July 02, 2007
| by Arlen Schweiger
Here’s an interesting new nugget from the world of high-definition DVD. Amazon.com and Microsoft Corp. today announced the launching of the 1,000 HD DVD Indies Project, which will encourage independent filmmakers to submit their HD movie content for HD DVD authoring and distribution through manufacturing-on-demand technology of CustomFlix (part of an Amazon group of companies).
The project will provide free authoring and setup services for up to 1,000 selected indie titles. The purpose is to assist filmmakers in creating content in HD and to increase the amount of HD DVDs available to consumers.
So on one hand, by the time the project is finished there will be up to 1,000 new HD DVD selections. On the other hand, this project isn’t likely to spawn a “Batman Begins” or “Matrix Trilogy” that perhaps provide the optimum HD movie experience for your home theater.
However, the filmmakers are undeterred to seek out traditional distribution deals, and the simple launching of the 1,000 HD DVD Indies Project should create greater awareness (especially considering Amazon’s involvement) of the high-def DVD format (and the format war between HD DVD and Blu-ray) in general, and perhaps open the gateway for more quality filmmaking and content overall. Consider what Indie-friendly label Miramax did for the moviemaking industry as a distributor for Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs” and “Pulp Fiction” in the early 90s.
“This collaboration with Microsoft is a great opportunity for independent filmmakers to reach Amazon customers with their films via the HD DVD format,” said Peter Faricy, vice president of music and movies at Amazon.com. “By working together with Microsoft and leveraging the proven CustomFlix DVD on Demand model, we can lower the barriers to entry for independent filmmakers and dramatically increase the selection we offer our customers.”
The CustomFlix DVD on Demand technology produces and ships DVDs only as they are ordered. This model greatly improves the cost structure for independent filmmakers by eliminating the need for costly inventory, Amazon and Microsoft say.
Filmmakers interested in submitting their HD DVD work for consideration as part of the 1,000 HD DVD Indies Project can go to www.customflix.com/hddvdindies.
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.