Creator-Blessed ElfQuest Fan Film Crowdsources Funds

A film adaptation of cult graphic novel series ElfQuest has been in development for years, but new media actors/producers Stephanie Thorpe and Paula Rhodes aren’t waiting around; they’re creating a fan trailer, starring some of web video’s best-known actresses, with support from ElfQuest‘s creators.

60Frames Suspends Operations

New media studio 60Frames has suspended operations because of a lack of funding. The Hollywood Reporter broke the story, and we have confirmed.

Launched in July of 2007, 60Frames was incubated by Hollywood talent agency UTA and web ad firm Spot Runner (which is having its own troubles) and raised $3.5 million in funding. The company promised to provide “professional content creators access to financing, speed to market, greater ownership over their intellectual property, and participation in all revenue streams including advertising.”

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Vid-Biz: DropPlay, Blood Cell, DiggNation

Facebook + YouTube + Pandora = DropPlay. Search for songs (which play via YouTube), get music recommendations and share with friends. (VentureBeat) Picks Up Blood Cell; web horror series stars Jessica Rose (aka Lonelygirl15) and was produced by 60Frames. (The Hollywood Reporter)

DiggNation Guys Were on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Last Night; as if last night’s episode couldn’t get any geekier, Fallon also incorporated a Twitter experiment (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon) Now that nerds have their foot in the door, our friends at JKonTheRun want in on some of that sweet Fallon action.

SpeedCine Shows You Where to Find Films Online; just-launched database will eventually show you where to find your favorite movie via streaming or download. (SpeedCine) Goes Really High-Def with 1080p Video Gallery; select shows and content can be watched at the video portal in super high quality. (emailed release)

Adify Updates its Ad Network Platform; version 4.0 gives advertisers post-impression tracking tools, as well as updated dashboard tools. (Contentinople)

FreeWheel and Attributor Partner on User-Generated Video; two startups will combine content tracking and ad inventory systems. (MediaPost)

Online Celebrities or Mainstream Celebrities: Who Should You Cast?

Mindy Kaling or Michael Buckley? Jessica Alba or Jessica Rose? Of course it helps to have well-known faces attached to your web series, but from what world should you draw them: the mainstream media, or the online video community? (Because the 6th thing we learned at NewTeeVee Live is that there’s definitely still a divide.)
If you’re not looking to be a flash in the pan viral hit, but rather a long-term success, you might reconsider the involvement of the truly famous. While having a known name like Amy Poehler behind your show is of course a huge benefit at launch time, for any sort of longevity you still have to build an audience for that actor within the online video community. And that actor has to be invested enough to stick around.
Felicia Williams of Next New Networks said on a recent panel at OMMA that “when a traditional celebrity embraces online video, such as when Jessica Alba challenged the Internet to a staring contest, it does huge numbers, but if that’s not the case it’s anyone’s guess.” Co-panelist Jake Zim of Safran Digital Group (whose projects include PG Porn), on the other hand, believes that it depends on your company’s business model. Safran focuses on the possibility of selling its projects “upstream” (ie: to TV networks and other opportunities), which is easier with mainstream personalities known offline. “But Gary Vaynerchuk,” whose phenomenally successful Wine Library TV made him one of our breakout video stars, “will work his ass off,” Safran said.

As mainstream celebrity’s increasing expansion into online video is a pretty new phenomenon, the success of shows like Poehler’s Smart Girls At the Party is hard to measure. But because mainstream celebrities are often busy doing, you know, whatever made them celebrities in the first place, hinging a project’s success on their availability is a dangerous game. Read More about Online Celebrities or Mainstream Celebrities: Who Should You Cast?

Are People Pledging Sorority Forever?

The first episode of Sorority Forever, the web series from starring former lonelygirl Jessica Rose, was seen by 1.2 million people in its first week, according to Mark D’Arcy, chief creative officer of the Time Warner global media group who spoke at WebbyConnect Conference this week (hat tip to CNET for being there).

Sorority Forever is shown on and is syndicated out to the likes of MySpace (which gets the show before other partners), as well as Veoh, TiVo, Dailymotion and Joost. The series launched at the beginning of September and has released 34 episodes to date.
The WB tells me that it’s releasing official streaming numbers next week, but until then here’s what we know: The first episode of Sorority Forever did 103,606 plays to date on MySpace. Of the 41 Sorority videos on MySpace (which also includes weekly recaps), twelve have generated more than 100,000 plays. Four episodes on MySpace have broken 200,000 plays, and the titles for those four episodes are: “Sexy Bra Shopping,” “Girl on Girl,” “Omega Party” (which has a thumbnail of a blindfolded girl licking a guy’s chest), and “Drunk Chicks” (ahh, sweet, predictable Internet).
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