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Cyber thriller to debut online

Award-winning production company turns its attention to the Internet.
Written by Maria Seminerio, Contributor

A cyber thriller devoted to the "life-changing experiences of a theoretical physicist" will debut online next year, in what its promoters say is the first Internet premiere for a movie lasting longer than a few minutes.

Few details have been completed for "The Quantum Project", which is set to go into production later this year. However, its distributor said Wednesday that, fittingly enough for a movie premiering online, one of its major themes will be the power of the Internet to transform people's lives. "It's not about death, and blowing things up; it's about life," said Scott Sander, president and CEO of Sightsound.com, the Web site that announced Wednesday that it has received exclusive rights to the online release. "It's about the Internet in that it focuses on the interconnectedness of all people," Sander said.

In theatre premieres, distribution rights to films are staggered, he said, and some cities are given the right to show a film earlier than others. "The Quantum Project", however, is "the first movie where all global (distribution) rights are equal on day one", Sander said. Internet users will be able to "rent" the film from the Sightsound.com site for a limited period of time. They can pay a "rental" fee of a few dollars, or buy it outright for an undetermined price, he said. The file will be protected by encryption to guard against piracy.

"If you purchase the movie from our site and then attempt to transfer it to your friend's computer, it will default to ask the other viewer to also make the purchase," he said.

The film, which has a $3m budget, is being produced by Metafilmics, the independent production company that won an Academy Award last year for best visual effects for the Robin Williams movie "What Dreams May Come". Francis Glebas, a director who contributed to Walt Disney's upcoming "Fantasia 2000", will direct, Metafilmics officials said.

The film will combine live action with futuristic animation. Sander said the producers are working to keep the running time to a minimum in order to cut down on download times; but it will be longer than the typical short feature, which lasts about five minutes.

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