PRIMETIME: 10 Cool Things on the Web (for screenwriters, fans, and other literary types)

I thought I’d take a break from answering questions this week to pass along nine cool TV, film, and writing-related websites and services (and one video) I thought you might enjoy.  Some are actually helpful to artists and producers… others are for fans, buffs, and consumers… and still others are just fun and interesting.  Enjoy!

First up…

MY TWITTER FEED – Okay, so it’s not exactly a groundbreaking new website or iPhone app, but I’m ramping up my Twitter feed… so please follow me! I’ll be Tweeting Hollywood news… announcements on special screenwriting events and opportunities… as well as discussing hot TV, Hollywood, and writing-related topics.  You can also send me thoughts and comments, or even post Hollywood-related questions you’d like answers to.

VIMEO FILM SCHOOL – Pretty self-explanatory, but Vimeo—one of the best online video hosting site—now has a series of tutorials on how to produce your own shorts and videos.  You can find short, accessible lessons (both text and video) on everything from shooting and lighting techniques to capturing good sound or editing with specific kinds of software.

FANDOR – Like Hulu for indie film lovers, Fandor is a subscription-based service that allows viewers to find and stream hundreds of independent films… many of which haven’t even been released or made it to festivals!  A blast for fans and supporters of independent film…

SCREEN ARCHIVES ENTERTAINMENT – This company releases monthly CD’s of rare and never-before-released film scores and soundtracks, often from older, foreign, or under-the-radar films.  Many releases include remastered and deleted songs or pieces.  This month’s selections include La Famiglia, Village of the Damned, collections of John Barry scores, new Star Wars recordings, and many more.

MOKI – Looking for a movie or TV show to watch, but not sure where to find it?  Moki gathers the biggest online streaming sites at one place.  For instance, if you want to watch Zombieland… it tells you it’s available via Netflix, Amazon, or XfinityTV… then takes you there to watch it.  (You do, however, have to be a subscriber of the service you choose.)  It also covers Hulu, iTunes, and other streaming sources.  In addition, it  gauges your viewing habits to recommend other movies or shows.

PUMMELVISION – I’ll be honest… at first, I didn’t get the appeal of this one.  But the more I played on it, and the more I watched their sample videos… the cooler I thought it was! Pummelvision basically pulls still photos from DropBox, Tumblr, Flickr, DailyBooth, Instagram, and Facebook… then strings them together in a rapid-fire video montage, which is—quite honestly—pretty freakin’ cool to watch.  (Go to their Gallery and watch “She’s Born!”, the third video posted… this is the one that got me.)

I'll see your James Durbin and raise you a Scotty McCreery...

YOUWAGER This site lets you bet on all the usual stuff… sports, elections, etc.—but it also allows viewers to place bets on topics related to their favorite TV shows, such as which series will be picked up or canceled, who will win Dancing with the Stars, and who could replace Michael Scott on The Office.

ONE MINUTE NEWS – There are many different TV, online, radio, and print outlets that condense news into quick, digestible bites, and while One Minute News is essentially just a producer of short news videos, each video goes “in-depth” into one particular topic… rather than, like most news podcasts, squeezing several stories into a single video.  It also posts several current, breaking stories each day, organized by channel (News, Technology, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Sports)… so it gives you a more thorough, yet still condensed, overview than other news sources.

BOOKSFREE – Okay, so this may not be directly related to TV or movies, but if you read as much as I do, this is a pretty cool service.  It’s basically Netflix with books… you pay a regular subscription fee, and can then organize books through a Netflix-like queue.  When your book is available, it’s sent to you with a postage-paid envelope; you read, put in envelope, send back… and your next book comes!

And lastly, my favorite web video this week, compliments of the Onion News Network


Today Now! Interviews The 5-Year-Old Screenwriter Of “Fast Five”

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