February 18, 2000 10:45 AM PST

Entertaindom takes a stab at 'Scream 3'

Hoping to capitalize on the success of short online film parodies of "The Blair Witch Project," Time Warner's Entertaindom site today said it has bought the rights to a spoof of the movie "Scream 3."

Titled "Scream 33 1/3," the parody was produced by Tamir and Boaz Halaban, brothers with philosophy-literature degrees from Yale University. Along with their partner, Paul Bauvais, the team, under the name Fiasco Films, has produced other satirical pieces in the past. They were the brains behind "The Making of the Blair Witch Project: The Blair Witch Project Project," an online spoof of the popular horror film.

"We're excited about Entertaindom showcasing our tour de fiasco," the Fiasco Films partners said in a statement. "Our stockholders in Papua New Guinea will be able to see it on demand at any time of day or night."

The eight-minute short will be featured on an Entertaindom Web page devoted to online parodies.

Short films have increasingly made their presence felt on the Internet. Traditionally avoided by larger cinemas, short filmmakers have relied on niche film festivals or smaller screenings to reach audiences.

But now, the Net's becoming a "short-attention-span theater" that could be ideally suited for short filmmakers.

For example, after "The Blair Witch Project" generated unexpected millions at the box office, several parodies and even hate sites sprouted quickly on the Web, such as "The Blair Kitsch Project," "The Blair Sandwitch Project" and a Spike Lee parody called "The Brooklyn Witch Project."

CNET TV: Mika Salmi
CNET TV: Mika Salmi



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Companies such as Internet movie studio AtomFilms have created businesses in distributing Web shorts, attracting investors such as former Universal Studios head Frank Biondi Jr., Warner Bros. Online and boutique investment firm Allen & Co.

Other Web players, such as Exite@Home, also are taking a stab at delivering short films. Last April, the cable access provider launched Click Cinema, a "24-hour broadband digital film portal" with short films, videos and animation from companies including AtomFilms, D.Film, iFilm.net and Zeum.

For Fiasco Film partner Boaz Halaban, the market for film parodies is ripe. In capitalizing on this demand, the company needs to look no further than the standard-bearer of online hype generation.

"We want to do for comedy what 'Blair Witch' did for horror," Boaz said in a statement. "In other words, create 'something for nothing' and gross over $100 million."

Entertaindom is Time Warner's online entertainment destination. Launched in November, the site features news, animation clips and music drawn from the You've got Time Warner company's entertainment properties, such as Entertainment Weekly magazine, Looney Tunes cartoons and original Web programs.

The much-anticipated site marked Time Warner's first major Web initiative since it closed its ill-fated Pathfinder site. The company has since created a separate online division, called Time Warner Digital Media, which acts partially as an Internet investment arm while developing future Web sites.

See more CNET content tagged:
AtomFilms, spoof, Time Warner Inc., entertainment, animation

 

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