Since the original public performance of "Zeitgeist" in 2007, there has been an evolution of intent which has manifested into an on-going film expression consisting now of multiple productions. While each film stands on its own with regard to content, the Zeitgeist Film Series as a whole has a dedicated social intent to create awareness about the world we share, the problems we face, along with what we can do to make it better as a collective species.
As alluded to above, the history of "Zeitgeist: The Movie" is not what many assume. The original Zeitgeist was not a film, but a performance piece, which consisted of a vaudevillian style multi-media event using recorded music, live instruments and video. [The only known (camera phone) recording is posted here.] The event was given over a 6-night period in New York City and then, without any interest to professionally release or produce the work, was "tossed" up on the Internet arbitrarily. The work was never designed as a film or even a documentary in a traditional sense - it was designed as a creative, provoking, emotionally driven expression, full of artistic extremity and heavily stylized gestures. (For more about the evolution of "Zeitgeist, The Movie" please see the Q & A at www.zeitgeistthefilm.com )
However, once online, an unexpected flood of interest began to generate. Within 6 months over 50 Million views were recorded on Google Video counters (before they were reset for some reason). The current combined estimates put the number of Internet views at over 200 million as of 2011. Suddenly "Zeitgeist" the event, became "Zeitgeist: The Movie".
In turn, the decision was made to make a follow up in 2008 entitled "Zeitgeist: Addendum". (www.zeitgeistaddendum.com) Originally this was going to conclude the Series, introducing ideas of resolve for some of our ongoing social problems. Yet, this work succeeded in sparking a mass shift of attention, inspiring the development of an activist organization now called The Zeitgeist Movement. This Movement, founded by Peter Joseph, now works globally to spread information about a new social reform ideas. With over 500,000 registrations from nearly all countries as of mid 2011, the development has been dynamic. However, this is an aside - the Zeitgeist Film Series, while an inspiration for The Movement which shares the term "Zeitgeist", is not to be confused with the content / views of the films in detail, which are personal to Peter Joseph alone. The Zeitgeist Movement is an economic/sustainability movement at its core and its relationship to the Film Series content is not in tandem.
On January 15, 2011, the third of the series, "Zeitgeist: Moving Forward", was released independently in over 60 countries and in over 30 languages with over 340 screenings worldwide. Likely the largest independent documentary release of it kind in history. This more traditional, interview based documentary focuses on the very fabric of the social order: Monetary-Market Economics.
[Late Update: July 16th 2012]