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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Halo8's EtherFilms Taps HTML5 as Transmedia 'Film Disrupter' |excerpt via

By Scott Thill

August 10, 2011

“EtherFilms will turn films and comics into hyperlinked worlds of story you can interactively navigate based on your interest,” Matt Pizzolo, Halo-8 president and Godkiller comic creator, told in an e-mail.

“That means jumping from an animated film to the digital comic that tells a character’s origin or extending an interview in a documentary, or even jumping to a different documentary altogether for further insight on a topic,” he added. “So film is a just vessel through which you navigate the content world. The universe grows like a wiki, which fundamentally alters the experience of watching films or reading comics.”

Announced last month at Comic-Con International and debuting online in the slide deck above and Vimeo clip below, EtherFilms is slated to launch in early 2012, although Pizzolo is cautiously optimistic that Halo-8 will have a functional prototype in time for New York Comic Con in October.

Because its architecture is HTML5-based, EtherFilms will initially work on personal computers and mobile devices like Apple’s iPhones and iPads, as well as gadgets running Google’s Android operating system. But Halo-8 wants to extend EtherFilms to Xboxes, set-top boxes and AppleTV, with the ultimate goal of producing a “platform-neutral and device-agnostic” service akin to an indie Netflix.

EtherFilms will let viewers merge Halo-8's Godkiller 2: Tomorrow's Ashes, due later this year, with its predecessor Godkiller, as well as the forthcoming illustrated film based on Hack/Slash.
Images courtesy Halo-8 Entertainment

Pizzolo presented EtherFilms as a “film disruptor” at Comic-Con International alongside actress Brea Grant (Dexter, Heroes), Hack/Slash writer Tim Seeley and Grant Morrison: Talking With Gods director Patrick Meaney. But EtherFilms is actually more of a media enhancer, one that aligns the parameters of film and comics consumption with technological innovation.

“Reading comics page-by-page on an iPad is lame,” said Pizzolo, who with Halo-8 partner Brian Giberson is also writing, producing and directing the forthcoming documentary Ctrl + Alt + Compete. During preliminary interviews with The Guild’s Felicia Day and Atari founder Nolan Bushnell for the documentary about startup culture, Pizzolo became inspired to launch EtherFilms.

“The technology has its own demands, and audiences are forcing the shift,” Pizzolo said. “Paper comics sales have dropped so low that pretty much every publisher has revised its business model to treat comics as an incubator of film and TV deals. Meanwhile, adoption of digital media is growing exponentially.”

The same rethink applies to film and television, which is currently working out the kinks of what Pizzolo calls the new “tent pole-or-Netflix” normal. The next generation of artists are likely going to have to create in many mediums to stay relevant, which is where the nonlinear EtherFilms platform comes in, said Pizzolo.

“It can help support new art, because the format demands forward-thinking new content created by broad-minded artists,” he said. “Videogames benefit from the fact that technology keeps innovators at the forefront, whereas a new film competes directly with 100 years’ worth of studio movies available for free on Netflix. You can’t sustain innovation in an ecosystem with such entrenched oligopolists. That whole environment needs to be disrupted.”

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Posted via email from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

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