When the iPad was first announced I wrote an article about how the device could affect filmmakers, saying, "when you’re developing a cross-platform story, what happens if you can’t define your project along clear lines? Should I say it? 'There’s an app for that.'" Stonehenge Productions has stepped in to create these very apps, which basically package your film along with a number of extras in a manner similar to a DVD release. This allows you to sell your film in the App store -- thereby circumnavigating your way onto an Apple device without having to go through the iTunes movie store.
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This iPhone version seems more basic than their new iPad version, but the newer videos on their site aren't embeddable, so head on over to their site for a peek at more involved applications. Their about page has an overview of how the process works:
Stonehenge Productions provides an easy and economical way for indie film makers to distribute films on iTunes. We create Apps that include your film, as well as rich media features such as digital books, behind the scenes clips, trailers, news, and social media capabilities for the iPad, iPhone and iTouch. We submit, manage and sell the Apps on iTunes in the App Store. Based on the feature set, we will charge a flat fee, plus a percentage of net sales from Apple.
They don't say on their web site what percentage they take, which is sort of a large oversight, but turning your film into a DVD-like app would seem to be a great way of circumventing Apple's infamous restrictions for what movies are allowed into iTunes. Unfortunately, since that rumor about Apple TV running on iOS proved to be false, this wouldn't get your app onto Apple't living room box (unless there's a way of doing it via AirPlay. If you'd like to get your indie film into iTunes without turning it into an app, have a look at Distribber.