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A Swarm of Angels - A Wikifilm
May 12, 2006 2:37 AM   Subscribe

A Swarm of Angels is about making a £1 million movie and giving it away to one million people in one year. By using the Internet to gather together 50,000 people willing to pay £25 to join an exclusive global online community – The Swarm – the project’s ambition is to make the world’s first Internet-funded, crewed and distributed feature film. (more inside)
posted by slimepuppy (31 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
ASOA is an experiment in Creative Commons film making with members from around the world collaborating on a single project. Think of it as a wiki-film of sorts. Spearheaded by Matt Hanson (of onedotzero fame) with support from Cory Doctorow and Warren Ellis among others. Members and non-members alike can follow the progress of the movie via The Nine Orders forums. There are threads for Development (including the script), Ideas & Inspiration, how the money is used/handled and discussions of similar business models to name a few. This thread is especially useful for tracking the over all progress of the project. Naturally, there is also a wikipedia page for the project. (via boingboing, warrenellis & nextbigthing)
posted by slimepuppy at 2:38 AM on May 12, 2006


We want to invent the future of film...

yes, I'm with you, go on...

...Call it Cinema 2.0.

aiiii
posted by beno at 2:46 AM on May 12, 2006


Let the rest of the world discover what the web already knows: these people are incredibly full of themselves. Cinema 2.0 indeed, wankers.
posted by nightchrome at 2:56 AM on May 12, 2006


lame.
posted by jne1813 at 3:02 AM on May 12, 2006


Hah. I personally hated the term Cinema 2.0, but the idea behind the so-called 'wankery' is great. It's an experiment, but I'm looking forward to seeing where it all goes.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:11 AM on May 12, 2006


Theres no script.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:16 AM on May 12, 2006


"We want to dick around with cameras so please give us cash."
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:39 AM on May 12, 2006


If you're angel #259, does that make this a self-link?
posted by Ljubljana at 3:51 AM on May 12, 2006


Ljubljana, apparently not.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:56 AM on May 12, 2006


Let the rest of the world discover what the web already knows: these people are incredibly full of themselves. Cinema 2.0 indeed, wankers.

What does this actually mean? Why are these people "full of themselves"? It is a new kind of cinema, isn't it? Sure, I see the 'Doctorow' and the '2.0', but that doesn't stop this looking like a cool project. I may well sign up.
posted by Drexen at 5:14 AM on May 12, 2006


It is a new kind of cinema, isn't it?

Isn't it just a new kind of financing? Possibly a different approach to distribution? How does the artistic output vary from any other independent production?
posted by biffa at 5:34 AM on May 12, 2006


have any women fallen for this yet?
posted by 3.2.3 at 5:36 AM on May 12, 2006


Barney's movie had heart, but "Football in the Groin" had a football in the groin.
posted by foot at 5:55 AM on May 12, 2006


Yeah, what biffa said. Plus the chances of the movie not being awful are somewhere around zero.
posted by cillit bang at 6:31 AM on May 12, 2006


So instead of taking notes from a bunch of studio executives, he'll be taking notes from anyone with spare cash that cares to contribute - but he'll be free to ignore them because he's already got their money.

So essentially, he's writing and directing a film, using your money, and you can... make suggestions.
posted by Jart at 7:16 AM on May 12, 2006


I'm going to third what biffa said.

with the addition that I don't think this necessarily means the film will be bad. i'm interested in seeing what they come up with.
posted by shmegegge at 8:11 AM on May 12, 2006


but god, the doctorow endorsement and the "cinema 2.0" thing makes me want to stab myself in the eye.
posted by shmegegge at 8:12 AM on May 12, 2006


The Kleptones are on board to do the soundtrack, so that's something.
posted by Capn at 8:20 AM on May 12, 2006


Springtime for Cinema.
posted by sgt.serenity at 8:42 AM on May 12, 2006


Sgt. Serenity's comment flagged as fantastic.
Even though I disagree.
posted by slimepuppy at 8:46 AM on May 12, 2006


The Kleptones are on board

Which gives me hope, they sent out word about this on their mailing list a few days ago. I checked it out, and almost signed up, and almost posted it here, but reading through the FAQ I got the same bad vibe. Full of himself sounds about right.

Also, £25 is like a lot of US dollars.

Notice in the announcement, someone in his own town comments that he's doing the same thing at the exact same time in the same place. Brighton minds think alike! But Mr. Hansen is quick to point out the differences. His claim to being "the world’s first Internet-funded, crewed and distributed feature film" still intact?
posted by airguitar at 10:02 AM on May 12, 2006


Wow, did I miss something? Some people want to get together and make a freely available, privately (but openly) funded movie in collaboration with the thousands of people who are funding it and the response is "lame.", "wankers", "these people are incredibly full of themselves"... Could someone please explain what the reason for the hostility toward this idea is? I think it's a fantastic idea and it fulfills a lot of my desires for a direction I'd like to see the arts taking in the future.
posted by nTeleKy at 10:34 AM on May 12, 2006


from the site:

[Underdeveloped British scripts are] in sharp contrast to the third Golden Age of US TV currently being experienced (with critically acclaimed shows utilising finely tuned writing stables), and the Hollywood practice of multiple rewrites, with script doctors and dialogue experts polishing the rough edges off of scripts (for better, and for worse).

So does anyone complain of ‘too many cooks’ with these noteworthy projects?


It's not that simple. Television and movies are not the same thing. A TV show is broken into episodes, and one or two people (let's call them the 'chefs') control the arc of the overall story, while the 'cooks' are assigned individual pieces. If there are small differences in style and tone from one episode to the next, then it's not a big deal. Even so, TV writers are trained to write in the style of the show, eliminating personal stylistic flair, and the show-runners/chefs, who have had solid ideas about what the show is all about and where it's going from the beginning, are there to keep those 'cooks' in line.

As far as 'Hollywood practice of multiple rewrites, with script doctors and dialogue experts polishing the rough edges off of scripts,' well, yes, there are lots of complaints about 'too many cooks.' Usually, in those situations, the people in charge are studio execs with no artistic vision (let's call them 'restaurant franchise owners' as opposed to 'chefs' or 'cooks'). These executives bring in a series of writers, each with their own perspective and style, and keep adding ingredients to the dish until all that's left is tasteless mush. If this project ever gets off the ground, that's what's likely to happen here as well.

Jart:
So essentially, he's writing and directing a film, using your money, and you can... make suggestions.


This is actually the best case scenario. If the vast majority of the suggestions are ignored, and the one creator really does have talent and vision, then best of luck to him with his publicly-funded film, which might have some remote chance of being a tiny bit watchable, on the microscopic chance that this ever comes to fruition.
posted by bingo at 10:46 AM on May 12, 2006


Spearheaded by Matt Hanson (of onedotzero fame)
Who? Of what?

I've never heard of this guy, or "onedotzero", unless that's some sort of hip new slang for "the Internet", in which case, I've still never heard of this guy.

Does that disqualify me from the brave new world of Film 2.0?
posted by scrump at 10:54 AM on May 12, 2006


I came up with some of the basic ideas ten years ago when I was creating the onedotzero digital film festival ... Screen International have already labelled [me] an ‘International film visionary ... I will endeavour to give/take as much creative input as possible from The Swarm to make a better movie ... I expect The Swarm to give me a similar level of respect to make creative decisions and flex my own creative freedoms ... this landmark project could be another example of the increasing power of the blogosphere ... and my idea of using a massively distributed investment pool ... this is the way to invent the future of film.

He's a genius, you can be his friend, and give him money.
posted by airguitar at 10:58 AM on May 12, 2006


Saw this at boingboing (can't find link now).

Instantly skeptical. And anyhow, I don't think a million dollars is necessary to make a good film. You only need a million dollars to make a million dollar film.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 11:05 AM on May 12, 2006


cooks, cooks. . .more cooks than frames. Hey i got an even better idea!
posted by gorgor_balabala at 11:56 AM on May 12, 2006


Scrump, shame you haven't heard of onedotzero. Cool festival with some really interesting films shown every year. You can buy the DVDs of previous years. Most people in the UK affiliated with 'the industry' or at least anyone with a passing interest in new media will have/should have heard of it.

BlackLeotardFont, it's a million pounds, not dollars. Almost two million dollars. Besides, plenty of good films have been made for a lot less.

For me, the £25 isn't exactly going to break the bank and I quite want to be a part of this experiment. Hell, Aronofsky funded Pi with $100 donations, and all they got was a credit. (And from a purely mercenary stand-point, this is a rather excellent way to meet with people with shared interests and build some industry connections.)

I'm an optimist. Bite me.
posted by slimepuppy at 1:15 PM on May 12, 2006


(And from a purely mercenary stand-point, this is a rather excellent way to meet with people with shared interests and build some industry connections.)


Which is one of the reasons I signed up. I don't have any production skills, but I have a lot of interest in the ideas behind and surrounding this project, and while it's true that Matt is calling the shots -- perhaps a bit more stringently than I had hoped -- I can already see the potential for countless fascinating offshoots that have little or no connection to the original project. The Nine Orders board is going to enable a lot of fruitful networking, I suspect.
posted by damn yankee at 2:06 PM on May 12, 2006


I've signed up too. I agree with damn yankee - I'm curious about possibilities for offshoots. I'm hoping that participants will be able to build and reuse the materials of the production.

For example, if access is provided to the growing pool of media (video, audio, script, etc.) as production moves fwd - perhaps through some sort of Flickr-like API? - then I'd like to play with building visualizations of different possible scene edits or plot structure, or designing interfaces for browsing the shared media.
posted by shortfuse at 9:24 PM on May 12, 2006


For future conversions, airguitar, £5 ≈ $9.
posted by eritain at 4:56 PM on May 13, 2006


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