ByMatthew Bailey, writer at
Husband. Father. Gamer. Cinema Lover. Mix it all together, and there I am. I love all things pop-culture and coffee; but coffee is the best.
Matthew Bailey

San Diego Comic-Con just happened this past weekend and it was filled with a barrage of incredible features, updates, panels, cosplay, and everything else that you would imagine a fan could find there, including new footage.

When there is new footage for an anticipated film, there are bound to be those that attempt to capture the footage for themselves to be the first to show the secrets of the trailer. Whether its for site views or personal glory is yet to be seen, but regardless of their intent the truth of the matter is that leaked footage kills the fans cinematic experience as well as the sanctity of the special occasion that is Comic-Con.

So many of us, fans and journalists alike, have scoured the internet looking for the next big scoop. Trying to come up with the details that everyone is longing to learn. As innocent as it may seem, there's a line that many of us have made in our own minds not to cross. That line is a sign of respect as well as honoring Piracy Laws.

At Comic-Con, attendees were given opportunities to see behind the scenes footage of Star Wars, 8 minutes from The Hateful Eight, a propaganda video from Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2; as well as trailers for Batman V. Superman, X-Men Apocalypse, Deadpool & Suicide Squad and a few other awesome pieces. All the trailers were leaked at some point during the festivities, yet the later two never planned on releasing the footage anywhere but at Comic-Con. They created special reels solely for the fans that chose to attend the Con.

Some of you may be saying to yourself - "what's the big deal? It's just a trailer. All the fans should enjoy whats coming."

I say - "No. We shouldn't."

Now you may consider that absurd, but honestly I enjoy the cinematic experience of discovering the incredible secrets that a film has in store for me. I don't want to watch a poor quality knock-off version of a film that I am excited for. The truth is that leaked footage hurts more than just the studio executives.

It hurts the cast and directors

Now how much can it hurt the actors and directors, it's just a trailer. But, honestly when the actors and directors/producers come to Comic-Con, then come for the fans. It's a point of pride for them to unveil footage for the fans that have attended to see them hoping for a gift of a preview into their latest masterpiece.

Back in 2014, Quentin Tarantino learned that his first script of The Hateful Eight was leaked. He was to the point of just scrapping the entire thing. He was going to publish it and get back to it whenever he felt like it. He made it a point to emphasize how frustrated he was with the leak as it's disappointing to have a less than finished product released for all to see.

It's in a similar vein that the leak of the Deadpool footage from Comic-Con , even though Ryan Reynolds is grateful for the original leak that gave Deadpool the green light, he understands what it actually represents to have something leaked before it's ready.

As much as I want the footage from officially released, the VFX shots aren't done yet. We have something for you in 3 weeks.

— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) July 12, 2015

The fact of the matter is that the cast and crew take just as much pride in the films that they are in as we find joy in watching them. Leaking the material before it's truly ready for wide-scale viewing and marketing ultimately hurts everyone related to the project.

It hurts the reputation of Comic-Con

Comic-Con and the film studios share a bond of trust, which allows the Con to bring in such incredible features that many were able to enjoy first hand. The trust. Warner Brothers President of Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Sue Kroll, talked about the 'breach of trust the studio shared with Comic-Con and the faithful attendees.' There is a concern of the repercussions that the growing number of leakers will harm future venues that production studios will go attend.

Sue continued to explain her disappointment with the leaked Suicide Squad footage saying;

Warner Bros. Pictures and our anti-piracy team have worked tirelessly over the last 48 hours to contain the Suicide Squad footage that was pirated from Hall H on Saturday. We have been unable to achieve that goal. Today we will release the same footage that has been illegally circulating on the web, in the form it was created and high quality with which it was intended to be enjoyed. We regret this decision as it was our intention to keep the footage as a unique experience for the Comic-Con crowd, but we cannot continue to allow the film to be represented by the poor quality of the pirated footage stolen from our presentation.

It says a lot that production houses like WB, Fox, Marvel, Paramount, etc all choose to bring new content to Comic-Con. It says even more when there are a few out there who choose to pirate and post the special pieces that have been introduced at Comic-Con.

It hurts the devoted fans

We all ride the hype train at times, and want so desperately to enjoy the films that we've been anxiously waiting for. We learn that there was footage leaked early and our hopes are elevated only to see the lousy quality that was never meant to be shown. Watching a trailer as a bouncy, low quality recording ruins the experience of watching something incredible for the first time.

Ultimately, we are the final stopping point for all aspects of the movies that we devote hours to devouring every single piece of material that we can get our hands and eyes on. As silly as it sounds, the leaks stops with us. If we chose to avoid the leaks and wait for the production companies, or stars to share with us their new highlights it becomes a much better product. We aren't left with a sour taste in our mouth due to lack-luster quality or horrible sound quality. If we, as fans, choose to allow the trailers to be released at the proper time then we can be a part of the true, beautiful, final product that was always meant to be our first venture into the world of the movie we want to be a part of.

What can we do?

Because there are so many fans that crave the next sneak peak into our favorite films. Leakers will always do what they do but for those of us who chose to avoid the leaks we can honor the sanctity of the cinematic sizzle reels that are brought to our attention and let the production houses and the stars of the films bring the content to us in the venues that they wish for it to be shown. One of the things that I love about Moviepilot is that the majority of us understand the concept of cinematic sanctity and choose to leave the line uncrossed until the true content release drops.


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