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Saturday
May142011

Why Million Dollar Paychecks do not Justify Movie Piracy

If you didn't know by now, I do not recommend nor support piracy...specifically, movie piracy. Now with that said, I'm referring to instances where people buy or sell pirated movies, whether on the street or online. That is not to say that I am in favor of people copying movies or putting them up for others to download without the authorization of the studio or producer(s) who made these movies but that is another story and it is not a story that is worth addressing, at least by me.

What follows is my response to a comment left by someone named James on an old article titled "Why Movie Piracy is Wrong."

Many people seem to have the same feelings as what was expressed in his comment:

"I will believe the movie studios are losing money when they stop paying actors millions of dollars to be in films."

While paying millions of dollars to actors may be a bit extravagant for studios that claim loss of revenue due to movie piracy, it is still their right to pay actors whatever they please and even if they don't want to pay that much, actors have agents, managers and most often belong to a union that requires them to get paid more than the average service worker. There may be more to these million dollar paychecks than consumers think but even in cases where there isn't and it's just a move to cover the extravagant egos of top-of-the-line stars, that is still the studio's decision to make.

Supporting illegal transactions do not help the problem. If you want to really cause some changes in the way that they pay actors in Hollywood, then maybe it is better to hit them in the pocket using alternative methods other than supporting movie piracy. These alternative methods could include refusing to buy tickets for movies with stars that have paychecks that you find to be too much.

The CEO of a retail store is paid more money than cashiers and receptionists who work for the store so based on the million dollar paycheck argument, this should justify stealing. Are employees in the right if they still merchandise from stores or companies that they are working for and then sell it to other people for a profit? The answer is NO.

Jumping on that old and tired bandwagon of "actors are paid millions so money is not an issue in Hollywood" excuse to defend piracy or try to make the studios' claim of losing money invalid is nothing more than a scapegoat that defends (whether indirectly or directly) piracy....something that is ILLEGAL, no matter which way you put it or try to come down on studios and actors who get paid millions of dollars.

Why even pirate movies if you have a problem with the million dollar paychecks in Hollywood?

If you want to see one and don't want to pay for it, why not just wait until it comes out on DVD and then borrow that DVD from someone who owns it?

Just a thought!

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Friday
May132011

Put a Fork in It Friday

Since Blogger (owned by Google) went bonkers yesterday, preventing tons of bloggers from posting new stuff and commenting on other blog posts, I am taking a page from Two Hands and a Roadmap's book of doing a link post.

Oh, did I mention they removed my post from Wednesday, May 11th and although they restored it.....my comments are still gone. *sigh* SMDH. If they are not up by tomorrow night, then I will try to restore the comments on that post myself. Anyway, here are some additional places where you can read The Madlab Post blog from now on.....especially during times when Blogger is down and you haven't seen an update posted in more than two days. They are officially the sibling blogs of this one.

Madlab Post Lite
www.madlabpostlite.posterous.com

Thanks to Posterous, I managed to get a blog post (read: How to Make a Prom Video) up yesterday and may I say, pretty quickly without having to go through a lengthy process of learning how to use their platform, which is more than I can say about the next one that I will mention but hey, the good news is that there are lots of blogging options available and that is what saves us from many of the frustrations of blogging.

I will be posting similar content to what you normally would read here, on the Madlab Post blog that is hosted at Posterous. So, the "Lite" version does not mean it's like non-fat or low-fat. It's just an extra place to find my blog posts.

MadlabPost.Wordpress
www.madlabpost.wordpress.com

Hmm...should I change the name of this blog to "MPW" or "MP2"? What do you all think about that? Just curious. So, I started a Madlab Post blog on Wordpress to find out if it would be a reliable blogging platform but the dashboard, while very extensive and offers lots of features including cool customization tools, is NOT what I would call user friendly. There is just too much crap to deal with on Wordpress and who said that I wanted "Hello" posts on my blog and an "About" section already filled out with starter material?

If I want something posted, then I'll post it myself. I understand that maybe they do this to help bloggers get started but c'mon. I had to return to the dashboard to make changes to my blog more times than I desired, just to remove sections or change default text so that my Wordpress blog could stop looking like I published it but neglected certain areas such as the About Page where they had some stuff like "This is where your about information goes". Well, Duh!

So, these are my extra blogging places. What should I do with them? I don't plan on posting the same content on all three blogs, so should one be for photos or should there be different blog posts on all three that center on the same subject? I'll figure something out but in the meantime....really...."MPW," "MP2," or Madlab Post 2 or something else or should it remain the same? Let me know!

See you all tomorrow. Hopefully on this blog. If not here, then on the sister blogs!

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Wednesday
May112011

‘Unlawful Killing’ at Cannes Film Festival Sparks Controversy

Film Festival Wednesdays,Film  Festivals,WordCount Blogathon

This Friday, a documentary titled “Unlawful Killing” will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival but not everyone is excited to watch it. The Kieth Allen movie features a paparazzi photo of Princess Diana, taken moments after her fatal car crash according to the Daily Mail.

Friends of the royal family are outraged that this graphic image is being shown in the movie. “Unlawful Killing” will be screening “everywhere except the UK,” says Allen because British officials want him to significantly edit the film, which probably includes removing that controversial and disturbing photo of Princess Diana.

Some film enthusiasts may call Allen’s move “a work of art” using the quest for realism to back them up while others view it as an attempt to exploit Princess Diana by making money off of her memory. Whether the photo is inappropriate or not, it’s sure to bring some extra attention to this year’s Cannes Film Festival. In a time when entertainment audiences are comfortable watching violence and people dying in film, television and video games, it is a wonder what makes this “Unlawful Killing” documentary so different that it stirs up disdain in the minds of those who may not have even known her.

Allen claims that this movie reveals a plot involving Prince Philip and Prince Charles to kill Princess Diana to stop her from marrying the Duke of Edinburgh’s son. If there is a cover-up, those who do not want this to be revealed are likely to be the very ones who do not want this documentary shown to the public. Getting people to focus on the photo issue may be an effort to distract audiences from what Allen claims to be the main point of the documentary.....foul play.

Then again, maybe a lot of people are just not okay with seeing images of a real person dying, princes or not, in a movie. People are killed in the recent movies such as “Hanna” and “Scream 4” but there are rarely, if any complaints about those scenes. This could be because many movie going audiences are desensitized to the images but it could also be due to the fact that none of these scenes are real. There is a clear difference between a good guy or bad guy getting killed in a scene and a real-life image of a person’s actual death scene.

There are probably many alternative ways in which the main point of this documentary could have been described without showing photos from the scene of Princess Diana’s death. However, an argument could also be made that some people would probably find “Unlawful Killing” less disrespectful if it were the product of Princess Diana’s family instead of an outsider. What if the royal family released the documentary instead or gave the filmmaker their approval.

It is a wonder if this controversy would even be an issue. The VH1 network seemed to have the family’s blessing when they released “Last Days of Left Eye.” Even though it disturbed some viewers when it premiered at the Atlanta Film Festival and aired on television, this documentary appeared to be generally accepted by fans of TLC and the late singer.....probably because she purposely recorded the footage in this documentary.

What do YOU think?

So, is the use of this car crash image in “Unlawful Killing” distasteful because someone is dying?

Is it wrong because the filmmaker’s agenda to expose a conspiracy to murder princess Diana puts a questionable spotlight on those who are the subject of his accusations?

Would the documentary still have an impact on, or be of interest to movie going audiences if these images of Princess Diana in question were edited out of the picture?

If the documentary was released by the royal family instead of a third-party, would the same concerns be raised regarding these Princess Diana car crash photos?

This post is the latest in my Film Festival Wednesdays series. If there are any film festival related events that you would like to see covered on this blog, contact me, as all suggestions are taken into consideration.

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