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Made-For-Torrents Sci-Fi Drama "Pioneer One" Debuts

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the it's-tv-jim-but-not-as-we-know-it dept.

Media 321

QuantumG writes "The first episode of the new science fiction drama Pioneer One has debuted and it looks like a hit. The pilot was shot for just $6,000, raised through the micro-funding platform Kickstarter, and the production is being supported through donations on the show's website. Donations can be made on a sliding scale with 'bonus' rewards for each level, such as an MP3 of the opening theme and deleted scenes. The show is being distributed through file-sharing systems such as BitTorrent and LimeWire thanks to VODO, the group that also helped produce it. Is this the future of television?"

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Simple answer (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32632390)

Is this the future of television?

No.

Re:Simple answer (5, Insightful)

Psiren (6145) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632434)

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

I would have to concur.

Re:Simple answer (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32632502)

But what if it kick-starts a world-wide audience of 1 million people willing to pay $10.00 for a season?

All projects have to start somewhere. Whether it is seed money from an angel investor or sweat equity, it doesn't matter. If you're working on a project that you truly believe in (passion, political statement, future earnings, etc.), then working for free at the beginning might make sense.

Re:Simple answer (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32632560)

Firefly Season 2?

Fox says no.

Re:Simple answer (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32632880)

Maybe Firefly didn't capture enough audience to pay for the production costs *plus* distribution costs *plus* desired profit? Likely there was another show (dancing with stars? blech!) that was shown to make more money in that same 1 hour slot? I dunno.

Re:Simple answer (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32632952)

Is Dancing with Stars from 2002 in the top 10 current best selling blu-ray movie section on amazon.com? because Firefly is...

Re:Simple answer (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632998)

Firefly didn't go because someone's short-sighted sites are set too high. Firefly was and in many respects still IS successful. The problem is that it was either not enough or too much of some metric that probably doesn't accurately measure quality or audience appreciation.

Re:Simple answer (5, Informative)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 4 years ago | (#32633284)

The TV show didn't catch because it was originally aired out of sequence.

Re:Simple answer (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632956)

Fox said no, and yet the profit from the DVD sales alone (ignoring syndication) were enough to fund an entire new season. If the TV companies hadn't been involved, with two layers of indirection between the TV creators and the TV consumers (networks and advertisers), then Firefly Season 2 would have been a profitable proposition.

I would have paid $10 into a fund to film season 2 and release it under a creative commons license. I strongly suspect that enough other people would have done the same for them to have been able to make a reasonable profit. If season 2 had been good, I'd have put another $10 towards season 3, under the same terms, and so on. Once they'd released season 2 under a CC license, I could have given copies to all of my friends and encouraged them to contribute towards season 3.

Re:Simple answer (4, Interesting)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632506)

At this point they have had little to no exposure. With more exposure and perhaps more donations more of those folks working for free might get paid. At that point yeah maybe this is viable. It's seeding HUGE right now and it sounds interesting so just maybe they will make some money on it - who knows. Perhaps contingency payments to those who work on it? Network TV seems pretty crappy lately so perhaps this will shake things up...

Re:Simple answer (3, Insightful)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632798)

I watch more and more things like this.

Every minute spent watching these is a minute not spent watching the expensive pro stuff.

There is a serious glut of entertainment out there. More than we could ever consume in 10 lifetimes now. And every day another week of material is created.

As the inexpensive or free stuff grows, it is crowding out the expensive stuff heavily laden with commercials.

For me, it's more likely to crowd out cable than movie theaters. I can't duplicate the experience of sitting with 500 enthusiastic people on the first few nights. I can't duplicate the experience of the huge screen (tho I can come close).

Re:Simple answer (3, Insightful)

karnal (22275) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632882)

You also can't duplicate the chance of whiny kids crying for 1/2 the movie (happened to me for XMen 2) or random people whipping out their cell phones during the film. Even though most don't actually talk on their phones, the fact that the light attracts my attention away from the movie is a real distraction.

Plus the fact that most of the larger chain cinemas feel the need to push the audio way too high. In Columbus, there's a place called the Movie Tavern. Has a bar and restaurant - uses what I would consider "cheaper" computer chairs and you sit behind a table so you can eat with a mild light. Another plus for them is that they don't crank the friggin audio. AMC @ Easton - yea, they crank it so bad my ears ring.

I must be getting old. But tldr version - Big Chain Movie Theaters are usually not a good experience in my opinion.

Re:Simple answer (2)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632898)

I've not watched much stuff like this but I HAVE watched a few series that I thought were decent do well and then DIE due to network stupidity. FireFly is everyone's fave in this regard but Defying Gravity and Dresden Files are also good examples. I worry about shows like Sanctuary, SGU, Eureka, and others more mainstream like Lie to Me, Saving Grace, and Numb3rs. "Reality" TV just plain sucks, I won't watch it. But it's CHEAP to make by comparison and they can just keep throwing crap at the wall to see if it sticks. Shows funded like this at least have a chance if they're good and people who follow it have some input.

I agree there's a glut of entertainment. What we need is interesting entertainment!

I enjoy movie theaters, I do NOT enjoy the sky high prices, the asshat punks with cellphones, and the sticky floors. I go occasionally but not nearly as often as I watch shows at home. Big screens are cheaper and cheaper and if I had a basement a projector would have already followed me home for sure. Projects like XBMC and unRAID allow folks to setup VERY nice HTPC systems fairly cheaply to access tons of media. Unless prices at the box office regain some sanity it's only the highly anticipated movies I'll be looking to see - the rest I can wait on...

Re:Simple answer (0, Flamebait)

sleeping143 (1523137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632930)

Every minute spent watching these is a minute not spent watching the expensive pro stuff.

Or, instead of watching TV, you could get out and enjoy the real world.

Re:Simple answer (5, Interesting)

klingens (147173) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632512)

There are a lot of talented, professional people working for free: Linux programmers, Debian developers, Gnome developers....
And don't say they get paid lots of money for it: they certainly didn't get any money when they started.

Are you saying there is less free talent available in the AV arts than in programming?

Re:Simple answer (1)

Psiren (6145) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632618)

There are a lot of talented, professional people working for free: Linux programmers, Debian developers, Gnome developers....
And don't say they get paid lots of money for it: they certainly didn't get any money when they started.

Are you saying there is less free talent available in the AV arts than in programming?

No I'm not, and I didn't say they wouldn't be successful. They may well be, and I hope they are. The question posed was whether this was the future of TV. I can't see it, there just isn't enough security in it for all those people working in TV to bet their working lives on.

I think there's certainly room for projects like these, and I hope to see more of it. But it's not going to replace regular TV making, much as we may wish it to be so.

Re:Simple answer (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632778)

The question posed was whether this was the future of TV. I can't see it, there just isn't enough security in it for all those people working in TV to bet their working lives on.

But that wasn't the question. When Henry Ford created the assembly line and started pumping out cars, there wasn't much security in it for the blacksmiths and carriage-makers, but it still became the future of transportation.

Re:Simple answer (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#32633238)

There was no security (or income) in Free software at the start. Eventually, paying jobs in Free software started to appear and the Free OSes have a majority of the server market. I wouldn't expect this to completely replace the networks, but it could certainly put a dent in them.

Re:Simple answer (1)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 4 years ago | (#32633362)

You're talking about wildly different situations.

The difference is that the successful free software has paying jobs for it mostly because the successful free software is a means to an end, not an end in an of itself. A program like Apache is popular not because anyone wants a web server for its own merits, but because they need one for a web site that hosts whatever project is their end. Large-scale open-source projects like Mozilla are able to stay afloat mainly because they *don't* rely on donations or the kindness of strangers; they have a revenue stream already built-in.

On the other hand, a TV show is not a means to anything. Doesn't mean it's not valuable, it just means that nobody's going to fund its development unless they can monetize it, which in the case of entertainment, means commercializing it. (Ads, premium, whatever.)

I'm downloading the show and if I enjoy it, I may make a donation. But I don't expect that they'll make much more than production costs. If they make a really popular show, they might be able to continue it. And if it's something they enjoy doing and keep their day jobs, then it's a win-win for everybody. But I sincerely doubt that they'll actually compete with professional production.

Re:Simple answer (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632790)

Most of the development on major open-source projects is done by paid developers. Red Hat, IBM, and other companies pay their programmers to develop Linux. Mozilla pays developers to work on Firefox. I'm sure there are some programmers working for free, but if those projects had to get by only on volunteer work, they wouldn't be like they are today.

Re:Simple answer (4, Informative)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632850)

Are you saying there is less free talent available in the AV arts than in programming?

Sorry to burst your bubble, but good artists are much harder to find than programmers. Good production requires good set designers, lighting directors, casting directors. Not to mention that the AV equipment required and support staff to run it cost much more than a single computer and an internet connection.

I've watched about 10 minutes. So far, you have stilted dialogue, characters talking to each other about plot points received from phone calls, a DHS agent who claims to know 47 languages, and very, very bad acting on top of all of it.

The plot seems original at least, but this is again proof that the BBC has the best model for rewarding good ideas. Publicly funded organizations that pick up new writing talent and help them develop their ideas with professional experience.

I work in the audio field and this reminds me why the democratization of cheap AV gear has not led to better sounding records. No amount of cheap fidelity can replace decades of experience making things sound better. And it can't replace a good producer telling a room full of writers that their scene is a crock of shit [movieline.com] .

Re:Simple answer (1)

Cylix (55374) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632954)

In terms of set design and other attributes I have dabbled in those areas a bit in my lifetime. One person could potentially fill the role of many, but good luck doing any of those things on a budget.

The notion of cheap, but capable video gear is equally applicable to audio. Waving a cheap 1080p HD cam about is just going to look like waving without proper support and instrumentation.

Still, with some experience and ingenuity you can do fairly OK things with a lot of effort and a little bit of cash.

Shooting it always proportionally easier to the amount of capital investment ;)

Re:Simple answer (3, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632986)

Sorry to burst your bubble, but good artists are much harder to find than programmers. Good production requires good set designers, lighting directors, casting directors. Not to mention that the AV equipment required and support staff to run it cost much more than a single computer and an internet connection.

In LA a significant slice of the population owns equipment that can shoot 720p and has production equipment -- every other house in the Valley seems to have a garage converted into a studio of one type or another, so in some places it's definitely easier than others. But even that being so, very few good no-budget independent projects are produced here, no more or fewer than any other part of the US. The real limiting factor, as you indicate, is the human talent, particularly in the acting and writing. Even FOSS projects fail unless the lead developers are very talented and persevering, and know how to code, and lead others, and communicate well, and promote and market and support..

Re:Simple answer (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#32633324)

I haven't watched it yet, but your description sounds a lot like the pilot episodes of many eventually successful shows. Had Star Trek TNG or Voyager remained like their pilot episodes, even the die-hard Trekkies might have turned them off in a month or two. That's just the nature of pilot episodes.

Re:Simple answer (2, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632894)

Hi, I'm a sound designer who regularly contributes his work for free (or for very low rates) to the projects of newe filmmakers.

I can tell you that if I didn't have a regular paying job working on commercial movies, there is no way I'd be able to contribute my spare time to freebees. Having a well-paying job allows me to keep my own equipment and have the savings necessary to spend time working for free, and being a member of my union (and relying on other people working and paying into the insurance pool) makes sure that I have health care when I work on freebees.

I'm sure it works the same way in development, no? Programmers contribute there time to open source projects, but the most skilled programmers who accomplish the most work and make the best contributions are professionals who are doing so in their spare time. Amateurs might be good for testing or doing the sort of things in filmmaking we leave to interns, but production is a sophisticated profession and requires years of experience in a particular trade to have proficiency and cutting-edge skills, and if you aren't doing it all the time you just never have a chance to develop those.

These projects are a great way for the creators and crew to network and get their idea exposed, but the goal is to secure funding and produce the show in a conventional way, after proving the concept is viable and commercial. BitTorrent is not a usable or profitable means of replacing television, but it might be a new way for studios to discover pilots.

Re:Simple answer (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 4 years ago | (#32633092)

It's only very recently that actors have joined the ranks of the elite getting paid high sums of money for their work. It was the case that for many years, being an actor was seen as a very lowly job. Even now, only a very small percentage of actors make a lot of money. Most of the other actors make their livings as waiters and act only in local productions. Perhaps this is a way for small time actors to spread their work to a larger audience. I know I've got just as much enjoyment (many times more enjoyment) going to my local theatre (live play) as I have watching the latest blockbuster from Hollywood. There's no specific reason why actors should make lots of money or that films should cost a lot to make. For a short period, it was very expensive even for the basic camera equipment. However, now that things have come down in price, and you can essentially distribute and market the movie for nothing, why not move back to the old model where actors did it for the love of the work, and a little extra money, rather than paying people millions of dollars, and paying way too much to see the show. I'm not saying stuff like this will kill the hollywood blockbuster, with multimillion dollar budgets, but it may just replace stuff like TV sitcoms, where the budget could be extremely low, and you could still get just as many laughs.

Re:Simple answer (4, Interesting)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 4 years ago | (#32633240)

It's only very recently that actors have joined the ranks of the elite getting paid high sums of money for their work.

Check your sources on that: Jimmy Stewart is generally recognized as having received the modern agency/gross points deal for Winchester '73 in 1950, and many independent producer/actors, including Charlie Chaplin and Fatty Arbuckle had gross deals in the silent era. Even when they didn't get grosses, contracts actors at the Big Five in the thirties would easily earn an average workers years's wages in a matter of weeks,

Actors who make this kind of money aren't paid because they're good actors, though often they are.They receive this level of compensation because their name on the poster literally guarantees people will come to see the film. If you've ever heard the term "bankable actor" this is where it comes from-- an actor is such a guaranteed draw that a producer can literally get a bank loan for their film on the basis of that actor's appearance in the film.

The actors demand their share of the money because they are the draw. That's what a "star" is.

Re:Simple answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32632674)

You figure television has a future, do you?
Here's another "torrent" flick : The Tunnel [thetunnelmovie.net]

Re:Simple answer (1)

snowboardin159 (1744212) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632700)

and PurePwnage

Re:Simple answer (2, Interesting)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632922)

Actually it might be better. Imagine, if a show didn't have to worry about censorship, warning labels, or the esrb or any of the federal agencies that keep the airwaves "clean".
There might someday be a porno with an actual good plot.

Would be kinda naive of us to dismiss the idea that people would want to see that.

Plot with porn (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32633194)

There might someday be a porno with an actual good plot.

Reviews indicate that "someday" came when Eyes Wide Shut was released. TV Tropes has a list of other examples [tvtropes.org] .

Re:Simple answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32633042)

YES

Re:Simple answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32633212)

Maybe. TV, like cinema, is disgustingly expensive to make. Way more expensive than it should be given what's actually involved.

Films, for example, the money in those is made before the film is ever released. Studios say that without crackdowns on piracy big budget films would not be possible. What they neglect to mention is that big budget films only cost such much, because they make so much money. Money in cinema is made before the film is ever released - getting your feet under the production door is where the money is made. Charge a fortune for services. If you make less money - your supplier can't charge as much, and your film are cheaper... not worse... just not 50x the price of any other comparable service in another industry.

Basically... yes.. maybe inexpensive television with today's PCs is the new way forward.

Is this the future of television? Yep. (3, Insightful)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632410)

Is this the future of television?

Hollywood, and big $$$ actors sure hope not... commodities commodities...

Re: Is this the future of television? Yep. (3, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632498)

Just wait until the MPAA hears about this! They'll try everything in their powers to show how this 'Made for Torrent' content has harmed them because no one had to pay for it. I can hear it now "This will cause irreparable harm to the movie industry by offering free and non-predictable content to the very masses we've been training for years to swallow our expensive, DRM laden predictable and rehashed tripe."

Re: Is this the future of television? Yep. (1)

RDW (41497) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632820)

'Just wait until the MPAA hears about this! They'll try everything in their powers to show how this 'Made for Torrent' content has harmed them because no one had to pay for it.'

One thing the MPAA might get a little upset about is the list of 'DISCO members' (there must be a joke there) which the official VODO site is linking to for direct downloads rather than torrents. These are just filesharing blogs stuffed full of Rapidshare links to copyrighted media. If VODO wants to stay squeaky clean they might want to re-think their linking policy...

Re: Is this the future of television? Yep. (2)

nunojsilva (1019800) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632842)

We need more examples that making a move does not mean being under the MPAA umbrella, does not mean using DRM, and does not mean "bittorrent is evil".

This is going to give "Copyrighted stuff can't be copied" people a hard time...

Re: Is this the future of television? Yep. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32633134)

The pilot episode was terrible, I don't think the MPAA has to worry about Made for Torrent stuff.

Re: Is this the future of television? Yep. (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632514)

But OTOH this isn't a bad way of unknowns to get some recognition and footage for when they audition. A lot of them tend to work in smaller community productions as is for practically nothing. It's really not that uncommon for an actor to be sleeping in his car while trying to make it big. Something of this sort isn't really that much worse than the status quo. You do also have people that enjoy cinematography and other trades on a hobby basis who'd be more than happy to get a slice of whatever comes of it.

But, this definitely isn't ever going to be the main way that it's done. I just can't imagine there being enough consistency to make it a workable model. But OTOOH, Fox still makes shows, and this is a tad bit less completely insane than letting them make TV shows.

Re: Is this the future of television? Yep. (3, Insightful)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632712)

Personally the one good thing about this format is that if people LIKE the damned show they won't just cancel it because some asshat made a political move on another producer. I cannot count the numbers of times I've LIKED a show but it's been killed off, scheduled stupidly, or who knows what.

I'm watching this now - so far I like it and yeah I think I'll contribute to it. I'd like to see the next episode for sure!

Re: Is this the future of television? Yep. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32632614)

Entertainment is not a commodity; never has been, never will be. The materials on which entertainment is presented to us are commodities, though.

Re: Is this the future of television? Yep. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32632780)

There are enough actors/artists/directors out of work, almost enough to be a commodity resource. Not saying they would be very good though...

Re: Is this the future of television? Yep. (1)

fat_mike (71855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32633200)

Yeah, after watching the first 10 minutes I don't think anybody in Hollywood should start worrying.

I think they should have tried to raise another $6000 and bought a steady cam or at least bought a tripod from Radio Shack for $25.

Nothing like a static shot of a staircase and having the camera vibrate in every direction

Hellz No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32632414)

Nope x500

Not on IMDB?! (1)

Zumbs (1241138) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632464)

Strangely, Pioneer One does not seem to be on IMDB, yet.

Late News? (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632466)

It has been on the homepage of ThePirateBay for about a week now.

Which part? (3, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632500)

Quote the website:

This production was possible due in no small part to the willingness of talented, professional people working for free," explains Bernhard. "From actors to composers, they did this because they believed in the project and wanted to see it happen.

That is going to nix any plans for scaling the production model to support a full season of one or more shows.

But, if you're asking whether or not a bittorrent-based distribution model is the future of TV, consider this... Bittorrent works by doing what the bandwidth providers SPECIFICALLY DO NOT WANT YOU TO DO. That is, use all the bandwidth you can. It fundamentally breaks the over-subscription model. In short, this distribution model won't scale using the existing infrastructure and it will take major changes for it to actually work. This sort of thing only works in small amounts, not the volumes of people who veg out in front of the idiot box on a nightly basis.

Bandwidth will end up costing us more than CableTV (1)

tentimestwenty (693290) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632570)

I think in the next 10-15 years the large internet providers are going to put a strangle hold on subscribers and basically charge out the a$$ for bandwidth. If content producers can't charge for content (realistically), they can get the equivalent charges from the raw bandwidth. Notice how the content producers are making closer and closer ties to the service providers? Vertically integrated markets here we come.

Re:Bandwidth will end up costing us more than Cabl (1)

Flyerman (1728812) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632660)

Sounds good. So anyone can create and then use existing payment methods funneled through ISPs to charge for the content?

Re:Bandwidth will end up costing us more than Cabl (1)

tentimestwenty (693290) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632784)

No, actually the ISPs will make all the money. Small shows like Pioneer will continue to be given away, while large producers will have exclusive deals with the ISPs (or will own the ISPs) to take a percentage of bandwidth revenue.

Of course not... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32632730)

Bandwidth is becoming ever cheaper. Every year I get more bandwidth for less money. My ISP has upgraded me some five times over the last few years. Every time my bandwidth was increased so much that I could downgrade to a cheaper plan and still have a net gain in bandwidth.

ISP's over here (Europe, the Netherlands to be precise) get their money by (trying to) sell tv-over-ip and telephony-over-ip. But basic internet connectivity and bandwidth? There is no money in that, it's practically free.

Re:Which part? (1)

ojintoad (1310811) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632592)

Re:Which part? (1)

chill (34294) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632670)

Yup, but there is no proof it is successful or effective at doing that. And, from the article itself,

Although the protocol is an open standard and offers some intriguing advantages, the technology is not seeing swift uptake. A report from TorrentFreak says that client application developers are still skeptical and some users have suffered performance degradation due to problems with the protocol.

Read thru the comments on that article to find some more issues with whether or not this will be an effective solution.

Re:Which part? (4, Interesting)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632768)

Bull. If you leave your pipe wide open then yeah you screw up the provider. However many of us understand the usage of the throttle and by actually using it we don't fill the pipes to bursting. This thing is currently seeding with OVER 20K users for the low def version, if all of those people throttle then you and I can download this pretty easily without anyone saturating their pipe. This isn't too complicated. I seed quite a few pieces of video this way without crushing my bandwidth or pissing off my provider.

Just finished watching this show. I like the premise, I'm going to contribute. If half of the 20K seeds feel the same way then their budget just got a TON bigger...

you are wrong (1)

Weezul (52464) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632792)

All that torrent based media does is provide ISPs with an excuse for using caching servers for bittorrent, which solves their bandwidth problems, just not how the media industry wants.

Re:Which part? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32632822)

As long as bandwidth goes here in Mexico we can run 100% of our plan 24/7 without a problem. Why? Because the ISPs don't oversell their infrastructure. It is a little more expensive. And we have less bandwidth. This IS the future. As technology advances people start doing Pro bonos. They do what they love to do.

In 2001 if I asked you if Linux was the future of the OS you would most likely said no. If I ask you now you are most likely to say it is competent. We already got robots and machines that work for the basic stuff we need. We made research to make everything more efficient and we are gaining freedoms and powers never dreamed before. We can travel the whole world i an instant; we can talk with anyone in the world; we can almost translate any language; we can clone multicellular organisms; we can genetically engineer beings into exciting new things.

Technology goes faster each second. Moore's Law is about to reach what Moore said was the limit; yet we discover other ways to overcome this like quantum computing and biological computing. A recent discovery increased the capacity of the Hard Drives by about 10.8 times and we will see it pop into the market soon.

What really moves people isn't money. What moves people is a cause they believe in. Biologists aren't in their jobs for the money(Yet they do need money to survive) even if you removed the money part the great majority would continue they research. This guys; they love movies/movie making and derby decided to produce their own.

Re:Which part? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32633012)

Unfortunately for the wannabe monopoly ISPs, bandwidth is dirt cheap already and only getting cheaper. (The latest Alcatel-Lucent switch can push 1.5Tbps through a single fiber up to 600 miles long.) The technology for delivering bandwidths that ISP customers don't even dream of is becoming more available and easier to install every year. It is only a matter of time until groups of people realize that they can use more than WiFi to form local networks. Once people start digging up their backyards to install fiber, more will jump on the bandwagon and this will only be spurred on by ISPs who discontinue unlimited data plans and raise the prices across the board. When the last mile is out of the ISPs' hands, then there will be fierce competition between backbone operators to connect hundreds or thousands of users at a time through a single fiber uplink. The aforementioned switch for example could supply 15000 people with an unshared 100Mbps connection through a single fiber to an internet exchange point. This competition will drive prices so far down that DSL and cable modem providers will have to provide internet service almost for free because the only customers they will have left are the ones who don't really need it.

Re:Which part? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32633028)

Quote the website:

This production was possible due in no small part to the willingness of talented, professional people working for free," explains Bernhard. "From actors to composers, they did this because they believed in the project and wanted to see it happen.

That is going to nix any plans for scaling the production model to support a full season of one or more shows.

But, if you're asking whether or not a bittorrent-based distribution model is the future of TV, consider this... Bittorrent works by doing what the bandwidth providers SPECIFICALLY DO NOT WANT YOU TO DO. That is, use all the bandwidth you can. It fundamentally breaks the over-subscription model. In short, this distribution model won't scale using the existing infrastructure and it will take major changes for it to actually work. This sort of thing only works in small amounts, not the volumes of people who veg out in front of the idiot box on a nightly basis.

your ignoreing the distributed nature of bit torrent and the ability to bring the content within the local loop
new enhancements in the protocol and existing implementations of reverse proxy make that possible.

you won't be connect to content over the expensive trunk lines
the local cache will get it once across the expensive line

you will get your content from the local office over the cheap local loop.

Re:Which part? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32633122)

You're missing the broader picture. Internet providers in the US are not investing in infrastructure. Why? Look no further than Comcast. They are using the obscene profits from their Internet service to buy NBC Universal. They are moving into content. Pioneer 1 is their worst nightmare not because of network usage (which they really don't care much about), but because it is distributing competing content.

Look for Disney to acquire Verizon within the next couple of years. Content and Internet providers will be pairing up, because they know it's the only way they'll still be around in ten years. The Internet providers are preparing their choke hold. It won't be long before they squeeze. Projects like Pioneer 1 will be victims of the first wave of their assault on Internet freedom.

The Internet has lost every major regulatory battle of the past twenty years. Another few battles lost and there won't be an Internet anymore.

Re:Which part? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32633164)

But they're starting with just one show for one demographic. Eventually when this method becomes popular, the infrastructure will have risen to meet the incrementally increasing demand.

Is this the future of television? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632522)

"Is this the future of television?"

It looks pretty much like the past and present of television to me - he who gets the buzz gets the bucks.

Re:Is this the future of television? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632638)

How many pilots fail every year?

Someone has to eat that cost. If pilots end up being chosen by mass vote, the end result would probably not look that much different than what we had 50 years ago.

Re:Is this the future of television? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32633310)

Someone has to eat that cost. If pilots end up being chosen by mass vote, the end result would probably not look that much different than what we had 50 years ago.

A bunch of really short lived low budget productions?

Late to the party (4, Interesting)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632594)

Ok, it enables everyone to make their owns shows without needing infrastructure to broadcast it (as in a tv/cable station). But youtube (and several clones) are already in that spot. In fact, there are a lot of web "tv" series running in that media already for years now. And are easier to reach the big public that way (there could be even tv sets and dvrs that directly show youtube videos, and that without even getting to google tv). What other thing you could have here? video quality? offline viewing? you have it all there

Which clone? (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32633248)

But youtube (and several clones) are already in that spot.

Which clone do you recommend if someone is bothered by YouTube's 10 minute limitation or the potential of a two-week downtime for videos that contain criticism of a mainstream media work?

Is this the future of television broadcasting? (1)

DaveAtWorkAnnoyingly (655625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632602)

I hope so!

Limewire? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32632626)

Oh no! Someone contact the MPAA before people start stealing this film!

Only the funding model for this is new.... (5, Insightful)

RMingin (985478) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632646)

Every week, Hollywood produces hundreds of pilot episodes. These are screened and the vast majority (~99%) are dismissed, never to be seen by anyone beyond the test screening audience.

If Hollywood had half a brain between the lot of them, they'd start a pilot episode channel via the different on-demand delivery systems (Hulu/Netflix/Comcast VOD/Verizon VOD) and get their pilots screened to an order of magnitude more people.

The difference here is that Pioneer One has put their pilot up on TPB and the like instead of on some Hollywood stooge's desk, and they're greenlighting themselves for more episodes, no matter what.

It's really not as different as it initially appears.

Where is the DVD? (2, Funny)

Rick Richardson (87058) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632652)

Where is the DVD so I can watch it on my TV???

Re:Where is the DVD? (2)

korean.ian (1264578) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632744)

You wait until the end of the season to be able to purchase that, just like for every other show.

Re:Where is the DVD? (1)

nunojsilva (1019800) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632830)

All material on this site is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license.

Although the movie is not directly hosted on its site (or is it?), maybe it's also under BY-NC-SA.

Not only could the OP just grab the video and convert it to DVD, he could distribute it too! (The only bottleneck being MPEG patents.) No need to feel guilty for sharing a version for your beloved movie player gadget!

Re:Where is the DVD? (1)

hackel (10452) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632758)

Back in the year 2000 with you!

Re:Where is the DVD? (3, Informative)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632764)

In that box of blanks on your shelf. Download the Matroska file [vodo.net] via BitTorrent, and burn to disc with any semi-decent burner app to add a menu or whatever else you want.

Don't forget to seed, either.

Re:Where is the DVD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32633170)

In that box of blanks on your shelf. Download the Matroska file via BitTorrent, and burn to disc with any semi-decent burner app to add a menu or whatever else you want.

Because every DVD player out there plays 720p x264-encoded mkv files without requiring any sort of conversion... You really did absolutely nothing to help answer his question.

Re:Where is the DVD? (1)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 4 years ago | (#32633288)

Personally, I wouldn't class a burner app as "semi-decent" if it doesn't automatically convert .MKV files (or any other suitable format) into VOBs on the fly and add the necessary file table info to play on a standard player whenever I use the "DVD Movie Disc" or equivalent option/switch. YMMV.

Of course, you could also wait a while. I'd say the chances are pretty good that if/when the first series is done there will be a pressed and boxed set of DVDs or BluRay(s) for sale from the Series' website [pioneerone.tv] to help fund the next season.

It could be the future of *quality* television... (1)

hackel (10452) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632708)

However I think commercial, lowest-common-denominator television that most people absorb will continue to be supported by advertising. Most people simply need to have their content spoon-fed to them, and even though most of them are already paying a ridiculous amount of money for it (cable/satellite subscriptions), they still wouldn't like the idea of paying for something they can get for free!

I've got a basement productions (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32632816)

These are all fanboy projects and in no way threaten or have the first thing to do with professional productions. The only ones that approach pro level are ones done in part by professionals using equipment and software at the companies where they work so there is no "model" for fan funded free over torrent films and TV shows. Get back to me when you can raise at least a million this way and 10 to 50 million is more realistic. It all costs money and films aren't as wasteful as most people think. Most productions are very tightly budgeted. If you prefer cardboard sets and actors that can't act then you're in the minority. Most of these films are ego trips for the makers and not serious productions.

Looks like a hit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32632818)

Did anybody else read "looks like shit"? ^^

"something wicked this way comes" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32632874)

thanks ray. a near perfect description of our times.

edits might include; 'it's already here', &/or we have met the enemy... either way it appears a shitstorm is at hand.

the good news is that not everybody is going to be gone. even those who pass may still have remarkable influence on our outcomes. it's as good a bet as any of the many available. see you on the other side of it?

never a better time to consult with/trust in our creators. the lights are coming up rapidly all over now. many can feel it, but have no ability (yet) to identify the (possible) source, or the direction of motion (motive) it encourages. see you there?

meanwhile (& it may be quite a while); greed, fear & ego (in any order) are unprecedented evile's primary weapons. those, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' life0cidal hired goons' agenda. most of our dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'wars', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid schemes. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & any notion of prosperity for us, or our children. not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one, & the terminal damage to our atmosphere (see also: manufactured 'weather', hot etc...). see you on the other side of it? the lights are coming up all over now. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be your guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. we now have some choices. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on your brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

"The current rate of extinction is around 10 to 100 times the usual background level, and has been elevated above the background level since the Pleistocene. The current extinction rate is more rapid than in any other extinction event in earth history, and 50% of species could be extinct by the end of this century. While the role of humans is unclear in the longer-term extinction pattern, it is clear that factors such as deforestation, habitat destruction, hunting, the introduction of non-native species, pollution and climate change have reduced biodiversity profoundly.' (wiki)

"I think the bottom line is, what kind of a world do you want to leave for your children," Andrew Smith, a professor in the Arizona State University School of Life Sciences, said in a telephone interview. "How impoverished we would be if we lost 25 percent of the world's mammals," said Smith, one of more than 100 co-authors of the report. "Within our lifetime hundreds of species could be lost as a result of our own actions, a frightening sign of what is happening to the ecosystems where they live," added Julia Marton-Lefevre, IUCN director general. "We must now set clear targets for the future to reverse this trend to ensure that our enduring legacy is not to wipe out many of our closest relatives."--

"The wealth of the universe is for me. Every thing is explicable and practical for me .... I am defeated all the time; yet to victory I am born." --emerson

no need to confuse 'religion' with being a spiritual being. our soul purpose here is to care for one another. failing that, we're simply passing through (excess baggage) being distracted/consumed by the guaranteed to fail illusionary trappings of man'kind'. & recently (about 10,000 years ago) it was determined that hoarding & excess by a few, resulted in negative consequences for all.

consult with/trust in your creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." )one does not need to agree whois in charge to grasp the notion that there may be some assistance available to us(

boeing, boeing, gone.

SPOILERZ (-1, Redundant)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632878)

In Soviet Russia, Mars Base supply ship crash on You in Montana.

Not at All (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32632884)

No this is not the future of Television.

slashvertisement? (4, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632902)

as much as I don't like seeing slashvertisements in general, this one is actually fairly on topic. I do hope they do well. It's in our best interest that efforts like this succeed in a big way, and send a strong message to the movie and media cartels.

That, and getting a front page draw on a Sunday on slashdot ought to guarantee they shatter their fundraising goal over the course of the afternoon. Their servers are doing remarkably well considering what's hitting them. Would have been quite the epic fail had they been offering direct downloads instead of torrents.

But on the downside, I bet their monthly traffic allotment just busted through the ceiling and into the gruesome "pay per additional bandwidth this month" point.

I hope that comcast buy out SCIFI can come back! (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632912)

I hope that comcast buy out SCIFI can come back and show more stuff like this and less EWC.

Where can I get a pirate version of that mp3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32632942)

The one given to big donors? :-)

First 7.5 minutes watched (3, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632970)

I love it already! I didn't even remotely have my hopes up about this. I expected "oh look, a load of low production quality crap that is actually someone's resume or demo reel to get a job in a big studio" but I'm having second thoughts about that now. The scenes are well placed. The gear used is a BIT too Apple centric, but I'll let that go for now. I loved that the guy wrote on the monitor with a red permanent marker! A nice laugh. I was REALLY happy to see that they didn't do the "enhance... enhance... enhance..." crap from CSI and other drama shows. Someone knows how these lives are really lived. Now I have to decide if I will donate $20 or $100 to this...

The Scene (3, Informative)

symes (835608) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632976)

"The Scene [welcometothescene.com] ", I seem to remember, was a made for torrent series. Also downloaded hundres of thousands of times. But kind of fizzled out at the end and the group that made it seems to have vanished. Is this the future of television? Not so far!

Bad Peers (0, Troll)

Dogun (7502) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632980)

Based on the torrent performance, it looks to me like MediaSentry or one of its shit competitors has some bad peers in the mix. I wonder if the Pioneer One folks could extract damages from them for tampering with their distribution mechanism?

Re:Bad Peers (1)

guidryp (702488) | more than 4 years ago | (#32633108)

Really. It is nearly maxing out my 10Mb/s connection. 25% done and no bad hashes.

Re:Bad Peers (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32633258)

True that. I also did well in my download... not quite as fast as yours but close. Very good performance and speed.

If MediaSentry was doing its thing, I wouldn't know as I keep my peer block list fresh so as far as known hosts, I wouldn't see anything but log attempts... oh...speaking of which I guess I could check. Well I see a LOT of blocks associated with that torrent and most of them are local and foreign government and some military. I saw some "possible sentry/defender" type entries but only one for "Possible MediaDefender" from Qwest communications IPs. It did seem pretty aggressive though as the hits are pretty dense in my logs. I also have a short list of hosts sending bad data in the same log during the same time period.

If there is active interference, I'd say that operation has a chance at collecting damages. Trouble is, I'm betting they don't have an attorney in the operation though I'm sure they would have little trouble getting someone who acts like one from their actors. :)

Re:Bad Peers (1)

guidryp (702488) | more than 4 years ago | (#32633294)

I wasn't using peer block. I got a constant 800KB/s +. Why would media sentry interfere with a legit free download?

Re:Bad Peers (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32633346)

For the same reasons that other "*AA thugs" operate and make copyright infringement claims on things that don't infringe. They are operating to get money through their operations... to claim bounties I suspect. These people who have the same mentality as the ones who thought that "blank media fines" were a good idea. You know, the ones they call a blank media "tax"? (I call it a fine because a Tax gets paid to the government and then to the people or to projects that benefit the people... it's a fine because it is turned over to private entities to compensate for alleged and unproven illegal activity.)

We know there are legitimate media torrents. They know it too. They don't want to believe it, however, and they don't want anyone else to believe it either.

Not holding my breath after watching that vlog (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32633008)

I'm downloading the pilot episode now, but if it proves to be as incoherent as that first-day-shoot vlog, I doubt it will be very entertaining.

Not Kickstarter again! (0, Troll)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#32633032)

I thought I heard the last of Kickstarter with the facebook clone Diaspora raising $200k [slashdot.org] but no! They're back for revenge. If anyone wants to remember why Kickstarter sucks a simple google search of "kickstarter sucks" brings you to this page: [amplicate.com]

"Hi James, Thanks for taking the time to share your idea. We look for projects that have a well-developed, creative focus. We wish you the best of luck, but this isn’t right for Kickstarter. Thanks again for writing and good luck! Best, Cindy"
So to rehash:
facebook clone = right for Kickstarter
crowdsourcing jobs = wrong for Kickstarter

Re:Not Kickstarter again! (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32633280)

I interpret "creative focus" in Kickstarter's reply to mean that Kickstarter is intended for projects whose end result is a work of authorship.

I kinda misread the word hit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32633064)

"and it looks like a hit" I read like "and it looks like shit"

It made more sense for $6k. If they can pull it off, great. But I don't expect this to be the future, not with RIAA and whatever else organization fighting the war.

They need a better science advisor (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 4 years ago | (#32633154)

Radiation Sickness would take longer to kick in that portrayed in the series.

Re:They need a better science advisor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32633260)

A better accountant, too.

$2000 of their $6000 budget went into that apple monitor they defaced in the first scene

Re:They need a better science advisor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32633314)

Jobs was an investor?

No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32633172)

This can't be the future of television.
It's not television.

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