There is no denying that in this day and age movie piracy is a problem for the film industry. Whilst the advent of the internet has allowed for instant word of mouth, and greater reach in publicity and advertising, it has also opened up the door to file sharing the latest movies as they are released. This is a major problem, sure, but is the film industry partly responsible for causing this? Here is how film studios can stop movie piracy:
1. Lower Cinema Ticket Prices
Last time I saw a film at the cinema, for two tickets, popcorn and coke, it was around $55 dollars. Going to the movies now is not fun, it’s a luxury. How can the film industry expect people to see films, when they are charging a small fortune, especially in the state of this economy? Lowering ticket prices will allow people to potentially see more films a month, rather than just 1 or two (if that).
2. Reduce the window of time between cinema release and DVD
I can understand why film studios are shortening the window, for one, it allows the publicity of the cinema release to linger in people’s minds, once it is released on DVD. Steven Spielberg’s ET was an enourmous success at the cinema, but I seem to recall it took ages for it to be released on VHS. An extreme case, yes, but given the choice of seeing a film at the cinema and paying over $50 dollars, or waiting 2 months to watch at home for $2.95 (using a DVD vending machine), I believe most will probably choose the latter. What I am suggesting is lengthen the window back to around 9 months. This will give people the choice of either seeing it at the cinema, or watching a dodgy cinema-cam copy. I sense a lot of people will either be complelled to go to cinema, or likely wait for a legitimite copy.
3. Take pride in DVD special features
Personally, I have bought DVD’s just because of the special features. However, now days these features seem to be tacked on. Pirated films do not have the benefits of including special features. If someone watches a pirated copy of Avatar, loved it, he might be eager to buy the DVD for the special features. Release the film with little or no special features, then why would anyone make that purchase? Believe it or not, sometimes I don’t think studios realise this! Studios need to utilise this to their advantage, as a try before you buy scenario.
4. Do not double dip
This is a tough one. Again, I can understand the reasoning behind double dipping DVD’s, but it definately leaves a sour taste in the customer’s mouth. I bought Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendibles on Bluray after seeing the film at the cinema. Even though I saw it, I still read the Bluray reviews and purchased it, only to discover a feature length documentary ‘Inferno’ was conviently left off the Australian release. I was pissed. Furthermore, less than 2 – 3 months later, a ‘Inferno Edition’ of The Expendibles was released. Needless to say, I refused to buy it and have yet to see the documentary. However, had I purchased the ‘Inferno Edition’, I would have been even more pissed off when the ‘Director’s Cut’ of The Expendibles was released some 3 – 6 months after that! 3 version in one year, no wonder people don’t give a shit about the film studios when you see this blatant greed.
5. Bag searches at cinemas
If cinemas were serious about avoiding dodgy-cam copies of films, bag searches should be mandatory for people entering cinemas. Easy.
6. Video on Demand Prices
Seriously, a digital new release of ‘Click’ with Adam Sandler should not cost the same amount as the DVD and Bluray versions. They should be half the price at least. The pricing is so out of touch with consumers it hurts my brain.
7. Make better films
Harsh but fair. If the studios are wanting to people to see their films, they have to produce a product that is actually worthy of people’s money. Star Wars has been released many times in various forms, or various formats and people still buy them. Why? They are brilliant movies. So, don’t expect a piss poor remake of The Thing will have the audience to want to keep putting down their hard earned cash on the film. Simple.
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