Monday, June 11, 2007

Feature Length 'Four Eyed Monsters' Available for One Week on YouTube



In a move that could mark a change for the more interesting in internet film distribution, indie-cult fave Four Eyed Monsters is now on YouTube. This isn't a trailer mind you, it's the entire 71 minute flick that has played Slamdance, a small theatrical run, and is available on DVD. This special version is being sponsored by Spout.com who will give the filmmakers $1 (up to $100,000) for every new registered member that comes through the Four Eyed Monsters' site on Spout.

This is an interesting setup (which CinemaTech calls a "bounty" model), which promotes the film, earns some cash, and gives Spout a boost. It's also a step in the right direction for the Holy Grail of Indie distribution, which is totally DIY, excludes any kind of midddleman, and puts as much money in the pocket of the filmmakers as possible.

Directors and actors Arin Crumley and Susan Buice aren't doing everything themselves (they use Bside.com), but they are relentless self-promoters and have done an amazing job of utilizing the web to get the word out about their film. Podcasts, videoblogging and a dense website have impressed me, and can give anyone going this route a lot of good ideas.

Fellow uber-promoter Lance Weiler pipes in over at the Workbook Project, and he makes some interesting points about this online event. He warns that online releasing such as this tends to kill other types of distribution deals, who prefer more control over all types of digital download rights. I agree that if you want to go with a traditonal distributor, you don't want to try this. If you want non-traditional, and (I think) more money for yourself from your low budget movie, internet releasing has a ton of potential.

Whatever your preference, supporting Crumley and Buice in this effort is a win-win for all. It's free (both to watch and to register at Spout), helps fellow filmmakers and sets a precedence that could turn a lot of heads. This could be a major step in the direction of the future, not only for filmmaking, but for film viewing as well. As media becomes more and more digital and less tangible, we could be watching everything this way in the days to come.

If you are wondering just what the heck this movie is about, I'd have to call it an artsy (often pretentious) love story for the MySpace generation. It's very frank about sex and how it permeates the modern relationship of two quirky people. Crumley and Buice play themselves in a story about how they met which plays like a documentary blended with lots of narrative touches. It's not for everyone, and I'd give it two-and-a-half-stars. If rated, it would definately get a 'R' for language and frank sexual talk.

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