Paramount's ''The Tunnel'' to be released on BitTorrent and DVD

Paramount has announced that the upcoming horror movie The Tunnel will be released simultaneously on DVD and BitTorrent. In an unconventional move, the studio are allowing the film's producers to sell off frames of their film for $1 per frame, hoping to fund the filming and use the internet as a marketing tool.

"We believe that if we stop fighting the peer to peer networks, they could become the biggest revolution we have ever seen in the way we share entertainment and information," the producers say, "perhaps rather than wasting millions of dollars fighting a losing battle against internet piracy, we should try and find a way to embrace the possibilities that this new world brings."

Innovative distribution strategies have impacted the music industry in a big way, with Radiohead releasing In Rainbows under a "pay what you want" scheme, and Nine Inch Nails releasing latest album The Slip for free. Frontman Trent Reznor has been a strong supporter of the innovative approach, choosing to use a similar method to distribute the debut EP of his side project, known as How to Destroy Angels. A new strategy may well be what the studios need as they fight a losing battle against piracy on the internet.

The producers are hoping that extra content and alternative endings on the DVD will entice customers to pay up for the full version and support the studio. The effectiveness of this remains to be seen, as no mention is made of any method to stop pirates from uploading the bonus content to BitTorrent as well.

The teaser can be viewed below:

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61 Comments

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Hopefully they're not just releasing a crappy movie and then attributing failure to the distribution method instead of a flawed movie...

Scrolled on the "who bought a frame" list, and wow, $1500=/=frame.
My dollar feels so miniscule, ah well, every little bit helps.

Good to see that Trent was mentioned in this. Radiohead just did it for the publicity, whereas Trent knows that this is the future and utilised it to great effect.
Thom who?

Some of the people who bought frames are gonna be ****ed if someone who bought 1 frame is the winner. There are a couple of them who bought 1500 and others bought 100's

YOU FINALLY GOT IT RIGHT! I may buy this movie in torrent form just for the sole fact that they're willing to sell it in that way. :-)

We believe that if we stop fighting the peer to peer networks, they could become the biggest revolution we have ever seen in the way we share entertainment and information

I bought 3 frames in support of this (and in hopes of getting 1% of their profits of course). The more open-minded thinking from the TV/movie industry the better!

We will see where this goes but... Hello its about time you seen that using torrents is probably the most efective way to move files and get your product out there.
+1 Paramount.. hope this works out for you
Then the rest of the leeches can BACK THE (insert bleep here) OFF

** Check out the actual site. You buy one of 135,000 frames, and it will be like a lottery, you have a 1/135000 chance of winning 1% of the movie revenue. Say the movie makes, conservatively, $5m. That's a $50,000 cheque in the mail. Cool idea!

I think they mean sell actual frames from the film after it is finished. Kind of like how you can buy animation cells.

Peer to peer is the future because companies bills must be horrendous when 10,000s ppl d/l digital content from there server but using other ppls connections to upload the content to will save money.

Make a paramount peer to peer downloader that utilises ppls connections to share the films there downloading so costs are lowered on paramounts side.

A massive vision is if all the film companies got together and made a peer to peer program that offers cheap film downloads and they'll be able to offer it cheap cus they'll use ppls connections for uploading films to other downloaders so the costs of downloading do not come from there servers

What ya think?

psionicinversion said,
Peer to peer is the future because companies bills must be horrendous when 10,000s ppl d/l digital content from there server but using other ppls connections to upload the content to will save money.

Make a paramount peer to peer downloader that utilises ppls connections to share the films there downloading so costs are lowered on paramounts side.

A massive vision is if all the film companies got together and made a peer to peer program that offers cheap film downloads and they'll be able to offer it cheap cus they'll use ppls connections for uploading films to other downloaders so the costs of downloading do not come from there servers

What ya think?


p2p and emailspam causes the 150+ pings to anywhere outside the EU. rather see them invest in global connections first before everything jumps to p2p.
our cutting edge european super internet is being slowed down by the rest of the world

"We believe that if we stop fighting the peer to peer networks, they could become the biggest revolution we have ever seen in the way we share entertainment and information,"

wow somebody at hollywood finally got it.

I'd pay 2$ a month to a private tracker that buys the whole movie on release day so that all on the tracker can download the DVD on release day ... as long as it is atleast DVD quality on the actual release day .. and not a crappy cam ..

lunamonkey said,
Are these actual frames? The ones they would use for remastering etc...?

No, it's basically a sponsorship. The site says "one of the 135,000 digital frames of the movie."

They will pick one frame number at random and the person that bought that frame will share 1% of the films royalties.

lflashl said,

who buys dvds!


what else you gonna burn those pirated movies to.
here in the netherlands you pay for the movie by buying blanc discs they added a piracy-tax to blanc disks which works out great, makes it legal for me to just download the movie for free as i paid my piracy-taxes already

Shadowzz said,

what else you gonna burn those pirated movies to.
here in the netherlands you pay for the movie by buying blanc discs they added a piracy-tax to blanc disks which works out great, makes it legal for me to just download the movie for free as i paid my piracy-taxes already


lol really so who gets this tax and how much, BTw if you buy a box of 50 do you get to download 50 movies ? and what about the size? say you download a 13gig movie does that make up 1 movie or 3 disks?

psionicinversion said,
Itll take a while for it to catch on but every major film company needs do it or its pointless

All for one model works much better than one for one, in the digital economy.
They need a site where ALL the paramount content is viewable at any time (or most of it) for a set fee. something like vudu digital rental service..

cloud computing here we come!

Ruciz said,

All for one model works much better than one for one, in the digital economy.
They need a site where ALL the paramount content is viewable at any time (or most of it) for a set fee. something like vudu digital rental service..

cloud computing here we come!


like hulu/netflix?

The randomly selected unique frame numbers you have purchased are: 134926

For 1$ you can't be wrong. I really hope this system works and will be used for other movies but deep inside I think that people will still be to greedy and that it won't work.

I think they should make it available for download from their website rather than on the same place/sites you can just download the free torrent..

giantpotato said,
And in related news, douches will still pirate this, just like they pirated the Humble Indie Bundle.

piracy at face value is bad, and the media/companies use it as a scapegoat all the time. Piracy only has value if money was lost to the company because of it. I am pretty sure the indie bundle group released a press article on that and their thoughts relating to it.

chasing after pirates may mean you are scaring off potential customers, and losing current ones. Investing in massive DRM schemes has never worked, and usually funds the pirate economy in one way or another rather than protecting your work. MPAA lawsuits really didn't help anything either, only lawers made money there. So, Contributing to the current distribution model may provide never before seen profits, and due to the low cost may sway people from wasting time finding and downloading poor quality files.

Music piracy is still there, but due to the newer distribution models by apple for example, theres more profits. Theres more availability, theres a lot more control.

giantpotato said,
And in related news, douches will still pirate this, just like they pirated the Humble Indie Bundle.

when cruising through TPB/demonoid. I often come across free software/games/movies/music being torrented while its free to download from the owners, which also is allot faster.
even free crap gets pirated _O-

jingarelho said,
it seems a high price. 1$ a minute would make more sense to me.

Yeah ok...they'd make a sweet 90bucks.

Get real.

jingarelho said,
it seems a high price. 1$ a minute would make more sense to me.

23.976FPS in north america, $1 per frame, so $23.976 per second. = $172,000
25FPS in the UK = $180,000

This is profit they normally wouldn't see anything of.

Their method is dumb however, no offence but I believe it should be a private tracker and everyone should have to donate $1 to gain access to it for the first 2 months - when people would be more likley to spend money to watch it.

That dollar buys your way into the server. From that you can opt to 'leech' the movie, and pay $1 for newer releases- or you can 'serve' the movie. After a certain ratio is met (5 up to your 1 down for example), you can wipe that ratio for credits (maybe 5:1 would be $0.50) with that credit you can put it towards purchase of another 'torrent download'

This would promote their BitTorrent business, entice people to spend $1 and donate their computer resources to paramount, and provide very good speeds for anyone else who is paying $1.

After the 2 months/$0.50 is earned you no longer get credit for that movie, you can opt not to serve it. People who don't want to pay can gain access after 2 months, but since no enticement to serve is there the download could take a long time. Paramount could also 'throttle' download speeds to provide more enticement to buy.

In reality tho, netflix is $8 a month and covers a LOT of movies and 3 week old new releases. instantly.

the idea of Free 2 Play with Cash Shop should be implemented everywhere, but in a fair way, not like some asian MMO games which are Pay 2 Win, which eliminates the purpose of being called f2p

if this concept becomes a reality, internet piracy will drop down and "the wolf will be full and the lamb in one piece"

This looks interesting, although after watching that teaser it looks like a good film so I will probably buy the DVD anyway

~Johnny said,
So uh how do they make money from the Bit-torrent distribution?

In summary:
Everyone who wants the movie on Day 1: Pays $X for DVD
Everyone who wants to contribute to bittorrent: Pays $1 for a frame.
Once around 216,000 frames have been purchased by generous people, everyone can download the movie for free off torrent.

If the 216, 000 frames are never purchased in their entirety, my guess is it just becomes free money for the studio and people continue to buy DVDs.

Sacha said,

In summary:
Everyone who wants the movie on Day 1: Pays $X for DVD
Everyone who wants to contribute to bittorrent: Pays $1 for a frame.
Once around 216,000 frames have been purchased by generous people, everyone can download the movie for free off torrent.

If the 216, 000 frames are never purchased in their entirety, my guess is it just becomes free money for the studio and people continue to buy DVDs.

So what happens when person Y pays X for the DVD, rips it and puts it on bittorrent too?

Ruciz said,

So what happens when person Y pays X for the DVD, rips it and puts it on bittorrent too?


Then that will be called piracy..

Ruciz said,

So what happens when person Y pays X for the DVD, rips it and puts it on bittorrent too?

The same thing that happens with every other movie that that happens with. It will still make tons of money.

~Johnny said,
So uh how do they make money from the Bit-torrent distribution?

There is a strong possibility that it will have some sort of DRM to control playback. I doubt they would just throw out a DRM-free version on the torrents.

shinji257 said,

There is a strong possibility that it will have some sort of DRM to control playback. I doubt they would just throw out a DRM-free version on the torrents.

More likely a rootkit... Then they'll blame it on bittorrent and say, "See? That's why you shouldn't use p2p!"

Beaux said,
More likely a rootkit... Then they'll blame it on bittorrent and say, "See? That's why you shouldn't use p2p!"

haha it isnt Sony
or did sony buy paramount pictures too?

the next billionaire will be someone who figures out a way to make people pay very little for this stuff.

Davo said,
$1 per frame? You're doing it wrong.

Why, doesn't that work out around $30 a second? (can't remember how many fps for a film these days)

Teebor said,

Why, doesn't that work out around $30 a second? (can't remember how many fps for a film these days)

If it's every FPS the movie would be a lot... lets say 2 hour film @ 30fps x 7200 seconds = about $216,000 i think.

Digitalx said,

If it's every FPS the movie would be a lot... lets say 2 hour film @ 30fps x 7200 seconds = about $216,000 i think.

Nice, thanks So they could make a few quid from it but not a massive amount, so long as they sold each and every frame

Teebor said,

Why, doesn't that work out around $30 a second? (can't remember how many fps for a film these days)

24 still ain't it? Blu-rays encoded at 24FPS.

Edit - OK, official site offers 1 Second = 25 Frames.

Teebor said,

Why, doesn't that work out around $30 a second? (can't remember how many fps for a film these days)

no, that's NTSC frame rate, Film is generally 24 or 25 fps