This comes from this article (writer Enigmax, Torrent Freak) on filmmaker Enzo Tedeschi's plan to distribute his new movie The Tunnel for free through torrent sites. (Yes, I know the site is called "Torrent Freak", but the article is mostly quotes from Tedeschi himself apart from the introduction about the evils of Hollywood's modus operandi.) People get to buy individual frames of the movie for $1 each — $25 gives one second of the movie (because this movie has a frame rate of 25 FPS), so $1500 gets a full minute of the movie. Along with this, one randomly selected investor gets a 1% cut of the profits (as a sort of investment lottery). Follow the jump for my take.
Just like James Cameron, Enzo Tedeschi gets it. He says outright that Hollywood's way of doing business does nothing to actually combat the (questionable) evils of piracy; all the while, it alienates casual movie watchers who want to watch movies legally.
He knows that it is futile to resist and clamp down on new technologies like online torrenting. Instead, he readily embraces it as the new distribution platform for movies. Unlike James Cameron, who has the resources to release movies into theaters (and thus can make movies with effects that make watching the movie in a theater worth much more than watching it on one's TV/computer), Tedeschi is not releasing this movie to theaters (and hasn't released any of his recent movies to theaters). Despite this, he anticipates making well over $135000 (the break-even point, leading one to conclude that there are 135000 frames in the movie), therefore allowing him to give that lucky investor 1% of the profits.
I would say that this would succeed for another reason as well (beyond using instead of restricting torrents): people will now have a personal stake in the movie. This isn't just another movie to watch; they own parts of the movie now. If viewers want the movie to come out, they need to put money and effort into ensuring that can happen.
Of course, my cynical side came out in the form of this question: what would copyright-happy people do? Would they start to claim copyrights over their frames of the movie and charge royalties for use of their frames? On the other hand, would they even be the sort of people to support such a new and revolutionary form of moviemaking as a business?