Clawing to escape the belly of the beast here in Hollywood. To commiserate, email my name assistantatlas at yahoo.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Open Source Films Open Wide: 4.44

I've hinted at it before, but now I'm going to start sharing some ideas about a new sort of effort in collaborative filmmaking: the open source film.

First off, though, let me say this. While I may be proposing a new iteration of the open source idea-- this isn't all THAT new. Just google 'open source film' for an idea of what's out there. Plus, we all know/love YouTube.

What hasn't been done is communities using the internet to produce their own media products. If we Hollywood assistants didn't already have control of most outlets, we'd be doing it already. Just like those crazy Midwestern college kids are doing with their viral videos and such.

Just think about the possibilities. The Kurdish kids could get together to create their own Kurdish superhero movies. The Estonian ministry of culture could show off their country's newfound tech prowess with a web-based short film contest. And the American supergeeks can create ever-more-sophisticated mash-ups. The big questions are: what communities, in what ways, and how soon?

It's easy: Hosting video clips is cheap, if not free, thanks to the influence of YouTube. People can already create mash-ups with home computers if they're savvy enough. And it's only going to get easier. Broadband Internet access and computers that can handle sophisticated graphics are spreading like wildfire. And despite what everyone feels, according to The Economist, Americans are finally starting to increase their leisure time against the massive corporate structure. Which means more time for uselessly fun projects.

Now remember kids, in any good open source project, there have to be some systems of control. But not like bad control, more like guidance. Therefore, I'm thinking you have to "apply" to make the team. Once you're approved, you can contribute however you like. For example, any approved writers can edit the script through Celtx. That should happen as other preproduction tasks do, like casting people finding great actors, producers trying to drum up a budget (don't ask me about this one, I ain't a producer, and I'm also adamantly NOT in charge)

For another example, anyone can send in filmed scenes, but it's up to the director crew to pick out the best ones that the editor crew will cut together.

I envision that once a group was established a short film could be cut together and distributed free. If people like it, encourage them to donate so more of it can be produced. For example, the short film could be 3 disparate stories and the second part that would be donation-driven ties them all together. So support is also open-source.

Make a good short and people might slide enough cash your way (or ads, don't forget ads- in fact, that may be the easiest way) to produce more. That's how a tv show could launch over the Net, by the way.

So let me just add this: yippee-ki-yi-yay, Mister Falcon no more.



Anonymous Assistant Woman X said...

See William Gibson's Pattern Recognition for a reference to this concept: people obsessed with snippets of video footage posted on the net. The idea is out there, You Tube is the platform.

9:56 PM

Anonymous dudeasincool said...

It all comes down to the writing. TV shows are collaborative, so a venture like this could work...that's assuming your partners are technologically savvy production-wise.

6:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you so much for sharing this ideas of new sort of effort in collaborative filmmaking, it has been really helpful to me, thanks a lot, keep posting

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