Vimeo has joined forces with General Electric(s GE) and video publisher Cinelan to launch “Focus Forward” — a micro documentary series that aims to showcase big, world-changing technology innovations in a compelling way. All the videos will be three minutes long and posted online.
Apple released a fairly big update for its Final Cut Pro X video editing app on Tuesday. It only tips the version number slightly up to 10.0.3, but it brings a couple of major additions pro users have been clamoring for, including multi-camera editing.
Turnstiles have been slowing at domestic theaters for much of the past decade, with only a brief respite in 2006 and a short-lived spike in attendance in 2009 due to the release of Avatar, the highest-grossing film of all time. Ticket-price inflation and the introduction of 3D films helped mask the effect for a while, but with the 3D premium eroding as the novelty has worn off and the weak economy and growing competition for entertainment dollars now keeping overall ticket inflation in check, the erosion of the movie audience is plain to see.
There’s trouble in Tinseltown. Movie theater attendance hit a 16-year low in 2011, dropping 4 percent from 2010. The slowing turnstiles have led some analysts to lower their ratings for shares of publicly traded theater chains, sending the stocks down sharply. But don’t expect things to improve much soon. BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield released his predictions fro 2012 yesterday (see here for the LA Times’ right up, and here for Greenfield’s registration-required blog post) and he offered little cheer for the traditional movie business. “We believe consumers are tiring of expensive, premium-priced movie experiences, particularly when combined with an increasingly unsatisfying exhibition experience,” Greenfield wrote.”We expect movie attendance to fall yet again in 2012; more importantly we believe attendance is now in a secular decline in the U.S.” At the same time, Greenfield expects video piracy to explode over the next few years as TVs, “rapidly become IP-enabled or ‘smart’ directly or indirectly with apps that facilitate piracy.” He also thinks SOPA is a fool’s errand that will do nothing to change consumer behavior. Good times.
The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem consortium, the industry group behind Hollywood’s UltraViolet initiative, is promising an update on next-steps for the cross-platform DRM system at CES next month. They might want to make one of those steps fixing the bad first impression the system has made in the marketplace so far. One key tell at CES will be how many UltraViolet-enabled devices will be on display from CE makers. If they’re MIA, it means device-makers have heard the complaints from consumers and concluded the system isn’t ready for prime time, and they’re not going to invest in it. That would be a serious blow to the initiative. Here’s something that might help: how about some coordinated marketing?
Raindance is Britain’s largest independent film festival, becoming an institution for cinephiles over the past 20 years. This year it’s decided to partner with a little-known film website run out of Poland. So what does Filmaster offer that others don’t?
With Apple itself not in attendance, the focus of Macworld has shifted to how the Apple user community is applying the company’s technologies, rather than about the technologies themselves. There’s no better example of that kind of application in action than what Majek Pictures is doing.
If you have not already seen this, you have to check it out for yourself. “Apple of My Eye” is a movie short shot and edited entirely on an iPhone 4. That’s right, full production on the iPhone.
Bolstered by arrival of the 3GS, launch of in-app purchasing and push notifications, the iPhone apps of 2009 have become richer and more robust experiences. Across 11 categories, here were this year’s standouts.
The Beatles may not have arrived in the iTunes Music Store just yet, but it’s not all disappointing news: the App Store has been updated with a new look and a stack of new iPhone apps have been released. As ever, here are my picks from the latest additions.
My top pick for this week is Hitchcock, plus I’ve also checked out Newsstand, Blades of Fury and Rhapsody.
There’s a fantastic range of apps on offer to budding iPhone-based photographers at the moment. Tools such as QuadCamera and ColorSplash make for fun and effective photo-enhancing toys, and, once you’re done touching up your latest masterpiece, you can share your photography on Flickr via their official app. For folk who want to take their photography a step further and start dabbling in film, Hitchcock has arrived. Don’t let the messy interface fool you, this is a powerful app that’s packed with seriously useful features. Essentially a storyboarding tool, the app allows you to drop in photos as panels, outline camera movement, set shot durations and even add audio notes. Once you’ve laid out your latest shoot, you can export as a PDF too. Possibly a tad pricey but potentially an indispensable tool for indie film directors.
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