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Coming to a Google Near You

Coming to a Google Near You

The filmmakers from SXSW 2005 world premiere, Waterborne, sent me this press release over the weekend:

The producers of the award-winning independent feature film WATERBORNE announced plans today for a groundbreaking film distribution model in conjunction with Google Video. Google Founder Larry Page unveiled the new Google Video Store from CES in Las Vegas today.

WATERBORNE, which debuted to rave reviews and won an Audience Award at the prestigious SXSW Film Festival, will be among the first independent feature films to be available on the Google Video Store for the new “download-to-own,” distribution model.

There’s obviously much more to the story. We wish Ben and Smriti and the whole Waterborne family our best wishes with this new endeavor. The Los Angeles Times has a piece by Chris Gaither, offering some insight. Among its excerpts:

Much as online auctioneer EBay Inc. turned pack rats into retailers, Google’s service also will allow anyone to distribute filmed or animated material they create — something digital tools make easier than ever.

Independent filmmakers, for instance, can try to bypass Hollywood; dog trainers and yoga instructors can offer how-to videos; and someone who captures a plane crash or other major news event on video can skip the traditional media — all in favor of selling their work as a digital download.

“Now any guy with a camera who believes in what they’re doing can compete with the Sonys and Warner Bros. of the world,” said director Ben Rekhi, who said he turned down a $125,000 distribution deal to instead sell his film “Waterborne” through Google for $4.99 a download.

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