ByDave Conley, writer at
"Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules."
Dave Conley

I know everyone has heard about the Sony Hack that has exposed several nasty e-mails from studio executives and producers about some of their favorite movie stars. Those had to hurt some feelings. I can picture Andrew Garfield seeing the news and going “What, but I’m Spiderman! Angelina Jolie certainly looks a bit miffed.

Not only did they sucker punch some egos with those revelations, (The Guardians of Peace ) has sought to damage not only Sony’s integrity but their profit margin too. Not only did they release a couple of scripts including “Mall Cop: Blart 2” but five of their films including the upcoming Annie and Brad Pitt’s tank movie Fury. You know they lost a lot of DVD sales revenue from that. It now seems like Sony and several theater chains have caved into N. Korea and have refused to show "The Interview"

I know you’re thinking “But Dave it’s a multi-billion dollar industry they can afford my free download.” This to me is sad because movies need to be seen on the largest screen possible especially if there are explosions! I also feel depressed to think that we would support North Korea while hard working people that make a living making movies get screwed. You know all those people that band together like an army with one mission to make a movie. Yes you are stealing not only from the Executives that you may despise but the people they pay to do the hard work of making a movie. Not the stars that you might think are overpaid but the Grips, The Electrics, The Art Dept., Wardrobe, Props, special effects, Camera crew, sound, right on down to the craft service people. It takes a lot of good people to make a movie. This in turn costs a lot of money. It costs millions to make billions regardless, even though it might not feel like it, it’s still stealing.

“The theft of Sony Pictures Entertainment content is a criminal matter, and we are working closely with law enforcement to address it,” said an SPE spokesperson"

Don't be fooled by the hype!
Don't be fooled by the hype!

You might be like Kim Jong Un saying “[email protected]*& those American corporate pigs,” BUT they aren't the only ones that make movies. A lot of small independent productions scrape together whatever they can to fulfil their vision and try to make it pay off.

Which brings me to the fifth movie that was stolen by the To Write Love on Her Arms” The film stars Kat Denning and is the true story of five intense days when Renee (played by Kat Dennings of TV’s “2 Broke Girls”) tries to get clean and sober with the help of David McKenna, a recovering alcoholic and former addict, and surfer/musician Jamie Tworkowski, along with two of Renee’s high school friends. The movie was originally named “Renee” and then renamed “Day One."

The film was originally scheduled to be released in March 2015. Now , however the film has already been illegally downloaded 20,000 times .

With a small budget of $3.4 million, a 70-member union crew and 43 students from Valencia Colleges film production program This film was made in Orlando, Fl.

Learning by doing on the set of  TWLOHA!
Learning by doing on the set of TWLOHA!

I have to mention that the reason this movie is special to me is because I also went through the Valencia Film program. I learned from professionals working on a nice little family film called “The First of May”

I even got to ride an elephant!
I even got to ride an elephant!

That’s part of what makes this program special not only is it a great learning experience but they make inspiring movies with a message. “To Write Love on Her Arms.” Started as a blog, which tries to help people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide, it has touched teens and young adults — and launched a charity that has become a movement in the music industry.

To write love on her arms- Facebook page

That just makes me so happy to see projects like these being made at my old alma mater. I believe it creates good Karma. Several of the people I went to school with went on to work on big budget film productions and TV shows like Sons of Anarchy. I've also met a lot of creative people that struggle with these issues.

Paul Sirmons
Paul Sirmons

Paul Sirmons, who directed “The first of May” and served as “To Write Love on her Arms “production manager, and producer believes that the piracy has been a double-edged sword. Although the hacking has drawn media attention — because it was one of only five films stolen — it could hurt the filmmakers behind the movie.

“We know it’s not good news,” says Sirmons, “but we were on the ‘Today’ show and we’ve been on ‘NBC Nightly News.’ I’m not sure we would have gotten that kind of attention otherwise.”

Low budget movies don’t often have advertising budgets so the word of mouth may help but he also said

“This is really a shame,”Although their intent is to hurt Sony, what they’re doing is hurting people who make small films about people who help people. We don’t know what its impact will be to us. It’s all new to us and we’re still reeling from it,”But we know we have a very powerful movie that can change people’s lives — and that’s most important to us.”

I hope this film still gets it’s March release and people pay to go see it. Not only because it has an inspirational true story or because I wish my old Alma mater much success. Mostly it’s because if people don’t go to see this movie or “The Interview” well the North Koreans have already won.

Source: Valencia College News


Latest from our Creators