Should I let the web take my film 4 a ride?

Recently someone asked me if Youtube’s TOS would protect their videos from being ripped. Here’s the answer, excerpted from a Facebook conversation:

It’s sad but Youtube won’t give you any license that protects you like a copyright registration or a WGA registered script.

I suppose, if you upload your work and use the advance settings to establish date, then (maybe, just maybe) you could claim proof of authorship (if) you ended up in court or filed a piracy claim using the Youtube Content ID system.

[Bill M] is correct about the need to “register” your copyright. I think it’s 35 bucks for the PA form, and the last time I did it, they allowed me to upload a digital copy of my movie – therefore saving shipping costs, and completing the process quicker than snail mail.

Regarding [Alex, who uses a youtube-download software to save videos to his PC.]   He’s right, there’s plenty of programs that will grab video from streaming sites like Youtube. 

But heck,  if you’re looking for saturation, then you might not care because posting your videos online gets your stuff out there. If you want to stop folks from stealing, then you could place your movies on my Roku and Fire TV channels, and at least this makes it harder to “leach” the content digitally — but of course that won’t stop a Cam’d version.

Another Facebook commenter mentioned that people make a living grabbing video and then re-posting it as their own on Youtube.  This absolutely happens, and it’s a dang shame that we (sometimes) can’t trust Youtube with out content.  Unless that is, we swing a large bat like the Hollywood Studios who choose to stream their content via Youtube’s Partner program.

Here’s an example.  A film buddy of mine used a small section of Night of the Living Dead in a promotional video.  But Youtube flagged it for copyright infringement.  What…How, he asked me? 

As it turns out, Youtube gave a company the right to file a Content ID claim for Night of the Living Dead.  When this happens, it allows that company to grab all the ad-revenue that is associated with EVERY post on Youtube that contains some NOTLD content. That’s allot of videos – thousands in fact.  Check it if you like.  And in case you didn’t know…NOTLD has been Public Domain for over 40 years. (I think it was The Orchard that is the one that is monetizing Notld and other orphan films.)

Thanks for reading, I hope this Facebook conversation – gone Blog is something that is coherent enough for you to make use of.

-Dean

The things we do for love

It’s been over 50 years since the band Spirit released “Taurus” which is a short orchestrated introductory musical piece.  For over 7 years now, the Randy California estate owners have been involved in a law suit that names Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to heaven as music that was derived from the Spirit tune.

I’ve read dozens of comments on Youtube and other sites, and Led Zeppelin lovers seem to get very angry over this.  Spirit lovers don’t say much.  I can understand why they don’t because I love the old Spirit music and I’m lucky to have several of the old LP’s.  Spirit is mellow, it’s moving, most of their music is a sophisticated mixture of Rock N’ Roll and Jazz elements, and all of it is in a sense – Spiritual.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Zeppelin, but I also have read about numerous similar law-suits involving Zeppelin.

Does this mean they stole Spirits work?

No. 

Actually, I really don’t think Zeppelin stole their music.  And if they did anything more than be inspired, well I guess the courts will decide if a writing credit or money will be the fix.  Before I lose your patience…I’ll post the best comparison I could find on Youtube herein in a just Four Chords or so…

But first, I have to say that I think the reason this lawsuit is happening is simply to give Randy California credit.  Credit for being a great writer who is sometimes lost and forgotten in a sea of top forty favorites and classic oldies like Led Zeppelin.

It’s my opinion that sandy-toed Californian’s who were part of Randy California’s laid back lifestyle cherish the memories. And I’m guessing that they want Randy to be respected and loved for his accomplishments.  And so…the reasons for the legal action.

Okay, now for a video/musical clip, this one unfortunately has an opinionated title by the author.  Sorry I can’t control Youtube.  I’ll try to find a better video comparison.

How I fixed my PC after Win 10 Hijacked it

I was going to call this article “I reserved windows 10 and it killed my Windows 7 pc.” because after Microsoft offered me a free upgrade to Windows 10, my PC started using nearly 100 percent of my CPU. Memory use was super high, and Internet Surfing was almost impossible…everything was acting strangely.

I’m posting this article 10 days after I repaired my PC and I think I can say that my PC is free of the evil GWX.exe (aka Get Windows 10) software that hijacked my PC.

Next is a disclaimer for the following is a story about how I fixed my PC. It’s not a suggestion or a recommendation or a guideline. So if you continue, then USE AT YOUR OWN RISK.

I have the basic knowledge to navigate a pc, I used tools like “windows update” on my Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit laptop. I also use Task Manager, and Control Panel.

My PC might has a built in Recovery/Restore feature. It did not work for me. I tried several ways of fixing my PC. First I tried a partial restore. This preserved my after market software but replaced Windows to an earlier condition. I continued to have CPU problems and memory problems no matter how many times I turned off Services via my Task Manager.

Next I tried a Restore via the PC’s built in Recover Disk. Mistake again! My PC still ran weirdly.

So, I remembered I had my old recovery DVD’s saved in box from some 5 years ago, and this put my PC back to it’s original state, with old default software and no buggy “Get Windows Now” crapola on my PC.

Here’s what I did, pretty much step by step.

I saved all the files that I could trust. And I figured I might lose some software and end up reinstalling. In most cases I have replacement discs, but for my Video Editing software, I recall inputting an unlock or licence “key.” So contacted them and they later allowed me to reinstall via download to my clean PC.

For my pc, I wanted to be sure that no stinking little bit of Microsoft software was residing anywhere, and this for me includes:
Silverlight, Microsoft Office, and their partners in crime: Google, Google Browser extensions, Adobe and Adobe Flash, Shockwave, AIR, etc. These are all software’s that at one time or another might rely on having a Microsoft Service Pack. And SP’s may or may not have the evil Microsoft 10 “GWX.EXE” or other Get Windows 10 Nagware. I do not trust Service Pack 2 at all. And I do not trust the Internet Explorer upgrades either, because at an earlier fix-attempt I made the mistake of upgrading my IE from 8 to IE 11, and the dang PC went wonko once again.

Okay, back to what I did: I unlplugged External Flash and Hard drives. I left the mouse and fan.

I put my original recovery DVD’s (the discs that I had made when I first bought the PC) in the pc and I followed the prompts. During the recovery process, I didn’t turn on the WiFi option, but I did leave the Ethernic conection plugged in because I figured that eventually the PC will need to install drivers and stuff.

I have a driver disk, BUT I allowed the installation to use my NIC connection to update the latest drivers, and this worked for me but I have to admit it was a little risky.

Okay, my PC boots up to windows nice and clean and ready to use. So far it worked for me.

The first thing I did: I selected to turn off the Windows auto updates to “never check for windows updates.”

Next, I uninstalled stuff that would typically ask to be updated. Like Norton, Ebay, etc. I used the control panel whenever a software did not have it’s own uninstall feature.
I never touch anything that is a Microsoft .NET or KB, or my PC mfr’s Registration or Identity Card. Although I have to admit in previous fix attempts I did uninstall KB updates. Those attempts did not work, that’s why I’m going all the way back to my original PC status.
I left my “ACER UPDATE service” too because it’s never haunted me. Mostly, I just like getting rid of things that I can later add on if I really want to.

I removed McAffe. I hate this software, I find that it is slow and demanding. And it doesn’t want to entirely remove. So, after using Uninstall for it, like every uninstall — I did a restart. Then I found online a tool called MCPR. It’s McAffe’s own removal tool, called the McAffe ESD package. I used it. It seemed to work, but I have to say that I don’t go screwing around with the Registry, DLL’s and code deep inside my computer.  So I can’t really say if there’s a line of McAffe code laying dormant somewhere.

Then I went to uninstall Windows Office, on my PC it’s a 60 day trial. I got rid of the main software first, and it removed but gave me a funky message saying something about a registration error. (I never signed up in the first place.) Then I uninstalled the “sync” pack, “registration” and finally the “compatibility” portion.

I then uninstalled Silverlight.

And I removed the Google browser bar and adobe Flash / shockwave and a bunch of software by Sobe, ebay, games, and even the Acer “my win locker.” I removed anything like Norton online that sync’s online.

Now regarding Windows Essentials.

I clicked on it, and it offered a CHANGE rather than an Uninstall option. I guess that’s because it has several Software packages. I chose to uninstall the writer, and messenger — but I did not check the box next to photo/movie. I did not uninstall the PHOTO and MOVIE MAKER. To the best of my knowledge they have yet to ask to be updated on my ole’ PC. I uninstalled the sync, and upload.

Now, I want a new web Browser. I used my old IE 8 web browser to find a new one. I WILL NOT UPDATE IT! Did I tell ya, I’ve done this recovery thing several times now….I tried to update IE 8 to 11, and from experience I can tell ya, it seemed to destroy all the work that I performed. (I later unpinned IE from my task bar to avoid using it. I did not attempt to uninstall IE because I’m guessing it’s tied to the operating system.)
I did try to download Chrome and Opera but they needed Microsoft’s Service Pack II on my 64bit pc, and I will not update my PC with that Service Pack. So I downloaded Firefox. I did NOT install Flash this time.

A FIREFOX note: FLASH broke the latest Firefox on my Windows 7…Earlier, I tried it and it was constantly crashing, at one point I went into the “Add On” area, to the “plugins” where I found Flash Options.  I de-selected the funky box, and restarted Firefox. This was supposedly a fix, but it didn’t work. Firefox still crashed, ran slow etc. It really frak’d my Firefox the last time I tried to do this. So, I try to do without Flash on the new Firefox in my Windows 7 64 bit.

After I installed Firefox, I set the “use as a default” browser option, and resisted the temptation to sign up and sync. I also had to open up Firefox and it’s Options section, then Advanced and I deselected “enable health report” and “crash reporter.”

I did not go browsing outside of Google without Anti-Virus software. I’ve heard Windows Defender isn’t enough, so I searched for Windows Security Essentials. This is the free Microsoft Anti-Virus for my version of windows. I have no trouble with it. I leave mine to auto update Virus definitions. I recall the PC asking me to Turn ON Windows Firewall – I did this.

After the install it wanted to scan my pc. But I instead took the time to go back into Windows Update — I made sure that it is still checked to NEVER Install Updates. The mfr/microsoft doesn’t recommend this for security reasons.  But I plan to do this update manually in the future. Hopefully Microsoft will turn off their GWX marketing campaign.

I now have a basic PC. In Task manager I see about 1-30 percent CPU use, and almost no Memory use too. I hope to never have to see GWX.exe listed here ever again.

In the future, when I install new software I will uncheck prompts to put stuff on the Browser Bar, Give Feedback or Crash Reports, or Sync devices/files, or Auto Update. And of course I’m a safe browser. I stick to sites like WordPress!

Cheers,
Dean Lachiusa

How to Curate a Film Festival 101

Recently I spoke to a filmmaker regarding the amount of submissions I receive.  “…How could I possibly decide which films are right for the Metro Film Festival…How could I judge someones art?”

Well, the answer for me, and I would hope this is the answer anyone serving in my position would use is: I think you have to put your “judge” cap on.

For me, that’s simple.  I use my greatest character flaw.  When I’m watching a film, and if I find myself judging the film…saying to myself “I like this movie…(or more importantly) I DON’T LIKE THIS STORY…” Then I know the film has compelling qualities.  I’ve engaged in the story and the characters whether I like them or not.  And this is one of many qualities that makes a movie take on a life of it’s own.

This is not the only criteria I use of course, but it’s the red-flag that helps me to determine whether I’m going to watch an entire film, or if I’m going to pass the movie on to another Festival programmer who might be interested in watching the entire film.

Another criteria is production quality.  (I like grain, but the images must be clear.)  Then there’s Genre.  (Too much gore or nude stuff can change whether Roku rates a channel as Family friendly, or Adult.)  Length.  (I tend to put videos under 15 minutes into a hour-long “Short Film Showcase.”)  Medium.  (No teasers or trailers, but Featurettes that have complete story are very welcome.)

I hope I’ve shed a little light on things, and offered up some advice for programmers and filmmakers too.

-Dean Lachiusa

PS: If you’re wondering what my background is, during Film School I operated the Media Pool Filmmakers Co-op in Phoenix, with over 200 members in 1997.  Media Pool networked Russo’s Star Theatre in Phoenix, and organizations like the local chapter of WIF (Women in Film.)  I then managed the Pan Left organization’s Tucson office until they decided I wasn’t a Communist (it’s a long story.)  I was influencial in re-launching Tucson’s AIVF chapter and it’s reformation into the IFASA – presided over by Pearry Teo.  And I spent a few seasons working for the good folks at the Arizona International Film Festival in Tucson.  My last stint in the use of actual “celluloid” ended in 2004 when I sold my Moviola flatbed editor for $300.

 

 

Metro Film Festival accepting Submissions

March 31, 2016.
Dean Lachiusa
Curator and Developer of Broadcast Channels for the Metro Film Festival.
INTRODUCTION TO “CONNECTED TV” CHANNELS OPERATED BY METRO FILM FESTIVAL
Dean Lachiusa, curator for the Metro Film Festival publishes content on Roku, Fire TV, FLIPPS, SPBTV and other Smart TV platforms.  Streaming Indie produced Film, Television, and Webisode videos augment the Metro Film Festival’s efforts, and hopefully yours.
Right now, we have free opportunities on our latest Amazon Fire TV channel called Movies Plus.  If you’re not familiar with Fire TV, it’s a “set top box” that connects to your Television and utilizes your Internet connection to broadcast programming on your TV.  Movies Plus is much like the Networks you’re familiar with.  We have much the same quality as Crackle, USA, Encore, etc.  The difference is, we’re not controlled by Hollywood — our content is Indie made.  Movies Plus officially opened it’s doors to Indie Filmmakers January 2016, and since then over 10,000 Amazon Fire TV owners have Subscribed to us.  We’re growing day by day.

Movies Plus is the only Broadcaster that allows you to control the amount of exposure for your movie or television program, and there’s no binding contract.

I’m sure you’re interested in seeing the channel with your own two-eyes.  Currently, if you have a Fire TV device, you may add Movies Plus for free via the Amazon store.  If you don’t have Fire TV, an alternative way to watch the channel is on certain Android Browsers, but please be aware that the Channel is not designed (yet) for Android TV, and therefore you may watch films, but with limited functionality.  For example the “autoplay, and skip functions” will not work on Droids.  On your Android’s Html5 compatible browser, check out https://metrofilmfestival.com to get an idea of the great indie filmmakers that you may be sharing the Movies Plus channel with.
Okay, would you like to know more?  Movies Plus is new, and therefore we are growing to meet the requirements of broadcast platforms like Android TV, and the needs of filmmakers like you.  This is good for you, because this allows MP to offer you a place on our channel at no cost, and with no obligation to keep your Film/TV/Webisode with us.  You’ll get great exposure on the Movies Plus channel, as we are listed among the top 10 Apps in our Fire TV Category.
We leave the power of distribution in your hands.  You may stream your movie for a month to test the results…or let it broadcast for a longer period if you’d like greater exposure.  Your distribution strategy is controlled by you.
How do you participate?
If you like, we will host your movie for the first month for free on our CDN…Yes, space is limited!  OR you may choose to use your own host and therefore control your bandwidth costs, if any.  (Hosting on Vimeo/Youtube will NOT work with Roku or Fire TV.)  This is important to note: If you choose to host your content on your own domain or a free/cheap CDN service, then it frees you up to remove your film from Movies Plus at any time.  And it gives you the option to update what you screen on Movies Plus.
For example, you don’t have to screen your entire movie, you may first try screening a “featurette” of your movie, and then later on you might like to screen a Directors Cut.  Pilots and Screeners are also welcome.  Trailers and Teasers are not.  We encourage you to leverage Movies Plus in creative ways in order to set us apart from all those typical distributors and online venues who promise the world, but never deliver a penny to you.
About this “Leverage” stuff…
The Metro Film Festival and our channels like Movies Plus might sound a little unusual, so let’s look at an example of a movie currently streaming on MP.  The following image was taken from the feature film, The Tunnel.  This artcard was encoded into the start and end of their film, and it’s a good example of how filmmakers use Movies Plus to direct the audience to their website for purposes of promotion, publicity, sales, and all around marketing and distribution strategies.
example-artcard-b4-movie-plays-and-after
The filmmaker could also have elected to feature a “Donation, or Tip” button on their website or Point of Sale.  Or, filmmakers might also like to sell a T-Shirt or another Ancillary product rather than selling film “frames” or DVD’s.
We leave this up to you.  It’s wide open, there’s no obligation to strategize this way…but we welcome your ideas and we will try to help you monetize your content — if this is your goal.  Remember, you don’t have to prepare a special version like the above example, and you are not obligated in any way to motivate folks to visit your website.  (Maybe you just want to get your film seen — that’s cool.)
What does MP and the Metro Film Festival get out of this?
Well, right now we’re footing the bill, but in the future we hope to open the Metro Film Festival up to the public in much the same way that traditional film festivals monetize themselves.  And perhaps we’ll place adverts or sponsors on our broadcast Channels.  But in the meantime, we might just do a Kickstarter campaign to help pay our curator to keep up with submissions.
That’s about all for the moment, please contact Dean Lachiusa via http://www.Facebook.com/DeanLach to share your thoughts, and when you’re ready to submit your film then please email: curator@metrofilmfestival.com with a link to your video-preview or screener.
Cheers!
We hope you join us.

The Cure for common cold is related to baldness

Today – Newswired: Researchers have found a cure for the common cold, and it’s related to baldness in Men and Women.

Persis-Khambatta
It seems the cure has been related to the symptom called “scalpscratchyness.”  This is the nervous response of scratching one’s scalp in which many people experience when trying to find something interesting to watch on television.
The cure it seems, is in the hands of Indie Filmmakers who screen their films on a new channel sponsored by the Metro Film Festival.  The channel, called Movies Plus, is currently available for free on Amazon Fire TV devices, and coming soon to Roku.
“It’s truly a miracle” says Movies Plus founder Dean Lachiusa. “I collaborated with reknowned specialist Alfred E. Neuman of the agency Snap, Crackle and Pop…And they’ve come up with the statistics that prove that watching Movies Plus truly can cure the symptoms related to the common cold and baldness. It worked for me. And curiously enough, I lost 10 LBs of Prenatal weight too…”
Fact: It’s in the skin
Filmmakers have to have skin in the game in order to see results…A film/TV producer may screen their movie, TV, or webisode for free on the Movies Plus channel…the results are miraculous!”
Dean further says to “PM him on Facebook or email him at curator@metrofilmfestival.com for more information; or read the rest of this blurb:
Movies Plus is the place for Indie shows, and now is the time to take control of your project…don’t lose your film/show to a digital distributor who will never pay you!” (Did you know that most distributors commonly act as middle men, licensing your film to other sub-distributors who you do not have an agreement with. And these subdistributors might promise to split the ad-revenues with the distributor you originally sign with, but think about it…How many royalty splits can you have before you get nothing? Let’s do the math: 50% of zero is zero, carry the zero, times nothing, equals nothing!
Movies Plus is the only Broadcaster that allows you to control the amount of exposure for your movie or television program, and there’s no binding contract. We’ll stream your complete film, screener, pilot, or webisode. This in turn drives the audience to your website or point-of-sale. Typically a filmmakers website will feature several easy, do-it-yourself methods of monetization. Some filmmakers feature a PayPal Donation button, some offer a special DVD and they sell ancillary products like T-shirts.

It’s the perfect way to create publicity and leverage ones work without being tied to a distributor…Try us for a month or so, you can always move to a traditional distributor when/if you get the right offer.

Not by Persis Khambatta

 

 

Ed Burns distribution advice

The following is an excerpt from an article from filmmaker Ed Burns and Shohawk.com.
We start at the digital concentration, step #24.  The link to the entire article entitled “30 Tips: Making and Releasing Microbudget films!” is below.

  1. Embrace Your Strategy

We would not make excuses for our nontheatrical release. We would embrace it.”

512yk0rajdlDon’t treat your “small” release strategy as the equivalent of having a movie go straight to video in the 1990s. The climate is different now.

Embrace your means, use them to your advantage in promotion, and own your path to the audience. This will maximize productivity by focusing on what can work best for your film, not someone else’s.

  1. Festivals Are The Indie-Theatrical

I realized I could also have a theatrical release. It was called the festival circuit.”

The vast majority of films and filmmakers cannot afford a traditional theatrical run. But theatrical runs don’t conventionally serve to make a profit.

They are a means of promoting your film across the country or world in hopes that word will spread, people will later buy or rent the movie, and it will live on for a long time after.

Using festivals as your film’s theatrical run is a fairly inexpensive way to gain that exposure and propagate your film’s reputation in multiple markets. Instead of focusing on awards, use the festival circuit to create and connect with fans.

This point was heavily driven home in Jon Reiss’ game changing indie film distribution handbook, Think Outside The Box Office. Michael bought me this book for my birthday in 2011 and it changed my life.

  1. Utilize The Whole Internet

Marc and his team target tech bloggers, hip websites, tastemakers, and connectors to help create buzz on films lacking bigger marketing budgets and resources.”

There are companies dedicated to this, and you can do it with your small team. There’s more to promoting a film than posting on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Think of your movie’s key characters, plot-points, themes, and overall genre. What kinds of audiences are generally interested in such material? Where else do they spend their time? Are there specific blogs, forums, Reddit threads, or social groups they congregate at?

Using these online spaces to promote your film is a low-cost way to spread word; much like casting hungry young actors, these promotions are a mutually beneficial relationship: blogs, forums, and groups subsist on regular content. Make your film a part of that content stream.

Find the entire article here: http://shohawk.com/microbudgettips/

— Dean Lachiusa (curator for Movies Plus, a free Indie Film/TV distribution and broadcast channel on Amazon Fire TV and other connected TV platforms.)