By Jacqui Cheng | Published: September 05, 2008 - 12:15PM CT
Controversial filmmaker Michael Moore plans to debut his new movie entirely on the Internet, providing the entire work for free. The movie, named Slacker Uprising, will be available online for three weeks starting September 23 , and will be offered as a high-resolution stream and download through Blip.tv. After that, a DVD will be available for purchase on October 7.
Slacker Uprising details Moore's tour of 62 US cities in an attempt to rally young voters before the presidential election in 2004. Moore says that he originally considered releasing the movie in theaters, as he did with his 2004 film criticizing the Bush Administration, Fahrenheit 9/11. However, he decided to go the online route instead as a symbol of gratitude to his fans. "I thought it'd be a nice way to celebrate my 20th year of doing this," Moore told the Associated Press. "And also help get out the vote for November. I've been thinking about what I want to do to help with the election this year."
Moore's decision to go online-only for the movie's debut comes almost a year after Jackass 2.5 attempted to make headlines by doing the same thing. The ad-supported film was available online for several weeks before it was sold through various online video stores (like iTunes) and in DVD form. However, Jackass 2.5 ended up being less of a new film and more of a mashup of clips from previous Jackass movies, making it slightly less compelling. Others have actually introduced new work through the Internet, like independent filmmaker Edward Burns, who released his $4 million film Purple Violets exclusively through the iTunes Store last year.
Regardless, Moore fans are touting Slacker Uprising as the first "major film" to be released for free on the Internet. The 97-minute film cost about $2 million to make, and Moore claims that, by the time it's over, he'll have paid $1 million out of pocket to make it happen. Allegedly, neither he nor the distributor (Brave New Films) plans to profit from the film's release. (For those interested, a trailer is available at SlackerUprising.com).
Before Jackass 2.5 was released, Paramount president Thomas Lesinski said that the experimental distribution model "could open up and really change the game about additional content that studios can create." That may not have happened overnight through a film consisting of vomiting, nudity, and defecation, and it may not happen overnight thanks to Michael Moore's contributions either. However, as more filmmakers go out on a limb by either bypassing the theater or—better yet—aiming for simultaneous releases, major studios with releases fit for the theater may be tempted to dip their toes into the online distribution pool as well.
if you read this far, you don't find Moore as offensive as most "conservative" people do. So here, as my little gift, is the trailer to "Slacker Uprising"