1. Comcast-Time Warner Cable: With the news that Comcast, already the nation's No. 1 pay TV and Internet provider, will purchase Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion, many creators and programmers are concerned that the huge cable behemoth will monopolize the industry, driving up prices for consumers and limiting options for programming.
The Writers Guild of America, West issued the following statement today regarding the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable: "Comcast's proposed merger with Time Warner Cable is bad for everyone: content creators, programmers, suppliers, and consumers. As writers know all too well, media consolidation leads to already too powerful companies limiting competition. The WGAW will fight to stop this ill-conceived merger."
The deal is expected to close by the end of the year, pending shareholder and regulatory approvals.
2. Kickstarter Distribution: Most filmmakers turn to Kickstarter or other crowdfunding platforms looking to fund production for their projects. But the filmmakers behind "The Projectionist - A Warrior Reduced to a Shadow" are using Kickstarter to raise funds for distributing it. Read more here.
3. FilmRaise: Another innovative distribution plan is unfolding at FilmRaise, a new platform which partners social impact documentaries with charities to spread the message and raise money. "Beyond Right & Wrong" is FilmRaise's first social impact campaign. Read more about it here.
4. VES Awards: "Gravity" dominated the 12th annual Visual Effects Society (VES) Awards, grabbing six trophies at the Beverly Hilton Wednesday night, including outstanding visual effects-driven feature, while Disney's "Frozen" won four awards, including outstanding animated feature (a first for the studio), according to Thompson on Hollywood.
5. Screen Time: Two-thirds of U.S. consumers currently own smartphones, a 44% jump since 2011, according to Nielsen's report on "The Digital Consumer." The report also found that a majority of U.S. households have HDTVs and internet-connected computers. "American consumers are connected with screens throughout the day and engage with media content for more than 60 hours per week," Nielsen noted. While TV continues to remain the dominant screen, Nielsen notes increases in time-shifted viewing and streaming video through a PC or smartphone. Certainly true for the Indiewire team!