I loves me a good scary movie! Producer Marie and I went to a late showing of indie sweetheart ‘It Follows’, and I had to share my thoughts as soon as I got home. It’s an indie horror sweetheart, but does it live up to the hype? Let’s chat about some spooooooooky things…
This last week we got a first look at the reboot for Fantastic Four, and it looks like it will be a darker departure from the first two films.
But did you know the “first” two FF films really weren’t the first?
Back in 1994 a film was produced, shot, and edited, but was never intended to be released. It was made solely for the studio to retain the rights, no small chunk of change considering the estimated budget of $1.5 million. We’re treated to some glorious, schlocky, low-budget film making from none other than Roger Corman.
Never intended for the light of day, but you can watch it on the Youtubes. Enjoy!
George Romero redefined the zombie genre with his 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead, but it wasn’t originally titled that. It was originally called Night of the Flesh Eaters, but when the distribution company changed the name, they accidentally deleted the copyright from the titles. Romero’s greatest work fell instantly into the public domain.
You can own, share, and edit the film any way you want. All totally legally.
The movie is still remarkably effective. It’s claustrophobic and paranoid. Plus there’s just something fun about old black and white horror flicks. There are several ways to watch the movie today. Several versions have been uploaded to Youtube, there’s a version on Netflix, but by far my favorite is the one hosted on Archive.org.
On the site is a high definition rip of the film which clocks in at over 16GB. It’s one of the best looking copies of the film I’ve ever seen, and looks incredible on HD TV’s and monitors. Give yourself plenty of time for the download though. That’s a pretty big file for Archive’s servers to dole out.
Enjoy and Happy Halloween!
After purchasing back $8.2 Billion worth of shares from Vivendi, Activision Blizzard is now a properly independent company. A majority of the company is now owned by public shareholders. From CEO Bobby Kotick:
“With the completion of this transaction we open a new chapter in the history of Activision Blizzard. We expect immediate shareholder benefits in the form of earnings-per-share accretion and strategic and operational independence. Our audiences and our incredibly talented employees around the world will benefit from a focused commitment to the creation of great games. Our shareholders and debt holders will have the benefit of an energized, invested, deeply committed management team focused on generating long-term, superior returns and effectively managing our capital structure.”
After trying (and failing) again this past May to offload Activision Blizzard, it would appear Vivendi finally found the perfect buyer. It never completely made sense to me why exactly Vivendi wanted to part with a profitable business, but now investors have less potential uncertainty to worry about now that A/B is a solo venture. With Skylanders: Swapforce, COD: Ghosts, and Destiny on the horizon I think shareholders will be in for a pretty decent year.
Full PR after the jump.
Currently available in only seven states, Aereo streams TV over the internet for $8 a month. Unlike Hulu or Netflix which have to enter into costly negotiations and pay huge licensing fees for content, Aereo streams basic HD TV, much like you can get on an Over the Air Antenna. The company is able to skirt that expense by pulling a little old school trickery. For every customer who signs up, Aereo operates a separate HD antenna just for them. You’re essentially paying for mobility and cloud storage, the ability to watch TV on any gadget you want, anywhere you have data.
Unsurprisingly, TV networks aren’t thrilled with this business model, and you can imagine the courtroom battles taking place over who owns what, and how content can be distributed. The most recent salvo is a copyright dispute, and leading up to the trial broadcasters filed an injunction to pull the plug on Aereo.
This morning Boston Judge Nathaniel Gorton refused to grant the injunction, saying in his ruling that Aereo better resembled a DVR, and that Aereo did not resemble other services which illegally rebroadcast content. When elaborating on claims that this service was financially harming broadcasters, Judge Gorton acknowledged that Aereo could pose a long term threat to traditional distribution, but that it didn’t appear to be causing any such harm currently.
Aereo is free to continue operating leading up to the trial, and then there will be another fight to help define the boundaries of digital media and distribution. It’s clear that consumers are increasingly looking for alternatives to their current relationships with carriers and broadcasters.
Read the full court transcript after the jump.
We can all agree that Nielsen’s model of ranking television is woefully dated. This antiquated notion of sampling individual families and asking them to log what they watch and when they watch it. All of this fantastic technology, you’d think by now there would be a way for users to opt-in to a piece of software which can be run as an app on a DVR or TIVO. Alas, we still don’t have that, but Nielsen is trying to take some steps to track the popularity of content moving forward.
Their preferred platform to watch? Twitter.
Now I’m not saying this is a bad idea. Twitter has shown a terrific aptitude for being culturally relevant down to the instant news might hit the internet. Those momentary and temporary interactions are great for surveying a general sense of a trend, but the biggest issue in social media metrics is tracking actual engagement. Often when using Twitter as benchmark we can only confidently talk about “potential impressions”. I have a couple thousand followers on Twitter, so when I tweet, there’s the POTENTIAL for a couple thousand people to encounter my message. There is, however, no concrete way to determine how many of my followers stopped to actually read my tweet.
Which is why Nielsen’s announcement is so perplexing to me. My DVR knows what I watch and when I watch it, even when I’m watching live TV. It knows how long I watched a show, exactly when I turned it off, if I returned to finish a show, and whether I wanted to keep it stored on my drive. It also is able to serve me recommendations based on what I’ve watched in the past. If we’re looking for relevance, for actual metrics on TV viewing, this to me would be a more appropriate first line to partner up with.
Neilsen’s notion that they can derive viewership based on authored tweets, and extrapolate that out to people who aren’t tweeting but still watching TV seems even less accurate than their current method of tracking viewership.
I get it. Twitter is hip right now. But the other issue is one of institution. Neilsen still looks like it’s operating with the notion that once a system is constructed that operating within that structure will provide meaningful results. The way communication is generated online evolves on a daily basis, and each individual network has it’s own etiquette which also adapts to changing trends. Whats vogue today might not be tomorrow, and viewership probably changes by platform. Meaning, you’ll be likely to see some subtle yet unique trends in viewership moving from Twitter to Facebook to Google Plus to Reddit, etc.
Combining that data with location becomes vital, not only the physical presence of where a person was when watching, but whether it came from terrestrial “air”, cable, or some web portal like Hulu or Netflix. Decisions are made every day on renewing or cancelling shows based on data generated by services like Nielsen, but I’m not sure their new strategy here is really going to make them more relevant…
In light of their upcoming IPO though, this is fantastic news for Twitter.
Read Nielsen’s full statement after the jump. Continue reading “Nielsen, Twitter, and making sense of changing metrics”