Open source movie magic

By   |  July 25, 2006

A first-time film maker has taken the concept of open source and applied it to his debut, Boy Who Never Slept. Solomon Rothman originally released the “sexy dramatic comedy” online, and after a good response, took the concept further by releasing the script and raw footage on his site under a Creative Commons licence.

“I put up this website, uploaded the trailer, and 40 days later 180 000 people had viewed the trailer online, my picture was on the blog of a German print magazine and mentioned on the Creative Commons website, and I was receiving e-mails from interested viewers, and aspiring film makers from all over the world,” writes Rothman on his site.

“It was at this point, I had an epiphany. Not only were thousands, maybe millions of people going to see this movie, but I was going to be in the unique position to make a powerful statement about the power of the Internet Community as a distribution source for amateur film makers. My goals then became to release “Boy Who Never Slept” as an ‘open source’ movie, encourage new film makers, and reach the largest possible audience on a budget anyone could afford.”

Boy Who Never Slept centres on the life of an insomniac writer who meets a teenage girl online and a friendship that grows into an unlikely love story wrapped in harsh reality.

The full movie falls under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License, which allows people to use it in any way that is not commercial, as long as they credit the creators. The raw video footage, final footage, extras, audio files, and script are released under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License, which gives people the right to use any part of the source files for their own private and commercial derivative works.

Shot on a $200 budget, Rothman originally scripted the movie in two days while studying computer science and mathematics at the University of Oregon. He is currently working on several scripts, some aimed at commercial representation and others intended for free online distribution.

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