The music business is littered with stories about songwriters or studio contributors and session musicians who never get the credit — or money — they’re often due for their work on hit songs. And for every storied session musician in “The Wrecking Crew” there are perhaps hundreds of other contributors who aren’t getting their just desserts. That’s where Jammber comes in. The five-year-old company co-founded by serial entrepreneur Marcus Cobb has developed a suite of tools to manage everything from songwriting credits and rights management to ticketing and touring all from a group of apps on a mobile phone. And has just raised $2.4 million in funding to take those tools to a broader market. Jammber “Muse” gives collaborators a single platform to exchange lyrics and song ideas, while the company’s “Splits” app tracks ownership and credits of any eventual product from a collaboration. The company’s nStudio tracks songwriting credits to assist with chart and Grammy submission — through a partnership with Nielsen Music — and its “PinPoint” helps organize touring. The recording applications even have a presence feature so session musicians, songwriters and artists can actually be tagged in the studio while they’re working. “I think we need to get attribution and monetization closer to the creators,” Cobb has said. “Why aren’t we doing that? The industry is growing and thriving. Are we making sure that performers and creators of all different tiers are being equally compensated?” The answer, sadly, for many in the music industry is no. In fact, while Cobb had originally set out to make a networking tool for creatives with Jammber he wound up shifting the service to the management toolkit after visiting the offices of a music label. Jammber chief executive Marcus Cobb “I saw stacks and stacks of payroll checks that were returned to sender,” Cobb, told Crain’s Chicago Business. “These checks were taking three months to two years to print, and they were wrong addresses, or there were stage names instead of legal names.” That experience convinced Cobb of the demand, but it was Nashville that gave the serial entrepreneur the crucible within which to develop…
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We’ve been talking about the “over the top” video business and other related subjects here at AVC. But this documentary is about something whose time has come and gone. The video rental store. I backed this project to make a documentary about The Last Blockbuster earlier this week. I can’t wait to watch it when it comes out.
What do you get when you connect a bunch of filmmakers with a bunch of programmers? Something like Flowbox. Flowbox, which began life as a unique object-oriented programming language for visual effects, has grown into something truly powerful in the moviemaking industry. Run by Mikołaj Valencia, Michał Urbańczyk, Paweł Pietraszko, and Mat Bujalski, this Polish company is currently working with a number of big studios to add VFX to huge productions. “Flowbox is an industrial strength image processing platform incorporating many recent innovations in computer graphics field,” said Valencia. “It delivers semi-automated rotoscopy, one of the most tedious manual labor used in 25 percent of all video content processing. It allows for huge time savings.” The team is working on adding other tools to the toolchain as well including color correction and image composition. The system is unique in that it uses a visual interface to change the video. It also supports distributed computing which speeds up the compositing system immensely. The idea was born in 2010 as a reaction to the poor tools available to filmmakers at the time. “The idea for the Flowbox project was initiated in 2010 by Wojciech Daniło, by this time as Senior Technical Director at Alvernia Studios (the most modern film studio in Poland),” said Valencia. “His job was to design and create solutions for visual effects for international productions like Arbitrage with Richard Gere and Vamps of Sigourney Weaver. That’s when he discovered the problems faced by his associates and how limited and inflexible the leading tools were.” The company has raised $1 million so far including an infusion from Innovation Nest. The app’s high-tech approach to rotoscoping could be just the thing filmmakers need to unlock the true potential of their already powerful tools.