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Writers Guild opposes screener ban

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 14 Oct 2003 4:17 User comments (2)

Writers Guild opposes screener ban The west coast branch of Writers Guild of America has officially announced that it opposes the MPAA's decision to ban all Oscar screeners.
According to the president of WGA West, screeners have become an important method for small films to gain audience. And now MPAA's plan to ban screeners -- that are preview DVD or VHS versions of movies that haven't been officially released on DVD/VHS for retail channels yet -- in Academy Awards' promotions "tilts the playing field from small films to large".

Last week, several high-profile Hollywood authors signed a petition in opposition to the ban of screeners. MPAA's official opinion is that by banning screeners, they could be able to cut down the piracy, but many industry players think that only reason for such ban is to shift the power in Oscar votes from small, "semi-indie" films produced by major studios' subsdiaries, to large movie productions that typically gain financially more (not relatively, but in hard cash) from Oscar wins.


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2 user comments

115.10.2003 02:05

I think its true that by banning screeners, the smaller less well known films are less likely to do well in oscars and other similar occasions. However, it will really help to cut down on piracy as the main form of piracy now is copied screeners. However, the problem will not go away. There are always a very large amount people that have access to a movie in a studio at any time. Directors like to watch the final version in a cinema long before it comes out. Actors like to watch the final versions sometimes in their homes sometimes on a screen in the studio. To do this the disc is compiled. If there is a compiled full DVD movie lying around a studio, no doubt someone will get their hands on it and release it. Good old Writers Guild of America opposing this decision to ban all oscar screeners.

215.10.2003 10:41

I'd say the MPAA is trying to kill two birds with one stone. The integrity of the Oscars is obviously not high on their list of concerns. Clamp down on "piracy" AND make more room for the box office heavies with the same action. Hell yeah they want to ban screeners. Those academy members don't actually have to SEE the movie to vote on it. Just vote by the numbers...

We mustn't lower ourselves to the level of those we loathe, lest we become loathsome ourselves.

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