Movie giants, such as Warner Brothers Co. and Universal Studios, do not seem to be that affected by the illegal downloads. There is no denying that there is revenue lost when large amounts of people resort to pirating a movie. But according to Jonathan D. Rose, intellectual property litigator, the most affected people in the movie industry due to piracy are those who do most of the manual work. Actors, directors, and other people of that level are not necessarily concerned with how much money is “lost”. You have to understand that these movie giants can and have earned millions over weekends, and this is just for USA and Canada. Foreign office results are a totally different thing. There isn’t even a decrease in frequent movie goers worldwide. If you consider how much one ticket costs and multiply it to the amount of people that watch that film worldwide, it’s hard to believe that piracy is hurting these giants in the film industry.
This is not the case for local films. Earlier this year That Thing Called Tadhana, star Angelica Panganiban called out the film’s fans on committing piracy. She took to Instagram and commented on posts that showed the user watching the film out of the cinema prior to the DVD release and then posted screenshots on Twitter. (Read more about it here) As said earlier, movie companies are not that threatened with piracy and are able to continue to produce quality films. However, the Philippines’ film industry is vastly different from the American or British film industry. According to Bienvenido Lubera's essay Kasaysayan at Tunguhin ng Peilikulang Pilipino, Hollywood's films “may higit na makinis na teknika, higit na magarang produksiyon, at higit na bilang kung itabi sa mga pelikulang lokal.” (Better technology, more elegant production, and more in number compared to local films.) This was written back in the 70's and he's still right. At present, it is hard to continue showing our greatest films, which most of the time happen to be indie films, in malls because there is very little funding provided.
Yes, the Philippine film industry is quite messed up and we have a lot of catching up to do. But imagine if we patronized Filipino films more. Imagine if it was one of our action films that will dominate the movie cinemas just like a Marvel film. Imagine our films having the same finesse with special effects like a Marvel film, only this time we can call it our own. Our directors are capable of making amazing films. Our producers, actors, writers, and so on are capable. But film, media, isn’t a one way street. You don’t know how much you, the public, have an impact on our film scene.
- Anna Cayco
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