For a creative everyday user of the hugely popular app known as Vine fifteen minutes of fame equals 150 videos. The six-second increments of time that Vine videos take to watch isn’t strenuous on the attention span, nor do the clips overstay their welcome, regardless of what’s being shown. But how would watching an entire movie fare in that format?
Production company Oscilloscope Laboratories has released Todd Berger’s dark apocalyptic comedy It’s a Disaster weeks ahead of its VOD and theatrical dates exclusively on the Twitter-owned Vine app. Starting today at 4:30 pm EST, viewers could log onto the Oscilloscope Twitter account to watch six-second chunks of the film as it updated throughout the day, making the wait for bathroom breaks virtually extinct in the process. With a sly wink towards the changing format of media distribution, the uploaded videos are all recorded on a smartphone. It’s a Disaster, which stars David Cross and Julia Stiles as a couple whose friendly get-togethers go sour due to an impending armageddon, shares the same tongue-in-cheek sense of humor that this experiment exhibits.
In a press release about the experiment, Oscilloscope’s “Minister of Informative Updates” wryly explains, “From the moment it launched just three short weeks ago, it was so clear to us that six-second loops of video, edited in-phone, and posted in real time was and will be the future of film distribution. While we still endeavor to release films via some other methods, we didn’t want to be left out in the cold and we are proud to be an early adopter of tomorrow, early.”
Director Todd Berger told The Hollywood Reporter, “Jean-Luc Godard once said that he pities French cinema because it has no money and American cinema because it has no ideas. Well, this is certainly an idea."
The press release ends on another silly note. “Never one to shy away from the unknown, Oscilloscope is currently working on distributing films in all media and by all means and methods now known or hereafter devised, in perpetuity. The future is now. We will also be actively acquiring distribution rights for the previously unexploited territory of The Moon.” The implications of Vine and other rapidly expanding technologies is no joke, however, and their permanence in the cinematic world will be tested, one second at a time.
It’s a Disaster can be seen in its original format digitally and on VOD on March 5th, and can be found in theaters on April 12, 2013.