An innovative response to digital piracy has seen global giants Apple search out a group of New Zealand and Australian independent filmmakers, ahead of the release of their film Sunday, on December 7.
A joint NZ/Australian production, the film’s multi-platform distribution plan is a world first that will see it being released simultaneously across 20+ Cinemas in NZ, Television (Rialto Channel), the Internet (iTunes/Vimeo), DVD, Airlines (Jetstar + Air NZ) and via Tugg – a bespoke cinema service available throughout North America. It was this approach that first attracted the attention of Apple, who contacted the filmmakers.
“Apple Australasia contacted us excited about our release strategy, and wanting to help us with marketing and selling the film on iTunes in New Zealand, Australia, and potentially beyond. Now we are working with Madman Australia on the international iTunes release. The fact they came to us is a huge deal – that’s very rare for a completely self-funded independent film like ours,” noted Michelle Joy Lloyd, Director, Producer and Distributor of Sunday.
A new way of distribution was always at the very heart of the filmmakers’ plans for Sunday, who recognise that digital piracy is a very real threat for every film, but that the stakes are always higher for independent productions where the margins are much lower to begin with. Deciding to distribute the film themselves under the banner, Fighting Noise, filmmakers Dustin Clare and Michelle Joy Lloyd decided it was time to bring something new to the piracy debate.
According to the pair, usually film access is restricted to cinema. before slowly being released onto the other platforms. “The film industry likes to complain about piracy, but instead of joining in, we wanted to contribute to the conversation, not necessarily with the answer but with a response. Maybe if we let people watch what they want, when they want, on whatever platform they want, at a fair and reasonable price, then maybe they’ll actually pay for it,” they suggest.”
“I don’t think that’s going to stop everyone illegally downloading films; some people are just going to pirate because they want free content. But there is a group, they’re kind of guilty pirates. They generally want to watch content, especially independent art-house films, and they just can’t get their hands on it. With a multi-platform release like ours, they can,” declared Lloyd.