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

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:Simple answer (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BLKMGK ( 34057 ) <> 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: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?

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

    by BLKMGK ( 34057 ) <> 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...

  • Re:Simple answer (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kingrames ( 858416 ) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @12:51PM (#32632922)
    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 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...

  • Plot with porn (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples@gmail.BOHRcom minus physicist> on Sunday June 20, 2010 @01:30PM (#32633194) Homepage Journal

    There might someday be a porno with an actual good plot.

    Reviews indicate that "someday" came when Eyes Wide Shut was released. TV Tropes has a list of other examples [].

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Re:Simple answer (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SIR_Taco ( 467460 ) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @02:59PM (#32633772) Homepage

    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 like all of the people that were enjoying Lost during the first season and wondering: "what will happen next?". Then it being canceled.

  • Re:Simple answer (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 20, 2010 @03:26PM (#32633968)

    I work in the audio field and this reminds me why the democratization of cheap AV gear has not led to better sounding records.

    I modded you Insightful, but I strongly disagree with this comment. I think that "cheap AV gear" has indeed led to better sounding records. Just in this last year, I've heard several recordings, ones that made money, that were made in what were basically home or project studios. I think of Moby's "Wait for Me" of St. Vincent's "Actor" and even Air's most recent album "Love". Now of course these three records may have had the benefit of professional equipment and engineers (maybe) but those three artists, and those three records, could not have been possible without cheap professional-quality recording equipment and software. All three of those artists started out by making sonically interesting and high-quality recordings on the same kind of gear that I use in my own home project studio. They didn't have to make "demos" and then re-record their music in some expensive commercial studio. That meant that they could experiment to their hearts' content and release records that major labels might have passed on.

    I compose and record music for film and video, as well as other electronica. I can use inexpensive gear to make music that is ready for distribution, via torrent or CD or otherwise, that sounds fantastic. I'm old enough to remember when 4-track tape was the only thing available to home recordists on a budget, and all you could make were demos. (Yes, the Beatles recorded on 4-track machines, but with the very best equipment available in the world at the time, plus brilliant engineers). Today, I can make custom mixes for headphones, speakers, car systems, 5.1 and release them in flac, ogg, mp3, DVD, what-have-you. In fact, those custom mixes are a way for me to add value and distinction in a world where there are millions of independent artists.

    I'm not saying that anybody can go to Guitar Center and buy a bunch of gear and sound like Phoenix or Brian Wilson from their bedrooms, but if you have talent, like say Animal Collective or the artists I've already named, the path from making music to releasing great sounding, high-quality recordings has never been shorter.

  • by iluvcapra ( 782887 ) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @04:05PM (#32634254)
    Headline actors, even in the time of Mozart were able to demand a share of the House. The upshot of the film industry is that performance has been democratized: people, all people, are able to vote with their dollars for who they want to see, and actors are no longer judged "great" on the basis of a few wealthy and well-connected patrons and critics.

    Performance even in the pre-industrial age could be extremely remunerative if you managed to land a job with a court or ecclesiastical theater company. You might not have received gobs of money, but you would have influence and status, everyone in the country would know or name, you would have the privilege of circulating with the political and social elite of the country, and you would have the power to control what other artists your patron patronized. It was true wealth in everything but the wallet.
  • Re:Simple answer (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Skal Tura ( 595728 ) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @06:21PM (#32635180) Homepage

    Pioneer One is a hit imho as well.
    The "indie quality" shows, but know what? It doesn't matter at all! The story is so immersive, interesting and hooking. I'm tempted to watch this pilot again right now, and want to see how the story continues. It's a very compelling proposition this set has. The acting ain't the best, but does the job well conveying the story. Special effects, like you can expect with this budget, pretty much suck, but it only puts your imagination working and filling the gaps.

    In short: Pioneer One makes you think with your compelling story, and lust for more of the story.

  • Re:Simple answer (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bigngamer92 ( 1418559 ) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @08:35PM (#32635978) Homepage Journal
    $10 would have been cheap in my opinion. $50 if they throw in the DVD for free, $100 if they provide premium Blu-Ray stuff
  • Re:Simple answer (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @11:24PM (#32636828) Homepage

    Once virtual robotic animation kicks in (think software engineering principles for animation scripts), there really isn't much scope for it, until of course real robots catch up to the virtual ones.

    So it is the inevitable replacement for TV excluding live work. As animation replaces actor and sets for dead work, the cost advantages will simply alter the whole dead/recorded content landscape (much better reuse of screen elements in other works, complete ownership of never aging or even ageing at the right pace 'actors', the only live or on location stuff is for imagination feeds, putting the animators in the right frame of mind).

    So will the tech corporations wipe out the hollywood and TV corporations, pretty much. Amalgamations, mergers, buyouts et al will just make it seem like the opposite or like it didn't happen at all but the underlying reality will be a measure of shift from actors to animators and programmers.

  • Re:Simple answer (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thijsh ( 910751 ) on Monday June 21, 2010 @05:28AM (#32638464) Journal
    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 helps if it a totally different genre, like the series Castle about a writer... they even had an epic reference to him being a 'space cowboy' dressed completely in Firefly style. A cool little personal homage...
  • Re:Simple answer (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Omestes ( 471991 ) <> on Monday June 21, 2010 @01:54PM (#32643684) Homepage Journal

    only because they are lazy.

    Or because they don't care. $380 is much higher than my $19 a month for Netflix, and $0 a month for Hulu, and my $0 a month streaming TV from other sources via a re-purposed MacMini. The lack of ads on my setup, to be memeful, is priceless. Me and the lady friend discuss getting cable from time to time, since the DTV switch killed all of our local channels, but it is so low on the priority list as to be almost non-existent.

    When I had cable all I did was watch Dirty Jobs, and the Food Network (mostly as background noise). Hardly worth $380 (or the nearly $60 they were charging me).

    Recently I house-sat for my father, and tried to kill some time watching his Direct TV, I gave up very quicky. 300 hundred channels of nothing is pretty much a literal reality. I was happy they had infomercials for sex-toys though, but I doubt the transient amusement value of that is worth much.

    I can see having Cable and Sat TV for sports fans. Or people who really care about Dancing With the Stars, or people who need to watch the latest version of sitcom x as soon as humanly possible (for whatever reason). But for people not in those groups, it is pretty much worthless.

    Most geeks, back to the topic, don't care much about sports, and probably don't have lives that hinging on knowing what the latest development in whatever the big sitcom of the day is. Most geeks are probably tech savvy enough to obtain their television from other sources for cheap or free, which beats paying a cable bill. Therefore most geeks don't have cable/sat for VERY sensible reasons.

    The only thing I really miss about cable is being able to be indoctrinated with liberal viewpoints ala MSNBC, and occasionally getting my 4 minutes of hate via Bill O'Reilly. Though I suppose both of them are available via podcast/streaming, so if I cared much they would still be available. I apparently don't.

A committee takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom. -- Parkinson