Joss Whedon was already a pop culture god thanks to creating classic TV shows like Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse. However, he became a mainstream hit thanks to writing and directing the massive super hero blockbuster film Marvel's The Avengers. Today, the latest movie that he wrote and executive produced has gotten a surprise release in a rather unusual manner.
In Your Eyes, a supernatural romance story about a boy and girl who have some kind of powerful connection, is now available for a $5 72 hour rental from Vimeo. The movie made its world premiere on Sunday night at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City and was released on Vimeo immediately afterwards.
Today's release shows that major entertainers are continuing to try to use the Internet to get their product directly to the masses, and maybe make a little money from it, rather than using the traditional distribution routes. Comedian Louis C.K. was successful in releasing a $5 video download of his stand up show in 2011; it generated $1 million in revenue just 12 days after its launch.
This isn't the first time that Whedon has experimented with bypassing traditional media distribution for his work. The musical Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, which he co-wrote and directed, was first launched via Hulu for free in 2008. However, today's release of In Your Eyes is the first time that one of Whedon's original works has made a paid debut on the Internet.
The movie itself, which was directed by Brin Hill, is the second low budget feature from Whedon's own Bellwether Pictures; the first, an adaptation of William Shakespeare's play Much Ado About Nothing, was released more conventionally in theaters in 2013. That will also be the same for Whedon's next major writing-directing project; Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, which is due out in May 2015. You can bet that won't be released first as a $5 Vimeo rental but it's likely that Whedon will return to the low budget film world after his work with Marvel is done.