Disney to Celebrate ‘The Little Mermaid’ Digital and Disc Release With L.A. Fan Event

To celebrate the digital and disc release of the live-action feature The Little Mermaid, Disney is sponsoring a fan event Sept. 15 at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

The Little Mermaid is available now at digital retailers and will be released on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD Sept. 19.

The Little Mermaid Enchanted Celebration” — produced in partnership with If You Know It Sing It, an event company known for DJ theme nights across the country — takes place from 8 p.m.-midnight at the California Science Center’s Wallis Annenberg Building at 700 Exposition Park Drive. The entrance to Exposition Park and the Blue Parking Structure is at the intersection of 39th Street and Figueroa.

IYKISI will present a special edition of their event “Be Our Guest,” a nostalgic party that spins throwback songs from Disney movies and TV shows. The evening will feature all the hit songs from The Little Mermaid, as well as many other Disney classics that fans can sing and dance to.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Other elements of the evening will include themed food and drinks, opportunities to win prizes and immersive photo opps. Fans are encouraged to come dressed in The Little Mermaid attire to participate in the costume contest.

Tickets to “The Little Mermaid Enchanted Celebration” are free to fans 18 and older and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis here. A free ticket does not guarantee entrance to the event, so fans are encouraged to arrive early. The line will start at 7 p.m.

Unwind and Rewind: Home Video Industry Veterans to Gather for Los Angeles Reunion in September

What we once called the home video industry is approaching its 50th birthday. But while the concept is still the same — consumers getting to watch what they want, when they want, on demand — what we now call home entertainment, dominated by streaming, bears little resemblance to those early days, when the only way to watch a new movie was to run out to the nearest video rental store and watch in on cassette on the family VCR.

Back then, the business was dominated by thousands upon thousands of mom-and-pop video rental stores, which have virtually disappeared over the last three decades. But many of the pioneers who ran these stores — or worked at the studios and independent home video companies whose primary business at that time was selling these “rentailers” VHS videocassettes at $65 a pop — are still around.

Jodie Francisco, a Sherman Oaks, Calif. realtor whose own home video career ran the gamut from distributor to studio rep, is hoping many of those home video veterans will show up at the upcoming Video Industry Reunion, scheduled for Sept. 12, beginning at 5 p.m., at the Valley Inn Steakhouse and Bar at 4557 Sherman Oaks Ave. in Sherman Oaks.

“Currently, there are nearly 100 people saying they are either coming or interested,” says Francisco, whose own home video career began in 1983 at a national distributor  called Metro Video. “I was able to get a block of rooms at the Marriott Courtyard in Sherman Oaks, which is about one block from our venue.”

Among the well-known names slated to attend the reunion are Dave Mount, the former chairman and CEO of WEA; Rand Bleimeister, who held senior executive positions at such companies as Columbia TriStar Home Video and Nelson Entertainment; Janice Whiffen, a sales executive at Media Home Entertainment and Vestron Video; and Wayne Mogel, the former president and CEO of Star Video Entertainment.

Francisco has fond memories of those early days in home video. “It was like the Wild Wild West — anything goes,” she recalls. “I remember doing video presentations with Ninja dolls because the movies I was promoting at the time were so bad. I have such fond memories of those years, and as we are all getting older, I wanted to create an event to share memories and good times.”

Francisco organized the first Video Industry Reunion in May 2017, with about 75 people in attendance. A second reunion was held in June 2018, “and we had another great turnout,” she recalls. “We also did a FaceTime with Dave Mount, who was celebrating his 75th birthday and couldn’t make it in person. The first two events saw everyone from presidents and CEOs from the studios and indies to distributors, studio reps and retailers.”

“I don’t remember why I didn’t do one in 2019, but then the pandemic hit, so we did two Zoom meetings and had about 30 to 40 people attend virtually. I got inspired to bring back the in-person reunion this year because we’ve lost so many of our friends and colleague during the pandemic that I felt it was high time to meeting in person again.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Francisco says that when she began her career in home video 40 years ago, “the business was exploding. I worked at Metro Video and we were opening up new stores on a regular basis. We would take the owners through the warehouse with a shopping cart, and pulled titles off the shelf. It didn’t matter what it was; they just wanted more product! Later, when I moved to being a studio rep, the company I worked for was selling ‘D’ type movies, and they were not of great quality — but my creative presentations allowed me to get the product into the distributors and, ultimately, the retailers. Later on in my career I was intrigued by the internet and all that it had to offer and likened it to the beginning of the video industry. It was the Wild, Wild West all over again.”

For more information on the 2023 Video Industry Reunion, visit the event’s Facebook page or contact Francisco at jodiefrancisco@aol.com.

OTT.X Launching X-Fronts Confab May 24-25

OTT.X  has announced its inaugural X-Fronts event will be held May 24-25 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.  

The confab will provide “new opportunities for the next frontier of audience engagement,” according to the industry organization.

The X-Fronts will be an exchange consisting of pitches and presentations by prominent and up-and-coming AVOD and FAST platforms, networks, and channels to an audience of brands, advertisers and ad agencies, according to OTT.X. Presentations will include details about lineups, content promotion and other plans for the coming year. 

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The X-Fronts event “will serve as a launch pad for the rapidly growing AVOD and FAST markets by educating about and advocating for the growth and promotion of AVOD and FAST platforms,” according to the organization. Attendees will be directly exposed to a wide variety of options for their media budget spends from across the broad spectrum of established and rising stars in OTT streaming, according to organizers.

Each day will include a keynote speaker or panel, and meeting spaces, both private and semi-private, will be available for planned or ad-hoc meetings. 

“It is no secret that AVOD and FAST platforms are quickly becoming prominent players in the OTT and streaming landscape,” Mark Fisher, president and CEO of OTT.X, said in a statement. “By 2024, North American AVOD revenues are expected to reach $20.3 billion and close to 50% of the U.S population will be streaming AVOD content. The X-Fronts provides a first mover opportunity into the next generation of content viewing and audience engagement.”

DEG to Mount EnTech Fest Feb. 15-16 at Skirball, No Event at CES

DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group’s previously announced new event EnTech Fest will take place Feb. 15-16 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. The event replaces, and expands upon, the annual DEG reception at CES, which won’t be held this coming year for the first time in the group’s 25-year history.

The EnTech event will showcase new content distribution and display technology. There will be an in-car entertainment gallery and a “Startup Alley” will highlight new companies with products and services in entertainment technology.

The event is open to all DEG members.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Potential exhibitors or sponsors can email Andi Elliott at Andi@degonline.org.

CES to Return to Las Vegas for Live Event in January

The Consumer Technology Association April 28 announced that CES 2022 will return to Las Vegas next year.

CES heads back to Las Vegas Jan. 5-8, 2022, with Media Days taking place Jan. 3-4, 2022.

After an all-digital CES 2021, CTA will convene the tech industry in-person and digitally, giving a global audience access to major brands and startups, as well as leaders and industry advocates.

Some 1,000 companies have committed to showcasing their technologies in Las Vegas, and more are continuing to sign up, according to the CTA. Attendees can expect to see global brands including Amazon, AMD, AT&T, Daimler AG, Dell, Google, Hyundai, IBM, Intel, Lenovo, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics and Sony. Companies including Caterpillar, Indy Autonomous Challenge and Sierra Space are planning to make a Las Vegas debut in 2022. Eureka Park will return with startups representing countries around the world, including delegations from France, Italy, the Netherlands and South Korea.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“We’re thrilled to return to Las Vegas — home to CES for more than 40 years — and look forward to seeing many new and returning faces,” CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro said in a statement. “Hundreds of executives have told us how much they need CES to meet new and existing customers, find partners, reach media and discover innovation.”

The CES anchor desk, which debuted at CES 2021, will travel to Las Vegas and connect the digital audience with exhibitors, conference sessions, keynotes and product announcements from the live event. New content will also be added once CES departs Las Vegas.

“Our customers are enthusiastic about returning to a live event in Las Vegas,” Karen Chupka, EVP of CES for CTA, said in a statement. “Global brands and startups have shared that plans are already well underway and are committed to sharing the magic of an in-person CES with even more people from around the world.”

The CTA will be reviewing guidelines for coronavirus safety measures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in addition to state and local guidelines. The CTA will be following applicable federal, state and local laws, adapting CES plans accordingly and sharing updates with its audiences, according to the organization.