On Facebook, dozens of animators build the first crowd-sourced film

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The short animated film 'Live Music' was created by 51 Facebook users over a period of six months. It cost $1 million to make.

Folks have harnessed the power of the crowd-sourcing to build an online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, and to help scientists collect data for research. Now, 51 animators from all over the world have collaborated on Facebook to create a crowd-sourced computer-generated animation short film called "Live Music."

A romantic tale of a guitar named Riff (played by Steve Vai) and a violin named Vanessa (played by Ann Marie Calhoun), "Live Music" will debut Nov. 20 in theaters, screening before the film "Planet 51." (Check out the trailer on the jump.)

The Mass Animation project, spearheaded by Yair Landau, former president of Sony Pictures Digital, sought to use crowd-sourcing to find the best animation talent to create a short animated flick. The project, which dubs itself "the largest global animation collaboration ever," utilized popular social networking site Facebook to cull potential animators, sending Facebook group invitations to amateurs and professionals, worldwide.

Once they joined the group, members were provided with a sample scene, the storyline, and sound to begin creating scenes by using free 3-D animation software. The best scenes were then chosen by Mr. Landau, founder of Mass Animation, and the director of "Live Music." The project drew over 50,000 participants between November 2008 and January 2009.

The film, backed by Intel, took six months to finish and $1 million to make – notably cheaper and faster than the average animation studio. The 51 animators from 17  countries were compensated at $500 per scene and were featured in credits at the end of the film, according to The New York Times. Mr. Landau hopes to use crowd-sourcing to eventually produce a feature-length film.

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