Seattle Office of Film + Music

Game retailers mull impact of downloading
June 12, 2009, 10:52 am
Filed under: Digital Media | Tags: , ,

Hollywood Reporter
Will digital downloads kill the video game store? That’s the multibillion dollar question facing retailers from Wal-Mart and Target to GameStop, as Internet distributors continue to grow. Retailers including Target splashed out on large booths at last week’s E3 Expo in Los Angeles, showcasing games such as Activision’s “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” But gamers — especially on personal computers — are increasingly turning to alternative methods to play and buy games, such as downloading or “streaming” online games, rather than trekking to a store.

June 9, 2009, 10:50 am
Filed under: Digital Media | Tags: ,

Hollywood Reporter
Wall Street is holding its breath in anticipation of the Dow finally closing at a gain for the year. On Monday, it was still 12 points shy of positive territory. Meanwhile, most big-media stocks are up year-to-date amid signs that the worst of the recession is over and the ad market is stabilizing, not to mention the booming film boxoffice. The Hollywood Reporter Showbiz 50 index is up 10% this year, compared with the Dow’s less-than-flat performance

June 8, 2009, 11:00 am
Filed under: Digital Media | Tags: , , ,

Seattle Weekly
Seattle tech startup UrbanSpoon scored such a hit with its iPhone app that it sold last month to IAC/InterActiveCorp. That company is madly acquiring other small app makers who score on the ubiquitous handheld platform. In a New York Times story, UrbanSpoon is reported to be “one of the App Store’s most popular products, having been downloaded close to five million times.” But there’s another local connection to this Seattle success story. IAC is a partnership between media mogul Barry Diller and By trolling the app market, IAC is betting on the so-called “long tail” model of doing lots of little sales over a long period of time, rather than depending on one big blockbuster of a game or movie (which take much longer and much more money to develop). Thus, IAC assembles a portfolio of apps with a potential cross-selling link to Amazon.

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
Filed under: Digital Media | Tags: , ,

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
Filed under: Digital Media | Tags: , , ,

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.