DAILY NEWS: Lipskys Unite at Lot47; WildBrain & SciFi, and Eveo's Directors
by Eugene Hernandez and Jeff Barker/indieWIRE
>> Lipskys 3, Weinsteins 2 as Middle Brother Mark Joins Lot 47; Company Evolving "Digital Strategy"
(indieWIRE/11.01.00) -- Mark Lipsky, an indie industry veteran who
recently spent time in the dotcom world, is returning to the
film biz by joining his older brother Jeff and his younger
brother Scott at Lot 47 Films. Lot 47, with one brother who
has deep experience in indie film distribution (Jeff) and
another with a background in the Internet biz (Scott), will
be relying on Mark, in part, to help the company create a
"digital strategy" for the emerging distributor.
"This is an opportunity to go back into film distribution where
there is a 'mergence' of new technology across all media,
including film distribution," Lipsky told indieWIRE yesterday,
"How you creatively apply it to film distribution is the
opportunity and the challenge," he added.
After positions at New Yorker Films and Cinema 5, Mark Lipsky
joined Miramax in 1986 as Sr. VP of Sales and Marketing. In
1990, he launched the company's Prestige division and in 1992
he formed a marketing and PR company called Spotlight. In
1997, Lipsky joined Bravo and The Independent Film Channel where
he served as a Director of Marketing. Lipsky recently served
as a VP at Singingfish.com, a dotcom that was recently acquired
by Thomson Multimedia.
"Personally I think it comes back to the big lesson that the
Internet has taught us, which is community," Mark Lipsky continued,
explaining that in the indie community, "a lot of that trust has
eroded" as distributors have lost the loyalty that they once
received from moviegoers. He sees an opportunity to rebuild
that community by, in his words, "Using all those new and
traditional tools at our disposal, not only applying them
in creative ways, but using them to gain as much knowledge
and be as smart as we can about what the audience wants."
Digital distribution will be a key part of the strategy,
according to Mark Lipsky, who sees a decline in "destination
viewing" and a growth of "streaming media" including everything
from digital television to short films. "At a certain point,"
he added, "Everything will merge into that cable box."
Watch for Mark Lipsky to pursue relationships with some of
the companies that are involved with the digital distribution
of film and content. Explaining that he will be exploring
"synergies and partnerships," Lipsky -- without naming names --
indicated that he is anxious for relationships with outfits
that "have a broad perspective and aren't just living for
Founded 16 months ago by brothers Scott Lipsky (co-founder
of Avenue A, Inc) and Jeff Lipsky (cofounder of October Films),
Lot 47 Films (www.lot47.com) released "Venus Beauty Institute"
last week. Upcoming releases include "Chunhyang" and
"Fast Food, Fast Women."
Summarizing Lot 47 Films' plans, Mark Lipsky explained that
he and his brothers want to "establish Lot 47 as a haven, as
a central point of departure, for people who are interested
in being challenged and discovering new an exciting things
in film." [Eugene Hernandez]
>> SciFi.com Goes Wild, Picks up WildBrain's "Space is Dum"
(indieWIRE/ 11.01.00) -- Dude is a Bevco employee sent to outer space to find possible franchise locations, while Larry, a space eel, livens up Dude's otherwise dull and solitary life. That's science-fiction, right?
USA Network's SCIFI.com apparently thought so, and asked to host the animated Web series "Space is Dum" at their site, which features the ongoing escapades of Dude and Larry. Jim Matison created the series, which may be WildBrain's most popular. "'Space is Dum' is really a cult favorite," said John Kirtland, WildBrain's managing director. USA Interactive Entertainment approached the animation studio about showcasing the show at their site, according to Kirtland, thereby picking it up for web syndication. SCIFI.com already features several short pieces of streaming video and an entire section called "Exposure: The Future of Film," that uses On2's broadband software.
The syndication deal is only the first of several to come in the next few months, Kirtland said. Other series produced by WildBrain ("Joe Paradise" and "Romanov") have received acclaim in animation circles, garnering interest. More than a Web-animation destination site and sydicator, WildBrain also creates offline animation for companies like KFC and Sony. [Jeffrey M. Barker]
>>"Everyone's a Director" At Eveo.com -- and Now In the Theatres
(indieWIRE/ 11.01.00) -- At Eveo, the slogan "everyone's a director" was more of a side-effect of their user-generated content model, but the slogan becomes truer and truer each day at the San Francisco based company. This week, they announced the winners to the EveoPitch contest, held jointly with this years' International Film Financing Conference. The contest asked Eveo viewers to pitch a full-length film idea and create short eveos for a jury of indie film execs to view (reps included execs from HBO films and the Independent Film Channel). The winning pitches -- one narrative and one documentary -- may make their way to the big screen.
Katherine Brooks' pitch for "Children in Uniform," a remake of the 1931 film, "Madchen in Uniform," won in the narrative category, while three of the jurists selected Yoav Potash's proposed look at racial profiling, "Point of Entry" in the doc competition. The winners will be flown to a meeting with the jurist who chose their film and will receive $1,000 to make an eveo.
A similar contest was held recently by Atomfilms, and Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's "Greenlight" project hopes to do the same with a definitive Hollywood edge. [Jeffrey M. Barker]