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5 Daily Tech Stories That Filmmakers (and Film Fans) Must Read: Spike Lee Sued Over Twitter, Online Video Bill and More

Photo of Paula Bernstein By Paula Bernstein | Indiewire November 12, 2013 at 2:15PM

Here are today's top tech stories for filmmakers and film fans, including a new line of Primo lenses from Panavision, Amazon's first original series, The Consumer Choice in Online Video Act and more.
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"The Act of Killing"
Drafthouse Films A musical sequence from "The Act of Killing."

1. Online Video: Senator Jay D. Rockefeller (D-W. Virginia), the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, will introduce The Consumer Choice in Online Video Act, Variety reports. The legislation would protect online video distributors by preventing cable, satellite and other large media companies from engaging in "anti-competitive" practices. Although specifics of the legislation have yet to be revealed, Variety reports that the legislation would prevent cable or satellite companies from degrading online video services and would them from refusing to sell content to over-the-top (OTT) services.

"We have all heard the familiar complaint that we have five hundred channels, but there is nothing to watch," Rockefeller said in a statement. "My legislation aims to enable the ultimate ala carte — to give consumers the ability to watch the programming they want to watch, when they want to watch it, how they want to watch it, and pay for only what they actually watch."

2. Spike Lee Sued: Spike Lee has been named in a negligence lawsuit regarding alleged Twitter posts about George Zimmerman, the man who killed Trayvon Martin in Florida on February 26, 2012, The Smoking Gun reports. Read the full story here.

3. Social Impact: In the world of social issue filmmaking, great work is being done in linking films to real-world issues that need attention with films like "Bully," "The Act of Killing" and other documentaries. The jurors for this year's Puma Impact Award -- Susan Sarandon, Ricken Patel, Gael Garcia Bernal, Zadie Smith, and Eric Schlosser --  have the unenviable task of choosing a winner for a 50,000 Euro reward in honor of the outreach campaigning done by the filmmakers behind one of this year's five nominated films. Indiewire received exclusive access to more information on the winner's outreach, and we're reporting back on the impact campaigns from each one of the 5 films that were nominated for this year's Puma Impact Award. Read about their campaigns and their social impact here.

4. Panavision: Panavision has introduced a new line of Primo lenses, the Primo V series, specifically designed to work with high-resolution 35mm digital cameras, the company announced today. "Cinematographers tell us that the hyper-sharp sensors in today's digital cameras can result in images that are harsh and lack personality," said Panavision’s VP of Optical Engineering Dan Sasaki in a statement. "That's one reason why there’s so much emphasis on glass these days. The Primo V lenses bring the smooth, organic flavor of Primo lenses to the high fidelity digital image. Our philosophy is to take what cinematographers love about the Primos, and update them for the digital world."

5. Amazon's "Alpha House:" Our TV editor, Alison Willmore, reviews "Alpha House," Amazon's first original show. The streaming service will make the first three episode available for free starting this Friday (unlike Netflix which makes full seasons of its originals available at once). According to Willmore, "Alpha House" isn't entirely a success, but it's certainly watchable, and comedies tend to take more time to find their center than dramas. But Amazon's choice to kick off its originals with something so innocuous does underline the difference in its approach as compared to Netflix." Read her full review here.

This article is related to: Tech, 5 Daily Tech Stories, Tech News, tech, Filmmaker Toolkit: Technology






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