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Hukilau Proposes a New Way to Produce Entertainment
DPRGRM/Pilotlite, Michael Mailer Films and ELC Technologies announced today a joint venture to launch a "crowdsource" style studio called "Hukilau".
By: Michael Dennis
"We are looking to revolutionize the way independent films and video content is produced, financed, and distributed utilizing 21st Century web technologies._
Crowdsourcing is a term used for the act of taking tasks traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and outsourcing them to a group of people or community, through an "open call" to a large group of people (a crowd) asking for contributions. The term has become popular with businesses, authors, and journalists as shorthand for the trend of leveraging the mass collaboration enabled by Web 2.0 technologies to achieve business goals. Hukilau will be applying this method to the funding and staffing of video, film and ARG projects.
"Hukilau is a response to the current and future predicaments facing medium to low budget film. Namely, that funding for traditional sources (i.e. studios, networks and even angel investors) has become almost non-existent for such projects." Said Hukilau founder, Joseph Matheny. He continued. "This predicament also spells a lack of viewing choices for fans of those films as well. We propose to spearhead our solution with a site that functions as a portal for first time or established filmmakers to propose short or feature length film/video or ARG style projects to a community of film enthusiasts and aspiring or established producers for crowdsource style funding. It could also be used for a number of projects, like aspiring bands wanting to make a music video. "
"Hukilau also functions as a viewing station for film and video enthusiasts to view, purchase, rate and interact with content, other enthusiasts and content creators. By providing cutting edge distribution techniques and channels, we propose to build a supply and demand chain for a market that is all but being abandoned by modern media studios and networks. I made the decision to include Alternate Reality Game style projects because I think the next generation of storytelling will happen in a transmedia environment. I'd like to help that discipline find its feet and grow into its potential. We had achieved great success with Pilotlite, including local and national news coverage, so we felt it was time to take it to the next level."
In order to submit a project for consideration, a creator must present a finished treatment, a budget and a schedule. A finished script and trailer is optional but helpful. Once a committee has approved the project, it is then placed in a "showroom" which allows aspiring and established producers and crew to contribute or volunteer. Once a project has reached its' funding goals, the funds are released on schedule. Creators are encouraged to use the Hukilau digital distribution channel for finished projects as well.
Purchase how? I can buy Hollywood movies in my hotel room, from my Apple TV or online from my laptop. Hukilau solves my real-world problem--encouraging the production and availability of authentic entertainment. I watch movies to see stories. In the past, a movie with a specific actor meant a level of quality of the story. It is no longer true. At the same time and for the same reason Hollywood anchor actors have lost their ability to define a blockbuster.
The Hollywood model needs to change. The cost to produce a film is at an all-time low. Instead of fewer movies that cost more, I want to see many, many more movies that cost less. I want to support nascent filmmakers who have a fire in their belly. I want to encourage commercially successful filmmakers to rediscover their art and passion.
The ecosystem for movie birthing, funding, development, production and distribution is changing. It is changing faster than the major film studios can adapt--the new ecosystem will put the gatekeepers into a lesser role--like has happened for music labels. Hukilau is a vision for the new ecosystem. Do you have a passion to tell a story in film? Come to Hukilau and find community support--from financing to teammates. Gain sophisticated online engagement tools for your fans and take feedback as you see fit. When you are ready--release your movie and keep the lion's share of your proceeds--or bring onboard a Hukilau partner to do the marketing and press thing for you. It's a completely new model that meets the market need with a vision to the future of the industry. "
Hukilau is currently taking requests for beta testers at http://hukilau.us it is scheduled for public beta in Feb. 2010. Aspiring and established creators are encouraged to apply for a beta invite and to ready projects for submission.
DPRGRM is on-line digital production studio founded by Joseph Matheny in 2004. DPRGRM has produced red carpet and behind the scenes events for the Los Angeles Film Festival, The Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the ABA All Stars Game and other outlets. They have also worked with transitioning traditional media clients into a transmedia environment, such as shows from The Speed Channel, Spike, and CBS. They also produce several podcasts, such as the LAFF/LA Times interview series, literary interview podcasts for The Nervousbreakdown.com (as seen in the LA Times) and pop culture podcasts for Alterati. DPRGRM and MMF previously collaborated on Pilotlite, an independent pilot contest that received national and local news coverage in 2008. Joseph Matheny has worked in digital media for 20 years, including being involved in the creation and dissemination of technologies like PDF, DVD, Podcasting, ARG and eBooks. More information at http://dprgrm.com
About Jonathan Siegel
Jonathan Siegel is the founder of ELC Technologies. ELC builds the products you love--from FunnyOrDie to ESPN and Nascar. As an entrepreneur, Jonathan has played a founding role in three Ruby on Rails product businesses: RightCart.com and RightScale.com and RightSignature.com. Jonathan negotiated the sale of RightCart.com to Buy.com in 2007 and sold RightScale to Index and Benchmark in 2009 after the company raised $18mn. Jonathan holds degrees in Physics and Computer Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara. More information at http://www.jsiegel.com/