UX Magazine

Defining and Informing the Complex Field of User Experience (UX)
Article No. 419 May 24, 2009

Hollywood goes open source, sort of

I recently saw J.J. Abrams talk on TED, and was literally woken up to a reality “of the future” which, ironically enough, is happening now.

At some point he mentions that film making is now open for anyone who wants to do it. It no longer has to be done in studios and wrapped up in tremendous budgets. Anyone can grab a camera and start shooting.

I remember years ago – but not that many – anyone who wanted to create a short home movie, would literally be limited to creating something very “cheap” in every aspect. Either it be the quality of the end result or the “special” effects, it was always a “home” movie…

This has changed. Dramatically.

On May 3d, a new breed of movies was unleashed to the public. Not to say that this hasn’t been done before, it’s just the first time it has been done with Hollywoods’ consent.

I’m talking about The Hunt for Gollum which is self described as a “Independent film inspired by Lord of the Rings” and is based on the characters by J.R.R. Tolkien.

The film itself came to existence with a mere £3000 since it was created with the love – and funding – of it’s makers, and a whole bunch of “Lord of the Rings” fans, which took part in this venture without any pay.

Normally this would only go so far due to copyright laws and lawsuits. But in this case, Hollywood just said do it. Tolkien Enterprises, Peter Jackson and anyone else legally bound to the “Lord of the Rings” brand just said… “OK, do it, so long as you don’t profit from it”.

And they did.

To say the least, the end result is stunning, and nowhere near the cheap stuff we used to do back in the day. And although this might not be exactly considered a home movie, I still see a few people doing “their thing”, with off the shelf equipment.

Think about it.

If Hollywood can open up to the public like this, just imagine how many more stories will be told, how many more movies will be made, and how many more people will be inspired. It’s tremendous, and it’s happening now.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)

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Constantinos is employed as a Creative Director for Tribal DDB Athens. In his ever dwindling spare time he works on the development of UX Magazine and Joblet. You can find out more about him here of follow him on twitter.

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Great post.

In the spirit of open source we launched our own project last year with the goal of raising money for a few charities and producing new content with a large fanatic fan base.

"Browncoats: Redemption" A Fan Film for Charity, is a sci-fi/action fan film based in the Firefly/Serenity Verse, created by Joss Whedon. We aren't lookin' to get paid cashie money for this so this project will be 100% non-profit.

We shot it over a 4 month period with a RED:ONE just like Hunt for Gollum and to this date 153 people have volunteered for 200 different crew and cast positions. The cast are professional actors and the crew leads have industry experience so it is not your normal fan film.

Outside of covering the cost of production, we are looking to have our proceeds to go, as a donation, to:

* Equality Now
* Kids Need to Read
* Dyslexia Foundation
* The Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center
* The Marine Corps - Law Enforcement Foundation

We estimate each DVD will be available for a donation of $12-15. To give you an idea of why we thing this is completely viable, in September '07 the opening weekend sales figures for the Serenity Collector's Edition DVD sold an estimated 32,396 copies. Now that's just the Serenity Collector's Edition. If we could accomplish that number in our total donations for the DVD we could raise $485,940. That would be close to $90,000 for each charity. Now knowing we Browncoats purchase multiple copies to save, loan and watch, we could do great things for the collective charities.

These DVD's would also be available to each of the Browncoat groups to use at Con's, events, and any other opportunities that may come across their bow.

If you guys want to check it out, our first trailer is available and everything is in the can and in post production.

We release in Sept 2010 and it is going to be an awesome year. If you want to check out more, see the following:

website: http://www.browncoatsredemption.com
twitter: @browncoatsmovie

Thanks,

Steve Fisher
Co-Creator and Producer, Browncoats: Redemption

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Here is a film that is being created "open source" style. www.projectlondonmovie.com

Project London is a feature-length science-fiction action-adventure film featuring live-action mixed with animated elements created using Blender, open-source software by a global team of volunteers.

The quality of the work is worthy of your consideration and a fine example to support the premise of the above article. It may even be a better example than "The Hunt For Gollum" because it's a for profit venture with plans to release the film directly to its audience and bypass Hollywood altogether.

If you want to keep tabs on the project through the remainder of post-production, sign-up for the email newsletter at www.projectlondonmovie.com or keep tabs on it through Facebook at www.facebook.com/ProjectLondon.

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Walter Pater - “Art comes to you proposing frankly to give nothing but the highest quality to your moments as they pass.”