On the heels of extending the time and size limit for uploaded videos from partners, YouTube has announced that as part of the Los Angeles Film Festival tomorrow it will be launching the "Screening Room," a place for independent filmmakers to upload and sell shorts and feature-length material. The site will allow direct sales of both digital downloads and DVDs. I asked viral video producer Tim Street, best known for French Maid TV, if there were further details, but he says that while YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley is also at the Henry Fonda Theater on Hollywood Boulevard, he's yet to take the stage. Update: Hurley's pressing the flesh, but otherwise providing no details, while the party has moved upstairs to look down on the rest of Hollywood from above.
My questions include whether or not creators can choose to distribute downloads with or without digital rights management; whether YouTube will handle the stocking and shipping of DVDs (unlikely); and beyond that, if creators will be able to leverage YouTube and tools like Google Checkout to sell other "merch" related to projects. But even better tools for leading traffic from videos to creator's web sites would be welcome. More details from the press release at NewTeeVee and Silicon Alley Insider.