Blog Post

YouTube Screening Room Launches

This evening, I’m updating live from the YouTube Screening Room launch party in Los Angeles, where a press conference will reveal more details about YouTube’s plans to showcase and distribute online high-quality short films from around the world — four shorts to be released every two weeks, with feature-length projects to be considered on a case-by-case basis. Press release includes strong language about “creating new business opportunities for filmmakers,” with all participants enrolled in revenue-sharing and able to link out to sites where the films are available for sale.

UPDATED (Thursday): The first set of short films includes Are You the Favorite Person of Anybody? written by Miranda July (Me and You And Everyone We Know) and directed by Miguel Artega (Chuck and Buck), which was first premiered in 2006 in Wholphin DVD Magazine:

The other films featured are:

  • The Danish Poet, written and directed by Torill Kove, and winner of the 2007 Academy Award for Best Animated Short
  • Our Time is Up, written and directed by Rob Pearlstein, and nominated for the 2006 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short
  • Love and War, written and directed by Fredrik Emilson, released in 2006

Chris is skeptical about the program’s success — what I’m still wondering, though, is if this really will give the undiscovered filmmaker a chance to get greater exposure. While YouTube Film and Animation Manager Sara Pollack was vague on how future films will be selected by an undisclosed editorial team, citing a process of word-of-mouth and filmmaker outreach, she did promise that filmmakers could email YouTube directly at [email protected] to pitch their films. Hopefully they’ll be able to find some hidden gems in the mass of unsolicited submissions they’re doomed to receive — if only so the Screening Room can occasionally feature films produced in the last year.

12 Responses to “YouTube Screening Room Launches”

  1. It appears a major press release has been overlooked from February of 2008.

    (June 19, 2008 – Hollywood, CA) Metropolis Pictures Entertainment, Inc. announces the first and only online global movie theatre, previously known as the Metropolis Global Theatre, has moved to as the Cinepix Theatre.

    The first and only international online movie theatre, Cinepix Theatre, was originally conceived by Francis Xavier, Chief Executive Officer, and Michael R. Kureth, Chief Operating Officer, of Metropolis Pictures Entertainment, Inc. in June of 2007 to offer independent filmmakers and major studios a new and free method of global exposure where they would be compensated for their films being seen around the world subtitled in the user’s language. The copyright for this creation was approved by the Library of Congress on November 7, 2007, and the patent for the invention was accepted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in January of 2008. The theatre launched on February 18, 2008 featuring three short films and four of the five feature films produced by Metropolis Pictures Entertainment, Inc.

    Short and feature film submissions have been open to both independent filmmakers and major studios at both standard definition (864×486) and high definition (1920×1080 or 1080×720) using H.264 compression (Blu-ray Disc quality) for playback in full screen mode. This service is available for free to filmmakers for two weeks where they are compensated for 50% of every view. The site and film shown is dynamically subtitled in the user’s language offering access to a global audience with supported languages including English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Russian, Polish, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. All films are given the highest level of protection using Adobe’s Flash Media Rights Management Server.

    Starting in the theatre Monday, June 23, 2008, the prequel to the pilot episode of “The Ear of the Beholder,” will be shown starring legendary Oscar nominated and Golden Globe Award winning actress Sally Kirkland and directed by Francis Xavier. The twelve minute film showcases one of the year’s best performances in a short film by a lead actress and will follow up with a pilot for cable television based on her character, Marlena Smith, an old fading, nymphomaniac film star who must deal with the competitive life of younger actresses, must pay for sex, and keep it a secret from family and friends.

    Next week, June 30, 2008, “The Ear of the Beholder” will be available in the Cinepix Theatre in thirteen languages giving audiences around the world the only true global theatre experience.

    Articles and Interviews from the February launch:

    Press Contact:
    Metropolis Pictures Entertainment, Inc., P.O. Box 623, Hollywood, CA 91603 | – [email protected]

  2. Will it be entirely curated or will it be a true marketplace where the audience can judge the quality of the work (without it being pre-screened)?

    Of course allowing a free for all means bandwidth issues, but… YouTube is one of the few who could do it…