British production company VODO utilizes an alternative distribution strategy using filesharing sites and free-to-share networks. The strategy immediately engages a worldwide audience.
19 October, 2009 | By Sarah Cooper
Ivo Gormley’s documentary Us Now has achieved 100,000 downloads in its first five days of operation, through its release via free-to-share online distributor VODO.
Us Now tells the stories of online networks – such as a football club owned and run by its fan and a bank in which everyone is the manager – whose self organising structures promise to change the fabric of government.
Founded by Jamie King, who made file-sharing documentary Steal This Film, VODO distributes films on a free-to-share basis through a ‘coalition’ of file-sharing partners including The Pirate Bay, Miniova, Miro, TorretFreak and Isohunt.
Funded by the Channel 4 British Documentary Film Foundation and Arts Council England, VODO aims to release at least one film per month during the rest of 2009 and 2010. Forthcoming titles include the premiere of VODO-produced film, In Guantanamo, a documentary by first-time director David Miller based on three days’ access to the Guantanamo prison camp. Other films set for release include a stand up comedy and an animation short.
‘Together, the filesharing community has a distribution capacity that rivals and even exceeds that of the mainstream media. VODO aims to leverage that power for the benefit of filmmakers and other creators,” said King.
“By sharing films freely through the most popular and fastest growing filesharing sites, we’re building audiences in the hundreds of thousands for artists. That has material value for these filmmakers, through raised profile, donations and marketing. It’s a win-win situation and it’s the future of distributing media after copyright,” he added.