16 November, 2007

Independent Film Makers Thrilled That People 'Pirated' Their Movie


"On the same day that the guy who was caught filming the Simpson's movie with his mobile phone (which still doesn't make sense to us) was fined in Australia, some independent film makers are talking up how wonderful it is that people are "pirating" their film. The website rslog.net reviewed their film, The Man from Earth, and pointed out the many places online where it could be downloaded. It turned out that people really seemed to love the movie. Thousands downloaded it... and they started promoting it to others. The movie's ranking on IMDB shot up and it's getting attention from all over the place. The producer of the movie wrote to rslog to thank them for promoting the movie, noting that next time he'll probably upload his next movie to various torrent sites himself.

The director of the movie also chimed in with his support. He notes that they definitely view this a bit as "doing a Radiohead," but that's perfectly reasonable. They're hoping many people do decide to buy the DVD or donate money to the project, which seems like a reasonable request. However, what may be more likely is that they can use this groundswell to push for both theatre showings of the movie and a distribution deal for their followup. And while this shows an example of moviemakers using the Radiohead example -- there's a big difference here as well. Many critics have been falsely dismissing the Radiohead experiment by saying that only big, well known bands can pull it off. However, what the folks behind this movie are doing is exactly the opposite. They're smaller names, who are generating tremendous publicity and opportunity for themselves by not treating their fans as criminals -- even those who clearly are downloading unauthorized versions. Instead, they're embracing them for the free publicity they're providing the movie and helping to turn it into a hit. Once again, the old saying is true: obscurity is a much bigger threat to creative works than piracy. "

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