Movie Critic To Movie Industry: Wake Up, Start Giving Consumers What They Want

from the exactly dept

We're seeing a ton of bogus claims coming out of the UK lately about how movie piracy is somehow destroying the industry. So it's good to see not everyone is buying into these false statements. Gavin King points us to a great rant by Mark Kermode, a well known film critic in the UK who points out that piracy isn't a consumer problem, but an industry problem, because the industry still treats everyone like criminals (such as taking away mobile phones from viewers, not that anyone can film a whole movie on their phone) and refuses to give them what they want.
As an example of doing things the right way, he talks about a recent film in the UK that did a "day and date" release, launching the film in theaters, DVD, pay-per-view and online all on the same day, letting people decide for themselves how, when and where they wanted to see the film. Unfortunately, when they tried that here in the US, the theaters revolted, refusing to show the film. Still, if we start seeing more successes when that's done, eventually, the theaters will have to cave in, and focus on what's always worked for theaters: making the overall experience better.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    iMe, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 2:43pm

    I agree with this video

     

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  2.  
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    BOBJENZ, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 2:46pm

    Arclight In Los Angeles

    I pay extra to go see movies at the Arclight because it's worth it. I get to choose my seats, the screens are top notch, I love it. But I wouldn't go there to see a "small" movie, i.e. an oscar contender drama. I'd rather pay $10 on pay per view to watch it at home on its release date. Wish they would do that.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 3:10pm

    I wanted to send the critic's video via email to the MPAA. When I tried, I discovered that their "contact us" (http://www.mpaa.org/AboutUsContactUs.asp) page doesn't even include a comments or email page. How consumer unfriendly can they get? I guess they really don't care what consumers have to say.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 3:16pm

    The following is from the MPAA Anti-piracy webpage (http://www.mpaa.org/piracy.asp) "Movie pirates are thieves, plain and simple. Piracy is the unauthorized taking, copying or use of copyrighted materials without permission. It is no different from stealing another person's shoes or stereo, except sometimes it can be a lot more damaging. Piracy is committed in many ways, including Internet piracy, copying and distribution of discs, broadcasts, and even public performances. Downloading movies without the authorization of copyright holders is a growing international phenomenon, and it has serious consequences." The worst part of this quote is the claim that copying or using copyrighted materials with permission is like stealing a person's shoes. Funny, but if I steal your shoes, you won't be able to view, wear, or smell them. But, if I copy a movie you own, you can still view, hold, smell, etc. your movie. Doesn't seem to me that they are the same thing, at all.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 3:23pm

    Freestyle Rapping for charities

    I dunno.. A title of "MPAA should quit being so gay" kinda works, maybe it can be a new hit rap single! Feel free to elaborate;

    Something-something burning the cash!
    Something-something shoved up their ass!

     

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  6.  
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    RD, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 3:36pm

    Tw*ttards

    "Piracy is the unauthorized taking, copying or use of copyrighted materials without permission. "

    Oh good, then those guys that attacked that ship will be relieved to know they arent Pirates, since no copying of copyrighted material was involved, only rape and murder and the stealing of actual, physical items under threat of death.

    Is it any wonder so many people, not even us geeks, think the *IAA are out of touch with reality?

    Morons.

     

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  7.  
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    DJ, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 3:45pm

    Re:

    "...you can still view, hold, smell, etc..."

    If you steal my identity, it's still mine, you're just using it without authorization. So, to a degree, I understand their point. If it's against the law (aka illegal), there's no gray area; it's illegal, end of story.

    The problem is the fact that it IS illegal. Like King said, it's an industry problem. If the industry changes what they allow, then the law can stay the same and everyone moves on.

    Back in the day, when a kid jumped over your white picket fence because it was a shortcut to the ball field, the worst you did was yell at him. If he kept it up YOU made a change to make both of you happy.
    In the 80's/90's, the fist time that kid jumped the fence, you sued him for assault on helpless lifeforms (grass), and then you sued the parents for negligence.
    Nowadays you sue the fence manufacturer for not making the fence high enough, and the painter for not using scuff-proof paint, and the contractor for not recommending chain-link.........

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 4:52pm

    Re: Re:

    It isn't PIRACY of identity however.

     

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    Basically don't give a *%#&, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 5:12pm

    An Industry problem is an understatement

    I recall some 10 years ago a couple friends of mine where in film school. These friends had their own friends in Hollywood that was part of a casting agency. This is important to understanding where our Piracy stems from (Not all but some). I got a call to come over and watch a new film they had been talking about. From the conversation I took this to be one of their projects and agreed to come by their apartment and which the flick. Turned out to be The Blair Witch Project, however I was told this film had not yet been released and since we were watching a screening version the reel time and dates for editing and a watermark in the center of the screen would remain the entire movie. Point I'm making here is that these guys had an industry insider give them a copy, that casting agency undoubtably got a copy from someone on the crew. Although Hollywood and their bunch want to claim the "consumer" is the thief. They are basically the one f'n themselves. What happens is that crew members and others working on the films get copies before they are sent out for cinema. They take the copy home and call up all their friends, "Guys I just finished working the editing on Wolverine Come on by and we will all watch it on my big screen TV before it hits the theater." Don't tell me that conversation has never happened! Friends show up, one asks for a copy and blam next day its out on the internet spreading like a virus from Mexico. So where was the break down in the system? Hollywood's own employee's. Now I completely agree with this video, give me options. If I want the theater experience I will pay for it. If its a drama without visual intensity and doesn't require a big screen to enjoy the story; well then I may want to snuggle up at home with the wife and watch this new movie there.

     

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    spaceman spiff, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 8:35pm

    As my sister would say, that is brill! Unfortunately, I doubt that anyone at the MPAA is going to see or listen to this fellow.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Apr 30th, 2009 @ 12:55am

    Kermode's a great critic, very passionate and often very clear on what makes a good movie. One of the few critics who will not only speak his mind but also have no problem trashing a major movie if he feels it's lacking, and also regularly points out problems with the industry from a moviegoer's point of view (for example, he's recently railing against the tendency to charge extra for 3D glasses even though the industry claims they want every film to be in 3D eventually).

    Anyway, it's interesting that Mum & Dad was brought up in this discussion, especially as the producers made money from me with that tactic. I missed the movie at Frightfest in London last year, but a lot of people talked about it very favourably. As I don't live in the UK at the moment, so I could not see the movie at the cinema when it was released. If there had been the traditional 3-6 month wait following the theatrical release, I may not have bothered seeing it until it was on TV (I get UK satellite TV). However, the simultaneous DVD release meant that I could order a copy fairly cheaply online and watch the movie while it was fresh in my mind. So, they made £10-ish from me whereas a traditional release schedule may have earned £0.

    That should be the lesson for Hollywood. There's so many different ways to obtain media nowadays that it makes no sense to try to force people to view it in the way you happen to prefer. Give people the choice, make the options that are more profitable to you more attractive, and you will make money. Use a combination of draconian "protections" to try and force people to go to the cinema then DVD then TV, all in different countires at different times, and you only make the pirated options more attractive than the "real" thing.

     

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    Nojunk454, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 4:50am

    I've never heard of the critic in that video before, but he has my respect. Now if we could just get the studios to listen. It also makes me laugh when they say 3d is the wave of the future for movies. It failed way back in the day and although the tech has improved, I don't see it catching on any time soon. I went to the consumer electronic show this year, I looked at what they had to offer in 3d technology and although it was interesting, I don't want to sit in a theater having to wear glasses for a half-assed 3d experience. I'll wait for it to come out on netflix where I'm not getting shafted on the viewing price and I don't have to spend a fortune to get a soda.

     

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    KGWagner (profile), Apr 30th, 2009 @ 8:00am

    Theaters have little room to improve

    "...the theaters will have to cave in, and focus on what's always worked for theaters: making the overall experience better."

    That's a good idea, but I'm not sure what more they can do. As it is, the theater-going experience has become miserable, time-consuming, restrictive, and expensive. There isn't space here to go into all the reasons I say that, but it should be considered that it's not that difficult to have a good theater experience in the home these days.


    For what a "night at the movies" can cost these days, it doesn't take long to justify some pretty nice home theater audio/video equipment. Then you don't have to deal with driving, parking, crowds, noise, social and behavioral restrictions, and exorbitant costs.


    What can theaters do to improve that whole situation? They can't remove travel time/cost. They can't (effectively) control the crowds or noise, except through social and behavioral restrictions that make you uncomfortable yourself. Their costs are sky-high because Hollywood wants so much for licensing and the theater still has to light, heat, and equip the place, so they have to charge $5 for $.05 worth of popcorn.


    I think the theater may be a dying breed. Outside the truly unique experience like IMAX, how can anyone justify seeing a standard movie at a theater? I know I can't. It'll be a cold day in hell before I ever go to a theater to see something again.

     

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    Sharonsj, May 11th, 2009 @ 10:38am

    movie quality

    I see no discussion here about the quality of movies, which accounts for their often dismal showings, not piracy. Most movies seem to be made for adolescent boys. That audience is unconcerned about character development and motivation, and whether a story is logical or just plain stupid. Just give them car crashes, slicing and dicing, and boobs, and they'll be happy.

     

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  15.  
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    Dr. ER, Oct 22nd, 2011 @ 9:15am

    Movie Industry Bias

    With the new repetition of rated R movies showing the male penis in broad daylight for a duration of at least 5 seconds, why the hell are they not showing the equivalence of female vagina open? This is is true equivalence!
    The open vagina opened shows shape like the male penis, yet society only allows the male penis to be visualized by teens and children on our television. They have made a mockery of the male body parts. Either show both or none at all! I'm sick of being surprised with male genitals and them flashing a boob. This is nowhere close to equality.
    The whole rule about being erect is stupid. The movie Hall pass... the guy was fresh from being erect. ??? More and more men, yet not one of these regular new movies showing the female vagina open, and close up in daylight.

     

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