Adam Deacon: Why movie moments are worth paying for
It’s been an amazing year. And my fan base has really made a lot of this happen for me. They came out for all the films at the start of my career. And they came out for Anuvahood and they were the ones that made that film a success. And then with the BAFTA nomination, people’s vote showed their support. So I always have them at the back of my mind.
But at the moment film-makers face a problem when people pirate films rather than paying for the real deal. I’ve had people come up to me, thinking they’re supporting me by going out and buying a pirate DVD, saying ‘look we just saw your last film’. But for me it was so hard trying to make the film, that I want people to see it in its real format.
There’s a stat that nearly half of guys my age admitted to downloading films or TV shows illegally last year. To be honest, it doesn’t surprise me. I didn’t realise the importance of it myself until I went off to make my own film and the producers that fund films told me: “If we don’t make money back on this one, we can’t make another.” The UK film industry is such a small circuit that it needs all the help it can get, so really it’s about putting the message out there to support the scene. It’s about changing attitudes and cultures and making people want to pay that money. Sometimes that takes new ideas and new initiatives.
Some people say because big screen actors are loaded it doesn’t really matter if people pay for films or not. But it’s always an illusion, especially in the UK, where we make films on such a shoestring budget. If the film doesn’t sell you won’t get more films. If Anuvahood didn’t get to where it did in the rankings, we wouldn’t be able to make another film. So it’s more of a thing where it’s about the production company making back the money they’ve invested. If no one buys the film, these films don’t get made.
About two-thirds of people working in the UK film industry last year were freelancers. I think it’s always hard to do freelance work. If everyone’s downloading films it does affect people’s lives and people’s work. It affects the whole industry from lighting to directing.
I did some work with the Industry Trust for IP Awareness just over a year ago around Anuvahood, helping out with their Moments Worth Paying For campaign and it seemed to get the message out to young people, so when they asked me to help out again I said yes. Any way I can get the message out to young people I will do that. I don’t think people necessarily realise the impact their choices have, so if I can use my name to get the message out there I will. I don’t think young people want to be preached at, but they need to understand.
With everything going online, it makes it easier to download from torrent sites, but I think there’s always going to be people that want to have the real deal. It’s up to studios and production companies to think outside the box, use the internet and excite young people. They have to think of new ways to watch and that’s why the industry’s always creating new services, like those where you pay a certain amount per month to have unlimited films. I point my fans to FindAnyFilm.com because you can search for films in whatever format from cinema to DVD, Blu-ray and online and know they’re all above board. It’s a very clear and easy way to find any film.
As a filmmaker, it means everything to me that people choose to watch the real deal and see my films as worth paying for. I remember sitting in the edit thinking I want people to see the film exactly how I was seeing it. I always want people to see it that way. So for me it means a lot when someone says they went to see it in its true format.
Adam Deacon is an ambassador for the Industry Trust for IP Awareness’s ‘Moment’s Worth Paying For’ campaign. To find out more about the campaign, and to try your hand at a quiz that tests your knowledge of 10 iconic films, visit www.facebook.com/FindAnyFilmTagged in: Adam Deacon, films, movies, piracy
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