The top internet news for the week of December 8, 2000
THE BIG IDEA
Think you’ve got a great movie concept? Now you can find out: Submit a description of 250 words or less to MyMovieIdea.com, and if the site’s backers choose to produce it, they’ll pay you $50,000. ”You shouldn’t have to have an agent to have your idea made into a film,” says cofounder Clark Peterson, senior VP of production and development at Interlight Partners and producer of the James Spader and Keanu Reeves thriller The Watcher. ”The whole idea here is to allow everyone in America access to Hollywood.” Everyone willing to shell out the $9 submission fee and hand over all future profits on their blockbuster, that is. Not unlike those inventor hotlines advertised on late-night TV, once MyMovieIdea.com decides to develop your idea, it’s out of your hands. In return, Interlight promises to let winners help craft the script, have their names appear in the credits, and receive a monogrammed director’s chair on location.
Winter is here, the season when horror buffs fondly recall the snow-covered grounds of the Overlook Hotel, where Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) went mad and tried to hack his family to death in The Shining. It’s also time for another attempt to find the solution to Joe Cribbin’s All Work and No Play (www.cribbin99.freeserve.co.uk). An eerie interactive take on the movie, this sparsely designed site combines Torrance’s novel in progress — one line written over and over again — with the movie’s garden maze. ”Stick with it,” Cribbin writes on the site, ”and you may find your way into the heart of Jack’s madness.”
A SITE OF INFAMY
On Dec. 7 — the 59th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor — the website for the movie Pearl Harbor (pearlharbor.com), starring Josh Hartnett and Ben Affleck, goes live, and it promises to be a doozy. The site, created by music-video and commercial director Carl Erik Rinsch, is an immersive, first-person view of the days before the attack through the eyes of, say, a scout-plane pilot, an American photojournalist, or a Japanese reconnaissance spy. Visitors choose their persona at the start and must return to the site often to increase their rank and watch the drama unfold. When the $130 million film is released Memorial Day weekend, the entire site will be transformed, with your character thrust into scenes depicting a post-bombing nightmare.
ANOTHER DAY IN AVALON
Melanie Griffith has always used her New Age-y website (melaniegriffith.com) to combat tabloid rumors and sell fashionable laptop covers. But on Nov. 15, the ”Goddess” got personal and opened her ”recovery journal” to the public. The first entry, backed by soothing harp and piano strains, was posted near the end of her ”rough eight days” of treatment for sleeping-pill and painkiller addiction. Griffith is now home with her family, but promising readers the full story ”in due time.”
CROUCHING TIGER DUNG
Shaolin priests may be able to walk on rice paper without tearing it, but the creators of the animated series Kung Fu 3D have yet to master the art of the Web. Watching Kung Fu 3D (www.kungfu3d.com) — based on the classic TV show and voiced by the Grasshopper himself, David Carradine — is like playing a badly drawn videogame, except you can’t control the fighting. And here’s a Zen riddle to ponder: Since the original Kung Fu was always shown in that glorious streaming video 3-D format known as broadcast, what’s the point of this herky-jerky online version? Apparently you can click on certain objects to gain more insight — because typing ”crane kung fu” into a search engine takes so much effort nowadays.