Three of the biggest forces in DVD technology have teamed up to open the floodgates and help Indie Filmmakers get their flicks out to you on HD-DVD!Amazon.com, Microsoft and the CustomFlix DVD on Demand program are launching a new initiative to bring more than 1,000 Indie titles to DVD!!! Amazon.com is using it’s DVD on Demand production arm, CustomFlix, in cooperation with Microsoft, to help Indie filmmakers bring their films to the HD-DVD market in an affordabel and efficient way.*“From a technical standpoint, we found that the HD DVD format fits our business model perfectly,” said Dana LoPiccolo-Giles, co-founder and managing director of CustomFlix. “With retail shelf space at a premium, our model eliminates the risk of carrying inventory and immediately expands the number of great HD DVD titles available to consumers.”“Programs like this one from Amazon lower barriers to entry for independent artists and provide audiences with increased access to high-quality, high-definition content,” said Christian Vesper, senior vice president of programming, acquisitions and scheduling for Sundance Channel.“Amazon’s participation in this project will be a major benefit to independent filmmakers wanting to break into the high-definition market segment,” said Amir Majidimehr, corporate vice president for the Consumer Media Technology Group at Microsoft. “The use of Microsoft® technology and authoring expertise will ensure that all the HD DVD titles offered by Amazon have impeccable quality, thanks to the VC-1 codec and innovative interactive scenarios with HDi™.”Amazon.com offers a broad and growing selection of HD televisions, players and DVDs through its HD DVD store at http://www.amazon.com/hddvd. Filmmakers interested in submitting their HD DVD work for consideration as part of the 1,000 HD DVD Indies Project can go to http://www.customflix.com/hddvdindies.*from the Microsoft Press Release
With an initial proposal for 1,000 titles, and utilizing the On-Demand production model, costs to filmmakers will be extraordinarily lower than current costs to film, transfer and produce thousands of copies of a film on DVD. Also interesting to note is that, by throwing their collective weight firmly behind HD-DVD on this program, both Amazon and Microsoft are giving the format a much-needed boost in the ‘format war’ between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. It will be very interesting to see how this latest development influences not only the Home Video market, but filmmaking in general and the quality and content of American Independant Film.