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Film Piracy, Careers Ruined, Sundance, Worth it?


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3 hours ago, Zak Forsman said:

around the time of the release of the movie, the total seeds for all the torrents i could find was just over 10,000. i don't know how high it got. The Turkish YouTube upload had just crossed 100,000 views when i discovered it (it had been up for more than a month). A torrent was also likely used to make bootleg Blu-rays that one of my actors found in Hong Kong.

ps - fuck you, you belittling asshole. :)
 

How much revenue did you generate from those countries, or interest in presenting the video in a formal setting?

I think that was sort of his point. Most of that downloading went on because people had no access to the video at all outside of that.

4 minutes ago, Zak Forsman said:

actually, on opening weekend, most of the ticket for major studio titles goes to the distributor. the longer a film plays, the more the cut swings in the theater's favor. This is why concessions are priced so high. The theater isn't making much on new titles so they have to make up for it in popcorn sales.

The distributor doesn't have overhead either?

The point is, distribution through physical locations is inherently an expensive affair.

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Piracy is a very emotive subject, especially for creators of pirated content, and I have been involved in three industries now which have dealth with piracy in different ways: Music, Video Games and a

good night, brave troll. and it's spelled "genius", genius. The movie was distributed by paramount internationally. that included both those countries and whatever rock you just crawled ba

around the time of the release of the movie, the total seeds for all the torrents i could find was just over 10,000. i don't know how high it got. The Turkish YouTube upload had just crossed 100,000 v

9 hours ago, Zak Forsman said:

i think it's clear what his intent was.

the studio accounting has been painfully slow. all i know at this point is a projection that it has grossed in the neighborhood of high five figures or low six figures internationally so far. domestic is separate from that.

It's pretty clear what you wanted my intent to be. 

The thing was that this one guy says that unless every internet access is strictly monitored internationally for copyright infrigement with ugly laws (I guess this is what he meant by privacy) there will be no more films except super heroe movies.

Fact is, as you are saying, that a lowbudget, kickstarter funded, 27% RT audience score movie, has made "high five figures or low six figures internationally so far". Currently your movie has zero seeds on kickasstorrents, and a youtube upload with 87 views.

Then there are movies with larger budgets "positioned to tell more unique stories from more diverse points of view" /no action movies nor superproductions, like "Beasts of the Southern Wild", "Whiplash" o "Nightcrawler", the first two made more than 10x their budget. These obviously have many torrents up to date.

The opening post has a link to youtube video where a guy states that piracy ruined his carrer, I can't find his "marianne" film anywhere.

So, what's my point? You will have a hard time finding a movie with good audience scores that was not profitable due to piracy, piracy is directly proportional to the sucess of the film. Some guy will come and tell me that back in the day you could make a living out of B movies, yeah well, I'm sorry for you, but cheap Netflix,etc... with 100 years of good easy accesible movies isn't going to go away, and piracy has nothing to do with that.

 

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that's right, piracy is not currently an issue for my movie. Down and Dangerous was a micro-budget title released *two years ago* to the day (we opened on Feb 14, 2014). the height of its piracy/file-sharing issues were during the crucial opening quarter. basing your assessment on what is now a library title, doesn't convince me of... i don't know, anything really. and of course it comes with your characteristic and underhanded insults, which you have been weaving into your posts here for years.

but i'm not beneath fighting fire with fire so i'll happily do the same and point out that taking shots at people who risk failure is typical behavior for *sideline naysayers* not actively taking their own bumps and bruises in this arena. what you find amongst fellow doers is a sense of empathy and optimism and a more nurturing form of criticism. and here's a big surprise for you! no one knows the flaws of my movie better than me. hell, I'm the jerk who lived and breathed it for two years. more than that, as it's inspired by a brief chapter in my dad's life story. which explains why the title's anagram is D.A.D.

i know where I succeeded. I know where i stumbled. and more importantly, I know how to do it better next time.

side rant: why people expect filmmakers to emerge fully-formed is beyond me. no one is given an opportunity to grow into better storytellers anymore -- to close that gap between the vision in their heads and their ability to execute it in the real world. it didn't used to be that way. I think it was steven soderbergh who said that he wouldn't have a career if he started out today because no one is forgiven when they fail anymore.

i'm familiar with the story behind marianne. they had a tough go of it. piracy hit them harder than it hit me. I got through it relatively unscathed as my movie has grossed four times its meager budget. what worries me is as i embark on larger endeavors with more money at risk, its cast and genre appeal will be stronger, and so will its piracy-appeal. and i'm not experienced enough to know where the tipping point lies, meaning, the point where piracy makes things untenable. I currently feel safe in the micro-budget world because I think we've cracked the nut of making it profitable as well as creatively fulfilling.

thank you for pointing out the movie is up on youtube. the uploader applied an aggressive vignette to the whole thing making it pretty much unwatchable. issued a takedown. the slow wheels at youtube will likely have it down in a few days. what follows is usually an angry message from the uploader, pissed at me because youtube closed their account.

to your last point... what I believe you are missing is that piracy doesn't only affect existing titles. it greatly reduces the number of low and mid-budget movies that get made in favor of tentpole pictures because they are a riskier, execution-dependent, proposition. if the last 100 hundred years of produced movies had been influenced by piracy the way they are now, that list would look very different.

now please excuse me, I have a screenplay rewrite to get back to. it's about a guy who goes out into the streets to pick fights with strangers as a way to punish himself. which means I can chalk up my time here to: "research".

VIC1hsw.gif

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1 hour ago, Zak Forsman said:

now please excuse me, I have a screenplay rewrite to get back to. it's about a guy who goes out into the streets to pick fights with strangers as a way to punish himself. which means I can chalk up my time here to: "research".
 

Good luck, that actually sounds like a nice story.

I still don't see how piracy affected your movie, specially when paramount passes these kind of movies on their free or flatrate channels.

But even if piracy really were a big problem for indie film makers, there is no way to stop piracy unless you implement some draconian measures that are way worse then loosing some entertainment.

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I think this thread is (yet another) example of yearning for times that won't ever return.

The internet has permanently disrupted how art is funded, created, distributed, and consumed. Yes, it's a world where only superhero moves can make money the old way, but it's also one where the consumer can find entertainment without even being aware of the superhero movie, it's one where passion projects can be funded and not be beholden to whims of others, it's one where the creator can generate revenue directly from the consumer, etc.

I worked on a film recently that was pirated even before it was released while the creator was still taking pre-orders. Instead of whining and letting it ruin him, he decided to take it as a positive- that people wanted to see his film, and those that were moved by it would be motivated to spend the money on his self-distributed Blu-Ray (or private streaming link) which contained hours and hours of extra features. He already made the choice not to go the traditional investor/distributor route as he had for previous films.

The internet has changed a lot of things but it hasn't changed the principle that if you want to make money doing anything, you have to continually find new ways to provide value to the customer.

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18 minutes ago, araucaria said:

I still don't see how piracy affected your movie, specially when paramount passes these kind of movies on their free or flatrate channels.

there's the disconnect. i'm in a rare place where the file-sharing of my movie helped raise its profile. i think my piracy issues were a benefit in some ways and the loss of potential revenue was negligible. i'm not unhappy that my last film was torrented. but i'm worried about the next one. and the one after that. we're talking about how i make a living after all.

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Game of thrones success came from piracy. Its horrible but its exposure. And if the goal is to be seen...maybe theres a positive.  Out of those 12 million who stole whiplash...how many would buy it? I remember reading about this 10 years ago in esquire....that piracy help launch the careers of a ton of smaller acts. Now spotify is essentially a free pirate service that pays it's artists pennies.

 

And tentpole movies are made not because of piracy....if anything these are the number one movies pirated. Because demographics are to boys who steal.

 

Tentpole are made because they are the only safe bet. Why so many tentpoles are sequels. Thats a whole different debate.

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53 minutes ago, Ed David said:

Game of thrones success came from piracy. Its horrible but its exposure. And if the goal is to be seen...maybe theres a positive.  Out of those 12 million who stole whiplash...how many would buy it? I remember reading about this 10 years ago in esquire....that piracy help launch the careers of a ton of smaller acts. Now spotify is essentially a free pirate service that pays it's artists pennies.

 

And tentpole movies are made not because of piracy....if anything these are the number one movies pirated. Because demographics are to boys who steal.

 

Tentpole are made because they are the only safe bet. Why so many tentpoles are sequels. Thats a whole different debate.

The tentpoles have by far the highest profit margins. And to a very significant extent their content is dictated by what audiences want to watch. Sequels can save money on promotion because the IP is established. They're safer to green light because the audience is a known quantity. It's fine. TV is serialized; film can be, too. Tentpole budgets lubricate the rest of the studio system and allow for other, oftentimes more interesting features to be profitable. If Hollywood weren't producing tentpoles, they wouldn't produce anything.

I suspect that's what some people here would like to see.

When something doesn't work out for you or to your expectations, you always want to find an outside source to blame, but for content that's very good and without much marketing, after-the-fact piracy will often only raise its profile and word-of-mouth and sales. Granted, any leak that occurs before a feature opens or a sale occurs can force your hand, almost always a bad thing. Not having control of that and having to answer for content not being good is a difficult thing. Even for the studios--see Wolverine.

I have seen one business parter have his business hit hard by piracy. It was over international rights to a $200 million+ Bond movie, which leaked before its theatrical run. I agree it hits hardest at the top.

Obviously it's still an issue across the board, but in many of these cases it looks like piracy is the scapegoat, quality or market interest the culprit. A bad movie being widely available won't do anything for its word of mouth.

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3 hours ago, Policar said:

A bad movie being widely available won't do anything for its word of mouth.

You don't sell movies based on quality. There are tons of movies that are not very good (which still turn a good profit) being made all the time.

Piracy hits everybody, some harder than others. If your unlucky, your great film will be pirated a lot and you will never earn your money back. If your lucky, your bad movie might turn a great profit without much piracy.

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10 hours ago, araucaria said:

Good luck, that actually sounds like a nice story.

I still don't see how piracy affected your movie, specially when paramount passes these kind of movies on their free or flatrate channels.

But even if piracy really were a big problem for indie film makers, there is no way to stop piracy unless you implement some draconian measures that are way worse then loosing some entertainment.

Hey araucaria,

You shredded me and my post, but I'm gonna do you a respect here.

First, drop the anger and smugness. I'm not "Telling you to"...I'm just asking you to. I'm asking....could ya?
Earlier on you made a good point that most people didn't focus on. Piracy in certain other countries. 
You mentioned Turkey, but I'd like to add China and India to that, because historically those two countries were hotbeds of huge amounts of movie piracy. 

At first, the worldwide movie selling industry didn't even attempt to get into those countries because the Governments really didn't let them. So the worldwide movie industry grew for decades without them. (Of course China and India have made their own great movie industry - but that's not what we're talking about here.)
There's a difference now - the difference is that all of the countries that DID support the worldwide movie industry are now DRASTICALLY increasing their participation in piracy and so they are reducing the industry's ability to earn it's money fairly.

I never said we "Have to give up our Privacy" but I did say "What society has or does accept as any sort of privacy on the Internet is going to have to change RADICALLY or we risk losing one of the most cherished aspects of our modern life - Movies." 

We don't really have all that much privacy online already anyway - and I only suggest that what we "accept" as privacy (cuz it ain't really much already) is going to have to change IF...IF...we want to keep our movie world going as great as it has been.

I have been a monetary supporter of the Electronic Frontier Foundation for 8-years now, so I am ABSOLUTELY on the side of Internet privacy and freedom.
So, I understand and respect your position of NOT wanting to relinquishing any more online privacy. No one is saying that's "wrong". Although maybe it seems that's what people are saying - it's really not. What we ARE SAYING - is that it is going to be one or the other. One or the other. We will NOT be able to keep both. That part is already obvious. Pick one, and understand that you will be saying goodbye to the other. 
If you ONLY like 'flag pole" (big budget) films like superhero movies, then you'll still be happy. But if you like the other varieties of movies too then maybe you won't be so happy when no one will make those anymore. YOU ARE FULLY ENTITLED to only like superhero movies if that's your thing. No judgement of you there.

You're on this forum, right? So I'm kinda guessing that you have an interest in all varieties of movie making. We all just want to see those movies continue to get made, and NONE of us has the answer yet of how that's going to happen.

 

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22 hours ago, hmcindie said:

You don't sell movies based on quality. There are tons of movies that are not very good (which still turn a good profit) being made all the time.

Piracy hits everybody, some harder than others. If your unlucky, your great film will be pirated a lot and you will never earn your money back. If your lucky, your bad movie might turn a great profit without much piracy.

What does luck have to do with it? People don't download torrents by chance. Piracy will be about what it will be. It's fairly predictable, with one exception:

If your feature leaks before the rights go up for sale piracy can hurt a lot because it affects word of mouth.

Otherwise, it's more a scapegoat than anything. Yes, it can hurt sales a bit. Yes, it's bad. No, it's nothing more than a drop in the bucket. And nothing will stop it. If your video is available commercially, someone is bound to put a torrent or youtube video up.

Quality doesn't matter much as regards sales, but perception of quality does. If you can't afford to advertise, word of mouth and IMDb rating (and whatever press and blog quotes you can pay your agent to drum up) matter tremendously. Even festivals can matter provide an impression of quality. But piracy before a feature is released in a major market can hurt a film's perception (at any level from indie to tentpole) because the "quality" perception is no longer under your control; after it's released, it's a pretty predictable but small financial siphon.

100,000 views on youtube, few of which will be completed views, does not equal 100,000 paying customers at $10/apiece. The loss is orders of magnitude lower.

This is is a funny video, but I doubt any of its viewers 120,000 would pay to watch it:

That's the youtube market. It doesn't correlate with sales, let alone rentals.

Piracy is an issue. But it's usually more of a scapegoat.

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15 hours ago, Policar said:

That's the youtube market. It doesn't correlate with sales, let alone rentals.

Piracy is an issue. But it's usually more of a scapegoat.

 

Youtube does correlate with sales. The view amounts for popular trailers does seem to correlate with success. Even here in Finland where government subsidized films get trailers that have less than 5000 views regularly. And no one watches them on cinema either.

So yes, there is a correlation between being famous and selling/pirating well. But that goes without saying right? Pirates basically killed the dvd market (and created Netflix yay!) and everything is now streamed. To survive in this madness, you need to make madness. Like Sharknado or Asylum films, films designed to pop out of your stream with a crazy cover picture. You need to make films that don't cost anything if you are independent. Look at the youtube trailer views of Sharknado! I bet they correlate very well with the streaming amounts of that film.

Speaking of making videos, Youtube has a specific niche that turns a profit and that's basically Let's Plays and comedy. If you get three grand per a million views, that is a very low sum compared to the amount of views you get. Pewdipie has a regular audience of millions. Absolutely some of them would pay to watch Pewdipie (which they are now trying with the Youtube Red thing). But not everyone will try to make a brand through sharing free work on youtube. It works when you can do a video where you basically just talk and entertain. When you make a film (that's about 1hr30mins) that approach won't work, you would only get a few grands even for a couple of million views. You need to make that film every week to survive on the Youtube horse. Unless you make a crazy trailer like Hardcore Henry/Kung Fury but even that does not guarantee that anyone buys it. I have a feeling Hardcore Henry will be heavily pirated.

Even Youtube earners - people, who survive by doing shorts etc on Youtube are now having their stuff stolen. By people on facebook. And losing revenue quite a lot. Google up freebooting:

 

By the way, the Pewdipie video you linked to, wasn't even in his own channel. (!!) It was not a Pewdipie video. Funny.

BUT the thing is, even if you are popular, that won't shield you from being pirated and or not making enough money to get some amount of cost back. A lot of people react to simple things A) Name actors - which costs money B) Name director - which costs money. Kung Fury didn't actually start getting shared UNTIL the norwegian body builder Andreas Cahling shared it with his followers. You can get lucky with stuff like that (knowing the person and him not asking for a huge fee is a great start).

Everyone can't do it like Pewdipie. Make several entertaining videos every week, share them for "free" (only get the ad credit - though Pewdipie makes more money than all of us on this forum combined, haha).

There are loads of films hurt by piracy which have nothing to do with being a "scapegoat". That's usually what pirates claim. "We are just used as scapegoats!". Some people just have a bit of broken morals and there's no convincing them. "I can steal, I wouldn't buy it anyway!". I wonder what do the people who hang around torrent forums and download all the new flicks would do without torrents? There are so many of them. A lot of them go see the newest and most hyped films (Deadpool) but then pirate everything that is small and independent. Like Australian horror films. Which could really use your help guys.

 

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On 16/02/2016 at 10:34 AM, hmcindie said:

Everyone can't do it like Pewdipie. Make several entertaining videos every week, share them for "free" (only get the ad credit - though Pewdipie makes more money than all of us on this forum combined, haha).

Pewdipie doesn't make his money from ad revinue, nor do many, if any successful youtubers - I define success as full time and paying the bills for someone not living with their parents. We make our money from promotional deals and brand associations. (And Jim Sterling from Patreon)I personally have stopped monitising my content because the money I earn from running ads is an absolute pitance in comparison. My non paid content is there specifically for audience retention, which gives me guarenteed eyes on my paid content, which directly relates to how much I can ask for.

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4 hours ago, hmcindie said:

 

Youtube does correlate with sales. The view amounts for popular trailers does seem to correlate with success. Even here in Finland where government subsidized films get trailers that have less than 5000 views regularly. And no one watches them on cinema either.

So yes, there is a correlation between being famous and selling/pirating well. But that goes without saying right? Pirates basically killed the dvd market (and created Netflix yay!) and everything is now streamed. To survive in this madness, you need to make madness. Like Sharknado or Asylum films, films designed to pop out of your stream with a crazy cover picture. You need to make films that don't cost anything if you are independent. Look at the youtube trailer views of Sharknado! I bet they correlate very well with the streaming amounts of that film.

Speaking of making videos, Youtube has a specific niche that turns a profit and that's basically Let's Plays and comedy. If you get three grand per a million views, that is a very low sum compared to the amount of views you get. Pewdipie has a regular audience of millions. Absolutely some of them would pay to watch Pewdipie (which they are now trying with the Youtube Red thing). But not everyone will try to make a brand through sharing free work on youtube. It works when you can do a video where you basically just talk and entertain. When you make a film (that's about 1hr30mins) that approach won't work, you would only get a few grands even for a couple of million views. You need to make that film every week to survive on the Youtube horse. Unless you make a crazy trailer like Hardcore Henry/Kung Fury but even that does not guarantee that anyone buys it. I have a feeling Hardcore Henry will be heavily pirated.

Even Youtube earners - people, who survive by doing shorts etc on Youtube are now having their stuff stolen. By people on facebook. And losing revenue quite a lot. Google up freebooting:

 

By the way, the Pewdipie video you linked to, wasn't even in his own channel. (!!) It was not a Pewdipie video. Funny.

BUT the thing is, even if you are popular, that won't shield you from being pirated and or not making enough money to get some amount of cost back. A lot of people react to simple things A) Name actors - which costs money B) Name director - which costs money. Kung Fury didn't actually start getting shared UNTIL the norwegian body builder Andreas Cahling shared it with his followers. You can get lucky with stuff like that (knowing the person and him not asking for a huge fee is a great start).

Everyone can't do it like Pewdipie. Make several entertaining videos every week, share them for "free" (only get the ad credit - though Pewdipie makes more money than all of us on this forum combined, haha).

There are loads of films hurt by piracy which have nothing to do with being a "scapegoat". That's usually what pirates claim. "We are just used as scapegoats!". Some people just have a bit of broken morals and there's no convincing them. "I can steal, I wouldn't buy it anyway!". I wonder what do the people who hang around torrent forums and download all the new flicks would do without torrents? There are so many of them. A lot of them go see the newest and most hyped films (Deadpool) but then pirate everything that is small and independent. Like Australian horror films. Which could really use your help guys.

 

I wasn't posting to a Pewdiepie video intentionally. Someone mentioned losing 100,000 viewers to youtube, so I looked for a youtube video with 100,000 views and equal value on that market, actually more views so more value. Probably about as many people would pay to see that as would pay to see a feature with similar views, at least among youtube's market. It would be hard to find one on Pewdiepie's channel with as few views as he attracts far more viewers, and his content is great for what it is.

Exposure does help with sales and at the low end piracy is exposure. 100,000 partial views of your feature on youtube will correlate with some of those people paying to watch your feature at full quality if they like what they see. But it doesn't correlate with 100,000 lost sales, quite the contrary. 

Asylum was getting exposure for making mock busters, which benefit off the advertising of other features. Their "outrageous" movies now get exposure without piggybacking. That's fairly incredible because no one is going to watch your movie if they haven't heard of it and an press is very expensive. As a business, they're nothing to laugh at, and they employ a lot of excellent craftsmen and do market research. Their content is also better technically than most give it credit for being.

A lot of people compulsively torrenting movies do it as a hobby and very few people watch the movies they download more than once. Piracy is an issue, but it's a small issue compared with not knowing your market. Of course Australian horror films do badly stateside; it costs $15 million to launch a distribution and advertising campaign for a small feature. It's going to take something very exciting to justify the expenditure to pick one to compete with Blumhouse content–and piracy has nothing to do with that.

If you have 10,000 seeds–if we're feeling generous that correlates with 200 lost sales at 4000 lost rentals at best, but I'm sure tremendously less. That's still maybe $3000 in sale revenue and $20000 in rental revenue, which doesn't even cover a distributor's fee and bring you into the green, but if it did you might see 15% of net points. On the other hand, piracy increases visibility, which drives sales. Either way, it's not a big factor.

The Facebook piracy thing is a big deal since it's views being stolen from a similar market. 

Yes, you'd better make your movie cheap or interesting if you want to make any money. Or good enough to attract major festival play. This would be true whether piracy were a factor or not. It is one, but it's a very small one, and one that it's producers' job to navigate around, for better or worse. 

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And mixed programmes for Makers studio last week bought by Disney for 300-400 million who PDP is a presenter for among the others they signed who have a gazillion viewers - same production values as per TV - same rates, another outlet for us film and telly "workers" - was shot well tbh and graded as per broadcast values.

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Interesting discussion. Thanks to everyone for replying.

I have to say some of the responses are shocking. I would think (certain) filmmakers wouldn't be so callous towards piracy. But I respect the right to your opinion even if I disagree. I will continue to believe piracy is a serious crime. Yes, tentpole movies and sequels will still make a profit, but we're all indie guys, right?

Let's really break this down so everyone can understand in simple terms.

Maybe Zack or Ed or Silvertone's director friend can chime in based on their (and future) experiences, but it seems the overwhelming attitude to combat the issue of piracy (smartest?) is to:

 

1. Do not submit your movie to any film festival. No matter what. Distribute your project quickly to get paid,  forget about glowing reviews from festivals and ego hand claps from festival attendees.

2. Do not send out any screener copies to heads of distribution companies, or film festival judges under any circumstances. (or your best friend or your mother).

3. Do not use ITunes, Amazon, YouTube, or Netflix (at least right away) because anyone can copy your film there and upload it for free. 

4. Do not make any DVD's/Blu rays, because again, people will rip those discs and upload them for free.

5. Do not go to any show (Comic con, etc..) and hand out or sell screeners of your movie. Because again, they will get ripped.

6. Be very careful where you do your post production. Why? Because in theory (and truth from on-line stories) a person working at a post house can rip off your digital files rather easily. No? Makes logical sense to me. Edit at your own home? Hmmm..

7. Do not trust a motherfucking sole (soul).

 

So at this rate maybe we should just discuss the art of self distribution (STREAMING) on your own personal website, or a website created for distribution.

I know a nightmare unto itself, but maybe the only way to keep your profit and your sanity. 

Are these all paranoid conspiracy theories?

I don't know, but listening to these film guys who have been pirated, and how they have lost $250 grand (and possibly more) and 3 years of their lives (possibly more) makes you want to contemplate suicide (they certainly have) .

VHX anyone?

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26 minutes ago, lafilm said:

Interesting discussion. Thanks to everyone for replying.

I have to say some of the responses are shocking. I would think (certain) filmmakers wouldn't be so callous towards piracy. But I respect the right to your opinion even if I disagree. I will continue to believe piracy is a serious crime. Yes, tentpole movies and sequels will still make a profit, but we're all indie guys, right?

Let's really break this down so everyone can understand in simple terms.

Maybe Zack or Ed or Silvertone's director friend can chime in based on their (and future) experiences, but it seems the overwhelming attitude to combat the issue of piracy (smartest?) is to:

 

1. Do not submit your movie to any film festival. No matter what. Distribute your project quickly to get paid,  forget about glowing reviews from festivals and ego hand claps from festival attendees.

2. Do not send out any screener copies to heads of distribution companies, or film festival judges under any circumstances. (or your best friend or your mother).

3. Do not use ITunes, Amazon, YouTube, or Netflix (at least right away) because anyone can copy your film there and upload it for free. 

4. Do not make any DVD's/Blu rays, because again, people will rip those discs and upload them for free.

5. Do not go to any show (Comic con, etc..) and hand out or sell screeners of your movie. Because again, they will get ripped.

6. Be very careful where you do your post production. Why? Because in theory (and truth from on-line stories) a person working at a post house can rip off your digital files rather easily. No? Makes logical sense to me. Edit at your own home? Hmmm..

7. Do not trust a motherfucking sole (soul).

 

So at this rate maybe we should just discuss the art of self distribution (STREAMING) on your own personal website, or a website created for distribution.

I know a nightmare unto itself, but maybe the only way to keep your profit and your sanity. 

Are these all paranoid conspiracy theories?

I don't know, but listening to these film guys who have been pirated, and how they have lost $250 grand (and possibly more) and 3 years of their lives (possibly more) makes you want to contemplate suicide (they certainly have) .

VHX anyone?

Your position seems extreme...but it's not wrong.

The biggest problem is people FEELING ENTITLED to take and spread YOUR product for free.

If the ONLY way for you to not get totally robbed is to lock it down, then LOCK IT DOWN.

The ego stroke of 10,000 people seeing your movie won't put a dime back in your pocket for your next one.
But only 1,000 actually paying to stream it will.

The choice is up to each individual.
 

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4 hours ago, lafilm said:

So at this rate maybe we should just discuss the art of self distribution (STREAMING) on your own personal website, or a website created for distribution.

I know a nightmare unto itself, but maybe the only way to keep your profit and your sanity. 

Are these all paranoid conspiracy theories?

I don't know, but listening to these film guys who have been pirated, and how they have lost $250 grand (and possibly more) and 3 years of their lives (possibly more) makes you want to contemplate suicide (they certainly have) .

Re: Streaming on your own website - if it can be displayed on a screen, it can be ripped, by using a software that masquerades as a screen, then records what it is "displaying". You will still have your movie pirated. Sorry.

It may be a nightmare, but just keep on top of the distribution, shut it down, dedicate a quarter of an hour as regularly as you can to searching and composing your boiler plate "remove this content from your service please" email and you will limit it as much as you ever can. Don't risk your sanity over it, you've got bigger problems, including:

Piracy is an easy scapegoat as to why your movie wasn't profitable. No-one has yet been able to prove a shred of economic damage as a result of piracy, and these consultation firms have been investigating the issue for decades. There IS solid data which supports the theory that people who view your content for free today pay more for the content you produce tomorrow. There is also solid evidence that the vast majority - over 99% of "download incidences" are non conversions i.e. this download is not a lost sale. They are other pirate bay type operations who want it on their service, they are the bots which trawl the internet logging god knows what, they are people who cannot afford your movie anyway and they are people who download it and never open the file.

I think people who are blaming piracy for their lack of profitability are, on the whole, looking to blame anything that was "done to them" to explain their lack of profitability, it's a lot more seductive than having to change how one approaches the commercial side of the business. People seem to have this over-romanticised idea of "the movie business" that never existed. It has always been cold and difficult for new talent, low budget productions and independants. People have always taken advantage of your hard work, taken it for free and put their name on it.

Nothing has changed, except that it's gotten easier and cheaper to make content, distribute it and earn from it. Sure, it's not all roses, but it's a hell of a lot easier than it was 30 years ago. So are they all paranoid conspiracy theories, no, there is always that guy, sat at his computer smug that he watched a movie for free, they exist. But honestly, was he ever going to pay for your film? There are always those in different economic circumstances who cannot afford the lowest price you could distribute your film to them for. Will half the world ever start paying the "low" $3, when they earn $2 a day, and need to pay rent, feed themselves, keep themselves healthy and bring up their kids first - will they ever pay you? But some people who download your movie do find themselves in better economic circumstances. And the evidence shows that they do then start paying for their entertainment that they used to get for free.

So the theories are correct, but the economic damage is pie in the sky - numbers they pulled out of their backsides, they don't know that if piracy didn't exist, they would have taken an extra $250k. They just ran some stupid algorithm that they think sounds reasonable - 10% of all downloads would have paid me because, despite non of the evidence pointing to that, I believe it is so.

And quite frankly, the people who have made themselves mentally ill, and driven themselves to the point of suicide have much bigger problems than bankrupsy - which people, especially self employed people in the lowest end of their industry go through every day and continue to lead rich and fulfilling lives. They deserve our sympathy, our help and support and all the good will of the community. I travelled to Japan to meet with a guy I only knew through the internet because when youtube deleted his account after three bogus copyright strikes, he said some really worrying things. He lost his livelyhood overnight, because someone content claimed Kevin McClouds music, and Google don't care. Guess what, he was really really sick - this was just the trigger. He got the help he needed and is doing OK now, people don't commit suicide, attempt it or even contemplate it unless they are seriously ill anyway and needed the help regardless, or are making a cry for help and attention. And they absolutely deserve our help, our attention and our good will. False platitudes don't help - playing along with their narrative that "the pirates did it to me" is just as damaging as playing along with a person with dementia's false beliefs, or agreeing that you can see something that a person with schizophrenia thinks is real. It may be the easy way to "help" them in the short term, but long term, their condition gets worse below the platitude.

And finally, if you punish your paying customers by dracconian measures to "lock it down", your paying customers get fed up with seeing the people who download it for free get a better product than they do. Reread every comment in this thread with this in mind: Piracy is a service issue. Look at Cinegain "People seem to prefer the convienience of pai services" - service issue, Silvertones "I subscribe to XBox music because" - service issue, sanveer - "people want quality" - service issue, the whole pornography debate, what drives the porn industry - free easily accessible porn.

I don't have the answers, but I don't want to see only the profitable movies be made. That's why I support content creators I admire through patreon, kickstarter et al. Not practical for indie movies, but it's evidence that other forms of entertianment have adapted and survived. Of the industries I am interested in, Boardgames - the biggest game in the world right now was a print and play (read as download for free) game. People pay to get nice cards. Computer games - the biggest games in the world right now are free to play. Youtube content - advert supported content, free to the user. What do you notice - the industries have pushed their content to the user and made it as accessible as possible. Take a look at the recent sim city vs a direct rival Cities Skylines. Simcity had dracconian anti piracy measures. Cities Skylines did not. Simcity was a disaster, directly as a result of it's DRM and a commercial flop for EA. Cities Skylines is one of the industries top sellers right now, continuing to take more money on a recent expansion. They are almost exactly the same game. As I said, I don't have the answers, but I sure know that "locking it down" is guarenteed to cost you income.

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