The Enduring Legacy of Harry Potter

by Jordan Aluise 07/21/2011 12:05 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

After Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 premiered at 12:01 on July 15th, 2011 people across the nation, or better yet, across the world, were saying it was “the end of an era.” After fourteen great years of reading J.K Rowling’s fictional world of wizards and witchcraft, and of watching her story translated into some of the highest grossing films of all time, audiences everywhere have been captivated by this story.

"It was everything you could want to cap off, in our lifetime, one of the greatest film sagas ever that I've experienced," one man gushed to MTV.

 “In a way it’s like my childhood is ending, but whenever I miss it I can always pick up one of the books or watch one of the movies and it brings up all the memories from growing up,” said Val Irigoyen from Chicago.

"You have it pictured one way in your mind, but then seeing it on the screen, just seeing how the directors bring it out, and so far, I've been very pleased," announced filmgoer Bill Croft from Augusta, Georgia.

"Even though I have all of the books and know the ending, Harry Potter doesn't seem over until this movie comes out," explained Amanda from Worchester State University.

This type of reaction from viewers is what every filmmaker hopes for. In many ways, the Harry Potter films are a terrific example of what’s best about the world of the movies - the ability to capture the hearts and imaginations of diehard fans of the book and Potter novices alike, to bring beloved characters and places to life, to unite dazzling special effects with a story driven by relationships and emotional power, and undoubtedly, to bring down the curtain with all of us wanting more.

Even though the Harry Potter film franchise has come to an end, its unforgettable story will never leave us. We’re sure these timeless movies will be watched over and over again, just as the books that started it all will be read and beloved, for generations to come. As Harry Potter creator J.K Rowling once said, “The stories we love best do live in us forever.” Harry Potter is definitely one of those stories.

Categories: MPAA Salutes

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Independent Filmmaker Shares His Take on the Impact of Content Theft

by Jordan Aluise 07/20/2011 09:19 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

We listened to a great podcast today with Jason Stall, an independent filmmaker who talked with Music Technology Policy’s Chris Castle about his recent documentary, Blood Into Wine, and how content theft has affected his work and the commercial success of his films.

After talking briefly about what went into creating Blood Into Wine, a documentary about Maynard James Keenan, a singer turned successful winemaker, Castle got right down to business, bluntly asking Stall, “When you released the picture, was it pirated?”

Stall laughed before he replied with the inevitable yes: “I wish I was more shocked but even during the time we were screening it in the theaters, a copy that had been signed for and everything else had made it out before we were even done with our theatrical screening… We thought we had done everything [to prevent content theft] but we turned our heads for a second and it was out there… the explosion was crazy.”

“Once we had a DVD release, within the first week a site popped up that had 23,000 downloads within a very short period of time,” he said.

To help listeners fully understand the way in which content theft affects independent filmmakers, Stall explained the process step by step:
“When you can no longer present on the front end a business model that has a potential as a return for anybody, it becomes pretty hard to find the investors, so that’s the money side of it. Then let’s take the creative side. If you can’t raise the money you did before, quality is going to go down, quantity is going to go down and you’ve crushed the creative process.”

Independent filmmakers like Jason Stall depend on the revenue they earn from viewers who pay to watch their movies and documentaries.

When their films are stolen at such an overwhelming rate, it becomes much more difficult for producers like Jason to persuade investors to back future projects – meaning fewer great new films for all of us.

If you would like to find out more about Blood Into Wine, visit the film’s website here!

Transformers 3 Injects $24M into Illinois Economy

by Jordan Aluise 06/30/2011 12:25 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

Not only is Paramount Pictures’ Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon a huge hit at the box office, grossing $13.5 million on opening night; it is also a big money-maker for the state in which it was filmed: Illinois.

The filming of Transformers 3 brought Illinois a whopping $24 million in spending to the state and created upwards of 400 jobs during production, noted the Associated Press in an article today.  This significantly contributed to the record-breaking $161 million in spending and the 8,000 jobs the film industry brought to the state in 2010.

In order to further spark their local economy and generate new job opportunities, the state of Illinois offers great production incentives to filmmakers, making it a popular destination to shoot movies.

As Director Warren Ribley from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity put it, “The impact of Transformers 3 extends far beyond its 30 days of production in Illinois by providing millions of dollars in economic activity in the state, creating additional employment for Illinois crew, and, once-again, putting Illinois on the map.  As we continue our economic recovery, the film industry will continue to be an important part of our efforts to create jobs and spur economic growth.”

It is great to see what a big part the film industry has in continuously creating new job opportunities and supporting local economies around the United States.

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