What we can learn from the piracy of ‘The Interview’

With all the hullabaloo about ‘The Interview’ it is no surprise that people wanted to see it. But, it is only legally available in the US and Canada.

So, when TorrentFreak writes about the stats of who is pirating it I think we can see that a new global distribution method needs to be in place. When I raised these issues at this year’s Raindance Film Festival several studio people said it was impossible to release a movie at the same time all over the world because of subtitling and windowing and etc etc. I replied – you know how manages to do it? Pirates. The excuse that it is too difficult doesn’t fly – and it certainly doesn’t fly for the public.

When will studios understand that the ‘regioning’ system of breaking the world up into chunks just doesn’t work anymore. Piracy is about access. Not about criminality.

FilmRiot’s 10 Online Resources

Ryan Connolly is one lazy bastard. For the FilmRiot Christmas Day episode, instead of making an amazing tutorial video like he usually does he decided to give us a top 10 list and spend the rest of the time with his family. I’m personally offended.

The good news is that the Top 10 Online Resources list is pretty amazing. Some of these things I knew (eg I’m a member of the Shane Hulbert Insider site) but some I didn’t. All of them are sites you should be visiting often, as most of them contain great tutorials. Of course, you should also be subscribed to the FilmRiot YouTube channel. Ryan is probably one of the most inspiring filmmaking YouTubers out there.

It’s a great video.

Ryan’s list is this:

Kiana Jones SFX:


Cinematographer Style Documentary:

Indie Filmmaker: Lighting Tutorial and Samples:

Video Copilot:


The Art of Color Correction:

SoundWorks Collection:

Hurlbut Visuals:

Virtual Lighting Studio:

Can you do a ‘crash’? Ishiguro on writing

Kazuo Ishiguru did something rather remarkable when he needed to produce a follow up to his Booker Prize shortlisted novel ‘An Artist of the Floating World’. The book he would write would be come ‘Remains of the Day’.

HOW he wrote it is rather incredible. In his interview with the Guardian Ishiguro details what he and his wife called ‘The Crash’: write 6 days a week from 9am to 10pm with short breaks for lunch and dinner.

This got me thinking – there is this pain of what we used to call ‘context switching’. That is, jumping from one task to another. I tend to do this a lot, partly as a symptom of my increasing ADD and my (diagnosed) decreasing mental capacity caused by certain issues. But, I also recognise that when I force myself – and at times it is outright painful – to sit and work for longer stretches I can get into the zone. It is one of the things I love about writing (it’s hard to do it with anything else).

When I was completing my last feature script I did a similar thing – I sat down and cranked it out. Of course, my script did not reach the quality of Remains of the Day, but, whatya gonna do?

Anyway – here’s the interview with Ishiguro. I hope it inspires you.

The Future is still YouTube – big money piles in

Over at TechCrunch, Pete Borum

Borum talks about ad revenue and how perhaps you can swing this as an indie.

Required reading for those on the money side of the film production table.

An Analysis of Internet Trends for Indie Filmmakers

Over at Medium.com Marc Schiller has what he calls an ‘evolving document’ where he takes a look at what the internet has to offer – and NOT offer – the independent filmmaker. The article has a great format – each point has a headline and sub-headline that accurately tags his thoughts. You can read deeper on areas of interest to you.

He points out, for example, that blogs like this one – ‘curated’ content – are a thing of the past. This is the story of my life. A day late and a dolla short.

But Schiller covers lots of things in film promotion and gives lots of what to do and not do. Definitely one of the most insightful articles of the year.

From sleeper to creeper-outer – Australia’s The Babadook finds life abroad

It must be tough. You make a great film and no one in your own country wants to see it. You sit at home and have a good moan about it…and then find out you’re doing great everywhere else!

Such is the situation with ‘The Babadook’ for first time feature director Jennifer Kent. The film, made for a nice $2.8m (USD or AUD I’m not sure), took home…$258,000 domestically. Ouch.

But, as this article from Business Week explains, The Babadook proved to be a hit overseas. A rare thing – a female-directed horror film – has captured the imagination (and fear) across the globe.

It’s an uplifting read. Nice, for a change!

Using tech on screen – The Good Wife as case study

One of my pet peeves is when movies use tech BS to either a) cause a problem or b) solve a problem. No 12 year old is going to pull up a chair and figure out a multi-million dollar security system (cough cough Jurassic Park cough cough) or any of the probably dozen of other examples we could quote.

Addressing the issue of how our characters use technology, and how to portray that onscreen, is the subject of a good piece over at ‘TheProvince’. In the discussion is Good Wife greater Robert King. I’ve never seen the Good Wife, but, it sounds like they’ve taken a great approach – show the characters using technology like most of the viewers use technology! And don’t be cute about it.

It’s a good article, full of relevant advice for all of us dealing with characters who live in the real world (or close enough to it 😉 )