Downloaded is a new documentary that focuses on the evolution of digital media sharing all over the internet. This film focuses on interviews with musicians, software developers and zooms in on the controversial file-sharing software: Napster. File sharing over the internet has become a huge impact on everyone and has revolutionized the downloading generation today. Downloaded is written and directed by Alex Winter and premiered in SXSW last March 10th 2013. Find out more about this new documentary below:
“Downloaded: The Evolution of File Sharing
Alex Winter, yes the one from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventuretook it upon himself to make documentary about the insanity surrounding Napster and the crazy way it revolutionized the digital world as we know it. In his film, titled Downloaded, Winter takes us into the lives of Shawn Fanning, a teenage hacker who would go on to write the code for Napster in 1998, his business partnerSean Parker and the other main players who would help launch a program that would unknowingly take the world by storm. The film follows the rise and fall of Napster, its employees, it proponents, and its enemies, using interviews from today and the past along with archival footage from back in the day. It’s through all of this that we are painted a complete picture as to why the company rose and fell the way that it did and how it affected the people involved.
As a kid who grew up during this mp3 revolution, it was really fascinating for me to watch the story unfold on screen as I never knew exactly how Napster came to be, all I knew was how it fell and who lead the charge (Lars Ulrich from Metallica and Dr. Dre). Winter divides the film into seven parts to help give some clarity to the audience as to what each section will focus on and to show that he is making sure every angle is covered as he tells this incredible story.
The biggest revelation that I took from the film was that while the music industry was trying to shut Napster down, Napster was looking for a way to actually work with them and make them money. What started off as a venture that resulted in piracy was trying to transform itself into a legal business that could do wonders for the major labels but nobody ever responded, no one wanted anything to do with them. It’s this lack of cooperation that basically screwed the record biz and caused this digital explosion to work against them rather than for them. The exponentially declining numbers since the advent of Napster is all the proof you need to know for this to be true.
As the film continued, it was interesting to see which musical artists despised the program and which ones loved it. For example, I had no idea that Dispatch’s success was a product of Napster’s file sharing service. They started off only being known in NY and LA and then they went on to play a show in the Midwest and crowds were monstrous in comparison to the shows where they knew they had fans. On the flips side it’s easy to understand why Metallica was pissed with the service after an unreleased track from their forthcoming album somehow made its way onto Napster but it’s the way Lars went about attacking them that was ridiculous to watch.”
The rest of the article can be read through this link.
Downloaded is scheduled for limited screening in theaters on June 21st 2013.
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