Aussie Zombie Movie Wyrmwood's Filmmakers Have A Message For Pirates

What would you do if, after investing four years of your time and a couple of hundred thousand dollars of your own money, you saw the product of your hard work shared freely around the internet?

The guys behind the Aussie indie zombie flick Wyrmwood, one of the last week's most illegitimately downloaded movies after its release, have something to say to the people who have seen the film, but haven't paid for that privilege.

Aussie Zombie Movie Wyrmwood Is Being Widely Pirated, But Please Don't

Wyrmwood: Road Of The Dead is a great movie by all accounts, garnering a 74 per cent score on Rotten Tomatoes — beating out top box office hits Kingsman: The Secret Service (73 per cent, US$105M) and American Sniper (73 per cent, US$395M) and coming close to Oscars favourite The Theory Of Everything (79 per cent, US$99M). But it's not making nearly as much money as these blockbusters.

After its theatrical release in Australian cinemas late last week, and theatrical and simultaneous VOD digital release in the US through iTunes, Wyrmwood became incredibly popular online. It became popular through The Pirate Bay and TorrentDay though, appearing in the 10 most downloaded and shared torrents on TPB's top movies list with a peak of around 5000 sharers and 5000 downloaders simultaneously over the weekend.

At the time of writing, nearly 3500 people are sharing a complete copy and there are over 1500 downloaders. Following this trend over the last seven days, it's not unreasonable to expect tens of thousands of individual downloads of Wyrmwood occurring. At the price of a movie ticket or Blu-ray purchase these days, or even a budget digital download or rental, that's hundreds of thousands of dollars at least that are not making their way into the coffers of film distributors and eventually to the pockets of the filmmakers, cast and crew.

Wyrmwood was not a lavishly funded production. Taking four years from conception to creation, the two brothers who wrote and directed the film spent $160,000 making it happen — an absolute shoestring budget for a movie that wowed critics at film festivals worldwide. That money was out of their own pockets, and the cast and crew behind the zombie flick worked on a payment deferred basis — they haven't actually been paid for the work they did yet, and won't until Wyrmwood starts making money.

Here's the reason why you can't download Wyrmwood legally in Australia right now. To have been eligible to receive funding for post-production from Screen Australia — which in Wyrmwood's case was worth nearly $850,000 of the $1,000,000 total budget — Wyrmwood had to have a limited theatrical release. It had to appear in cinemas in Australia. And when movies appear on Australian theatre screens, they almost never enjoy a simultaneous digital release — there's usually a delay of around three months.

The filmmakers negotiated with their distribution partners to get this delay lessened, understanding the fact that modern movie fans want to see it in a variety of formats. As such, the film's DVD/Blu-ray/VOD release in Australia is set for April 2, two months rather than three from the theatrical launch. But in this always-connected 21st century, it seems that if you don't release your movie literally instantly online worldwide as it hits cinemas, you lose the momentum to widespread piracy.

Beyond that, filmmaker and director Kiah Roache-Turner shared a statement on Screen-Space, discussing the movie's varying worldwide release dates and the difficulty of negotiating the release process. A portion of the statement discusses digital downloads, and the studios' attitude to them and long-running history of and expertise with releasing films both big and small.

In conjunction with Studio Canal, we tried very hard to get 'same day' for Wyrmwood for iTunes but unfortunately our hands were tied due to the window required by cinemas. In this instance we were able to get a two month window instead of three, which is fantastic.
  But Aussies were still pissed off when (US distributor) IFC Midnight released theatrical and VOD same day. As soon as the iTunes copy launched, 'BOOM'; somebody ripped that film off the platform, uploaded it to Pirate Bay and the film became one of the most torrented films in the world overnight.

The filmmakers campaigned to get Wyrmwood released simultaneously on iTunes in Australia, but the distributors are the experts and the ones that have the say at the end of the day. If there's anyone that you, the Aussie pirate, should be angry at — as minimal and ethereal a reason as you might have for that — it's the film's Australian distributors. It's entirely their decision as to how and when a film is released, what formats it's released in, and maybe they don't have the faith in a movie released at the same time in the cinemas and online. (After this ordeal, you can understand why.)

If there was one distributor that dealt with the movie's release and rights worldwide, it might have been a different situation. There might have not been any US iTunes release at all, and there may have been a more committed theatrical release beforehand. That would probably have worked out better for Wyrmwood, but it was the first feature film for the filmmakers and a big commitment for their partners. It's one of those beautiful difficulties of the internet that it really is global, and for all intents and purposes a movie released legally in the US can quickly become illegitimately available to the entire planet.

If you want to see Wyrmwood: Road Of The Dead in Australia now, you can. From today onwards it's screening nightly at Dendy Newtown, Reading Townsville has it tonight and over the weekend, and other states have listings too. Fan-Force has nine separate screenings of the movie listed, and if you want one near you that site makes it possible to request a cinema, time and date and if you find enough willing participants it'll go ahead. It's like crowd-funding, but with zero obligation — all you have to do is get a bunch of friends interested and trust in the magic of social media.

If Roache-Turner has one thing to say to the probably tens of thousands of people who have pirated Wyrmwood in the last week, though, it's this:

Right now it's in YOUR hands. Yes, YOU the person with the hand paused over the 'download' button getting ready to download my bad-ass Ozploitation zombie film RIGHT now. I can't stop you pushing that button nor do I judge you for pushing that button. Mate, that's your decision, it's none of my business.
  But if you download Wyrmwood and really bloody like it, please do the right thing and purchase a copy. Support independent filmmakers who sweated blood for four long years to bring you that film.

This is a pretty goddamn magnanimous attitude to have, and I think Kiah is well worth applauding for it. It must be really hard to sit there and see people taking your hard work for granted and for free. The best possible outcome is that these pirates, after downloading Wyrmwood, end up either legitimately purchasing the film or donating a couple of dollars to the cast and crew for their hard work.

I haven't seen Wyrmwood yet — because I haven't had the chance to see it in the cinema. I'm not going to pirate it, and you shouldn't either. This shouldn't be a controversial statement, because piracy isn't just something that you can justify because you don't want to wait a few weeks, but I feel like I have to repeat it until some of you understand. [Wyrmwood]

WATCH MORE: Entertainment News


    Should have been done like that from the get go.
    However better late than never.

      i wanted to watch this the moment i saw that clip posted months ago

      i googled it and couldnt find where to watch it

      then read they were going to cannes first
      so i searched for release dates
      i even put a google calendar reminder

      Then when the date came about...nope no way to watch it anywhere

      Now even if i wanna support the guy, i still dont know how i can buy a copy without going to a cinema, which i dont have time for

        I would have gone to the cinema if it had been widely available, rather than one day at one cinema in the city. But I'm in the same boat. I'm looking online and literally all I found was this article, the option to watch it on the American (not Australian) Netflix and iTunes. And it's $19.99. For a digital copy. I want to support it. But I'm not going to pay $20 for 1gig that I won't watch again. I could rent it, but that's fucking $6.99 on it's own. At this rate, the best bet may be to just watch it and if I like it buy some of their merch.

        Edit: Went to check out their merch and their store is down. Seriously?!

        Last edited 23/04/15 11:00 am

    At the time of writing, nearly 3500 people are sharing a complete copy and there are over 1500 downloaders. Following this trend over the last seven days, it’s not unreasonable to expect tens of thousands of individual downloads of Wyrmwood occurring. At the price of a movie ticket or Blu-ray purchase these days, or even a budget digital download or rental, that’s hundreds of thousands of dollars at least that are not making their way into the coffers of film distributors and eventually to the pockets of the filmmakers, cast and crew.

    Arghhhh - FUCK THIS ONE DOWNLOAD = ONE SALE mentality. It doesn't. Stopped reading right there.

      what is the reality then?

        The reality is that it is not as black and white as the media corps wish to paint it. Are some of those downloads lost sales? Probably, are all of them? No way. People download for various reasons some include: access & availability (geoblocking - windowed releases), portability, try b4 buy - there are so many different reasons, to just outright label it as 1 download = 1 lost sale is a complete fabrication.

        Heck there is even evidence that piracy can actually increase sales (

          The reality is that even if someone downloaded a movie it doesn't mean they watched it, it doesn't mean they gave it to their friends, and it doesn't mean the filmmakers lost any money. I downloaded it to see if it was worth a buy - It wasn't. They haven't lost any money from me.

          They are making that distinction, to a degree, on their facebook page - If you liked it can you please buy it, and I fully support that sentiment. If you enjoyed the movie then support the people that made it.

          yeah cool, i guess ive always just taken it at face value, and logically it made sense to me that one unpaid download = one lost sale. thanks!

          Agreed. A modern view is to think of file sharing as marketing.

            Modern, but not necessarily wise. If the marketing approach is to provide the product, then what is the goal of the marketing? The product has already been given away, so it isn't like you can now sell it.
            (Obviously one download isn't one lost sale, or even one lost rental, but I find the file-sharing-as-marketing position very unconvincing).

              It works the same way as review copies and press screenings. Giving away the product in small numbers increases word of mouth, if the product is good people will tell other people and it will encourage more people to pay for the product because they now know about it and know it's worth getting.

              You said "the product has already been given away, so it isn't like you can now sell it", which is confusing, because of course you can. First, piracy doesn't mean the product has been 'given away' to everyone, and second, plenty of people are willing to pay for a product that they originally obtained for free as long as they can be sure it's worth paying for.

              Half of my DVD collection are movies I first saw for free (whether pirated or on TV) because it gave me the chance to judge if the movie was worth paying for. Those are purchases I would never have made if I hadn't had the opportunity to see the movie first.

          Yes. I have the same opinion of the apps I make. People hack for in-app purchases all the time, but I know they are the type of people who wouldn't pay anyway. I've come to the conclusion that the best way not to lose money from piracy, is to not waste development time adding DRM and other anti-hack measures.

          I wouldn't spend so much money on games these days if I didn't rampantly pirate them and make them such a big part of my life in the 90's.

            Or someone could be just trying it out to see if its worth the money - some bug with the crack causes issues. Said person reckons its shit and tells all his mates it's not worth it via word of mouth. More loss of sales

            Let alone any issues with the DRM that might occur to legitimate purchases. As a consumer there is nothing worse than making a purchase and then going out and downloading the pirated\crack version as it just works better.

            Unfortunately all movies & tv fall into this as you buy the dvds/blu-ray and can't watch it on your phone\tablet on the way to work also a digital library is much more convenient with massive libraries taking up very little shelf space. Music's got the right idea with spotify allowing offline storage or itunes\amazon with purchasable mp3. wtb mp4/mkv videos to download released the same day as it's aired on TV - hell might freeze over first.

        I used to download a bunch of stuff when I was younger. Would not have paid a cent for most of it if it was available for purchase and not download.

        Option A: Don't buy. Don't watch.
        Option B: Don't buy. Watch.
        Option C: Buy. Watch.

        Oh, if only we could eliminate Option B, we just KNOW that everyone in that category would shift to Option C, right? Right?!
        We should clearly base all our arguments around that flawless and obvious assumption.

          You forgot Option D: Buy. Don't watch. AKA, The Steam Option.

            Haha yes the Steam option - Done this one a few too many times (read the summer sale)

            Most certainly so many of the things people watch doesn't matter if they were up for download or not - they would have just moved onto something else, if they believed the show/movie is good they will make sure to support it, frankly there are a lot of movies that are garbage and I would rather not be a beta tester for watching said movies whilst paying money for them.

            And while I appreciate the effort these guys are going to to get sales, this movie I value at no more then a $10 purchase - The quality just wasn't there to justify a $30 purchase.

            For $30 I could go see a AAA 3D movie developed by a crew of 2000 and buy a combo on top at the cinemas OR I can see someones Uni Skills being tested for the first time while they experiment on shooting a zombie flick and expect everything to flow as well.

            Thanks, but no thanks.

      You're not wrong, I pirated Hobbit 3 because of the release date difference BUT I still went to see it at the movies AND shouted a friend too.

    Just checked Google Play, it isn't there... oh well

      Likewise, except Xbox Video. Because people only use Apple devices... oh wait.

    Was going download but will wait to buy it now. I think these Aussie film makers deserve our support with this.

      I think I'll download it, donate some money to their page, and then maybe buy it if it's worth it.

      ^^^ these guys

      Wasn't going to watch or download this movie... But beings there's a bit of a hype about it here might have to try it.. Probably won't like it.. But if I do I'll tell my friends and maybe 1 or 2 or 3 might buy, rent or "donate" (like anyone would actually donate) so therefore turning 1 download into 3 sales .. Now that's good business.

      Last edited 21/02/15 12:36 pm

    So digitally they are going iTunes only is that correct?

      Currently, but may change in the future. It would all depend on the deals they get with the distributor.

      somebody tell them that more than 50% of the market doesnt use itunes

    I will be supporting this move all the way. But this just shows how backwards the movie industry is. Give us cinema, VOD, dvd and Blu-Ray release at the same time and stop with this whole only at the cinema crap.

      Doing that will be the death of cinemas, which will jack up the price of other media, thereby negating any effects on reducing piracy. It's a lose-lose situation for the industry, where every billion dollar blockbuster helps prop up a dozen really good films that may not money on their own and probably wouldn't get made because of that.

        Recordable cassettes were going to be the death of the music industry, too. As were $1 song downloads. Not to mention going DRM free. Any industry that cries that something will be the death of it is really just complaining that they might make slightly less money in the short term if they don't change something. Because they don't want to change. Because change is harder than doing nothing, and scarier than the status quo.

        It's the worst excuse to avoid any kind of adaptation to the reality of a global marketplace and digital content.

        Would it be so terrible for a dinosaur distribution system become extinct? Does other media really consider Cinema release as part of its pricing strategy? I think not! Cinema only effects other sales by the embargoes they place
        The filmmakers campaigned to get Wyrmwood released simultaneously on iTunes in Australia, but the distributors are the experts and the ones that have the say at the end of the day.
        I have worked for 8 years in movie premieres, industry conferences and marketing, and I can tell you 2 things
        - They seem to have other priorities than marketing movies properly
        - The marketing they do is so old school you have to throw buckets of money at it so its at least basically effective.

        I would argue that the current distributions priorities are as follows
        - To ensure their distribution system is seen as necessary
        - To ensure they have a job
        - To campaign against any threat to their income
        The success of a movie doesn't seem to be part of it

        I think the problem Wyrmwood had, was their movie didn't have a big enough marketing budget (anything under a $million is a waste of time for them) and local corporates don't seem to be able to handle anything that doesn't already have hype, and have no idea of how to deal with 'niche' or independent titles

        Is one thing to rely on experts, but IMHO the experts should have suggested they use alternative distribution (VOD) or get over their Cinema embargoes and give them a value for money option

        If Cinema's only source of profit is tied to exclusivity, that's their problem.

      I do believe that the original Indiegogo backers won't get their copies till July

      I'm fine with cinemas getting it 2-3 weeks early. That's how they make money after all. The main point is to have it widely available.
      If it's going to cinemas first.... give it a good run and good publicity, and THEN release the other distribution channels.
      When it's out on VOD and DVD... make sure it's available everywhere in a timely manner. At least make sure that customers everywhere have at least some sort of access.

      This article, and the one before it keep trying to ride the high horse.
      No one here is defending piracy. All we are saying is that piracy is a result of a dying business model and a poor distribution methodology.
      It's been flogged to death, even on this site. Increase availability and you reduce piracy. It's no different if it's a massive hollywood blockbuster or a local indie film

    I have not downloaded or seen this movie, zombies aren't my scene. It seems to me that it's not the Pirates but a broken distribution model that's at fault here. Hey assholes "ONE GLOBAL RELEASE DATE"

      I do wonder, if they HAD to have a cinema release how different would things be if US VOD was delayed to the same date as AUS VOD. I for one would be significantly less pissed and they wouldn't be running around trying to make excuses for a crap distribution model.

        They didn't HAVE to use Cinema distribution, but the Corporates would let you believe they do.

        Case in point - Movie cost 160K, Marketing cost more (I didn't see any ads for it and I was following the movie!) and they find themselves being massively pirated.

        I reckon there has been more valuable marketing for this movie with these 'stop pirating' articles, than the paid marketing company did before it was released.

        Its not piracy killing creativity, its unimaginative corporates who want to play in the movie industry

          Actually they do and it points out why in the article.

          Screen Australia funding is dependent on a cinema release, and for a micro budget feature of this size it ensures that at least people are getting paid a very small amount or the financiers don't go into utter debt to pay for post processing.

          The fact that their funding models don't take into account other distribution models which might bear more fruit is another issue.

          That said, delaying the global VOD release to coincide with the Australian one seems like the best option... However I doubt it would have had a huge effect.

          Piracy is going to happen, but if you pirated and you enjoyed the film do your best to support the little guy so he can actually make more films like this.

      Of course it's the pirates, those without any moral sense who don't give a shit about anyone else's right to earn a living or what might happen if movie companies and distributors can no longer make money and decide to stop making films altogether. They are hurting something they probably really love because they are too self-centred to see how it affects the industry.
      Where I work there are talented people with masters degrees earning $50,000 a year today, when a decade ago they'd have been earning close to twice that. My own base rate has dropped from $75 an hour to $40 an hour in the same period, despite me being much, much better at my job now than I was then. If I was 20 years younger, I'd be out of this industry and looking for a new career that pays me what I am worth. If you think that pirating isn't a major factor in all of that, you are delusional.
      Piracy is also why it is so hard to see anything good on TV. The networks have seen the effect it has on ratings, which directly affects their ability to make money to pay for those shows, so instead they stick to tried and true rubbish that is basically pirate-proof, like Big Brother, My Kitchen Rules and Big Fat Loser. If the networks were able to get Game of Thrones to rate, they'd be falling over themselves for the rights and showing it in prime time but the level of piracy ensures that watching it legally, and morally, is way too hard for most people. Maybe you don't care about that but it directly affects the value of the show in the marketplace, which means that its run is likely to be several seasons shorter as a result because it will stop being profitable much earlier in its life.

        Yawn. Well this bitching and moaning about what you make certainly explains your idiotic anti-consumer ranting. You're an industry shill or victim to the dinosaurs in charge who desperately wish we didn't live in a globally-connected world where digital content is difficult if not impossible to restrict via traditional means and needs to be adapted to.

        Your industry just needs to catch on to how other digital content industries have caught on.
        Digital content creators have somehow managed to learn how to make money in a global marketplace without fucking consumers with regional delays, platform exclusives, device restrictions, limited-portability licences, regional pricing, and more.

        Those are the services that deserve customer support. Everyone else needs to learn to swim or drown. Piracy isn't the problem. It's a symptom. The true problem is the bull-headedness of industry leaders refusing to acknowledge that it isn't the 70s anymore, trying to buy governments into curbing activity that doesn't fit within their archaic revenue structures.

        If actual creators get hurt in the process of that, it's purely because they're being used as human shields by the real assholes. Apologizing for the consumer-unfriendly, outright antagonistic behaviour of the industry is NOT going to fix things. Not when the consumer finally has the power to say, "Fuck you right back," for once.

        We live in an age of instant gratification and selfish entitlement, as evidenced by the justifications offered up in these comments. It's only going to get worse. People have no patience any more. That combined with the mentality of "If I can get it for free, I will and f*** everyone else", will almost certainly result in less content being made.

          Yep less content being made *rolls eyes*


          Now im not going to count all of them - but my answer is in the region of a veritable fuck load more movies are being made now versus 15 years ago.

          We live in an age of instant gratification and selfish entitlement, as evidenced by the justifications offered up in these comments. It's only going to get worse. People have no patience any more. That combined with the mentality of "If I can get it for free, I will and f*** everyone else", will almost certainly result in less content being made.

          I'm entitled to be able to watch and buy it at the same time as Americans, end of story. That's not 'selfish' or 'instant gratification' - that's just stating no guy or girl in Mephis or wherever is any 'better' than I am, and has no 'right' to see / buy this before me. One planet, one species, one market - the dinosaurs who don't get that, are struggling, and will continue to struggle, until they go under. If Bitorrent can deliver globally in a format we want, the paid content industry can do so just as easily, if only they had the will.

        Man - are you brainwashed. It's much more likely they've reduced your pay cause they can and still find qualified people to do the job at a reduced income - its cute that you think its the only industry to suffer from it.

        Since the outbreak of broad band internet global ticket sales have held relatively steady in the past 20 years. For an old industry that already has very high market saturation that's perfectly fine ( - whats scary is whilst number of tickets sold has held steady revenue has jumped from 5 billion annually to 10 billion thats much more than inflation so in theory from theatre sales alone profits are up. These are just ticket sales - it excludes all digital content (dvd partnering deals etc) which arguably would have also increased over the years.

        It would also be extremely naive to think that there would be a utopia of creativity if piracy didnt exist. Dollars to donuts that they would just strangle the market and attempt to increase margins by doing less work like every monopoly ever.

        Is it really just pirates as the problem?
        I too work in an industry that has not had a decent pay rise in 10years but as I am freelance, its a choice I make - there are few cashed up industries atm (except mining)

        Because I work in a peripheral part of the broadcast industry, I do not pirate (I know the people who get hurt by this) but I wouldn't say piracy is the biggest problem when it comes to what we get on TV

        I would argue that we have the reality TV binge because its cheap & nasty, it's usually a safe bet, and it fulfils the Australian content requirements easier than the more expensive dramas. They don't make reality TV as a reaction to piracy, its just allows easy inclusion of native advertising, and its cheap.

        How do our TV networks survive in the future? Make well written shows that can be sold overseas (Neighbours & Home & Away survive thru this), make them cost effective until they achieve this, and encourage good writers & actors. Our industry has a lot going for it, except its kept back by corporate decisions

        If you want to know what is morally wrong and costing our local industry? Cheap OS crews brought in to run the World Cup Cricket broadcast on tourist visas, so the OS company that runs it makes more profit - and consequently their were many technical faults during the broadcast.
        If this is allowed to continue, the one thing that must be made locally - Sport in Australia - will also be devastated. TV & Film is based on Freelance & deferred payment, and being paid well for a short period of time, and while we have talented and cost effective crews now, they may have to start looking at other careers - despite being world leaders in many aspects of sports broadcast e.g. In car dash cams? pioneered for Ch7 in the 80s and they we invited to the US to introduce it to NASCAR!

        Its too easy to blame the usual suspects, but get under the skin of any industry and you usually find out what the real problems are. I work in the industry, but I haven't had an aerial plugged in to watch FTA for almost 3 years. Why? There is very little to tempt me when I can still catch up with Aussie content online, as well as the choice of worldwide entertainment.

        Pirates stealing your stuff? Shows its valuable, and maybe if you make it easy & worthwhile to pay for download, you might have made a lot of money with VOD rather than other dinosaur distribution systems - Hopefully other independent Filmmakers will learn from this

          If you want to know what is morally wrong and costing our local industry? Cheap OS crews brought in to run the World Cup Cricket broadcast on tourist visas, so the OS company that runs it makes more profit - and consequently their were many technical faults during the broadcast.

          Thats fuckin disgusting

        If your talented colleagues in your talented industry could put that talent to making good media, instead of endless buckets of crap with the occasional diamond, maybe I would pay the outrageous prices demanded.

        If the networks were able to get Game of Thrones to rate, they'd be falling over themselves for the rights and showing it in prime time but the level of piracy ensures that watching it legally, and morally, is way too hard for most people.
        No it's the networks, distributors and rights holders making it too hard for consumers to access. Consumers have continuously been stuffed around and have found a distribution model that is far easier and convenient to use. The industry can bury its head in the sand and complain about piracy, but at the end of the day, they'll still end up with the same result. Ford and Holden ignored consumers and failed to adopt their business model to produce the smaller cars which Australian consumers want, and now both are closing production in Australia. The music industry failed to accept that consumers wanted single track digital releases, fought it tooth and nail, and now have essentially been relegated out of distribution by Apple, who recognised the unsatisfied consumer demand. These same media companies haven't learnt their lesson from iTunes, and they will become irrelevant as someone else fills the void.

        If the networks were able to get Game of Thrones to rate, they'd be falling over themselves for the rights and showing it in prime time but the level of piracy ensures that watching it legally, and morally, is way too hard for most people.

        Actually it's not on network TV because Foxtel beat them all out for it and paid a lot of money for the rights.

        As much as they bitch and moan about piracy that's apparently still worth them spending money on.

    The extremely limited cinema release has hurt this movie. It's not like it's being shown at every cinema so friends can just go out on a Friday night and view it, but instead you either need to:
    1. Download iTunes, setup a US account, buy a gift card to be able to access it.
    2. Happen to live near one of the few cinemas showing it.
    3. Pay $30 now and see it in 2 months time.

    I haven't and won't pirate it as it doesn't interest me all that much, just my 2 cents on how going for the funding from Screen Australia hurts the movie. BUT, look at all the free publicity the movie is getting! All the pirating may actually help this movie from people who otherwise wouldn't have heard about it going out and buying it once it is available.

    Last edited 20/02/15 11:29 am

      You could always do option 3 and then pirate it with a clean conscience.

      Best of both worlds really.

    The system fails again and the powers that be blame piracy (referring to the distributors that is - sounds like the film makers themselves know exactly what the problem is). If someone doesn't want to go to see a film in the cinema and the choices are either a) go anyway, b) wait 2 months or more for the home video release or c) pirate, you can bet that most people these days will opt for c), followed by b), especially if people in other countries already have the option of buying the film outright.

    In any case, I've never heard of this movie before, and I'm not a fan of zombie films at all, but I wish these guys the best. Australia needs a bigger film industry. We're a creative bunch when we try, and it'd be great if we could have stronger exports of film and TV.

    i think in this case piracy may actually be doing more good than harm. I think most people wouldnt have known about this film if not for the free publicity its getting. Plus for every download, you can be sure there will be a DVD purchase in the future, esp if its a good film.

    The film industry only believes in the one download = 1 lost purchase because the majority of films being produced are absolute rubbish.

      They got better marketing responding to piracy than the marketing they paid for

        Which, frankly, I'm all for.
        I haven't seen the film yet, but the trailer looked right up my alley.

        Last edited 20/02/15 2:16 pm

          It's a great film if you like B-grade zombie horror (which I do). Go and see it legitimately somewhere if you can, because they deserve to be supported despite getting bent over a barrel by the distributors.

    not for or against...this is just a question..

    How is downloading this movie different to borrowing it from the library for free?

    Apart from the obvious time restraints that is..

    Last edited 20/02/15 11:22 am

      I guess because it's an actual licensed copy of the media? Or maybe the library pays an annual fee to film Australia or something to be allowed to hire movies out?

      Then again my local library charges a fee for all media like that. Well they did last time I went there which was almost 10 years ago I think.

      I get where you're coming from though. It is an interesting question to which an answer would be nice.

      The way I see it, downloading a film is like going to a friend's house to watch their movie. Or standing in JBHIFI and watching a film on their TVs. I wasn't a confirmed sale, and if it was good then I will be a sale, if it was shit then I'm not going to buy it. Likewise if I bought the DVD, watched it and didn't like it I'd return it.

      It's technically no different to that or borrowing it, or recording it off a tv broadcast...

      But the ease and ubiquity of piracy makes it happen on a much greater scale. And that's the start and finish of it.

    To have been eligible to receive funding for post-production from Screen Australia — which in Wyrmwood‘s case was worth nearly $850,000 of the $1,000,000 total budget — Wyrmwood had to have a limited theatrical release.

    Did it have to have a limited theatrical release? Or could it have had a full theatrical release.

    I honestly think that is part of the problem.

    I think the piracy issue would have been much less if they did:
    - More extensive theatrical release
    - Leave it in cinemas for 2 months
    - Release globally on digital platforms world-wide on the same day.

    They seemingly made a great movie and released it in a tiny number of cinemas and on iTunes in the US at the same time. Of course that is going to lead to it being pirated.

    Also, playing devil's advocate - They apparently received $850,000 of Australian taxpayer funds via Screen Australia and are getting upset about Australian's downloading the film. That isn't going to earn them a lot of sympathy,

      I'd highly doubt the large chain cinemas would want anything to do with a low-budget independently produced Australian film, let alone a one from a genre that rarely does well in ticket sales.

      Dendy are an exception because they'll put just about anything on if you promise them enough bums on seats.

      I reckon a full theatrical release would have just left the studio in further debt, Australians would have still pirated the shit out of it.

        IF you talk to anyone in the Cinema distribution business, they will tell you they are necessary - but if they had paid a lot less in post production to make the movie for VOD release, I'm sure it could have been a more viable option.

        I'm waiting for Netflix to come here, and Filmmakers can distribute via their distribution models (All the VOD networks are starting to chase exclusives & independents - even if its just to fill their catalogs) We need more distribution options than Cinema, rather than just protecting one that is there to provide itself with profit first rather than the film industry

    So they got given 85% of their total funding and they are now annoyed that others are getting something for free.

    Nice of Gizmodo to link the donation system that Wyrmwood have just setup.

      It's linked in the Wyrmwood Facebook post, which is why I didn't include it. But thank you for that anyway :)

      Money coming their way from me for the copy I watched last night before going to sleep.

      If more movie makers did this, I'd be happy to donate for the movies I enjoyed enough to watch in their entirety.

        Agreed - I refuse to support distributors like village roadshow who practice archaic business models built around physical media. More than happy to "donate" to content creators - although the option is almost never available.

    The problem with the limited release is that in Hobart it was only released in the Village cinema. I refuse to give those arsehats any more money, after last time I went it cost me $50 for 2 adults and 2 drinks (Birdman was good, just not that good).


    Last edited 18/06/15 11:02 am

      Steam is the best proof of this.
      Low prices, better reliability of download than waiting on seeders (fast servers and it doesn't matter how unpopular the game is, it'll always be available; try saying that for unpopular torrents), licencing that allows massive portability (any machine you can install Steam on, in fact), few device restrictions (limited only to what the game itself will actually run on, not the platform - free transfers between platforms, such as mac/linux/windows).
      Steam still does regional pricing and launch delays, but that's a publisher decision, and not every publisher actually fucks us on it.

      The result? Millions of people throwing money at games they then don't even bother to play. Ars Technica found that at least 37% of games purchased on Steam haven't been played. (You should see my Steam library. My pile of shame will literally never be completed - I simply won't live long enough; what time do I have to pirate games when there's so many I've paid for yet to play? I haven't pirated a game in YEARS because there's been no reason to). Valve themselves noted that once they improved their localization support for high-piracy countries, the piracy rates went way down.
      A booming industry, billions of dollars and on the rise. Making money doesn't HAVE to equate to fucking over consumers. Which is something music and games are cottoning onto, but TV and movies are not.

      It isn't just that pirates are tightasses who wouldn't buy it no matter what... it's that consumers take serious objection to getting fucked. And in the digital space, consumers are in an incredibly rare position of holding some power. Sometimes that power gets abused, and that's unfortunate, but it's better than the power being in the hands of the exploitative industry leaders.

      The bullies in the industry - studios, distributors, publishers - are behaving like they can force consumers to adhere to archaic restrictions, an outdated revenue structure. Because they don't want to change, because change is scary and expensive.
      They instead want the consumers to accept getting fucked, trying to buy governments to legislate and regulate that fucking, but consumers aren't having it, and won't have it, for as long as they have the power to say, "Fuck you right back." And that's important.

      The internet is a giant wave. You can either learn to ride it, or you can stubbornly plant your feet and say you're not budging from that spot. But you can't do that and then complain that you've got water up your nose and sand in your mouth. The industry needs to start riding that wave instead of planting their feet and insisting they won't move because 'they shouldn't have to'. Yeah you do. Things change. Adapt or die.

        i really enjoyed reading your comment,

        Rent seekers will always fight to the death to maintain their excessive profits.

        As an aside, I saw your Steam collection a few days ago when I saw your name on a friend of a friend of a friend's profile. You're getting close to the 1000 mark and it looks like you've thrown some money at badge collecting too. I'm in a similar position, though I've got half the games you do.

        Steam makes it ridiculously easy to buy games, I haven't pirated a game in the last decade, which is close to the age of my 11 year old Steam account. It's no coincidence.

          65 million users who buy so much content that they don't even consume 37% of what they've paid for.
          What a problem to have.

          If there was a Steam TV or Steam Movies service that offered the world's largest library not divided by parochial studios, not bound by limited licences on number of viewings or how many machines they can be viewed on, no device restrictions, a massive library with social features that allow you to see what your friends are watching, and deep-discounted sales with themed packages (such as 'Schwarznegger week' or '90s Cartoon week'), with fast servers and guaranteed availability, I might as well just have my fucking wages deposited into Valve's bank accounts and ask them for a small allowance for trivial things like food, rent, and power.

          There's a reason Netflix is so popular. And it could be improved upon.

          But no... Instead, we have archaic business models, intractable studios and distributors, shaking their fists at rampant piracy. The status quo is so fucking boring compared to a glorious future of consumer-friendly, rabid consumption. They should be aiming for a service where consumers buy 37% more than they'll actually use. It's possible, they just need to stop being such fucking huge dicks about distribution.

          Last edited 21/02/15 9:52 am

    I want to see at cinema. not anywhere. not on iTunes Australia.

    I wonder if they considered doing what Louis CK does and just have a download for the video without DRM on their site. Obviously behind a login/payment.

      You also have to keep in mind that hundreds of thousands of people still pirated Louis' last release. Even though it's five bucks, DRM free, has half a dozen payment methods and you can play it on your linux toilet during the winter solstice or whatever random justification people are using lately.

      Regardless, the Comedy Central system works brilliantly. I caught a bit of Hannibal Burress at the Melb Comedy Fest, thought he was hilarious, and thirty seconds later had downloaded his show. Like Bandcamp, they have really nailed how digital distribution is supposed to work.

        There will always be people who pirate, just like there will always be people who speed, steal, or are violent. I argue that by making it easily available as he has Louis CK would have gained more sales than trying to be restrictive with it.

    This is my issue. There are 3 cinemas near me and not one are playing it, US can buy it from iTunes. I don't have any other way to see it. I hope people pirate it so they learn a lesson in this.

    Watched the trailer for this.
    Looked like garbage.

    Be thankful ANYBODY is watching it, folks.

      One man's trash... I really liked the trailer, makes me wanna see the film. :)

    It's 2015; Couldn't they have just put a download link on their website and you simply pay and download it from there am I missing something as to why this would not work?

    Would really like to see the movie as I like the whole zombie genre but doing a
    "MOVIE IS OUT TODAY - but only in a few select cinemas and US itunes by using a loophole or just wait 2 months and buy it at JB-HI FI" is stupid.

    That's equivalent to a car dealer saying I have to complete a rubix cube before he hands me the keys or I could wait 2 months and then pick them up

    Last edited 20/02/15 2:23 pm

      You should read the director's statement on Screen-Space which answers those very questions.

    We're such a small market that even if no one paid for it in Australia, it wouldn't make much of a dent to their income. The publicity for this movie is huge and should guarantee that some large studio will offer then a deal in the near future.
    PS. It's still not on pop corn time but I will keep an eye out for it.

    Last edited 20/02/15 2:34 pm

    I started reading the comments and after a couple of minutes thought I'd somehow ended up on YouTube.

    Funny thing is I never heard of this movie till Gizmodo told me not to download it, and get it on iTunes, to bad i don't use iTunes, so sadly i had to download it.....
    Maybe next time you catch wind of an Aussie movie that you don't want people to download "illegal" keep quite about it.......

    I'm sitting in the Perth Qantas Lounge and there are a group of attractive females across from me whose "brains" I'd like to eat.

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