Amazon.com and Microsoft on Sunday announced the 1,000 HD DVD Indies Project. The giant online retailer will begin selling high-definition independent films in the HD DVD format through its CustomFlix CD and DVD on-demand program, which produces and ships discs only as they are ordered, eliminating the need for costly inventory. Microsoft, for its part, will supply the necessary VC-1 video encoding technology and the HDi program used to package the film and extra features on the disc.
"This collaboration with Microsoft is a great opportunity for independent filmmakers to reach Amazon customers with their films via the HD DVD format," said Peter Faricy, vice president of music and movies at Amazon.com. "By working together with Microsoft and leveraging the proven CustomFlix DVD on Demand model, we can lower the barriers to entry for independent filmmakers and dramatically increase the selection we offer our customers."
The project is aspires to lower the barriers to entry for filmmakers to produce and distribute movies in the HD DVD format and will waive processing fees for the first 1,000 films it accepts for production by its CustomFlix Labs subsidiary. Sundance Channel original series, 'Big Ideas for a Small Planet' will be among first HD television offerings on Amazon.com.