|By Jeff Goldman||
|November 25, 2003 01:06 PM EST||
Mixing creative collaboration with technical ingenuity, the World's Smallest Film Festival is finding innovative ways to encourage the development of mobile content.
Combine the services of a mobile content aggregator with the excitement of a film festival, and you get the World's Smallest Film Festival, an ongoing project of BigDigit, Inc. (www.bigdigit.com). By soliciting submissions of films that are specifically targeted for use on mobile phones, the festival seeks to encourage and reward the creation of mobile content. "It's an ideal way to combine the technology with the creative elements that get people passionate," says Beau Buck, the company's CEO.
The first two full-scale festivals have been held at CTIA Wireless 2003 in New Orleans and at Mobile Commerce World 2003 in London. Entries were accepted, finalists were chosen, and winners were announced at the conferences. Buck says there are plans for festivals in 2004 at the National Association of Television Program Executives' annual conference, and at a government- sponsored event in South Korea. "It's captured the attention of a lot of people," he says.
The strength of the World's Smallest Film Festival lies in its ability to engage all parties who have an interest in encouraging content development. It attracts the interest of manufacturers and operators who want to obtain more content, and it also excites content developers at a grassroots level. "Short filmmakers are always looking for a market for their content - there are very few ways to make money in that business," Buck says.
Defining the Festival
Due to the unique nature of the festival, Buck says it's taken some time to determine the best format for entries. "We began the first festival with fairly traditional film categories - drama, comedy, animation, etc.," he says. "For the second show, we decided to have the content come in first, then see how we would categorize it. We ended up with categories like comedy and satire, of course, but also with categories that were a little more designed to fit the content." The new categories included experimental, instructional, and episodic.
In addition to supporting content creation in general, another focus for the festival is the encouragement of growth in specific geographic regions. "We have the ability to go into a regional market, put on a contest, and aggregate content that's unique to the interests of that particular audience," Buck says. "We've been asked to do one of these film festivals in Brazil along with Telexpo, and they want Brazilian content. We're in a position to get that."
The point is that, unlike a traditional mobile content aggregator, BigDigit has the ability to attract otherwise unknown content creators. "We cast a wide net," Buck says. "We get the people who are making films as hobbies, and that's a really fragmented market. We get students, student filmmakers, hobbyists, and then of course some filmmakers and animators who are serious about it. We can really reach into the grass roots of content makers out there."
A Winning Entry
Because this is such a new medium, most films entered into the festival aren't created specifically for mobile phones, but they all have to work well on a two-inch screen. That means that images can't be too complex or rely on too much detail, there can't be any quick cuts, and the editing has to be relatively straightforward. Simple, funny stories, Buck says, often fit the format best.
One such film is "Rex & Red" (www.ludicrousproductions.com/rex), the winner in the comedy category at the most recent festival in London. The two-minute short follows the adventures of a group of plastic dinosaurs in an office after the owner has gone for the day. Made using stopmotion animation, the film tells a simple, funny story without using any spoken language. That makes it ideal for this kind of format, even though Chad Meserve, the film's director, admits that it wasn't shot with mobile phones in mind.
Still, Meserve says the idea of making content for mobile phones in the future is an attractive one. Independent filmmakers generally don't have the money or the influence to get their films seen by a wide segment of the public, so opportunities like this are worth pursuing. "It's a way of circumventing traditional means of distribution, especially for shorts," Meserve says. "Outside of film festivals and maybe occasionally on cable channels like HBO or IFC, the public at large doesn't really see short films."
Even without compensation, he says, he'd still consider using the format to attract attention to his other work. "It would be a good way to throw somebody a little taste, even if it's for free, that associates my name or the name of my production company with something that cracks a smile," Meserve says. "Then they might pick up my DVD at the video store, or go to my Web site and find out about other things that I've done."
Smaller Is Better
Ray Anderson is the founder and CEO of Bango.net (www.bango.net), which helps operators and content providers both deliver and charge for content on mobile phones. Bango.net provided hosting for the most recent World's Smallest Film Festival in London, enabling access to the entries on mobile phones.
It's important to remember, Anderson says, that there can be significant benefits to working with such a small screen. "You really have to take advantage of the user proximity and the small screen size," Anderson says. "You can send a very small size video that has great impact because it occupies the whole of a small screen. A one-inchsquare video on a PC wouldn't have much impact, but it does when it takes up the whole screen on your phone."
As the festival heads into its second year, Anderson says the quality of the entries has been gradually increasing. "We've seen dozens of quite nice, fairly creative mini movies," he says. "Some of the creative animated ones are very good, small cartoons that are more like South Park than Prince of Egypt. It's amazing what you can do on a small screen, and I think we're really just providing a foundation for people to innovate."
Coding the Content
Still, Buck admits that it has been a challenge to help content developers format their films correctly. To that end, BigDigit has been working with France Telecom to transcode films automatically into the Streamezzo (www.streamezzo.com) format for use on mobile devices. "We've been approached by a number of authoring platforms to provide this kind of service," Buck says. "It helps them expand their developer base, and it allows us to make use of this archive of digital content."
BigDigit learned a key lesson in this regard when soliciting entries for the first festival this past spring. "We thought this was such a great opportunity for creative content makers that we'd just tell them how to make it mobile," Buck says. "So we published the specifications - it's got to be a bit rate of this and a frame rate of that, this screen size and this pixel depth. And we got no entries. It was just way over everybody's heads."
That experience, Buck says, led to the Streamezzo collaboration. "Content makers are not technical people," he says. "There are certainly some who are technical and creative, but most content makers are just regular people who like to take a digital camera and snap some shots or make little films. And I think you preserve the creative juice of it by letting them do what they do well - and letting us do the heavy lifting and make it mobile."
The Operator Relationship
In the process, BigDigit has compiled a growing library of mobile content, and Buck says the company is now actively marketing that content to operators. "The operators and handset makers are counting on mobile multimedia content to get people to upgrade their handsets," he says. So rather than charging end users directly for each short film they view, he anticipates selling blocks of content to operators, who would then provide it to their customers as a value-added service.
At the same time, to keep the World's Smallest Film Festival in the loop and to make sure that end users feel like they're part of the process, Buck envisions a collaborative relationship with operators in which customers are encouraged to submit films to the festival over the operator's network, and the films are then viewed and rated by fellow users.
Over the long term, the aim is to create a selfsupporting ecosystem of content creation using a relatively simple process. "The film festival leads to integration opportunities, and the whole thing creates more content, which is aggregated and licensed out, and then yields more opportunities to do more film festivals," Buck says.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Apr. 29, 2017 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,467
Judith Hurwitz is president and CEO of Hurwitz & Associates, a Needham, Mass., research and consulting firm focused on emerging technology, including big data, cognitive computing and governance. She is co-author of the book Cognitive Computing and Big Data Analytics, published in 2015. Her Cloud Expo session, "What Is the Business Imperative for Cognitive Computing?" is scheduled for Wednesday, June 8, at 8:40 a.m. In it, she puts cognitive computing into perspective with its value to the busin...
Apr. 29, 2017 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,801
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
Apr. 29, 2017 02:30 AM EDT Reads: 9,342
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
Apr. 29, 2017 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,285
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Apr. 29, 2017 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,567
The age of Digital Disruption is evolving into the next era – Digital Cohesion, an age in which applications securely self-assemble and deliver predictive services that continuously adapt to user behavior. Information from devices, sensors and applications around us will drive services seamlessly across mobile and fixed devices/infrastructure. This evolution is happening now in software defined services and secure networking. Four key drivers – Performance, Economics, Interoperability and Trust ...
Apr. 29, 2017 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 944
With billions of sensors deployed worldwide, the amount of machine-generated data will soon exceed what our networks can handle. But consumers and businesses will expect seamless experiences and real-time responsiveness. What does this mean for IoT devices and the infrastructure that supports them? More of the data will need to be handled at - or closer to - the devices themselves.
Apr. 29, 2017 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,051
Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the USA and Europe, we work with a variety of customers from emerging startups to Fortune 1000 companies.
Apr. 28, 2017 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,500
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Apr. 28, 2017 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,627
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
Apr. 28, 2017 10:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,528
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
Apr. 28, 2017 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,184
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
Apr. 28, 2017 09:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,648
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound e...
Apr. 28, 2017 08:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,412
@ThingsExpo has been named the Most Influential ‘Smart Cities - IIoT' Account and @BigDataExpo has been named fourteenth by Right Relevance (RR), which provides curated information and intelligence on approximately 50,000 topics. In addition, Right Relevance provides an Insights offering that combines the above Topics and Influencers information with real time conversations to provide actionable intelligence with visualizations to enable decision making. The Insights service is applicable to eve...
Apr. 28, 2017 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,960
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
Apr. 28, 2017 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,342
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
Apr. 28, 2017 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,201
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
Apr. 28, 2017 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,427
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Analytic. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
Apr. 28, 2017 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,434
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Apr. 28, 2017 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,529
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Apr. 28, 2017 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 3,283