Is Jaman selling out by signing with Paramount? That’s the first question that came to mind as I read the release announcing their new deal. Jaman, which is known for being an online home to the indie and art house set, will now carry typical Hollywood fare like Cloverfield, Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Mean Girls.
During a phone interview, Jaman founder and CEO Guarav Dhillon defended the company’s expansion into new territory. “We’re bringing on bigger films,” said Dhillon, “the combination and cross-pollination works both ways.” Dhillon cited Cloverfield and The Host as good examples. A fan of Cloverfield would probably like the similar monster mash of The Host and vice versa.
The site is certainly getting quality films as part of the deal (Sweeney Todd and There Will Be Blood), but hooking up with big Hollywood makes Jaman a little less… special. It becomes just another of the many sites to rent movies online (Amazon, iTunes, CinemaNow, etc.)
Following AtomFilms’ departure from independent shorts to comedy, it makes me wonder if there’s truly a business in independent film online. Jaman was tight-lipped about unique or registered users and would only speak in high-level generalities about how people spend time on the site (streaming is more popular than download, currently).