Film enthusiasts spout their ideas on new website

AUSTIN: Spout, a social networking space for film enthusiasts, launched at the South by Southwest film festival here last week.

AUSTIN: Spout, a social networking space for film enthusiasts, launched at the South by Southwest film festival here last week.

The website currently invites film enthusiasts to create profiles, share favorite films, and tag movies to particular subjects, like "best adapted screenplays" or "music." Users can then buy DVDs from Spout.com, a platform on which the founders would eventually like to build an independent film distribution system.

In a phone interview from New York, Maggie O'Neill, director for Spout AOR Peppercom, said that a SXSW launch made sense, given the founders own proclivities.

"These guys are filmmakers at heart," O'Neill said. "They want it to be a place, down the road, where filmmakers can distribute their films.

Bill Holsinger-Robinson, Spout COO, said the company also chose the festival because they could interact directly with the tech and film enthusiasts. The company held a happy hour where it give out t-shirts and asked attendees to fill out survey forms.

O'Neill said the launch had been in the works since September 2005. Before the public unveiling here, the founders of the company had maintained a blog for the site since November.

O'Neill said grassroots initiatives would begin in the Midwest and spread to various film festivals in 2006. The founders are from Grand Rapids, MI.

Peppercom will handle promotion of the site through events and talking to the technology, financial, and entertainment media, as well as analysts.

Holsinger-Robinson said that it chose Peppercom because it was a smaller agency with a trade show pedigree that would know how to promote the company without becoming "too commercial."

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