Archive for October 27th, 2009



Mountain Dew is Key Collaborator on Breakthrough Series

Film Version With Additional Scenes and Surprise Ending Available for Rental Exclusively at BLOCKBUSTER®

PDE Uses Adobe Flash Platform to Create Unique Interactive Experience Across Multiple Platforms

Los Angeles (October 27, 2009) – Circle of Eight, Paramount Digital Entertainment’s (PDE) original supernatural thriller, produced in association with Mountain Dew’s Green Label Studios, premieres today exclusively on MySpace. Three episodes will launch the10-part series, which combines unique elements of gaming and social media to propel the story forward.

Viewers can tune into MySpace at now to watch the first three episodes of the series. Episodes four and five will be available on November 3, and each week following one of the remaining five episodes will be available to viewers on MySpace through the finale on December 8.

Circle of Eight tells the story of a young woman who moves into an historic building, The Dante, where she encounters an assortment of neighbors harboring a mysterious secret that unravels in a chain of deaths and supernatural interactions. Multiple levels of interactive content enhance the audience’s connection with Circle of Eight, including hidden clues, an online and mobile game, and exclusive material that can be unlocked through game play.

“Circle of Eight shows our ongoing commitment to launch studio-quality entertainment on digital platforms,” said Thomas Lesinski, President of Paramount Digital Entertainment. “With strong, mutually beneficial relationships with brands such as MySpace, Mountain Dew, Adobe and Blockbuster, we can launch premium quality content in the digital window and continue to monetize Circle of Eight on additional platforms, multiple windows and in international territories.”

Along with distributing the series, MySpace’s social-networking features allow viewers to share and embed the content, interact with the series through social gaming and content, and broadcast their thoughts via forums and commenting.

“MySpace’s exclusive distribution of Circle of Eight speaks directly to our goal of providing content to our users in an innovative and interactive manner,” said Jason Kirk, VP of Video and Entertainment. “The program matches up nicely to our strengths within multiple areas of entertainment and with a younger demographic. We’re pleased to be working with Paramount Digital Entertainment and all companies involved to bring the series to such a large audience through both online and offline routes.”

Following the online run on MySpace, Circle of Eight will be available for rent exclusively at participating BLOCKBUSTER® stores, as well as by mail and through BLOCKBUSTER On Demand®. The full-length film will have additional scenes and a surprise alternate ending.

“We are thrilled to bring such an innovative entertainment experience to our customers,” said Bill Lee, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at Blockbuster. “This is one more indication of Blockbuster’s continued commitment to deliver exclusive content to consumers on as many screens as possible, whether that’s through our stores, by mail or through our on demand service.”

All sponsoring companies are heavily involved in marketing Circle of Eight to raise awareness for the series and its multiplatform experience.

Mountain Dew plays a critical role in the Circle of Eight storyline. One of the characters in the series joins the Green Label Art community and creates a unique, custom-designed Green Label Art bottle. The bottle is also featured in the online game where it unlocks deeper mysteries in the Circle of Eight storyline. Green Label Art is Mountain Dew’s limited edition series of collectable aluminum bottles designed by a select group of artists from the world of contemporary art and culture.

In addition to its organic product integration into the story of Circle of Eight, Mountain Dew is promoting the series at stops on the Dew Action Sports Tour, in movie theaters and on television.

“From the start of our collaboration on this project, it’s been essential that Mountain Dew has an authentic purpose within the Circle of Eight storyline and provides value in the interactive experience,” said Frank Cooper, SVP and Chief Consumer Engagement Officer, Pepsi-Cola North American Beverages. “Paramount Digital Entertainment and Milchan/Van Eyssen shared our vision and the final result is innovative digital content that we believe is engaging and entertaining.”

“Working with Mountain Dew, Adobe and MySpace enabled us to create a richly textured story that takes advantage of the multiple media and resources they made available to us,” said executive producer Alexandra Milchan. “Viewers can decide what they want their Circle of Eight experience to be, from passive viewing to passionate involvement.”

Circle of Eight creators produced a unique interactive experience for viewers across operating systems and devices using the Adobe® Flash® Platform and Creative Suite® 4 software. Adobe tools and technologies were used in the majority of the workflow stages for both the filmed entertainment and interactive production, including a mobile application and gaming widget. PDE is able to deliver the multiple interactive elements of Circle of Eight to viewers across devices using Adobe Flash Player and Adobe® AIR®, because of efforts by the Open Screen Project, an industry-wide initiative led by Adobe and supported by PDE and close to 50 other industry leaders, to enable people to engage with rich Internet experiences across any device, anywhere.

“Creating and delivering an interactive digital Web series requires a powerful set of tools, and the Adobe Flash Platform combined with Adobe Creative Suite offered PDE a complete end-to-end solution,” said Jim Guerard, general manager and vice president for Dynamic Media at Adobe. “Circle of Eight is a highly engaging and interactive viewer experience, and because it will be viewed using Adobe Flash Player, which is on more than 98 percent of Internet-connected desktops worldwide, fans everywhere can easily participate in each new online episode.”

A Milchan/Van Eyssen production, Circle of Eight, stars DJ Qualls (Road Trip, All About Steve) and rising stars Austin Highsmith and Ryan Doom. Milchan/Van Eyssen is the collaboration between producer Alexandra Milchan (Righteous Kill, Street Kings) and director David Van Eyssen (BMW Film Series The Hire). The company is located at Paramount Pictures with a first-look producing deal for digital media with PDE, the first of its kind for the studio.

Circle of Eight is directed by Stephen Cragg (Reaper, ER, NCIS), written by Dave Brewman and Brian Horiuchi, produced by Alexandra Milchan and David Van Eyssen and executive produced by Jamie Boscardin Martin (production supervisor for Bruno, Borat). Michael Lohmann (Boston Legal, The Guardian) served as director of photography and April Webster (Star Trek, Mission Impossible 3) and Scott David served as casting director. Interactive creative producer is Sean Naughton, who has served as cinematic director for Microsoft Games Studios and executive producer on Sony’s Quantum of Solace interactive site.

PDE also enlisted one of the most talented film composers working today, Mark Mothersbaugh (the upcoming film Ramona and Beezus, Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou), to provide original music for Circle of Eight.


CSI Creator Anthony E. Zuiker Takes eBook Cross Platform with launch Of Digi-Novel

Level 26: Dark Origins now available from App Store and iTunes Extras in addition to print

LOS ANGELES, CA — October 27, 2009 — Merging literature and video seamlessly to create a unique multi-platform entertainment experience, Level 26: Dark Origins, the first-ever digi-novel™, is now available from the App Store, iTunes Extras and in print. The first in a trilogy, Level 26: Dark Origins, was written by CSI creator Anthony E. Zuiker, with Duane Swierczynski, and tells the gripping tale of a forensic proof serial killer so terrifying that his very existence has been concealed from the public. Following every 20 pages of prose, readers are able to watch a video on iTunes Extras, iPhone, or iPod touch that combines beautiful design with expanded visual features to bring the story to life, exactly where the book leaves off. The videos feature well-known Hollywood actors, crime scene documents, and special interactive features.

“The Level 26: Dark Origins App and iTunes Extras makes reading more entertaining than ever,” said Zuiker, who has a history of incorporating new technology and taking advantage of cross-platform media to draw new audiences to his projects. “We’re delivering new levels of engagement way beyond mere white pages.”

Level 26: Dark Origins takes full advantage of the revolutionary iPhone and iTunes Extras platforms to create a cinematic experience that flows naturally between chapters. Completing the digital experience is, which includes a full social network, Zuiker’s blog, and bonus material. Fans will be able to create their own storylines, ask Zuiker questions, and offer input on upcoming books in the Level 26 series. EQAL—the creative web team behind the infamous “lonelygirl15” hoax on YouTube—partnered with Zuiker to create the site. The app was built by 23 Divide, the company behind the Gigotron App (winner of best mobile app at SXSW 2009).

The Level 26: Dark Origins App is available for $12.99 from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at The Level 26: Dark Origins iTunes Extras are available on the iTunes Store for $12.99.

The novel was released by Dutton in September and has already built a legion of fans through its Web site,

About the book:

It is well known among law enforcement personnel that murderers can be categorized on a scale of twenty- five levels of evil, from the naive opportunists starting out at Level 1 to the organized, premeditated, torture-murderers who inhabit Level 25. What almost no one knows—except for the elite unnamed investigations group assigned to hunt down the world’s most dangerous killers, a group of men and women accounted for in no official ledger, headed by the brilliant but reluctant operative Steve Dark—is that a new category of killer is in the process of being defined.

Only one man belongs to this group.

His targets: Anyone

His methods: Unlimited

His alias: Sqweegel

His classification: Level 26

About the authors:

Anthony E. Zuiker is the award-winning creator/producer/writer of the top-rated series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, and CSI: NY. He wrote the 1999 film, The Runner and was a contributing writer to this year’s summer blockbuster, Terminator Salvation. He recently signed a two year first-look deal with CBS/Paramount. Zuiker is also writing his memoirs, Mr. CSI for Harper Collins.

Duane Swierczynski is the author of several crime related fiction, nonfiction, and comic books including Secret Dead Men, The Wheelman, This Here’s a Stick-Up: The Big Bad Book of American Bank Robbery, and several issues of X-Men: The Times and Life of Lucas Bishop. Lion’s Gate Entertainment will produce the film version of his novel Severance Package, of which he will be writing the screenplay. Duane lives in Philadelphia with his wife and kids.