Alex Winter

AlexWinter headshot small

Have a listen to our Winterview (sorry) to hear Alex Winter discuss the impact of Napster, why he made Downloaded, and what his future career plans are (Bill & Ted 3 anybody?).

by Joanna Orland

Alex Winter is a director, writer and actor.  He is best known as Bill S. Preston, Esq. from the excellent Bill & Ted movies, as well as from his appearance in the classic film The Lost Boys.  After attending NYU film school, Alex established himself in a career as a writer and a director, leading to his current cinematic effort Downloaded.

Downloaded is a documentary exploring the rise and fall of the monumental software endeavour Napster.  It features interview subjects including Napster co-founders Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning, as well as numerous musicians and music industry executives.  It had its world premiere at this past spring’s SXSW festival, and after its limited theatrical run, it will be available on AOL for streaming this month before its VH1 debut in 2014.  It will also be one of the many diverse films featured at this year’s Raindance Film Festival in London, which is how it grabbed our attention and led us to have an interview with the director himself, Mr. Alex Winter.

Winter’s take on the Napster story is not based on the usual controversial piracy issues, but it’s the revolutionizing social technology that is his true focus in the documentary.  Whatever your thoughts on the issue, you cannot argue that Napster was a defining technology in paving the way for social media as we know it today.  The Arab Spring, the WikiLeaks scandal, and the Snowden case would perhaps not have  occurred without the butterfly effect that Napster triggered by its mere existence.  Perhaps iTunes and Steve Jobs wouldn’t have had such an easy time if Napster hadn’t taken the music industry fallout by trying to lead the way for online music downloads.  Who knows where we would be, but one thing’s for sure – Napster changed the face of the world we live in, for better or for worse.


Downloaded will have its UK Premiere at the Raindance Film Festival in London on September 29th, 2013.

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