These days it’s hardly surprising news when a filmmaker choses to share their movie using BitTorrent. VODO, the BitTorrent-powered distribution network for independent films, has released a few dozen high-quality movies in the past year alone.
Today, however, VODO sees arguably its highest impact release to date – ‘A Lonely Place For Dying‘. With Hollywood veteran James Cromwell as Executive Producer, a talented first-time Director, and a crew of professional filmmakers and actors it has all the ingredients for a quality product.
The real impact, however, comes from the distribution model selected for the movie.
Rather than accepting offers from traditional Hollywood insiders who sought to acquire rights to the movie, the makers felt more comfortable in keeping the rights and funding through the BitTorrent community instead. They therefore chose a serialized release on VODO, for free, in the hope that they can secure enough donations to fund a theatrical release themselves.
With the donations from BitTorrent users the filmmakers will complete a theatrical mix of the motion picture, create a digital cinema package, and get everything else ready to position the film in U.S. movie theaters. This order is the complete reverse of the regular Hollywood path, and it wouldn’t be going too far to describe it as a breakthrough.
“It’s no exaggeration to say A Lonely Place for Dying is a milestone for VODO and for original content distributed through BitTorrent. We hope the community will help us prove this can work!” Director Justin Eugene Evans told TorrentFreak in a comment.
“While some of our movie theaters are nervous about this decision we believe that the torrenting audience isn’t necessarily the same as the theatrical audience,” Evans added.
“We’re really excited about this release and the model the producers are following,” VODO Founder Jamie King told TorrentFreak.
“This is a suspenseful, intense movie that we know our audience are going to love. It’s important to show how the popularity we can build for movies online can convert into paying cinemagoers down the road. This could be a turning point for indie filmmakers –– plus it’s awesome to be premiering a film with real stars!”
A collection of high-profile P2P partners including The Pirate Bay, isoHunt, uTorrent and FrostWire are faithfully backing the VODO project, guaranteeing hundreds of thousands of downloads a week. Quite a privilege for an independent production.
At a time when many independent films are failing to find a route to audiences, either through traditional cinema release, DVD distribution or online monoliths like iTunes and Netflix, VODO’s free-to-share strategy might just be proving itself as a way for independent filmmakers to empower themselves. All that remains now is a positive reception for the film from the public.
The first part of Lonely Place For Dying is available for download now.