The hive mind makes – er, pays for a movie

Matt Hanson has launched a Swarm of Angels, an effort to create a film through massive collaboration.

He wants 50,000 people to help him make a £1 million film. He plans to release the final film online under the Creative Commons licence, which will allow anyone to recut it.

What does the help entail? Primarily a donation of £25, although Matt plans to open the scriptwriting process to a wiki style group project. In addition to joining a mob of script doctors, you’ll also be able to take part in marketing and other creative decisions.

How will this work? Let me quote from the FAQ:

We started the project with a deliberately unpackaged project — to make it clear I wasn’t paying lipservice to the idea of members influencing the content — but we had some loose parameters.

The genre was to be thriller based with soft sci-fi elements. We are now developing two scripts, The Unfold and Glitch on the forums, based on member input into initial drafts written by me. Angels will then dissect and improve upon (script doctor, and rewrite) via dedicated script wiki’s. A vote will be taken by all members to decide which script is chosen for production. This is what we talk about when we say as a member of the Swarm you involved in MAJOR creative decisions.

I see ASOA as a benevolent dictatorship, so I will endeavour to give/take as much creative input as possible from The Swarm to make a better movie, and in so doing, I also expect The Swarm to give me a similar level of respect to make creative decisions and flex my own creative freedoms to make what I believe will be the best film possible.


Hanson is known for his study of film, but his IMDb portfolio is suspiciously thin.

Am I too cynical?

Here is the forum thread with the story-breaking of “The Unfold“.

I don’t have high hopes for this. On the other hand, the project involves talented folk like Cory Doctorow and Warren Ellis (“Global Frequency”) – acting as advisors.

Can the hive mind build this movie? That’s not the right question. The right question is: will they pay for it to be made by someone else?

DUBB raves

Many local papers have reviewed Big Bad Bertha, thenew Disciples of Ursula album, and all have good things to say.

The Mirror gave the album a 7.5/10, and calls the band tailor-made for Jazz fest stages, which is ironic, because the Jazz Fest rejected the band’s application to play two years ago. The Mirror says the album “doesn’t just showcase their facility with brash swing, torchy lounge jams, Latin heat and snappy, uptempo ska, it also displays their collective knack for catchy melodies, vivid arrangements and carefully calibrated energy.”

Ici says more or less the same thing, and gives the album four out of five dots. So did la Presse and Voir. We haven’t seen Hour yet.

Take that, Jazz Fest.

Show tonight, 8 p.m.

CD Baby has copies of the first album for sale. You can listen to two-minute snippets of each song there, too. (That’s Child Three on the cover.) The site, and the iTunes Music Store, will soon have the second album.

Bonus airplane stuff:

There’s a group of hobbyists developing a simulation of the Israeli War of Independence for Microsoft’s Combat Flight Sim 2. I’ve been helping them out with colours and airfields.

Here’s an image of the work in progress. That’s an Avia S-199 flying over what will be Aqir (a.k.a Ekron, a.k.a. Tel Nof).


Tonight’s Montreal Film Group meeting was… underwhelming. I misunderstood the premise of the evening. The MFG invited members of the non-filmmaking public would come to pitch us their ideas.

It got worse from there.

The discussion devolved into artsy philosophizing over the nature of film and what it should strive for. Films that make money by their violent or gory natures are to be frowned upon. Millions of teenage boys can be wrong.

At least Robert the director showed up, and he tried to bring the topic around to filmmaking again. He didn’t succeed, but he tried.