While facing threats from angry agents on its message boards, IFilmpro.com, the Hollywood-focused spinoff of Netcaster Ifilm, has been busy helping some of its featured filmmakers ink a one-year TV development deal with Fox.
In what marks one of the first development deals based on the screening of a pic online, David Garrett and Jason Ward, the writers and producers behind “Sunday’s Game,” have inked a one-year development deal with Fox Television Studios to create a yet-to-be-determined series.
The deal was inked after execs at Fox viewed the short, which was shown exclusively on IFilmpro beginning Oct. 11. Roughly 750 people, mainly industryites, viewed the dark comedy.
Site plans to bow one new short per month.
The deal, brokered by Endeavor and manager Brian Inerfeld of Somers Teitelbaum, guarantees the duo two pilot scripts and allows them to pursue film deals, which are in the works.
Since “Game’s” bow, the duo have also inked a deal to become head writers of Fox Family’s animated series “Da Mob,” with a 26-episode commitment.
Millar’s got ‘Game’
Meanwhile, “Game” producer Laura Millar signed a pact to write and produce a comedy pilot for Santa Monica-based Maple Palm Prods., “Two for the Road,” chronicling the romantic relationship between the hosts of an international travel show.
“It was nothing short of overwhelming,” Garrett said. “Within 48 hours, we not only had meetings set with several studios and nearly 20 production companies, we also had offers on the table. I believe IFilmpro will afford other filmmakers similar opportunities to break through the barriers we face in the industry.”
But it was IFilmpro’s “Buzz” section that fueled rumors of threats and even legal action against the San Francisco-based company that is trying to become Hollywood’s newest business tool, with an exclusive screening site of new shorts from emerging filmmakers, tracking boards, chat rooms, message boards and searchable databases, among other features.
Reps at the William Morris Agency and execs at New Line, for example, were irate over unflattering comments posted on the site regarding everything from their sexuality and promiscuity to their abilities in their professional capacities.
Rumors had one agent at William Morris demanding from IFilm the names of people who anonymously posted comments against him or face a lawsuit. The agent became a registered member of IFilm on Friday.
IFilmpro reps say there would be no grounds for a lawsuit, considering that members agree to terms that bar them from taking legal action against IFilm for anything that appears on the site.
“We can’t speak for individual agents, but as a company we deplore anonymous postings like this,” said a spokesman for WMA. “But we have not taken nor will we take any legal action against IFilmpro.”
IFilm was, however, shut down for two days last week — because the site was attracting too many visitors, including many non-Hollywood types.
The site attracted 2,000 people in 20 days; it could have hit the 10,000 mark within its first month had it not started screening its members.
Until last week, virtually anyone could have applied to become a member of IFilmpro. But when the site relaunched Thursday, it featured a revamped membership process on a new computer server, which limits members to those working in the film, television or music biz.
The furor over IFilmpro comes just after an army of agents succeeded in shutting down GoCoverage.com, ironically launched the same day as IFilmpro.com, by producers Steve Tisch, Jon Avnet and Howard Baldwin.
IFilm CEO Rodger Raderman declined to comment on the “Buzz” rumors but said, “We are very excited that Garrett and Ward secured these deals with Fox. We believe that these groundbreaking deals exemplify exactly what IFilmpro was designed to do — expose independent filmmakers to the industry in a way that was not available to them before, as well as give them an audience and fan-base.”