content available for mobile phone download.

Of course as a filmmaker I find it rather ironic that all the latest "distribution" opportunities are coming in the form of the small screen. We all tout the unbelievable high resolution picture quality of HDTV and all the acquisition formats to achieve this look (HDCAM, HDV, DVCPRO HD, and even 35mm film). But where are most of the newest outlets for distribution popping up? Places like Google Video, Apple's iTunes, Sony PSP and now Mobizzo. All interesting models, but with one main thing in common - a small screen to watch your "HD wide screen production". Note though that Google Video actually does play it's content "full screen" - but it's streaming and is definitely not high resolution - albeit not the size of an iPod Video screen or a mobile phone (and to me, PSP screens are actually pretty good size and the image quality is great).

Maybe in the future indie filmmakers will not dream of seeing their movie on the "big screen". They'll dream of seeing their movie throughout the entire world on a "billion small screens". Maybe even simultaneously? Man, talk about a wide release. :)

-Blake


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Who Am I?

I'm a filmmaker who's produced & directed five feature films including the comedy SPILT MILK (available on iTunes), the new horror/thriller PHOBIA (on iTunes) and the action/thiller KILLING DOWN (which you can buy or rent at pretty much all the usual places).

I also created the Streamy and Webby award-winning web series PINK, which to date has been viewed online around 10 MILLION times at places like YouTube, Hulu, Koldcast and TheWB.com. And speaking of TheWB.com, I also produced and directed an online thriller for them called EXPOSED. It was released summer 2010. And most recently I created a new online sci-fi series called CONTINUUM, which is part of the online indie TV network JTS.tv - Just The Story and NOW available via VOD through indie platform Distrify.

Oh, and I don't shoot weddings. Thanks for asking though.

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