Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) Latest News about Amazon.com and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Latest News about Microsoft have come together to launch the 1,000 Indies Project, in which the online retailer will sell independent films in the HD DVD format via its CustomFlix DVD on Demand service.
The venture, according to Microsoft, is designed to lower the barriers to entry for filmmakers to produce and distribute movies in the HD DVD format by providing free authoring and setup services for as many as 1,000 selected indie titles.
Genius, sheer genius. Let’s take a format that few have adopted and combine it with obscure movies that most people couldn’t be paid to watch and stand back and let the magic just happen. I mean I’ll grant that most of the studio players in the great war to determine which of the two next generation high def DVD formats people will buy the least and indies are the next frontier but aside from the random 2 or 3 movies that actually hit big, this is a tiny market. Most indie distributors have better things to do than try to package their movies in a format few consumers even have and when you combine the tiny drawing power of HD DVD with the tiny drawing power of indies, you might as well just give up and let the figures t hit negative numbers.
This collaboration with Microsoft is a great opportunity for independent filmmakers to reach Amazon customers with their films via the HD DVD format,” said Peter Faricy, vice president of music and movies at Amazon.com. “By working together with Microsoft and leveraging the proven CustomFlix DVD on Demand model, we can lower the barriers to entry for independent filmmakers and dramatically increase the selection we offer our customers.”
On Demand is great but the problem with On Demand is it requires demand. Granted in theory indie watchers may also crossover with early adoptees, the sort of people willing to blow money on an HD DVD setup but it’s an uncertain crossover at best.
Joining the two companies, the Sundance Channel will review the high-definition features for possible broadcast on the pay-TV network. The channel has also committed to making its own original eco-series in high-definition, “Big Ideas for a Small Planet,” that will also be available using the CustomFlix service.
Yup, now I know we can’t lose. The Sundance Channel might possibly consider airing some HD movies. Finally you can see Parker Posey’s eyebrows and that foreign guy’s nose in HD. We ain’t talking Star Wars here. Your average indy could benefit from lower resolutions, less lighting and smaller screen size rather than the other way around.