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DAILY NEWS: The "Community" Side of Independent Online Content: AtomFilms, Eveo, and AntEye

Indiewire By Indiewire | Indiewire April 4, 2000 at 2:0AM

DAILY NEWS: The "Community" Side of Independent Online Content: AtomFilms, Eveo, and AntEye
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DAILY NEWS: The "Community" Side of Independent Online Content: AtomFilms, Eveo, and AntEye



By Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE


>> The "Community" Side of Independent Online Content: AtomFilms, Eveo, and AntEye


(indieWIRE/4.3.00) -- As the online film and video industry emerges, dozens
of websites are pursuing sometimes radically different approaches. Popular
pioneers IFILM and AtomFilms, for example, are just two Internet outlets
that are changing as competition increases and Hollywood jumps in.


Three new initiatives by three different internet entertainment companies
are aimed at changing the way web-based film and video are created outside
the Hollywood system. AtomFilms.com, a leader in online -- next
generation -- entertainment, is announcing its plans today, while two new
sites -- Eveo.com and AntEye.com -- are launching with slightly different
models.


Dubbed a "community-powered entertainment platform," Seattle-based
AtomFilms' effort -- MogulMaker -- will give Atom site visitors the
opportunity to "evaluate, package, and green-light" new projects that Atom
will produce. In a conversation with indieWIRE, AtomFilms Director of Web
Entertainment Scott Roesch indicated that the effort is a contrast to Atom's
"user-submitted content" approach of the past year -- a model which resulted
in more than 20,000 shorts being submitted to the site since it launched.
Now, with 700,000 registered "Atom Insiders," the company is not abandoning
its approach, but it is moving to include viewer feedback and incorporating
its Insiders into the production process. MogulMaker will include a select
group of Insiders in developing projects with Atom filmmakers. They will
then allow all visitors to evaluate pitches and vote on the project that
gets the "green-light" for production by Atom.


Similarly, a new site by the name of AntEye.com (read "anti-dotcom") is
aimed at changing the way that entertainment is created. The company will
produce pilots and digital films in partnership with site visitors. In a
conversation with indieWIRE, AntEye.com CEO Matt Leshem described his site
as "the Geocities for video" and indicated that in kicking off its site, the
company will create six pilots with six makers from six different cities --
Atlanta, Austin, Kansas City, Madison, Seattle and Toronto.


Leshem's goal is to invest in people outside of New York and Los Angeles as
developers of programming that he intends to sell back to Hollywood, with
the help of site visitors. AntEye will finance the six original pilots,
selected from the video samples submitted by site visitors in each city and
voted on by site viewers, with budgets of up to $100,000 each.


It will also finance digital films with budgets up to $250,000 each. The
funded pilots -- in one of six categories: Action, Animation, Comedy,
Documentary, Drama, Erotica, Miscellaneous, Music, Point of View,
and Sports -- will be announced on April 15th.


"You create the content," the AntEye.com site which launched on Friday
proclaims, "You control the content."


Declaring that "everyone's a director," a new site named Eveo.com launches
today intending to "revolutionize" entertainment "by empowering individuals
to produce and premiere compelling, real life and creative short videos."
In a conversation with indieWIRE, San Francisco-based Eveo CEO Olivier
Zitoun
explained that the new site is posting short work -- dubbed "eveos"
-- from anyone, especially students and aspiring makers. This is how he
distinguishes his site from those such as AtomFilms. Zitoun believes that
the increasing availability of digital cameras and digital editing tools
will change the entertainment business and affect the movies that Hollywood
creates.


"The company is strategically positioned at the convergence of several global
market trends: the democratization of entertainment production, driven by
cheap but powerful digital tools, and Internet ubiquity," according to an Eveo
announcement.


The three-minute Eveos can be submitted on tape, will be screened by site
staff to avoid inappropriate sexual content, and will be digitized and posted
on the site in one of a handful of channels -- Travel, Adventure, Extreme,
News, True-Life, Music, Weird and Spoofs. The groups of videos will,
according to Eveo, "foster the creation of virtual video communities where
viewers and authors can communicate around the same topic of interest,
passion, sport or activity." Rankings and ratings will direct site visitors
to content and Eveo will pursue licensing and syndication deals for select
content.


Sites including Pop.com and Nibblebox.com are two other recently announced
outfits that incorporate similar efforts, while IFILM, a leader in posting
user-submitted content is altering its approach to include greater "business
to business" services and products -- witness the recent acquisitions of
Lone Eagle Publishing, StudioXchange, and the Hollywood Creative Directory.


"Basically, we don't see a revolution around consumers being able to submit
content," Atom's Scott Roesch told indieWIRE, "We believe that the real
revolution is around enabling consumers and artists to engage in a
marketplace that erodes the once exclusive barriers to the entertainment
industry. We see what we're doing as fundamentally changing how
entertainment is created, discovered, marketed and distributed. User
submitted content is just one piece of the puzzle."