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Planet iPad

Australian Convict Tale Expands Centuries-Old Multimedia Reach

The novel For the Term of His Natural Life by Marcus Clarke has remained in active print since it was first published Down Under in 1874. It has also been sourced along the way for a 1908 Australian short, 1927 silent feature, 1983 Australian miniseries and, this month, updated $13.99 iPad App.

Watching over the tablet incarnations is Patricia Payne. Originally from Australia and currently based in Los Angeles, she produced and co-wrote the aforementioned miniseries starring Anthony Perkins, Patrick Macnee and Samantha Eggar. From this week’s announcement:

In addition to introducing a condensed 300-page version of Clarke’s classic novel, the App also offers over 40 interactive footnotes, 19 video notes, bios as well as more than 100 photos, maps, a bonus song and historical documents. Eighteen video clips from the miniseries and highlights from the 1927 silent film are also interwoven.

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The Doors Break On Through to the iPad Side

It all started when Jac Holzman, who signed The Doors to Elektra Records way back in 1966, started to think about how to turn the legendary LA band’s boxed set into a digital wonderland. The result is a brand new $4.99 digital App from Warner Music Group’s Rhino Entertainment.

In the official announcement, Holzman has a cool description for The Doors App. He suggests that it’s like a “1500-piece jigsaw puzzle in three dimensions, which arrives on your iPad, elegantly pre-assembled.”

If you click “The Story” button, there is a treasure trove of photos, videos and interviews to light your nostalgic fire. As well as essays by everyone from the late Hunter S. Thompson to Patti Smith.

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With The Daily Done Like Digital Dinner, Nikki Finke Reminds That Was Never Her*

It was not exactly the snazziest 22 months of former Page Six scoop-meister Richard Johnson’s career. And with today’s announcement that News Corp’s iPad endeavor The Daily will officially fade to touch-screen black December 15, his tenure as west coast bureau chief is set to end with a whimper.

Adding insult to injury, Nikki Finke in her write-up this morning pours some more cold water on his biggest initial Flash splash:

In a memo to staff today, The Daily’s Jesse Angelo and Greg Clayman ridiculously boasted that despite “great original reporting, excellent design and custom interactivity… Unfortunately we have not been able to build a big enough audience fast enough to make our business model work.” (Great reporting? They posted a photo of me that was somebody else.*)

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Creative Director Rip Georges on the Impending Launch of Noir Magazine

Former LA Times Magazine editor Nancie Claire and creative director Rip Georges are on the verge of debuting their new tablet publication Noir Magazine. We spoke with Georges yesterday, who told us that if all goes well, the mag should launch in 3-4 weeks.

“We have 25 pounds of content for a 10-pound pack,” he says. “One of the things that continues to delight me is the willingness of writers to participate with us in the endeavor. The writing community is behind this project and that kind of access is going to make the mag very strong.”

Noir Magazine’s Kickstarter campaign ends this Friday. Ye of disposable wealth click here.

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Former LA Times Mag Editor and Creative Director to Launch New Tablet Pub Noir Magazine

Former LA Times Magazine editor Nancie Clare and former creative director Rip Georges sure have gotten their acts together fast. Little more than three months after the pair lost their jobs when the LAT Mag was shut down, Clare and Georges have announced they are launching a new publication: Noir Magazine — “[F]or the mystery, thriller and true crime genres in all mediums: books, movies, TV, graphic novels and video games.

Interestingly, the mag will be available exclusively as a tablet app. We spoke with Clare, who explained that the decision to go tablet-only was only partially about keeping down costs.

“Cost is certainly a consideration in going to a tablet only format, at least in the beginning. (We would love to do a print version further down the line.) But it’s far more than cost: Rip and I really believe that the future of periodicals is in tablets. Not only does it make the distribution easier, it affords the reader a much richer experience. For example, if we are listing the songs mentioned in Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole series, we can include samples of the songs; if we are doing a filmography of Sherlock Holmes movies we can include video. We can include clips of interviews we have with writers, directors, actors and actresses.”

Clare says initial plans are to put out 10 issues annually. The app and first issue should launch sometime in October.

Noir will definitely be contracting out work to freelance writers, photographers and designers, AND, bonus, bonus, Clare insists “They will be paid”– still not always a given in the world of electronic journalism.

To help with that endeavor, Noir  just launched a Kickstarter campaign. The pair are looking to raise $35,000 in 30 days. More info here.

Matthew Modine Unleashes Full Metal Jacket iPad App

First came the movie, in 1987. Then, two decades later, it was time for a limited edition book. Now, to mark Full Metal Jacket’s 25th anniversary, the film’s star Matthew Modine has turned that 2005 personal production diary into a $14.99 iPad app.

In a guest blog post for Ted Hope’s filmmaking website, Modine explained how the latest incarnation evolved:

The first edition of FMJ Diary [in 2005] was limited to only 20,000 laser-etched numbered copies and featured, literally, a metal book jacket. Upon release, it was well reviewed, awarded a prize for its design, and sold out rather quickly.

For years now, fans of the film and of Kubrick have been asking when a paperback edition might be released. The fact is, I wanted the 20,000 copies to be collector’s items and I never intended to publish a paperback version…

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Evan Kleiman Launches App for Pie Lovers

“Good Food” radio host Evan Kleiman just launched a new iPhone, iPad app called “Easy As Pie.” And, yes, it involves pie. Lots of pie.

Writes Kleiman of her app: “It’s no secret that I love pie, and what better time of year to express that love than the holidays? Appetites’ breaks down each step of the recipe into a short video clip from my own point of view in the kitchen. No guesswork and no fear. Just cook along with me to make delicious pies!”

The app will set you back $4.99 and it includes a recipe for apple butternut squash pie with bacon. Which, to this Jew, sounds absolutely sacrilicious.

AFI Fest Announces Award Winners

Today is the final day of this year’s AFI Fest–and this afternoon a luncheon was held to announce and honor the winning films. FishbowlLA went to nearly every day of the festival and caught at least eight films. But, sadly, we only managed to see one one of the big winners–Kinyarwanda by Alrick Brown, which co-won this year’s World Cinema Section category along with Jiro Dreams of Sushi by David Gelb.

With Every Heartbeat by Alexandra-Therese Keining won the Audience Award while Bullhead by Michaël R. Roskam won the New Auteur prize.

AFI Fest is screening the majority of its winning films today. So if you happened to miss out, like we did, better get over to Hollywood soon.

Full list of winners, via press release, after the jump.

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Silicon Valley Company Dumbs Down The Art of War

Should we really be complaining about a new e-book that is free across the board for Smartphones, iPads and computers? Probably not.

At the same time, nothing seems to better summarize our transformation into a convenience-obsessed, ADD civilization than today’s announcement that 2500-year-old Chinese military treatise The Art of War has been condensed into digital comic book form:

“SmarterComics are based on popular business books, where we take the main message from the original books and apply illustrations to the summaries. This saves the reader time, helps the reader to remember concepts longer and have fun while reading,” said Colleen Bunn, scriptwriter for SmarterComics.

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California Start-Up Ongo.com Adds LA Times, Tribune

Last fall, Ongo.com—the Cupertino, California start-up headed up by former Skype exec Alex Kazim (pictured)–received $12 million in financing from Gannett Company, Inc., The New York Times Company, and The Washington Post Company. Today, it has confirmed the latest components of its centralized multi-media feed.

Subscribers to this iPad targeted app, which starts at the base monthly rate of $6.99 and can be enhanced a la carte, now get stories from the LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and nearly two dozen other additional sources:

Ongo has also added photography from Getty Images to news stories that originally included a Getty Images photo… “We’re honored that many of the world’s biggest media companies are turning to Ongo as a new way to bring their valuable news and information to news enthusiasts,” said Kazim.

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