Social Networking and the Film Industry

December 1, 2008 by Samantha Halfon · 1 Comment
Filed under: Cinephile, Internet 

As we launch World Wide Angle and this blog, we’re officially entering a new world that we’ve been contemplating for a long time. We now hope to share working relationships with fellow filmmakers and also, simply, to share our passion for cinema with other “cinéphiles”.

I have used the Internet since 1996 and I instinctively rely on the Internet to search for and discuss information and also to meet people with whom I share specific interests. A few years ago, being part of a Bob Dylan listeners group, I enjoyed several hours of discussion about the man and his music and also started friendships that led me to travel around Europe to meet fellow BobCats. That was a few years before Facebook and the current wave of social network application but actually it was some kind of music related social network based on a chat room, emails, and media files sharing.

Of course, when all the so called Web 2.0 came around, I was an early adopter and I have accounts on Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter among other networks. If these networks are the most famous in their category (professional, social and instant messaging social networks respectively) they are not cinema (or anything else) specific. But… recently, they all found their cinema centric equivalent.

KinoRezo, the LinkedIn of the movie industry

KinoRezo is currently in beta but it is possible to register. The site offers, like Linkedin, to create a profile, connect to people you are working with and that way extend your professional network. The site also references companies. Apart from these people and companies directories, the site offers news and more importantly job offers in the movie industry. The design and the ideas seems to be in place, I’ve experienced a few bugs trying to edit my profile (it seems like my session doesn’t stick) but I’ll be checking back and hope to make some connections there that could lead to some good working opportunities for World Wide Angle. Either way, I gladly welcome this application.

CineFriends, the Facebook for movie fans

CineFriends is brand new, it opened on friday last week (November 28th, 2008) and was developed by a movie fan who also runs the blog CineFeed. The application’s goal is to let you create a profile stating your movie tastes and then find and connect with people sharing the same interest in films. To make the whole thing more fun, the site also offer movie quizz, news and movies and actors profiles. I’ve just signed up for the site and created my profile but didn’t fill it up but from what I’ve seen the site looks and works good. Congratulations to the developer.

Cannes2008, Twitter for the film world

Recently I heard about Cannes2008, a social network created around the Cannes Film Festival that actually gather movie fans and movie professional from all around the world, mostly around the subject of… film festivals. The site itself is a social network based on Ning but what makes Cannes2008 a different project is the recently released iPhone application similar to Twitter. I’ve also created my account there and started visiting the site. Occasionally I also receive emails addressed to the whole community about announcements for festivals or movie gatherings.

If you are interested in Web 2.0 and this social networking tool wave, give these applications a chance. Hopefully, very soon, they will have enough users to acquire a real value, in the meantime, it’s fun anyway.

Find us (or at least me) on these social networks

If you know any other dedicated networks, please share them in the comments and, more than likely, we’ll meet you there!

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Streaming FLV videos #1

November 25, 2008 by Samantha Halfon · 2 Comments
Filed under: Computing, Internet 

Adobe Flash Player logoAs we were building our website for World Wide Angle these past two weeks, we looked at the available solutions to show videos online. It didn’t take long for us to pick flash as a format for three main reasons:

  1. Since Adobe Flash 9, the quality of the FLV video has increased while the file size drastically decreased makin it easier to share this format online
  2. Adobe Flash player is widely accepted and installed on about 95% of the computers in the world and run on the most mainstream systems: Windows, Mac and Linux
  3. Adobe Flash is supported on more and more handheld devices

I’m not sure it’s a reason but the FLV format was also chosen by video sharing platforms like youTube and DailyMotion.

The second step was to choose which player to use. We wanted a good looking and an easy to use interface. We wanted the possibility to display a list of available videos and possibly some information about them. We also wanted the interface to be customizable if possible. And, as I like to look at the code a bit (can’t learn too much), I was leaning toward an open source solution. After some research, we elected the JWPlayer which claims to be the most used video player on the Internet.

What can you do with the JWPlayer:

  • easily place your videos online (the jwplayer site offers a wizard to get you started)
  • customize the size about your player
  • customize the controls
  • add a logo to your player
  • enable or not the autostart of the video playback
  • easily customize the main colors of the interface
  • enable streaming if you have a server for it
  • enable http streaming emulation using a server side script
  • share several independant videos clips
  • or share a single videos as several “chapters” in a way similar to a dvd with its menu
  • skin the player
  • add or even develop plugins
  • play a youTube playlist
  • play the playlist coming from a RSS feed

Considering the player can be extended via plugins and that the code is open, there are probably a lot more features that could be added to this list but these are the features that made us pick this player.

You can see the player in action on our main page http://www.wwangle.com.

In a next post, I will explain how we setup the player to emulate streaming or at least the seek funtionnality.