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ContraFilm invests in Web video firm KushTV

December 18, 2007|Joseph Menn | Times Staff Writer

A small but successful movie production company said Monday that it had invested in one of a growing number of Web video start-ups. The move could foreshadow increasing interest on the part of Hollywood studios in taking advantage of the Internet's possibilities for low-cost distribution.

ContraFilm Pictures said it was investing an undisclosed amount of money in KushTV, which syndicates original video material through MySpace and other popular sites.

Kush said its series of short clips from a tour by the rock band Korn, its most popular product so far, had generated 40 million viewings.

ContraFilm Chief Executive Beau Flynn said he had started talks with KushTV before the Hollywood strike, which is driving more writers to pursue earning a living on the Web.

Flynn, who has been a producer on such films as "The Number 23," "The Guardian" and "The House of Yes," said he had been frustrated that not all the talented new writers and directors he met were able to get studio deals, even for modestly budgeted movies.

Now, Flynn said, he will steer such newcomers to KushTV and finance the production of series, the best of which could develop into movies.

After ContraFilm recovers its costs, it will split any additional advertising and other proceeds with those who created the material.

"This is an opportunity for us to be an incubator," Flynn said.

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