iFilm gets Creative

Netcaster buys key Hollywood directory

Inking its biggest deal to date, Netcaster iFilm has acquired publisher the Hollywood Creative Directory, considerably strengthening its online business and film offerings on iFilmpro.com.

The combination of cash and stock paid to HCD founder Aleks Horvat reps iFilm’s third buyout in the past four months, following pacts with Lone Eagle Publishing and last week’s yet-to-launch StudioXChange.com. The deals not only boost offerings but subscriber and advertiser-based revenue sources, as well.

Since its launch last year, iFilm business spinoff iFilmpro.com has been positioned as an online resource for filmmakers, featuring databases, message and tracking boards as well as screenings of films.

As the site tries to generate traffic, the HCD should provide the magnet iFilm has been seeking to attract Hollywood’s holdouts, especially now that the iFilm brand will be positioned in almost every office in the biz: The directory sits on the desks of many if not most, and the iFilm logo will appear on the cover of each directory.

“Aleks Horvat has built one of the industry’s most recognizable directory brands, and we are excited to be working with him and his talented team,” said iFilm CEO and co-founder Kevin Wendle.

Wendle stressed because iFilm is now in the publishing game, the dot-com’s strategy is to be viewed as more than an Internet company.

The Web is “not our exclusive strategy,” he said. “We’re a resource for film. Whether we express our brand in a book or on a TV show, it’s our goal to make it a trusted resource to a creative professional.”

Under terms of the deal, HCD’s online efforts, which include a database updated weekly and job listings, will be folded into iFilmpro.com beginning this summer. HCD’s dozen employees will move into iFilm’s new Hollywood headquarters, and iFilm’s brand name, associated mostly with broadcasting films online, will begin to take real estate on HCD’s publications.

“We’re proud to have the Hollywood Creative Directory be part of iFilm,” Wendle said. “It’s a great brand and will continue to be a great brand and key resource for the above-the-line community.”

HCD releases a producers directory three times per year, the agents/ managers directory biannually and the distributors and international film buyer’s directories annually. The company’s subscriber-based new-media directory is published online only.

“IFilm is positioned to become the leading end-to-end resource for the film community, and we are excited that Hollywood Creative Directory will be an integral part of that,” Horvat said.

IFilm’s chief financial officer Charlie Ryan brokered the deal with Mark Pittman, representing Hollywood Creative Directory.

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