Or so says filmmaker Eric D. Wilkinson. In a complete 180% turn from the stance taken by groups like the MPAA, Eric has learned to if not love the pirates at least appreciate some unusual benefits. His latest Sci-Fi movie Jerome Bixby’s The Man From Earth was released on DVD on 11/13/07, however even before its official release, a copy had found its way into the murky world of file sharing.

A good measure of a movies popularity is  the rank it achieved in iMDB, and when you examine the history of Jerome Bixby’s The Man From Earth you get a real idea of the impact that piracy can have on an independent film maker. The leak of the DVD occurred about one week prior to release. The iMDB  ranking went as follows #11,235 on October 28th , #144 on November 4th, and finally peaking at #6 on November 11th. It is currently ranked as the 14th best Science-Fiction film ever! The web site set up to support the movie saw an increase of over 3,000% in traffic volumes.

Eric Wilkinson realized that the genie was out of the bottle, once a DVD is out in the wild there is little a movie maker can do, you can take people to court, you can send cease and desist notices, but this is a bit like playing Whack The Gopher at the fairground.

His approach instead was to issue a statement on his blog www.rlslog.net . “Thanks to everyone who has downloaded this torrent and watched the film, our awareness level is through the roof. For that I say, ‘Thank You’!” He also requested that they spread the word, buy the DVD and donate money for their viewing to the film at www.manfromearth.com.

One has to admire this bold approach, it certainly is different! I admire this tactic, and although I am not a Sci-Fi fan, I do plan on watching this movie.

Simon Barrett

Be Sociable, Share!