''Notes from the Underground'' goes CD-ROM
What does ”Independent Movie” mean in a world where Disney owns Miramax? How about a $5,000 modern-dress version of a Dostoyevsky story, available exclusively on CD-ROM? Two years ago, New York City-based Web designer and fiction writer Levi Asher, 36, decided to mesh his love of images and words by adapting, directing, editing, and distributing the darkly satirical 64-minute Notes From Underground. After turning his friends into actors, he took his guerrilla-style film footage (shot in and around Manhattan on the family video recorder) and cut it on his Macintosh using Adobe Premiere digital video-editing software. Of course, some people aren’t big on watching a 4- by 4-inch screen for an hour on their computer, so Asher broke the movie into chapters that can be screened at leisure. ”I like doing things off the beaten track,” says the compleat filmmaker. ”It was fun doing this surreptitiously.” Not too surreptitiously: You can purchase Notes From Underground for $12 on Asher’s website, http://www.charm.net/~brooklyn/HomePages/LeviAsher.html.