Raises $3.85 Million, a site for user-generated content created using video games, has raised $3.85 million in funding from MK Capital and other private investors.

Expert Insight on the Economic Crisis…From Online Video Elite!

Get a bunch of video creators into a room, with beer, and the conversation won’t ever stop. That fact was well-demonstrated at this Monday’s Vlogger Reunion fest at Annie’s Courtyard Cafe in Santa Monica, hosted by Next New Networks.
I asked those attending the shindig what they thought the best thing that might come of the ongoing economic crisis. Their answers reveal a surprisingly positive outlook for the future of new media (and, possibly, pornography).

From Monday's Vlogger Reunion party. Pictured include Michelle Deforest, Felicia Williams, Tim Shey of Next New Networks, Brigitte Dale, and the back of Kent Nichols' head.

From Monday's Vlogger Reunion party. Among those pictured, from left to right, are Michelle Deforest, Felicia Williams, and Tim Shey of Next New Networks, Brigitte Dale, and the back of Kent Nichols' head.

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Dr. Horrible Soundtrack Now Available on iTunes

OK, Joss Whedon superfans — time to replace your MP3 bootlegs with the official Dr. Horrible soundtrack, now available via iTunes. With studio-quality production value and no sound effects, it’s a fantastic chance to catch all the lyrics you might have missed the first time — “But her tears will dry when I hand her the keys to her new shiny Australia” is a gem from Brand New Day. And it also gives all those planning to ambush Felicia Day with a serenade better research materials.

In its first day of release, the soundtrack is the No. 2 downloaded album on iTunes in the U.S., and Young Jezzy’s The Recession may not hold the top slot for much longer. The album is also No. 1 in Canada and Australia.

Between the soundtrack and the Dark Horse web comics written by Zach Whedon, the Dr. Horrible franchise is still going strong. The DVD (featuring fan-created applications to join the Evil League of Evil) should be out by December — meaning that the hardcore fanatic will have spent at least $35 on the series (iTunes season pass for original airing + soundtrack + estimated $20 for the DVD). That right there, that’s what I call monetization.

Dr. Horrible’s Opening Day Ups and Downs

Despite tentative assurances at last Thursday’s Q&A that the web hosts streaming Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog would be up to the challenge today, has been crashing all morning, and server traffic has been slow at best. Per the Twitter of star Felicia Day: “Wow, Horrible is breaking all the internet. Their site, my site, their fan site, whedonesque…”

If you want to keep posted on the site’s ups and downs, is a good place to start, but right now the only certain way to watch the musical spectacular is via a $3.99 iTunes season pass. Of course, this could change at any moment, so feel free to comment with updates if you catch them before we do. The one thing we know for sure at this point — any concerns we might have had about a web series of this nature building an audience seem pretty moot.

Dr. Horrible Goes Live, and More on Joss Whedon’s Evil Plans

Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog goes live today (go here to buy it on iTunes) with the first of three all-singing, some-dancing installments, the way it was meant to be seen: on your computer monitors. But how was it on the big screen? I had a chance to see it (and review it) at last Thursday’s cast-and-crew screening, where it played beautifully — Nathan Fillion’s manly attributes and big musical numbers getting almost equal amounts of applause.

From left, writer Maurissa Tancharoen, Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Felicia Day and Nathan Fillion; and Neil Patrick Harris, back, in a hat. Photo by David Sarno, used with permission.

And afterwards, Whedon, stars Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day, and co-writers Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen hung around to answer a few questions, mostly revolving around the difficulties of production when not working with a studio. With an estimated budget in the low six figures that came directly out of Whedon’s pocket (“I sold a lot of Girl Scout cookies,” said the man with two different TV series in syndication), the project’s pedigree makes claims to guerrilla filmmaking a bit hard to swallow. But everyone involved clearly relished the chance to participate in a project made under conditions Whedon defined as “street legal” — even if, in Whedon’s words, the hectic seven days of shooting “broke a few people.” Read More about Dr. Horrible Goes Live, and More on Joss Whedon’s Evil Plans