Law firm will fight illegal downloadin of your movie for free

L.I.F.E.

Member
Sonnyboo, I understand business, and investments. I've been doing it since I was 10. I also understand where your coming from, if someone pirated something that I had money in I'd want the money back. What I do not understand is you going for $1500-2500. Thats quite an inflation which I do not in any way shape or form find to be ethical. I know what the law says up to $250,000 but I'm pretty sure thats only for people that have profited from the illegal distribution of copyrighted media. If someone stole your DVD sales go charge them $50 for lost wages and stress or whatever you want to call it. Even $100 you'd still have my blessing. My problem is charging some 16 year old kids parents, or anyone else a highly inflated sum for the $10-20 movie they "stole".

I say "stole" because in a few years I feel like the rules are going to change drastically because pirating is so common place and it is here to stay.


EDIT: Thats juts my 2 cents. Everyone has their own opinion. I do not have any ill feelings toward you sonny, just disagree.
 

sonnyboo

Member
I say "stole" because in a few years I feel like the rules are going to change drastically because pirating is so common place and it is here to stay.


EDIT: Thats juts my 2 cents. Everyone has their own opinion. I do not have any ill feelings toward you sonny, just disagree.

Similarly, I have no ill will towards anyone who disagrees, but Internet piracy is theft and just because it is rampant and out of control does not make it right. I do not believe it is here to stay. Piracy will get stemmed at some point, but the cost will be that the Internet will soon be completely regulated by the government. The cost will be an amount of freedom of speech.

This is speculation and no one can truly predict the future. As for the dollar amounts, this is purely subjective and people are breaking the law and it seems completely justified to me. I just don't see people getting hit for $100 being any kind of realistic way to get them to stop pirating things. It just becomes an acceptable risk to think you may or may not get caught and then why not keep doing it? If they get tagged for $1,000 I find it incredibly unlikely anyone who gets caught will risk downloading again.
 

M1chae1

Member
Who is "we"? Certainly "we" is not indie filmmakers. No "Joe Indie Filmmaker" is getting theatrical distribution.

50% of the big studio's profits are from DVD sales. So if we're at the point that we are supposed to concede our DVD sales because it's politically incorrect to fight theft, we have lost our minds.
You didn't read my post properly...I said 'four walling' select theaters. You don't need a bunch of money for that. You rent a theater out for one or two shows Friday and/or Saturday. You don't even need a huge theater...in fact, the indie theaters are sometimes better suited for indie films, and they will come cheaper (sometimes).

Theatrical distribution is something else entirely.
 

M1chae1

Member
Do the math on four walling - you have to spend a few hundred dollars to rent the theater - average $200 (which is low, as places like New York movie theater screens are several THOUSAND dollars for a single screening). At the stated $9 per ticket, you have to sell 22 tickets to cover the cost. If you want to have even 3 people show up and buy tickets you have to advertise, that costs more money. Even guerrilla marketing costs some money. So if you sell 100 tickets at $9 each, you make about $700 whole dollars, not including any kind of marketing costs or the expenses of travel and food per person from the film to accompany the film. So even if by some miracle you sell 100 tickets at each show 25 times, you will make $17,500 (still not including any kind of travel, food, or promotional expenses). If your budget of your film was even at $50,000, nonetheless 10 times that, you aren't going to compensate for the loss of revenue from DVD sales to pirating or other changes in distribution from four walling. Plus the likelihood of selling a hundred tickets at each show is being overly optimistic (which is an understatement), as in that would be sold out shows for a movie with no name stars in cities that have nothing to do with the movie at hand with no press or reason for people to see the movie.

Four walling is nothing like the profitability of touring for a musician who can make hundreds of thousands of dollars playing mid level venues. The similarities are metaphorical, not financial.
Dude, I wasn't lying when I said we've (several times) paid off our entire budget with a weekend of screenings (four showings). Is there something wrong with my math? Yes, they have to be successful shows...a few sell-outs...but make a good movie and drum up interest locally, and you should be able to do that.

Advertising at this level doesn't cost much money...you can get lobby cards or flyers for very cheap--a thousand high quality prints on thick stock for a few hundred bucks. Take these and blanket your surrounding area. You can also blanket the hell out of social networks like Facebook--that's totally free, and it can bring in hundreds of people.

Please understand, my method here is not to get rich or fund your next big budget film...this is for micro budget fare. Our last few films cost under $10K...much different than your budgets Sonny. But as I said above, you're in the 'in between' zone...which is dangerous, and is much harder to profit from. Micro budgets can profit easily if you have the right product and network...big budgets profit because of marketing and 'names'...the 'in between' group is a tough gamble.
 
Last edited:

TheBuck

Member
Sonnyboo you can have a war piracy and by you I mean everyone but it will go the way of the war on drugs. you know the thing that has been going on since what the 70s? With more and more things happening digitally the only way that piracy will stop is for someone to make and uncrackable protection code lets face it if 128bit isnt enough to stop an at the time 7yr old 700mgz pc from braking a 128bit password there is no way at the very least within our lifetimes that piracy will ever end.
 

sonnyboo

Member
Please understand, my method here is not to get rich or fund your next big budget film...this is for micro budget fare. Our last few films cost under $10K...much different than your budgets Sonny. But as I said above, you're in the 'in between' zone...which is dangerous, and is much harder to profit from. Micro budgets can profit easily if you have the right product and network...big budgets profit because of marketing and 'names'...the 'in between' group is a tough gamble.
This is very true. I think for microbudgeted features, fourwalling is a fantastic idea and does make money if marketed and hits a niche audience, etc. I would never say not to do it at all, but you are 100% right in that the "in between" features, and more importantly, for people trying to make a living at making movies, it cannot pay back the budget or help make a livable salary.



I might not win a war on piracy, but I sure don't mind making a several thousand dollars off of the pirates....
 
Id love to pop the hood on Sonny's computer. I'd bet my life he pirated a song, image or something in one shape or another...

...

I bet if your movie was successful and made a lot of money regardless of the foreign market dropping the dvd deal or whatever... I bet if your movie was successful dollar wise and made a decent return you wouldn't think TWICE about TRYING to go after people who pirated your movie. It seems this is a last resort type of thing... You aren't and didn't make money off the film, so you're milking this whole thing to bring in some money.

I say suck it up. Deal with it. Move on and make a good movie that people will purchase and be done with it...

Less Crying more Trying!
 

sonnyboo

Member
I am not at liberty to discuss the exact dollars of HORRORS OF WAR, but we sold a lot of worldwide territories. We sold UK, Belgium-Netherlands-Luxembourg, Poland, Germany, Thailand, North America, and Japan for DVD. Your guess is not correct, as in we made money on this movie. We could have made more money if it hadn't been bootlegged online. So I'll make some of that money back from pirates, a few grand at a time.

Again, I cannot stress this enough - making a good movie does not mean people will buy it. Selling a movie in a lot of ways has nothing to do with whether or not it is good or bad. A movie can suck entirely but make sales because they have a D-list star in it that's popular in Australia. Then you can have the most incredibly well made, perfect movie with no name stars and no one will buy it because, duh, it has no name stars.

And that's not even taking into account that people download movies without ever buying them. Not sure how your sales pitch is don't bother fighting illegal downloads, but then expect people to buy a movie they can get for free online. That's like saying "stop complaining that someone stabbed you, just get better at knife fighting when you don't have a blade..." It makes little to no sense.

FYI - I pay for my software, my music, and movies.
 
You didn't read my post properly...I said 'four walling' select theaters.
I don't know any indie filmmakers who could say that four walling is their bread and butter for revenue. It's a huge pain in the ass to do as well as a huge risk. If anyone does make money then it's from their hard work promoting it and spending money on advertising.

By the way here's another article about government cracking down on piracy...

http://www.dailynews.com/ci_15414327?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com
 

M1chae1

Member
I don't know any indie filmmakers who could say that four walling is their bread and butter for revenue. It's a huge pain in the ass to do as well as a huge risk. If anyone does make money then it's from their hard work promoting it and spending money on advertising.

By the way here's another article about government cracking down on piracy...

http://www.dailynews.com/ci_15414327?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com
It's not our 'bread and butter'...but with our new budget levels, and even higher production value, opening weekends can put you in the green. We definitely sell DVDs on a regular basis (not like crazy, but steady)...but it's nice to get rid of the negative and hit the positive on a four-walled theater premiere weekend. And *you* can do it too if you're smart with money and marketing.

Our last feature went green from the opening weekend alone. It cost 8K...so it wasn't much of a stretch to get there. We also had a lot of friends and family attending (big cast, and lots of extras, which translates to a lot of ticket sales on opening night).

Then, once the word got out that the film was unique and hilarious, our next few screenings did really well.

We didn't go crazy with advertising...only spend a few hundred on lobby cards (high quality fliers) and passed them around. We also held a few fundraisers and a DVD release party at our local bar (free because we know the owners). With social networks nowa'days, you can spend a lot less on advertising and still get a good return if you have the right connections and product.

I'm not saying four-wall yourself out of a house and home. Rent a theater for two screenings (7 and 9) when you premiere it. See how that goes. Then a month later or so, do another set of screenings in another town/theater. It won't cost you much, and if you have the right product, you'll attract an audience.
 
Last edited:

Top