Skip to main content

Response: Positive Reinforcement Of Piracy And The Invalidation Of Comic-Con

This past weekend was the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con, pretty much the Mecca of comic book and comic book movie fandom. Few other comic conventions attract as much world wide attention and non so much as the legendary Hall H panels for major studios like Warner Bros. Marvel, Fox, Disney and others.

Each year exclusive Con only trailers and other footage is shown for upcoming movies and each year some douche with a smart phone camera films it and posts their low quality, hand held shit online, probably for the views and attention or just because they can. Honestly, I don't really care why because I'll watch it anyway.



The difference between a bootleg trailer filmed from the floor of Hall H and an official trailer is crowd reaction. You don't get any sense of how a trailer is being received by fans watching the official online version.

But, when you hear an audience going nuts for Harley Quinn and the Joker in the leaked Suicide Squad trailer from this years comic-con, well you can't help but be a little more excited for the film. I know I was. I was even more interested to see the official HD quality trailer as a result of that low quality footage. (Though I will concede that particular film had my attention as soon as the first utterance of 'Joker' was linked to the film).



Sean Gerber of Modern Myth Media wrote an article, Positive Reinforcement Of Piracy And The Invalidation Of Comic-Con, commenting on the fact that Warner Bros. caved to fans by releasing an official HD version of the Comic-con trailer online, within days of the leaked footage, as a way of combating the film being seen in a poor light (presumably by being promoted with a low quality boot-leg). Bemoaning the fact that the trailer was intended to be an exclusive for attendees.

The thrust of Sean's article is that, by caving to piracy and releasing the same trailer online within hours, it sets  precedent, it sends a message to fans that this is all it takes to see official comic-con exclusive footage online. Footage that some people paid money and queued for hours to see as a comic-con exclusive.

In doing so it somehow invalidates the special experience that is Hall H where fans are not just treated to official trailers but may also see early unfinished footage, test footage set photos, key cast members, directors and more.

Personally I disagree that it invalidates the Hall H experience. Quite the opposite in my opinion.

The only reason I care about San Diego Comic-Con is because I know that's where the majority of movies I have an interest in will debut new footage. There are many people like me who will never attend SDCC in their life time. Obviously we'd love to be there but circumstances are against us for varying and very valid reasons.

We're not deliberately boycotting the event nor do we feel entitled to see anything shown there. However, when SDCC is on we're focused on any little bit of info we can get our hands on, including those crappy phone recorded trailers because we want to be part of the discussion. Share the excitement of things that are released first in Hall H that we love too.

All of what's presented will be talked about and described endlessly by those who were there within minutes of panels ending if not sooner anyway, why shouldn't studios release that footage and those trailers officially when my interest in seeing and discussing it is at an all time high?

Even if every panel was recorded in full and put online there's nothing quite like the experience of being there. Being among the first to see and experience everything at a panel live in the room. It doesn't matter that people online will see everything as soon as the panel is over there's still the bragging rights of saying 'I was there. I know what it was like to be in the room'. It's the same reason people go to see their favorite bands perform live. The live experience is entirely different to listening to your favorite songs in their studio recorded format. And let's not forget SDCC is more than just panels.

I'm not saying studios should release the trailers and other footage they show SDCC officially. They can do what they want but why limit the discussion to 6 to 7000 people in a hall, many of whom are media, there for the express purpose of reporting what they saw to the wider audience who couldn't make it.

What's fun about new footage of an upcoming film is not seeing it first (though there is an initial buzz in that) but discussing every aspect of what it was you saw with your friends. In today's modern social constructs that often span borders and even oceans, it's almost certain most of your friends won't have access to that footage to keep the momentum of the discussion going. Keeping footage exclusive limits the word of mouth of the film. Not just for the people who weren't there but for those who were, who have to try and remember what they saw from the one or maybe two play throughs they saw at the presentation.

Personally I think it's within each studio's interest to officially release comic-con footage, particularly if it's a complete trailer or even a teaser trailer, shortly after the panels they're shown at. In doing so they keep the global audience focused on their Hall H exclusives and are still able to create moments exclusively for attendees (such as Marvel bringing out Tom Hiddleston in character as Loki a few years ago - how often and where else do you see an actual comic book movie character performed live by the actor from the film?)



The issue is not that officially releasing trailers online hours after a Hall H panel invalidates Comic-con. What it does is bypass the media outlets reporting on comic-con. Fans no longer have to scour websites looking for information about what people saw at SDCC because they can just go to the official release of that content. Which means those media outlets need to get more creative than just describing what they saw at the event (Personally I hate the rise of live tweeting or live blogging of events by media outlets - just film or audio record the damn thing on your phone, it amounts to the same thing in the end).

At the same time studios do need to get more creative with their presentations. SDCC in particular is a global event now. Just parading stars and showing trailers isn't really enough for the live experience, though it certainly should still be the core of the presentation. Adding a little bit of flare to the presentation with content that really works best live would make queuing for 36 hours seem like something a little less insane to do (and don't forget there's more to SDCC than panels that only attendees will ever experience... like Zack Snyder arriving in the actual Batmobile and handing out T-Shirts).

In the end you can't control what people film on their iPhone but studios can invalidate it by recording their events in high quality and releasing it themselves. They could even release it to select media outlets as exclusives if they want to keep the media in the loop.

Either way, times have changed. Perhaps events should take a lead from the Beastie Boys with their 2006 concert DVD Awesome; I Fuckin' Shot That! where most of the footage was shot by audience members?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Yukino Yukinoshita Figurine Cartoon Figure Doll Model Desk Ornament Toy Gift - MULTI-A - Product Review

I must admit I was not familiar with the Anime character Yukino Yukinoshita, from the Japanese book and TV series My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU. I bought this figure because I was browsing for one that looked similar to an Anime avatar my partner used for a time on social media.


What actually sealed the deal for me to purchase, aside from how similar the character looked, was the little panda (Pan-san) with the black star eye, which I felt gave the whole figurine set a bit of an edgy look.

When my purchase arrived I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and detail. Having since discovered the Anime TV series the figure is based upon I can say it's a fairly faithful depiction of Yukino.

Standing (or is that sitting?) at 14.00 x 15.00 x 14.00 cm / 5.51 x 5.91 x 5.51 inches the figure is an ideal size for displaying on a desk or bookshelf without taking up too much room. The 1/8 scale allows for a good level of detail, particularly in the characters clothing which, despite being P…

Virtual Reality Addiction Meets Online Shopping and Death!

I'm certainly not the first person to predict the idea of immersive virtual worlds. Movies like Tron (1982) and The Lawnmower Man (1992) are two of the earliest popular culture references to the concept I can think of, off the top of my head. Then of course there is The Matrix (1999) where the VR world idea really hit the mainstream big time.

However, back in early 2005, the practice of online shopping, with real money, for digital products in virtual worlds like Second Life (which was more cutting edge back then) began to meld in my mind with the idea of corporations controlling that experience through marketing and advertising.

Robot Uprising: Patrolling Your Home, Garden and Now The Streets!

Many people think of the inevitable Robot Uprising as a humanoid, Terminator like, robot army, wielding laser guns, hunting us down in some kind of distant future, human Armageddon. What they don't realize is that the robot armies are already taking shape, albeit in a much more passive aggressive form.

I've previously documented the Roomba as the first wave of mass produced robots surveilling your home under the guise of being a floor vacuum.

These irritating devices are supposed to quietly work away in the background while you perform Yoga poses in peaceful bliss but are actually noisy enough to attract your attention and... why does the thing keep missing that one spot in the middle of the floor but has cleaned the same corner four times already!

Halloween - The Door-to-Door Salesperson of Holidays

Halloween isn't really a thing in Australia but over the years it's been gaining momentum thanks to variety and party hire stores that stock up on all things spooky for the occasion.

I dread Halloween every year because I never know if this is going to be the year some wide eyed group of costumed up kids is going to knock on the door and yell 'Trick or Treat' at me. A truly scary thought.

Halloween is a fantastic idea for a holiday, completely ruined by the tradition of going door to door for treats. If you or your family does this, I sincerely hope you never knock on the door of houses that a) You've never met the owner in any capacity and, b) are clearly not participating in the festivities demonstrated by their lack of any Halloween decorations at all.

If you're like me you probably hate door-to-door salespeople, a practice that has thankfully decreased but is still employed by phone and power companies from time to time. There's nothing worse than peop…

Super Sonico Cartoon Sitting Girl with Swimsuit Model Toy - RED - Product Review

I was not familiar with the Anime character Super Sonico created by Tsuji Santa of the Japanese computer and video game software company, Nitroplus, as the mascot for Nitroplus' annual live music festival event "Nitro Super Sonico".

I was actually looking through the GearBest website for another Anime character and liked the look of this particular display figure enough to add it to my cart. (It also helped that the figure was on sale at a significant email only discount at the time).

This particular version of the character features Sonico dressed in her Santa Cape and Swim Suit  complete with holiday trimmings. The hood/cape can also be removed and replaced with Sonico's headphone wire and trademark, long pink hair.

When my purchase arrived I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and detail. Having since discovered the Anime character (and also TV series) the figure is based upon I can say it's a fairly faithful depiction of Super Sonico.

Standing (or is tha…

Kevin Smith's Tusk (2014) and Yoga Hosers (2016) - Movie Review *Very Minor Spoilers*

It may seem somewhat redundant to be talking about Tusk and Yoga Hosers four and two years after their respective release dates but there is still one more movie to come (Moose Jaws) in Kevin Smith's True North trilogy so you're going to want to revisit or view them for the first time at some stage before that film (if you have any interest in it of course).

Both films are not highly regarded by critics and probably polarize even Kevin Smith fans since they're not exactly along the lines of Clerks but you can see some pretty broad hints of Smith's leanings toward weird comedy horror in Red State.

Even Kevin uses these two films as self deprecating punching bags for his film career. It's not that he thinks they're bad films, he just recognizes the silly weirdness doesn't give them broad appeal and therefore they often get poor reviews.

Full disclosure, I'm a Kevin Smith fan but, whilst I've been wanting to see both of these movies for a while, Kevin…

IGTV - Vertical Video Done Right by Instagram

I am not a huge fan of vertical videos because they are reduced down when played in a standard horizontal format player, so it can be hard to see the detail. Usually vertical videos have black blocks on either side. It feels a lot like your watching the video from a neighbouring dark room through a narrow door frame. Also you don't get as much width in your shots making it hard to frame all of the action.

Instagram TV (IGTV) basically says 'so what' to all of the above. You can access IGTV through an icon menu item on the Instagram app (or I think you can install it separately).
You'll be taken directly to the IGTV app where the first video in your stream will automatically start playing (usually with the sound off) after first seeing some old style TV static to give that authentic 'television' like experience.