"Something Weird" Channel
As of June 19, 2012 Digidev signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) towards a licensing agreement with the intent to develop a “Something Weird Channel” for online viewers of the Company’s proprietary content streaming platform.
The agreement was entered into with Something Weird Video, Inc. a Washington corporation (“SWV”) (www.somethingweird.com) founded in the early 1990s offering access to an extensive compilation of films from the 1930s through to the 70s that had never before been offered in video formats. Specializing in offbeat genres including the film collections of renowned “King of Sexploitation” David F. Friedman plus titles from the acclaimed “Godfather of Gore” Herschell Gordon Lewis amongst many others, the SWV library is a treasure trove of the unconventional, unusual and interesting that captures the imagination of true film fans from around the globe.
Mike Vraney, President of Something Weird says "Our wacky/wonderful films have found a new home with the Digidev Group, who will take our unique content and infect a whole new generation of cinephiles around the world to the weird world of Something Weird.
Effective June 11, 2012, Digidev signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) which represents a major step towards a licensing agreement and the subsequent creation of a globally accessible “Faith Channel” for online viewers of the Company’s proprietary content streaming platform.
The agreement was entered into with G2R Media, LLC, and its principal, Jeffrey M. Lewis, a respected producer, archivist and content aggregator specializing in traditional Christian programming. Mr. Lewis is an acknowledged audio, video, film and music enthusiast with 18 years of professional experience in the entertainment industry working with formats ranging from Laserdisc and DTS Compact Disc to the launch of DVD, HD-DVD and Blu-ray in the areas of production, marketing, sales and accounting.
Throughout his professional career and for most of his adult life, Mr. Lewis has built a personal collection of content, as well as active relationships with library owners of literally thousands of titles encompassing wide-ranging programming combining some of the best known and many hidden gems encompassing feature films, documentaries, educational products, general entertainment, classic and children’s programming embracing decades of productions suitable for a diverse audience of Christian individuals and their families.
Mr. Lewis states, “My interests, industry and personal relationships have converged to where I am positioned to access, assemble and produce a product offering a large number of faith based titles that people just can’t find in the average retail environment. With the advent of OTT technology and through the relationship with Digidev, I hope to produce and deliver solid programming to what we believe is a potential audience conservatively estimated at millions of Christians right here in the USA and also to the hundreds of millions more around the globe. OTT is a very exciting space and one that we aim to firmly embrace right from the ground floor.”
The Film Preservation Associates (FPA)
(Featuring Blackhawk Films Catalog)
Digidev has signed a Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") with FPA towards a licensing agreement that will provide access to a culturally significant body of silent and classic cinematography including legendary titles and performances from the "golden era of film" featuring a significant library previously marketed as Blackhawk Films.
…The agreement was reached with David H. Shepard, a noted archivist and film preservationist who has spent a significant portion of his career amassing a catalogue of extraordinary and exceptionally restored feature films from the early years of world cinema. He is a major influence on the archival film movement in the United States for the past 45 years. He spent thirty-four years teaching cinema at a number of prestigious university institutions and then as special projects officer of the Directors Guild of America for twelve years. He co-produced the Academy-Award winning "Precious Images" (released in 1986) and several other films as well as documentaries for commercial and public television. Additionally, he has managed the theatre and archive departments of The American Film Institute, and served as Vice President of Blackhawk Films. Since 1983, David has been a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and he enjoys an impressive list of awards honoring his exceptional career achievements.
Blackhawk was founded in 1927 as Eastin Pictures by Kent D. Eastin, who made movie ads for merchants, filmed local news events for theater newsreels and sold independent 35 mm theatrical film prints for home projectors of the day. With the advent of 16 mm sound film in 1934, Eastin moved his company to Davenport, Iowa, operating a rental library until 1957 when business slowed due to television. Davenport was also home to the Victor Animatograph Corporation, a pioneer motion picture equipment manufacturer.
With a background in direct mail and management, Martin D. Phelan left Montgomery Ward to become Eastin's business partner in 1947. The Blackhawk name was first used for a secondary business, liquidating stocks of used 16 mm prints from British Information Services, Mills Panoram Soundies and other libraries and producers. Blackhawk began publishing monthly catalogs in 1949. More than 2,500,000 used films were sold by mail order before this business was discontinued in 1981.
In 1952, Blackhawk introduced its own releases in both 8 mm and 16 mm. Included in this "Collector Series" were Laurel and Hardy silents from Hal Roach Studios, authorized editions of Keystone comedies licensed by Sennett’s original backer, Roy Aitken, and a group of railroad films (Eastin was a lifelong rail fan). Consumer interest grew, and soon Blackhawk was offering a wide variety of vintage comedies, dramas, westerns, musicals, documentaries, serials, and cartoons. Blackhawk continued to cater to dyed-in-the-wool silent-film enthusiasts; Art Acord, Theda Bara, Charles Hutchinson, Lige Conley, Lloyd Hamilton, Alice Howell, and Richard Talmadge were just some of the silent-era personalities whose work had almost totally vanished until Blackhawk brought some representative reels to light. The company issued a tabloid-sized catalog, the "Blackhawk Bulletin," which heralded the latest releases and sales promotions each month.
Boasting up to 18 new releases every month, an in-house film restoration facility as good as any owned by film archives, and more than 90 employees working in a picturesque, century-old building of roughly 30,000 square feet (2,800 m2), Blackhawk grew to dominate the home-movie field with a base of 125,000 customers. Fox Movietone News, silent-film revivalist Paul Killiam, and National Telefilm Associates joined Hal Roach as important sources for Blackhawk's releases. Other rare finds were offered to Eastin by private collectors, for reprinting in the home-movie gauges.
Since the late 1960s, David Shepard of the American Film Institute had been working closely with Kent Eastin to ensure permanent preservation of Blackhawk’s unique original films at the Library of Congress. Shepard joined the Blackhawk Films staff in 1973, and spearheaded the ambitious restoration of Charlie Chaplin's twelve Mutual comedies of 1916-17.
Shepard is now owner of Film Preservation Associates, specializing in restoration of silent film classics. He started FPA with the purchase of the Blackhawk film library. In July 2007 he announced that Blackhawk Films would discontinue the 16 mm business. Shepard now devotes his energies to video restorations of classic motion pictures and the growth of the library.
Mr. Shepard states, "Releasing film classics in a technology never even dreamed of when these films were produced is very exciting. Digidev's commitment to launch both a Silent Classic channel as well as a Classic channel will expose the Internet universe to the gems of world cinema. I have known some of the senior people at Digidev for decades and they share my passion."
The SLC Channel:
Producers: The Snow Leopard Conservancy ("SLC"), a Sonoma, California based non-profit corporation that advances community-based stewardship of the snow leopard through education, research and grassroots conservation action. Digidev will create an interactive channel ("the SLC Channel") for streaming content created, produced and/or licensed by SLC. Digidev will provide its technical expertise, creative services, industry relationships and administrative management resources to create and distribute the SLC Channel. Planned launch: Fall of 2012.
Producer: The Tapwater Entertainment library contains well over one thousand five hundred hours of quality programming from the world of sports to the offbeat and weird. Tapwater aims to develop, produce and distribute state-of-the-art television programming and feature films, utilizing distinctive locations and experienced professionals bringing expertise to regional projects and a dynamic international approach dedicated to encouraging the expansion of international film and television production.