Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Soderbergh on digital film distribution

Steven Soderbergh has directed some great films, like Traffic and sex, lies and videotape. His latest effort is being released simultaneously in cinemas and on DVD and cable TV.
When the changeover from film to digital happens in theaters in five or 10 years, you're going to see name filmmakers self-distributing. Another thing that really excites me: I'd like to do multiple versions of the same film. I often do very radical cuts of my own films just to experiment, shake things up, and see if anything comes of it. I think it would be really interesting to have a movie out in release and then, just a few weeks later say, "Here's version 2.0, recut, rescored." The other version is still out there - people can see either or both.
It would be even better released under a Creative Commons licence so that other people could also contribute their own versions. Soderbergh is keen on this type of remix:
I have ideas like that - video mash-ups. Some of them I've done privately. But there's no way for them to be seen legally. I wish we could come up with a system that allowed someone to do a Grey Album without having to pay millions of dollars for music rights. A system in which rights holders share profits of a new piece of work and people can access it without breaking the law.

I worked with some colleagues during the Nineties on a system to help secure digital film distribution. We were obviously way ahead of it happening in reality :)

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