Project London – Filmmaking goes open source
Project London is an independent, almost no-budget, feature-length, live action movie with vivid and intense visual effects and animations created with the open source software Blender (and other traditional software) and 250 (or so) worldwide volunteers.
Open-source films (also known as open-content films and free-content films) are films which are produced and distributed by using free and open-source software methodologies.
In Project London, aliens have inhabited Earth after escaping their own dying planet. Joint Command, a military organisation comprising humans and “Nalardians”, rules the population with an iron fist, its only opposition a resistance movement known as the London Underground. It sounds like the plot of a Hollywood blockbuster, but the film’s budget is almost nonexistent. Project London features more than 780 computer-generated effects that bring action sequences, futuristic backdrop and huge fighting robots to life — through open-sourced contributions. Instead of buying software licences and hiring staff, the anti-Hollywood project relied on the open source software Blender and volunteer artists. Some were from the US and Canada, others from Europe, and one from as far afield as Malaysia.
In 2009, the live-action sequences were shot for “almost nothing” by Hubert and executive producers Nathan and Phil McCoy. Thousands of hours of postproduction followed and, as the film developed, so did the Blender Community.