Copyright, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity

Sony and Stupidity Go Hand In Hand

I am pretty sure that everyone knows about “The Interview” by know.

Regardless of how good or bad or average the movie is, “The Interview” is famous and successful.

It was used as blackmail against theaters, if they showed the movie, another September 11 was threatened. So it got pulled.

Everyone weighed in on the debate from bloggers to journalists to politicians. So many ideals came into the conversation like free speech, the right to make a black humour/comedy movie in the current day, politics between democracy and communism, censorship, the freedom of the internet and capitalism.

Eventually Sony got the balls to release the movie. It was made available in select theaters plus on many Video On Demand outlets. For the first time ever in the major studio’s history, you could see a movie in theaters or watch it online legally at the same time.

This alone is a big step forward for the movie industry and I am 100% certain that in 50 years from now, journalists and bloggers will be writing about how Sony led the way for a new business model and saved the movie industry.

Future historians always like to re-write history to suit a certain point of view. Look no further than Russia at the moment. Vladimir Putin has asked and then taken charge himself to have history books re-written with bullshit so that he and his ancestors look favourable and more important than they really where.

This story is about stupidity and Sony is at the forefront.

So “The Interview” is released on multi-platforms at the same time. Online box office came in at $15m and Theater Box Office came it at $3m. The movie was projected to make $18 to $20 million in its opening week so with all the bullshit that has gone on behind the scenes, it still met it’s opening week target. This hybrid model has shown that a film’s success and money earning capacity should not be tied in to a THEATER.

However the studios are greedy.

If I go to a movie with my family, I need to purchase five tickets at $15 a piece. That comes to $75AUS for a movie. However, if that movie is available for me to get on a video on demand service, then I am charged once and my whole family can watch it. That is why the studios resist and still use the old way of releasing a movie, which is cinemas first, then DVD/BluRay sales, VOD licensing, Cable licensing and Free To Air licensing.

And of course the real test of stupidity is that SONY released the movie online only in the U.S.

Yep, they used geo-restrictions (something that has been pissing off a lot of Australians for a longtime) to keep the movie release in the U.S only. So according to Sony, if you lived outside the U.S and wanted to watch the movie legally, “tough luck”. So what do people normally do when confronted by situations like this.

They turn to P2P.

It looks like stupidity is affecting profits more than piracy to me.

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A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories, Piracy

Life Is About Experience

I like going to the movies. It is an experience that I enjoyed growing up and it is an experience that I have passed on to my boys.

Today, we are watching “Planes”. So I purchase my tickets. Lucky for the budget, my wife had vouchers which made the tickets $8 each. Otherwise, the tickets at the Event Cinemas are $17 each.

So three tickets = $24.

Then comes the big rip. The boys wanted the “Planes pack” which involved “Planes” themed drink cups, along with a “Planes” theme popcorn box.

However, Event Cinemas, had no more “Planes” popcorn boxes and they couldn’t sell me the Planes Drink Cups with a generic pop corn box because “the generic popcorn box is a touch larger than the Planes themed popcorn box.”

Bullshit I said. Then I was told that it really has to do with stock counts. My boys finally agreed with what they want and off to the movie. Then I had to put up with kids way too young to even be there, that just kept on screaming and crying.

In relation to the movie, it is another great flick from the same “Cars” team.

What can I say, the movie just got me thinking about GRIT. In the movie, Dusty Crophopper is a crop duster who wants to be a racer. Everyone tells him that he is crazy, a dreamer and that he should be just a normal crop duster. In the end, the good old crop duster just persevered.

What I got out of the movie is that you can’t tell people what to do. Everyone has to find out for themselves. Life is about experience. Just like Bon Scott (RIP) said in “Long Way To The Top (If You Want To Rock N Roll)”, it’s a long ride that we all have to take. We have to find our own way. Every classic album that we have come to love, never came out as a debut album.

“Dr Feelgood” from Motley Crue came out in 1989. It is their best album. Mick Mars played a large part in the songwriting process. By 1989, he had been playing in bands for 17 years. Nikki Sixx, the other main songwriter had been playing in bands for 14 years. Life is about experience, and when that experience is translated into a song, it connects with other people who have lived that experience. Bob Rock paid his dues before he rocked the world with “Dr Feelgood” and the Black album from Metallica.

An album like “Appetite For Destruction” from Guns N Roses is an outlier, however if you read the stories about the album, the songs and the ideas of the songs were written years before.

Life is not always up. If you haven’t experienced disappointment, you haven’t taken any risks. Life is about losses, even more than victories. As Ivan Moody sings in “Lift Me Up”;

Lift me up above this
The flames and the ashes
Lift me up and help me to fly away

Lick your wounds, lift yourself back up and get back in the game. Learn from what happened. Don’t let it weigh you down. Quoting from Ivan Moody again; 

Best get out of my way
‘Cause there’s nothing to say
Is that all that you got?
Because I ain’t got all day

I won’t be broken
I won’t be tortured
I won’t be beaten down
I have the answer
I take the pressure
I turn it all around

Moody gets it. People see him as a winner, however he is like us. He makes mistakes, he falls down and he picks himself up again to fight another day.

Finally, in relation to the cinema experience, in this day and age, most people have decent sized TV’s with wi-fi connections and surround sound systems. It is an untapped market. Movie Studio’s should be releasing the movie to us, the same day it hit’s the cinemas. Once the movie is out, it is out. I would have been happy to pay $20 to watch it at home via a 24 hour stream. 

However the movie studios would still like to scream PIRACY instead of servicing it’s customers.

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