The Black Girl Project: Real Colored Girls Speak

Tweet I recently had a chance to talk to Aiesha Turman about her exciting film The Black Girl Project and how she’s going beyond the box office with it. With another film about Black women premiering this weekend this one is sure to be a welcome alternative (and it was out first!) What a novel idea, letting Black girls speak for themselves! Find out where The Black Girl Project is screening next at its site. BTBO: What first inspired you to do The Black Girl Project? Ms. Turman: The Black Girl Project is both a documentary film and a non-profit organization. I have worked with young people in New York for over a decade, with the past few years being dedicated primarily to high school students. It was in this work, I began to hear the stories of young women, many of whom were outwardly accomplished, but were dealing with a lot of issues from homelessness to sexual assault and depression. I was lucky enough to be trusted enough by them that they would talk to me. Their lives reminded me of mine as a teen aged girl. I was highly accomplished academically, but when it came to dealing with issues, many of which were shared with my peers, I turned inward for fear of embarrassment or disappointing my parents. The non-profit is an outgrowth of the film and my commitment to helping young women reach their fullest potential. BTBO: Any thoughts right now on how you will distribute your film? Ms. Turman: I am very interested in the idea of independent distribution. I’ve been inspired by Nina Paley...

Jobs: People want ‘Hollywood’ movies

Tweet I cringed when I heard Steve Jobs say that during yesterday’s much anticipated Apple TV announcement. Now I am not sure if by Hollywood he was referring to quality or land of origin but I was a little concerned for Indie filmmakers when I heard it. Contrast this with Boxee’s more inclusive approach. He went on to say ‘They don’t want amateur hour’, which I found kind of interesting because for most that’s what YouTube is synonymous with and Apple TV has YouTube support.  All is not lost though, before I tell you why, let me tell you what was announced. A new social network for music lovers called Ping that’s integrated into iTunes which means it’s on all the iTunes devices too including the phones. A gang of updated iPods, including one that has Facetime and HD video recording and some fantastic photograph support. An Apple TV update. Where what was updated was the price (now down to $99), its business model, rentals only no purchases, competitive pricing for these rentals and its selection of content which is only slightly better than it was before. It also supports NetFlix and YouTube. What is puzzling some is why they didn’t base it on iOS. If they had it would have been much easier for you as an independent filmmaker to get your content on Apple TV. You would just create an app. But it’s not, so you can’t. Like I said, all is not lost, here are your options for getting your content on Apple TV: Work with a distributor or aggregator who can get your film on...

If you like Indie movies, Boxee’s got ‘em

Tweet As of August 25, Boxee has added a movie library. By downloading the latest version of the Boxee software, your Movie menu option is refreshed with content from MUBI (formerly known as The Auteurs), EZTakes, Indie Movies Online and Openfilm, all very independent film friendly sites. This is pretty exciting because prior to this it only searched your computer’s library of films. Boxee, for those who don’t know, is media center software that runs on your computer and more recently, a set top box. The interface is really easy to use but truthfully I hadn’t had much use for when it didn’t have any movies. I look forward to many hours discovering cool films and not signing up for all of the aforementioned sites individually. Most of the movies being offered are free and some are ad-supported. According to GigaOM, They should have more premium content by the end of 2010. Do you use Boxee? Would you consider distributing your content on...

Making your film available for download? It could cost you.

Tweet After reading this Engadget article I wondered if an independent filmmaker using would have pay MPEG-LA if they chose to stream their film in H.264 format from their own website for a fee. H.264 is the format used by Blu-ray players , YouTube and iTunes, web software such as the Adobe Flash Player and Microsoft Silverlight. In other words it’s quite pervasive. BTBO: If an independent filmmaker would like to make his/her film available for download or streaming from his/her own website at a cost using the  H.264 codec would s/he have to pay a royalty to MPEG-LA? In short, the answer I got was yes. In long: Thank you for your message and for your interest in MPEG LA.  We appreciate hearing from you and will be happy to assist you. As you are aware, MPEG LA offers our AVC Patent Portfolio License which provides coverage under patents that are essential for use of the AVC/H.264 Standard (MPEG-4 Part 10).  Under the AVC License, coverage is provided for end products and video services that include AVC/H.264 functionality.  Accordingly, the party offering such end products and services to end users (e.g., under the party’s own brand name) concludes the AVC License and is responsible for paying the applicable royalties associated with the branded products/video service they offer. Therefore, if a party offers AVC/H.264 video content to End Users for remuneration, then the party offering such AVC Video will need to be licensed and may be responsible for paying the applicable royalty associated with the AVC Video they distribute. For example, when AVC video is offered on a Subscription basis,...