Pirates plunder 100 Bloody Acres

Australian horror comedy 100 Bloody Acres was watched by a handful of people in US and Australian cinemas — a tiny fraction of the number who have illegally downloaded the film.

The producer, Cyan Films’ Julie Ryan, said two independent companies that work in the online area estimate the film has been downloaded at least 35,000 times.

“That is three times more than we had thought,” Ryan told IF. “Torrent Tracker doesn't pick up all the bit torrent sites so this figure is on the conservative side.

“These sites can't be shut down and unfortunately we can't tell where in the world this activity has occurred. But we do know that the film was on Pirate Bay the second day of the US release, and we have anecdotal evidence in Australia where people have admitted to downloading it illegally.

”I just hope that some of these people buy the DVD when it releases in their country.”  Ryan sees this rampant piracy as a compelling reason to telescope the four-month window from theatrical launch to home entertainment so small Aussie films can be legally downloaded much sooner.

The feature writing and directing debut of the brothers Colin and Cameron Cairnes, the film features Damon Herriman and Angus Sampson as brothers who run an organic fertiliser business using human carcasses.

It opened in the US on June 28 in 15 cinemas and on Video-on-Demand platforms and on six screens in Australia on August 1. Ryan hired Adelaide-based company Convergen to shut down 125 sites which had been illegally streaming the film.

Convergen’s Anton Andreacchio is not surprised at the level of illegal sharing of a film which had a limited cinema release. “If a film is good and people want to see it they will find a way to access it,” he said

Joel Beath of Loud & Clear, the online marketing company that worked on the campaign for 100 Bloody Acres, estimates the number of downloads is higher than 35,000.

He cited one Torrent site which reported 1,762 Seeders (people sharing the file) and 983 Leechers (people downloading the file).

Convergen issues DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown requests to mainstream streaming sites such as YouTube and Done Video to remove down web-based links.

Andreacchio said his firm has helped 15 film and TV producers to take down 30,000-40,000 sites that were pirating titles such as Mary and Max and The Dragon Pearl (a Chinese-Australian coproduction, directed by his father Mario, that was especially vulnerable because it opened first in China).

“We do not claim to be able to take down all pirated content,” he said. “You simply cannot. What we try to provide is a service that allows producers to pragmatically 'do what can be done.'”

Convergen’s film business supports producers in developing content and helping with market placement and packaging, and provides visual effects; it just did 100 VFX shots on David Campbell’s supernatural thriller Lemon Tree Passage.

  1. That sucks! I really liked the film

    I’ll be buying the dvd for sure.

    It’s a real shame that aussie flick didn’t get the advertising that it deserves. I didn’t see any adverts on the online papers of TV…..

  2. So 35,000 people went out of their way to find and watch this movie, and the producers failed to monetize it… That’s the general gist of the article right?

  3. It’s great to hear Julie Ryan and Colin Cairns speak out against piracy and well done to IF and Don Groves for drawing attention to this. So few Australian producers seem to care about piracy and, in fact, many have told me that they are happy that people want to watch their films at all. Recent IPAF research indicates that 12-17 year old Australians who regularly download illegal content, consider paying for film and TV as a “waste of money”. It echoes what UK producer Stephen Garrett said at SPAA in 2012 “I am a passionate anti-pirate. But it is very hard to prove how much damage it is doing. I think it is more of a long-term psychological damage. It is too easy to get ahold of stuff without paying for it. And we all get to the point where even when there are the structures and frameworks around micropayment systems that allow you to get what you want when you want it, people will be so accustomed to not paying anything, that even 99 cents will feel like too much.”
    (Lori Flekser, Executive Director, Intellectual Property Awareness Foundation)

  4. 35,000 illegal downloads is nothing. major blockbusters are downloaded millions of times and they still turn a profit at the box office and VOD. you just need to accept that the film wasn’t as successful as you hoped. seriously look at The Tunnel – that had millions of downloads and was a free movie to begin with – so your commercial, paid for film, was only downloaded 35,000 times – means it was actually a flop.

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