So the pilot episode of Pioneer One became available for download this morning. I scored a backstage pass to a sneak preview on Vimeo last night, but you can get your very own copy of the groundbreaking “made-for-torrent” series through their savvy distributor Vodo.net
As you might expect it’s not as slick as your typical big media TV drama — at least not yet. My film school snobbery is showing here but it seems to me that there are enough long takes in the first half of the episode to mess with the overall pacing. And likewise for this Linux snob, there are just way too many Macs lying around — what, is this FBI made of money or something?!
There are some impressive visual effects, though — thanks no doubt to director Bracey Smith‘s expertise in that particular area.
The way I see it the biggest challenge facing Bracey and executive producer Josh Bernhard is something that they never had to worry about with The Lionshare — that is, deliberately stringing their audience along with meager helpings of plot only every so often. With the big revelation at the end of this first episode, it looks like they can deliver.
I should point out my rather obvious bias here; Josh and Bracey have honoured me with a mention in the end credits for some reason. If nothing else it’s comforting to know that 50 or 100 years from now someone will see my gravestone and say: “Hey, didn’t this dude get a credit on Pioneer One? I wonder why…”
All self-depreciation aside, you must understand that this project is very big deal, whether you’re a fan of the subject matter or not. If it’s successful Pioneer One could pave the way for a golden age of video storytelling — funded by fans, delivered by BitTorrent, all without any meddling by big media.
What a wonderful thing that would be.
Will Pioneer One replace LOST as the serial drama that you obsess about each and every week? It just might, if you give it a chance…