Saturday, July 5, 2008

Blended model

Tomorrow is the day of the launch of the The Tracey Fragments DVD.

This film was, to my knowledge, the first "major" feature film (by "major" I mean an indie film that opened the panorama section of the Berlinale, and was on festivals all over the world, with an Oscar nominee leading actress like Ellen Page and an awarded director like Bruce McDonald) to make available it's raw footage under a Creative Commons license on the net for others to recut and remix.

It is a milestone, because it's a great example of the possible merge of the traditional commercial model with the "new" remix culture more open Creative Commons licenses. The director's cut theatrical release itself is not free nor open, but a limited version of the raw footage (limited in the sense that the original footage distributed was highly compressed and in broadcast standard resolution) was made available for remixes under a CC by-nc-sa license.

This model, seems very promising, since it grants original authors revenue streams from their commercial releases as well as giving anyone interested the ability to create new works based on the source. This cause a synergy between the two attracting public attention primarily to the originating work but also to it's derivatives.

With the raw's release, a contest on the film's web site tittled Re-fragmented promoted the recut of the full feature on a linear fashion as an alternative to the Mondrian's style, picture-in-picture assembly of the theatrical version. The prize to the selected winner was an editing software package and the inclusion of their cut on the extras of the official DVD.

There are not many, if any, feature films to this date that fit this profile.

One funny fact is that I was only able to watch the theatrical release itself five months after I got my hands on the raw footage through the movie's website. The film only reached cinemas here in Portugal long after all the buzz around Ellen Page's Oscar nomination for her hole in June, and The Tracey Fragments exposure on festivals around the globe. I like the film on the big screen a lot.

Along with the great, "hardcore", open-film model of projects like Big Buck Bunny it would be great to see this blended business model more widely used.

Disclosure: I made this "Cinema 2.0 Promo" with "The Tracey Fragments" Creative Commons licensed footage under by-nc-sa. This video is not related with, nor endorsed by, the original film authors. But was only possible because the director, whole cast and crew, production company and the distributors of the original film allowed basically anyone to do it, so check who they are.

Resource links: cbc article - odd facts
- in action - modern art

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