Gallic ‘Ice Rink’ shoot skates onto the internet

PARIS — Warner Bros. and Kevin Costner may have offered a 15-minute live Webcast from the set of “The Postman,” but the first company to go whole hog and put up an entire shoot live on the Internet is France’s Les Films des Tournelles for Belgium helmer Jean-Philippe Toussaint’s comedy “La Patinoire” (The Ice Rink).

And having done that, the produc-ers are now offering budding artists and graphic designers the chance to win $4,500 by creating the poster for the pic, once again using the Net.

During the nine-week shoot, which ended in early October, some 200,000 Net heads visited http://www.lapatinoire.com to watch shooting of the comedy, which stars Tom Novembre as a film director making a movie about an ice rink. Posting it on the Internet cost around $43,000, which was paid for by ice cream maker Miko.

La Patinoire’s producers believe they have tapped into a low-cost marketing tool — or rather, given Miko’s help, a no-cost marketing tool. That’s a substantial help, given that there are plenty of $4 million pics coming out of France each year, most of which are lucky to get any kind of media recognition.

The Web site still stands, offering poster designers photos to download, contractual obligations to respect, plus all the names you have to fit onto a French “affiche.” Deadline for the competition is early March 1998.

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