Sundance in Bed

Quick! cash in the plane ticket to Utah! Starting today indie film fanatics can catch the latest flicks from the 2010 Sundance Film Festival right from your own cozy couch.

NOW PLAYING ON YOU TUBE: Fresh independent films, commin' at ya straight from the hippest land of them all: The Sundance Film Festival

On Wednesday, You Tube blogged about a recent collaboration with Sundance  that will make five films from the 2010 and 2009 festivals available for rental from their site for $3.99 a pop. Forget the too-ridiculous-to-be-funny viral videos and baby animal montages, You Tube’s showing some seriously interesting stuff.

Movies include: “Children of Invention,” “Homewrecker,” “The Cove,” “One Too Many Mornings,” and “Bass Ackwards.”

But don’t dawdle, hipster friends, they’re only available until January 31. To pay for rental, you must open a Google Checkout account, and proceed. No PayPal!

After this debut, You Tube plans to present a “small collection of rental videos” from partners in different industries, emphasizing health and education. Oh, and at Sundance they’ll be advertising a “Filmmakers Wanted” campaign to get other movie makers on the bandwagon.This is what they’re saying:

Independent filmmakers have been critical contributors to our platform ever since we launched our site, almost five years ago. In that time, we’ve increasingly come to understand some of the challenges facing these filmmakers: technology has made it easier and cheaper than ever to produce films; more films have led to more competition for audiences; more competition for audiences has led to more films needing massive marketing budgets to cut through the clutter. And these high costs have made it difficult for independent films to compete, leaving too many films going unseen.

Basically, video sites like You Tube, that put everything out there for free and make money through advertisements, have gotten some independent filmmakers whining. So now, You Tube (well really big daddy Google) is trying to pay them back a little. But probably making a couple bucks for themselves along the way.

According to the blog post, this collaboration will give filmmakers “unprecedented control over the distribution of their work” allowing them to determine prices, rental duration and where their content is available online.

According to blog, Tonic, analysts (what analysts?) think the partnership is about financial reports, that Google is “testing the waters” in hopes that rentals will make them money on top of advertising.

“Three years ago Google paid $1.76 billion in stock for the site and needs to start turning a profit,” they blog.

Well whatever their motive, it sure sounds kinda nice to grab a tub of Ben & Jerrys, put on my flannel pj’s and cozy up with a nice, new, intellectually stimulating Sundance flick online. Eh?

Photo (cc) by Beastandbean. Content available under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.

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