My blog has moved home... this archive and a TON of new and cool stiff is on my new blog at


The Production Office

What's Hot...

Our Most Recent Adventure

  • Last year I had an extraordinary journey with the Oscars shortlisted film I made, 'Gone Fishing'. We documented the whole journey on this blog, so you can scroll back and see just how we did it.

    Below are the very best of the Gone Fishing Webisodes, and specific gone fishing 'Dates Of Distinction' from the blog.

    Check out our Vimeo channel here, or browse
    are a few days of note from the blog below

Watch The Show

TV For Film Makers


« Prepping for Memorabilia Mayhem | Main | GONE FISHING WINS ANOTHER FESTIVAL! »

November 23, 2008


Piracy has become a massive and controversial problem and is affecting our film and music industry. Seeing this from my point of view only and I'm open to being corrected.

The trouble is the internet has changed everything! No one seems to know much about copyright rules, except where it applies to new films and music.

Everywhere on the net infringements take place on you tube my space as examples.. This is creating huge grey areas that opens it up for crooks.

People are already accustomed to having video recorders and can record and play back anything shown on TV Show their friends and family.. All recorders by nature break copyright.
Should it be an unwritten rule that once sold to national TV then the public can record and watch it? As has always been the case? Should national TV pay extra then? If the public download something should they be blamed? Or is that down to the website acting illegally?

None of this makes much sense. You could record in digital from the radio any track you want and yet this is legal? But not so if you download from the net?

My instinct is the public should not be blamed but those who supply it simply because by blaming the public you alienate them and actually you cant stop them. At least not presently. The second thing is clear guidelines regarding older works that have been shown nationally should be drawn up that allows people to copy for their own use but not to download copies on a computer. The problem is many think well if I can record a copy from a recorder then why not from the net? The distinction being one person recording at home is a bit different to a download site flogging cheaply someones work. This needs to be highlighted boldly that its the same as buying stolen goods.

At the moment the crooks are having a field day thanks to the muddled confusion and lack of clear rules.

Oh god Chris - what a brilliant idea! Extremely informative and inspiring... and you even got Willow to get a copy!

Regrettably I too had someone admit to owning a pirate download of my first film, The Killing Zone, back in '99. It was both surprising and distressing. At the time the guy refused to tell me from which site he'd downloaded it, and saw nothing wrong in the fact he and his fellows were depriving my small and struggling production company of much needed revenue. Hard enough ensuring your sales agent and distributor are scrupulous in their accounting without having to lose out to pirates as well.

Some Finnish indie filmmakers have interesting thoughts on the question you raise about is there a way to earn money by giving something away for free. They've actually done that with their low-budget feature.

You might want to read for example this post:

I think people often forget the advantages of illegal downloading. Movies and music do indeed cost money to watch and this will inevitably restrict casual observers with only a slight passing interest in renting or buying a film. With illegal downloading however there is a far greater possibility of said person 'discovering' your film as all they have to do is press a button and then bam its on their pc. Admittedly you will financially gain nothing but you will gain a fan and someone who will follow your future work. In turn there is a far greater chance that they will purchase your project (NOTE FROM CHRIS - care to back that up with some evidence?). Surely the film industry must have picked up on this by now, the music industry definitely have.
I'd be interested to know if the person you describe in your blog bought a copy of Gone Fishing as a result of liking Urban Ghost Story (NOTE FROM CHRIS - No he didnt)

Its a shame that liking Urban Ghost Story is not satisfactory enough for you and that you feel you require some financial benefit (NOTE FROM CHRIS - sorry but that's just niave). Why do we make films if not for other people to enjoy them? (NOTE FROM CHRIS - ANyoine who knows me understands that I am passionate about the audience, but its two way. If I the storyteller gives you something you like, you should reward the storyteller)

CHRIS RESPONDS - Sadly, the author of this comment declined to name themselves, which says a great deal. Of course I am delighted if people like my films, I just don't know what to say to unpaid investors, cast and crew about revenue that they should be seeing. And no he didn't buy a film, I suspect he will just find a download in due course. This is a very complex problem, and I am sad that you chose to stay annonymous. It only makes your words sound empty.

There has to be some mileage in comparing a bunch of people who make a movie and a those who form a band. Each want to be discovered but I've never heard of anyone getting a grant to write and record a song nor have I heard of land lord paying for a film maker to show thier movie in his pub to boost sales of his beer! - Perhaps they should though, and just like a band, the film maker might flog a few DVDs from a guitar case to adoring fans!

I just watched the memorabilia film. Wow. Well done Chris you really deserve to get on. You come across very enthusiastic sincere and a great ambassador. The thing is you're doing what I should be doing but with confidence and flair getting out there and making it work.

Loved the conversation with the daleks.

(Err cue my film here...

A really British institution! I'd love to see a British director make a really good good Brit style sci fi film. After the last series of Dr Who I know it could be done.

Sorry the link for my film has a mistake should be

Without the bracket on the end of the address!



The comments to this entry are closed.

My blog has moved home... this archive and a TON of new and cool stiff is on my new blog at


Search The Blog and Website


  • Subscribe to our RSS feed Subscribe to our RSS feed.

    About Chris

    I am just like you. Passionate. Crazy mad. For movies that is. Can’t get enough. Watching movies. Making movies. Talking about movies. Drives my girlfriend Lucia nuts! So yep. Passionate, crazy and mad. And yes, I am a little schizo too. Thing is, I love making films as much as I do teaching film making. Hence, Make Film, Teach Film. I have spent my life making films and sharing what I have learned with those who, like me, have been infected with the 'film virus'... I've made three feature films, action thriller ‘The Runner’, serial killer thriller ‘White Angel’ and paranormal horror ‘Urban Ghost Story’. I also co-created and authored The Guerilla Film Makers Handbook series, and currently there are six editions! Most recently, I made the multi-award winning and Oscars shortlisted ‘Gone Fishing’. I run film making workshops and my offices are at Ealing Film Studios where I am currently plotting my next big adventure…

    Bookmark and Share

    CONTACT - Living Spirit Pictures, Ealing Film Studios,
    Ealing Green, London, W5 5EP,  UK
    tel / fax +44 208 758 8544
    [email protected]


we use google analytics