Last Wednesday's New York Times featured an interesting article on a company called Mass Animation; the company recently released a short film created by Facebook users. Mass Animation set out to create a 5 minute short through "crowdsourcing," allowing friends of their Facebook page to submit scenes for possible inclusion in the film.
The company provided users with a free software download and story paramaters, including the soundtrack and the films' first scene. Users voted on submissions, and Mass Animation worked with the winners to create the final piece. Fifty-one people across the globe contributed a scene to the short, and each received $500 per scene. The short film, entitled "Live Music," concerns a love affair between a violin and guitar. It has received such good press that Sony Pictures Entertainment will air the short before screenings of the theatrical release "Planet 51."
Mass Animation founder Yair Landau says he sees "Live Music" "as a step in the democratization of creative storytelling in Hollywood." Whether "crowdsurfing" has an effect on the industry remains to be seen, but its cool to see a company trying something new, and showing the international and interactive possibilities of the digital age.