Roger Corman’s “Drive-In” To Launch this Summer on YouTube

CORMAN'S DRIVE-IN LOGOLegendary B-movie impresario Roger Corman will become one of the first big-name Hollywood filmmakers to launch his own YouTube content channel this summer. Dubbed “Corman’s Drive-In,” the project will be a collaboration with longtime producing partner Julie Corman, and will be part of YouTube’s new platform offering viewers more channels through a paid subscription model.

The channel will be curated from the Cormans’ library of more than 400 classic films, providing direct access for the fans faithful as well as newcomers to the titles.

“I have always approached filmmaking with the desire to reach a broad audience, and YouTube is clearly where the viewers are now,” said Roger Corman. “In today’s ever-connected marketplace, I couldn’t think of a better platform on which to unveil ‘Corman’s Drive-In.'”

Under the banner of New Horizons Picture Corp., the Cormans say they will use this venture to not only expand distribution of these classic titles, but also provide an outlet for new films in production. Corman’s films will be accompanied by personal introductions from the producing couple, as well as interviews regarding their production and stars.

“This exciting launch on YouTube creates a myriad of opportunities for us, especially as we continue to develop and produce new titles to complement the existing film catalog,” added Julie Corman.

The launch keeps pace with a rising trend in direct-to-consumer distribution, where audience members have more direct access to their favorite content creators than ever before.

Corman’s prolific career has generated such cult titles as Deathrace 2000, Little Shop of Horrors, Piranha, Rock ‘n’ Roll High School and Grand Theft Auto. He has been a mentor and/or producer for iconic American filmmakers including Francis Ford Coppola , Martin Scorsese , Ron Howard , James Cameron , Peter Bogdonovich, Jonathan Demme, John Sayles , Joe Dante, Gale Anne Hurd and others. He won an Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2010.

Visual Effects Society to Sacramento: More Incentives, Please

green squareIn an open letter to its membership, but also addressing the State of California and the industry at large, the Visual Effects Society has issued two calls to action. The first is a plea to Governor Jerry Brown and the state legislature for an immediate expansion of the California film tax incentive program, including a “focused approach” to specifically protect the visual effects and post production sectors. The second is the organization of a VFX Congress to be held sometime in the next few weeks, “to allow all artists from around the world to share their concerns to find common ground on the issues that face us today.”

The letter was triggered in part by recent events including the bankruptcy of Rhythm & Hues (even as its VFX supervisors picked up an Oscar for visual effects on Life of Pi), the September bankruptcy and later buyout of Digital Domain, and the recent layoff of 350 staffers at Dreamworks (the first in the studio’s history). The plight of visual effects houses in the U.S. has been much on the minds of industry denizens of late, with a high-profile protest outside Sunday’s Academy Awards in Hollywood and a coordinated social media campaign in which individuals replace their profile pics with green screen.

While some are calling for an end to foreign subsidies that lure visual effects work to other locales, the VES acknowledges that it has no control over outside programs, and can only seek to strengthen California’s film tax credit program (which it calls “woefully inadequate”) from within:

The amazing irony is that while 47 of the top 50 films of all time* are visual effects driven and billions of dollars of profits are generated yearly, the actual people who create the work are becoming an endangered species in California. In short, Hollywood, the birthplace of all this art and commerce, is quickly becoming the land where creative dreams die on the vine and pink slips for dispossessed artists are being issued at an alarming rate.

In addition to urging members to write to the governor and state legislature regarding the situation, VES Executive Director Eric Roth sounded a note of hope for the coming VFX Congress: “Together we can make amazing things happen.”

See the full text of the letter here.

Media Services Releases 3 New Apps for the Production Industry

Showbiz-Labor-Guide-AppMedia Services and Showbiz Software are proud to announce the release of three brand-new mobile apps for iPad and Android tablets. As first reported in the Hollywood Reporter, the production tools were released yesterday in conjunction with the annual Labor Guide Launch Party in Los Angeles, held at the W Hollywood.

The flagship app is the Showbiz Labor Guide, which mirrors the printed edition of the same name, but with easy touchscreen lookup of any wage rate from film and TV union agreements spanning the United States, such as IATSE, Teamsters, SAG-AFTRA, DGA and WGA.

Showbiz-Labor-Guide-App-InteriorThe drill-down menu allows producers and accountants to select region, agreement and occupation code to get wage and hour minimums sorted by schedule (Daily, Weekly, On Call, etc).

The Showbiz Directory app is a standalone mobile database of entertainment industry vendors and crew members in production centers across the country. Media Services eForms is a series of fillable, signable forms for employees working on film, TV and commercial productions. Many of the forms are specific to Media Services’ payroll division: now clients and their crew can fill out start paperwork and send it directly from their tablet devices.

All three apps are currently available in Apple’s App Store; the Labor Guide and Directory can also be found in the Google Play store. The Labor Guide was released with the introductory price of $19.99, while the other two apps are free.

In conjunction with the rollout, Media Services and Showbiz Software raffled off three iPads to attendees of last night’s launch party, where several hundred were in attendance. The New York launch party is slated for December 6 at Chelsea Manor. Register for it here.

Logliners Hosts Paperless Table Read with Final Draft Reader App

Billing it as the first fully “Paperless Table Read,” Logliners hosted a reading of a feature film script last night using Final Draft’s relatively new Reader app. The professional cast of performers read from their digital scripts on Apple iPads, distributed to them prior to the event, and gave the script’s writer and other invited industry guests the chance to hear the dialogue read out loud for the first time.

Final Draft was on hand to see their product in action in its natural habitat.

“We’re very excited to be a part of this unique event,” said Scott McMenamin, Vice President of Sales at Final Draft. “We expect that in the not-too-distant future an all-electronic table read will be nothing out of the ordinary. The Final Draft Reader app was designed to help cast and crew get their work done more easily and efficiently, and we hope it becomes an important part of paperless production.”

While writers are anxious to get their hands on the next generation of the Final Draft app, which will allow them to write actual script pages on their iPad, iPhone and Android devices, studio executives, agents and others are enjoying the free Reader app so far. With the ability to enter notes into a script on the fly, it suits their needs for development meetings and table reads just fine.

While Final Draft has not set a date for the release of their fully functioning writer app, they have confirmed it is coming this year. We expect it to hit the market sometime in the next two or three months. Price point is as yet undetermined, but a competitive introductory price is expected for early adopters.

Last night’s reading was of Tom Power’s supernatural horror script From the Grave. The event was sponsored by Media Services, Final Draft and PGAGreen.

Cinematic Innovation Gets Its Due

The world’s first large-scale summit dedicated to the future of movie technology will kick off in December ahead of the Dubai International Film Festival. The debut of the Cinematic Innovation Summit will be hosted by the DIFF, the Center for New Cinema and business information firm naseba, and will feature some Hollywood heavy hitters. X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner, Pixar co-founder Alvy Ray Smith and How to Train Your Dragon director Dean DeBlois are reported to be on board, along with some of the top names in cinema tech.

Cinematic Innovation Summit

The summit aims to provide a glimpse into future technology in a variety of entertainment sectors, including movies, advertising, gaming and telecommunications. The focus of the inaugural event will be innovations planned for the next 10 to 20 years. Some of the categories touched upon will be artificial intelligence, cognitive science, game-style interactivity between audiences and characters, improved 3D projections and “augmented reality,” which organizers say will make viewers feel they are inside the world of the movies they’re seeing.

“Today, more than ever before, cinema and the entire media ecosystem are being transformed by ground-breaking innovations in technology,” said DIFF Chairman Abdulhamid Juma. “Providing access to powerful new tools for storytelling is crucial to the achievement of our ultimate goal – enabling talent and films to find critical and commercial success.”

The Cinematic Innovation Summit will run December 8-9, leading into the Dubai International Film Festival December 9-16.

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