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Jan 31, 2012

Honest Man: Free To Share On VODO Now

We are pleased to announce the release of our latest film in partnership with BitTorrent Inc.

Honest Man: the Life of R. Budd Dwyer (Director’s Cut) is a film about politics and corruption, suicide and survival. Four years in the making, it explores the scandal that led a hard-working man to take his own life. This independently produced feature-length documentary follows Budd Dwyer, a Pennsylvania politician who infamously committed suicide at a televised press conference.

Free-to-share on VODO now, The film chronicles Dwyer’s meteoric rise to political power and examines the bribery scandal and subsequent trial that pushed him to his breaking point. It also delves into the controversy and consequences of the uncensored airing of Dwyer’s death on television stations worldwide, revealing a story that has remained untold for over 24 years.

The film features exclusive new interviews, including William Smith, the man whose testimony convicted Dwyer, and Dwyer’s widow Joanne––her last interview before her death in 2009. Was Dwyer venal, or a victim? Did he kill himself because he couldn’t live with being guilty, or because he couldn’t live with being innocent? Honest Man allows audiences to judge for themselves.

Director/Producer: James Dirschberger
Producer/Editor: Matt Levie

“Honest Man builds its case meticulously, bringing to mind Errol Morris’ best work. An overpowering achievement.”
Kurt Dahlke –

“Poignant moments abound… an incredibly riveting documentary.”
Clinton Stark – The Stark Insider

“It is a fitting tribute to a man who deserves better than the legacy that has been built around him. Watch it, and change your mind.“
J.Hurtado –



Along with the gift-streams that we give you to share in our great support options, the producers of Honest Man are providing an array of great extras and special items in exchange for your support. As well as stickers and signed DVD copies of the Honest Man Director’s Cut, they have commissioned a series of five brilliant limited-edition film-posters by artists from the San Francisco Bay Area using the highest quality giclée printing and paper stock. They even made some Budd Dwyer T-s! See incentives information for details.


James Dirschberger is originally from Buffalo, NY, a few short hours north of Budd Dwyer’s hometown of Meadville. Dirschberger moved to San Francisco in 2002 to pursue filmmaking. Since then, he has teamed up with numerous Bay Area artists to create successful collaborative animations, music videos, short films and documentaries, eventually making a move to Los Angeles in early 2011. His films have screened around the world and have accumulated over one million views online. He is currently developing an animated series for television. HONEST MAN is his first feature film, developed by his production company, Eighty Four Films.

Matt Levie has been a professional editor for almost twenty years. He has been lucky enough, in his career, to cut a wide variety of films, including feature films like “The Guatemala Incident” and “Sleep Furiously,” and documentaries such as “97 Orchard Street” and “Curandero.” He has taught editing at the Academy of Art University, Stanford University, the Bay Area Video Coalition and the University of California at Berkeley.??Mr. Levie has studied with Ralph Rosenblum (Woody Allen’s first editor) at the Film and Television Workshops in Rockport, Maine, and holds a master’s degree in Media Studies from the New School for Social Research in New York.

Jan 17, 2012

“A New Golden Age of Content”: the rising tide of online-exclusive distribution

In a GIGAOM article out recently, VODO and its distribution partnership with BitTorrent Inc. is mentioned in a list of key players shaping the growing phenomenon of original content commissions for online platforms, as Hulu and Netflix each prepare to launch their own original series in the coming months. News of these commercial releases indicates growing recognition of online-exclusive distribution, bringing new approaches to funding, development and production. As the article puts it:

a larger movement toward a new Hollywood, where content is produced for online-only properties, money is raised differently and networks aren’t the only game in town anymore. It’s a new golden age of content.

The success of VODO’s P2P-exclusive series Pioneer One is referenced along with Kickstarter to illustrate the importance of crowd-funding as a resource in this emerging sphere, and YouTube and Amazon Studios are cited as examples where online-exclusive commissions form a growing trend as both beneficiaries and relays of online advertising success.

While budgets involved in alternative development and distribution methods might not compare to the heady figures ploughed into conventional film and TV production, the piece highlights how the move towards developing on-line exclusive content demonstrates a power-shift in which web-based distribution is increasingly recognised on its own terms and not as a step toward theatrical or network success. With viewing figures hitting the million and a half mark for our main serialised and feature releases before their wider dispersal through the torrent-sphere, as well as reaching hundreds of thousands of viewers for our short-film compilations, we at VODO are inclined to agree!

In addition to supporting creators and the distribution of new work through our platform, we’ll also from now on be allocating five percent of all VODO income to the Free Film Fund – a new online fundraising forum for the development of free-to-share productions. With a continuing schedule of high-quality releases lined up to feed into this resource, we hope it won’t be long before we can follow our pioneering P2P-exclusive commission success with distribution for the first Free Film Fund offering.

Dec 27, 2011


OTHERWORLDS is a new series of Sci-Fi and speculative fiction short-films, lovingly curated by VODO in partnership with BitTorrent Inc. for your enjoyment. Celebrating the power and tradition of the short story to explore the limits of the present, the shape of the future, and the unstable terms of human reality, OTHERWORLDS gathers compelling works in live-action and animated forms, showcasing the talents of new and emerging creators and inviting you to share their provocative, off-kilter and often dark visions.

Following the success of VODO’s first short-film collection Mixtape #1, and the impact of Legacy – the Sci-Fi hit boasting over one million downloads – the highest number for any VODO film outside our main release programme, the time of the short-film is now! The first installment of OTHERWORLDS includes an inspiring array of works, from the rich textures of special-effects luminary Grzegor Jonkatys in The Third Letter and the stark spaces of 3D animator Christian Schlaeffer in The Return Of John Frum, to the dramatic and poignant calm of Nikita Ovsyannikov’s Candy.

This is the first release in series that will be developed throughout the next year thanks to your support, funding creators in the next OTHERWORLDS release. Our fundraising target is $15k and there are some great incentives for your contribution, including supporter and producer credits in addition to stream gifting and a free BtGuard license, giving you a month of secure torrent sharing. Details can be found on the Otherworlds landing page. Enjoy the films!


Our Gaming Partner

OTHERWORLDS is presented in conjunction with ‘To The Moon’ – an indie game with 16-bit retro charm and oozing Sci-Fi sensibility, created by Freebird Games.

Get your copy of indie-hit ‘To the Moon’ today and the developers will donate 50% of the proceedings to the next OTHERWORLDS release.


Pioneer One DVD/Blu-Ray
January 2 Deadline For Special Credits

We’re super-close to hitting our $100k target for our made-for-torrent hit series, Pioneer One, but not there yet! The Season One finale is now live on VODO, but there is still a great supporter incentive with special thanks credits on the forthcoming DVD/Blu-Ray release, which comes with a host of other goodies including stream gifting, music, soundtrack and commentary extras. The deadline for the credit incentive is January 2, so why not start the new year by putting your name to this shiny piece of media history? Details available in the incentives sidebar here.

Happy Holidays!


Happy Holidays!

Dec 13, 2011

“The Pioneer One Finale is HERE!”

As VODO goes live with the final episode of Pioneer One‘s groundbreaking made-for-torrent serialised drama, we relay a special message from BitTorrent, our partner in the show’s outstanding success:

“It’s been an incredible journey. From progressive P2P experiment to massive global online success, Pioneer One is finally wrapping up.”

“Today is the launch of Pioneer One Episode 6: War of the World. (Download the episode here.). It’s the final episode of an iconic series, created especially for the broader BitTorrent/P2P community.”

“We’re definitely feeling a sense of nostalgia here at BitTorrent HQ. All the credit and our infinite respect go to filmmakers Josh Bernhard and Bracey Smith, and to Jamie King at VODO for his tireless efforts. We are extremely proud to have offered promotional support for such a worthy venture. Pioneer One was one of our original Spotlight Artist ventures, before we even formally created the program.”

“When we partnered with VODO and released the first Pioneer One episode last June, we had no idea how popular the made-for-torrent sci-fi series would be. Today, as we help unveil the much anticipated six and final episode to our users, the Pioneer One series has collectively been downloaded over 3.5 million times and raised almost 100,000 in fan donations. Want to express your thanks to the filmmakers? Donate here.”

“’War of the World”’begins as Taylor prepares to go to the public with Yuri’s story, and everyone discovers the consequences of their actions in this wrenching finale. What will happen? You will just have to watch and see! We know we can’t wait to find out.”

“Congratulations to the entire team at Pioneer One and VODO for all of your success, and a huge THANK YOU for believing in the BitTorrent community. Your efforts have opened new doors for independent filmmakers everywhere. A toast to you.”


Of course, we’d like to offer a huge round of congratulations from the VODO team to Josh, Bracey and the team as well, with thanks for all their vision and hard work! Special thanks too go to BitTorrent for their unbending commitment to growing the backbone of the peer-to-peer ecosystem and taking it from strength the strength, enabling and supporting the distribution of innovative new works by talented creators – cheers!

Dec 1, 2011

“Is Indie TV the New Indie Film?”

Josh Bernhard, creator of VODO’s first original series, Pioneer One, has an insider perspective on alternative approaches to TV production and distribution as the show’s worldwide success climbs on toward the Season One finale. Equipped with determination, innovation and a wealth of recent experience in sharing work and insight with an online audience, Josh shares his thoughts on Indie TV in the digital world for the Tribeca film blog:

Episode 5 of Pioneer One, Season One – “Sea Change” – is now available for free download on VODO in partnership with BitTorrent, with an array of special extras available for supporters. Credits in the concluding episode of the viewer-funded show supported by .tv are available until Monday, December 5 for supporting contributions of $100 or more. Episode 6 goes live on VODO on December 13 after a special premiere screening on December 5 at The Anthology Film Archives in NYC.


Nov 22, 2011

Free-to-Share Indie Horror Passes 1 Million Downloads and Scores DVD Deal

Subterranean indie horror, The Tunnel, released as a free-to-share download by VODO in partnership with BitTorrent Inc., has passed the 1 million downloads mark. Described by Rolling Stone Magazine as “A cunningly crafted exercise in suspense”, The Tunnel was produced by Australian independent innovators Distracted Media. Their massive success with free-to-share distribution has scored them a worldwide fanbase and thousands of dollars in viewer support, followed by a collection of shiny festival awards and a DVD distribution deal for North America this December with Blackrock Films.

Distracted Media’s Enzo Tedeschi cites the influence of an earlier BitTorrent/VODO success in deciding to go free-to-share: Pioneer One, the world’s first torrent-only serialised drama. “This show was a huge inspiration for us when we were pulling together The Tunnel,” says Tedeschi. “What they were achieving on the platform put a lot of wind in our sails… We have loved the whole exercise and intend to hone it and do it again once we nail the right project for the model. You just can’t argue with millions of downloads!”

Episode Five of Pioneer One, the penultimate installment of the first season, is available now on VODO for download and streaming and is set to add to over $80k raised in direct audience support so far. The show won Best Drama Pilot at the 2010 New York Television Festival and its creators, Last Sat Productions, are fielding significant interest from commercial backers for the second season.

The Tunnel and Pioneer One are part of the growing success of free-to-share distribution as a vital link between creators and audience. In partnership with BitTorrent Inc., VODO’s online distribution platform is  already responsible for over 12 million film downloads and is attracting increasing attention among movie, documentary and serialised drama creators for worldwide distribution and development of their work. With a growing catalogue of titles from emerging filmmakers, VODO provides an effective revenue model by enabling viewers to support creators after experiencing their work, often in exchange for limited-edition goodies and production memorabilia.

The Tunnel is available now to download and support at

Nov 15, 2011

VODO on the Future of Short Film at Encounters Festival 2011

VODO will represent internet film distribution at Encounters Bristol International Film Festival 2011, drawing on its free-to-share release successes with a special focus on short films.

VODO, partnering with BitTorrent Inc., has generated over 500,000 free-to-share downloads for its ‘Mixtape‘ release – a collection of short films selected by VODO from film submissions published on its site by filmmakers in 2010. VODO founder, Jamie King, will draw on this extraordinary success to address the value of internet distribution for short-form content at Encounters Festival’s industry focus event, Brief Exchange: The Future of Short Film on Wednesday 16 November.

VODO will collaborate on a second Mixtape project in 2012 in collaboration with Encounters Festival, distributing a new collection of films from the festival archive, to be curated by a special guest programmer. Details of the project will be announced in the new year.

Encounters Bristol International Film Festival is the umbrella festival for Animated Encounters and Brief Encounters which together present one of the world’s best-known showcases and meeting points for new and established international short film and animation talent, promoting the importance of short film as a means to develop the next generation of filmmakers and animators. This year’s 17th International Film Festival takes place from 16 – 20 November and features a packed programme of film screenings, workshops, gala events, talks and awards. Selected films from previous Encounters programmes can be viewed at the festival’s on-line archive.

Jul 20, 2011

First part of A Lonely Place For Dying a massive hit!

The first part of our free-to-share series, A Lonely Place For Dying, has been a great success. If you haven’t checked out this Cold-War spy thriller, make sure you do! Talented first time Director Justin Eugene Evans has produced a great movie and it’s shaping up to be one of VODO’s most popular releases.

Demonoid, one of the world’s most popular Torrent sites, is tracking the 75,000 seeders of the motion picture. At the last count it was in first place as the most seeded file on the Net, while “House” was at second place with 20,000 seeders and HBO’s “Game of Thrones” was a third place with 17,000 seeders.

With such a strong seeding community users have been downloading the 720p 1.5 gigabyte episode in 6 minutes! “We’re on track to pass the one million mark download mark soon, with download volume continuing to build”, says Justin Eugene Evans, the film’s writer/director/producer.

VODO is delighted to have Versigin’s.TV as the sponsor of this release — their support for independent film and progressive online distribution is just another sign of the domain’s commitment to being the premier spot for indie film makers to build their identity. As always, uTorrent was an important partner in this release, but we must also thank The Pirate Bay, MediaGet and BtJunkie, all of whom have given major distribution boosts to this release.

Keep your eyes peeled for the next episode: we are developing an exciting new feature that we think you’ll appreciate!

Jul 20, 2011

Suppressed report on raided file-sharing community reveals users as big-spending entertainment purchasers – Boing Boing

Boing Boing‘s Cory Doctorow reports on a suppressed report from a raided file-sharing community (Kino.TV) which reveals that its users were big-spending entertainment purchasers.


Mar 21, 2011

Cyberpunk thriller Zenith released on VODO

We have a very special VODO release. Zenith is a cataclysmic cyberpunk thriller, directed by Anonymous and featuring Jason Robards III, Emmy-winner Zohra Lampert and David Thornton.

In the hellish future of 2044, human beings have become stupefied by the state of permanent happiness they’ve been genetically altered to experience. ‘Dumb’ Jack (Peter Scanavino) offers relief via drugs that bring his customers the welcome phenomenon of pain. But when Jack receives a mysterious videotape of his dead father, he sets out to unmask the dangerous conspiracy that created this dystopian world.

This release will be presented in four parts with a donation target of $10,000 per part. The last and fourth part will be financed with donations received through VODO and will feature previously unreleased secret tapes from the Zenith archives as an exclusive VODO release.?