WebEI tools up online for film biz

Scherick, Meyerson join dot-com fray

It’s about to become three’s company for dot-com ventures providing online tools to the film biz.

Readying to compete with iFilmpro.com and Creative Planet, new venture WebEI plans to bow at the end of June.

Los Angeles-based company was recently founded by former Warner Bros. Online exec Bradford Scherick and pic producer Aaron Meyerson (“Dumb and Dumber,” “Inspector Gadget”) and Internet entrepreneurs Court Coursey and Derek Rundell.

Dot-com also includes Judd Payne, former veep of the Steve Tisch Co. and co-creator of online script coverage service GoCoverage.com, which was shuttered last October after agents and managers retaliated against the service. Payne serves as veep of product development for WebEI, providing a link with Hollywood.

WebEI’s plan is to provide tools for established filmmakers and studios, as well as newcomers trying to break into the industry, by creating an online production studio that includes tools and business-to-business resources for the global entertainment industry.

Business-to-business exchanges will include script and other intellectual property acquisition, casting, film financing, crew and vendor sourcing, budgeting and scheduling, accounting, post production and sales.

Routine services

Services offered will mimic the existing business practices of Hollywood as well as offer all the development and production tools used daily by Hollywood professionals, company execs said, with revenues coming from subscriptions, transactions, advertising and licensing.

Scherick, chief operating officer, and Meyerson, executive veep and general manager, will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of WebEI and will work with interim CEO Coursey and executive veep Rundell to develop partnerships and identify top industry acquisitions.

WebEI plans to announce several acquisitions of online film databases and entertainment networking sites, as well as alliances in the coming weeks.

Both iFilmpro.com and Creative Planet have already made several acquisitions in the last six months, including InHollywood.com, the Hollywood Creative Directory, Lone Eagle Pubishing, Brookfield Communications and Movie Magic.

Daily alternatives

“We’re creating tools that can be used today by industry professions that will help them do their daily jobs,” Myerson said. “We’re not trying to change the way the industry works, but are trying to wrap existing technology around user behavior and make the business easier.”

Most recently, Scherick was a founding member of Warner Bros. Online, where he launched the studio onto the Web in 1995, and later helped launch Entertaindom.com.

Myerson was a senior level executive at both Disney and New Line Cinema, where he was responsible for all aspects of feature film development and production. He produced “Dumber,” and “Above the Rim.” He was also veep of DIC Entertainment, producing “Meet the Deedles” and “Inspector Gadget.”

Coursey is a principal in Web investment firm Rundell, Coursey & Co. He also founded certifiedemail.com which was acquired by WebMD in 1998.

Rundell, also a principal at RCC, was formerly a veep of business development for WebMD and executive veep of certifiedemail.com. In 1993, he founded Rundell Resource Management Inc., a time management and Internet consulting company.

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