By: Jane Clark and Bob Tourtellotte
Fourth in the series.
We are independent filmmakers who thought we knew about piracy and its full impact until, of course, we didn’t. We had raised money, made movies on a budget, screened at festivals, marketed online, and purposefully released our films in the new world of electronic sales. With Crazy Bitches we were a Top 10 download our opening weekend with a “box office” trumpeted by my cousin, who called to say we were No. 9 against Fifty Shades of Grey and the chat room buzz was strong – all on torrent sites.
Piracy was out there in cyberspace – not in our garage office. Our opening weekend was Valentine’s Day 2015. More than 650 links to illegal copies landed on a range of sites including “legit” ones like YouTube.
They all made money – we didn’t. Why? Why is piracy acceptable? Is it legal to walk into Walmart, take a DVD, and leave without paying? Absent a digital box office return, we cannot make another movie. Our indie voice will go silent. A crew of about 50 will not be paid. A good story won’t reach you.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
All us creative folks earn a living by trading our goods or services for cash. Pirates make money too, but they do it by exchanging a “free” product – “free” to them because someone stole it – for advertising revenue or from selling your private info or email or pushing malware onto your laptop or mobile device.
They profit by doing harm, but I bet you don’t. I bet you work for your money – like we do. Please think about that before downloading your next “free” movie.
Paying benefits all of us – we make more movies, and you get to watch them – and puts the pirates out of business.
JANE CLARK’s second feature as writer/director/ producer, Crazy Bitches won Best Ensemble Cast at QCinema Film Festival and was nominated for Best Film, Best Soundtrack and Best Supporting Actress for Nayo Wallace. It has played numerous national and international festivals in the fall of 2014, and was released on February 13th 2015 by Gravitas Ventures.
Her feature directorial debut, Meth Head starring Lukas Haas, Blake Berris, Necar Zadegan, and Wilson Cruz, has won 12 awards on the festival circuit, released June 2014 and is being distributed by Random Media.
Prior to that, Ms. Clark produced Elena Undone for director Nicole Conn, which played at over 50 international festivals and was distributed by Wolfe Releasing.
Early experience came with seven award-winning short films.
BOB TOURTELLOTTE is the former editor, entertainment and lifestyle, for Reuters News, where he covered Hollywood and the movie industry. For more than 15 years, he interviewed and wrote about the most influential players in the industry.
As a producer, Mr. Tourtellotte cut his teeth collaborating with his wife, director Jane Clark, on several short films. He has followed his first, full-length feature, Meth Head, with the horror, comedy, murder suspense Crazy Bitches, which was released February 13th through Gravitas Ventures. He and Ms. Clark are partners in the production company FilmMcQueen, and they live and work in Los Angeles. Mr. Tourtellotte holds an MA in journalism from New York University.
When you Stand Creative, you don’t stand alone.