Screened on the Web

Posted on March 20, 2011


By: Kabeer Mahajan

It’s been a week since the release of Girl Walks Into a Bar. It is the first movie specifically tailored for distribution via the Internet. The ensemble comedy stars Zachary Quinto, Carla Gugino, Danny DeVito, Josh Hartnett, Rosario Dawson and ex-East Enders star Michelle Ryan. The film has already attracted over 260,000 views since it premiered on YouTube last Friday. it currently on available in the United States.
The makers of the film estimate the online traffic to be worth around $2.6m (£1.5m) on the box office. The film is available on the YouTube screening room as a free watch, either as a full feature or as a 10 video playlist, but with commercials from carmaker Lexus.
“I would much rather people watch it as a movie than as a playlist, but the Internet community is so used to seeing things in small chunks, so each part is a mini-one act on its own,” says the director of the movie Sebastián Gutiérrez.

The movie debuted at SXSW, an annual music, film, and interactive conference and festival held in Austin, Texas. It has been shot for less than $1m (£616,000) in 10 days.
Girl Walks Into A Bar is written and directed by Sebastián Gutiérrez. Its plot based around a group of apparent strangers in interlocking stories taking place in ten different bars during the course of one night in the city of Los Angeles.
The film is also the latest experiment in alternate models of funding and distribution, made possible by the Internet. Director Edward Burns distributed his micro-budget feature “Nice Guy Johnny” on iTunes, video-on-demand and DVD, immediately monetizing his film, which was made for $30,000.
Films like Girl Walks into a Bar and Nice Guy Johnny have shown how the internet is an increasingly viable option for indie filmmakers and how screening via the world wide web can be monetized.

Posted in: Film