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Redesigned Atom Films Site <BR> Re-launches With Short List of Goals

22 Aug, 2001 By: Hive News

Its deal with Shockwave completed, Atom Films has re-launched its online entertainment Web site (www.atomfilms.com) and sister site Shockwave(www.shockwave.com) as two separate online destinations, reports indieWIRE.

The re-launch, announced Wednesday by AtomShockwave, parent of the two sites after a merger that closed earlier this year, follows a period of convulsive change for AtomShockwave. The company laid off its entire workforce as the combined company was re-created. The new staff of 45 is mostly based in San Francisco and comprised mainly of employees from the old companies, Scott Roesch, g.m. and executive producer at AtomShockwave, told indieWIRE.

Rather than create one combined destination housing Atom and Shockwave content, AtomShockwave decided to develop two sites to serve their distinct audiences -- film and animation at Atom and games and interactive at Shockwave, Roesch told indieWIRE.

"We tried to make it very easy for people to find what they are looking for," Roesch said. "We are hoping that increased consumersatisfaction will increase advertising revenue."

The size of that audience is clearly a key part of the equation as the number of users with higher speed Internet connections increases, but the online entertainment business battles ongoing negative publicity followingan almost complete collapse of the entire sector, reported indieWIRE.

"I am sure that we are allexperiencing a hit from the negative press," Roesch admitted, adding, "We haven't seen great growth or decline in our traffic." He admitted that the old Atom Films site was not regularly updated during the makeover. It willreturn to a weekly update going forward.

"I've gotta believe that more and more of the overall audience will get directed towards us," Roesch added.

The Atom site, a home for independent short films since it launched in the Spring of 1999, is offering a few new shorts as part of the re-launch.

Headed for the site is Jim Belushi's comedy series, "The Greedy Show," in a deal brokered by Weisman Worldwide Entertainment. Also on tap is the debut of Jeff Lester's "The Last RealCowboys," which stars Billy Bob Thornton.

"We are doing a lot less production, (but) we have a large audience that isdemanding cutting-edge content. Now that we have spent the summer gettingour feet under us, filmmakers are going to be hearing more and more from us," Roesch said. "Basically we are back, in a little different form."

Key to the company's ability to establish, or in some cases re-establish,roots in the independent filmmaking community will clearly revolve around the deals they make and the relationships they cultivate with creators, said indieWIRE.

Roesch confirmed that deal structures will remain similar to AtomFilms pactssigned prior to the merger -- low up-front fees paid, with royalties on revenues for the filmmaker. The executive also added that the company isaware that it must make amends for the decrease in its previously solidfilmmaker relations.

"We have taken some flack, probably justifiably," Roesch said. "People got used to a level of interaction with the company that we just couldn't sustain -- we had to trim back on that. We're trying to make sure going forward that we don't bite off more than we can chew as a business."

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