×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Pirates wreak havoc on guarantees, presales

International Film Finance Forum 2012

Stopping piracy “is not just about (paying for) swimming pools in Beverly Hills,” says Ted Shapiro, deputy managing director, veep and general counsel for the Motion Picture Assn. (MPA), the international arm of the MPAA. It’s about having enough money to make the next movie. “If you’re not recouping and you’re not making a profit, what are you going to plow into the next film?”

That’s the point Shapiro hopes to drive home in his opening remarks at the third annual Intl. Film Finance Forum, presented in Cannes by Winston Baker in association with Variety, on May 18.

“I really want to look at the way piracy has impacted the decisions that people are making about what films they can make, where they can make them, what territories they can rely on to get the financing,” he says.

Shapiro says the issue is even more pressing for independent producers and financiers than it is for the six major Hollywood studios whose interests he’s charged with representing through the MPA.

“A lot of films — particularly independent films — are funded by selling the rights in advance in different territories,” Shapiro points out. “You might think that Spain was going to be a place where you were going to get 4% of your budget covered before you started making the film. But that country has been hit so hard by online piracy, I’ve been hearing that you can get minimum guarantees of only 0.5% to 1% there. I heard that in Mexico you can’t do any presales. It’s only negative pickups for local films.”

While the DVD sales have stagnated in the U.S., they’re still growing in less- developed countries, even in Central and Eastern Europe, according to Shapiro.

“The question is who’s going to benefit from it — the DVD pirates or the legitimate sellers,” Shapiro says. “If you can sell only five (non-pirated) DVDs on the homevideo market and you can rely only on theatrical, fewer independent and smaller films are going to be made.”

RELATED LINKS
Wanted: Bright ideas

More Film

  • - New York, NY - 10/9/19

    #GoldOpen Launches Advisory Council, 'Golden Rider' to Promote Multicultural Films

    Diversity-focused nonprofit Gold House is launching an entertainment advisory council made up of industry leaders and a Golden Rider initiative to incentivize diverse representation in film, starting with the Asian diaspora. Both the council and rider are through the organization’s #GoldOpen venture, which supports the opening weekends of multicultural films.  The council — whose members [...]

  • Taylor Swift Variety Cover Story Sundance

    Taylor Swift: No Longer 'Polite at All Costs'

    “Not a shot. Not a single chance. Not a snowball’s chance in hell.” Taylor Swift — who, at 30, has reached a Zen state of cheerful realism — laughs as she leans into a pillow she’s placed over her crossed legs inside her suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, leaning further still into her infinitesimal odds of winning [...]

  • The Island

    ‘The Island,’ ‘Calamity,’ 'Piano Player' Highlight Cartoon Movie 2020 Lineup (EXCLUSIVE)

    BARCELONA – Rémi Chayé’s “Calamity, a Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary,” Anca Damian’s “The Island,” Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal’s “They Shot the Piano Player,” and Enrique Gato’s “Tad the Lost Explorer and the Curse of the Mummy” are among the sixty-six projects from twenty countries to be pitched at the 22nd Cartoon Movie, Europe’s [...]

  • Kirby Dick Amy Ziering

    'On The Record,' Russell Simmons #MeToo Doc, Charts Course to Sundance After Oprah Exit

    UPDATED: A spokesperson for Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering says the filmmaking team behind “Off the Record” will participate in print and broadcast interviews at the Sundance film festival. The accusers featured in the film are weighing press options at this time. Earlier, a spokesperson for the Russell Simmons documentary confirmed to Variety that only [...]

  • Ariel Winograd'TOD@S CAEN' film premiere, Los

    Viacom International Studios Signs First Look Deal with Ariel Winograd (EXCLUSIVE)

    MADRID  — Adding to a powerful and still growing talent roster, Viacom International Studios (VIS) has clinched a first-look deal with Argentine writer-director Ariel Winograd whose latest movie, “The Heist of the Century,” has just become one of the biggest Argentine openers in history. The multi-year pact takes in the development and production of not [...]

  • William Bogert Dead: 'Small Wonder' Actor

    William Bogert, Who Appeared in 'War Games,' 'Small Wonder,' Dies at 83

    TV, film and theater actor William Bogert, who appeared in a recurring role on 1980s sitcom “Small Wonder” and in films such as “War Games,” died Jan. 12 in New York. He was 83. On “Small Wonder,” which ran from 1985 to 1989, Bogert played Brandon Brindle, the Lawsons’ neighbor and Harriet’s father who became [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content