The award-winning indie psychological horror movie "House of Good and Evil" has screened to thousands of film festival audiences world wide, but recently it became a big hit with internet pirates through online file sharing sites where it has been downloaded over 200,000 times.
Tell us about your experience with a pirated version of your film being shared on the internet.
Over the Thanksgiving weekend our film was pirated from a festival screener, stolen from a recent film festival. This is NOT the version on VOD. Firstly, stealing is stealing. It's no different than going into a corner store and stealing food off the shelves. Our film was shared online over 200,000 times illegally in a little over a week, making "House of Good and Evil" the 6th most downloaded film on the web.
One may argue that a film would kill for that kind of exposure, sure if those 200,000 shares generated revenue for this small production company that would not be "as bad". We struggled and continue to struggle as indie filmmakers and stealing our work is pretty low, but what I find lower is the vocal minority who first stole the film, then jumped on social media to aggressively bash the film. It's like stealing a car, then bitching about the gas mileage.
What has your response been to the pirating of your film?
Even though we're struggling filmmakers, we're still human and this is the season for giving. We have asked and continue to ask those who stole our film to please give the lousy $5 you would have paid to see the film to your local Battered Womens' Shelter. The film deals with spousal abuse and losing a baby, two topics many of the young people who stole this film can NOT relate to, nor understand. We ask that they do the right thing, as we want some positive to come out of something so damaging and pure negativity.
Tell us your thoughts on the challenges indie filmmakers face from internet piracy?
Trust is the biggest challenge for indie filmmakers, especially with festival screeners, which is a shame. There are so many great festival, in fact we won 9 International awards, including 8 Best Picture awards. Now, we really can't trust festivals and that helps no one, but hurts everyone, including festivals. Such a trickle effect, by one illegal action. This film took nearly 10 years to make. Our success will allow us to make bigger and better films. All we ask for is a fighting chance, as the UnderDog.
Do you have a solution to the ongoing internet piracy issue?
I don't know what the solution is. Maybe, we've become a society who respects nothing and no one. I like to think we can do better.