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Soderbergh HD Movies Destined for Simultaneous Platforms

2929 Entertainment and its production arm, HDNet Films, has agreed to a six-film deal with Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh to produce, distribute and deliver each of the HD movies simultaneously across theatrical, TV and home video platforms. The multi-platform release scheme is being designed to create a new "day-and-date" paradigm that collapses traditionally staggered-release windows and gives consumers a unique choice regarding how and when they want to see a new film. (Final deal points were negotiated at the 2005 TriBeCa Film Festival.)

Soderbergh will have creative control over each film's' content, to be
produced in 1080i by HDNet Films. Already in production is the first project, "Bubble," a murder mystery set in a small Ohio town. Soderbergh (who is also a producer), directed such motion pictures as "Sex, Lies and Videotape," "Erin Brokovich," "Traffic," "Ocean's Eleven" and its sequel.

The half-dozen movies will move through a content pipeline constructed almost exclusively from 2929 Entertainment properties. With distribution through its Magnolia Pictures label, U.S. theatrical exhibition of each film will take place initially at Landmark Theatres, as TV audiences concurrently see it through 2929's cable channel, HDNet Movies. Home video DVD plans (presumably formatted to Blu-ray or HD DVD, or a combination, thereof) arrangements have yet to be announced.

2929 views its "day-and-date" release strategy as "using the digital environment as an organic conduit in the process." The company's approach is designed to promote efficiencies, streamline production and post production processes, streamline marketing spending into a shorter time frame and eliminate most film prints' expenses and shipping costs.