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by Indiewire
March 7, 2000 2:00 AM
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FEATURE: PROFILE: Eveo - Making Video Personal

FEATURE: PROFILE: Eveo - Making Video Personal

By Tim LaTorre/EB Insider




EB Insider


These are exciting times for filmmaking. Until this past year, artists working in the film and video arena have had an extremely limited ability to get their work shown. The Internet has opened new opportunities that, while presently limited by bandwidth, will eventually be able to economically sustain more film and video makers.

Although filmmaking has opened up in the last ten years to allow more people the opportunity to participate, it is still seen as a professional medium. But as costs for video equipment continue to fall and image quality rises, the filmmaking process is being demystified and democratized. As filmmaking is taken off of its 20th century pedestal, will it result in a similar atmosphere of personal expression in which great painters, musicians, photographers, artistic masters were able to develop from the general populace? As director Francis Ford Coppola prophesized, "one day a little fat girl in Ohio is going to be the new Mozart and make a beautiful film with her father's camcorder. For once the so-called professionalism about movies will be destroyed."

It was from this philosophy that San Francisco-based Eveo, a new online video exhibitor launching this month, was established. Touting the slogan 'everyone's a director', Eveo's mission is to "revolutionize entertainment by empowering individuals to produce and premiere compelling, real life, and creative short videos". Recently, EB Insider sat down with Eveo's French-born CEO-President-Founder Olivier Zitoun to find out his company's plans to own the 'user-generated video' space. If Zitoun has his way, Eveo's going to give us all a shot at being 'little fat girls'.

EB INSIDER: In the simplest terms, what is Eveo going to do?

OLIVIER ZITOUN, EVEO: Eveo is empowering people to create, to share, to express themselves through video over the Internet. Using the Internet primarily as a distribution mechanism. We are going after a very short format - called 'eveos'. So, Eveo is the name the company, the name of the Web site, is the 'eveo', instead of video, which is 3 minutes max. We don't take anything over 3 minutes. It is a little short video, which is made by anyone, made by individuals. It could be a very talented artist. It could be you, me. It could be a simple amateur. And it could be about sport. It could be about travel, about adventure. It could be about just pure documentary, real 'slice of life', just like raw inspiration. It could be comedy. It could be narrative. It could be a lot of different things.

EBI: How did you get the idea for Eveo?

EVEO: I had the idea for Eveo only a few months ago. It goes back to the summer, early summer. When I was a kid I was always playing around with video, the first generation of home video. I was making my own music videos. Basically dubbing a song and using my fathers big, fat camcorder. I made a whole bunch of videos like this and I loved it. In fact, I wanted to be a filmmaker. But at the last minute I decided not to do it because I realized that that career might be a little tricky - especially in France, where ninety percent of the productions at the time were basically owned by the government.

So I decided not to do that and [instead] do my whole career in the high tech space and then the Internet space. When I came to the U.S., especially in the last year, I saw that broadband was really happening and definitively changing the Internet - going from text to multimedia, photo and video. And I noticed that DV, desktop video and digital video, were really happening at the same time I realized that there was now a new opportunity for kids like me, when I was fourteen years old, to finally express themselves on video. To use the Internet, not only as a showcase for 'indie' film, but a showcase for pure, raw self-expression.

EBI: Are Eveos supposed to be rough around the edges? Or are they going to look like what we know as TV? Like 'America's Funniest Home Videos'?

EVEO: It will be everything but "America's Funniest Videos." It will definitely be more edgy, more raw. The fact that now DV camcorders are so 'smart' in a way and that desktop video is so pervasive, so anyone can take a little DV camcorder at $400-500 dollars and just do something with their iMac DV that looks good. So, we're not at this ugly age of this really horrible 'American Funniest Videos'.

Additionally, we're going to play a role in the production of the Eveos. Yes, we

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