The last few movies I've gone to have had ads running before them that talk to gaffers, set designers, and stuntmen for movies and have them outline for you the evils of pirating movies.
These are poorly made, playing on your sympathies for a billion dollar industry that counts on explosions and chicks with plenty of tit-bounce to get you into the theatres. They aren't talking about indie films. They aren't talking about protecting jobs for people who make thoughtful, well made, interesting movies. They're talking about protecting jobs for people who work on summer blockbusters, epic action movies starring Vin Diesel, and movies about what a hard life upper middle class white kids have.
Now I realize that they're not talking about the directors of the film production company or any of the million dollar a project actors, but instead are focused on the "little people" behind the movies. As long as movies are made these people will have jobs. The people who lose money on film pirating are not the gaffer, the set designer or the stuntman.
I've found these ads patronizing, pathetic, and honestly insulting. When did the movie industry decide that going the way of RIAA was a good move?
Last night Karl and I saw an ad that just took the fucking cake. Staring Sean Astin and Ben Affleck as well as George "can we merchandise it?" Lucas (and in the article I found it talks about Johnny Depp being in the ads as well), behind the scenes workers and so on, they talked to the camera as if they were actually talking about something *important*. These two guys who will be rolling in the millions for years actually looked into the camera and had no problem crying foul about the horrors of movie pirating.
"The MPAA, which represents Hollywood's major studios, estimates that 400,000 to 600,000 digital movies are downloaded every day from the Internet. Reuters reports the trade group put aside $150,000 earlier this month to reward informers whose tips lead to successful police raids on illegal DVD factories in Asia.
According to the MPAA, the old-fashioned method of piracy--moviegoers using handheld video cameras to shoot a video version of a film or making of bootleg copies of promotional DVDs, costs the industry $3 billion a year."
Now, I don't know about you, but I've never seen a high quality bootleg of a movie. NEVER. And I've never known anyone to wholeheartedly prefer their bootlegs over actually seeing a movie in a theatre as the quality is just terrible most of the time. The fact is, that if you really enjoy a film, chances are you'll see it in a theatre even if you've already seen a bootleg of it. Chances are even better that if you really enjoy a film you will buy the official release of the DVD as they tend to be rendered with a much higher quality than can be easily copied, include extras that a bootleg most often cannot reproduce, and present *value* for their cost, unlike music CDs, which can be digitally reproduced without a degrade in quality and which present no extra value in their purchase.
In this article, the chairman of Fox Filmed entertainment claims that they really just want to teach this generation that stealing is wrong no matter what form it takes.
Corporate executives and actors teaching us all about the importance of moral values? It sure as HELL isn't by example.
Hollywood's All-Star Assault on Piracy
STEPHEN M. SILVERMAN
Ben Affleck, Johnny Depp, "Titanic" director James Cameron and "Lord of the Rings" actor Sean Astin are among those who have joined forces for an all-star attack on one of Hollywood's most frightening enemies: digital piracy.
To take up the fight, they are appearing in a 72-second public service announcement produced by 20th Century Fox, says the Hollywood Reporter.
Jim Gianopulos, chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment, unveiled the ad before industry insiders Wednesday and said the spot is being made available to theater owners across the country.
Digital piracy allows counterfeit DVDs of the latest hit movies -- such as "Lord of the Rings" and "Chicago" -- to be produced cheaply and quickly (usually in Asia), and robs Hollywood of millions of dollars annually.
The latest movie titles are typically available, sometimes even before their theatrical releases, on the streets of New York's financial district, among other high-population areas, at $10 a pop. (Quality of the pirate DVDs is often questionable -- though in some cases, thanks to digital technology, the knockoffs are technically superb.)
"A big part of what we believe is important to deal with this challenge ... is education," Gianopulos told the trade paper. "We need to teach this generation that stealing is stealing, in whatever form."
He added, "People must be taught that the so-called victimless crime of downloading movies has the power to cost real people real jobs -- not just executives like me or others in this room, but hundreds of thousands of people who are involved in this process (of making and distributing movies)."