Seattle Office of Film + Music

June 8, 2009, 10:51 am
Filed under: Digital Media | Tags: , ,

Hollywood Reporter
Sweden’s Pirate Party, which wants to abolish copyright laws and protect Internet privacy, has won a seat in the European Parliament. The Pirate Party captured 7.1% of the Swedish vote Sunday, enough to secure it one of Sweden’s 18 seats in the Europe’s 785-seat parliament. The party wants to deregulate copyright protections, ditch the patent system entirely and greatly restrict government surveillance of Internet users. Though not connected to Sweden’s infamous Pirate Bay file sharing site, the Pirate Party has ridden a wave a popular support following April’s conviction of the four Pirate Bay founders

How the iPhone Is Shaking Up the Videogame Business
June 5, 2009, 9:38 am
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The iPhone has revolutionized everything. It’s going to enable incredible things for gaming,” says Neil Young. No, not the guy with the guitar and muttonchops, but the one who spent years churning out blockbusters as the head of Electronic Arts’ gargantuan Los Angeles studio. Since splitting from EA last June, his startup ngmoco (short for next generation mobile company) has been cranking out games for Apple’s all-in-one device. Young says the iPhone platform represents an “inflective moment” for the industry, one that necessitates a whole new approach to development and distribution.

June 3, 2009, 3:30 pm
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The E3 2009 media briefing in Los Angeles, California included announcements on Super Mario Wii, Metroid: Other M, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Wii Sports Resort, and Wii Fit Plus. Nintendo triumphed by adding classics into the mix of these new games , which is sure to keep hardcore gamers happy. The media briefing also included announcements by Microsoft on The Beatles: Rock Band, Tony Hawk: Ride, Metal Gear Solid Rising, Alan Wake and Project Natal. E3 Expo is the world’s premiere trade show for computer and video games and related products.

June 1, 2009, 12:11 pm
Filed under: Digital Media, Film | Tags: ,

New York Times
It’s not easy to follow the bouncing keyboard of John August, the Web-savvy Hollywood screenwriter whose credits include “Big Fish” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Last month, Mr. August decided to try his luck with Amazon’s Kindle. Mr. August made a study of Kindle formatting, all of which he has described on his site, which offers a quick guide for do-it-yourself publishers with his own self-formatted story as a teaching tool. Once formatted, his screenplay, “The Variant,” was offered to readers for 99 cents, either via or as a 25-page PDF file on As of Friday, “The Variant” was ranked No. 69 on Amazon’s list of most popular Kindle offerings, right behind “My Sister’s Keeper,” by Jodi Picoult. “I’ve made about enough to buy four Kindles,” said Mr. August.

May 29, 2009, 10:24 am
Filed under: Digital Media | Tags: ,

Google has set out to rewire the e-mail inbox with a new product called Wave. Wave is a web-based application that marries multiple forms of communication and collaboration, including chat, mail and wikis, into a unified interface. Everything inside Wave happens in real time: You can even see a comment being made as the person is typing it, character-by-character. Google Wave, which was demonstrated Thursday at the Google I/O developer conference taking place here, is now live as a private developer preview. Conference attendees can start playing with it now, and Google has its eye on a public beta launch within a few months. It’s a peculiar model we haven’t seen before, sort of a “chat inside e-mail” approach that has the potential to profoundly alter the way we share information and collaborate with one another.

May 29, 2009, 10:23 am
Filed under: Digital Media, Film | Tags: , ,

Hollywood Reporter
Can Hollywood movie studios save the video game business? It seems an unlikely scenario given the studies that suggest moviegoers are increasingly forgoing the latest film releases to spend their time and money playing “Grand Theft Auto.” But with year-over-year game sales down, the industry finds itself on a bit of a losing streak as it descends on the Los Angeles Convention Center next week for the annual E3 video game confab. What could turn things around is the potential growth market of games based on film and television properties.

Microsoft ‘Bing’ Would Bring New Life to Old Domain
May 29, 2009, 10:18 am
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PC World
Microsoft’s planning to relaunch its Live search engine under the name “Bing,” a recent report suggests. Bing will debut with a massive ad campaign costing upward of $100 million, the folks at AdvertisingAge claim, putting both the “Live” brand and the “Kumo” codename into Microsoft’s big brand graveyard. But what is “Bing,” anyway? Its definitions vary from “a heap or pile” to “a blackish sweet cherry.” Its Web site, though, has a slightly more colorful palette. Sure, is coming up mainly blank as of now — but not too long ago, someone else had a thing for Bing.

Microsoft has new Zune in the works
May 29, 2009, 10:17 am
Filed under: Digital Media | Tags: , ,

Hollywood Reporter
Microsoft plans to launch a new version of its Zune portable media player this year in the U.S., incorporating high-definition video, touch-screen technology and WiFi connection. Microsoft said Tuesday that the new Zune, its answer to Apple’s popular iPod digital music player, also will come with an Internet browser and a built-in HD radio receiver that offers higher-quality sound than traditional radio. It did not give a price or a specific date, but said it is due in the fall. The company added new features to Zune’s music service last year, enabling users to download music wirelessly and buy songs they hear on the device’s built-in FM radio.

May 26, 2009, 11:33 am
Filed under: Digital Media | Tags: ,

Business Week
After years of neglecting the Mac as a platform for games, Apple’s phone, not its computers, offers the most gaming promise. The iPhone’s tech-savvy base of 21 million users is an ideal audience for a new breed of compelling games that should make the device even more compelling. Between the iPhone and the iPod Touch, which can also run the same games, Apple could soon have the best-selling handheld platform on the market. Developers are whipping up some inventive ideas for new iPhone games. Hawkins asked me to imagine playing Batman as a character in a superhero game, then having him follow when I switch to a baseball game, where the Caped Crusader becomes an incredibly skilled second baseman. In a fantasy-adventure game, Batman becomes a monster-killing warrior who is deft with a battle ax. The same thing could happen with items featured in games. A magic wand in one game might become a sword or a laser gun in the next, Hawkins says.

May 22, 2009, 11:03 am
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Having followed Pandora’s progress for nearly a decade, I’ve seen the company do just about everything one can do with interactive radio — except for turn a profit. That will change in 2010, according to Pandora founder Tim Westergren. He told Bloomberg on Monday that Pandora could make as much as $40 million in revenue this year — and that it will become profitable for the first time next year on the strength of its seemingly ever-expanding user base and an iPhone app that attracts around 20,000 new users each day.