1.09.2012

A note on piracy -- PAY TO WATCH WHAT YOU CARE ABOUT

Have to pass along the following:
 
a note from Ti West on piracy

keithcalder:

Every time you purchase something you are making a statement. You are creating physical evidence that something has value. If something has a high value, then it becomes in high demand. So if you make a concerted effort to support lesser-known, interesting and esoteric things (Art?) then you are helping make those lesser-known things more popular. I’m sure we can all agree that there are incredible movies made every year that never get the attention they deserve - That’s not the movies’ fault. That is our collective fault for not being proactive enough to GO OUT OF OUR WAY to support them.

Filmmaker Ti West has written a heartfelt letter to the Internet, requesting that you do not pirate his new film THE INNKEEPERS. I hope letters like this become a more common occurrence. People should know that pirating independent films has a huge negative impact on people they want to support, and on the future of films that they might want to see.

Most independent distributors I know already think it’s pointless to release interesting independent films for young people. They think young people will only show up for blockbusters, and will pirate anything else. And this attitude is getting worse, because the evidence supports it. The audience for interesting youthful independent films is the same audience that heavily pirates online. Distributors and film financiers want to make films for a viable market, and you’re not a market if you don’t pay for content. Your taste literally stops mattering, and the content will be determined by people who still pay for content.

Do you want to live in a world where RESERVOIR DOGS or PULP FICTION wouldn’t be able to get made, because the distributors all assume its audience would just pirate it? Because that’s where we’re headed right now.

I’ve heard all the counterarguments, but in the end they’re just rationalizations. It comes down to this: people pirate because they want to watch whatever movie they want whenever they want for whatever price they want to pay. As a consumer, I understand that. Why wouldn’t you want that? That’s not something that the traditional distribution system gives them, but it is something that piracy offers them. I’m sure people would also love to have Apple give them a free iPhone every year, but Apple isn’t going to do that. Apple charges money because they are a business with a huge staff and expenses that go into actually designing, making, and distribution the iPhone. But you can’t torrent an iPhone, so people buy into Apple’s system.

Piracy can offer you a better short-term deal than the traditional distribution system because piracy doesn’t actually have to make movies, but in the long-term you are destroying the ability for interesting new films to be made.

Yes, there are a lot of annoying limitations on how films are released in the traditional distribution system. The films are released in different territories at different times and they are released on different media at different times. It’s confusing and it’s frustrating. But the whole purpose for this system is to try to recoup the cost of making movies, and hopefully even make a profit.

The types of films that can make money are the types of films that keep getting made. That is the simple math of the film industry. When someone loves a film they didn’t pay for, that’s a vote that doesn’t get counted. When someone hates a film they did pay for, that’s a vote for more movies like that. So if you pay to see TRANSFORMERS 3 in theaters and pirate THE INNKEEPERS, it’s a vote that you want more films like TRANSFORMERS 3 and don’t want films like THE INNKEEPERS.

I don’t point this out to bash TRANSFORMERS 3, but I know a lot of people who hated the film and saw it in the theater. I know some of these people also pirated smaller films that they liked. To the filmmaking and distribution system it doesn’t matter what you like, it matters what you pay for.

Make your voice count by watching films in the system. That might mean seeing films in the theater, or if you want to save money, it might mean watching them on Netflix or TV. These things all “count” and have a direct impact on what films are made in the future. Vote with your money, or your taste will be ignored.


ps.  Taken from BenDavid Grabinski at Haters only hate.

No comments: