Writer, producer and director Thomas Newman put himself through hell for almost 4 years in making his ultra low budget epic zombie film ‘Bong Of The Dead‘, and he has kept surprising everyone as his little film that could, did just that. Newman’s film has garnered glowing reviews from around the world in magazines, on television, film festivals, fan sites and more. This while Newman paid the bills by stocking shelves, building decks, scrubbing toilets and any other job he could muster.
The internet has played its part in bringing entertainment into our homes via our computers with a few simple clicks. Though with that shear convenience comes piracy and theft. The film industry and music industry have both seen the negative impact it can have on their bottoms lines. So if it hurts the biggest players in the field, just imagine the damage it does to independent artists out there.
There is a place for the internet to assist the small independents, and Thomas Newman has used it to full effect for his movie, but theft and piracy are something completely different.
For most independents film making goes like this:
Thomas Newman’s Bong Of The Dead, the film was made for $5000 plus expenses in creating artwork, posters, DVD screeners etc for a total nearing $20,000. Expenses don’t stop there either, an experienced sales agent will cost $35,000 or more to promote the film by attending film markets, sending faxes, working the phones, DVD screeners etc. Expenses pile up quickly so having your film pirated before it is even released on DVD is devastating to the small players – as they simply cannot be expected to continue to create art for the world with no financial return. Those who steal these films at some point need to consider the wider ramifications of their actions.
As an indie filmmaker Thomas Newman has shared his life with movie fans via his zombie blog about his hard times in an industry where everyone wants to be at the top. You can imagine how a guy who has nothing would be affected by having his film pirated and shared for free.
Thomas Newman said about this turn of events, “You know I kind of expected this to happen, but not on the eve of my movie’s distribution. And that the leak came from the European distribution chain was a real surprise and kick to the teeth.”
The news of the online piracy was bad enough, but to make things even worse, a Canadian company was selling Bong of the Dead movie art posters on Amazon. A DMCA request was successful and the seller has had their Amazon account closed. Newman was also successful in taking down his movie from other websites via the same method. Sadly it’s like sticking your finger in a dike about to break, but all the same the effort must be made.
Fans of the movie can purchase the film legally in HD quality via the film’s website or buy the DVD when it comes out legitimately on Blu-ray on October 28th.