And here’s the biggest thing for people like deGrasse Tyson to keep in mind: it’s science fiction, for God’s sake! You would think the “fiction” part of “science fiction” is something that an astrophysicist could comprehend. And then there’s “The Butler,” the Lee Daniels film about a man who served for decades as a butler for various presidents at the White house. This film was attacked by the left and the right for being historically inaccurate. Some have cited errors with the film’s account of specific instances of the civil rights movement while others expressed outrage over the way President Ronald Reagan was depicted — apparently some view Reagan as a deity. Here’s a spoiler alert (and by “spoiler alert,” I mean a spoiler to people who have never googled or read anything about the film): It was fiction — that means it was made up. There was no “Cecil Gaines,” the butler character played by Forest Whitaker in the film. The film does not even purport to be a bio pic. Sure, it was loosely inspired by the life of Eugene Allen, a man who served as a butler in the White House for 34 years for eight presidents, but the film was a fictionalized account . And we saw similar obsessive fact-checking last year with movies such as “Argo” and “Lincoln.” I guess we should be thankful that Twitter wasn’t around when “Forrest Gump” was released because people would have gone crazy with tweets over that one. Can we agree on something? A director who is making a documentary should be required to present an accurate recitation of facts and history. But for all other movies, filmmakers should be afforded creative license to make the movie that fulfills their vision of the story they want to tell, even ones based on real events. Filmmakers are not historians, nor should they be held to such a standard.
Many of the most-pirated movies aren’t available for legitimate online purchase
Last week’s results were not an anomaly. The PiracyData team has been collecting data for three weeks, and during that period, not a single highly pirated film has been available to stream. And many highly-pirated movies have not been available for rental or download. Piracydata.org was created by two tech policy researchers at the Mercatus Center, a libertarian think tank, and by Matt Sherman, a software engineer based in New York. The team’s leader, Jerry Brito, says he got the idea for the site after a hearing in which major content holders criticized Google for failing to do enough to combat piracy. That criticism came despite the fact that Google has taken a number of steps to prevent illegal sharing of copyrighted works. A year ago, Google began automatically demoting search results that are the target of numerous takedown requests by copyright holders. Yet despite that proactive approach, searches for Hollywood blockbusters frequently turn up links to pirate websites. “The MPAA is complaining that Google leads people to infringing links,” Brito argues. “But what’s the alternative?” The movies that are available on file-sharing sites, he says, are “very rarely available for legal acquisition.” Unsurprisingly, MPAA spokesperson Kate Bedingfield disagrees. “Today there are more ways than ever to watch movies and TV shows legally online, and more are constantly being added,” she said in an e-mailed statement. “If a particular film isn’t available for stream or purchase at a given moment, however, it does not justify stealing it from the creators and makers who worked hard to make it.” Brito insists he’s not trying to excuse piracy. But, he argues, “I don’t understand how the industry is making a big show about Google not taking voluntary measures to help with piracy.” Hollywood, he says, could “change its business model to take their own voluntary measures to deal with piracy,” by making movies more readily available through legal online channels.
Research published online in late September in the Journal of Consumer Psychology claims that film ads are less effective when viewers are eating the movie snack staple. “The mundane activity of eating popcorn made participants immune to the pervasive effects of advertising,” researcher Sascha Topolinski, from the department of psychology at the University of Wuerzburg in Germany, said to the BBC . Researchers asked 96 Germans to watch a movie, which kicked off with a variety of advertisements. Half of the audience was given popcorn, which was constantly filled throughout the screening. The others received a small sugar cube. The ads were all real commercials of products that would typically not be known to a German audience, including a spot for the Scandinavian butter brand Lurpak. A few weeks later, the subjects were asked to rate a list of different products, some of which had been advertised. The sugar cube-eating group rated the products they had seen ads for higher, but those in the popcorn group were not influenced by the ads. The researchers conducted a second experiment with 188 people, except that in addition to their snacks the subjects were given money they could donate to charity. Again, the sugar cube group was more likely to give money to charity organizations that had been advertised, but people in the popcorn group were not swayed by what they had seen. “This finding suggests that selling candy in movie theaters actually undermines advertising effects, which contradicts present marketing strategies,” Topolinksi said.
Sky Movies comes to BT TV, hell braces itself for cold snap
Despite this, both recognize the growing threat of Virgin Media’s Netflix offering, which is why the pair have teamed up to offer Sky Movies via BT’s subscription TV packages. From October 26th, customers can subscribe to 11 Sky Movies channels in SD as well as on-demand content for an additional fee. It’ll all be done via existing Vision+ and YouView hardware, so there’s no need to buy any more gear, although HD-enthusiasts might just have to bite the bullet and sign up with Rupert directly. Show full PR text BT and Sky reach agreement to add Sky Movies to BT TV BT and Sky have signed a multi-year contract which will see Sky Movies made available through BT TV. BT will offer Sky Movies for a monthly subscription that customers can add to their existing BT TV package from October 26. The agreement means that BT will be able to offer its TV customers the option to bolt-on Sky Movies whether they are customers with the YouView box or the latest Vision + box. For Sky, the deal supports Sky’s growing wholesale content business. BT TV customers will be able to enjoy the latest movies across 11 Sky Movies channels, in standard definition, both as streamed live channels and on-demand for those with BT Infinity fibre broadband. For customers with regular BT broadband Sky Movies is only available on-demand. Sky Movies is the UK’s most popular subscription movies service giving access to over 700 different movies on demand including brand new exclusive premieres every week from major Hollywood studios such as Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony, Warner Bros., and Universal. Sky Movies subscribers can choose from more of the latest and biggest movies first, at least 12 months before any online subscription service. Premieres in October include Argo, Django Unchained, Les Miserables and Gangster-Squad. Zero Dark Thirty and Life Of Pi will premiere in November. The agreement includes Sky Movies Premiere, Sky Movies Showcase, Sky Movies Greats, Sky Movies Disney, Sky Movies Family, Sky Movies Action & Adventure, Sky Movies Comedy, Sky Movies Crime & Thriller, Sky Movies Drama & Romance, Sky Movies Sci Fi & Horror and Sky Movies Select.