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Wednesday, October 27, 1999 Published at 10:33 GMT 11:33 UK


Spielberg goes online

Steven Spielberg: Hopes his online venture will be a hit

Hollywood film-maker Steven Spielberg is teaming up with actor and director Ron Howard to make short films for the internet.

The project, called, is a joint venture between Spielberg's DreamWorks SKG company and Howard's Imagine Entertainment, and is being financed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. will produce short films from one to six minutes, with a mix of live action and animation, video on demand, online events, and interactive games and features.

As well as making its own material, hopes to encourage other artists and film-makers to contribute to the site, which will be funded by advertising and e-commerce features when it launches in spring 2000.

[ image: Ron Howard: TV star turned star director]
Ron Howard: TV star turned star director
Ron Howard's credits as a director include EdTV, released in the UK next month, as well as Backdraft, Apollo 13, Parenthood and The Nutty Professor. But many still know him best for the acting role which shot him to fame - as Richie Cunningham in Happy Days.

He said he found the idea of working with the internet was "entertaining and liberating" while Spielberg said the internet offered "unlimited potential as an entertainment arena" and he was "thrilled" to be working with Howard.

Spielberg's DreamWorks partner, former Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, said: "Just as MTV introduced a new entertainment forum for music videos, we think this new enterprise for the rapidly growing population of internet users.

" has the capability not only to offer a variety of entertainment options, but to tap into an as-yet undiscovered talent pool that is as global as the internet itself."

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