Film Festival Uses File Sharing App To Pick Entrants

from the legitimate-uses dept

While the MPAA continues to insist there's really no legitimate use for file sharing apps, it appears that one film festival has decided that it's a great distribution mechanism for finding new films. The Cinequest film festival is asking filmmakers to submit their movies to a file sharing platform where people can view the films and vote for their favorites. The fan favorites for feature-length and short films will be added to the actual festival. The organizer has a few quotes that suggests he understands that piracy isn't the problem the MPAA makes it out to be: "No artists have ever starved because too many people knew about them."


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  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 4:41pm

    Blurring the Issue

    So wish there was a means to punish those who would purposely 'fudge' the truth about things to further their own ends. After all, only the companies that make money by distributing a digital product are in danger from 'rampant file sharing' and the like.

    It isn't just music and movies (RIAA/MPAA) but also software (BSA). For the music and movie industry it is easier to survive than the software industry.

    After all, musicians make the majority of their money (there was a time they made ALL their money) via live performances and concerts. Some artists such as Puff Daddy expand to clothing lines and other industries where they can push their name like a brand (which is why 98% of soda is by the Pepsi or Coca-Cola company).

    For movies, again its about theatrical releases more than DVD/VHS sales. Especially since production costs, which have notoriously gone up, are actually starting to go down without losing quality.

    Take a look at the recent release of Cloverfield. That move cost 25 million USD to make when most others cost easily 100 million. The first weekend of its release it grossed 46 million dollars, nearly doubling the investment. And that was just in the first two days. In a very short amount of time the movie has made back so much more than its cost that they are already talking about a sequel just weeks after its initial release.

    Personally it would make a lot more sense if a studio, be it music or movie, released digital goods for free and if you wanted to buy an 'official' hard copy it would cost you a reasonable ammount. Some people (like me) would rather have an 'official' version rather than a CD burned from their computer. Its part of that whole 'collector' mentality some people get.

    Instead they chose to cripple their own product though. Piss off their target audience as well. Only in 'digital goods' types of businesses does this happen. In any other form of business people would be shaking their heads (like many of the people who read TechDirt or Slashdot) and wondering what the hell was wrong with those people.

    Software is a little bit tougher of a nut to crack. I can only think of payed technical support (see most Linux distros) and even payed updates. With the latter you'd have to have a pretty stable system when you release, but it'd be nice to have one instead of a beta-quality OS or application. Also if it was my company I wouldn't only sell the original release version, I would sell the updated version.

    Before that last bit gets flamed, just remember that you have to pay the programmers SOMEHOW for patching up stuff. Also that doesn't mean tiny hotfixes have to be purchased. Just major updates that improve performance/functionality.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    What is your point, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 4:52pm

    Re: Blurring the Issue

    "It isn't just music and movies (RIAA/MPAA) but also software (BSA). For the music and movie industry it is easier to survive than the software industry." - Nobody ever said otherwise, but in this instance it is only ironic as it pertains to MPAA, cause it is a film festival see....

    "Personally it would make a lot more sense if a studio, be it music or movie, released digital goods for free and if you wanted to buy an 'official' hard copy it would cost you a reasonable amount. Some people (like me) would rather have an 'official' version rather than a CD burned from their computer. Its part of that whole 'collector' mentality some people get." - Isn't this exactly the point that is always argued here on Tech Dirt. This is basically what Mike et. al. are always saying.

     

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  3.  
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    Lucas McDonnell, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 5:43pm

    That tricky software nut.

    "Software is a little bit tougher of a nut to crack. I can only think of payed technical support (see most Linux distros) and even payed updates. With the latter you'd have to have a pretty stable system when you release, but it'd be nice to have one instead of a beta-quality OS or application. Also if it was my company I wouldn't only sell the original release version, I would sell the updated version."

    Well, let me start off by making an ostensibly completely unrelated comment on this. Somebody left a comment on a blog post I wrote a while ago, arguing that Graffitti's slagging of Wordpress in their ads was a brilliant marketing tactic. I had argued that it was stupid to trash your competitors -- and that it makes you look scared and weak (you can read the post and comments if you're so inclined).

    If you think about it, if knocking your competitors allowed you to succeed and make more money, everybody would be doing it. So what does this have to do with what I just quoted at the beginning of this comment you ask?

    Well in this exchange, the commenter made a very valid point: most organizations are very distrustful of free software. They actually want to pay support, guarantees, warranties, service level agreements, etc. This is where organizations and individual users differ.

    I used to be a Hotmail user in the mid-90s. I didn't really know if there was anything better, and didn't really care. Then Gmail came along. It was better, and I switched. Why? Because they're both free -- and as an individual user, there was no reason to stay with something else.

    Software companies will continue to make money off corporate clients who need support, consultants to make things work (or break things), and big fat service level agreement that lets the software company know they better not screw up. Giving software to personal users for free just builds your user base and makes those users want to use the same software at work -- which makes money for software makers.

    Just my two cents.

     

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  4.  
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    Bill Day, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 9:25pm

    Filmmaker's P.O.V.

    As one of the filmmakers participating in the Cinequest online film festival, I have to agree that releasing digitally for free and having an "official dvd" for sale is working for some of us.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2008 @ 2:16am

    I loved that quote: "No artists have ever starved because too many people knew about them."

    good job for the organizers of said Festival.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Darryl, Feb 1st, 2008 @ 7:43am

    Slight correction

    "Take a look at the recent release of Cloverfield. That move cost 25 million USD to make when most others cost easily 100 million. The first weekend of its release it grossed 46 million dollars, nearly doubling the investment. And that was just in the first two days. In a very short amount of time the movie has made back so much more than its cost that they are already talking about a sequel just weeks after its initial release."

    I'm sure it is an amazing film. And I hope the makers make a lot of money. But your comment is a little off the mark IMHO. If it 'actually' cost 25m (there is very little incentive in Hollywood to tell the truth about budgets), then it is highly likely it cost at least that to get the release they have with Prints & Advertising (P&A) spend. So if they grossed 46m, they are likely to be 5m 'under water' still. My own guess it is substantially more. Early success is often a signal for a bigger spend in the hopes of ultimately a bigger return later.

    Otherwise I agree! ;-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2008 @ 6:40am

    RIAA/MPAA is lost in the World of Yester-YEAR!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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