07-17-2009, 04:38 PM
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This could be very big! Anything that makes it easier to get the right content to Digital Distribution vendors ASAP is a plus. This should also result in a quality boost (and more HD) since each will get a custom encode from a standard digital master.
ScreenPlay Inc., which has been delivering movie trailers to sites across the Internet for a decade, is positioning itself to do the same for full-length movies.
ScreenPlay CEO Mark Vrieling said the company plans to streamline digital movie delivery from studios to digital retailers the same way the company streamlined the process for movie trailers.
ScreenPlay has deals with all the major studios for digital movie trailers, which it puts into a standard digital format and distributes online to customers that include IMDb, Best Buy, The New York Times and others. It also handles all Disney trailers in most regions of the world. ScreenPlay has a deal with a smaller supplier it won't yet name for full-length films, but plans to fully roll out the service with other partners in the fourth quarter.
It's becoming a bit of a headache for all of them, Vrieling said. What Netflix wants for a digital file is not the same as what Apple wants, which is different again from what Amazon wants, which is a whole different process from what CinemaNow wants.
Vrieling said ScreenPlay could make the process more economical for studios, which currently get their digital masters from DVD replicators and then make a different master for each digital retailer.
The company plans to house digital masters from the studios on servers, which could then be transferred in real-time and in the necessary format to the various retailers.
For now, Vrieling is calling the new service Digitally-bonded Warehouse, noting that the company is already bonded by the Motion Picture Association of America.
ScreenPlay also plans to handle metadata information on those files for studios. Metadatathe film summary, cast list and other information about a filmhas become another area of frustration for studio and digital retailers because there is no standard. Studios all include different information, each in their own file format. And retailers all require different levels of information for their sites, some including a full cast list and other just key actors, for example.
Vrieling said it's all about eliminating redundancy.
Why does every studio have to have a division that does this when we can make it once? he asked. This is an outgrowth of what we've already been doing with the trailer business.