‘Blank’ Movie Director Foregoes Hollywood For P2P | Movie Legally Available On BitTorrent

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From today, you can download a newly-released feature film through any one of a number of peer-to-peer networks. That’s not news, obviously, because that happens every day of the year, with both new and old movies and television content finding its way on them. But there’s one big difference this time, the filmmakers are happy about it.

Millions of people now use torrent trackers to search-for and obtain copies of content they want, be it in the form of movies, television episodes, music, or whatever. It has to be said, a fair proportion of this content being shared is having its copyright infringed upon, and in that sense, is being illegally obtained.

A Question Of Legality

The majority of people don’t see piracy as being wrong, and The Pirate Bay has recently defended itself in court by arguing it is doing nothing wrong by being one of the links in the chain that allows it to happen. But the actions are illegal by virtue of most countries’ laws.

Let us not forget however that a lot of the content shared over the Internet is being shared legally, with no copyright infringement taking place. A year ago this month, we detailed how the Norwegian broadcaster, NRK, chose to distribute its show, Nordkalotten 365, via BitTorrent. The experiment to use P2P as a distribution tool was regarded as a complete success.

Blank, On DVD and Torrent

Now, according to TorrentFreak, some filmmakers are following suit. Blank is a new movie directed by Rick L. Winters and his company, Annodam Productions. The film is now available to buy on DVD, but at the same time, Winters and his team are placing Blank on to BitTorrent as well.

Blank tells the story of a child who having witnessed the murder of his parents grows up to seek revenge on the killers. So far, so uninteresting. What makes Blank unique is the way the movie has been financed, with each member of the cast and crew accepting a deferred percentage of the film’s profits.

Spare Some Change?

Winters claims to have received various distribution offers from Hollywood but chose to strike out on his own in order to avoid the money being nabbed by a corporation who had nothing to do with the movie. Consequently, while the DVD of Blank is now available at $14.99, the film is also free to download on Mininova and the like, with the blessing of the whole cast and crew.

In a similar move to how Radiohead distributed In Rainbows, viewers who download, watch, and enjoy the movie are being asked to donate what they feel the movie is worth to them. Any money obtained in this way will be used to finance the next production.

Beating The Pirates

This is ingenious purely because there’s a high probability that Blank would have been pirated anyway. What Winters and his team have done is just beat the pirates to the punch by offering it legitimately. There will obviously be many people who download the movie and choose not to make a donation, but that is their choice, and one a risk Winters is clearly prepared to take.

I cannot see this kind of deal being embraced by Hollywood anytime soon, but for independent filmmakers who don’t necessarily want to deal with the big players, it opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Blank won’t make Annodam Productions as much money as it would have if it had been given a theatrical release, but this is a company looking to the future, and for that, it should be applauded.


2 Replies to “‘Blank’ Movie Director Foregoes Hollywood For P2P | Movie…”

  1. By my opinion I do not see downloading movies from the torrent sites illegal ! I do pay a fee to get to Internet and I do not have to be in some illegal club with a millions of passwords to be able to download those movies ( or other torrents!). So, I do not think I am doing anything illegal. It is there for anybody to get.
    And as far as I know the same problem was in Europe and last year the European Union Supreme court ( I am not sure if this name is correct ) decided there is not anything illegal to do that.
    So, wake up North Amerika!

  2. Hello all, I am currently running a crowd funding campaign for my 4th feature film titled “THE END IS NEAR” and I need your donation, pledges and support to help me reach my budget goal. So visit the kickstarter crowd funding webpage at: http://kck.st/JVP2EK and help us make the movie.

    The film will be (96+ minutes).

    Here is the synopsis for the film:
    Since the loss of his wife a year earlier on December 21, 2011 via a freak accident, Rick has sunk into a deep depressive state making him unable to cope with everyday life. He becomes obsessed with the anniversary of his wife Melanie’s death, December 21, 2012, and the apocalyptic predictions spreading across the internet. When he starts experiencing visions of things to come in the end. Rick starts to increase his visits to his psychiatrist Dr. Schmidt to try and understand what is happening to him. During his visit to his psychiatrist he meets another patient named Mary J who is convinced the government is conspiring against it’s own people via a program called Project Blue Beam created by the governments secret society’s and Illuminati . When the two meet they find an uncanny connection and take off on a journey together as they prepare for the final days.

    The films webpage is on my website at: http://ricklwinters.com/the-end-is-near.html

    Rick L. Winters
    writer director producer

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