IFilm exchanges stock for film prod’n Web site

StudioXChange to merge operations with netcaster

Netcaster iFilm said Wednesday that it has acquired below-the-line film production site StudioXChange.com in a stock swap that will provide a major boost to its online business-to-business offerings and revenue stream.

Announcement was made at the Yahoo! Internet Life Film Festival at the Standard hotel in Hollywood.

IFilm CEO Kevin Wendle was an investor and board member of StudioXChange through Wendle’s investment group the Cottage Group.

Through the marriage, StudioXChange’s operations will be merged with iFilm at its new Los Angeles-based headquarters. The dot-com’s founder, chairman and CEO Bahram Nour-Omid, will join iFilm to continue heading the site.

Once launched in the summer, StudioXChange.com will be geared toward the production community, offering a space to plan, manage and coordinate shoots for films, TV and musicvid projects through a variety of services, including news, maps, weather reports and directories.

Community site

For example, an entire shoot’s crew could receive a day’s schedule and location directions through a community spot on the site, instead of dealing with faxes, cell phones and so forth.

Site, which plans to generate revenues for iFilmpro.com through ads, e-commerce and subscriptions, will eventually enable filmmakers to rent production equipment such as cameras and lights online around the world.

“The production community is primed for a single online destination to conduct their business, and the merger with iFilm provides the access, direction and consolidation necessary to succeed,” Nour-Omid said, who only announced the creation of the Web site in February (Daily Variety, Feb. 24).

Dot-com fits in well as an online tool with iFilmpro.com, which was launched to cater to the business side of Hollywood through message boards, tracking boards, news and broadcasts of short films. IFilm previously boosted the site by buying Lone Eagle Publishing in January.

“IFilm’s acquisition of StudioXChange brings together two companies with perfectly complementary skills to speed the creation of a single online marketplace for the entertainment industry,” Wendle said.

Nour-Omid was previously co-founder and chief technology officer at Scopus Technology, which merged with Siebel Systems in 1998.

Execs on team

The rest of StudioXChange’s LA-based management team will also join iFilm, including John Lynch III, chief technology officer and former co-founder of Fourth Tier, and Buddy Enright, veep of business development, whose film credits include “Psycho,” “Speed II” and “Volcano.”

Lyle Kan and Martin Vann joined the company earlier this year, the former as senior VP, production and marketing, the latter as VP of sales and strategic alliances.

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