UPDATE: I've actually just been reminded that last year Fox Searchlight and Focus Features launched a digital sceener program via iTunes. Those were downloads, not streaming, though. Split hairs if you must, but now that the air is clear...

It's a brave new world. And with online streaming capabilities has come the question of reaching voters with those tools. It seems inevitable that this will eventually become standardized, but then again, I always think of guys like Peter Bart, who literally has people print out his emails for him (or at least he did as of a few years ago). Naturally I think this is the way to go. There should be further testing of the waters with critics groups, however.

For now, a step in the right direction. Paramount Pictures sent out a press release today announcing a program for digitally streaming some of its awards contenders. The first awards-giving body to have access will be the Visual Effects Society, and the first films out of the gate will be "Rango," "Super 8" and "Like Crazy." (That amazing CGI in "Like Crazy" will stand out for the VES, just you wait. #sarcasm)

The studio is teaming up with Deluxe Entertainment Services Group to launch the program, and screeners will go out October 14. Check out the full press release below.

RANGO, SUPER 8 AND LIKE CRAZY LAUNCH FIRST EVER DIGITAL STREAMING PROGRAM FOR AWARDS CONTENDERS
Paramount Teams with Deluxe to Debut Pilot Program Providing "For Your Consideration" Online Screeners to the Visual Effects Society

HOLLYWOOD, CA (October 11, 2011) - Paramount Pictures announced today that it has teamed with Deluxe Entertainment Services Group to provide “For Your Consideration” online screeners for the 2011-2012 awards season, making it the first major studio to stream its awards films online. The studio will present its awards contenders, including RANGO, SUPER 8 and LIKE CRAZY, and potentially additional titles later this season, via Deluxe’s proprietary platform. The Visual Effects Society (VES) will be the first recipient of the online screeners, receiving them as early as October 14th.

The Deluxe solution allows Paramount to securely stream films backed by unique watermarking of the content tied to the individual recipients with DVD quality picture and a controlled window of availability. Content can beplayed back on a variety of PC and Mac devices, including the iPad and iPad2, as well as home entertainment systems with compatible HDMI cable connection.

“We are excited to present these films for online streaming and are hopeful that this will be a quality experience allowing us to offer more opportunities for our filmmaker partners to reachappreciative viewers,” said Paramount’s President of Domestic Marketing & Distribution Megan Colligan.

“We are delighted Paramount chose Deluxe’s digital screener platform. By continually expanding and customizing our services we are able to best support the rapidly changing needs of our entertainment industry clients,” said Michael Alvarez, President Deluxe Media Management.

“As the leading technology artists in the entertainment industry, we at VES are pleased that Paramount thought to come to us first to inaugurate this process,” said VES Executive Director Eric Roth.

Both Paramount and VES highly encourage films to be seen in the best possible environment – a theatre.  Understanding this is not always possible; using Deluxe’s service provides members with an additional method to screen films in a secure and timely manner.