Archive for December, 2007

Distribution by Download

12th December 2007

The Associated Press reports that Universal Pictures is starting to experiment with HD digital downloads of movies with the release of The Bourne Ultimatum via the online distributor, Vudu.

The film was available for download yesterday, which was the same day the DVD came out.

Universal Pictures, the studio behind the “Bourne” movies, is the first to offer a downloadable HD version of a movie the same day as the DVD is released.

In addition to working with Universal, Vudu has signed deals to distribute HD content from Paramount Pictures and Lionsgate Entertainment Corp. Universal is owned by NBC Universal, a joint venture of General Electric Co. and Vivendi Universal, while Paramount is a division of Viacom Inc. Lionsgate is independent.

The Vudu box, which first went on sale in October, offers a catalog of about 5,000 standard-definition films, which can be rented for 99 cents to $4.99. Some films, including the HD editions of the “Bourne” films, can only be purchased, meaning they can be stored permanently on the set-top.

“The Bourne Identity,” “The Bourne Supremacy,” and “The Bourne Ultimatum” will sell for $24.99 each, though Vudu customers can get the two older movies for free during the holiday season.

Welcome to the age of digital downloads.

Stuckemarkt 08

11th December 2007

Dramatists and theatre publishers from all over Europe are invited to submit new plays in any European language for the Stückemarkt 2008. The only requirement is that the plays must not have been premièred or performed in Germany before.

The jury, consisting of renowned theatre professionals from various fields, will select five texts for the Stückemarkt. These will then be presented in scenic readings during the Theatertreffen in May. Experienced directors and dramaturges will produce these readings in cooperation with the authors.

Five further authors will be selected by the jury to take part in the dramatists’ workshop with the author and dramaturg John von Düffel.

Together with the German Federal Agency for Civic Education the Stückemarkt will award the New Playwriting Prize and the tt stückemarkt Commission, both include a world premiere at a leading German-language theatre. New in 2008: One of the ten selected plays will be adapted for radio by Deutschlandradio Kultur.

The New Playwriting Prize is worth €5,000 Euro. It will be awarded to one of the authors whose play is presented as a staged reading. There is one notable change from 2007: the Development Prize for New Writing is now coupled with a premiere at the Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin.

The tt stückemarkt Commission, first awarded in 2007 and worth €7,000, is awarded to one of the participants in the playwriting workshop of the Stückemarkt. The author’s new play will be premiered at a leading theatre.

Applications must be postmarked no later than December 15th, 2007. Please consult the web site for more details.

Smock Alley on Hold

7th December 2007

The Stage reports that the €7.2 million plan by the Gaiety School of Acting to redevelop the Smock Alley Theatre in Temple Bar, Dublin has been stalled by planning objections.

According to the local resident, there is concern about the noise that a theatre in the area would generate, particularly as it would include a bar. Damien Cassidy, of the Irish Heritage and Conservation Group, said he was objecting because he felt it would be more in keeping with the original architecture of the area if a church, which had occupied part of the half-acre site, was restored, rather than the theatre. It was a “totally unsuitable” venue for a theatre, he claimed.

The Gaiety School’s ambitious plans include a 220-seat theatre, plus a 110-seat studio space and seven rehearsal/training studios. Fund-raising is on target for the project, which has been described as “inspirational” by Irish Hollywood star Liam Neeson, one of the acting school’s patrons.

In a message to school director Partrick Sutton, he wrote: “I am particularly excited about this project. For the school to rebuild a theatre on the site of the original 1662 Smock Alley is inspirational. For it to be a resource for the theatre community as a whole is an added bonus. “

Sources 2 Extended

7th December 2007

Screen Training Ireland has extended the deadline for applications to the SOURCES 2 Script Development Workshop to the 15th December 2007.

SOURCES 2 is a professional training organisation providing the European film industry with high level script development programmes. Between 1992 and 2007, the Dutch Foundation SOURCES realized 55 workshops in 17 European countries. The efficiency of SOURCES 2 Script Development Workshops lies in their special format. During the seven-day session, participants work in small groups with four or five projects each, guided by internationally experienced advisers. The following period of approximately three months is dedicated to re-writes, and is coached by the script advisers involved. The second session is either an individual or a small group consultation of one day per project.

For more information on how to apply please consult the STI web site.

Irish at Sundance ‘08

6th December 2007

IFTN reports that two Irish writers will have their work screened at this year’s Sundance Film Festival from the 17-27 January 2008, in Park City, Salt Lake City, USA.

‘The Sound of People’, written and directed by Simon Fitzmaurice, and produced by Noreen Donohoe, is the only Irish short among the19 titles chosen for the Dramatic Shorts selection, and was shortlisted from over 5,000 entries. The film stars Irish actor Martin McCann as eighteen-year-old Stephen, a young man who connects with his past and future and stares into the face of his own death. Fitzmaurice said: “I am absolutely over the moon about getting into Sundance. Everyone worked heart and soul on this film and this is a wonderful response.”

Ken Wardrop will showcase two films in the Documentary Shorts selection: ‘Farewell Packets of Ten’ and ‘Scoring’. ‘Packets of Ten’ is about two ladies discussing the pros and cons of their addiction to cigarettes, while ‘Scoring’ reveals the true power of a kiss.