Buy or Rent KILLING DOWN 1-6-09!

My last feature film KILLING DOWN is now available in the U.S. and Canada on DVD.



















You can buy or rent it starting Tuesday 1.06.09 at these places, and others:

Amazon

Blockbuster

Netflix

Best Buy

Walmart

I haven't even seen the final DVD with all the menus, commentary, extras, etc. so I'm really looking forward to checking it out - and I hope you are too! :)

-Blake

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The THINK PINK Sweepstakes

Watch this short video, then go to the PINK Website and enter for a chance to win a new HD camcorder...



Sweepstakes ends 1.11.09. Winner announced 1.13.09 (the day of the new Season 3 premiere). Tell your friends too!

Good luck!
Blake

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PINK: Vote Reminder

Please watch this video and see previous post about voting:



If you go directly to YouTube to watch this you can actually now see it in HD:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1gZMd8es88&feature=channel_page

Very cool.

-Blake

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Vote for YOUR Favorite Pink "Hit"

Let your voice be heard by helping us create a "Greatest Hits" show! Just watch the episodes below and then vote in the poll on the PINK blog. The Top 3 "hits" will be used to create the new "Greatest Hits" episode as voted on by you.

And check back soon to find out how to enter and win a cool prize during our upcoming "Fan Appreciation" Giveaway.

PINK 1: MUFN Hit


PINK 5: Wedding Hit


PINK 7: Bob Hit


PINK 10: Marko Hit


PINK 14: Dating Hit


Voting ends 12/18/08. Please go vote today! Thank you!

-Blake

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YouTube Goes Widescreen

If you visit YouTube often you might have noticed something new recently, the most popular video sharing site on the planet has (finally) gone widescreen 16x9 aspect ratio.

As all HD cameras shoot 16x9 this only makes sense. Also, most of the newer sites Out There such as Hulu.com or TheWB.com, etc are widescreen too. And even some of the ones that have been around a while like Blip.TV and Vimeo are widescreen (and this made them more popular with filmmakers and film fans).

YouTube still accepts 4x3 video - it just letterboxes it with side bars. This is what it's doing with all the legacy video on the site as well, including the entire first season of "Pink". Although we shot "Pink" Season 1 the exact same way as Season 2, we uploaded to YouTube and other places in a 4x3 letterboxed file (per their instructions at that time). So all those earlier episodes play back fine, but not full widescreen like the new content.

Here's a link to the most recent episode of "Pink" in widescreen:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdlpeCKmRbk&feature=channel

And here's the embed:



Notice the embeded video is still 4x3 letterboxed. It doesn't appear they allow widescreen embeds yet - or maybe they're using it to drive traffic to their site? A good idea if so.

Another cool thing is you can select the "Watch in High Quality" link on the bottom right below the video box (on YouTube only, not embedded video). It takes a tad bit longer to download, but the resolution looks twice as good. BTW, it is NOT HD though. It is downconverted to an SD resolution, but it still looks very good.

(To see "Pink" in HD the only current way is on Vuze.com. And we are also putting some sample HD episodes on Vimeo as well.)

In a small, weird way this is similar to re-watching your favorite movies in Blu-Ray. I just re-watched "Pink" Season 2 in widescreen (and in High Quality mode) on YouTube and it was a much better viewing experience (one note too: you can also click the "full screen" button and watch that way and it looks pretty darn good).

Sooner than later most online video will be 720p HD, but for now at least YouTube and other sites are taking steps to make the current viewing experience the best it can be.

UPDATE: Since I posted this you can now actually embed the widescreen videos. Here's the same episode above, but in widescreen (although this blog layout is narrow and slightly crops the right side off):



UPDATE #2: It now appears (12/11/08) that you CAN WATCH HD VIDEO on YouTube. Very interesting... this could really be BIG.

-Blake

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LSIFF Pics

I spoke on a panel at the Lonestar International Film Festival last weekend, and so did my friend Julio Cedillo - and he was kind enough to share a few pictures...

That's him on the far right, along with Lauren VĂ©lez from "Dexter" and I'm not sure who the guy is - at the bottom is Kim Matula, star of "PINK" Season 2 and my upcoming show "Exposed".






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PINK on Vimeo

Filmmakers out there likely know about Vimeo.com, but others may not. It's a really cool video sharing site that allows HD uploads - one of the only ones I know of with this feature (you can also embed the video files on other sites). The viewership on Vimeo seems to mainly be other like-minded filmmakers and artists, etc. - not necessarily "regular video joes", but they have around 1 million registered users I've been told (a fraction compared to YouTube). But nonetheless it is a great place to see creative works and get feeback on your own stuff.

I've held off putting PINK on there since we've been releasing our HD content through Vuze.com. But I've decided to go ahead and put a few episodes on Vimeo as "samples" of the series - and to showcase what can be done with the great filmmaking tools we're using (ie. Canon XH-A1 camera, Canon HV20 camera, Letus Extreme 35mm adapter, etc.).

You can check it out here:
http://vimeo.com/2271692?pg=transcoded_embed&sec=2271692

Or the show is also on the Vimeo HV20 page (thanks Eugenia):
http://vimeo.com/HV20

Again, it is in an HD Flash player, which is very cool. You can play it fullscreen or even embed it on your website, blog, etc. like this:


PINK 2: Daddy's Little Girl from Blake Calhoun on Vimeo.

-Blake

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PINK 19: The Professional

Check out the latest episode (and the mysterious person from Nate's past who appears this week)...

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2nd Annual Lone Star Film Festival

I've been asked to speak on a few panels at this year's event (I did it last year too and it was a good time). Also, they asked me to be a juror for their Short Film Competition, which I accepted. Here's a press release about the upcoming festival...

LSIFF ‘08 HAS ARRIVED!!!

Opening Night is just 5 days away!

ON SALE NOW: Tickets and Passes for ALL screenings!

TO PURCHASE CLICK HERE

Opening Night Screening

The Second Annual Lone Star International Film Festival will open on Wednesday, November 12 at 7:30pm with a red carpet screening of:

"Sunshine Cleaning"
Directed by Kristine Jeffs
Starring Amy Adams
(All principal cast)

Directed by Christine Jeffs, SUNSHINE CLEANING revolves around a single mom and her slacker sister as they find an unexpected way to turn their lives around. Rose Lorkowski (Amy Adams), a former high school cheerleading captain, finds herself, at thirty-something, a single mother working as a maid. Desperate to get her son into a better school, Rose persuades her sister Norah to go into the lucrative crime scene clean-up business with her. In no time, the girls are up to their elbows in murders, suicides and other…situations. Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, Sunshine Cleaning is a glittering tale of loss in which Adam’s gleaming lead performance and Christine Jeff’s astute attention to detail create a genuine world in which Megan Holley’s sincere and carefully paced story plays out.

Centerpiece Screenings

"Shades of Ray"
Directed by Jaffar Mahmood
Starring Zachary Levi, Kathy Baker, and Bonnie Somerville

Thursday, November 13 at 8:00pm

AMC Palace 2

American-born Ray Rehman comes home one night to find his Pakistani father on his L.A. doorstep; his Caucasian mother in NJ threw him out. Ray just proposed to his girlfriend—whose promised him an answer in a week and his traditionalist father insists that he meet a Sana, a Pakistani girl - just to consider – or he won’t begin talks to work things out with Ray’s mother. Sana turns out to be of mixed descent, like him, and marriage on his mind, questions about his identity and love come into question. Mahmood’s first feature is a charming mix of comedy and pathos, with a fantastic performance by lead Zachary Levi (TV’s Chuck).

"12"
Directed by Nikita Mikhalkov
Starring Sergei Makovetsky, Nikita Mikhalkov, Sergei Garmash, Alexei Petrenko

November 14 at 7:30pm

AMC Palace 2

In the war-torn republic of Chechnya , a room full of jurors divided by racism and prejudice must decide the fate of a Chechen teenager accused of murdering his Russian stepfather. Oscar-winning director Nikita Mikhalkov’s 12, a loose remake of Sidney Lumet’s 1957 film 12 Angry Men, corrals a racist taxi-driver, a suspicious doctor, a vacillating TV producer, a Holocaust survivor, a flamboyant musician, a cemetery manager, and other characters representative of modern day Russia’s fragmented society. Amidst volatile struggles, the group must render a unanimous verdict as the battle between Chechens and Russians flares outside and a stray bird, symbolizing tolerance, flies above the jurors' heads. 12, the 2008 Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language film from Russia was nominated for the Golden Lion at the 2007 Venice Film Festival where Mikhalkov was awarded a special Golden Lion for his overall body of work. The film also took home the Audience Award at the 2008 Karlovy Vary film festival in the Czech Republic as well as a Golden Amvrosi at the Milano film festival. Mikhalkov received the 1994 Oscar for Best Foreign Film for his film, "Burnt by the Sun," about the repression of the Stalin-era.

Closing Night Screening

"Last Chance Harvey"
Directed by Joel Hopkins
Starring Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson

Saturday, November 15 at 7:30pm

AMC Palace 2

New Yorker Harvey Shine (Dustin Hoffman), a struggling jingle writer given one last chance to deliver by his boss, leaves for his daughter’s wedding in London on threat of getting fired if he’s not back for a Monday morning meeting. He arrives to learn that he she wants her stepfather (James Brolin), not him, to walk her down the aisle. Crestfallen, he leaves before the reception to make his flight but somehow misses it. He calls his boss to explain and is fired on the spot. Next stop…airport bar, where Harvey meets Kate (Emma Thompson), a British government worker subject to endless phone calls from her mother and occasional dreadful blind dates. Kate, whose life is limited to work, the occasional blind date and endless phone calls from her smothering mother (Eileen Atkins). Touched by Harvey , who finds himself energized by her intelligence and compassion.The growing connection between the pair inspires both as they unexpectedly transform one another’s lives. Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, Sunshine Cleaning is a glittering tale of loss in which Adam’s gleaming lead performance and Christine Jeff’s astute attention to detail create a genuine world in which Megan Holley’s sincere and carefully paced story plays out.
To browse all films and purchase individual screening tickets and festival passes

CLICK HERE

From now throughout the festival, keep an eye out for daily updates featuring different parts of our film program and other special events.

Starting November 10, come visit us at our temporary Sundance Square office at Norris Conference Center:

304 Houston Street
Fort Worth, TX 76102

For more information, visit http://www.lsiff.com/.

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Locking HDMI Cables

This is more of a techie related item, but good for Regular Joes to know too. :)

HDMI cables are becoming the standard for HDTV's and consumer/prosumer cameras. Shoot some video and play it back in HD via an HDMI cable. Or, hook up a Blu-Ray player or gaming system via HDMI.

Problem with the cables though is they just "slip in" the connector. They do not lock in place even like an RCA cable does, or especially like a BNC cable (HD/SDI).

I have personally experienced this being a problem. My DirecTV box occasionally goes in and out due to the cable coming loose (mainly from our cat getting behind the components and crawling around). We routinely have to move the gear and push the cable back into place.

But not anymore. Finally there's a "locking" HDMI cable available.

Click here to check it out

May seem trivial, but really this is a great product for consumers as well as video professionals. It will likely become the standard in the future.

-Blake

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Growing Old at 24fps









Very cool music video for Low Vs. Diamond and the song "Heart Attack"...

http://www.studiodaily.com/filmandvideo/currentissue/10092.html

It's mainly a "single shot" of two people kissing and then rapidly aging. Seamless visual effect work.

There's a link on the page to watch video, then you can read article about how they did it.

-Blake

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PINK 18: Knockin' On Heaven's Door

New episode...

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New "88 Hits" Episode Today

Check it out:

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Cool Camera Rig

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Okay, NOW the Next Big Thing (in HD Cameras)

Wow, technology does change fast. The Nikon D90 was getting a lot of buzz (and still is), but now the new Canon EOS 5D Mark II is REALLY creating buzz.

It too is an SLR camera that shoots video - but at 1920x1080 instead of 720p of the Nikon. Only "bad" thing is it currently doesn't shoot 24p - but I believe it will soon.

Check out this really great video shot on the camera.

Now I know what I want for Christmas. :)

-Blake

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The Next Big Thing (in HD cameras)?

Check out HD video from the Nikon D90 SLR still camera.

Yeah, an SLR still camera. Amazing. This will shake things up for sure, especially in the indie film world.

And read full review from NY Times here.

-Blake

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Prom Queen Now on DVD

My friends in Big Fantastic produce the show Prom Queen (and also Sorority Forever that's on TheWB.com now) and they just released the series on DVD.















You can buy it at Amazon for $17.99.

Please support New Media shows! We're going to release PINK on DVD in the near future too.

Thanks,
Blake

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88 Hits Episode 03

While I hope you watch PINK when you have a chance (see post below), I'd also like you to check out my side project "88 Hits". New episode also online today...

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PINK 16 Online Today!

We're rolling them out... please SUBSCRIBE on YouTube so you won't miss an episode!

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Watch PINK Ep 15 here!

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Internet Movie Database (and PINK)

Okay, a minor victory, but finally got "Pink" listed on IMDb.com - the de facto site for film and TV listings (and cast & crew). Been trying since July 2007. They wouldn't accept it since it's a "web series". But now, they changed their tune I'm happy to report (however, it wasn't me that got it listed - I have no idea how, but just glad it's there... I have a sneaking suspicion it has something to do with show now being on TheWB.com).

Here's the listing:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1302137/

If you're a cast or crew member please add your name. If you're a fan please go to the site and rate the show, and/or start some chatter on the forum. That can definitely help build the audience.

-Blake

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New Hacker Scam: FAKE YouTube Pages

Beware...

October 9, 2008 - SAN FRANCISCO - Savvy Internet users know that downloading unsolicited computer programs is one of the most dangerous things you can do online. It puts you at great risk for a virus or another time bomb from a hacker.
But even some sophisticated surfers could get taken in by a sneaky new attack in which criminals create fake YouTube pages - dead-on replicas of the real site - to push their malicious software and make it look like it's safe stuff coming from a trusted source.

A program circulating online helps hackers build those fake pages. Users who follow an e-mail pointing them to one of the pages would see an error message that claims the video they want won't play without installing new software first. That error message includes a link the hacker has provided to a malicious program, which delivers a virus.

Even worse: once the computer is infected, it's simple for the hacker to silently redirect the victims to a real YouTube page to see videos they were hoping to see - and hide the crime.

"It's spot-on accurate, and that is scary," said Jamz Yaneza, threat research manager for security software company Trend Micro Inc. "If I were watching YouTube videos all day I would probably click on this one."

The tactic itself isn't new: There's a constant push by criminals to build more convincing spoofs of legitimate sites to trick people into downloading harmful software. And the latest attacks don't target any vulnerability in the YouTube site.

But it highlights the fact that criminals are getting better at creating bogus sites and developing so-called "social engineering" methods to fool people.

Fortunately, truly alert Internet users can still see the telltale warning signs with the fake YouTube pages. For one, the Web browser won't show the real YouTube's Internet address. And to even see the malicious page, you have to first follow a link that's sent to you, which is often a tip-off that you should independently verify whether the site is legitimate.


-Blake

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Web Producers Go Steady

Interesting video here from TV Week about web shows and advertisers (specifically mentions "Pink" and our deal with Vuze.com)...

Web shows and Web sites are starting to go steady. Michael Eisner’s latest Web series Back on Topps runs exclusively on Foxsports.com before other sites get it. The same goes for the popular show Pink, which plays on Vuze.com before it releases to other sites. For more details on why Web producers are going steady, check out this week’s episode of the New Media Minute.

You’ll also learn what new media executive Jordan Levin, the former CEO of the WB, thinks about the advertising investment in online video.




Direct link to story.

-Blake

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Local Coverage of "Exposed" Shoot on KERA Blog

KERA Art & Seek Blog:
http://www.kera.org/blogs/culture/2008/10/02/exposed-and-rolling-in-dallas/

Kind of an odd story considering the blogger didn't interview me (the producer and director) or Mike Maden (the writer). But hey, I'm glad they covered the shoot. :)

-Blake

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SheTeeVee Blog Post on PINK

Nice mention of PINK on the SheTeeVee blog:
http://mwgmedia.com/blog/?p=121#comments

-Blake

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PINK 13: Viva Las Vegans

PINK 13 is now online!

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EXPOSED is Wrapped!

We wrapped "Exposed" this weekend. Shoot went great. I'll post details here soon, but right now I need to get some rest... :)
















-Blake

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Cool VFX

Somebody has some extra time on their hands...

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So this is pretty cool... PINK in Times Square!

Our PR company got PINK on the Reuters digital billboard in Times Square! It was up for about 12 hours on the premiere date 9/16...

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PINK "Ad Age" Profile

Mike Maden and I are profiled in "Ad Age" under their "Web Video Report":

http://adage.com/webvideoreport/article?article_id=131238

They asked us mainly about PINK, but also about the new show EXPOSED and kinda got the two mixed up. Read the article and you'll see what I'm talking about. :)

Nice piece either way though, and hey, they even spelled our names right!

-Blake

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Thanks YouTube (again)!

The good folks at YouTube have featured the new Season 2 of "Pink" and we just want to say THANK YOU!

You can check out the new episode here.

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PINK Now on TheWB.com

You wanna watch "Friends", "The O.C.", "Roswell", "PINK"?!?

Very cool news... PINK is now on TheWB.com!

http://www.thewb.com/shows/pink/

Check it out when you can. They even cut a cool promo for the show! It is weird, but great, to see PINK along side these big network shows.

-Blake

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PINK 2.0 PREMIERE!!!

PINK Season 2 premieres TODAY on Vuze.com and tomorrow everywhere else (including YouTube, Myspace, Revver, Blip, Metacafe, etc.). We have a cool agreement with Vuze where they get a 24 hour exclusive window - and there you can see the episodes in HD.

So please check out the first new episode!

Thanks!
Blake

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Exposed WEEK ONE













Okay, so I was going to try and blog daily during production, but that was waaaay too ambitious a thought. What I'm now going to try and do is a weekly blog about production and post.

WEEK ONE went pretty smooth. We have a really great cast & crew. Most I've worked with before, but we do have several shiny new faces onboard too, and they have worked out well so far.

Only major issue is we somehow broke my Letus Extreme 35mm adaptor on the third day of the shoot. Didn't drop it. Didn't hit it. Not sure what happened. But the inside mirror cracked. Luckily, my filmmaker friend Russ Pond owns a Letus as well and so we're now using his until mine gets repaired (which is hopefully very soon).

This week was a six-day week, so today we're all resting (well, I'm actually working on "Pink" and a few other things), but this coming week is a five-day week. We're doing the typical 12 hour days and for the most part hitting that petty well.

One of the coolest things about this shoot is we're actually editing along the way. Cliff Richhart is on-set editor. This is the first time I've done this and I must say it is greatness. Having a rough cut of the scenes you shot in the morning THAT AFTERNOON is a huge help.

Until next week...

-Blake

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EXPOSED Gearing Up One Day Before Start

So we start principle photography tomorrow on the new WB web series "Exposed". I'm going to try and post some blog entries along the way. But if you've ever worked on any film project you know that time is always short, so I'll do the best I can.

Today we're doing our last minute stuff after three weeks of pre-pro. I'm about to go home and watch the Cowboy game to clear my mind. But afterwards I have to work on my shot list and storyboards for tomorrow. So, no adult beverages during the game. We'll maybe one or two.

Anyway, we've got a great cast and crew onboard for this show so I am confident will have something really good for world to see in about three weeks. Now whether the world watches is another story! :)

-Blake

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Which Web Studio Is Poised to Break Out?

Interesting article on "web video" studios...
http://adage.com/webvideoreport/article?article_id=130448

From the piece:

Hollywood is gearing up to create what would be the first big Web hit. However, when an online show finally does break out into mainstream popularity, it may not come from traditional entertainment companies.

Rather, the most successful Internet television programs could emerge from a handful of online TV networks that already are producing high-quality episodic content for the Web, day in and day out.


IMHO, there have already been several "web hits" such as "Prom Queen", "Ask A Ninja", "Lonely Girl 15", etc... (and "Pink" hasn't done half bad either). :)

-Blake

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PINK Season 2 Promo Now Online!



New season 2 episodes start 9/16/08.

-Blake

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TheWB.com is Live!

Gearing up to shoot our new WB web series "Exposed" on 9/8/08. Here are two teasers promoting the new site...





Check it out TheWB.com.

-Blake

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Advice for Actors

If you're an actor please do the following:

1. PUT A DEMO REEL ONLINE FOR PRODUCERS TO SEE
2. BE ABLE TO VIDEOTAPE YOURSELF FOR AN AUDITION

We live in the "Internet Age", yet I'm constantly surprised that actors do not have an online reel, or that they can't shoot video of themselves. I understand if you don't have footage for a reel - okay. But you should AT LEAST have a MySpace page with pictures, resume, etc. Yeah sure, if you have an agent they'll have this stuff too. But market YOURSELF.

And today with productions happening all over the map it is IMPERATIVE that you have a way to tape an audition. I use the word "tape", but today there are tons of "tapeless" options out there such as the Flip Mino. It is about the size of a phone and shoots excellent video - especially for online. Tons of YouTube folks use this camera. It's only $180. A small investment to be able to easily tape and upload or send auditions. If you don't have a Myspace page or a personal web site, then just upload audition to YouTube. You can easily pull it down afterwards.

If you're serious about acting, then you should be serious about getting acting jobs. And these two small things can greatly help.

-Blake

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"Exposed" in Variety Today

Nice mention of our new show "Exposed" in Variety today...
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117990615.html

Check it out when you have a moment.

-Blake

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"88 Hits" Teaser #2 Now Online

Check out the latest teaser video from "88 Hits" right now on YouTube. Show premieres 09.09.08.



-Blake

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GREAT Tom Cruise Impersonation

This is very, very funny...



and here's Part One.

-Blake

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"88 Hits" on RevverLive

Got this notice today from Revver...

We're featuring your video "88 Hits" on Wednesday, 8/13 on RevverLive, our new live web show produced in collaboration with LiveVideo.com. The hour-long show airs live daily at 1pm PST and features the best and most conversation-sparking Revver videos, with rotating hosts using LiveVideo's robust social video platform to interact with viewers in real-time via video and text chat.

The immediacy with which fans can participate in conversations about your videos makes this a unique opportunity for audiences to engage with your work and with each other, and is a great way to help you promote your work. Feel free to join in on the coversation or watch from the sidelines to see what viewers think by checking out the show here (if it's not live, check out the archived episodes):

http://www.livevideo.com/liveshow/Revverlive

Tell all your friends to log in and watch live and comment! ALSO, since the show is produced daily in Hollywood, we'd love to have any of you LA-based creators come in to the studio on the day of the show to introduce your video and talk about it a bit with the show's host and viewers.

If you're able to tune in, we recommend creating a LiveVideo account with the same username as your Revver account and then joining the chat so that host and viewer alike can interact with you.

Let us know if you have any questions about this, or want to get involved in the show!


So that's pretty cool. I hadn't heard of this kind of thing before, online anyway. I'll be tuning in, and if you can check it out or visit their show archive to listen later.

-Blake

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PINK Now On Hulu.com

Hulu is owned by FOX and NBC. So we're very happy to have "Pink" on the site. Later in September it will all be in HD too (and will eventually include our new Season 2 episodes).

Check it out:
http://www.hulu.com/pink-the-series

Thanks!
Blake

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OT: Olympic Opening Ceremony Fireworks

So this is not filmmaking per se, but it does deal with visual effects...

Some of the fireworks during the Olypics opening ceremony were evidently fake! Hmmm. I realize it's entertainment, but it's also a "news" event. So that is really close to crossing the line IMHO.

Read entire story here.

-Blake

UPDATE 8/12/08: So, another fake out by the Chinese! Now they're saying the little girl who sang during the opening ceremoney didn't really sing! They pulled a Milli-Vanilli on the entire world... read it here.

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Now on Vimeo (and in HD)

If you haven't checked out Vimeo yet, you should. It's another one of many web video sharing sites - but this one is different. Mainly because it is one of the first to allow users to upload HD video. And it also plays it back for viewers in a streaming flash player that looks really good.

I have a new page on the site:
www.vimeo.com/blakecalhoun

I currently have the first "DIY's Guys" episode up and the "88 Hits" teaser (this was shot in SD though).

Anyway, definitely check out the site when you have a moment. Oh, and also be sure to click the "full screen" option on the lower right hand side of the HD player, that way you'll get the full HD experience. :)

-Blake

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"Exposed" Casting

First few days of casting have gone well for "Exposed". We're continuing to cast this next week too. So if you are an interested actor, or know of an actor who fits one of the roles. Please contact me at loudpics[@]yahoo.com.

See previous post down this page for character descriptions.

The main roles we need more folks to audition for are ALICIA, HENRY and CARLOS.

Thanks,
Blake

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Movie Title Translations

I found this story to be interesting and pretty funny too...

August 6, 2008 - MEXICO CITY -- This weekend, thousands of Mexicans will line up at theaters to see "The Knight of the Night," "Super Agent 86" and "The End of Time." Never heard of them?

Those are the literal translations of the Spanish titles given to "The Dark Knight," "Get Smart" and "The Happening," examples of the marketing tactics that can leave cinephiles baffled as Hollywood reaches out to increasingly important foreign audiences.

Depending on the nation, moviegoers are watching Steve Carell of "Get Smart" in "Max the Menace" (France), "Agent Smart: Casino Totale" (Italy), "Is the Spy Capable or Not?" (Taiwan), or "Confused Spy" (China).

Titles often are tweaked to suit local tastes. Last year's comedy hit "Knocked Up" was given the gentler title "Slightly Pregnant" in Roman Catholic Peru and the gloriously blunt "One Night, Big Belly" in China.

Hollywood has taken a more active role in translating its titles in recent years, says David Weitzner, a former chief of worldwide promotion for 20th Century Fox and Universal. Some films make half of their money overseas, and studios are increasingly doing "global launches" to generate buzz.

"We have to pay much more attention to the foreign market than we used to," Weitzner says.

The translations used to be left to foreign film distributors, with dubious results. Some titles gave away key plot points, such as when "Rain Man" became "When Brothers Meet" in Latin America.

U.S. film titles for foreign movies often are odd, too. "Open Your Eyes," a Spanish film about a man in suspended animation, became "Vanilla Sky" when it was remade with Tom Cruise.


-Blake

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LA Times Article

Good article called "They're Spinning Their Own Web" in the LA Times about web series productions. I know several of the filmmakers, distributors, agents, etc. mentioned... good group of folks.

THE SCREEN ACTORS GUILD and television and film producers see eye to eye about hardly anything these days, yet on one thing they can agree: The Web is the battleground.

Talks between SAG and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have ground to a halt, and a possible work stoppage looms. But as the parties caucus with their lawyers and negotiators over next steps, production on the very thing that divides them -- entertainment created for new media platforms -- continues at a fever clip across town.


Click here to read entire article

-Blake

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Com-Con Pictures

We had a Street Team (aka Hot Chicks) at Comic-Con handing out and applying temporary PINK tattoos. They supposedly handed out around 4000 and applied 1000. I didn't get to go to the event, but it looks like it was a good time...





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Casting Notice - EXPOSED

We're now casting for "Exposed" - the new web series for TheWB.com.

Primarily looking for these roles:

1. Henry - Caucasion/20-25/Athletic
2. Alicia - Hispanic/18-22
3. Chase - Caucasion/20-25
4. Gail - Caucasion/18-22
5. Carlos - Hispanic/40-50
6. Dimitri - Caucasion (Russian)/17-21
7. Ulanyov - Caucasion (Russian)/45-55
8. Priest - Caucasion/40-60

We also have a lot of day player roles we'll be announcing soon too.

If you are interested please send an email to loudpics[@]yahoo.com with your headshot and a link to your demo reel, if available.

Thanks!
Blake

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Dolly Shots without a Dolly

Pretty cool...I'll have to give this a try!



Video Cam Super Trick! - video powered by Metacafe


-Blake

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Another Indie Label Bites the Dust...

Okay, so Netflix is, well, Netflix. They are not and were not a huge player in Independent film financing and distribution, but they tried to be. And now they're closing Red Envelope's doors.

I'm sure they'll still look at indie films for Netflix distribution, but it sounds like not near as much as they once did. The article below says they are shutting down the operation because they "didn't want to compete" with Hollywood studios (their customers). While I'm sure there is a slighty bit of truth to that statement, that is not the real reason. Let's be honest here. They weren't making their money back. That's it. And that's the problem with almost all independent film today. It's a great artistic outlet - I love watching indie film (and making them). But if you want to eat you can't survive making independent films. And not that Netflix wasn't surviving - they just weren't making money. That's my take anyway, and as usual I could be wrong. Decide for yourself...

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July 24, 2008 - By ANICK JESDANUN -- NEW YORK -- The movie-rental service Netflix Inc. is closing a small unit that finances independent movies, partly to avoid competing with Hollywood studios with which it partners for DVD and Internet distribution. The financial impact on the company will be small, and only four out of about 400 employees are losing their jobs.

But the move could make it more difficult for smaller producers to find homes for their movies. Netflix' Red Envelope Entertainment had focused on bringing less-commercial projects to a broader audience. The unit acquired or helped finance independent films, distributing them in movie theaters as well as in the regular Netflix channels -- DVD by mail and online streaming.

Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey said the company began the unit as an experiment about two years ago, but ultimately decided that financing movies was not its forte. He said filmmakers still have plenty of outlets for financing and distributing movies, "and we don't need to do that to get great titles on Netflix."

Swasey said the company weighed the fact that it was often in the same room with studio partners at film festivals, and "we didn't want to compete" with them.

Movies distributed through Red Envelope -- named for the red envelopes used to ship Netflix DVDs -- include "Sherrybaby," "No End in Sight," and "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2Days." Red Envelope typically partnered with a larger company for theatrical release.

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-Blake

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Another Texas Film Fund Attempt...

I always like to see film production and film financing out of Texas and I hope this one succeeds. But I've known several groups trying this over the years and none have worked out (yet). This one might have the right ingredients though based on the below article. You have true money managers running the investment fund (with an existing client base), and then "movie" people running the production side. It could work...

So you wanna be in (independent) pictures? Now you can, for $50,000














Fort Worth money manager launches fund with hopes of hitting upon the next 'Juno’

By JIM FUQUAYjfuquay@star-telegram.com

By some estimates, 7,000 to 8,000 independently produced films are completed each year. Most never see the light of a projector bulb.

But some do, and a few, most recently Juno, go on to pull in millions of dollars at the box office, video store and syndication. Now a Fort Worth money manager wants to give well-heeled investors a shot at participating in a winner without taking too much of a bath on the inevitable losers.

Riley Hutto Wealth Management said it has created Independent Film Capital Llc., in partnership with Los Angeles-based IndieVest, a 2-year-old firm that will review scripts and oversee film production and distribution. Riley Hutto’s job is find people with at least $50,000 to invest in independent films.

Bill Riley and Greg Hutto started their firm in January after working together in the investments industry for a decade. They are the first in what IndieVest founder Wade Bradley hopes will be a stable of investment advisers who will offer his company’s films to accredited investors, generally described as individuals whose net worth exceeds $1 million.

Investing in movies

Riley said the path to Independent Film Capital started when he was looking for alternative investments — instruments other than stocks and bonds — to offer his clients.

Big foundations and endowments put sizable portions of their assets in real estate, commodities and private equities, he thought, so why not offer something similar to affluent investors?

Movies got into the picture when he met Bradley, a venture capitalist who was looking for financial support for his company. Bradley’s concept is to take some of the risk out of film investing by forming a kind of "one-stop shop" that connects investors with film projects that he has screened and — perhaps most importantly — can assure distribution in theaters.

Do indies make money?

How many independent films actually make money?

Hard numbers are difficult to come by, because although box-office receipts can be had, movie budgets and distribution expenses are rarely public. Likewise, ticket sales are only a part of a film’s earnings. Video rentals and sales, plus TV licensing, can far outearn the original box office.

In 2007, 751 newly released films played in theaters at some time during the year, according to The Numbers, an industry news service. Right in the middle of those films, as ranked by box-office receipts, was Broken English, a romance distributed by Magnolia Pictures, the company owned by Dallas entrepreneur Mark Cuban and partner Todd Wagner.

Broken English played in 41 theaters at its peak and grossed just under $1 million during the year, according to The Numbers.

Cuban, in an e-mailed response to the Star-Telegram, said that as challenging as it is merely for an independent film to get produced and distributed, "doing any box office at all . . . is even more difficult."

Distribution in the nation’s more than 5,000 theaters is a huge hurdle. About 600 films a year are rated by the Motion Picture Association of America for U.S. distribution. Big studios produce 200 to 250 of those. Independents vie for the rest of the spots.

IndieVest, as part of its pitch, guarantees distribution. Bradley said his strategy is to first place a film in 25-50 theaters the first week. That keeps down his distribution costs, the biggest being production of prints and advertising, collectively termed P&A.

"At the end of the day, we decide whether it’s gaining traction," he said of a film’s early screenings. If it is, he ups distribution to perhaps 200 theaters, then 500, up to as many as 1,500 theaters.

Starring Steve Buscemi

IndieVest principals include Mark Burton, who was executive producer for Water, nominated for an Oscar last year in the foreign-language-film category.

Its advisory board includes actors Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda, Crash, Boogie Nights) and Liev Schreiber (The Painted Veil, TV’s CSI: Crime Scene Investigation).

Bradley said the company is about to start filming its first project, titled Saint John of Las Vegas, featuring Steve Buscemi, the hapless and horny kidnapper-turned-murderer in Fargo.

The film has a $10 million budget. That’s considered relatively low in the business these days, but enough to provide a shot at bankable personnel and a competent script.

A "moderate" scenario detailed in investor materials envisions the film bringing in $21.6 million in net revenue and returning about $6.5 million to investors. Under a "low" scenario, it brings in just $3.4 million and returns nothing.

Cuban said in his email that he tries to improve an independent film’s economics by distributing it via his own Landmark Theaters, Magnolia Video and HDNet, the high-definition television channel he launched in 2001. He just started a new strategy of releasing films first on HDNet’s video-on-demand service, hoping to build some buzz before the film’s theatrical premiere.

"Leveraging the promotion of the VOD on cable and satellite allows us to be more precise in our P&A spending, which in turn leads to profitability on not all, but more of our releases," Cuban wrote.

Harold Vogel, principal of Vogel Capital Management in New York and author of Entertainment Industry Economics, said investing in movies is not for the faint-of-heart.

But he thinks IndieVest is going about it the right way.

"I admire the innova- tiveness of their structure," Vogel said, because it provides the equivalent of a reality check on a filmmaker’s hopes.

Riley Hutto added its own wrinkle to risk management by packaging investments in units that include five different films. Averaging out the returns of several movies, Riley said, should lessen the chance of suffering a total loss while boosting the chance of landing a hit.

Vogel also liked that idea.

"That’s the correct approach," he said. "Never invest in just one film. The smart way is to get a portfolio of projects that spreads the risk.

Riley said his Independent Film Capital project has been well received by clients.

"They know it’s risk capital, and it’s fun," he said. "If you’re an investor, your name is on the credits as one of the producers."

Click here to see actual article at Fort Worth Star-Telegram site.

-Blake

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TheWB.com Needs Your Help

Been meaning to post this for a while...

The new show I'm producing/directing is called "Exposed" and will premiere online at www.theWB.com. The site needs Beta Testers right now to help build the new community. It's a very cool website (yeah, I joined).

You can already watch hit shows like "Buffy The Vampire Slayer", "One Tree Hill", "Friends", "The O.C.", "Gilmore Girls", etc. and soon you'll be able to see their new "Original Content" for the web - and one of the shows is "Exposed". There are five others premiering too.

So definitely go and register and help spread the word.

-Blake

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Coming Soon... 88 HITS-The Series

A few years back I directed a feature film called "HIT". It did pretty well at film festivals, with critics, etc., but I never landed a full-fledged distribution deal. Yeah, I had some offers here and there but they really were not very good. In fact, I've been planning to do a self-distribution release of the film for a while now.

Well, since I've had some recent success with "PINK" online I've decided to release a web series version of "HIT" called "88 HITS". We're also talking to some folks about pitching it as a traditional TV show down the line too. But for now, we will premiere the first webisode in September on YouTube, Revver, and several other places along with the main website www.mobumentary.com.

Right now you can check out the promo for the upcoming release here and here.

You can also watch it right here:



The web series is being created from the current footage and storyline of the feature film. It will be an abbreviated version - in a way a promo for the actual film, which by the way will be available on DVD this fall too (probably late fall). I hope the web series will get enough attention to get folks to check out the full feature - and even better to get the opportunity to make either new episodes for the web - or again create a new pilot for traditional television.

One last thing, we're also premiering a completely new spin-off show called "The DIY's Guys" starring the same characters from "HIT". It's a Do-It-Yourself Home Improvement series with a twist. A mob twist, and a punch, maybe a kick, etc. You get the idea. :) This show will start on 08.05.08. Click here to see the YouTube Channel page for it.

Definitely check this stuff out when you have a moment. Thanks!

-Blake

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Making Movies Now - bigger, sometimes better, definitely riskier

This is a link to a blog posting of Mike Curtis. Great rant on indie film...

From the piece:

“Of the 5,000 films submitted to Sundance each year—generally with budgets under $10 million—maybe 100 of them got a U.S. theatrical release three years ago. And it used to be that 20 of those would make money. Now maybe five do. That’s one-tenth of 1%. Put another way, if you decide to make a movie budgeted under $10 million on your own tomorrow, you have a 99.9% chance of failure.”

Check out entire article here. Definitely worth a read.

-Blake

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Benjamin Button Trailer

New film from David Fincher (who I really like) shot digitally on The Viper camera. But beyond the great visuals I think the story is very interesting. Stars Brad Pitt.

Watch it here

-Blake

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Google Backs a New Show on the Web

June 30, 2008 - Google, which has largely stayed away from producing its own content, is experimenting with a new method for distributing original material on the Web, and some Hollywood film financiers are betting millions that the company will succeed.

In September, Seth MacFarlane, creator of an American television series called "The Family Guy," will introduce a carefully guarded new project called "Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy." Unlike "Family Guy," which airs on the Fox television network, this show will appear exclusively on the Internet.
The innovative part involves the distribution plan. MacFarlane cut a deal with Google under which the company will syndicate the program using its AdSense advertising system to thousands of Web sites that are gathering places for MacFarlane's target audience, typically young men. Instead of placing a static ad on a Web page, Google will place a "Cavalcade" video clip.

Advertising will be incorporated into the clips in varying ways. In some cases, there will be "preroll" ads, which ask viewers to sit through a TV-style commercial before getting to the video. Some advertisers may opt for a banner to be placed at the bottom of the video clip or a simple "brought to you by" note at the beginning.

MacFarlane, who will receive a percentage of the ad revenue, has created a stable of new characters to star in the animated series, which will be served up in 50 two-minute episodes.

For a more substantial fee, MacFarlane has been working with advertisers to animate original commercials that will run with "Cavalcade." Although they would not reveal any of the advertisers, both Google and MacFarlane said several deals were among the largest in the history of AdSense, which made its debut in 2003.

Google until now has only dabbled with distributing original content. In May, it announced a deal with The Washington Post to distribute real estate listings from the newspaper's Web site in a similar manner.

But the partnership with MacFarlane marks a bigger step into the distribution business, one that, if successful, could send shock waves through the entertainment business. "Cavalcade" is not only from a high-profile Hollywood talent, but also carries a multimillion-dollar production price tag, which is by far the largest amount spent on original Internet content to date.

"We feel that we have re-created the mass media," said Kim Malone Scott, director of sales and operations for AdSense.

Until now, budgets for original Web video programs have generally peaked in the low six figures, because creators have not been able to figure out a business model that allows for higher spending. Either advertisers have not wanted to pay, or it has been too difficult to attract a large enough audience to support the cost of television- or movie-quality work.

But Media Rights Capital, a boutique production company that invests about $400 million a year in movies, television and Internet episodes, thinks it has figured out a sustainable business model with the Google Content Network. Every time someone clicks on one of the syndicated videos, the associated advertiser pays a fee, with shares going to MacFarlane, Media Rights, Google and the Web site that generated the click.

"We believe the revenue could be formidable," said Karl Austen, a lawyer who worked on the deal. "What is exciting is that this is a way to monetize the Internet immediately. Instead of creating a Web site and hoping Seth's fans find it, we are going to push the content to where people are already at."

Media Rights sells the advertising inventory. Asif Satchu, the company's co-chief executive, would not reveal how much advertisers were being asked to pay, except to say that it is "significantly higher" than if they were placing the same ad with AdSense.

Endeavor, a Hollywood talent agency, helped shepherd MacFarlane through the negotiations, which got started during a recent gap in the animator's contract with 20th Century Fox. MacFarlane said he wanted to take a stab at an original Internet program because he was feeling constrained by the "taste police" - the Federal Communication Commission.

Sitting in his office wearing jeans and a white T-shirt, MacFarlane described feeling stifled as a comedian by a crackdown in recent years on what the FCC saw as unsuitable language and stories on American television. MacFarlane said he believed that the public's appetite for raunchy humor and coarse language was only expanding and that television networks like Fox were having a harder time, in part because they had to tread carefully.

Each "Cavalcade" installment is different, a typical one titled "Mad Cow Disease." The clip, which is 38 seconds long, opens with a news anchor reporting on an outbreak of the disease in a dry fashion, detailing the debilitating effects of eating tainted beef. The clip cuts to a bull and a cow seated in a tidy kitchen with giant steaks on their plates.

MacFarlane, 34, has more at stake than just adding some more money to his already sizable fortune. (His new contract with Fox, signed this spring, is valued at nine figures.) Part of the goal is to use the venture as a testing ground for new material and a way to ignite attention. At the very least, "Cavalcade" will become a DVD, but the hope is that part of the series will register with audiences and perhaps lead to television or even animated movie projects.

Indeed, in a watch-what-you-want, when-you-want world, the standard processes of rolling out new television programs is breaking down. Even a decade ago, putting a new show on a network schedule would ensure wide exposure; people would either respond or they wouldn't. Today, with dwindling television ratings, creators like MacFarlane have to find new ways of introducing new material.

Nobody knows how content can catch fire in unexpected ways more than MacFarlane. In 2002, "Family Guy" was canceled for poor ratings after running for three seasons. But the irreverent series continued to make new fans through DVD sales.

In 2005, the network reversed itself, citing strong DVD sales, and "Family Guy" has gone on to be one of the biggest comedy hits on American television.

Originally published by The New York Times Media Group.

(c) 2008 International Herald Tribune. All rights Reserved.
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Stuff is starting to get a lot more interesting with this Internet thing. It might actually catch on one day...

-Blake

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KILLING DOWN in Mexico!

My last feature film KILLING DOWN is slowly starting to pop up in places around the globe. As you know distribution is very difficult to get and then once you do get it (if you get it) it's usually a slow go for the film to be released.

Sold the foreign rights back in fall of 2006 (at the American Film Market) and just two months ago it was released in Greece on DVD (several other territories have been sold, but movie has just not been released yet). That's it so far, until now.

My friend Julio Cedillo, and on of the leads of KILLING DOWN was in Mexico last week on a film shoot. He went back to his hotel to get some rest, turned on the TV and low and behold KILLING DOWN was on Movie City - I assume this is like a premium cable channel in Latin America. This is the first I'd heard of the film showing up on television. And it's pretty cool I must say. Never happened to me before in the 12 years I've been trying to get stuff produced and sold. So we're all pretty pumped about it. As a matter of fact, Julio was so pumped he actually took a picture of the TV screen. Thanks Julio!

If anyone else is traveling abroad and sees the movie on TV or in a DVD store, etc. PLEASE LET ME KNOW. I'm very interested to hear how it plays to audiences. I pretty routinely check IMDb.com for comments, reviews, ratings, etc. and they too are starting to trickle in.

BTW, the U.S. DVD will tentatively be released December 3rd this year.

So hopefully over time people will get a chance to check out the movie and enjoy it. As a filmmaker that's really all you can hope for.

-Blake

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Bollywood Dreams

Good article in the WSJ about Bollywood bringing capital into Hollywood (mainly India's Reliance Big Entertainment to invest in DreamWorks).

One of my entertainment attorney's Mark Litwak is quoted in the story...

Foreign financiers are one set of investors who have knocked on Hollywood's door for years, trying to make money by financing films -- a nearly impossible task. "Frankly, most movie deals don't make a lot of financial sense because while some films make money, most films either break even or lose money," said Mark Litwak, an attorney who works on film financing.

Click here to read entire piece.

-Blake

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'Tipping Points' for Mobile TV

This is very interesting and relevant for "Pink" and mobile distribution...

June 20, 2008 - LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--QuickPlay Media, a leading provider of mobile TV and video solutions, has revealed the results of an independent Market Tools survey focused on mobile TV and video consumption in the UK.

The research found that there are several barriers preventing people from consuming TV and video content on their mobile phones, including a lack of awareness of the mobile TV and video services offered (44%) and cost (33%) ��" the latter, a barrier that is set to erode as 'all-you-can-eat’ data plans become more prevalent in the market place.

The demand for consumers to watch mobile TV is there, with 65 percent of respondents stating that they are willing to spend time watching an advertisement if it meant that the mobile TV or video content they consume is free or discounted. On the other side of the coin, if mobile TV and video were to be charged for, 22 percent said that they would prefer a pay-per-use business model and 13 percent outlined a preference for an additional monthly subscription that would deliver the content without advertisements.

"Operators across the world have invested heavily in improving their network structures to handle high-speed data transfer, but as an industry it seems that we are challenged by the last hurdle in marketing and selling these innovative data-based services to the public. There is a clear lack of awareness by end-users about what services they can enjoy, and what it will cost them to start watching," commented Wayne Purboo, CEO of QuickPlay Media.

Purboo added "The survey shows that perceived cost is a key barrier to mobile TV and video consumption in the UK so one option for operators and content owners is an advertising-based mobile TV and video offering ��" a solution that we have successfully rolled out with some of our customers in other parts of the world. Furthermore, the shift by European operators to offer unlimited data packages will start to remove the barriers for consumers to test and adopt data-based services such as mobile TV and video."

Two in five people have watched TV and video content on their mobile phone, with many now regularly using such services. 18 percent of those that have tried a mobile TV and video service watch on a weekly basis, with more than a third watching almost on a daily basis.

For consumers that are currently using mobile TV and video, the research highlights that as many as 46 percent have used it at home, an interesting statistic considering that consumers have other platforms available to them, such as TV and computers, to consume TV and video content. In relation to this, 30 percent stated that they would watch mobile TV and video in between activities and 28 percent said it was a service that they used while in transit.

Other interesting findings of the survey include:

Nearly half of respondents (44%) do not know if their mobile operator even offers a mobile TV and video service and a third (33%) of those questioned cited cost as the main barrier for not accessing mobile TV.

Two-thirds (65%) of consumers said they are willing to watch an advertisement on their mobile phone in order to access free or discounted TV and video content.

41% of consumers have already watched TV or videos on a mobile phone, with 18% of those consumers watching more than once a week

As many as 33 percent have watched TV or video on their mobile for up to 60 minutes or longer.

41 percent of those surveyed would consider the ability to pause and resume content a deciding factor in whether or not they would watch longer forms of content, such as a full-length movie, on a mobile device.

72 percent do not recall having viewed advertisements on their mobile handset. For those that had 53 percent said these were received as SMS/text ads, and 34 percent said that they were video ads.

When compared against the results of a US study of mobile consumers with comparable demographic profiles the results were very similar suggesting that habits and preferences of consumers, as well as the maturity of both markets, reflect each other
.

All very interesting, especially the part about people not minding ads to get "free" content. This is good. Now maybe I can actually get paid for all this work. :)

-Blake

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Indie Film (Distribution) Is Dead

It really sucks to be in independent film right now. Another "indie" label has bit the dust...

June 5, 2008 - LOS ANGELES -- Paramount Pictures said Wednesday it will combine its marketing, distribution and production functions with indie label Paramount Vantage. Rob Moore, vice chairman of Paramount Pictures, said in a statement provided Wednesday that the combination of the two Los Angeles-based units of Viacom Inc. will be more efficient.

The merger will initially result in the loss of three executive positions, said a person familiar with the situation who was not authorized to comment publicly and requested anonymity.

It was unclear if further jobs might be lost or when the combination will occur, the person said.

Paramount Vantage, which produced the double Oscar-winner "There Will Be Blood" released last year, is the latest indie movie label to be merged into the larger operations of the same company.

Time Warner Inc. said last month it would close its Picturehouse and Warner Independent Pictures film studios and eliminate 70 jobs.

That followed the layoff of 450 people at New Line Cinema, which was absorbed into Warner Bros.


These companies of course call their "indies" under $25 million (or so), which doesn't compute to true indie filmmakers - BUT, I'm not talking about production here. I'm talking DISTRIBUTION which is the end game and in reality the hardest part of the entire process.

For example, I finished my last indie feature film back in 2006. Got foreign distribution rather quickly (which is not the normal case I assure you), but we just signed a domestic DVD deal in the last few months. So two years to sell the film. And we're actually lucky. 95% of all indie films NEVER SELL. Even films that play at Sundance.

Indie filmmaking is a lot of fun. But as a business model it has never been good and with these recent events it's virtually dead I'm sorry to say.

-Blake

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Hollywood Reporter Blurb








Hey ANY press is good press! "Pink" got a small mention in the Hollywood Reporter today...

Check it out here.

I didn't realize the series was a "cult hit". :)

-Blake

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Netflix Streaming on Your TV

The first Netflix player has been released and it looks like a really good start. It's called the Netflix Player by Roku.

Check out a review here at CNET

It's only $100 and then whatever your monthly Netflix subscription rate is. So in essence the movies you download and watch are "free".

Box has HDMI and component out and it's also wireless or can be connected to a network. Video quality is so-so, but you're streaming instantly off the web so it really depends on your broadband connection speed. The CNET review has more details.

Again, I say a good start. They will improve on it soon and in the not too distant future HD movies will be available instantly too. In years to come this will be as common as any technology you can think of. We'll say "remember when we had to go to the video store (or receive them via mail) to rent a movie"?

It'll be here before you know it.

-Blake

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Online Talent Scouts - USA Today Article

Good article this morning in USA Today featuring many talent agents, including the guys at UTA they rep me and "Pink". Also, they interview several filmmakers who have current or upcoming web projects online (however, ahem, they didn't talk to Mike or myself about "Pink" - I think we need a new publicist). ;)

"There's a huge cultural change going on out there," Nadler says (from UTA). "The model of how people consume their entertainment is totally up in the air."

That's not the only thing up for grabs. The foundation of Hollywood's dominance in pop culture and the entertainment industry is being threatened by the democratizing force of the Internet, which posits that anyone with a snappy idea and a video camera can dish up features to the masses.

As a result, top Hollywood agencies such as UTA, Endeavor and Creative Artists Agency are diligently mining the Web for raw talent. The process quickly has become as crucial to entertainment talent scouts as trawling smoky comedy clubs or screening obscure movies has been for generations.

Click here to read full article

-Blake

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Nigel Tufnel's Stonehenge Theories

Fan of "This Is Spinal Tap"? How about the lead singer Nigel Tufnel?

Check out these new interviews with him about Stonehenge - and I'm not talking about Spinal Tap's song either... ;)

GOOD STUFF.

-Blake

P.S. After following above link, click on Nigel's image on the left side of the page to open videos.

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R.I.P. Sydney Pollack 1934-2008



Always thought of him as an "outsider" inside the Hollywood studio system. Great filmmaker and actor that will be missed.

-Blake

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"Foreign Body" Premiere

"Foreign Body" is the name of a new web series and a new book by legendary author Robin Cook ("Coma"). The web series premiered yesterday...

http://www.foreignbody.tv/

Definitely check it out.

It's produced by my friends Big Fantastic. They also produced "Prom Queen" (among many other web series). They are really the pioneers of the serial web space - at least for higher-end, quality, dramatic shows.

The series runs through August 4th, and the the new book comes out right after the show ends. A very nice piece of marketing brought to us all by Michael Eisner and his company Vuguru. Pretty cool.

-Blake

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Upfronts

This is a new term to me... "Upfront". I'm just learning about this although I've actually known what it was, just not the actual name.

An Upfront is an event the networks put on to showcase their new series (ie. pilots) to advertisers. But it goes beyond just series these days. For example, NBC Universal has many, many offerings to buyers...

(Zucker was eager to remind advertisers that) "you can buy mobile, you can buy digital, you can buy cable ... you can buy Olympics, you can buy football -- you can buy the Super Bowl -- you can buy Hulu.com, you can buy integrations into our films, you can buy integrations into our theme parks."

That's a lot of stuff for them to consider!

NBC is doing things differently this time around - and of course they need to on the network TV side of things. They're pretty much dead last in the ratings.

So why am I interested in this? Well, with the recent work I've been doing on "PINK" and with the new series I'm doing for Warner Bros. we're involved with Upfronts. For "PINK" it's really only geared towards the Internet (for now) and attracting a sponsor. This will happen in the next several weeks. For "Exposed" (the WB show) it happened last week in NYC. Our show was mentioned with all the other shows - current and upcoming - on The CW Network and on the new WB.com website ("Gossip Girl", etc.).

In the above mentioned quote from Jeff Zucker, he talks about Hulu.com. NBC owns this with FOX (I believe that's correct) and we are right now finalizing a deal to have Season One of "PINK" roll out there this summer before Season Two premieres (also on Hulu.com and elsewhere).

Here's a link to the entire story on the NBC Upfront, called "NBC Leading a Different Upfront Change". It's very interesting to see how all this stuff works.

Now I just need to make sure our shows are really good. :)

-Blake

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PINK Post-production

Been very busy recently with the post-production on PINK. We're trying to get all 25 episodes cut by the end of this month - rough cut that is. Then finished by mid next month (or so). It's a ton of work. Basically we're editing a feature length project. But it's all going very, very well. Everything (pretty much) is cutting together nicely.

Oh sure, we have the occasional moment of, "Why didn't I get a close-up shot of that?" - or, "Stage line, what stage line? Let's just flop the shot to make it work". But that happens on every show I've ever done. And anyway, keeps things interesting in the edit. :)

BTW, we've now decided the new episodes will launch in AUGUST. Can't give a firm date yet, but it will very likely be mid-month. We also will have a very cool announcement soon about an event in July to promote the series. Can't wait to share this!

For now though it's back to the dark editing dungeon...

-Blake

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Pig Videos from Dallas Show

Two good videos on YouTube from the Roger Waters show last night...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ufrl3R1E6Sk&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xs2X6Egg-ak&feature=related

The pig went right over our heads as you can see from my photos in previous post. But the videos really tell the story!

-Blake

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OT: Roger Waters Show

Best concert I've seen in ages. No warm up band. First set Pink Floyd greatest hits and a few solo songs. 15 minute intermission. Then "Dark Side of the Moon" played front to back. Greatness...











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Webby Honoree for Best Drama Series

We've been so busy shooting the new season of "Pink" - and trying to get the word out on our Webby Nominee for Best Drama: Individual Episode - that we failed to mention we already won an Honoree Award for Best Drama Series.

Check it out

Okay, okay, so it's not an nomination or a win, but it is a pretty cool deal. With over 10,000 entries they selected the top 15% for the Honoree Award. So we'll take it!

In just three short days on May 6th we'll know if we won the Webby for Episode 7 "Feels Like the First Time", and we'll know about the Webby People's Voice Award.

Last thing on award talk - we've got a chance for an Emmy nomination too. The main awards were announced last week and they'll announce the new media ones very soon. Our collective fingers are definitely crossed. :)

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WBTV Press Release for New Show "Exposed"

I know we JUST wrapped shooting the next round of "Pink", but there's no time to rest. Our next show "Exposed" for Warner Bros. Television is in pre-production and will shoot in early summer.

Here's a snipet from a press release put out today...

“We want to continue the Warner Bros. tradition of authentic voices creating compelling programming for this new digital canvas,” said Craig Erwich, Executive Vice President of Warner Horizon Television, who also oversees TheWB.com on behalf of the Studio. “The office water cooler has moved, and fans of TheWB.com can instantly engage with our content and interact with one another through the site, through the Facebook application, or on their own web sites and blogs. We are working with some of the finest talent in our business to create powerful and innovative programming that will fuel this community.”

TheWB.com will feature an exclusive slate of original series from creative talent such as director/producer McG (the upcoming “Terminator 4,” “Supernatural,” the “Charlie’s Angels” films) and writer/producer Josh Schwartz (“Gossip Girl,” “Chuck,” “The O.C.”), among others, launching on the site within the first year. All original content for TheWB.com will be released under the Studio 2.0 banner, WBTVG’s division for original digital programming, both live-action and animation, created for broadband and wireless.

McG is partnering with production team Big Fantastic (“Prom Queen”) on “Sorority Forever,” an innovative mystery/drama that peeks behind the walls of one of the most intriguing secret societies in the world: the sorority. Separately, McG is also teaming up with the creators of the hit Internet series “Pink” on “Exposed,” a thriller about a college student haunted by a hidden past and trying to remain undercover.


Read the entire release here.

Craig Erwich is the studio exec we work for along with the folks at McG's company. Pretty fun stuff!

-Blake

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PLEASE VOTE for PINK!

We need your help! PLEASE VOTE for "Pink" at the Webby's "People's Voice Awards"...We've dropped to 3rd Place!!!

http://pv.webbyawards.com/

You have to register but it only takes a few seconds.

Thank you!

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Whew! PINK 2.0 Shoot Wrapped

We wrapped production on PINK 2.0 last night. Cast and crew did a great job! Here are a few stills from the last week...










































































I'll post more info soon. Right now trying to get caught up on sleep!

-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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