Remember that Australian horror film that was raising funds by inviting people to buy frames from the movie? And was initially refused an IMDb listing? They're nowhere near reaching their financial target, but the film's producers are optimistic and promising a Q2 2011 release date.
The Tunnel, which is yet to be classified, has been pushed back to at least March next year due to post-production delays, and despite selling just 16 per cent of their targeted 135,000 frames, the producers are positive that the The Blair Witch Project-style film will be a success.
At a media screening today, executive producer Peter Thompson said that it's "still early days" and reassured investors — frame buyers - that they had covered all potential legal loopholes regarding piracy and distribution via torrent sites, such as The Pirate Bay and BitTorrent.
"It's no different to sharing a link to YouTube videos," said writer/producer Enzo Tedeschi.
In addition to making the film available for free download on torrent sites, the producers are currently in talks to distribute the 90-minute film on DVD.
"We're aimed at an audience that is inherently geeky," Tedeschi said. "Geeks want to collect stuff. Just because they've seen it for free, it doesn't mean they're not going to buy it on DVD or Blu-ray.
"Not everybody's going to download a torrent file; it's a fairly convoluted way to get something."
Having seen part of the documentary-style film today, including the opening titles and a trailer, there's no doubt that the indie film has a look and feel that deceives its $135,000 budget. It looks like a commercially produced product that wouldn't be out of place amongst big-budget movies.
Tedeschi said they've sold enough frames to deliver the film, but they've still got a long way to go having sold a little over 22,000 frames. The producers are hopeful that viewers will purchase frames after the film is released as a way of showing their appreciation.
You can show your support for the Australian indie film industry — and find out more about the film and its financing model — at thetunnelmovie.net.