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Sony Pictures Crackles with Grouper Relaunch

Sony Pictures Ent. has relaunched Grouper as Crackle, a streaming entertainment network. Crackle's comprehensive approach includes a unique programming and editorial strategy, wide-reaching global distribution platforms and collaboration with Sony Pictures Ent., the IMPROV Comedy franchise and other leading media companies.

"Crackle's irreverent editorial team, with a little help from our viewers, programs our provocative and entertaining channels for an audience of 25 million monthly unique users," said Josh Felser, founder/co-president of Crackle. "We reward the best video creators with Crackle funding, promotion, syndication and even greater exposure to our large media partners. Great content surfaced from our open studio model is the key to our success."

"The evolution of online video will bring viewers more professionally produced material," said Sean Carey, sevp, Sony Pictures. "Crackle will provide this next wave of creative talent a forum that will give them the exposure and recognition they seek and deserve."

Crackle's new entertainment model includes:

* World-Renowned Fame Partnerships -- Crackle catapults top creators to fame with on-going access and exposure to leaders in the entertainment industry like Sony Pictures Animation, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Television, IMPROV Comedy Lab and soon many more.

* Ambitious animators will have unprecedented access to artists from Sony Pictures Imageworks, an award-winning visual effects and animation company and Sony Pictures Animation, the distinguished Hollywood digital animation studio. Winners of the quarterly contest on Wet Paint, Crackle's edgy animation channel, will receive a cash prize and fly to Los Angeles to pitch Sony Pictures Animation execs for a chance to have their animated short theatrically released. Additionally, winners will be invited by Imageworks to attend SIGGRAPH, the preeminent computer graphics conference, in August 2008.

* A Crackle Studios development deal and a much sought-after pitch meeting with Columbia Pictures will be awarded on Shorts, Crackle's Short Film channel. Quarterly contest winners will receive funding from Crackle Studios to develop and produce short form material for Crackle distribution. Winners will also fly to Los Angeles to pitch their feature film concepts to Columbia creative executives. A similar Crackle Studios development deal will also be awarded on Moving Targets, Crackle's upcoming sketch variety channel. Quarterly contest winners will receive Crackle funding to develop projects for Crackle distribution. They will also meet with creative executives from Sony Pictures Television to pitch and present their television ideas.

* Multiplatform Distribution & Global Syndication -- Crackle offers a multi-platform, global syndication network across Sony devices, IPTV, leading social networks and viral Web distribution (e.g. MySpace, Facebook, hi5, AOL, Piczo, WordPress and many more). For Sony consumers, Crackle now provides content across a growing list of Sony environments including the Sony PSP, Sony VAIO and Sony BRAVIA.

* Engaging Original Content -- Crackle delivers audiences original and engaging entertainment from a unique mix of undiscovered talent and well-known stars.

Crackle' s branded channels are seeded and given context by Crackle's original productions while the company's open studio model encourages all to submit their creative works to the channels. Wet Paint will feature short-form edgy animation.

Visit Crackle's new site at

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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