Web 2.0:Tom Hanks To Bring Us A Digital Series, Electric City
Tom Hanks, who needs no introduction, has announced that his company, Playtone will be working with Reliance Big Entertainment, a media company in India to bring us âElectric Cityâ, an animated internet based series covering a multi-platform web 2.0 digital experience in early 2011. âElectric Cityâ is also an insight into the future of Hollywood, as after the boom-and-bust cycle of digital web 2.0 entertainment that was hastened by a recession-spawned credit crunch, we see major players like Sony and Paramount returning to the field of episodic web 2.0 content. Plus, âElectric Cityâ has huge potential to where it could be expanded into graphic novels or an online role-playing game; a big turn on for Hollywood, as it all means revenue.
Tom Hanks had the idea for âElectric Cityâ nearly six years ago, imagining it as a gripping, almost film-noir, serious look at the future, focusing on socially conscious themes like energy consumption and the freedom of information. Tom Hanks says he originally tried to make the series using marionettes (am thinking Thunder Birds here) as he wanted it to look different and yet familiar; and so, after years of development, âElectric Cityâ has evolved into an animated series. It will be shown on the web2.0 in 20 three-minute instalments. Â Tom Hanks said, âWithout a doubt, everything has changed, but not necessarily for the worst. Â In fact, a good life and good world has been created out of the usual end-of-life scenarios. It hasnât degenerated into an Orwellian society â just the opposite.â Playtone is behind films such as âMy Big Fat Greek Weddingâ, âThe Polar Expressâ, âMamma Mia!â, âCharlie Wilsonâs Warâ, as well as the TV series, âBand of Brothersâ.
After shopping the project to several American studios and networks, Tom Hanks found that it was only Reliance Big Entertainment who matched Playtoneâs overall web 2.0 strategies. Reliance Big Entertainment itself is playing a growing role in global entertainment properties and last year provided $325 million to Spielberg and his DreamWorks studio to create films for an international audience. It has also been touted as a possible partner for the debt-addled MGM studio. Amitabh Jhunjhunwala, Group MD said, âWe are delighted to work together with such talented individuals as Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman on 'Electric City.' We are sure Relianceâs strength in the entertainment space combined with Zapakâs expertise in the digital world, and Playtoneâs demonstrated creative and production acumen, will create an exciting and magical experience in the digital space." Â Zapakâs gaming arm will spearhead and manage âElectric Cityâ.
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