Piracy: It's Pretty Uncool Bro | Seek First Productions

Let me ask you something. Are you tired of Hollywood putting all of their eggs into the “reboot/sequel basket”? Me too man, me too. And there’s something we can do about it.

 

 

Stop pirating movies.

Seen Above: Not What I Meant

 

It’s really that simple. 

Here’s how most original film content usually gets financed: An independent producer makes a short film that’s designed for a feature length, or they produce an early cut of a feature. Most of the production costs may come from themselves. It’s not uncommon for a producer to mortgage their house or sell most of their assets on these dream projects. Then, the film goes to festivals, where investors and distributors browse the selection to consider a “purchase”. This is how independent films get financed. Unfortunately, independent/nonfranchise films are becoming a riskier investment.Let me put it this way, are you going to see AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON during it’s midnight release? Of course you are! Who isn’t? Are you going to go see the new independent Australian horror film Babadook? EVER? ...maybe (but you might download it if you're bored).Now, this isn’t new information for any industry. Taylor Swift wasn’t a hot commodity before her first album, but four full lengths later “1989” is topping charts. Building an audience takes time and Marvel Comics has been doing that for years, so their films have become safe bets. But in a world where you have the option to forgo the financial risk of purchasing a new album by an unknown artist, or seeing a film without the established relationship that a franchise would provide for it’s fans... piracy seems like a safer option for the consumer.

And it is. Let’s face it, you won’t get caught. But you will be a part of  a movement which has cost the industry 141,030 jobs (A).

 

We’re talking about the livelihood of hardworking entertainers who are being punished for your cheapness.

 

To bring it back to my film festival example, you must now place yourself in the shoes of an investor. They have a lot of money, but it’s a lot of money that they don’t want to lose. If $25 Billion has been lost via internet piracy (B), why would an investor invest in ANY film that doesn’t already have a guarantee to make money in this new “pirate market”. Let's say, the investor has already been approached to finance Avengers 14, but there's a neat WWII movie about a bunch of American soldiers living in a tank who blow up other tanks. It's pretty awesome, but let's face it... it will probably be pirated and won't make as much money, what if it gets pirated from a lack of interest? (C). If this continues we will live in a world where Marvel Studios may very well be the only studio producing content. I love super hero movies... but not that much. It’s cute to believe that piracy actually pressures an industry to improve, but when you deal with an industry as complicated as the film industry you have to ask yourself what the ramifications are for refusing to drop $10 on a ticket to “Fury”. Sony recently had several major releases hacked by the #GOP, but here at SFP we kindly ask that you just go see these films in a theatre. I saw “Fury”. It’s good, it’s worth $10. It’s a freakin movie about tanks, do you really want to watch that on your iPod? Here’s David Lynch’s thoughts on that: (warning, NSFW https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKiIroiCvZ0). Now, I do realize that different industries have reacted to piracy in different ways. The music industry for example is complicated for a variety of different reasons. Derek Webb is a Nashville-based artist I hold a lot of respect for, and he wrote a great piece on how piracy is good for non-mainstream musicians here: http://derekwebb.tumblr.com/post/13503899950/giving-it-away-how-free-music-makes-more-than.

The difference is this: If you want to make it in the film industry you have to make an impact, and that impact has to be monetary. For independent musicians, a guest who downloads a song illegally may find that he really enjoys it, and wants to pay to see a concert during a tour, which is a limited and unique opportunity to enjoy a product. That product cannot be adequately imitated or pirated. A live dvd/cd will never be the same as being in the presence of live music. I can understand this argument (although I still choose to purchase music). That experience does not exist for film. The closest you will get is seeing the film in a theatre. If you aren’t willing to pay to see a film in a theatre, then you aren’t likely to be willing to pay to own the film when it’s finished it’s theatrical run. Again, I beg you. Don’t pirate movies. For every movie you pirate it is less likely we will see another original film like Zombieland, Pacific Rim, or Gravity. Instead, we will probably see another Twilight or Saw film. Gross. 

 We can only hope it's the final cut

 

Just remember, when you pirate films you don’t make rich producers less rich. 

You are determining what producers are willing to produce. 

If you like it, pay for it.  

Chris Keyes
Director of Digital Content

Sources: (A) source: http://thefightagainstinternetpiracy.weebly.com/statistics.html, (B) http://www.dga.org/Craft/DGAQ/All-Articles/1001-Spring-2010/Internet-Issues-Piracy-Statistics.aspx, (C) http://www.vulture.com/2014/11/annie-pirated-online-after-sony-hack.html