January 24, 2010

Krinsky at Sundance: Day 2 - YouTube/Sundance Deal

Couldn't make it to Park City this year? That's ok, you can watch the films from the festival on YouTube.

Huh?

No, no one's pirating the films. YouTube and Sundance have teamed up to collaborate on YouTube's new rental product, currently in beta. From January 22nd - January 31st, three films from the Festival's new NEXT section will be featured on the video sharing site. Bass Ackwards (Linas Phillips). Homewrecker (Brad and Todd Barnes) and One Too Many Mornings (Michael Mohan) are the three films taking the plunge. Additionally, two titles from 2009 are available for rental as well: Louie Psihoyos' The Cove and Tze Chun's Children of Invention.

YouTube trailer for One Too Many Mornings

There's a lot of talk this year at the festival about hybrid distribution, and a sense that many filmmakers are willing to explore possibilities beyond traditional deals. In the past, this was usually a last choice, something you grudgingly did only after many months of waiting to see if you could get someone, anyone, to pick up your film for theatrical distribution.

Todd Barnes is choosing to look at this endeavor as a new way to have a massive screening. During a press conference announcing the deal he said, "People here at the festival buy tickets to come see screenings. Now we have this huge 'theater' - YouTube - available to us, and anyone who wants to can come buy a 'ticket' to come see our film." 

As part of their marketing for the film, he and Brad have sent out e-mails saying, "We're about to premiere out movie at Sundance. Why don't you watch along with us at home?" 

This fits right in with YouTube's mission, which David Eun, VP, Content Partnerships, Google, described as two-fold. They want to provide as much content choice as possible for users. And they want to help content creators connect with audiences around the world. 

The films are available for rent at YouTube Movies for $3.99, which includes an unlimited number of views for 48 hours (except The Cove, which has a 24-hour viewing window).