If you can't beat them, join them! That's what Paramount Pictures is doing with their upcoming straight to DVD movie The Tunnel, a horror/thriller in the vein of The Blair Witch Project set beneath abandoned rail tunnels beneath Sydney, Australia.
While the movie will be available on DVD for purchase at the same time, Paramount will also release the film, for free, on BitTorrent networks.
You may then ask, why would people bother with the DVD version? Well, the DVD version will include hours of extra footage, as well as an alternate ending, and Paramount will hope that people fall in love with the movie on BitTorrent, and then buy the DVD to get the complete experience.
The producers of the movie, Distracted Media, has themselves tried to raise funds for independently produced movie by selling frames from the movie, at $1 each, raising the $135,000 needed (135,000 frames = 90 something minutes). A poster containing 1000 names of "investors", the people who purchased frames, was even produced.
In any case, Paramount will hope that hype generated by the BitTorrent release will help DVD sales, and that the file sharing network synonymous with piracy can also be used to promote legal content.
Let's hope they're right.
Do you think Paramount's plan will work and that BitTorrent can be used as a promotional tool, or do you think people won't bother buying the DVD if they can get the movie for free? Post your opinion in this article's comments section, or in this forum thread: