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An open-source science fiction film

20/07/2007. Contributed by Jessica Martin

Buy Jathia's Wager in the USA - or Buy Jathia's Wager in the UK

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A new open-source movie project aims to create a collaborative short science-fiction movie called Jathia's Wager... from writing and editing the script to choosing the cast.

An experiment in collaborative filmmaking, the initial script is about a young man living in an isolated community of humans, who must make a life-changing decision about his future and his species.

The script was written as an experiment by Solomon Rothman, a filmmaker who's already released one full movie online for free. Rothman hopes the project will fully explore the concept of open, collaborative filmmaking and inspire people to create a true open-source filmmaking community. In order to encourage derivatives and actually get the project rolling, he wanted to start with a short script that had a psychological and serious undertone, and could be changed without a major time investment.

"I wanted people to get involved and let the collaborative process start happening long before the movie is shot," Rothman told SFcrowsnest. "I wanted creative individuals to be able to share every step in this journey. So I wrote the script in one sitting, edited it over the course of a few days and now I think it's ready to be examined, picked apart, and re-interpreted by the world."

Rothman will film his version of the movie and five others chosen by majority vote from the community (given that at least 5 people submit entries or work together to change the direction of the script). When it's time to film, he'll put the casting videos online and involve the community as much as possible. After the movies are done, all the source files will be uploaded online for people to re-edit and reuse. After all the mixes have been released, he'll put 5 of the top versions together and release a DVD showing the variants; it will also be available as a free download online.

Join the project over at

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