Being an indie movie maker isn’t always easy. Limited budgets, unknown actors and likely no special effects can make it hard to get your movie premiered anywhere outside your mom’s basement. So when you get the opportunity to spread your movie out to a guaranteed audience of around 40 million, you say, “No thanks, we’ll take our chance on the festival run.”
Just kidding. You have the champagne flowing before the ink is dry on the contract. And that’s what the producers of Pulp have done by premiering their movie on Microsoft’s Xbox Live service.
Whether Pulp is a great movie or not is less relevant than what this means for moviemaking. There are tons of movies the Live service, and plenty of game exclusives. However, this is the first movie to debut exclusively on Live.
So what does this mean for the industry? While it’s true that rival PlayStation maker Sony has a small movie making studio out in the garage, it’s not likely it would make PlayStation exclusive movies themselves. However, the PlayStation Network is pretty similar to Live and it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect indie film makers to approach them about exclusivity contracts as well.
The movie is a British comedy about comic book store owners, so it’s got gamer appeal. It’s not like they’re putting up a remake of Gone with the Wind and expecting it to do well with Xbox users.
Adam Hamdy is one of the movie’s makers and he seems pretty content with this method of doing things. “For a film like ‘Pulp,’ that doesn’t have bankable stars with a track record, it’s a challenge for any distributor to take that gamble.”
Pulp sounds interesting and it’s available now in the Xbox Live Marketplace. You can get the standard def version for about $15 and HD for $18.