So this is how Babelgum will burn through the considerable cash multimillionaire backer Silvio Scaglia has put in to the company? Last month, the Dublin/Nice/London/Milan-based P2P video platform prompted head-scratching when it unveiled a 10 million euro (7.86 million) commissioning fund to buy itself original content. Variety reports the first production - a feature-length documentary about the threat faced by a oil-rich area of Alberta, Canada - will get investment "in the mid six figure dollars range" and will be published in 15/20-minute chunks.
So Babelgum is paying big bucks for long-form content it will then cut up in to short clips. New content director Mark Cranwell: "We're not going to turn into a studio overnight. We'll be picking and choosing our projects on the basis of getting the most amount of attention to the widest public possible on issues, such as the environment, which are important to Babelgum. This was a good starting point." Babelgum had already been pursuing indie film makers as its unique content pitch, but buying in to the community by creating a fund was a new direction.
By Robert Andrews