Donation-funded pilot episode of “Pioneer One” made available on indie film BitTorrent tracker site Vodo with six more parts in the series expected to follow. Series release hints at future of P2P TV.
One of the more remarkable things about BitTorrent is the fact that it empowers artists to reach audiences in ways that were never possible until now. Filmmakers and musicians can make their works available to fans in the parts of the world where physical distribution is either impossible or financially impractical.
Enter the the sci-fi drama “Pioneer One.” The P2P “TV” series was filmed for just $6000 and made available through the indie film BitTorrent tracker site Vodo.net.
Last weekend it earned the title of the most-downloaded series on the BitTorrent with over a quarter million downloads and counting, surpassing much more recognizable shows produced by the likes of HBO and the BBC.
“Bracey and I are ecstatic that the pilot has reached so many people around the world,” says the show’s producer, Josh Bernhard. “This is the kind of exposure we could have never gotten by trying to get a network to notice us with a pitch.”
And that’s what makes BitTorrent so exciting. Artists can directly reach fans, there are no content gatekeepers that determine what will or will not be released.
“The success of Pioneer One is great news for the P2P community,” said Jamie King, founder of the VODO distribution network. “Not only do we have the potential to distribute media that rivals and will soon exceed that of the mainstream media, but we’re beginning to see new business models that really work for creators. We’re really excited here at VODO.”
So far fans have donated more than $10,000 to the producers of “Pioneer One” to help make future episodes. VODO’s commercial sponsorship deal for the show also shares revenue with creators, meaning their target of $30,000 to film new episodes is very likely to be met.
So what’s the show about?
“In the show, US government agents are dispatched to investigate a object which has fallen out of space, spreading radiation across Montana,” reads a synopsis on the series’ official website. “What they discover is a forgotten relic of the old Soviet space program, whose return to Earth will have implications for the entire world.
I haven’t had a chance to watch the show myself just yet, but you can bet I will very soon.