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

    by Zocalo (252965) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @11:25AM (#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.
  • Re:Simple answer (Score:5, Informative)

    by copponex (13876) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @11:39AM (#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].

  • The Scene (Score:4, Informative)

    by symes (835608) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @11:57AM (#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!
  • Re:Simple answer (Score:5, Informative)

    by Oligonicella (659917) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @12:46PM (#32633284)
    The TV show didn't catch because it was originally aired out of sequence.
  • The Guild (Score:3, Informative)

    by xororand (860319) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @01:52PM (#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*

  • by Bottles (1672000) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @01:54PM (#32633738)

    This seems to be the model for a lot of independent producers now - which is to say that they offer their production for free as a preview and judge whether to continue based on feedback from the audience.

    Projects like Earth 101 (http://www.earth101.net/) which seems to be a transmedia combination of video and old fashioned radio style comedy (think Hitchhikers Guide - even down to the scheduled broadcasts) are out there without any fanfare just waiting for an audience to pick them up.

    The Pioneer One crowd have managed to capitalise on the publicity of their Kickstarter campaign. Other producers have done it off their own backs. It could be argued that the real benefit of crowdfunding campaigns is not the revenue generated but the audience created and the publicity that follows.

  • Re:Not on IMDB?! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 20, 2010 @02:06PM (#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.

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

    by Naturalis Philosopho (1160697) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @02:37PM (#32634054)

    Showing it out of order may not have helped, but it couldn't have caused it's demise alone. I didn't see the first episode first, but what I did see, "Our Mrs. Reynolds" and then "Jaynestown", caused me to run out and get the complete series. I've bought it 5 times so far including gifts, plus Serenity. It's the only TV I've ever watched more than two viewings of an episode. In fact, I've watched an episode within the past 12 hours, "Trash". I couldn't tell you the names of most actors in any other TV series, and can't name a single episode name from another show, but I've picked up tons about Firefly just from repeated exposure. The show is fun, well filmed, well acted, and lasting. I'd like to think that if Mr. Weadon had been able to keep producing it on his own, and if iTunes distributed "indy" TV shows, or if BitTorrent had a pay infrastructure then like it has figured out now, then that show might still be on and getting paid for out of mere donations (heck, look how well "Dr. Horrible's" did). FF didn't fail due to any one reason other than that what can be summed up as "stupidity".

    I'll check out this new show. If it's any good, I'll reward it with a donation and myself with a pat on the back for making the right decision when I got rid of cable TV.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 20, 2010 @05:57PM (#32635432)

    http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=45.916766,63.314209&spn=2.113285,3.944092&z=

    That circle is under the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation. Roubels are accepted as legal tender, Tenge are not.

    The problem is that the confused Star City (which is a closed suburb of Moscow, where cosmonauts train) with Baikonur.

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