This month marks the release of two titles which having been receiving an increasing amount of publicity – rightfully so as they are free to download / share and possibly give a insight into a new viable business model for some commercial projects today.

If you are reading this imaging an indi project as something with bad acting, poor effects and dodgy writing, think again.  The indi scene (in any sector of the entertainment industry) is home to some of the most creative and talented people on the planet – just because it’s not costing you the earth to see does not mean it is of poor quality.  I think Linux/FOSS users will quite happily testify that just because something is encouraged to be shared does not mean it is inferior and in many cases (in my opinion) in the software world FOSS is better.

Pioneer One – A new sci-fi series!

The first title is Pioneer One, a Sci-Fi show which is described in its synopsis as:

An object in the sky spreads radiation over North America. Fearing terrorism, U.S. Homeland Security agents are dispatched to investigate and contain the damage. What they discover will have implications for the entire world.

Pioneer One has been made possible by donations from the community, sponsorship and support from many people around the world, with one of its creators Josh Berhnard saying:

This production was possible due in no small part to the willingness of talented, professional people working for free…

Pioneer One can be found over at VODO, a tracker site for free to download media and a worthwhile visit, since these files will not have a warning letter dropping through your letterbox for sharing them.  The pilot episode apparently cost $6000 dollars to shoot and there are 7 episodes in the first series to be followed with a planed 4 more series.

You can watch the trailer here:

Visit the Pioneer One page over at VODO and lend your support!

You can download the first episode here: http://vodo.net/pioneerone

Having seen the first episode, I can report that it bodes very well for the rest of the series.  It is very difficult to make a full review without spoiling the show for those having not seen it yet….here goes:

Camera work is professional and in similar vein to the style we see on many modern series –  Its what I call planned shaky camera man, BSG used it a lot and whilst I am not a fan, in the case of Pioneer One it does lend itself to giving the episode a more realistic feel.

Without spoiling anything in this new series, the first episode of Pioneer One keeps you guessing and it does this in a rather clever way.  At three points during the first episode I was convinced I knew which direction it was taking, only for the story to surprise me.  Its written very well and whilst some may draw comparisons to the X-files (though this time the female seems more the believer) Pioneer One does not seek to confuse with conspiracy upon conspracy…..or it hasn’t yet….or maybe it has?! – Anyway I digress.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait to see the story progress.  A definite Openbytes recommendation!

The Tunnel – Horror in the making!

Next up is The Tunnel, a horror movie which was recently featured in a very good article over on Torrentfreak. The Tunnel is being funded by asking users to purchase frames of the film which will in turn support the project.  Over at http://www.thetunnelmovie.net/135k.php the makers say:

The Internet was meant to be a tool to connect us. It was meant to break down borders and liberate. Now we have an entire generation who are being labelled criminals for using that tool. But perhaps rather than wasting millions of dollars fighting a losing battle against internet piracy, we should try and find a way to embrace the possibilities that this new world brings…

That’s the thought that inspired this project. We believe that if we stop fighting  the peer to peer networks, they could become the biggest revolution we have ever seen in the way we share entertainment and information…..

The film is due to be released later this year by the Australian group Distracted Media.  You can visit the official Tunnel website here. The synopsis reads:

In 2007 the New South Wales government suddenly scrapped a plan to utilise the water in the disused underground train tunnels beneath Sydney’s St James Train Station.

In 2008, chasing rumours of a government coverup and urban legends surrounding the sudden backflip, investigative journalist Natasha Warner led a crew of four into the underground labyrinth.

They went down into the tunnels looking for a story – until the story found them……

The official blog of the project can be found here.

Free titles you may have missed!

There are thousands of excellent free titles, however time does not permit a mention of them all.  Here are a few that would get an Openbytes recommendation:

Prebloc is a French title by Gilles Guerraz which documents the story of a man who attempts to survive an end of the world disaster by himself and in insolation in his bunker.  It’s a great story that really can’t be described without ruining the plot for those that havent seen it.  What I can say is as well as being an entertaining short film, it documents rather well the deterioration of the lead character whilst his lives with his own company contemplating what is happening in the world outside.  An excellent title!

Legacy is written by Grzegorz Jonkajtys and is an animation detailing the journey of an alien who arrives at Earth looking for a specimin to catalogue.  Excellent animation and a highly polished end result make this a very entertaining short film.  Also by Grzegorz is Ark, again an animation and the story of the last survivors of the human race looking for refuge from a virus which has almost wiped out mankind.

I hope you enjoy these titles and would be very keen to hear from anyone with other suggestions/recommendations.  You can contact me at the email below.

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com

If you are new to this blog (or have not yet read it) please take time to view the Openbytes statement, here.