Fractured Media

As well as offering the audience a chance to participate with as little friction as possible we need to fracture our content and intercept audiences.

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It’s always been about Hybrid

Distributing pictures and making a decent return has always been a multi-diciplinary project. In the 80’s it was about making ancillary-products, 90’s VHS and DVD and now? This online game has thrown everybody and so the innovators try and fail, the cynics sit on the fence and say it will never work and alot of us hope for the best.

From a great new site I found called Magnet Media. I’ve used again only excerpts so check it out for yourself.

The Panel was: Efe Cakarel, Graham Leggat, Peter Becker, Sara Pollack

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Social Sound Design

Andrew Spitz recently launched a new project called Social Sound Design which is developed for sound designers and non-sound designers to find answers to tricky sound questions. Ranging from programming in Max/MSP to gear problems and for me what is the best advice to record sound on set.

Go check it out and post an answer or a question! I got great answers to my questions which you can see here:

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Pirate Bay continue..

In the spirit of true “Piratism” it doesn’t seem that even jail can stop them. Recently the 4 millionth user signed up. Check-out Freakbits for rad info on all things pirate - read comments for user info and links.

Despite the numerous lawsuits that have been targeted at The Pirate Bay, the notorious BitTorrent site welcomed its 4 millionth user last weekend.

Founded in 2003, the initial goal of the Pirate Bay founders was to build the first Scandinavian BitTorrent community. Due to the enormous international interest in the (former) tracker the operators of the site changed their initial plans and made the site available in multiple languages a year after it was launched.

Since then the number of users has grown by thousands a week, reaching a milestone of 4 million registered users a few days ago.

Its popularity didn’t go unnoticed to Hollywood and the major record labels either. This year there have been several lawsuits that targeted the site, and in April four people associated with The Pirate Bay have been sentenced to a year jail time and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. This landmark case will be appealed in 2010.

Despite, or perhaps due to, all the attention the site has continued to grow, and there are no signs that this will be halted anytime soon.


What is VODO?

VODO is trying to help solve three problems:

(1) How do we get works (texts, films, music) distributed efficiently and widely using current peer-to-peer and filesharing technologies?
(2) How do we market these works in a way that can help artists gain widespread recognition?
(3) How can we help creators distributing via filesharing systems to develop a sustainable and even profitable, practice?

We approach these problems by, first, gathering quality “unpublished” content (books, films, music) from a variety of sources. These may, for example, be commissioning boies who know about work they’ve comissioned that couldn’t be or wasn’t published; they may be “slush-piles” from literary agencies; they may be first albums submitted directly by bands, or offered by managers. (The fact is that a lot of great content will never make it to a mainstream publication –– for a variety of reasons that we won’t go into here, but NOT just because they’re not good enough.)
Second, we filter the content. Once it’s uploaded, we allow VODO’s Regular Supporters to download or stream any work they like, in order to comment and vote on it. Taking into account these votes and comments our team select works to distribute.

Third, we are bringing together some of the world’s largest P2P services and sites to help promote and distribute winning works. Works selected are promoted prominently to our ‘Distribution Coalition’, which has many millions of eyeballs. The promotions we place on these pages will link directly to the works, which will be seeded in partnership with Bittorrent and other filesharing services.

Finally, at the core of VODO is a commitment to providing revenue for creators of media content, in a world in which the systems for distributing, copying and viewing that content are cross-territorial, rapidly changing and difficult to predict or control.

Put simply, we provide a freely accessible “look up” table that stores hashes of works we’ve helped distribute, against payment details (e.g., PayPal) for producers. With this table, any site that implements the VODO system can offer donation links for VODO works. In time we’re aiming to extend this to all sorts of works, even those not published by us. But as you can guess, this will take some time!

With the system we’ve developed, we’ll be able to let consumers of media shared through P2P networks make voluntary donations to our creators wherever their works are shared.


Until recently the assumption has been that if consumers cannot be made to pay for copies of media obtained through traditional channels, revenue is entirely lost to creators. However, content/distribution projects such as Radiohead’s ‘In Rainbows’ and our own STEAL THIS FILM 1 & 2 have shown that a proportion (in Radiohead’s case, 38%) of people consuming media through P2P networks are willing to make entirely voluntary donations.

If a small proportion of the massive amount of P2P users downloading works through VODO decide to donate on a regular or semi-regular basis to some of the artists whose works they are sharing, these creators would be able to build an excellent means of support. One of the advantages of direct, after-the-fact donation is that there is no friction and much, much more of the money makes it into the artists’ pockets.

VODO makes it easy for users to donate and is part of a culture in which it will become normal for them to do so. We think there is a great opportunity for small-to-medium sized media producers to maximise usage of efficient, free P2P networks by encouraging free copying and distribution of their materials, while actively seeking voluntary supportive donations. We also think that around works distributed this way, we can build all sorts of new revenue channels for creators.

Films and music establish a powerful relationship between ‘producer’ and ‘consumer’. One of VODO’s key benefits lies in distributing payments out to players and downloading software, making it as trivial as possible for donors to initiate voluntary donations when they feel most ‘connected’ to the artist: at the point of enjoyment of the media.

VODO began in 2006 as the Pretext project, which was kindly supported by a grant from the Arts Council of England (ACE). Pretext’s aim was twofold: to distribute quality, minority texts over the internet, and to find a model that could remunerate authors while they did it. Back then, Pretext was Jamie King, artist/programmer Jan Gerber, then-CC-UK head Christian Ahlert, Hannah Upritchard and noted author Hari Kunzru.

To cut a long story short, it took us just less than two years to realise that ‘revolutionising’ the publishing industry was VERY hard way to tackle the problems that really interested us: how online distribution was changing what it means to communicate, to ‘get published’, to be a creator and an author in the ‘network society’. In the meantime, two of the original team — along with other friends — happened to make STEAL THIS FILM 1 and STEAL THIS FILM 2, which represented some of our thinking around this topic, live and very much in the public eye.

Artist/programmer/guru Sebastian Lutgert was another person instrumental in developing the ideas behind VODO during late 2007/early 2008. Sebastian and Jan are now working on the very significant system, mostly from Mumbai, India.

After STEAL THIS FILM, we focused on the core question how to distribute content of all kinds using existing P2P infrastructure (i.e., without re-
inventing the wheel!) and how to sustain content producers while doing it (i.e, get them paid!) A third, and equally important question circulated through much of our pragmatic research: how to help creators get as much attention as we’d got with the STEAL THIS FILM project. Without attention, you might as well upload your work to YouTube and hope for the best — not an enticing prospect for many.

So we came up with VODO, short for ‘voluntary donations’ but really much, much more than that. VODO is the publishing system we first started
trying to create with Pretext in 2006; it’s the distribution system that filmmakers all over the world have been wanting ever since they knew about distributing films online; it’s the same attention-gathering machine that was behind STF — only much, much more powerful.

In short, VODO is the culmination of a lot of thinking, a lot of work and lot of goodwill. From the initial funding offered by ACE, we were carried
through by grants from the OSI’s Information Programme, support from the BRITDOC Foundation and the UK’s Emerald Fund. We know that in the current economic environment, finding funding to continue developing VODO is going to be tough. That’s why we’ve designed VODO to be lean, simple and easy to maintain.

Today, VODO’s core development team comprises filmmaker/technologist Jamie King (UK/transient), programmer/activist Rama Cosentino (Argentina), documentarist/advocate Adnan Hadzi (UK), and BRITDOC’s delightful Jess Search (UK), who sits on our as-yet-not-really-existent board. In addition we’re delighted to welcome Stu Tilly (Shooting People) as a collaborator, and Pixeco, who’ll be helping us out with design before we go live.

Four Types of Fans

HAPPY DAYS! I finally got my book from Scott Kirsner FRIENDS, FANS AND FOLLOWERS and am so amped to read it! In this vein my first post of the day is an article on the four types of fans. Remember the article on 100 true fans, this is a nice follow-up? At the end of this article Kirsner suggests a nice breakdown on percentage of each type of fan.

I had a meeting with my crew from THE FORUM (videos to be posted in the next couple of days) today and one of our topics was audience aggregation. This topic will become more important as it is the DIYS ideology becomes prominent. Finding and more importantly keeping an audience will become an art - maybe even a career in the future - perhaps one day you can have a business cards that reads Audience Aggregator. That might be cool.

Ultimately though it is the work that you do that speaks the loudest. However, doing good work doesn’t necessarily mean you will have an audience. They need to find you and the way they find you is that you actively seek them… its the circle, the circle of life….

Happy hunting!

The Four Kinds of Fans

One of the biggest questions is how do you spur your fans to actually do something? Once someone has joined your Facebook fan group, friended you on MySpace, or started following you on Twitter, how can you actually get them to buy a ticket, a DVD, a download, or some merch?

An important starting step, I’d suggest, is to start thinking about four different kinds of fans.

  1. The Impulse Fan. The impulse fan sees a video you’ve made, or hears about your band from their roommate, and signs up to follow you on Twitter or joins your Facebook group. This fan will never do anything else — ever. They are good only for your ego: yesterday, you had 1000 followers on Twitter, and today you have 1001.

  2. The Prospective / Occasional Fan. The prospective fan is someone who can be lured out to a show or screening, or convinced to buy a new CD/DVD, but with some effort. You may need to dangle free samples. You may need to offer a free ticket to a pre-release, top-secret, underground album listening party. You may need to mention that there will be free, limited edition t-shirts given to the first 25 people who show up. The prospective fan can be activated, with a little creative strategizing. They can be “converted” into an occasional fan, showing up every once in a while to your events or buying a book or digital album download every couple years. And they may even be transformed over time into a True Fan.

  3. The True Fan. Kevin Kelly defined the True Fan as “someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name.” A True Fan will follow what you’re doing on your own site, your blog, your Twitter feed — wherever you choose to communicate. You shouldn’t ignore their care and feeding, but these fans have already been activated.

  4. The Super Fan. The Super Fan is a True Fan who is willing to help you out in some way. In Fans, Friends & Followers, the singer-songwriter Jill Sobule says she has a super fan who built and helps manage her Web site. Cartoonist Dave Kellett talks about super fans who have given him a lift from the airport in their city to a local event, or have been willing to accept shipments of books on his behalf and cart them to a book signing. Jonathan Coulton says that super fans have helped him find a great concert venue in which to perform. Super Fans, if you ask nicely (and offer them copious thanks and credit) will post flyers for you in their city, or point you to the best bar for a post-screening cast party.

I don’t purport to have discovered all of the keys as to how you activate Prospective / Occasional Fans. But two things are certainly essential: making them feel part of your circle, and that you’re grateful for their support. Incentives and discounts and give-aways can help. So can events that feel special, secret, unique, limited in space, or invitation-only.

What do you think the typical breakdown is between these four types of fans, for the typical artist? Just to throw something out that you might think about, I’d suggest:

  • 25 percent Impulse Fans,
  • 50 percent Prospective / Occasional Fans,
  • 20 percent True Fans, and
  • 5 percent Super Fans.

Hollywood 2.0

Scott Kersner pointed me in the direction of John Ott and his blog Making the movie. Its a great clean, well organized site with cool reviews, ideas and well, cool film stuff. The thing that caught my ATT was John’s article called Hollywood 2.0 (the title of the book on the topic, if he ever gets that far).

There are many ideas on what Hollywood can/should do to “save” the film industry. John just flips it upside down. Again using the music industry as a lead staff, he suggest making more music and taking theatrical to an exclusivity status.

What if you released your movie streaming online, then for download — going to the t.v. through people’s box of choice - then on DVD/Bluray and, finally, in theaters? You could theoretically have so few screenings (such scarcity) that the filmmakers or actors could tour around the country with it, making personal appearances. You wouldn’t have to shell out for the theatrical tour until you knew, from statistics on download and home video sales, that the movie had a sizable audience

I think the idea deserves some novelty points. It not just crazy talk, there is a plan behind it. Roll out the film mass scale, get people watching, in my opinion on ANY medium, and then build your audience. Charge premium for theatre tickets and sell out on every show.

Its alot like what Arin Crumley did on Four Eyed Monsters. Taking their film across the US once they had a full cinema in any city - that was achieved through google earth and some other free apps or networking sites.

John admits that this model wont easily work for the studios, since they have the whole theater thing under their belts and audiences are already pretty conditioned to paying x for tickets. To think they will now suddenly pay x*200% is not likely. Except maybe if you turn it into an “EVENING AT THE THEATRE” and you actually do get to sit next to Zooey Deschanel and make idle chit chat while thinking that you have a chance with her…..wait I’m getting distracted.

This model, like music, will work on “social scale”, if your movie is big and famous you get to charge more in a premium theatre, if its small and grundgy then thats what you get. Easy.

ya, think about it, read/write and rock-on.

Sites that review unreleased Indie

Aah, Trulyfree blog is always a little bit of awesome. This time Ted has posted some sights that review Indie films. I hope the guys from Orgie, Party of Three and Capitalist Pigs make use of of any of these!! If you do - let me know and well post something onnit….

Ted has placed the name of the individual who recommended the site next to the blog (to spread more names of people doing stuff) Brendon Bouzard Brandon Harris Tze Chun Christophe Lepage Bill Cunningham action,horror, pulp,sci-fi, thriller Christophe Lepage Tze Chun Ted Hope Christophe Lepage
http:/ Christophe Lepage
MyFiveYearPlan Brendon Bouzard Christophe Lepage Tze Chun Christophe Lepage Slashfilm Tze Chun & Christophe Lepage Tze Chun Dave Nuttycombe

I am a member of Ironweedfilms and read Slashfilm OFTEN. Both these sites offer great indy information and enjoy the odd, the strange, the creative and unique, as I can imagine all these sites do. Hammer to nail is Ted’s site and is part of his site collective of which trulyfree is also part.

Enjoy, its a great resource… make use of it!

New Story Platforms

We know by know that story telling has come a long way from sitting by a fire and hearing an old lady tell of the man that came form the river…..Stories themselves have not become more sophosticated but the delivery methods have. Dee Cook looks at three different stories being told in three different ways.

The Queen has told you to return with her heart in a box. Snow White has made you promise to make other arrangements. Now that you’re alone in the forest, it’s hard to know which of the two women to trust. The Queen is certainly a witch — but her stepdaughter may be something even more horrible…

Alabaster is a form of interactive fiction that sets about to retell the tale of Snow White from a somewhat different perspective. The story is told through text, and you are given a prompt to enter responses. The story then reacts to what you have just told or asked it. Additionally, Alabaster includes illustrations that change in accordance with the mood of the story. This collaboration between 11 different authors is a sophisticated tapestry of dialog and plot. In all, 18 separate endings are available, depending on the choices the player makes.

If you’ve never had the opportunity to explore the world of interactive fiction, or IF, you’re missing a treat. If Alabaster whets your appetite, give the classic Zork series a shot next. Theatre of the mind at its finest.

Another sort of storytelling entirely, Nawlz is an online graphic novel. Nearly every panel features some sort of animation and sound, and some have interactive hotspots that readers can play with. The cyberpunk setting “follows Harley Chambers as he kicks thru the futuristic City of Nawlz engaging in overlaying virtual realities, mind-bending drugs and other strange techno-cultures.”

What’s interesting about Nawlz is that the panels are not static. Items and elements appear and rearrange themselves within the panels as the reader navigates through the story. This gives a totally new dynamic to the experience and is exciting even for graphic novel neophytes to navigate through.


Survive the Outbreak
When the zombies attack, are you dead meat or will you be leading your people to safety? Chris Lund’s Survive the Outbreak let people put their best armchair zombie quarterbacking skills to the test, providing a choose-your-own-adventure style interactive movie that allowed viewers to make the decisions what to do next. Unfortunately, the high quality version seems to be a victim of its own success (or perhaps it’s a vast undead plot), but a reasonable facsimile of the movie/game can be found on YouTube complete with the decision tree. According to the designers, there are eight possible endings - but only two where the protagonist lives. As Homer Simpson would say, “I like those odds!”

So take note, storytellers - every day there is someone out there finding another new and innovative way of captivating an audience. What’s been most interesting has been to see the shift from author-driven story to author/audience collaboration. Giving your audience a stake in the story is a sure-fire way of building a very strong relationship with them. Finding interesting ways of doing that is the challenge - and the fun part.

Dee Cook was elated to discover the world of interactive storytelling because, at that moment, she finally discovered what she wanted to do when she grew up. A fish out of water with lofty ideals and meta-theorizing, Dee finds herself most at home with her sleeves rolled up and the grease of a good story under her fingernails. In the last several years she has written, designed, and consulted on over a dozen alternate reality games, extended realities, and marketing campaigns, most recently World Without Oil, True Blood, Dead Space, and My Home 2.0. You can find her online at

More Friends and Fans

Last time I wrote about my favorite “creating fans” guru Scott Kirsner. NOw I found someone else who also has I wanted to share it with ya’ll..

Posted: Tue, June 09, 2009, 11:06 AM From Thompson on Hollywood

Cinematech blogger Scott Kirsner drank the digital Kool-aid some time back. So the author of 2007’s The Future of Web Video and 2008’s Inventing the Movies decided that he had to self-publish his newest book, Fans, Friends and Followers. “If I was writing that artists had to be their own entrepreneur,” he says, “then I had to do it too.”

For no up-front charge (and no advance), Kirsner selected his own fonts at Amazon’s CreateSpace. He sent a PDF of the cover and interior to upload. They sent him back galleys to correct and within 10 days of signing off, he had books on sale at Amazon, and collects a bigger percentage of royalties than a publisher would pay. “If I had waited for traditional publishing it would be out in the fall of 2010,” he says. “This stuff is timely, it’s not the history of MGM. It would have been stale.”

For the book, which has sold more than 10,000 copies, Kirsner interviewed three dozen do-it-yourself types in film and video, art and music, from internet pioneer and short video maker Ze Frank to animator M dot Strange. “Until the last three to four years,” says Kirsner, “you made a film and either you picked up a distributor at SXSW or Sundance, or not. There was no plan B. You never thought about what might happen, how to get the movie out there. I tried to talk to people about Plan B.”

In 2006, Strange persuaded the Sundance Film Festival to play his film We Are the Strange at a midnight screening at the Egyptian by using his YouTube following to prove that he had an audience. He then distributed the film through Film Baby and via YouTube (with a DVD click-through button) in April 2008. According to Kirsner, he made enough money to not only pay off the debt from the film, but to finance his next one.

Here’s the trailer:

The agricultural documentary King Corn debuted at SXSW in 2007, went on to other festivals, had a theatrical run, aired on PBS in April 2008, and was one of the biggest selling films on iTunes. Aaron Wolff, Ian Cheney, Curt Ellis and their team kept building a database of fans in FileMaker, then created an email list on Constant Contact. They barraged their fans with new info, updated their website constantly, and kept the promo stream going by guest-blogging at different sites that they knew would be receptive to the film’s green subject matter. Here’s the trailer:

A lot of online communities are interested in what you’re doing, whether it’s a sci-fi movie or a documentary about U.S. future policies,” says Kirsner. “With the internet there’s a direct link between that review or write-up and where you buy a book. People are closer to the transaction. There’s a lot of innovation in terms of business models. People are trying different things. With places like Home Star Runner, which avoids advertising and built their model on selling t-shirts, merchandise and DVDs, or Lulu and CreateSpace, you can see there’s a whole new infrastructure, a new pathway for getting books, DVDs, and CDs out there.”

But DIY takes work, Kirsner admits: “The promotional energy has to come from you, using blogs and Twitter and getting people to write about your project. It’s a whole new world. There are no more sugar daddies taking care of problems. With the old school Hollywood dynamic you had to shuck and jive to get observed by a talent agent, that was the only path to making it. Now you do what you want to get noticed and build up an audience. Then you have a choice to do a deal with a studio or record company, or do your own thing. Some will do it, some will not. But you don’t have to wait around and cross your fingers and hope.”

Kirsner has been working overtime to get out the word on his book. He’s created a Power Tool Wiki that lists tools for building an online fan base. Here are some reviews, including Wired editor Chris Anderson, who log-rolled thusly:

Making a living in the Long Tail means taking matters into your own hands, crafting a marketing strategy that’s just right for you and your work. This book compiles the stories of those who’ve done it best. You’ll get ideas from every one of them. Inspiring and incredibly useful—Kirsner’s assembled a playbook for the social media age.”

Workbook project


Here is a Powerpoint on how to think about film and integrating it with other media… Courtesy of the Workbook Project, they continue to divulge their ideas on how we can make movies and do it well. Follow them, bookmark their site and read ALL of it. There are great lessons to take from their the examples, many of which should be used in an emerging market like ours!

Pirate Bay, going once going twice…SOLD!


Oh yes Pirates. Our beloved, illegal and awesome bit torrent site has been SOLD. And for a mere $7.5 milj ….. pittance.

An Imagination Scenario
Imagine for a second, an English war ship pulls over a pirate ship (which is beaten and battered), the english ship’s Captain invites the Pirate Captain on board for a rum and coke. The Pirate Captain agrees (first mistake) and swings across to the English ship, “If I’m not back within the hour maties, wait ye longer and then shoot all the bastards!”.
Finally, the Pirate Captain returns, he is sporting a new coat and a shiny new blade. His crew are stunned but trust their old and brave Captain who only utters the co-ordinates of a famous English harbor. They all know the place because they have fought there and killed many army bastards and pillaged the towns around! He tells his crew that for some money they will now be a legal entity. They are still known as THE PIRATES but no army will shoot at them ever again, and they will not be pillaging any longer, they will bater and sell goods. “Ai me maties, nothing will be changed, we shall be the PIRATES still!!! Har Har” he yells from Starboard. The Pirate crew look unimpressed and not convinced by the new legal pirate entity.

A legal, Pirate Entity….hmmm..

The listed software company, Global Gaming Factory X AB (publ) (GGF)
acquires The Pirate Bay website,, one of the 100
most visited websites in the world and the technology company Peerialism,
that has developed next generation file-sharing technology. Following the
completion of the acquisitions, GGF intends to launch new business models
that allow compensation to the content providers and copyright owners. The
responsibility for, and operation of the site will be taken over by GGF in
connection with closing of the transaction, which is scheduled for August

We would like to introduce models which entail that content providers and
copyright owners get paid for content that is downloaded via the site, ” said
Hans Pandeya, CEO GGF.

That does sound appealing though doesn’t it. Everyone getting paid… download something you might receive money. Yes please, I’ll have one.
The move in my opinion is the right one. The alternatives for TPB owners included more jail time and bigger fines, not so appealing when your the one going to jail, regardless the street cred that you gain!

Watch this space for more. Many pirates are pissed off and I wonder what the subscriber backlash is going to be. I don’t think pretty. Go and check out The Pirate Bay Blog to read their response to the sale and there is ALOT of messages posted varying from F-U to “That sounds great, what’s Pirate bay..” LOL.

I leave you with this from the CEO of GGF:

”The Pirate Bay is a site that is among the top 100 most visited Internet sites in the
world. However, in order to live on, The Pirate Bay requires a new business
model, which satisfies the requirements and needs of all parties, content
providers, broadband operators, end users, and the judiciary. Content creators
and providers need to control their content and get paid for it. File sharers ´need
faster downloads and better quality, ” Hans Pandeya.

An article on the deal at The DealBook Blog

ARG + Films = New Business?

The convergence of Gaming and Filmmaking are becoming inventible. Watchmen Prequel will be a game and there are more that have been spoken of. Wired Magazine has posted ideas of how film and game will converge, Ted Hope talks new business models, the collapse of finance structures is happening and everyone is scrambling to come up with new innovative ways to produce films.

If these models where being talked about a couple of years back films like “Primer” may have gone on to be produced a lot differently. Alas.

This mysterious new model has many hidedn secrets (sounds like the opening of game…) and should be explored by as many film makers as possible. Soem questions i have pondered; does the model lie in the narrative, the ancillary products or the product placement. What is the balance of all these elements?

Richard Lackey divulged some ideas on his blog recently which I would like to share. He talks specifically about the ARG and how feature films and ARG’s can become hybrids. Using models and techniques from both genres to create new films/games which, in his discussion, could lead to larger investment opportunities.

I think he is on the right path and he closes the blog post by stating that this is a work in progress. Indeed it is, and the more we share our thoughts on how to make this work the faster it will happen with success.

Excepts from Richards great site Digital Cinema Demystified

The game, utilizing sometimes hundreds of websites, real phone numbers, email addresses and real-world locations, physical media and objects engages players individually and collectively through online communities where players discuss and solve clues leading them to ever more cryptic and confusing clues. The “puppetmasters” keep constant tabs on individual players, changing the game and twisting the plot during gameplay to stay constantly one step ahead.

The ARG has been used to great effect as a form of online viral marketing, for products and for films, but the boundaries of form and method are constantly being pushed.

The power in the ARG as the online narrative native to the internet is in its ability to engage the full senses of the individual participant and rudely, unexpectedly involve him or her as a key player in something far bigger than they can possibly know. The player does not know he is playing a game, does not know who or what his opponent is or what they want from him, and in fact one of the most important design principles in the ARG is that the game never lets on that it is a game.

Just as linear, narrative fiction on-screen did and still does provide an audio-visual escape into another world outside of the viewer’s own, the ARG crosses all the boundaries that limit the ability of traditional audio-visual mediums to actively involve the audience as a participant and change-agent in the plot of the story itself.

What the film needs is no overt branding whatsoever, yet in my ideal, it needs to be free to view. When combined with an ARG campaign however, the opportunities for appropriate in-game advertising and product involvement (not just placement) are far greater, in fact are limited only by the imagination (and chosen storyline) of the game designers.

The new Socialism

This is a great read written by technocratum, Kevin Kelly. Entitled “the New Socialism” Kelly debates the role of digitalism and the culture that has come from it. Mostly from the point of view of an open source, free-share supporter, Kelly draws parallels between old school socialism and how it has adapted it’s from for the digital age. Further than that the article delves into how monetary gains are being made through the use of free sharing and community building.

The New Socialism: Global Collectivist Society Is Coming Online

We’re not talking about your grandfather’s socialism. In fact, there is a long list of past movements this new socialism is not. It is not class warfare. It is not anti-American; indeed, digital socialism may be the newest American innovation. While old-school socialism was an arm of the state, digital socialism is socialism without the state. This new brand of socialism currently operates in the realm of culture and economics, rather than government—for now.

Indeed, its not about governments or politics, it will stagnate if government, politics or corporate become part of it. This movement will only live for as long as “The People” want it to. As long as people are investing their time (and if so by proxy also their money: time=money) then digitalsocialism will survive. The communities online are merely a natural progression of existing societies. In an age where we are friends with people around the globe and are able to sustain these relationships through our digital tech, development of societies are inevitable. WE have found a town square and called it the internet. It’s a place where vendors and buyers meet, where philosophers can sit on a chair and explore deep questions and where people with common interest meet.

It is a place we choose to share information, contacts, art, business strategies and code. I am surprised on a daily basis how much we are willing to give toward this community. Maybe it has something to do with anonymity, sharing your secrets with a total stranger, but I feel that when I share the people that read are not strangers, they are friends. You are reading because you care or, at least you are interested in, what is going on here and in return you participate in your own way.

Instead of gathering on collective farms, we gather in collective worlds. Instead of state factories, we have desktop factories connected to virtual co-ops. Instead of sharing drill bits, picks, and shovels, we share apps, scripts, and APIs. Instead of faceless politburos, we have faceless meritocracies, where the only thing that matters is getting things done. Instead of national production, we have peer production. Instead of government rations and subsidies, we have a bounty of free goods.

So what’s the point?
This is no hippy commune, the building blocks started with a few and the communities now reach a few million. The sharing and caring mentality is less feel-good and more practical output driven. Most people participating in these communities do it to get better at their own skill set. It is about communication, building and progressing tools and resources that are available. Taking twitter as an example and looking at how many people have created 3rd party aps to accompany this little program. This little program has gone to undermine regimes and make headlines in international news, this little program has drawn the attention of world powers, this little program only exsist becuase we choose it to adn we choose to make it grow. Without everyone participating Twitter is just another idea.

Indeed there will be a time when Twitter is just a memory, however, isn’t all space. In the meantime, we make that space a place of construct where we dabate and share. This new socialism or Dot-Communism is ours and what we do with it, whether we keep it, has nothing to do with governments or corporations. Freedom is a beautiful pleasure and dreadful responsibility….

Now we’re trying the same trick with collaborative social technology, applying digital socialism to a growing list of wishes—and occasionally to problems that the free market couldn’t solve—to see if it works. So far, the results have been startling. At nearly every turn, the power of sharing, cooperation, collaboration, openness, free pricing, and transparency has proven to be more practical than we capitalists thought possible. Each time we try it, we find that the power of the new socialism is bigger than we imagined.

We underestimate the power of our tools to reshape our minds. Did we really believe we could collaboratively build and inhabit virtual worlds all day, every day, and not have it affect our perspective? The force of online socialism is growing. Its dynamic is spreading beyond electrons—perhaps into elections.

Read Full Article Here

The second most important question

Hey all. It’s been a week of working and I admit I lost touch with my posting habits. But, I am back and here we go. Straight into it. Read this great post on Cinetech site by Scott Kirsner. Following on the most important question a film maker will ask:” Will you give me money to make my film”, Scott is of the opinion that the second most important question should be…Well, read the excerpt.

I suggested that there are two important questions filmmakers need to ask during the process of making a film. Filmmakers already ask the first one, constantly: will you give me money to help make my movie?

But the second one, just as important, isn’t one that most filmmakers know about, or ask often enough.
Here it is: what groups, online communities, blogs, Web sites, or non-profits do you think would be interested in this film?

I think you should ask that of everyone you meet: your cinematographer … your investors … your screenwriter … your prop master … everyone you interview for a documentary. And keep a list of their answers.

You will discover that there are magazines, blogs, fan communities, and organizations with millions of members that you should build relationships with. Let them know what you are working on. Get them (and their audiences) involved in some way - as you are making the movie. Give them sneak peeks as you are in postproduction. Give them a trailer or early cut to show at their annual convention. Enlist their help in spreading the word once you’re on the festival circuit or in theatrical release. Do ticket and DVD give-aways to get their communities buzzing.

You ought to be asking this second question throughout the process of making your movie because that will help you discover who the most powerful taste-makers are, online and off. People you encounter who know these bloggers and publishers and non-profit presidents will make introductions to them for you. That’s something that no amount of Googling during the post-production phase can do, unfortunately.

France passes ISP Law

AARGH. After losing the battle in April I thought the worst was over, even believing the chatter that French parlaiment wont be able to try again. Alas, French Gov has just passed and signed a law that would cut-off ISP users who frequently download illegal torrents. The user will however be forced to continue payment to the network supplier.

This is sad news for me but it does mean that hackers have a new frontier. Not that they dont have enough to do between DRM’s, bit torrents, software and all other digital media. We are at the core now. The government, your government, has taken the side of the corporate “giver” and will (regardless of justify-ability) cut you off from being able to read this blog or google your homework. It cuts deep!

I know Australia recently tried a similar ploy but got shot-down by the people. How long before the battle lines are drawn, will there even be a fight?!

The French government has succeeded in getting its Internet privacy law through the National Assembly, reversing an embarrassing defeat in April when too few government supporters turned out to vote during the Easter vacation season.

Asked a second time on Tuesday, a packed Assembly supported the law by 296 votes to 233. France’s upper house, the Senate, is expected to approve the law today.

The law will require French Internet service providers to cut connections to customers who persistently download pirated material. Suspensions will last from three months to a year, with the disconnected surfer obliged to continue paying service charges.

Companies caught by the law may avoid suspension if they adopt security measures to prevent further illegal downloads. A government agency is to be created to track down suspected offenders and inform ISPs.

From Variety

Pirate Bay Anthem

With all the halla-baloo going on in the Pirate Bay Arena Swedish artist Montt Mardié has written an Anthem for the website/movement/culture (the lines are getting So blurred) that is Pirate Bay. Of course the song is available in various formats and for download to re-mix etc. Just for fun, here it is!

In the words of Montt Mardie ‘To show the world, that we’re all The Pirate Bay…’”

Words from the Artiste:

An artist has got to make a living just like everybody else, there’s no doubt about it. And these are tough times, believe me I know. The thing is though, if I were to go back in time, 10 years or so, and tell the 15-year-old version of myself that over a night, 60 000 people had heard one of my songs, the first question I’d throw back at myself wouldn’t be “how much money did I make?”.
Don’t get me wrong, I love money and I want to make a lot of it. Bathe in it just like Uncle Scrooge. But money isn’t the main reason why I write songs. First and foremost I want people to hear them.
Times are so strange at the moment and a lot of people are angry and upset. Still, for each day that goes by I get more and more convinced that we shouldn’t try to fight the future, we should embrace it. Try to see opportunities instead of catastrophys.

I’ve written a song. I call it “We’re All The Pirate Bay”. It’s free and nobody will ever have to pay for it, though if you incist you are welcome to make a donation!

Take care, Monty

More Montt Mardié at

Excerpts from Boing-Boing and The Pirate Bay

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act


If you post this on any other site, aggregate this content, copy it for ANY reason or distribute it for ANY reason I will, and I mean I will sue your ASS so hard you’ll wish for prison!”

Woah man, like harsh….

This is the effect of the Copyright law in today’s Pirate (bay) climate. It sucks. There are many against what is going on and war seems inevitable. My imagination wonders about what this war will look like because the armies will be IP address and every soldier/terrorist (depending on what side you stand on) will be invisible. As soon as they see you..Game OVER!

The guys from Pirate Bay have just been sentenced, Real-DVD is being sued, a mom from Colorado is being sent lawyers letters for use of a song in the background of a home movie of her kid dancing. It seems that things are out of hand. The fable of the Rock Giant that refuses to move from the sinking island seems to be coming true.

How long will the suffocating hand of the corporate world stay on my throat..I agree with Lessig completely that a Hybrid is the answer…The extremists seem to be the conservative corporations though and I don’t know about you but convincing Conservative thought that they are being dogmatic is, well, tough.

In order to fight the good battle we need to know what’s potting so here is not only a link but also a break down of the The Digital Millennium Copyright Act that is really the root of many a problem.

According to Micheal Masnick copyright law as it stands could become redundant if creatives follow the Trent Reznor path. To put it into context, the talk was about music but there are overlapping suggestions…
CwF + RtB = $$$$ >> That’s for a later post….

Highlights Generally:

·Makes it a crime to circumvent anti-piracy measures built into most commercial software.

·Outlaws the manufacture, sale, or distribution of code-cracking devices used to illegally copy software.

·Does permit the cracking of copyright protection devices, however, to conduct encryption research, assess product interoperability, and test computer security systems.

·Provides exemptions from anti-circumvention provisions for nonprofit libraries, archives, and educational institutions under certain circumstances.

·In general, limits Internet service providers from copyright infringement liability for simply transmitting information over the Internet.

·Service providers, however, are expected to remove material from users’ web sites that appears to constitute copyright infringement.

·Limits liability of nonprofit institutions of higher education, when they serve as online service providers and under certain circumstances, for copyright infringement by faculty members or graduate students.

·Requires that “webcasters” pay licensing fees to record companies.

·Requires that the Register of Copyrights, after consultation with relevant parties, submit to Congress recommendations regarding how to promote distance education through digital technologies while “maintaining an appropriate balance between the rights of copyright owners and the needs of users.”

·States explicitly that “[n]othing in this section shall affect rights, remedies, limitations, or defenses to copyright infringement, including fair use…”


Steal This Film Part2


I feel like a bit of an idiot only finding out about “Steal This Film” now. The second installment has just been released on the net for (obviously) free download. The motto: Share the movie and copy it everywhere! The documentary made by the League of Noble Peers started as a group of friends wanting to make a documentary about file-sharing and the culture surrounding it. Part one deals with Bit-torrent and the attempt from the corporate world to close down this trend.

The film is notable for its critical analysis of an alleged regulatory capture attempt performed by the Hollywood film lobby to leverage economic sanctions by the United States government on Sweden through the WTO. Alleged aims included the application of pressure to Swedish police into conducting a search and seizure against Swedish law for the purpose of disrupting The Pirate Bay’s BitTorrent tracker.

Part 2 is about the technology and the culture of our download society. By peering into who is involved in the copyright wars it makes clear what the war is about. Trust me, its not about feeding the artists….

All of this is intended to destroy or delay inexorable changes in what it means to create and exchange our creations. If STEAL THIS FILM II proves at all useful in bringing new people into the leagues of those now prepared to think ‘after intellectual property’, think creatively about the future of distribution, production and creativity, we have achieved our main goal.

I watched “Who killed the electric car” last night and it seems many themes converge. Basically that the large corporate world will delay change for as long as present models are making profit. It makes sense and is the realty of being a corporate. However how can the whole corporate world/generation call a whole other generation criminals? It seems a little extreme…Surely there must be some give and take when it comes to creating culture. Alas.

So for your pleasure, here is the link to Steal This Film 2

If you are looking to find Steal this film part 1, I suggest using Bit-Torrents to find it. If you don’t know anything about Bit-Torrents its time you learn….

Also, I really liked the FAQ section of STF website so here it is

Q. Why is your film copyrighted?
A. So that you can steal it. Of course there’s more to say about this, but we’re sure you can figure it out.

Q. How many downloads have you had of STEAL THIS FILM?
A. Someone recently told us 5 million, which was nice to imagine, but we put the number closer to 2.7m. We’re not sure how many viewers there are for each download, or how many people redistribute STEAL THIS FILM using disks and local networks. But we estimate conservatively at 1.2 distributions for each download and 1.5 viewers for each copy, so…

Q. How many people have seen STEAL THIS FILM?
A. About 4.86m, which is about 48.6 times as many as we ever imagined.

Q. Where do you get these numbers from?
A. We obtain these figures from looking at torrent downloads from the major Bittorrent tracker at The Pirate Bay, and our own logs. (Although our own server is not, by far, the most popular place to obtain the torrents from.)

Q. Did you make a lot of money out of STEAL THIS FILM I?
A. No. To be honest we didn’t even make enough to make STEAL THIS FILM II, but here’s hoping for the future!

Q. I want to show STF (1 or 2) at my film festival: can you send me a DVD / Beta Tape / Laserdisc / VHS / 12” record….
A. We’d really, really, rather not. It’s not that we don’t respect your festival, and we WOULD love it if you show the film, and it’s not that we think we’re special, and and we really appreciate your attention. It’s just that we don’t have an office, and we don’t have a Beta deck, and you CAN just download the film from our site and it is IS HD quality and really, isn’t it TIME you learned how to use Bittorrent anyway?

Q. I want to buy (STF I or STF II) for something. Do you own it?
STF II is completely ‘cleared’ and you can buy it for any territory. STF I is a different kettle of fish, it’s not at all cleared and you probably don’t want to have anything to do with it.

Q. Do you have a sales agent?
A. We’re currently negotiating with a sales agent, more on that soon.

Q. What’s in the surprise gift-pack?
A. It’s a surprise.

Remix the Remixer


To celebrate the release of Lawrence Lessig’s book REMIX, Bloomsbury Acedemic has offered a competition to Remix any of Lessig’s work. The remix could be in form of Video, graphic or written. By taking a talk that LL does for example and mashing it you enter the comp. Post your new creation on the Facebook page and you’ve entered.

Prizes include a signed copy of the book and a $300 voucher for any Bloomsbury Academic books. Let me know if you post anything and let the voting begin!!

I read REMIX in the states and it was part responsible for the inspiration to start this site. It really is a great book and worth anyone interested in media, culture, technology and the internet!

This is the official Face book page invite / To Celebrate the Creative Commons launch of Lawrence Lessig’s new book, Remix: Making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy.

Bloomsbury Academic are hosting a contest and asking you to remix any of Professor Lessig’s work!
The Contest will run as follows:

May 1st-May 31st Submission of Remixes

How to submit a remix?
Remixes may be in the following formats

Text (300 words or less)
Video (3 minutes max)
Photo (No offensive images, please)

No entry may be submitted that violates any copyright law

To be considered for entry, remixes must be posted onto this event’s wall with a unique name and title.
Videos and photos must be uploaded
Text submissions must be posted straight onto the wall.
All remixes must originate from Professor Lessig (i.e. a piece of his work or an interview he has given)

Don’t forget to put a Creative Commons license on your work!

June 1st- June 30th Voting
How to Vote?
Voting will begin June 1st, an application for voting will be added to the Bloomsbury Academic Fan Page at this time.
Voting will close on June 30th

The winner will be notified via Facebook on July 31st.
Facebook Event

Read more on Lawrence Lessig: On Creative Commons

Opensource Furniture

And now for something completely different….

The idea and execution of open-source has mostly been linked with online participation regarding coding of applications and then further into re-mixing content. However, this philosophy has never really spilled into the “real world” until now. I found this great story on Boing Boing.

Your next piece of designer furniture could cost less than an Ikea chair—as long as you’re willing to make it yourself. Taking a cue from the Linux community and file-sharing services, Berlin-based design guru Ronen Kadushin has started a furniture free-for-all he calls Open Design. It allows crafty consumers to download the instructions, photos, and AutoCAD files needed to knock off his work.

Kadushin’s tables, chairs, and shelves sell for upwards of $5,000 each, but he’s as interested in sharing ideas as in making a profit. Everything on Kadushin’s Web site ( is free for use under a Creative Commons license. And far from being an artistic tyrant, he hopes you’ll customize his pieces. You’ll just need access to a large computer-controlled router or laser cutter (depending on what you’re building) to realize the digital forms in wood or metal. All Kadushin asks is that you be creative with your mods—oh, and maybe send him a picture of the finished product.

Click here for further instructions.


bird-table-2-l.jpg eclipse_light_5-large.jpg

More on Free

From the Wall Street Journal, here is an article about free economics. A great FREE article I may add…


* FEBRUARY 2, 2009

In a battered economy, free goods and services online are more attractive than ever. So how can the suppliers make a business model out of nothing?

What about the oldest trick in the book: actually charging people for your goods and services? This is where the real innovation will flourish in a down economy. It’s now time for entrepreneurs to innovate, not just with new products, but new business models.

Take Tapulous, the creator of Tap Tap Revenge, a popular music game program for the iPhone. As in Guitar Hero or Rock Band, notes stream down the screen and you have to hit them on the beat. Millions of people have tried the free version, and a sizable fraction of them were ready and willing to pay when Tapulous offered paid versions built around specific bands, such as Weezer and Nine Inch Nails, along with add-on songs. (The Wall Street Journal is pursuing a strategy of blending free and paid content on its Web site.)

Read full article

Online principals - Free(dom) and community

When I think back to the internet in my formative years I remember how happy I was that I could get so much for free. Obviously because back then I was a kid and had no money but also because the idea of “nothing comes for free” was challenged. Sure my mom paid for the bandwidth which meant I was only allowed to be online after eight in the evening until seven the next morning because that was super-cheap time, but these costs where tiny. This lead me to become a night owl over week-ends and even some week days spending every second I could online. Yahoo searching strange things, joining weird chat rooms where I had to lie and click on the “I am over 18” button and download patches and freeware for my desktop. The net was a world where no-one could stop my imagination and everyone was experimenting with this new tool.

Since then two things have really become fundamental pillars for the internet. The constant push in boundaries for usage and most importantly the ecenomics of the free. Free-conomics is something we all have come to expect when on the net. From Bit-torrent to joining social networks and groups, reading blogs and news all for free. If it is not free we simply change the URL and go looking somewhere else, for now…

This economic model of the free is an interesting one because for the first time in our economically driven world this system favors the consumer 100%. So mush in fact has become free that if you wanted to you could run a small business free of most office overheads. Buy a little Netbook (not quite a laptop but costs about 10% of the price), use Linux OS (free), install skype (free), get a Google account to use Google docs (free) or download the Sunsysytems Openoffce (free) which looks exaclty like microsoft office. This personal package is a very small look into what is available in the realms of free business apps.

Here is a video and an article going over some free business apps.

Ok so the thing is that this freedom is driving business to a stand still. If it’s all free then there is no profit. The New York Times has changes its model from an all free one and many publications will follow. The idea is that if you like the sample enough you will purchase the entire product. I think that is a fair assumption. I would prefer to read an in depth, well researched article on the financial crisis than a vague opinion from a popular blogger. Albeit for now I can still find that free in depth article with a little bit of searching…

So to the movies. The thing is that there are so many ways of making a film these days. You can find funding before you start writing or filming (traditional financing method) or shoot a promo and then pitch on it, or crowd surf and aggregate audiences…the list and combinations go on for a loong time. How does this trend toward free/purchase help you or me? I think psychologically the user will slowly warm up to the idea of paying for top content. Our mission is to get them interested in our films for free so that they will be willing to buy it when it is done and being distributed. Once you have your whole idea in front of you, i.e. your story, marketing campaign and idea of what budget you have in your pocket, coming up with a practical working free-conomics model is like building a puzzle.

The beauty is there is no right or wrong and anything is possible. Your model will be completely dependent on which resources you have available. If you can a build a site for free start there, maybe something on you-tube to create numbers, the list goes on. Ideally you would want to give away as much as possible and keep the golden nuggets that will make your money back or create alternative cash flow. Just to add, if you are able to make it all free and build a large, active online audience you can leverage that to an investor. Your audience is equivalent to bums on seats which means income…

All onliners are looking for the best (free) thing. Something they can Digg or Tweet or become a fan of. The primary motives for online usage is still community and freedom. Build a smart model around these principals and so much is possible.


I wrote a post that included some philosophy about our Remix culture, this was never published because it got boring.instead:

I say our culture because we are the digital generation and this generation is creating new culture every day. The truth is though that our new culture is being disrupted and blocked by license/copyright holders, albeit sometimes for fair reason. However, after reading Lawrence Lessig’s ‘Remix’ I am convinced that the next decade is going to bring some major cultural shifts and the battle for new culture has only started.

This post is about a documentary that is being made in Canada called RIP: Remix Manifesto’ which underpins and brings to life all these issues and stories. Director Bret Gaylor is the creator of and traveled the world in order to create and investigate a Remix Manifesto. The snippets that I’ve seen are great. Entertaining, interesting and most importantly very relevant to anyone who uses the internet and participates in digital, so ya, everyone. There are already remix’s of the film by EclecticMethod which are awesome!

I am so happy he has made this doccie because is brings the topic into the space where most of the dissension is taking place, the net. When you visit the site you are cordially invited to contribute to this film by remixing it, adding music tracks and uploading your own video to be put into the film. This is not an invite that comes along everyday and will hopefully draw some interesting contributions. The film is licensed under Creative Commons and it will stay that way so your additions are safe in the public domain but may and hopefully will be mashed sooner or later. RiP talks to, amongst many others, Girl Talk about his experience in mashing music and becoming famous for it. Girl Talk has just brought out another CD and states on his MySpace “pay as much as you like for it”. It smells of Radiohead but without the marketing machine behind it he is a complete different beast.

Check out the site, add something, read ‘Remix’, listen to some Girl Talk and see what and where our digital culture is going and how much is at stake.“/> video platform video management video solutions free video player

Celtx - No more excuses

In 2007 during our initial Big Eyed Deer stint Sebastian found Celtx. Of course Sebastian found Celtx, he finds most cool things on the net, he also coined the phrases “Digital Native” and “Produktors” both terms I love and you will hear again…Point being, he found Celtx so that we could and write and schedule scripts online and thus not be office bound. The reality of an office free office is one I dream of. A complete organization that works independently only linked via internet. Why not I say! Wear what you like, smell if you want to, just as long as you log yourself in and make your deadlines!

Celtx is the answer for this quest. We still used the Beta vers.0997 and it was, I admit, slow, unresponsive and buggy. However we saw the potential of Celtx and it was free. Final draft cost $169, that’s about R2000 too much for me! We have since written a comic book, and two scripts using Celtx. The latest version is now vers. 1.0 and its great.

Celtx starts wherever you want to. You can start by inputting your characters, name, description, antagonist, protagonist etc. You can then build your characters into great detail including likes and dislikes, history and even hair colour. When you lock an actor you can then enter that information into your database. Essentially you write an entire script on Celtx which links to the production database you have assembled during this time. There are options to link media, upload files and bookmark web pages to your specific scripting project. If it’s true that it all starts with the script, and it is true, then this is the resource you would want to use in writing your script. Finally you can then link and share with other users and they in turn comment/review/add to your work.

Once the script is nailed you can do a production schedule, get various breakdowns and start to plan the shoot. The key here is that its all centralized and by adding your production team everyone is able to see information, add, comment and so on and so on. Celtx is allowing a producer and director to sit at opposite ends of the world and know exactly whats going on with their project. BRILLIANT!

You are able to download for Windows, Mac and Linux. It’s easy to use and gives you a complete new experience for writing scripts. Now there’s no more excuses of not having software. It’s here, it’s free it’s awesome so start writing!

Download Celtx Here

When the audience takes control

You will see one my first posts here is about1000 True Fans. D.I.Y. presents an insightful panel that takes a look into what is really needed to aggregate that 1000 keep them “live” and help them help you.

The future of independent film is not in content aggregation, which is quickly becoming commoditized, but in audience aggregation. Sustainability for filmmakers lies directly in the hands of the audience. Direct to audience models have shaken the core of the music industry. But the power of Kevin Kelly’s “1,000 true fans” seems good in theory but where do you start? What are the steps to building an audience around your work and most importantly how do you keep the conversation going? Discussion Leader: Saskia Wilson-Brown (Current TV) - Arin Crumley (Four Eyed Monsters) - Micki Krimmel (expert in social media and online community) - Alex Johnson (digital media strategist / filmmaker) - Lance Weiler (The Last Broadcast, Head Trauma)

On Creative Commons

In a world in the future we will make a film using digital technology and upload it to our virtual platform. The Film will automagically be distributed to agreed cinemas, sites, networks and festivals on the agreed dates. The idea of a hard copy may dissapear completely. Your marketing will be 70% digital, and will seep into every digital social space your marketer can lay his grubby fingers on. Imagine….

With the advent of You-tube and since then multiple other video streaming apps, the idea of digital distribution for films, using digital technology in actually making films, P2P sharing, video mash-ups, social networks and finally making money I am finding myself looking more to Creative Commons. For those of you who have not heard of it or think its gone away, think again. Just to refresh your memory:

Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share. The organization has released several copyright licenses known as Creative Commons licenses. These licenses allow creators to communicate which rights they reserve, and which rights they waive for the benefit of other creators.

Now I know these commons don’t directly cross paths with what is known to be film rights. They also don’s contribute the same way that existing laws do regarding sales and distribution activities. However, this is a tool to get your film out there without anyone having to become a law breaking citizen. Imagine you have a scene in your film being mashed up by 20 different people who all post it, flog it on Facebook etc. These mash-ups and content grabbing vid’s retain the status of the originator but is accessible to many more eyes. You’ve just broadened your possible audience and created an alternative marketing tool by doing, well, nothing.

There is power in a digital community because there are numbers. With millions on the net daily and video content a big hitter you must consider that we cant keep the current way of making and distributing our films. If the way we do it changes so will the laws and business models have to change. The economics will remain because try as I may I seem to have to eat and then consequently sleep. I feel though that CC is an inroad into getting our films to an audience effortlessly through the digital medium.

Although I have not seen the CC license actually help get a film sold over the net, I think the digital revolution will need new rules.Liberté, égalité, fraternité is just another way of saying Creative Commons.

For more info:
Creative Commons South Africa