Tag Archives: mpaa

Internet Hater Chris Dodd Wants Technology to Help Boost Sagging Theater Attendance

ChrisDodd

by Legendary Lew

Variety reports that last year, attendance for the 18-24 year-old age bracket in movie theaters dropped like a stone. It’s serious because, you know, everyone else is dead and will never benefit from films aimed toward them:

The number of frequent moviegoers in the all-important 18-24 age group plunged an unprecedented 21% in 2013, according to MPAA annual statistics released Tuesday at Cinemacon, while attendance in the 12-17 age bracket also saw a precipitous drop off, falling almost 15%.

Frequent filmgoers from 12-24 are likely spending much of their previous moviegoing time watching a variety of other screens.

Well, heavens to Betsy, whatever shall a bloated, non-innovative, money-wasting, inefficient, money-gouging, hypocritical corporate entity do?!

I know! Call in MPAA head Chris Dodd to give the industry a pep talk:

“We need to keep exploring fresh ways of leveraging our new technology to drive traffic to your theaters,” Dodd insisted during his keynote address delivered Tuesday at CinemaCon in Las Vegas.

“We can embrace technology, and use it to complement our offerings,” Dodd added.

I practically shat blood laughing so hard when reading these statements. This is the same Chris Dodd that backed the SOPA and PIPA legislations–so much so that he extorted the White House to try and have its support. SOPA and PIPA would have destroyed the internet as we know it with opposition to the legislation coming from internet companies that regularly help Hollywood promote its films. The public response to Dodd and SOPA/PIPA supporters was a whole lot of this.

It’s also the same Chris Dodd that supported the arrest of Kim Dotcom, only to have the case against him implode over embarrassing allegations, not the least of which was Dotcom’s assertion that he was ready to start a legally-created IPO with MegaUpload. (Dotcom’s new company, Mega, has since created an IPO in New Zealand)

Now, Dodd wants to urge the industry to use technology, i.e the internet, to boost theater tix sales.  Never mind that he tried to explode it a couple of years ago and will, no doubt, try again, unless Dodd has some other new type of technology he wants to introduce to the world.  Oh wait, I forgot, Hollywood doesn’t have one.

Next time Chris Dodd gives a speech, I suggest this type of formal attire.

 

 

TUGM Proudly Presents the World Premiere Online Release of “Sisters of No Mercy”!

It’s finally here! After nearly three years and two hundred dollars, The Underground Multiplex presents the wild, avant-garde nunsploitation comedy Sisters of No Mercy: The Real 3D Midnight Movie Xperience. Combining exploitation, comedy, classic roadshow reels, politics, music and live performance, SONM is the completion of the first collaboration between Joseph R. Lewis and me.

This came about first as a 4-minute parody trailer for a then fake nunsploitation feature. With the help of some great talented friends, we408 were able to pull off this bit in three weeks, just before I was to give a lecture on nunsploitation at Facets Night School.

The trailer debuted on YouTube in October 2010 and gained an unexpected positive response in February 2011 from the French version of  Slate Magazine, which hyperlinked the short and called it a successful parody (if the Google translation is correct). Emboldened by the responses, I casually mentioned to Joe that perhaps the nuns should go to Madison, WI during the height of protests against Governor Scott Walker and exorcise the Koch-funded “demon” from the state capitol.

The resulting short film was The Wisconsin Exorsisters, which brought back Sisters Amy and Angela, Mother Superior and the evil Father Neal from first trailer. That short went public in March 2011.

409When June rolled around, we had decided to extended Sisters of No Mercy into a feature. To accomplish this, the film needed extra footage, which was provided by recording the third portion of the film live before a midnight movie audience attending each screening of Session 8 of Facets Night School. Each chapter was filmed in 5 minute pieces before that evening’s lecture and screening. The resulting portions were then uploaded weekly online.

On September 30, 2011, TUGM debuted Sisters of No Mercy 3D at Facets Night School in an edited version that included a live interactive experience with the audience. They were treated to live music, a theatrical performance, juggling and dancing for a unique approach in film entertainment. This version has not been duplicated since.

Which brings us finally to today– almost three years since the inception of the nunsploitation parody. The final product we hope you’ll find funny, informative and entertaining. It could not be done without the help of the following wonderful people:

Amy J. Boyd, Angela Yonke, Adrianna Montiel, Kenzie Kl, Bruce Neal, Joe Rubin, Jason Coffman, Jason Loeffler, Jonathan Leaf, Douglas Grew, Brian Kirst, Lielie Kaehn-Jarvis, Brian Jarvis, Chris Brake, Christa Koch, Nathan Boecker, Susan Doll, Phil Morehart, all the presenters of Facets Night School and, of course, the twisted genius of Joe Lewis.

Legendary Lew Ojeda

Viral Pro-Hollywood Oscars Tribute Video Shut Down by Disney Because Stupid Pill Overdose

DisneyDooDooSend out for a documentary crew, because you just can’t make up this shit. Nelson Carvajal, a Chicago editor/blogger/filmmaker decided to spend some time a couple of months ago, creating a montage that honored the Best Picture winners before this year’s Oscars telecast. It not only went viral, but gained some good press for a job well done.

Leave it to Disney to step in and ruin it all. Claiming a copyright infringement, the studio that gave the world this has now forced Carvajal’s video off Vimeo. His was a video that praised Hollywood, followed fair use rules, and one that could spark  interest in viewers  to…oh, I dunno, perhaps seek out those movies. Heaven  forbid, that could even lead to DVD sales. Isn’t this the studios’ point of forcing the removal of videos in the first place?

 

 

Mitt Romney Quickly Dumps Stock of Chinese Online Company Accused of Piracy

From BuzzFeed comes the news that, until recently, Mitt Romney should have been talking like a pirate on Sept. 19:

Mitt Romney’s recently released tax returns show the governor recently sold off investments in the Chinese online-video company Youku, a Chinese version of YouTube. The site was launched in 2006 and quickly became a haven for downloading illegal American content. The site has been trying to repair its image as a piracy portal since lawsuits have caused them to remove unauthorized content”

Oops!  Looks like it’s another Mittstake. He’s going to need a ledger to keep track of them all. Anyone out there in his 1% donor clan with Excel experience?

Do you think he sneaked out of Kim Dotcom’s mansion just before the MPAA Chris Dodd authorities invaded?

As expected, he then accused the Obama Administration of catering to Chinese pirates:

“Did you know they even have an Apple store?” Romney said at a rally. “It’s a fake Apple store; they sell counterfeit Apple products. This is wrong. We’re gonna crack down on China when they manipulate their currency, when they steal our goods, when they don’t protect our intellectual property. We’re gonna make sure that China understands we mean business.”

I’m guessing he means their business.

Lew

Copyright Chaos: Pirate Bay Co-Founder Arrested as Troma Entertainment Releases a Library of Films for Free

If you want proof of the current fucked up state of copyright enforcement, you needn’t look further than a couple of headlines from the past week.

Pirate Bay co-founder, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, was arrested in Cambodia with the reporting from Murdoch-owned assrag The Wall Street Journal using words like “mastermind” and “notorious” to send the boogeyman shivers down your spine. The actual crime that Warg committed, of course, is helping develop a platform on which individuals can share files and get the word out about movies and music that you may never otherwise hear about.  That’s why super rich ABBA founder Bjorn Ulvaeus can be pissed off about sharing files while struggling indie musicians depend on it for exposure.  And since the CEO of Universal Music just admitted that he doesn’t create art, that puts Bjorn, creator of soulless music in the company of a soulless music exec. Won’t help you much in the court of public opinion, guys.

Meanwhile, Troma, a film company in existence for over 3 decades, announced it has released 150 films on YouTube for free, including their signature flick The Toxic Avenger. Can you imagine a major Hollywood studio announcing they would release hundreds of classic movies online for free?

Or can you imagine them forcing Congress to pass a law allowing movie copyrights to be held for “death+70 years” and chase after people who could actually help those movies gain new audiences?

 

Anti-Piracy Advocate Compares Piracy to Homophobia

And I’ll bet he’s a PIRATE, too!

Timothy Geigner at TechDirt spotted a guest post by filmmaker David Newhoff on the blog The Copyright Alliance that displays before your very eyes the disconnect between file sharing advocates and opponents.

Amazingly, Newhoff treads into the waters of a civil rights issue (gay marriage) and somehow wants to make comparisons with piracy, an issue of economics and artistic expression.

The craftiest of gay-marriage opponents will argue that legalizing these unions infringes on their rights to be Christian in America, which is tantamount to undermining religious freedom. Yes, anyone with two working brain cells can recognize that this isn’t sound reasoning so much as thinly veiled bigotry. Same-sex marriage can only be a threat to religious freedom if we agree that the zealot’s belief that homosexuality is a sin should implicitly influence our legal definition of marriage. There is no way to cut through this logical Gordian Knot without concluding that all marriage would have to be religious (and ultimately Christian) in order to be legal in the U.S. And that would violate the definition I believe most of us apply to religious freedom.

Similarly, the copyright-threatens-speech proposal uses the illusion of reverse discrimination to suggest that when the producer exercises his copyright, this somehow infringes on the consumer’s desire to reuse or “share” the work as he sees fit, which amounts to a “chilling effect” on speech. Like the same-sex marriage thing, this argument glosses over personal bias to foster a logical leap to a shaky conclusion. Copyright only threatens speech if we agree that the consumer’s right to reuse is more important than the producer’s right to treat his work as property.

Geigner adeptly skewers Newhoff’s perceptions of what the pursuit of happiness in The Declaration of Independence means for copyright holders.

However, as someone openly gay and in favor of file sharing I find Newhoff’s comparisons deeply offensive. The anti-piracy forces of the RIAA, MPAA and others have consistently lied about how much money they lose due to piracy. This perceived loss is due to business decisions the recording and movie industries should have made a long time ago when it became clear that an entire generation of entertainment fans would be downloading files, instead of buying CDs and DVDs, as the main mode of acquiring new music and movies. Studies have shown, however, that those industries are still making profits and, indeed, benefit from piracy. If the mega industries are making profits but cutting productions (where I assume, Mr. Newhoff, you’ll be making most of your money), that’s a business/labor issue, not a rights issue.

Newhoff will have to explain to me how his freedom of speech and pursuit of happiness arguments allowing him to make money from his film productions bear any relevance to being allowed to simply live freely. After the hate talk of Jeff Sangl’s church, Ron Baity and Charles Worley, who’s ready to pull the switch on gays and lesbians, Newhoff’s claims look particularly lame.

Do you seriously think that if I click “share file” that I’m exactly the same as those who would send gays to the Nazi gas chambers, force gay men to be chemically castrated or simply pummel gays to death?

I don’t know where your personal history has taken you, David Newhoff. But mine includes chapters such as death threats made before the very first march for gay rights in Rochester, NY back in 1987. As part of a group helping organize that march, I had to deal with rocks, eggs and other debris thrown at us. People shouted out names. A pick-up truck containing guys wielding baseball bats parked across the street from our starting point. One of those guys wore a shirt with the phrase “I Hate Fags” printed on it. The coup de grace of disgrace was a man who brought his two knee-high children over to scream “Biblical” accusations at us. The children were wide-eyed and terrified. I’ll never forget that traumatic incident of child abuse.

File sharing has no comparison whatsoever to any of this. To even suggest that it does is insulting to anyone who genuinely cares about human freedom.

Lew Ojeda

Do Hollywood Studios Realize They Have a Working Relationship with Torrent Sites?

TorrentFreak reports today of the daily takedown efforts of sites like isoHunt, KickAss Torrents and Extratorrent.

Despite painting these sites as lawless bastards bent on destroying the entertainment industry, these sites and others apparently follow through on DMCA takedown requests, sometimes numbering thousands monthly. That is, of course, if the studios bother to even make the requests in the first place.

BitSnoop complied with over 360,000 takedown requests since December.  ExtraTorrent drops about 3000 links monthly. KickAss almost tripled the number of takedowns since January. And isoHunt, many times, surprises those requesting takedowns with responses within 5 business days.

But studios want these companies wiped out? Really? Seems like they’re doing the work Hollywood wants done without breaking into homes and seizing legal files. Silly execs.