Online travel community Airbnb asked its users to submit scripted shots from all over the world in the form of Vines – six-second videos – via Twitter. They used the resulting film, entitled Hollywood …
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The domestic box office might not be growing at all if it weren’t for producers re-discovering an extra dimension. Here and in Canada, practically all the growth in box office revenue has come from the 3D box office, a data point that is not lost on Hollywood producers desperately seeking hits.
The problem with streaming video to different devices—computers, tablets, phones, and whatever else—is that they all demand subtly different streams if they’re to look their best. If you’re Netflix, which streams to 900 different types of device, that leaves you with some work to do.
According to Netflix, it has to encode each and every movie it offers in 120 different ways. Add to that the crowd sourcing of subtitles, global variation in titles and formats, and an armful of other problems, and the work Netflix has to go to makes $8 a month seem even better value. The video above was used at a Netflix recruitment fair—but gives a decent insight into how its video wends its way from Hollywood to your tablet. [GigaOm]
Forget about the top ten reasons you should quit Facebook. Heck, forget about all the other reasons too because this is the new definitive reason why you will quit Facebook: Zuckerberg now wants to put ads directly in your feed.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Facebook wants to put advertising in your News Feed. The News Feed is the stream of information that you see when you get into Facebook. It’s populated by status, images, posts and all the activities from your best friends.
If they go through with this plan, your new best friends would be car manufacturers, the latest stupid Hollywood movies and some underpants brand. Worst of all, you would not be able to hide those advertisers forever. It seems that Facebook is thinking about taking away the ability to filter those ads, just like when you hide the posts from friends who are not really your friends.
You know, I was going to write a long rant detailing why this potential feed ad clusterzuck is all shades of wrong, but I won’t. This could be so damn annoying that the only thing I want to write is “Fuck you, Facebook.” So:
Fuck you, Facebook.
Traditionally, only the mammoth Hollywood studios could afford to work with 3D—it’s too expensive to build the necessary, air-conditioned 24 hours a day, server farms. The company behind Despicable Me decided to try something new, and cut the AC.
Illumination Entertainment, the company behind Despicable Me, decided to try something new. Instead of using air-conditioned server farms to render images, the company asked IBM to built a customized server farm using the iDataPlex system, a processing system that cuts down on energy use by 40% compared to traditional server farms.
The iDataPlex has two key advantages: a flexible configuration that doubles the amount of systems that can run in a single IBM rack and the ability to run an ambient temperature room (no costly air-conditioning required). The system has been on the market for over a year, but Illumination is the first studio to use it for animated film.
This doesn’t mean that any scrappy studio with a dream can now produce a high-end 3-D animated film. Illumination used a 330-person team of artists, producers, and support staff to produce 142 terabytes of data. And the rendering farm, which processed up to 500,000 frames per week, was built in conjunction with Mac Guff Ligne, a French digital production studio.
But the iDataPlex gives Illumination a leg up in the graphics rendering process. Illumination Entertainment’s server farm, for example, is the size of four parking spots. That’s half the amount of space the company initially allotted to the farm. “Oftentimes a small studio like Illumination really wants to put their energy behind creating as compelling of content as possible,” explains Steve Canepa, Vice President, Media & Entertainment Industry at IBM. “By minimizing the technological issues associated with building and managing the [rendering] environment, we allow studios to reduce the amount of time, energy, and resources necessary to create an underlying technological platform.”
It’s a compelling idea for studios—even major ones—that want to cut costs and look environmentally conscious at the same time. IBM is already working with a number of other studios to implement similar solutions. Canepa concedes that studios could build similar systems by purchasing off-the-shelf racks and processors, but the iDataPlex’s unique configuration of servers packs a lot of processing power into a small space—and that’s not easy to replicate. Don’t expect these rigs to be appearing in suburban garages anytime soon.
Fast Company empowers innovators to challenge convention and create the future of business.
(Evidently, domestic grosses of $533,345,358, $748,590,960 and $331,666,06, respectively, weren’t enough for Hollywood—nor was the fact that Avatar made $120,000,000 just on IMAX screens, just in the US.)
So a more extreme version of gouging begins at theaters. And just as the public cried about $10 movie tickets while continuing to flood the theaters in droves, many will still pay $20 to see the latest Shrek, complaining about it until they forget that the world was ever any different.
But you know what? I won’t, not now or in the near future. And I’m about as fiscally irresponsible and movie obsessed as idiots come. That’s a bad sign for movie theaters and studios alike, as it means the more sane amongst you will bail on theaters for sure (if you haven’t already).
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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