January 27, 2006
On the Big Board
||Feels a bit like the film experiment that it is, but also very engrossing.
||A strange movie with an underwhelming ending, but we ultimately wrap ourselves up in the atmosphere of the characters.
Steven Soderbergh, ever the auteur, will now be the first major filmmaker to experiment with release patterns of movies. For Bubble, he'll work along with Magnolia Pictures/2929 Entertainment/HDNet Films to see that Bubble receives simultaneous theatrical, DVD and pay-per-view release. For those unfamiliar with the company, Mark Cuban is part-owner of Magnolia Pictures/2929 Entertainment/HDNet. And if you don't know the name Mark Cuban, perhaps you ought to. He's owner of the Dallas Mavericks and founded Broadcast.com, the leading provider of multi-media and streaming media on the Internet. He eventually sold Broadcast.com to Yahoo!.
As you can probably imagine from the HDFilms moniker, the movie was shot in High Definition. It had a three-week production schedule and an almost entirely non-professional cast. In fact, the actors were kept in the dark about how the story would proceed, with the movie being shot in sequential order so as to keep what would happen a secret. The movie is a mystery story, with residents of a small town in Ohio trying to piece together events that took place in a local toy factory.
Many visionaries in the movie business really believe that the future of film lies in day and date releases such as these. It will be fascinating to see if the model can hold up and potentially allow future directors to move forward in a similar manner. At this point, at least, Soderbergh has planned additional projects that will see the same pattern. (Kim Hollis/BOP)