No More Academy Screeners... (BREAKING NEWS)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Julian Lalor, Sep 30, 2003.

  1. Julian Lalor

    Julian Lalor Supporting Actor

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    It appears the Studios are fed up with the proliferation of Academy screeners (I noted quite a few postings in TTT thread from people with screeners), so the Majors have nixed them altogether. Looks like some Academy members are going to have to go to the movies this year. It'll be interesting to see what ends up being nominated - given that many independents aren't participating, maybe this is their chance.

    See article here:

    http://www.moviecitynews.com/columni...gb_031001.html
     
  2. Vickie_M

    Vickie_M Producer

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    IMO, movies should always be seen in the theaters. Always. But, it's not always possible. There are too many and people have lives to lead, even industry people who are often too busy working on movies to see as many as they'd like to see, even with special screenings available (assuming they're living and/or working in a place that's offering special screenings). Not all of them are like Bob Hoskins, who never watches movies, or Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese, who would watch 5 a day if they could.

    From that article:

     
  3. Julian Lalor

    Julian Lalor Supporting Actor

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    Perhaps the Academy members were a little more careful about where their screeners ended up, this wouldn't be such a problem. As the article notes, you can watermark the DVDs or even provide members with those new Disney degradable DVDs.
     
  4. clayton b

    clayton b Stunt Coordinator

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    Or instead of imprinting 'for your consideration' they could imprint 'For the consideration of (insert academy member's name here)'. That would insure that the academy members were more careful of where their screeners ended up.
     
  5. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    I hate to say it, but I saw this coming. Screeners were readily available on EBay and I'm sure that many of the pirated versions were copied from these screeners.

    It's really too bad for the independants, but I don't see why the studios can't pick and choose which movies to release on screeners. I don't think that the pirating business is very focused on these titles. They want LOTR, Spiderman, etc...

    Maybe, we've finally found a use for those 48 hour self-destructing discs?
     
  6. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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  7. Kami

    Kami Screenwriter

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    I doubt this will be in full effect for this year, but definitely next year.
     
  8. Mikel_Cooperman

    Mikel_Cooperman Producer

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    I thought of the self destructing disc for this as well.
    Why didnt Hollywood thing of that????
     
  9. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    There's a difference between watching a film in the theater and watching video at home.

    I can clearly see the difference for slam bang action/adventure epics, but I'm hard pressed to find one for arthouse/auteur/"talking heads" films.

    I once started a thread about a topic similar to this. Ideally speaking, your immediate surroundings shouldn't affect your perceptions of the film. Ideally speaking, of course. [​IMG]
     
  10. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    According to IMDB, Miramax has changed its mind and is now refusing to play ball. We'll see what the MPAA does about that...
     
  11. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    Wasn't there a method of making a disc that would degrade after being run through a DVD player once? The laser would eat away the disc or something after a little bit, so it could essentially be used once. Combine this with the "Screener for (insert name)" method and you're pretty much bound to keep screeners from getting out there.
     
  12. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    Screeners or not, the bigger question/issue is how many voters actually see the movies they're voting on?
     
  13. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    I agree with the idea of taking the time to uniquely author each screener with an ID number. It would be very hard to say "This disk is for the private viewing of 'Joe Public'", but you could perhaps run off a series of copies with different numbers in the printing before you have a list of potential members who need a copy.

    Then when you distributed them you would assign each number to a name. When a DVD shows up on Ebay or wherever they would simply look back to find out who disc 147 belonged to. Problem solved without totally customizing each disc.

    Heck, you could break it into groups of 10 or more to save time on making unique copies, just to get a rough idea of where your pirating was coming from, especially if you cross-correlated several different movies. The guilty party would keep showing up on the list of 10-50-100 potential pirates as pirated movies were found. Like film A shows up and the number on the video message gives you a list of 100 people. Then another film shows up and 40 people show up on both lists. Then another film and you are down to 15 people. Starts looking pretty suspicious and becomes a lot easier to track down.

    Besides the studios that won't be going along with the idea, what about those earlier releases that will have the advantage of having a legal DVD copy available at the time, such as Seabiscuit.

    Sounds like the typical sweeping solution that fails to recognize the great disparity the "solution" will cause.
     
  14. Julian Lalor

    Julian Lalor Supporting Actor

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  15. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    Looks like people are going to have to stick with theatrical cam versions for downloading. Yeah, getting rid of screeners will solve the problem, oh boy. [​IMG]
     
  16. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    I really don't think that independents sending out screeners will be a big problem. Like someone said, no one's interested in pirating them.

    As for the major releases, do these people really need a screener of LOTR? They'll see it. I live in Orlando and come Oscar time the newspaper ads have a little blurb that says academy, and the various guild members, need only to show their cards to get into any screeing. I'm sure they'll go to the biggies.
     
  17. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    I am ok with this except for the occasional stalker.
    Truly sad.

    Glenn
     
  18. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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    OK - I'm a bit confused.

    What exactly IS the MPAA? And how does it have the ability to do this.

    I used to this they were just responsible for classification, etc, but now they're doing this? What is their role? Surely, if some studio, knowing of the potential risk of piracy, still decides to issue screeners, surely that is a decision for the studio. It's their money that they lose due to pirates, and if they think the value gained by sending screeners (and possibly winning awards) is greater than the loss to piracy, that is their decision. I fail to see how it is the business of this other organsiation.

    Can anyone explain this?
     
  19. Julian Lalor

    Julian Lalor Supporting Actor

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    The MPAA is a representative body of the Studios. It is not like the BBFC, which is a government organisation charged with classifying films. When the MPAA speaks, it speaks for and on behalf of its members, which are the Studios.
     
  20. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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