Monday, July 24, 2006

Hollywood Clicks on the Work of Web Auteurs

NY Times

EVEN as David Lehre’s “MySpace: The Movie,” an 11-minute parody of the social-networking Web site, spawned a high-profile feeding frenzy, some of the Hollywood agents, managers and lawyers who were clamoring to represent him didn’t know much about who he was, what he did or what they would do if they got him. But they wanted him anyway.

“It’s their fear of not being a part of it,” said Scott Vener, Mr. Lehre’s manager, who first discovered him on the video-sharing Web site YouTube, where “MySpace” became an Internet phenomenon.

Some people say that the film industry has more to fear than just being late to the party. If the Net begins spawning films — and not simply helping to market or deliver them, as has happened to date — studios’ grip on the business of putting pictures on screens may be challenged.

“Their nightmare is a direct feed from moviemaker to audience,” said Walter Kirn, a frequent contributor to The New York Times who has been serializing his novel “The Unbinding” on www.slate.com and saw one of his other novels, “Thumbsucker,” adapted to the big screen. “Their only trump cards are that they are pools of capital for making expensive things. Otherwise they are cut out of the action.”

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