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Made-For-Torrents Sci-Fi Drama "Pioneer One" Debuts 321

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-tv-jim-but-not-as-we-know-it dept.
QuantumG writes "The first episode of the new science fiction drama Pioneer One has debuted and it looks like a hit. The pilot was shot for just $6,000, raised through the micro-funding platform Kickstarter, and the production is being supported through donations on the show's website. Donations can be made on a sliding scale with 'bonus' rewards for each level, such as an MP3 of the opening theme and deleted scenes. The show is being distributed through file-sharing systems such as BitTorrent and LimeWire thanks to VODO, the group that also helped produce it. Is this the future of television?"
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Made-For-Torrents Sci-Fi Drama "Pioneer One" Debuts

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  • Simple answer (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 20, 2010 @11:34AM (#32632390)

    Is this the future of television?

    No.

    • Re:Simple answer (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Psiren (6145) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @11:39AM (#32632434)

      "This production was possible due in no small part to the willingness of talented, professional people working for free"

      I would have to concur.

      • Re:Simple answer (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 20, 2010 @11:48AM (#32632502)

        But what if it kick-starts a world-wide audience of 1 million people willing to pay $10.00 for a season?

        All projects have to start somewhere. Whether it is seed money from an angel investor or sweat equity, it doesn't matter. If you're working on a project that you truly believe in (passion, political statement, future earnings, etc.), then working for free at the beginning might make sense.

        • by iluvcapra (782887)

          But what if it kick-starts a world-wide audience of 1 million people willing to pay $10.00 for a season?

          Just to keep it in perspective-- A very popular, broad-appeal hit show like "Glee" generally get about 5 million viewers a night [tvbythenumbers.com], but they don't have to pay anything to watch it. A one-hour scripted drama can cost anywhere from $1 mil to $5 mil an episode.

          • Re:Simple answer (Score:5, Insightful)

            by drsmithy (35869) <drsmithy@gma i l . c om> on Sunday June 20, 2010 @04:56PM (#32634596)

            A one-hour scripted drama can cost anywhere from $1 mil to $5 mil an episode.

            What proportion of that goes into paying the salaries of a handful of well-known "stars", though ?

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by iluvcapra (782887)

              What proportion of that goes into paying the salaries of a handful of well-known "stars", though ?

              What proportion of the audience will flip the channel if they don't see someone they recognize? Seeing attractive celebrities is a big part of the appeal of television.

              • Re:Simple answer (Score:4, Insightful)

                by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @07:47PM (#32635746)

                What proportion of the audience will *not* flip the channel because they see some ho non-celebrity and think, "I should watch this for a bit and see who this fresh meat is" ?

                In other words, how did the talentless celebrities become celebrities? They were attractive, that's all it takes. Plenty of attractive people out there who aren't in a show yet, so I don't see a barrier.

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by thijsh (910751)
                  A series is really made by the actors... and all good series have at least some very talented actors. Being attractive can land you a role, but it won't *make* the series.

                  I really do agree with you on the first part though, when I see a new face in a series I appreciate it more than when they would have gotten some older tired typecasted actor for the part. In SF they re-use actors a little too much, but all good series also have excellent new actors. And when they *do* use a good actor for a new series it
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by hairyfeet (841228)

          I remember reading an article by Whedon talking about possibly going this route with some Spike&Dru stories or Faith the Vampire Slayer. Basically selling swag to build up the initial cash (t-shirts, mugs, etc) and then selling the episode with a counter at the bottom telling how many more sales are required to pay for the next show. That way take the life or death of a show away from the suits (which look at how many decent Sci-Fi shows like Brimstone and Firefly they kill while putting on reality drec

      • Re:Simple answer (Score:5, Interesting)

        by BLKMGK (34057) <morejunk4me@hoFO ... m minus language> on Sunday June 20, 2010 @11:48AM (#32632506) Homepage Journal

        At this point they have had little to no exposure. With more exposure and perhaps more donations more of those folks working for free might get paid. At that point yeah maybe this is viable. It's seeding HUGE right now and it sounds interesting so just maybe they will make some money on it - who knows. Perhaps contingency payments to those who work on it? Network TV seems pretty crappy lately so perhaps this will shake things up...

        • Re:Simple answer (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @12:29PM (#32632798)

          I watch more and more things like this.

          Every minute spent watching these is a minute not spent watching the expensive pro stuff.

          There is a serious glut of entertainment out there. More than we could ever consume in 10 lifetimes now. And every day another week of material is created.

          As the inexpensive or free stuff grows, it is crowding out the expensive stuff heavily laden with commercials.

          For me, it's more likely to crowd out cable than movie theaters. I can't duplicate the experience of sitting with 500 enthusiastic people on the first few nights. I can't duplicate the experience of the huge screen (tho I can come close).

          • Re:Simple answer (Score:4, Insightful)

            by karnal (22275) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @12:43PM (#32632882)

            You also can't duplicate the chance of whiny kids crying for 1/2 the movie (happened to me for XMen 2) or random people whipping out their cell phones during the film. Even though most don't actually talk on their phones, the fact that the light attracts my attention away from the movie is a real distraction.

            Plus the fact that most of the larger chain cinemas feel the need to push the audio way too high. In Columbus, there's a place called the Movie Tavern. Has a bar and restaurant - uses what I would consider "cheaper" computer chairs and you sit behind a table so you can eat with a mild light. Another plus for them is that they don't crank the friggin audio. AMC @ Easton - yea, they crank it so bad my ears ring.

            I must be getting old. But tldr version - Big Chain Movie Theaters are usually not a good experience in my opinion.

            • Re:Simple answer (Score:4, Interesting)

              by Rich0 (548339) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @02:48PM (#32633686) Homepage

              I'd be happy if the local cinema at least learned what harmonic distortion is, and which gain knob to turn to turn up the volume.

              The sound in the theater isn't actually that loud. However, it distorts like crazy on the louder parts. Obviously they have a pre-amp turned up to high and their final gain set too low. You can have loud sound that still actually sounds good - you just need to actually do it right, and invest in speakers/amps that actually are rated for the necessary wattage.

          • by BLKMGK (34057)

            I've not watched much stuff like this but I HAVE watched a few series that I thought were decent do well and then DIE due to network stupidity. FireFly is everyone's fave in this regard but Defying Gravity and Dresden Files are also good examples. I worry about shows like Sanctuary, SGU, Eureka, and others more mainstream like Lie to Me, Saving Grace, and Numb3rs. "Reality" TV just plain sucks, I won't watch it. But it's CHEAP to make by comparison and they can just keep throwing crap at the wall to see if

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by SIR_Taco (467460)

              I just finished watching all the available episodes of Defying Gravity (legally through the Space Channel website).

              Honestly, when it first came out and I saw the commercials for it... it looked quite lame. After watching the first episode, however, I was hooked. I thought the presentation of the show was great and the premise was quite original and intriguing. I also like Ron Livingston as an actor which was the main reason that made me watch the first episode. It's very disappointing really, it would be li

        • It's seeding HUGE right now and it sounds interesting so just maybe they will make some money on it

          Yes, its seeding big. Today. Come back in 3 weeks/months and see how well its seeding.
          My prediction - minimal.
      • Re:Simple answer (Score:5, Interesting)

        by klingens (147173) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @11:50AM (#32632512)

        There are a lot of talented, professional people working for free: Linux programmers, Debian developers, Gnome developers....
        And don't say they get paid lots of money for it: they certainly didn't get any money when they started.

        Are you saying there is less free talent available in the AV arts than in programming?

        • by Psiren (6145)

          There are a lot of talented, professional people working for free: Linux programmers, Debian developers, Gnome developers....
          And don't say they get paid lots of money for it: they certainly didn't get any money when they started.

          Are you saying there is less free talent available in the AV arts than in programming?

          No I'm not, and I didn't say they wouldn't be successful. They may well be, and I hope they are. The question posed was whether this was the future of TV. I can't see it, there just isn't enough security in it for all those people working in TV to bet their working lives on.

          I think there's certainly room for projects like these, and I hope to see more of it. But it's not going to replace regular TV making, much as we may wish it to be so.

          • by c6gunner (950153)

            The question posed was whether this was the future of TV. I can't see it, there just isn't enough security in it for all those people working in TV to bet their working lives on.

            But that wasn't the question. When Henry Ford created the assembly line and started pumping out cars, there wasn't much security in it for the blacksmiths and carriage-makers, but it still became the future of transportation.

          • by sjames (1099)

            There was no security (or income) in Free software at the start. Eventually, paying jobs in Free software started to appear and the Free OSes have a majority of the server market. I wouldn't expect this to completely replace the networks, but it could certainly put a dent in them.

            • You're talking about wildly different situations.

              The difference is that the successful free software has paying jobs for it mostly because the successful free software is a means to an end, not an end in an of itself. A program like Apache is popular not because anyone wants a web server for its own merits, but because they need one for a web site that hosts whatever project is their end. Large-scale open-source projects like Mozilla are able to stay afloat mainly because they *don't* rely on donations or t

              • by sjames (1099)

                Ad agencies might beg to differ. I can easily see an ad agency finding great value in having exclusive rights to insert ads into a popular Free program. They don't fund current television programming just because they like to watch TV.

                It could be a huge win for the various things you can't advertise in prime time (or at all) on broadcast TV.

                Given the lower cost approach, the shows could probably have a fraction of the commercials as a network show and still easily pay for itself.

        • by bunratty (545641)
          Most of the development on major open-source projects is done by paid developers. Red Hat, IBM, and other companies pay their programmers to develop Linux. Mozilla pays developers to work on Firefox. I'm sure there are some programmers working for free, but if those projects had to get by only on volunteer work, they wouldn't be like they are today.
        • Re:Simple answer (Score:5, Informative)

          by copponex (13876) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @12:39PM (#32632850) Homepage

          Are you saying there is less free talent available in the AV arts than in programming?

          Sorry to burst your bubble, but good artists are much harder to find than programmers. Good production requires good set designers, lighting directors, casting directors. Not to mention that the AV equipment required and support staff to run it cost much more than a single computer and an internet connection.

          I've watched about 10 minutes. So far, you have stilted dialogue, characters talking to each other about plot points received from phone calls, a DHS agent who claims to know 47 languages, and very, very bad acting on top of all of it.

          The plot seems original at least, but this is again proof that the BBC has the best model for rewarding good ideas. Publicly funded organizations that pick up new writing talent and help them develop their ideas with professional experience.

          I work in the audio field and this reminds me why the democratization of cheap AV gear has not led to better sounding records. No amount of cheap fidelity can replace decades of experience making things sound better. And it can't replace a good producer telling a room full of writers that their scene is a crock of shit [movieline.com].

          • by Cylix (55374) *

            In terms of set design and other attributes I have dabbled in those areas a bit in my lifetime. One person could potentially fill the role of many, but good luck doing any of those things on a budget.

            The notion of cheap, but capable video gear is equally applicable to audio. Waving a cheap 1080p HD cam about is just going to look like waving without proper support and instrumentation.

            Still, with some experience and ingenuity you can do fairly OK things with a lot of effort and a little bit of cash.

            Shooting

          • Re:Simple answer (Score:4, Insightful)

            by iluvcapra (782887) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @12:58PM (#32632986)

            Sorry to burst your bubble, but good artists are much harder to find than programmers. Good production requires good set designers, lighting directors, casting directors. Not to mention that the AV equipment required and support staff to run it cost much more than a single computer and an internet connection.

            In LA a significant slice of the population owns equipment that can shoot 720p and has production equipment -- every other house in the Valley seems to have a garage converted into a studio of one type or another, so in some places it's definitely easier than others. But even that being so, very few good no-budget independent projects are produced here, no more or fewer than any other part of the US. The real limiting factor, as you indicate, is the human talent, particularly in the acting and writing. Even FOSS projects fail unless the lead developers are very talented and persevering, and know how to code, and lead others, and communicate well, and promote and market and support..

          • by sjames (1099)

            I haven't watched it yet, but your description sounds a lot like the pilot episodes of many eventually successful shows. Had Star Trek TNG or Voyager remained like their pilot episodes, even the die-hard Trekkies might have turned them off in a month or two. That's just the nature of pilot episodes.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Skal Tura (595728)

            Sorry to burst your bubble, but it ain't so.

            Everyone can be an artist (in a way), but not everyone can be programmer (requires atleast minimal level of logical competence).

            Finding good artists and GOOD programmers are hard. All programmers are not equals, just like in artists, there's a huge degree of change in quality and competence between programmers as well. Most programmers suck, just like most artists suck.

            A single computer, and an internet connection does not run quite a big project in a short timesp

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by iluvcapra (782887)

              Everyone can be an artist (in a way),

              Uy. Yeah everyone can be an artist, except in a way that's commercial. That's the tricky part.

              You maybe can write a short story but can you read a script and write-out the main character and still have something that makes sense and is entertaining, in a week? A friend of mine is a screenwriter and he had to do this on set a week before they started shooting.

              You can doodle but can you light a hallway and office set with 5 tweenies and a Kino-Flo?

              You can hum to your

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by wrook (134116)

            Granted I (used to) work in the programming field. But I have to disagree somewhat here. The reason FLOSS became successful was not due to the increased presence of good programmers. I can tell you for a fact that the number of talented amateur illustrators in the high school I work in out number the talented programmers by at least a factor of 10 to 1. No they aren't pro-level, but then neither are most of the programmers who start out writing free software in University.

            FLOSS became successful based o

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by iluvcapra (782887)

          Hi, I'm a sound designer who regularly contributes his work for free (or for very low rates) to the projects of newe filmmakers.

          I can tell you that if I didn't have a regular paying job working on commercial movies, there is no way I'd be able to contribute my spare time to freebees. Having a well-paying job allows me to keep my own equipment and have the savings necessary to spend time working for free, and being a member of my union (and relying on other people working and paying into the insurance pool)

        • Are you saying there is less free talent available in the AV arts than in programming?

          The numbers are irrelevant to the fact that cooperation and dealing with events in the physical world is considerably different from cooperation in the virtual one.

          There are a lot of talented, professional people working for free: Linux programmers, Debian developers, Gnome developers....

          And I suspect that many have day jobs (many of them related to their volunteer 'jobs') which build their skills and pay the bills

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        It's only very recently that actors have joined the ranks of the elite getting paid high sums of money for their work. It was the case that for many years, being an actor was seen as a very lowly job. Even now, only a very small percentage of actors make a lot of money. Most of the other actors make their livings as waiters and act only in local productions. Perhaps this is a way for small time actors to spread their work to a larger audience. I know I've got just as much enjoyment (many times more enj
        • Re:Simple answer (Score:5, Interesting)

          by iluvcapra (782887) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @01:38PM (#32633240)

          It's only very recently that actors have joined the ranks of the elite getting paid high sums of money for their work.

          Check your sources on that: Jimmy Stewart is generally recognized as having received the modern agency/gross points deal for Winchester '73 in 1950, and many independent producer/actors, including Charlie Chaplin and Fatty Arbuckle had gross deals in the silent era. Even when they didn't get grosses, contracts actors at the Big Five in the thirties would easily earn an average workers years's wages in a matter of weeks,

          Actors who make this kind of money aren't paid because they're good actors, though often they are.They receive this level of compensation because their name on the poster literally guarantees people will come to see the film. If you've ever heard the term "bankable actor" this is where it comes from-- an actor is such a guaranteed draw that a producer can literally get a bank loan for their film on the basis of that actor's appearance in the film.

          The actors demand their share of the money because they are the draw. That's what a "star" is.

      • Starting news businesses often requires that talented people start off working for little/no money. It doesn't need to stay that way.

        There are lots of different issues involved here, but the real question comes down to what business models are available for funding production of TV shows on the Internet, and then whether strict DRM and distribution controls are required for those business models to work. The specific protocol (bittorrent) is really a side issue.

        Of course they're going to need to make mo

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kingrames (858416)
      Actually it might be better. Imagine, if a show didn't have to worry about censorship, warning labels, or the esrb or any of the federal agencies that keep the airwaves "clean".
      There might someday be a porno with an actual good plot.

      Would be kinda naive of us to dismiss the idea that people would want to see that.
  • by FriendlyLurker (50431) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @11:36AM (#32632410)

    Is this the future of television?

    Hollywood, and big $$$ actors sure hope not... commodities commodities...

    • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @11:47AM (#32632498)
      Just wait until the MPAA hears about this! They'll try everything in their powers to show how this 'Made for Torrent' content has harmed them because no one had to pay for it. I can hear it now "This will cause irreparable harm to the movie industry by offering free and non-predictable content to the very masses we've been training for years to swallow our expensive, DRM laden predictable and rehashed tripe."
      • by RDW (41497)

        'Just wait until the MPAA hears about this! They'll try everything in their powers to show how this 'Made for Torrent' content has harmed them because no one had to pay for it.'

        One thing the MPAA might get a little upset about is the list of 'DISCO members' (there must be a joke there) which the official VODO site is linking to for direct downloads rather than torrents. These are just filesharing blogs stuffed full of Rapidshare links to copyrighted media. If VODO wants to stay squeaky clean they might wan

      • We need more examples that making a move does not mean being under the MPAA umbrella, does not mean using DRM, and does not mean "bittorrent is evil".

        This is going to give "Copyrighted stuff can't be copied" people a hard time...

    • by hedwards (940851) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @11:50AM (#32632514)
      But OTOH this isn't a bad way of unknowns to get some recognition and footage for when they audition. A lot of them tend to work in smaller community productions as is for practically nothing. It's really not that uncommon for an actor to be sleeping in his car while trying to make it big. Something of this sort isn't really that much worse than the status quo. You do also have people that enjoy cinematography and other trades on a hobby basis who'd be more than happy to get a slice of whatever comes of it.

      But, this definitely isn't ever going to be the main way that it's done. I just can't imagine there being enough consistency to make it a workable model. But OTOOH, Fox still makes shows, and this is a tad bit less completely insane than letting them make TV shows.
      • Personally the one good thing about this format is that if people LIKE the damned show they won't just cancel it because some asshat made a political move on another producer. I cannot count the numbers of times I've LIKED a show but it's been killed off, scheduled stupidly, or who knows what.

        I'm watching this now - so far I like it and yeah I think I'll contribute to it. I'd like to see the next episode for sure!

      • by nametaken (610866) *

        But, this definitely isn't ever going to be the main way that it's done. I just can't imagine there being enough consistency to make it a workable model.

        Careful with those "definitely isn't ever" statements, they have a way of coming back to bite you. :)

        There are a number of things about this that may or may not work. The open distribution of content is becoming increasingly common. What I think needs help is the monetization part. We just had a /. article about a "buy a frame" funding method for a movie

  • Strangely, Pioneer One does not seem to be on IMDB, yet.
    • Re:Not on IMDB?! (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 20, 2010 @03:06PM (#32633828)

      Take a look at the relevant section of the rules for submitting new titles to IMDB:

      "Because it's so easy to get "distribution" of a title online, we have some specific guidelines about eligibility for a title that has only been made available online.
      The fundamental rule is that you need to demonstrate general public interest. The most common ways to meet this criterion are:

              * Have someone very well known in your cast (or extremely well known in a significant crew position). If the person isn't well known enough to merit a solo profile in a notable publication like Entertainment Weekly (or equivalent), this rule won't apply. If you have any doubt whether the person or persons are well known enough-- they probably aren't. And, just cutting in some clips from one of their old movies/TV shows/commercials isn't enough; it has to be something they did specifically for your title. And not just a 10-second soundbite on a red carpet, either.

              * Be a tie-in/spin-off of a TV series on a major network, hosted on that network's official site.

              * Go viral. Get a staggering number of views, ideally on a site where we can easily verify this claim. Again, if you have any doubt whether your title is "viral" or not -- you probably need to qualify using one of the other criteria.

              * Get coverage -- significant, national, mainstream press coverage. That means, for example, that the New York Times is doing an article specifically about your web series (not just the people behind it, or an offhand mention in an article about web series in general). If the press outlet is online-only, it's almost certainly not going to be sufficient."

      Sounds to me like the only chance Pioneer One has is to go viral.

  • It has been on the homepage of ThePirateBay for about a week now.
  • Which part? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by chill (34294) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @11:47AM (#32632500) Journal

    Quote the website:

    This production was possible due in no small part to the willingness of talented, professional people working for free," explains Bernhard. "From actors to composers, they did this because they believed in the project and wanted to see it happen.

    That is going to nix any plans for scaling the production model to support a full season of one or more shows.

    But, if you're asking whether or not a bittorrent-based distribution model is the future of TV, consider this... Bittorrent works by doing what the bandwidth providers SPECIFICALLY DO NOT WANT YOU TO DO. That is, use all the bandwidth you can. It fundamentally breaks the over-subscription model. In short, this distribution model won't scale using the existing infrastructure and it will take major changes for it to actually work. This sort of thing only works in small amounts, not the volumes of people who veg out in front of the idiot box on a nightly basis.

    • I think in the next 10-15 years the large internet providers are going to put a strangle hold on subscribers and basically charge out the a$$ for bandwidth. If content producers can't charge for content (realistically), they can get the equivalent charges from the raw bandwidth. Notice how the content producers are making closer and closer ties to the service providers? Vertically integrated markets here we come.
      • Of course not... (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Bandwidth is becoming ever cheaper. Every year I get more bandwidth for less money. My ISP has upgraded me some five times over the last few years. Every time my bandwidth was increased so much that I could downgrade to a cheaper plan and still have a net gain in bandwidth.

        ISP's over here (Europe, the Netherlands to be precise) get their money by (trying to) sell tv-over-ip and telephony-over-ip. But basic internet connectivity and bandwidth? There is no money in that, it's practically free.

      • by chill (34294)

        Yup, but there is no proof it is successful or effective at doing that. And, from the article itself,

        Although the protocol is an open standard and offers some intriguing advantages, the technology is not seeing swift uptake. A report from TorrentFreak says that client application developers are still skeptical and some users have suffered performance degradation due to problems with the protocol.

        Read thru the comments on that article to find some more issues with whether or not this will be an effective solution.

    • Re:Which part? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by BLKMGK (34057) <morejunk4me@hoFO ... m minus language> on Sunday June 20, 2010 @12:25PM (#32632768) Homepage Journal

      Bull. If you leave your pipe wide open then yeah you screw up the provider. However many of us understand the usage of the throttle and by actually using it we don't fill the pipes to bursting. This thing is currently seeding with OVER 20K users for the low def version, if all of those people throttle then you and I can download this pretty easily without anyone saturating their pipe. This isn't too complicated. I seed quite a few pieces of video this way without crushing my bandwidth or pissing off my provider.

      Just finished watching this show. I like the premise, I'm going to contribute. If half of the 20K seeds feel the same way then their budget just got a TON bigger...

    • All that torrent based media does is provide ISPs with an excuse for using caching servers for bittorrent, which solves their bandwidth problems, just not how the media industry wants.

  • "Is this the future of television?"

    It looks pretty much like the past and present of television to me - he who gets the buzz gets the bucks.

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      How many pilots fail every year?

      Someone has to eat that cost. If pilots end up being chosen by mass vote, the end result would probably not look that much different than what we had 50 years ago.

      • Someone has to eat that cost. If pilots end up being chosen by mass vote, the end result would probably not look that much different than what we had 50 years ago.

        A bunch of really short lived low budget productions?

  • Late to the party (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gmuslera (3436) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @12:01PM (#32632594) Homepage Journal
    Ok, it enables everyone to make their owns shows without needing infrastructure to broadcast it (as in a tv/cable station). But youtube (and several clones) are already in that spot. In fact, there are a lot of web "tv" series running in that media already for years now. And are easier to reach the big public that way (there could be even tv sets and dvrs that directly show youtube videos, and that without even getting to google tv). What other thing you could have here? video quality? offline viewing? you have it all there
    • Which clone? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tepples (727027)

      But youtube (and several clones) are already in that spot.

      Which clone do you recommend if someone is bothered by YouTube's 10 minute limitation or the potential of a two-week downtime for videos that contain criticism of a mainstream media work?

  • Limewire? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Oh no! Someone contact the MPAA before people start stealing this film!

  • by RMingin (985478) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @12:10PM (#32632646) Homepage

    Every week, Hollywood produces hundreds of pilot episodes. These are screened and the vast majority (~99%) are dismissed, never to be seen by anyone beyond the test screening audience.

    If Hollywood had half a brain between the lot of them, they'd start a pilot episode channel via the different on-demand delivery systems (Hulu/Netflix/Comcast VOD/Verizon VOD) and get their pilots screened to an order of magnitude more people.

    The difference here is that Pioneer One has put their pilot up on TPB and the like instead of on some Hollywood stooge's desk, and they're greenlighting themselves for more episodes, no matter what.

    It's really not as different as it initially appears.

  • by Rick Richardson (87058) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @12:10PM (#32632652) Homepage

    Where is the DVD so I can watch it on my TV???

    • You wait until the end of the season to be able to purchase that, just like for every other show.

    • by hackel (10452)

      Back in the year 2000 with you!

    • Re:Where is the DVD? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Zocalo (252965) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @12:25PM (#32632764) Homepage
      In that box of blanks on your shelf. Download the Matroska file [vodo.net] via BitTorrent, and burn to disc with any semi-decent burner app to add a menu or whatever else you want.

      Don't forget to seed, either.
  • However I think commercial, lowest-common-denominator television that most people absorb will continue to be supported by advertising. Most people simply need to have their content spoon-fed to them, and even though most of them are already paying a ridiculous amount of money for it (cable/satellite subscriptions), they still wouldn't like the idea of paying for something they can get for free!

  • slashvertisement? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by v1 (525388) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @12:48PM (#32632902) Homepage Journal

    as much as I don't like seeing slashvertisements in general, this one is actually fairly on topic. I do hope they do well. It's in our best interest that efforts like this succeed in a big way, and send a strong message to the movie and media cartels.

    That, and getting a front page draw on a Sunday on slashdot ought to guarantee they shatter their fundraising goal over the course of the afternoon. Their servers are doing remarkably well considering what's hitting them. Would have been quite the epic fail had they been offering direct downloads instead of torrents.

    But on the downside, I bet their monthly traffic allotment just busted through the ceiling and into the gruesome "pay per additional bandwidth this month" point.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DerekLyons (302214)

      That, and getting a front page draw on a Sunday on slashdot ought to guarantee they shatter their fundraising goal over the course of the afternoon.

      And what happens next Sunday with the next episode or with a different production? No buzz, no bucks.

  • I hope that comcast buy out SCIFI can come back and show more stuff like this and less EWC.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @12:57PM (#32632970) Homepage

    I love it already! I didn't even remotely have my hopes up about this. I expected "oh look, a load of low production quality crap that is actually someone's resume or demo reel to get a job in a big studio" but I'm having second thoughts about that now. The scenes are well placed. The gear used is a BIT too Apple centric, but I'll let that go for now. I loved that the guy wrote on the monitor with a red permanent marker! A nice laugh. I was REALLY happy to see that they didn't do the "enhance... enhance... enhance..." crap from CSI and other drama shows. Someone knows how these lives are really lived. Now I have to decide if I will donate $20 or $100 to this...

  • The Scene (Score:4, Informative)

    by symes (835608) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @12:57PM (#32632976) Journal
    "The Scene [welcometothescene.com]", I seem to remember, was a made for torrent series. Also downloaded hundres of thousands of times. But kind of fizzled out at the end and the group that made it seems to have vanished. Is this the future of television? Not so far!
  • I'm downloading the pilot episode now, but if it proves to be as incoherent as that first-day-shoot vlog, I doubt it will be very entertaining.

  • Radiation Sickness would take longer to kick in that portrayed in the series.

    • by CRCulver (715279)
      Plus, almost any space buff could tell you that Baikonur is in Kazakhstan, not the Russian Federation (though Russia rents the land). And the computer displays were completely ridiculous, just look at the video conference with the Secretary of whatever. I really wanted to sit back and enjoy this without nitpicking, but it's rather crap. Won't be donating, and will probably just read plot summaries of how the series goes instead of watching each episode.
  • The Guild (Score:3, Informative)

    by xororand (860319) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @02:52PM (#32633720)

    I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned "The Guild" web comedy series in this context yet. What's special about The Guild is how it started:

    The Guild was inspired and written by Day, an avid gamer, who plays World of Warcraft in between acting roles in several US television shows and movies.[4] After two years of video game addiction, Day decided to make something productive from her experiences and wrote the series as a sitcom pilot."

    Being an almost auto-biographical comedy, it had authenticity & heart. Its core appeared to be very close reality.

    Regarding The Guild's finances:

    After putting a donation link to PayPal, the fourth and fifth episodes were almost solely financed by donations

    They went on to produce 34 episodes over 4 seasons, selling DVDs and hi-def downloads. ...and of course.. Felicia Day! OMG! She played NetHack... *waits for the sound of thousands of slashdotters running to buy the DVDs*

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