Crowd funding is a powerful tool that’s transforming traditional methods of creating and distributing game, film, music and other entertainment arts beyond all recognition. The Cosmonaut is one such film, and has been in various stages of micro-transaction funding and production for quite some time, but has finally received a wide release date of May 14th, 2013. Have you heard of it? No? You will have very soon.
The film revolves around a tale of broken memories and desire set in 1975, as Russia’s first man on the moon loses contact with Earth. When the ship returns empty and transmissions are eventually received from the cosmonaut after seven months of silence, a dangerous new reality begins to reveal itself when he reports having returned to an empty planet.
Audience-powered movies like Iron Sky have shaken the film industry to its foundations, and the Riot Cinema Collective’s The Cosmonaut goes one step further by adopting a completely new and untested approach not only to its financing, but to its distribution. The film will be released on the same day in standard and HD formats at the cinema, on DVD and Blu-ray, online, and on TV under a creative commons license. So what does this mean, exactly? Piracy encouraged?
No, not exactly. The Cosmonaut will be distributed freely, allowing viewers to copy it, share it and even modify and remix it; essentially creating new works based on the original movie. This is something that’s seen quite often in the games industry, when the code for a piece of software is made available to the public for further development, but is the first time that a similar tactic has been applied to a transmedia movie project. Various additional transmedia elements will be added to the movie to compliment it, whether viewer created, in association with a sponsored brand or from the original producers, lending extra life and depth to the core movie.
It’s an unbelievably adventurous project that echoes the exploratory quest that forms the nucleus of the plot line, so it’s going to feel like a long wait until the May 14th release date. In the meantime, check out the trailer, and go get involved while there’s still time.