Pirates produce Besson's new film
Luc Besson has a new project and a plea out to cinema fans everywhere, he wants you to become a producer and get involved in every stage of the production from script to screen, and more than that, you'll get a cut of the profits too.
It sounds a bizarre project, although something that's been done before it's mainly for smaller films, it's not really been done on this scale with a producer of this calibre.
What sours this story a little is that apparently the motivation behind the whole project for Besson was Internet piracy. It seems that the film industry is collapsing and people can't afford their champagne and caviare while the independent business can't make any films that are a success because of internet piracy.
Of course there's nothing to do with a biased industry towards the high return, big blockbusters, funding organisations that favour big names rather than the independents, and an industry that is wholly focused on an opening weekend return that brings over a 100% profit and keeps the film at the number one slot.
Not even the monthly increasing ticket and food prices in the cinemas have a hand in it.
No, it's none of that, it's the hundreds of millions of people sitting at home stealing films across the internet and watching them instead of going to the cinema, renting films online or by post, or watching them on television.
Okay, rant aside. Let's shove that inane argument out the window and look at what Besson is trying to do. The Hollywood Reporter tells us that he is starting a venture that allows anyone to sign up as a producer who will chose one of five scripts, vote on the director to make the film, chose the cast, select the music, and even decide to finance the film themselves if they wish.
Anyone who does invest money will get a real return from the profits when it is released into the cinemas. So you'll be wanting all those profits maximised.
EuropaCorp has teamed up with Orange to make the project and the film, as well as ensure a cinematic release. You can sign up and get involved over at weareproducteurs.
Involved in the project are a panel of directors, actors, screenwriters, producers, cameramen and set designers who will be pulled into the project during the development to aide the real life producers throughout the project, and as an added incentive the first ten thousand who sign up get their names in the credits – those will be a long set of credits.
Then Besson leaps into the anti-piracy debate again.
”Because of piracy issues, we as producers have this image of being the 'bad guys' among Internet users. It's time to revive the dialogue between us...It's our way of telling web users: Don't wage war with us. Learn how to make a movie with us, and then you'll understand what's at stake when you illegally download films.”
He's missing the point. Really piracy is not destroying the film industry, the industry is managing it all by itself by churning out rubbish, increasing prices, trying to maximise spreadsheet profits over quality, and ignoring the independent and new talent out there.