Lucasfilm, AtomFilms click on ‘Star’ spoofs

Cyberbiz Brief

Lucasfilm has inked an exclusive deal with Netcaster, which will give “Star Wars” geeks an official Internet home for their unofficial spoofs and documentaries.

The two companies will bow the Star Wars Fan Film Network at the end of the month on AtomFilms’ site, which will not only showcase the projects from unknowns but split any royalty payments based on the advertising and sponsorship revenues generated from the selected films.

AtomFilms is accepting submissions, and a team of Lucasfilm judges will determine which shorts are placed online. AtomFilms is in charge of selling the ad/sponsorship for the network; Sony Digital Imaging is one of the first sponsors.

As an additional perk, Lucasfilm said it will open up its vaults of sounds and video clips — including sounds of Darth Vader breathing and Rebel blaster fire — to filmmakers and animators to incorporate into projects.

Jim Ward, veep of marketing for Lucasfilm, said the partnership has been in the works for some time, with the idea forming after rumors began flying online over details surrounding “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace.”

The new venture isn’t supposed to be a way for Lucasfilm to identify new talent, however. “This won’t be used as a casting call for us,” Ward said. “It’s just a safe place for people to showcase their work and benefit from royalties at the same time.”

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