Your pirating does not help me.
Stop kidding yourself. Stop lying. Stop justifying. Just stop.
Five years ago I started writing DETENTION with a Canadian guy named Mark Palermo. If you know anything about Canadians*, that was a huge sacrifice. But I got through it, and three years later our script was complete.
Then I took every dollar I had and just started making the movie myself. No studio, no distribution, no guarantees. I had to bring on investors and contractually insure that no matter what the movie did, I would pay them back. Every single dollar spent on this movie, win or fail, ultimately comes out of my pocket. I owe craploads and I’m working like crazy to pay it all off over the next couple years, with the doomsday scenario of selling my house if it all goes to shit. I bet it all. And why did I do that?
Because I wanted you to see something pure.
It's not for everyone. It doesn't slow down. It's made for people like me. You know, people with great hair.
The movie in my head couldn’t have been made with a single piece of interference of any kind. It’s too complex and too new and too dangerous. It’s a tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon and Detention would fall to it’s death in it’s orange Chucks with the slightest wrong step.
But I wanted to see this movie. So I made it. And I fucking love it. Lots of people fucking love it. I want you to fucking love it. I know you need a movie like this in your life. I want you to see it.
But here’s the part I’m going to be completely 100% honest with you about: I want you to see it, but I want you to PAY to see it.
I want to make my money back. I want to make another film. I’m willing to bet it all again to get the freedom to make films like this, but if I stay broke and owing money like I do now, I won’t get that opportunity for a loooong time, maybe ever (cue Richard Roeper applause*).
If you watched the movie online for free and then loved it, but didn’t buy it, I’m pleased that you loved the movie…but you didn’t have sex with me. You suck.
On the otherhand, if you PAID for the movie and somehow HATED it, unlike the cockteasers, I actually love you. You took both the time and the money to support a filmmaker’s effort, and I appreciate that, even if you have terrible taste. You are still awesome and sexy and you will always have Neal Mortiz’s FAST FIVE (“That force of chaotic and unsatisfiable desire that Freud called the id is much closer to the surface in a movie like Fast Five!” – Andew O’Hehir, Salon) to wash away the taste of DETENTION (“A directorial drum solo that quickly wears out it’s welcome!” – Richard Roeper, ShareMyWife.com)
Of course those that paid and loved it, your sex is the best.
Now I am well aware that people’s perception of paying for entertainment is messed up right now. We expect everthing to be free and the pattern of how we access entertainment is confusing. Many young teens have no idea that downloading is illegal, prosecutable, and punishable by death by electrocution down to 13 years old. It does not help that most of my work – music videos – have basically been given away all your lives and you equate my movie with free youtube stuff (you have me confused with Bobby Lee you racist.)
But let’s be clear. You are being entertained by me. This blog cost me exactly $5 in Panda Express energy to stay alive and write it. You can have this one for free. On the house. DETENTION cost millions. $4 to rent it or $20 to own it is a tiny price to pay for the fucking hell I’ve gone through to make that son of a bitch for you. And I won’t go into it here, but, HELL.
Look, I know it’s a losing battle to explain to pirates why stealing is bad. So I won’t. Fuck em. Lost cause. They’re those bad seed kids in Hunger Games trying to kill Peeta. I mean, look at this piece of psychotic tumblring:
Basically wrong on every fact. Producers, art, budget, me, all wrong. And she goes to film school. Yes, she was probably eating bath salts when she wrote that, but still...amazing.
Yet…I see some Katniss’s running around the woods, holding our illegal DETENTION movie in her shaking hands, wondering if this is good or bad. This is who I want to talk to before District 2 kills me.
Katniss, you have three justifications of why you download movies:
1. IT’S NOT ALL BAD. BY DOWNLOADING, I AM PROMOTING IT.
Baby, Katniss, what are are you talking about? You can help promote Detention, by you know, buying it. And telling people how awesome it was that you are buying/bought it. Instead of linking them to the movie download, how about linking them to one of our awesome reviews and amazon link? Basically anything you do by “promoting” it off an illegal screening can be done by buying it, without sharing an illegal link to tons of people who aren’t going to buy it. But then you say the people you were linking it to are pirates weren’t going to buy it anyway? WELL THEN HOW ARE YOU PROMOTING IT???? You fail advertising. Don Draper would stub a cigarette on your arrow pulling hand. And Peeta hates you.
2. I AM GOING TO BUY DETENTION ANYWAY AND SO IS EVERYONE ELSE
Really? How about people like this?
The point of the movie business is it’s an exhibition business. You are paying for the exhibition, and once you pay for that, then you have the right to pass judgement on us. The cast and crew of DETENTION are performing seals. We cry, laugh, and bleed so that we brighten your life in the best way we know how. The show is all we have to sell. When you see it for free, there is no more we can give. You have gotten all that is precious to us. Our art. And when you leave without feeding us, we did all those flipper claps for nothing, and whether you like it or not, flipper claps are hard.
If you think you’ll love it, buy it. If you’re not sure, rent it. Renting is your option to see if you like it. That’s why renting is cheap. The problem with the attitude of I will illegally watch it then decide whether I want to buy it is that you are replacing renting with illegal downloading, An independent movie like DETENTION will NOT get prominent placing on iTunes or Amazon. People will have a hard time finding it. When you turn on Apple TV we’ll be buried somewhere you have to scroll to. Most people will not know we exist.
This is why EVERY RENTAL COUNTS. It moves our ranking up on the charts, and the higher on the chart, the more people will see the poster, and that is ADVERTISING. People who have downloaded the movie may or may not buy it, but they certainly won’t rent it. Losing so many viewers to free downloads hurts the rent-and-see market that do not download (otherwise they wouldn't be renting, see the closed logic?). You're dissipating our opening weekend impact - yes, DVD/VOD have opening weekends - and making it that much less likely we'll ever chart. With no support from rentals, it doesn’t push the converted buys. With no buys, it gives no incentive to cable or tv or foreign to buy. By destroying the chain of distribution, you are killing every single way I can recoup so I can make more kick ass movies for you.
And ultimately the only thing Hollywood cares about our movie is whether it made money or not. You may love my movie. But Hollywood could give a shit. Most producers and executives and often, critics, have no idea what is actually good. Have you seen THOR? (“A sweet love story!” – Richard Roeper, SiskelRollsInHisGrave.com) They are robots. All they go by are the numbers. If the movie made money and it was terrible, doesn’t matter, I work again. If the movie was great but you downloaded it for free and it made no money, I don’t work.
So then why are you sharing that illegal link again?
Please don't shoot an arrow through my career, Katniss.
3. I DIDN’T DOWNLOAD. I STREAMED IT!
Ex President Bill Clinton once stuck a cigar up an intern’s pussy and proceed to smoke it, saying “Tastes good.” Then he got a blow job in the Oval Office. Before the DNA tests of the cum stains on her dress positively identified him as the Cum-mander in Chief, he looked straight into a deposition camera and emphatically stated, “ I did NOT have sex with that woman.”
He only put his dick in her mouth after all.
I hope this hasn't been too depressing of a rant. Making this movie is still the most insanely tough but gratifying experience of my career and there's a light at the end of the tunnel: there's people that are patiently waiting to watch DETENTION when it comes out in 30 days. There are less and less of you honest people out there, but from the bottom of my filmmaker's soul, thank you. I made this for you.
DETENTION comes out on Blu-ray/DVD on July 31. Here’s a link to buy it:
And if you want to “promote” it some more, here’s some merchandise: