Filmmaker Releases Film Via All Torrent Sites, Says Pay If You Like It

from the piracy,-huh? dept

It looks like yet another filmmaker has realized that obscurity is a much bigger threat than piracy. Matthew Krum lets us know that the makers of the movie BLANK have decided to release the movie on all torrent sites, while also offering up a DVD version and a donation offering on their site. While I'm not a huge fan of give it away and pray business models, you have to like the attitude these filmmakers have:
No one should have to pay for a film they did not like. No one should be denied the right to enjoy the art of film.
And they actually are offering additional benefits for those who pay: access to the same group as they make their next film, allowing them to see the behind-the-scenes filmmaking process in action:
Basically the consumer pays what they think the film was worth to them. They will also have the option to sign up for a newsletter for our next film. In this newsletter there will be a username and password to a web forum so they can follow us through pre production, production and post production of our next film, a cool bonus for those who wish to follow the filmmaking journey from beginning to end first hand.
On top of that, the filmmakers seem to have convinced their whole crew to buy into this process:
The thing that makes this film unique is that it is a co-op based concept where are the entire cast and crew worked on a deferred percentage of the films gross. In other words, the cast and crew own a percentage of the films gross, so the profits are not going to Hollywood executives but instead into the pockets of the filmmakers themselves. Again the objective is to use profits from this film to make another movie and release it in the same manner.
It doesn't look like my type of movie, but if you like these types of movies, go check it out. It's great that they're releasing the movie this way, though I still think they could put in place a few more incentives to get people to actually pay for additional benefits -- similar to what many musicians are doing these days. But, at the very least, this is a great start.


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    Yosi, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 2:42am

    Will not bring millions

    This kind of "business plan" will not bring lot of money for mainstream-type movies.
    Sorry Mike, but with movies you almost missing the point. Releasing mainstream movie this way will not bring any substantial kind of revenue. Not order of magnitude as with current, copyright-based system.

    You see, singers/bands have valuable, tangible resource in their disposal - tours or concerts. Movie makes don't have this luxury. When songs in torrent sites are advertisement for upcoming tours, movies are replacement for DVD. I'm not buying DVD because I know that I can download same movie for free.

    The more tricky point you often miss, is that ditching copyright for movies will have one more unintended consequence: cinema owners will not pay for movies either. Why would they? This is same "tragedy of commons" put in reverse. TV networks will pay for low-budget series, same as today, but don't expect multi-million type blockbusters.

    You may argue that you don't want this kind of movies anyway, but this is very open question.

    Bottom line: if you like Hollywood blockbusters in current format you have to keep some kind of copyright system in place.

     

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      PaulT (profile), Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 3:27am

      Re: Will not bring millions

      Oh, here we go with someone else missing the point... You will notice, of course, that Mike never actually says that this would be a good strategy for every movie, and certainly not the $100 million+ blockbusters. He also does not say anything about "ditching copyright" - copyright is still fully in force, the producers are simply not demanding upfront payment to see the movie.

      There's a huge number of movies being produced right now. So many, in fact, that only a small percentage will ever get a real theatrical run and many will go straight to DVD, or even straight to cable (if they are released at all). This stunt is just a great way to get the movie out there without having to go through the traditional distribution system. By the look of the film, it's a very low budget ($50,000 according to iMDB) effort that might have problems being distributed through "normal" means, so this is a fine way of getting the movie noticed.

       

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        Weird Harold, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 3:45am

        Re: Re: Will not bring millions

        Copyright or no copyright, releasing the movie like this kills off it's value. Nobody commercially will touch it now, it's absolutely toxic.

        I think Mike just listed this one so that if by chance it becomes huge (doubtful) he can point at it and go , "see. I saw it coming!".

        Otherwise, it appears to go exactly against everything Mike preaches.

         

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          PaulT (profile), Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 4:22am

          Re: Re: Re: Will not bring millions

          "Copyright or no copyright, releasing the movie like this kills off it's value. Nobody commercially will touch it now, it's absolutely toxic."

          Maybe you missed what these guys are doing...

          The movie is a micro-budget feature with a listed cost of $50,000. Unless you've got a movie with great reviews and a built-in niche audience, such as with Primer, films like this are dumped unceremoniously on DVD and turn a modest profit if they're lucky.

          The producers of this movie are selling the DVD themselves, so there's no issue of people "touching the movie commercially" - they're doing it themselves anyway. The difference here is the free advertising they're getting.

          I'd never heard of this movie nor the director's previous work. I'll watch the movie and may even check out prior movies. If I like it, I'll either buy the DVD or donate a couple of bucks. Even if I just donate, they've gotten some money with no cost to them (torrent sites take care of distribution costs). All they need is 10,000 people to donate $5 each, and they made their money back. The attention here is just free advertising to do that.

          It's risky, but we're not talking Spiderman 4 here.

          "Otherwise, it appears to go exactly against everything Mike preaches."

          Want to expand on that? Other than the reservations he clearly states in the article itself, why is that?

           

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            steve weiss, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 9:06am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Will not bring millions

            Getting 10,000 people to donate a dollar is hard. It sounds easy but it's not. The key here is that young people which is who know what torrent is will not pay for movies at all. Therefore, you need to tie the film to the sale of products and make your money from the sale of products. Young people need to buy things and you the film placed in the proper on-line store/auction acts as an ad pointer to get people to your on-line store. If it's webisodic, all the better because if brings them back again and again. We discuss this in great detail, watch filmfellas at http://Zacutovideo.com Steve

             

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      Glurbie, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 3:44am

      Re: Will not bring millions

      Masnick's Law in action.

       

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      R. Miles, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 4:03am

      Re: Will not bring millions

      Not order of magnitude as with current, copyright-based system.
      You've got this entirely wrong, Yosi, but it doesn't surprise me.

      Copyright has absolutely nothing to do with this.

      It's about the distribution model, which the movie studios control.

      There is nothing stopping these studios from releasing a movie in theaters and on DVD (and other means) at the same time.

      Nothing.

      Here's a point to give you: The Dark Knight is the second highest grossing movie. It's more than tripled its cost of production.

      So why are studios so bent out of shape due to piracy of this movie? In truth, the movie should be $0.00 to consumers.

      This movie maker is a no-name. Paltry budget, most likely a poor movie, but a new method in distribution.

      Yes, it asks for donations, but everyone has to get their start somewhere.

      You never know. This guy could end up being the next James Cameron.

      But I don't understand why you and Weird Harold continue to bash new tests like this, especially when you both insist we consumers should be controlled to continue over paying for a model that's been dead since ".com" became a household word.

      Sorry, but I disagree with you both. Yes, the days of supporting Britney Spear's excessive mortgage payment is over, but this is offset by finding a new girl, who has real talent, and supporting her music using the new tools of distribution she adapts.

      It's where ~$300 of my money went last year to various artists. Britney didn't get a penny.

       

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        Yosi, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 4:13am

        Re: Re: Will not bring millions

        >> There is nothing stopping these studios from releasing a movie in theaters and on DVD (and other means) at the same time.
        Nothing? Why theater owner would pay for movie if not copyright laws? Why DVD makers will pay?

        >> The Dark Knight is the second highest grossing movie
        Irrelevant: copyright is in place, theater owner have to pay. Where it's supposed to surprise me?

        >> Yes, the days of supporting Britney Spear's
        Irrelevant, again. As I noted already: singers can tour. Movie makers - not really.

         

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          PaulT (profile), Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 4:29am

          Re: Re: Re: Will not bring millions

          What does copyright have to do with showing a movie in a cinema or whether or not the movie is available on-line? I believe you're confused about what copyright is, but I'd be open to an explanation.

          Hint: it's not "copyright infringement" if the copyright owner has granted permission for the movie to be on BitTorrent.

           

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          R. Miles, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 4:31am

          Re: Re: Re: Will not bring millions

          Why theater owner would pay for movie if not copyright laws?
          Do you think theater owners want to pay this licensing fee? Maybe the next time you pay $12 for a soda and popcorn, you'll think about this.

          But you're missing the point: Theater distribution is another business model for the movie industry. It's their "touring".

          You pay to watch. Whether it be a singer or movie, the concept is still the same.

          copyright is in place, theater owner have to pay.
          But theaters aren't copying the movie. They're showing the copy sent to them by the very studio who filmed it.
          Copyright is irrelevant in this discussion. If the theater copied the movie, then we'll discuss copyright.

          singers can tour. Movie makers - not really.
          See above.
          Movie makers have already received their salary when making a movie. That's why they work for a production studio (not the same as a movie studio).

          When the producers get together to make the next installment of the Batman movie, do you think any damn person working on the film does it for free?

          Of course not. They'll work from the cash derived from The Dark Knight.

          You should learn how these industries work instead of assuming everyone works for free, then gets paid after plastic disks are sold.

          That's now how it works. Not yesterday. Not today. And certainly not tomorrow.

           

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            Yosi, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 4:45am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Will not bring millions

            Here we come, slashdot arguments.

            >> Do you think theater owners want to pay this licensing fee? Maybe the next time you pay $12 for a soda and popcorn, you'll think about this.
            You somehow missed the why to PAY part, not "why running the theater". If cinema owner can simply COPY the movie (and then charge you $12 for soda) why would he pay for some "license"?!

            Rest of your comments is same kind of nonsense.

             

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              R. Miles, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 5:15am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Will not bring millions

              If cinema owner can simply COPY the movie (and then charge you $12 for soda) why would he pay for some "license"?!
              Do you really think a cinema owner would do this if no licensing fee was included?

              This would put the cinema out of business in a heartbeat.

              Ticket prices only covers some of the cost of the licensing fee. A cinema's revenue is extremely small when compared to the fees an owner has to pay out.

              You tend to forget about the value people place in movies. If movie "X" is more popular than movie "Y", it matters not when the licensing fee to both movies is the same.

              For the record: Many cinemas are now adapting the DLP projection system for a much cheaper distribution model, where cinemas can download the movie and play it.

              This reduces the cost of producing film from the movie studio.

              But you want to bet our costs won't go down?

              I don't dispute the argument you and Weird Harold have about making up money after work is done. We all get it.

              But what you two ignorant people don't get is that consumers are getting tired of paying outrageous prices for this content.

              There's a huge difference between paying to offset costs vs. paying so that those involved can make more money these consumers will never see in their lifetime.

              I'm sorry if you think artists deserve millions of dollars for their "work". That's simply bullshit thinking.

              Every day, millions get up to go to work because their services are requested by a customer through a business. If you were to walk in to your boss and say you want a bigger paycheck, plus royalties, your ass would be fired on the spot.

              So why the hell should customers pay this model to other working people?

              What, because they can sing, write, or film?

              Tell you what: When these artists pay me royalties to ensure their medical record information is correct, then I'll agree to their system.

               

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                Yosi, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 6:25am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Will not bring millions

                >> If cinema owner can simply COPY the movie (and then charge you $12 for soda) why would he pay for some "license"?!
                Do you really think a cinema owner would do this if no licensing fee was included?
                >>
                >> This would put the cinema out of business in a heartbeat.

                "Why?" Is obvious question to ask. Without copyright in place, this would be legal. So, why pay?

                Stopped reading after that. Author need to wake up.

                 

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                  eclecticdave (profile), Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 6:56am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Will not bring millions

                  > "Why?" Is obvious question to ask. Without copyright in place, this would be legal. So, why pay?

                  Yosi, you're right - cinema owners could just get the movie for free, and without copyright it would indeed be legal to do so.

                  However if by doing this the cinema owner knew he was helping to put the filmmakers out of business - meaning that sooner or later there would be no new films to show to his customers - that would be a fairly short-sighted attitude to take for some who (presumably) wants to stay in business themselves, don't you think?

                   

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                    Yosi, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 7:19am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Will not bring millions

                    >> However if by doing this the cinema owner knew he was helping ...
                    Ah, kindness-of-stranger is now became "business model"?!

                    >> wants to stay in business themselves, don't you think?
                    No. This dilemma is called "tragedy of commons". Look it up how good it works.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 2:32pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Will not bring millions

                      Are you ever going to man up and actually reply with something that has any substance and meaning, or are you going to continue being a twat that can't explain your position in a straight conversation and discussion? You're more worthless than Weird Harold.

                       

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                      Eclecticdave (profile), Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 5:46pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Will not bring millions

                      The Tragedy of the Commons is an essay describing the theoretical over-use of a common resource by selfish short-sighted users.

                      It is not a description of what will always or inevitably happen to a common resource, but rather is a warning of what *can* happen if people only think in the short term and fail to take their long term considerations into account.

                       

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                u suk, Oct 29th, 2009 @ 1:34am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Will not bring millions

                Noone's going to pay you royalties for whatever bullshit, middling service you provide within the beuracratic framework you work in, because, ultimately a monkey could do it if you trained it for 6-9 months. Once you manage to shoot an action sequence like Bay, Greengrass or Scott, produce a beat like Kanye West or DJ Drama or act like Leonardo Dicaprio, you have every right to get on any soapbox you wish, but as it stands, you have absolutely no scope on popular culture and its value whatsoever. Also, while you work 9-5 in your cubicle, these people invest their entire lives in their work, they work harder than you EVER could. Just so you know.

                 

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      Bill, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 4:54am

      Re: Will not bring millions

      Yosi, you should learn to read. If you did, you would notice that NOT ONCE did Mike mention anything to do with copyright.

      The point, made clear in the very first sentence to anyone who can read, is that there's more value in name recognition than in income from such a low-budget obscure flick.

      Films like these only make it to DVD if the filmmaker pays to put them on DVD. They only see widespread distribution if the filmmaker greases numerous palms or they win recognition or acclaim at a film-festival. They only break even or make money if they get seen.

      This filmmaker is chancing that, if he follows this model and talks it up as such an experiment, he'll get tens or hundreds of thousands of more eyes on his film. He's chancing that the added exposure will get his film seen by more viewers. He's chancing that this move will help his film will be seen by someone in the industry that counts. He's chancing that the 1% of torrent viewers who come back to contribute will be a much larger number than the 100% who would've bought an unknown, low-budget, flick to begin with. For this guy it's obvious that the greatest value of his film is as a vehicle to illustrate his talents. It's a resume that he hopes to break even on and get a better job from.

      Mike even indicated that he wasn't a fan of the limited incentives for purchase.

      Learn to read.

       

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      Kamaka, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 5:40am

      Re: Will not bring millions

      Yosi, I'm assuming this is going to sound crazy to you, but sometimes....it's not always about making money *gasp*!!! As it's already been stated, the budget for the film was very low. These guys know they aren't going to get picked up commercially with this film. HOWEVER, if they can generate market buzz and actually create a fan following then their next movie will get commercial backing. It's called marketing! I know, kind of a new concept to actually market yourself without paying a production agency a bunch of money, but the truth is with internet explosions of viral marketing campaigns and self promoted campaigns like lonelygirl it is now a very viable option.

      ...Now on to the rest of your inane ramblings:
      *Mike never said blockbuster movies should use this method.
      *He also said nothing about copyrights.
      *Movie theatres create an experience, every blockbuster movie is available online before it comes out so don't sit here and tell me "exclusivity" matters for movies. I go to see the movie on the 50 foot tall screen and enjoy the sound with my friends, I'd do the same for a low-budget movie if it was good.
      *Another point, the film maker said "no one should be denied the right to enjoy the art of film". Once again, it's not always about money.

       

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        Weird Harold, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 5:58am

        Re: Re: Will not bring millions

        it isn't always about making money, but at some point, it has to be about making some money, or there is nothing there to make the next movie with. Nobody will be denied the "art of film" this time around, but perhaps there will be no next time as a result?

        I know the old saw around here, "it's promotion and exposure". It's all fine, but it's also a way to devalue your work. If it's free this time, why isn't it free next time too? Helping the market establish that there is no monetary value for your work is a good way to lose all it's true value. Imagine the comments: "This guy makes free movies". "I would only see his movies if they are free."

        Somewhere along the line, giving away the whole store isn't promotional anymore, it's just dumb.

         

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          Chronno S. Trigger, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 6:25am

          Re: Re: Re: Will not bring millions

          "Imagine the comments: "This guy makes free movies". "I would only see his movies if they are free.""

          Chances are the people who would say that wouldn't pay anyways. Those people aren't the target market (and don't qualify as a lost sale.) The people who want the extras (I like commentaries personally), the people who will pay to get another movie out of the filmmaker are the ones that this guy is targeting.

          He has two choices:
          1) release exclusively on a DVD to a vary limited market because he can't pay to make millions of DVDs let alone spread them around the nation/world
          2) Release them on P2P and target a much wider market by reducing his distribution costs to $0 (and at this point it is $0 he could stop seeding and it will still be out there).

          The way he chose will allow many more people to see the movie and increase the chances of more people getting the DVD or donating.

          If this movie was released in the standard MPAA method and I saw this on the shelf I would just pass over it without a second glance just like I do with hundreds of DVDs. This way, I have a chance to watch it and decide if I like it or not and chose to pay accordingly. That's one more person that is more likely to pay than before.

          No, this probably won't be making the millions but that's because far too many people think that since it's independent it must be crap. Far too many people think that since there aren't $20million in special effects it must be crap.

           

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          Art, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 6:58am

          Re: Re: Re: Will not bring millions

          But for this film, and this filmaker, the point where it's about making money isn't now. The film has an insignificant commerical value.

          It does have great value though, great value as a vehicle to showcase the the talents of the writers, the directors, the actors, and so on. It's both a resume and a source of resume experience for the entire cast and crew. Unseen and unheard of that value is very low too, but the more widely distributed it becomes the greater its value grows. If it's seen by the right person(s) in the business then it could provide the "big break" for one or more of the cast or crew, it could mean future financing, it could mean future projects. Oh, and yes, if it's a good enough film it could increase it's commercial value and even lead to a DVD distribution, a cable deal, or even a small release in theaters.

          That is not, in any shape or form, devaluing your work. That is far and above what the very vast majority of independent filmmakers ever achieve for their works. For a film like this, one that usually loses money while serving as a resume vehicle, these tactics allow for a much greater potential to break even and even earn a small profit.

          You did get one thing right though, somewhere along the line giving away the whole store isn't promotional. That point is so far along the line from here that it can't be seen.

          So, how about you quit acting the ignorant fool and stop pretending that one free lunch leads to giving everyone a lifetime of free everything.

           

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        Yosi, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 6:40am

        Re: Re: Will not bring millions

        >> Yosi, I'm assuming this is going to sound crazy to you, but sometimes....it's not always about making money *gasp*!!!

        Yea, riiiight. But someone gonna pay expenses bill.

        >> *Mike never said blockbuster movies should use this method.
        Ah, sorry. So this is only good for movies nobody-want-to-see-anyway? Good point.

        >> no one should be denied the right to enjoy the art of film
        Do whatever you want with your own money. But mine are not gonna sponsor Pirate Bay

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 8:23am

          Re: Re: Re: Will not bring millions

          You can't even write coherent English why does anyone assume you can read it. And how are you supporting The Pirate Bay by giving money to this filmmaker for the movie he made? Hell, it's more than likely "pirate bay" isn't even used, I know I hardly ever use it. Unless you're one of the retards that actually click those pr0n banner ad's on those sites. I've never seen someone with so little clue try to continue on arguing a point when they make so little sense. It's quite amusing.

           

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            Yosi, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 8:44am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Will not bring millions

            Yes, I can't "write coherent English" because not everyone is native English speaker. I can speak/read/write on 4 languages. Can you?
            American arrogance at work.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 2:51pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Will not bring millions

              Doesn't make you any less of an idiot.

               

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                Yosi, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 12:34am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Will not bring millions

                Oh, that kind of argument IS international!

                 

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                  get a rosetta stone, Oct 29th, 2009 @ 1:43am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Will not bring millions

                  honestly, your wimpy resentment of Americans is really passe. Since WWII, we have been the force of progress (technological, cultural, social, economic) that everyone else in the world envies and emulates. Talking shit about Americans just sounds like your burning insecurity screaming from the depths of yr ignorant soul.

                   

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 2:45am

    Mike, you scare me sometimes

     

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    lulz, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 4:12am

    People complaining about this distribution model are missing the point. It's not about making the most profit; let's be honest here, most people will torrent this movie and run. The point is to stir up some buzz about the project and just get people to see the film.

     

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    Movie Guy, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 4:37am

    Saw the trailer before commenting. It actually looks better than some movies that have been at theaters. Am going to dl tonight. Will post review after I watch.

     

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    NullOp, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 5:31am

    Kidding, right?

    Movie making is an expensive business. Business models that rely on the "goodness of strangers" are simply doomed. The entire movie industry is based on "lots of money" because flops are so expensive. Nice thought though!

     

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    hegemon13, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 6:43am

    Yikes

    I hope the person who wrote the synopsis on the Web page is not the same person who wrote the movie. I don't think there is a single grammatically correct sentence on the page. The plot sound like a mess, and unless the director is a Guy Ritchie-esque prodigy, I doubt he/she will be able to pull it off.

    All the same, I like the distribution idea, so I might check it out. Maybe it will surprise me! It is nice to see someone try a new approach instead of letting some third-rate distributor dump it to DVD and keep 95% of the profits. Hopefully, they are promoting themselves through the torrent sites, as well. If they can become a featured torrent and have their business model announced on torrent site home pages, they will get tons of downloads. More downloads are more potential buyers and donors. I think the torrent community is likely to be highly supportive of their business model, and they are likely to get donations from people who don't like the movie, or don't even watch the movie, just to support the novelty of their model.

     

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    Easily Amused, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 7:06am

    First of all, where do you guys get off condemning this experiment? Do you have a stake in the movie?

    This isn't a studio property wrenched from the claws of the corporation and given away Robin Hood style. These filmmakers created this from the beginning with this kind of release in the plan. All of the players, editors, grips and so on are on board and are hoping to get a return on their investment of time, labor, and art. If they get exactly ZERO dollars back then they will have paid $50,000 (and their time) to get their resume in front of millions of people.

    If the film is enjoyed by enough people who decide it is worth purchasing (to show their friends and family who maybe aren't up on P2P, or just to support the crew), it will create even more buzz. Possibly enough to get the film in a festival, to be reviewed by big names and bloggers alike. I am actually betting that there are enough film buffs out there that will pay just to have access to the inner workings of the next film. Look at how popular the behind-the-scenes featurettes are on commercial DVDs... And those are generally just glossing over the highlights and bloopers of the process, not really documenting the hardships and compromises.

    If it totally fails, then you jerks can crow all you want about it being a stupid idea. But you know what? It still won't change anything about how outdated and wasteful the currently dominant distribution system is. This is an experiment, one of many such feelers being sent out to find a new and better way. Many (if not most) of these innovative business models will not deliver much return on the original investment, but the ones that do work will be adopted by many.

    Also- apparently Mike says lots of things you don't agree with... there is no need to put words in his mouth. Unless you are just trolling, that is.

     

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      Yosi, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 7:31am

      Re:

      Because Mike bring this experiment as example of business model for movie industry, that's why.

      While it's OK to create something not-for-money (amusingly I'm programming one of major P2P programs in spare time), this example is off target.

       

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        Booger, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 8:24am

        Re: Re:

        No, Mike did not bring this experiment as an example of a business model for the movie industry.

        Mike pointed out that this ONE filmmaker was trying this experiment.

        Mike pointed out that, in this ONE limited circumstance, this experiment had potential to bring the filmmaker what he was after.

        Mike DISAGREED in part with the method, saying he didn't believe there were enough incentives to achieve some income (a PART of the goal).

        Yet, somehow, you read all that and decided that Mike claims all movies everywhere anymore should be made and released this way. Good god man, pull your head out of Harold's butt, wipe the sh*t out of your eyes, and try reading for a change.

         

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    :Lobo Santo, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 7:29am

    I'd like to counter Weird Harold's inane illustration of doltishness, but all the relevant points seem to have been covered. Gracias everybody.

     

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    RD, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 9:16am

    Another for WH

    "While I'm not a huge fan of give it away and pray business models..."

    You can also stuff THIS one up your a-hole Weird Harold, since you have been accusing Mike and everyone here of "giving everything away" as a business model.

     

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    Jon L (profile), Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 10:37am

    Let's talk margins though

    One thing I think a lot of people miss here is a discussion of the margins.

    I know this, firsthand, because I've been through it twice with indie films I've produced AND SOLD to distributors.

    At $50k in costs, the 10,000 x $5 is right on for breakeven. BUT, you as a producer do have to be savvy enough to build a good website (), and do things that REALLY do add value to your IP (if it's any good to start with). Why not some signed copies? Signed scripts? Dinner with the cast & crew? Some of the very things Mike's talked about a million times (Reason to Buy).

    Anyway, I digress. Let's talk profits. One of my films we made and delivered for just about $100k, including all the fully QC'd HD masters, etc. for sales all over the world. Our shoot itself was just under $60k, post production (mixing, color correction, HD mastering) ate up the rest of that. That's stuff that largely you can't get for free.

    The film has now (4 years later) done some $300K worth of worldwide sales.

    HOWEVER, the simple act of selling it to a distributor (and this is a reputable distrib, who's been timely and accurate with their royalty statements to us), has so far meant that we've seen less than $60k returned to us.

    Their "marketing" costs, the overhead that they charge back against our film, and their "distribution costs" have been approximately $240,000.

    Now, would our film have generated that much in sales without their work? Likely not. Is their work worth 2.4x more than our film cost to make. I would say "no."

    Unfortunately, there's no way for us to know without having tried it (though I might try it with my first film, if & when the distrib rights expire with it's current distrib).

    But the bottom line is, with good marketing (and you don't NEED a studio marketing department to do this - you just have to put in the work yourself *gasp*!) and a savvy handle on adding value, a $100k in film sales could be a very profitable venture for a $50k film. In our case, a $100k film with $300k in sales is still *unprofitable* for the filmmakers - and that's too bad.

    I definitely look forward to an era where independent producers can take direct responsibility for the margins on their products.

     

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    Jon L, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 10:42am

    SORRY!

    I neglected to "Preview" before submitting, and I have some BAD tags in there...

    Apologies to everyone... hopefully I can edit or resubmit?

     

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      Weird Harold, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 11:33am

      Re: SORRY!

      Jon, imagine if you had done all those things PLUS had a distributor. It isn't either / or here, you can still have a great website, you can still release great trailers, you can still talk up your movie, you can still entire it in film festivals, you can still issue press releases, make special box sets, have dinner with the crew and all that, plus have the advantage of wide distribution.

      at $300,000 of sales, you have done well, around 100,000 copies. That is damn good for an indy film. Plus it underlines another problem of Mike's logic: Without the distributor, you might have made more than 60k, but you likely would have sold fewer copies. So doing it yourself would have gotten you a poorer exposure, which in turn would make your next movie harder to sell. If it's all about people actually seeing and enjoying your movie (and wanting it enough to buy it) then 100,000 sales is better than 10,000 sales, no?

      Of course, you could give it away for nothing and hope someone pays you, but I doubt then you would even see 10,000 sales, and it is unlikley any distributor would want to deal with.

       

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        Easily Amused, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 3:05pm

        Re: Re: SORRY!

        umm... no

        I know you have reading comprehension issues, but I'll try to keep it simple... when you sell the distribution rights, YOU HAVE SOLD THE DISTRIBUTION RIGHTS. You don't get to go around doing their job for them. Not only is it costly for you, but don't have the legal rights to do so.

        It's also quite amusing that in this case you find it okay for the creator to take a loss in the name of promotion, but anywhere else we mention it you start frothing like a rabid dog. The only difference here is that the distributor nets a handy profit- and they are the only ones who do.

         

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        minijedimaster, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 3:53pm

        Re: Re: SORRY!

        Plus it underlines another problem of Mike's logic: Without the distributor, you might have made more than 60k, but you likely would have sold fewer copies. So doing it yourself would have gotten you a poorer exposure, which in turn would make your next movie harder to sell.


        Not using a distributor != poorer exposure. If anything, using something like a torrent method would garner much greater exposure. It took me all of 14ms to figure that out on my own, why is it so hard for you to understand??

         

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    RD, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 12:55pm

    Ok, thats it...

    "Of course, you could give it away for nothing and hope someone pays you, but I doubt then you would even see 10,000 sales, and it is unlikley any distributor would want to deal with."

    All right, time to unleash the beast on WH.

    FUCK

    YOU

    IDIOT.

    NO ONE here, not even Mike, advocates just giving the entire thing away and PRAYING for sales. Thats YOUR GOD DAMN INTERPRETATION of "using Free as a PART OF your business model." I even pointed this out in another article, where Mike said right out he is not a fan of "free and pray", and being the blowhard that you are, you ignored and didnt respond to. But then I'd expect no less from someone who has been shown to be a hypocritical windbag mouthpiece for a dying industry by putting words in people's mouths and
    misrepresenting the ideas presented in order to create strawman arguments to support his "interpretation" that has on numerous occasions been shown to be grossly out of touch with reality.

     

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    redrum, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 5:23am

    the movie was good

    If you like violence, this is a cool flick. It was well acted. Lots of blood. The psyco couple was sick and there was a surprising twist at the end. I donated, but since I'm broke I only gave $4.

     

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