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: