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Watch It Now: Crowdfunding Wonder 'The Cosmonaut' Goes Live

The Cosmonaut still About a month ago, we had the honor of talking with director Nicolás Alcalá about his crowdfunded and transmediatic film The CosmonautEver since then, we’ve been waiting with bated breath for the May 18th release of the film — and now, that day is here. After years of raising funds, traveling across Europe, and enlisting thousands of people to become co-creators of their project, the team of at Riot Cinema Collective are ready to unveil their newest creation.

If you’ve never heard of The Cosmonaut, or just need a refresher, the film centers around the first Russian cosmonaut, Stas, who travels to the Moon during the Space Race. Upon his arrival back to Earth, he finds that Earth is completely empty.

The story behind the making of the film is just as interesting. Their $150,000 investor dropped out at the last minute, forcing the team to seek funding on Lanzanos, which is the Spanish equivalent of Kickstarter. Their campaign broke all the world’s crowdfunding records by raising €130,000 in 3 days. The film also is a transmedia experience, which means there are tons (and I mean tons) of extras: illustrations, videos, behind-the-scenes footage which are all available with a “K-Pass“, which allows you to get more involved in a film that you ever have before. There’s so much more to be impressed by, including the beautiful visuals of the film. Check out the trailer below.

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Here are a few behind-the-scenes videos from the screenwriting room (Alcalá’s bedroom), set, and editing room of the The Cosmonaut.

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Alcalá and his team at Riot Cinema have reinvented the way films are produced and experienced. Perhaps the face of cinema is beginning to change thanks to folks like them. The film is now live on their website and is free to watch. Watch it now! Let us know what you think in the comments below.



We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

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  • The money was not raised on kickstarter, but on Lanzanos.

  • Joe Gangrene on 05.18.13 @ 10:54PM

    I don’t think it’s right to call it “free to watch” as it is donation ware. Not only do they expect you to give them money, you must do so (or create a facebook account and “like” the film) before you can watch it. I had some interest in this, as they kept saying it would be released for free, but this is just more pandering for what looks like a crappy film. Won’t waste my time.

  • Anyone know if there is a way to turn on English subtitles? I don’t hablo.

  • To Joe Gangrene, it is totally free to watch. I clicked the facebook icon, and watched it without paying a dime, I personally don’t have a problem with having to click a facebook button.
    To Garrett, The first couple of minutes isn’t spoken Spanish, but the Spanish subtitles are throughout the movie. After the first couple of minutes the whole movie is spoken in English. The opening scene is just the guy explaining how they came to find out about this Russian Moon mission, and consequently the story that ensues.
    My opinion on the movie. Meh. Some good stuff, a lot of not as good stuff. I wanted to quit watching a few times. I’ve seen the same story in old episodes of “Outer Limits” but without the love story, and shorter. But cool that it was crowd funded. That being said, if crowdfunding means 30 minutes of credits for every movie, mmmm, maybe its not so cool. lol. Could have been awesome if it was about half as long.

    • I donated 5.20 euros, but unfortunately it didn’t unlock the content, only my Facebook like did that. I’m impressed by the massive feat of the film. But I feel like the editing was not disciplined enough. Moving back and forth between time periods was pretty confusing. The plot was also pretty thin – and the love story – while visually appealing lacked credibility. A big effort – well done for sticking with it and completing it.

  • Mark Weston on 05.19.13 @ 11:06PM

    Hmmm. Trailer couldnt even keep me or anyone at my college interested. So if zero out of 200 people I know are interested….why do indi film makers try to write junk when thousands of great stories are out there for licensing. Shouldnt money be spent working with authors like greg bear, peter f hamilton, david brin, richard morgan iain banks and neal asher? Seems like the talents of these excellent film makers are wasted with what is essentially a poor blue print for a script.

    • I don’t agree. I think the trailer is not that bad and keeps me interested but that’s my opinion. I normally don’t leave comments unless I have something constructive to add but I had to reply to your comment. With all due respect I think you should watch the movie (me too) before judging it by the trailer and make judgements on the writing. Have you tried to get the rights to adapt a novel or tried to hire a professional screenwriter to write something for you? Probably it would cost more to get the rights to adapt a book from a good author than to produce an “indi” movie. I agree with you though – The talents of lots of good film makers go to waste because of bad writing.

      • Mark Weston on 05.20.13 @ 2:14PM

        You miss the point Carlos – If the trailer shows so much cheeze that hundreds of people won’t bother with the movie….do you really expect the actual movie to not include all the cheeze in the trailer?

        And YES of course it would cost more to license a decent script and writer but look how much they DID get from backers. They had the money. The idea is that they should have used that money to reduce the cheeze. Look at the comments above from people who did spend time watching it – nobody liked the story.

        Make sense?

        • Ohh Jeez, this is coming from someone that probably haven’t done any film in his life, I’m positive. Nobody is interested in hearing what you IMAGINE the film is. The movie is free stop speculating, if you dont want to see, fine just stop saying things that you clearly dont understand about the business.

          This is independent movie making, it’s a different approach.

  • Okay. I watched the movie. Here are my honest comments. I don’t know anyone involved in the making of this and I’m not part of the crew. The cinematography is really good. It’s a well shot movie and is professionally made. Sound wise is not too bad – Sound design is efficient but location sound could be better sometimes. The locations are well chosen and the SFX are pretty good. I don’t remember seeing the moon looking so good in a movie. It truly competes with any independent Sci-Fi movie out there.

    The story is simple… but maybe a bit simplistic? The storytelling is a bit clumsy. It’s hard to keep track of what’s going on. The script (or the edit) doesn’t really follow a classic 3 act structure and I think that could have improved the movie tremendously. The truth is that I ended up watching the movie alone because my partner gave up after a while. She couldn’t follow the story and she couldn’t care less about “the filmmakers journey”. I couldn’t follow the story to be honest. It’s frustrating because I really wanted the movie to work and be entertaining. The actors do their job and the director knows where to put the camera but the movie never really “pulled me in”.

    I guess in a way I’m happy that the movie was made the way it did. It shows me (once again) that it’s possible to produce an professional looking movie on a tight budget with the current technology. Of course everyone reading this blog already knows that. But lots of gear and good creative technicians are not enough. Storytelling mastery is still the key here. For narrative work you REALLY need someone at the base (either director, or writer, or producer) that knows how to tell a story in images.

    • Erik Stenbakken on 05.23.13 @ 5:23PM

      Great summary, Carlos. It’s always about the story. We will fall asleep during the most flashy but boring PowerPoint presentation, but perk up immediately when someone runs into the room with, “You will NOT believe what just happened to me in the parking lot…”

  • I am annoyed at the remarks that it is free to watch, then you can donate if you want to.

    I don’t have a Facebook account because I don’t agree with their privacy policy.

    So it’s bait and switch as far as I am concerned.

    If I had watched it for free and liked it, most likely I would have donated afterwards.