Michael Moore’s latest documentary film, Slacker Uprising, is set to be available for free on the Internet. Does this signal a change in the movie industry or just Moore’s desire to see Obama in the White House?
When Radiohead released their latest album, In Rainbows, for free over the Internet last year, it was seen as a forward-thinking step which could revolutionise the way music is distributed.
Changing The Status Quo?
The album did well, but most people still ended up downloading it via less legal means. And the experiment didn’t really do anything to end the monopoly that the big record companies enjoy.
Could film-maker Michael Moore do any better in persuading the movie industry that there is an alternative to releasing movies in to cinemas?
Available For Free Online
Michael Moore, known for his hard-hitting documentaries attacking the status quo, is releasing Slacker Uprising for free on the Internet before it gets released on DVD.
The 97-minute-long film will be available to watch on BlipTV for three weeks starting from September 23rd. It will then be released on DVD on October 7th through Amazon and Netflix.
Unfortunately it will only be available to watch for free online in the United States and Canada, which alienates a lot of the world who would want to watch the documentary.
Slacker Uprising Trailer
Get Bush Out!
Slacker Uprising is a film following Michael Moore’s 62-city tour around the US swing states in the build-up to the 2004 US Presidential Election. Moore wanted Bush out and democrat John Kerry in.
While Moore’s hope wasn’t fulfilled, the documentary is now being released for free over the Internet in order to reach as many people as possible before this year’s US Presidential Election between Barack Obama and John McCain.
Moore released a statement explaining the move:
“This is being done entirely as a gift to my fans. The only return any of us are hoping for is the largest turnout of young voters ever at the polls in November. I think Slacker Uprising will inspire (millions) to get off the couch and give voting a chance.”
The film cost an estimated $2 million to make, and Moore thinks that this method of release will end up costing him $1 million. But neither Moore or the distributor, Brave New Films, plan to profit from the release.
This is an intriguing development, especially as Moore could have guaranteed a pay day by releasing this film in cinemas. He has instead decided to give his fans a present in the hope of inspiring more people to vote.
Will this revolutionise the movie industry? Not a chance. But it does at least show the Web is becoming a more accepted form of distribution for long-form content.
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