February 6, 2016 at 8:00PM


Piracy? Do successful filmmakers actually care?

Here is the thing, I download movies on occasion via torrents, movies I'd rather not spend money on for the theatrical viewing. I am a filmmaker myself and a lot of people give me guff about doing that...But the thing is I don't care how anyone watched my work. I just want my work to be seen. I want to know if its really such a huge deal. If i don't care about people downloading and keeping my own work it makes me think that big time movie directors care even less about piracy.

In fact.

here is a short film I want you to download and keep forever.
pw: video4free


I think a big question here is whether or not your work has large sums of money invested and needs to be seen by large amounts of paying customers in order to be profitable. If not, then your own feelings don't really serve as a fair basis for comparison.

I've heard a lot of people use those justifications. "It's not a movie that I would have normally paid to see." Then why are you watching it? "I'm giving them additional exposure." To who? Other people not providing any revenue?

The problem we're facing now is that we have new generations for whom piracy is pretty much the norm, and impacts are already being felt. I remember an article not too long ago about how Kick-Ass 3 was cancelled due to piracy of the second film.

And, you have to think about the added difficulties for indies who don't have the clout/recognition to recoup some revenue through product placement or licensing deals. Sure, piracy may help an unknown person get a bit of attention, but wouldn't it be nice if that person could also continue making films AND affording rent?

By no means do I thing filmmaking is in dire straits, yet, bit it can happen. If you need an example, just look at what happened to the Hong Kong film industry over the last 20 years.

February 6, 2016 at 10:02PM, Edited February 6, 10:02PM


Wrong attitude Graham. Student films are fine and maybe shorts. But definitely not for feature movies where there is a lot of investor and filmmaker's money involved.

February 8, 2016 at 9:28AM

William Scherer
Writer/Director/Producer/Fine Art Aerial Photography

I'm sure many people will have strong opinions on this issue. All I'll say is this: Pirating movies and music is here to stay. That technological Genie is out of the bottle and there's no putting it back. The industry is going to have to learn to live with it until, and if, technology gives them the upper hand again.

February 10, 2016 at 6:47AM


That's like saying, "Rape is here to stay. Women are going to have to learn to live with it until, and if, evolution gives them the upper hand again."

Stupid stupid stupid

Kenneth Merrill

February 11, 2016 at 10:18AM

I second this - whether it's right or wrong isn't really the point anymore, as a community we need to figure out how to make a living in a torrent world.


February 12, 2016 at 3:22AM

Do successful filmmakers actually care? Yes.

The thing about "free" is that it's not free. Somebody is making money.
It's just not decentralized. Those making money are companies making computers or energy companies or internet service providers. Each time you don't pay for content you're making Google even more of a monolithic monopoly.

February 11, 2016 at 8:40AM

Sean Bokenkamp

I wish that filmmakers realized they are just shooting themselves in the foot. Filmmaking is already an incredibly volatile business--now add the fact that billions of dollars of revenue is being stolen by people every day. It's no wonder cinema is dying. Nobody wants to take the risk.

Besides that, do you have any principles? In what other situation would something like this be considered ok? Sure, I don't like paying for Subway sandwiches--they're the worst--but when I have to eat one, I still pay for it because that's what we do in civilized society. It's called being a decent human being.

February 11, 2016 at 10:22AM

Kenneth Merrill

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