Wheels within wheels…

Over the past couple of days, the following things occurred:

  • I watched the appendix materials on the Return of the King Extended Edition DVD, which, like those that came before it, has filled me with creative envy for all those involved in the production.
  • I watched the extended Empire of Dreams documentary on the Star Wars Trilogy DVD, which (among other things) talked about how Lucas *didn’t* make his money from the original film, but from the tie-in merchandise.
  • I got the latest issue of my subscription to WIRED, which featured an article on Bittorrent. I’m reading the article last night, and come upon the following statement: “Peercasting” drives the final nail in the coffin of traditional must-see TV….Normally the buzz for a show builds gradually; it takes a few weeks or even a whole season for a loyal viewership to lock in. But in a Bittorrented broadcast world, things are more volatile…the pass-around effect of blogs, email and RSS creates a roving, instant audience for a hot show or segment.” It goes on to talk about Gary Lerhaupt, a Stanford grad student who convinced the producers of the documentary Outfoxed to let him put a chunk of the film online as a Bittorrent. Within two months, 1500 people downloaded it. Because of the way Bittorrent works, he only had to poney up the bandwidth costs for getting the original 500 Mbyte file out there, and the peers then took over hosting and sharing themselves, of over 750 gigs worth of traffic. His quote, which hit me like a ton of bricks: “It’s amazing – I’m a movie distributor. If I had my own content, I’d be a TV station.”

If you smell smoke, don’t worry. It’s just the wheels in my head, turning rapidly.

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