Movie leaks: How filmmakers are combating the menace

Filmmakers have different ways of ensuring there are no leaks

Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s film Manjhi released in theatres yesterday. But 10 days before its theatrical release, the full film in HD quality was leaked online.

While those in the film industry have tried to circumvent the threat of leaks in their own ways, director Sajid Khan says these measures simply aren’t enough — unless the government enforces stringent rules in this regard. He points out that piracy has been rampant since the 80s. “Instead of banning porn, the government should take some stringent measures to ban the websites that allow the free download of movies. The film industry’s business will multiply four-fold once this is stopped,” says Sajid.

But Ketan Mehta, the director of Manjhi, has seen some hope. “We do try to take the necessary steps during shooting and are cautious… I’m hoping that the business of the film is not affected because the content is powerful. We are still trying to find out who the culprits are,” Ketan added.

His lead actor Nawazuddin share Ketan’s sentiments. “This film can’t be watched on a laptop. It’s my sincere request to people who have already seen the film to come to the theatres and watch it again,” Nawaz says.

Filmmakers have different ways of ensuring there are no leaks by imposing a variety of rules. One well-known auteur, distressed after images of his lead actor’s look in an upcoming film were “leaked”, banned cellphones on his set. Others have kept “closed” sets, with visitors being allowed only at certain points of time. Film analyst Omar Qureshi says going digital, is one measure that needs to be looked into, to bring down the threat of leaks and piracy. “There are ways to know if the film has been leaked by the member of a team and this usually happens during the post-production stage,” says Omar.

As film critic Mayank Shekhar points out, a big film will still survive a leak, but for a small film, it can sound a death knell. “When a smaller budget film if available on the Internet, it brings fewer people into the theatres as they have watched it already,” says Mayank.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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