You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Flixer in the mixer for October launch

Lazarus, Buchanan upload online prod'n co.

HOLLYWOOD — A couple of Hollywood insiders will soon launch Flixer, a Web venture and digital production studio they hope will open up the filmmaking process to industry outsiders.

Robert Lazarus, most recently chief operating officer for Mutual Film Co. at Paramount, and Chris Buchanan, former senior veep of production at Warner Bros.-based Jerry Weintraub Prods., are readying the startup, skedded to hit the Web in October.

Flixer.com will enable filmmakers to create virtual online production offices where they can test market projects by allowing individuals to comment on every aspect of a pic’s development, from script to casting to production.

The filmmakers will determine which site members will be admitted to each group. They will also have the option of opening up their projects to every site visitor for opinions. Memberships will be free at first. Netizens who contribute most to the development process will receive more benefits.

Lazarus and Buchanan said the idea is to create an online space to foster creativity and develop projects, targeting professional and amateur filmmakers, movie fans and general audiences.

“There are a lot of places that can put your video up, but we’re building communities around projects,” Lazarus said. “We’re creating an environment to get them made, to make them better. It will elevate creativity. Moviemakers need an audience, so why not engage it sooner?”

Offline, Flixer Studios will produce its own slate of pics, many of them to be shot on digital video, and work with partnered domestic and international distributors to release them.

Flixer.com serves as a way for the production company to identify possible projects and find new talent. Because the site is open to everyone, the major studios will also be able to use it to pick up projects or filmmakers.

“We’re all about opening up the process to the online community of digital filmmaking and empowering them to help make creative decisions,” Buchanan said.

While sites such as Eveo.com and AntEye.com have been viewed as gimmicks, times are changing. Old Hollywood may still be reluctant to log onto the Web, but the membership of Generation Internet continues to grow.

“The Internet is not a gimmick to them,” Buchanan said. “They use it. It’s a tool for them.”

Flixer said its revenues will be generated through online syndication, sponsorships and advertising, as well as the sale of and box office from its released pics.

Lazarus and Buchanan have already raised $3.5 million from venture capitalist firm Alliance Atlantis.

Board members include Nish Bhutani, senior veep and group publisher of CNET; Dave Eun, a principal at Arts Alliance; and Peter Read of Hoegh Capital Partners.

Advisers to the company include former Fox head of programming and production exec Doug Herzog, writer-director-producer Joss Whedon, MIT Media Lab’s Glorianna Davenport and musicvid helmers Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris.

Lazarus, who has also served as executive veep and general manager for Turner Broadcasting, began working on the venture in February. Buchanan, who also served as an agent at UTA, ankled Jerry Weintraub Prods. in June.

More Film

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up President Lisa Borders Resigns

    Lisa Borders has resigned as president of Time’s Up, she and the organization announced on Monday. Borders is resigning due to family issues, she said in a statement. Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman will now serve as interim CEO. “As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to [...]

  • Keira Knightly as "Rachael Morgan" in

    Film Review: Keira Knightley in 'The Aftermath'

    Less widely seen (and acclaimed) than it deserved to be, James Kent’s debut feature “Testament of Youth” was one of the great recent love-in-wartime dramas, translating the intimate romance and sprawling human tragedy of Vera Brittain’s WWI memoir with a grace and heft worthy of its David Lean allusions. Four years on, it’s not hard [...]

  • Inside Amazon's New Feature Film Strategy

    Amazon's New Film Strategy: Straight-to-Service Titles and Starry Sundance Buys

    It was close to midnight when Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke got the text. The company had failed in its quest to acquire “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” a body image dramedy that captivated Salke when she saw it at Sundance. A sales agent on the project messaged her to say that a competitor offered a [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron71st Annual Writers Guild Awards,

    Alfonso Cuarón on Academy's 'Inevitable' Reversal on Televised Oscar Categories

    Alfonso Cuarón isn’t exactly surprised that the Academy reversed its decision and will now air all the Oscar categories during the live show on Sunday. Feb. 24. Calling the decision “inevitable,”Cuarón tells Variety that he thinks the Academy should take things even further. “Let’s stop calling them technical categories!” he told Variety on Sunday night [...]

  • TorinoFilmLab Announces Selections for 2019 ScriptLab

    TorinoFilmLab Announces Selections for 2019 ScriptLab (EXCLUSIVE)

    The TorinoFilmLab has announced the 20 feature projects and five story editor trainees who have been selected to take part in the 2019 edition of ScriptLab, an initiative focused on the development of fiction feature film scripts in early development stage. Beginning in March, this year’s participants will team up with filmmakers from around the [...]

  • Alita Battle Angel

    North American Box Office Declines From Last Year With Weak Presidents Day Weekend

    “Alita: Battle Angel” easily won a tepid Presidents Day weekend with a $34.2 million at 3,790 North American locations, estimates showed Monday. Overall domestic moviegoing for 2019 has plunged 22.1% to $1.24 billion as of Monday, according to Comscore. That’s $350 million below the same date a year ago and the lowest figure at this [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content