At the beginning of this month, what some claim is the first fully open source full length movie was released on the internet. Boy Who Never Slept written, directed, and starring Solomon Rothman and made for almost no money has now been viewed around 200,000 times. Every aspect of the movie is available online including: the raw footage, the finished product, the audio track, and script.
The Boy Who Never Slept is the story of an insomniac who begins an online relationship with a teenage girl. The story takes a turn from romantic comedy to a darker more tragic love story. Rothman’s goal was to create a full length movie with the resources he had. It’s not a bad movie considering the budget and the amateur actors and creators, but the interesting thing is the free nature of the work. The full complete film is available under a type of Creative Commons license that allows free use for non-commercial use while the source files Creative Commons licenses allows changes and use.
Rothman’s film is unique in that there are very few films that allow there source files to be picked apart and used by people on the internet. Elephant’s Dream is an animated short from earlier this year that was made with all open source software. The finished product and the production files are available for view and use under Creative Commons. This film may have been this first of its kind.
There are a growing number of legally free movies available. A lot of older films make it on to the web after their copyright runs out. Add these to hopefully more films like Elephant’s Dream and Boy Who Never Slept and perhaps users will beat out Hollywood in the online video market.