The Creative Cost of Piracy

Everyone knows piracy is an issue, and the worst kind of piracy has to be the leak. There is no greater insult to an artist than for their work to be stolen & released to the world before it is finished, and while piracy of a finished product has a negative financial impact, piracy of an unfinished product has far deeper ramifications. What prompted this post? Well, I was reading an article about the picture editorial workflow on the new Star Trek film and while it is an interesting read, one section totally stunned me, get this:

Another issue was steps taken to reduce the risk of the film being pirated.

“Security-wise we made sure all the footage we gave out to the music or sound effects guys were in black-and-white. Eventually we did give them color but it was just another security precaution to make sure things weren’t going to get out. Of course all the footage had massive block letters with the name of who it was going out to. And it wasn’t just on the top and bottom it was through the entire image. Otherwise you just crop the top and bottom.

We had a lot of ADR sessions and some of those were done internationally because some of the actors were overseas. For those we were extremely cautious with and we actually blacked out the entire screen and made a little circle around the actors face and tracked the circle to their face so that is the only thing that was being seen. It’s a little scary when you are dealing with another country, another company and department that you have never met doing the recording. So it was a lot of tedious work involved but you do feel better about sending it out.”

Good grief! So THAT is the creative cost of piracy. To try & prevent the possibility of a leak, the sound post team are required to work to BLACK & WHITE video??? And the actors doing ADR are expected to get back in character, engage with the story & create evocative performances while looking at DISEMBODIED FACES???? In closeup that would seem a little weird but in a wideshot it must be bizzare!
While I feel sorry for the people working in such circumstances, I feel total disgust for the people who create this situation by pirating & leaking original artworks. What exactly is the motive for leaking something? What possible benefit is there? And is this a direct side effect of the Wolverine leak? There must be better solutions than those suggested above.


2 thoughts on “The Creative Cost of Piracy

  1. Pingback: Radar Trend » the music of sound » The Creative Cost of Piracy

  2. Sébastien Orban

    It’s kind a strange – think about it, why would a society leaking a movie? Don’t they want to work on the NEXT movie ?

    I know, people do silly things. But come on, leaking a film to be a “star” in an underground network, is that worth the fact that you’re not going to get any work in the industry after that ?

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