The Meatrix 2 Premieres in New York
The sequel to one of the web's most popular campaign films - the Meatrix, which looks at the reality behind modern farming practices - on Wednesday night premiered simultaneously in New York and online.
With over 10 million downloads, a 2005 webby award and translation into 25 languages, The Meatrix has vividly illustrated the potential of funny virals on the web to create campaigns by groups that normally would never dream of spreading their memes so widely. The success has inspired films such as Store Wars, an animated Star Wars spoof that rewards viewers with some of the more cringeworthy puns in recent memory and Ecletech's Swizz of the Cards. The long awaited sequel - Meatrix 2: Revolting - directed - as is the first one - by Louis Fox, this time takes on the dairy industry.
In an age characterized by mechanization, there exists a large gap between our illusions about where food comes from and the stark reality of industrial meat and dairy production. To watch the movie and learn more - see www.themeatrix2.com
The Meatrix 1
In early 2003, web and design firm Free Range Graphics invited
nonprofit groups from around the country to submit proposals for their
first-ever Free Range Flash Activism Grant. After reviewing over 50
proposals, Free Range awarded the grant to the Sustainable Table
division of the Global Resource Action Center for the Environment
(GRACE), a program committed to educating the public about factory
farms and promoting sustainable agriculture.
The Meatrix, www.themeatrix.com,
is a humorous 4-minute Flash™ animation that spoofs The Matrix films
and highlights the problems with factory farming. Instead of Keanu
Reeves, The Meatrix stars a young pig, Leo, who lives on a pleasant
family farm... he thinks. Leo is approached by a trenchcoat-clad cow,
Moopheus, who shows him the ugly truth about agribusiness, complete
with a send-up of the “stop-motion” camerawork immortalized by the
Matrix.The mix of humor, pop culture references, and an important
message clearly resonates with a wide segment of the web-using public.
With background material provided by Sustainable Table, the Free Range Graphics team created The Meatrix film. Their decision to spoof The Matrix was based on the many similarities between the film and today's corporate system of agriculture.
Less than three months after the November 3rd, 2003, release, over 4.2 million people viewed The Meatrix, including individuals in Europe, South America, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, China, Korea and Japan. And over two years after release, more than 200,000 new people continue to watch the film each month. This is an unprecedented success for an online advocacy film.
The Meatrix has been so successful that emails continue to pour in asking for offline copies to be shown at schools, presentations, conferences, festivals and events. The film has won several awards, including the Annecy International Animated Film Festival's “Netsurfers Award” for Short Films for the Internet and the Media That Matters Film Festival's “Film for Thought” award. The Meatrix has also been accepted into film festivals around the world.
Foreign language versions have been created for The Meatrix, including Polish, Spanish, French, German and Brazilian Portuguese. The script has been translated and subtitled in over 20 languages, including Russian, Japanese, Italian, Mandarin and Greek. Groups around the world have responded, and 11 separate action pages have been created, including ones for Canada, Australia, Brazil and Poland, as well as a general European Union section.
Press coverage has included Bill Moyers NOW program on PBS, USA Today, CNN Headline News, the Guardian (UK), the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation , NPR, MichaelMoore.com, and many other newspapers, magazines and radio shows. The film even reached the top of Blogdex.net's “most contagious information currently spreading in the weblog community” and has been featured on thousands of blogs, message boards and listservs.