Ira Deutchman has joined New York-based online entertainment producer Studionext as its CEO. The founder of Fine Line Features and, more recently, Redeemable Features is the latest high-profile film industry executive to join the dotcom fray.

Studionext, which launched last year with the backing of private investors, has what Deutchman describes as an "evolving" business plan that aims to bridge new media with old media, from Hollywood studios to television networks."Hollywood is saddled with a cost structure that makes it impossible to innovate or take risks," Deutchman told ScreenDaily. "Digital technology allows us to break through that cost barrier. A studio or network may have a great concept that it can't afford to take a chance on." Studionext's business is to see such projects realised in the less-expensive digital realm.

Deutchman says Studionext will be client-based rather than a destination site. "Look how much money has been lost by ecommerce companies due to the necessity of drawing visitors to their sites' Compare that with the entertainment world where p&a is out of control. We don't want to be in that business."

Rather Studionext will shepherd digitally-based projects from development through to web distribution on behalf of the copyright holder in exchange for an "ongoing interest" in the project. "My job is bring my contacts and my skills to bear on the slate of projects that will be put into production."