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On the Infobahn

May 01, 1994

Regarding "Hollywood On-Line," by Daniel Cerone (April 17):

It would have been nice to have had a mention in your article, after having pioneered and implemented the total original concept of bringing the entertainment industry on-line and interactive for the general public beginning in the fall of 1982.

After having been interviewed meticulously by your reporter, I felt much satisfaction that my contributions would be highlighted by your paper. After all, I like to think that being the first to introduce computer-accessible entertainment industry news and features, movie reviews, digitized photos, interactive real-time celebrity interviews, interactive trivia games, an interactive show-biz forum with access to industry executives and promotions for movies on a national basis was innovative for its time.

Through my Hollywood Hotline company, we were the only ones offering these services from 1982 to 1985 to CompuServe, Newsnet, Delphi, Western Union FYI, CBS Extravision, NBC Teletext, Quantum, GEnie and other computer-accessible networks, some of which no longer exist.

On March 14, through CompuServe, we implemented "Stein Online," the nation's first nightly live, on-line, interactive talk show, on which I have had major celebrities as guests who would match any prime-time talk show lineup. I'm telling you about this now, so when you write an article about the numerous national on-line, interactive talk shows 10 years from now and leave us out, we will have a record of this conversation.

ELIOT STEIN

President

Hollywood Hotline Co.

Phoenix

Stein can be reached on CompuServe at 76703,305. *

I'm glad to see that the folks within Hollywood are starting to join in on on-line services. It is also great to see that the people behind the scenes listen to and include suggestions from fellow on-line users.

I'd like to point out another example of how Hollywood is on-line. J. Michael Straczynski, creator of "Babylon 5," the science-fiction TV series on Warner Bros. Prime Time Entertainment Network, has been on several on-line services including GEnie. He has also jumped into having a more international audience with two Internet newsgroups discussing many aspects of "Babylon 5," good and bad.

Warner Bros. also made available electronic press kits that run on Windows and Macs (though, sadly, not available for the machine that makes the computer-generated imaging possible), and several screen shots and electronic trading cards can also be found. In addition, a member of Foundation Imaging, which does the computer-generated effects, pops in occasionally to give information.

For years, the Internet has had newsgroups on a wide range of topics, many of which are entertainment related. Commercial on-line services are just beginning to tap in to these newsgroups. I certainly hope these areas are explored by the people within Hollywood.

DANIEL J. McCOY

Van Nuys

McCoy can be reached on the Internet at djmccoy@netcom.com. *

Malibu Video Inc.'s hit video "Patrick Stewart Narrates 'The Planets'" was successfully exposed to the "on-line public" through Prodigy, CompuServe, America OnLine and the Internet. As a result, information about this made-for-video product, which normally wouldn't command the media attention of a hit theatrical video release, was immediately accessible to about 20 million computer users. The terrific word of mouth catapulted the title off dealer shelves.

In the 45 days following the release of the video, we received more than 3,000 pieces of E-mail (most of it very favorable) regarding our efforts and those of our distributor, BMG Video. Thanks to the information superhighway, even in its embryonic state, we have thus established a close relationship with our viewers, who know that they can contact us anytime and that, yes, we are influenced by what they have to say!

DON BARRETT

Writer-Director

Don Barrett Productions

Malibu

Barrett can be reached on Prodigy at dspd93a, CompuServe at 72253,2172 or the Internet at dspd93a@prodigy.com.

*

Lest it seem that Hollywood holds a cybersurfing hegemony over the performing arts, I'd like you to know that L.A. theater has its own computerized network: the A.S.K. BBS & Electronic Library.

Though we can't boast of a hot line to Gordon Davidson, we can provide what playwrights do best: dialogue. All theater people are welcome and are invited to call the Audrey Skirball-Kenis Theatre for more information.

MEAD HUNTER

Literary Manager

Audrey Skirball-Kenis Theatre

Beverly Hills

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