You wouldn’t steal a car. You wouldn’t steal a handbag. You wouldn’t steal a television. You wouldn’t steal a movie.
Today there can be few of us unaware of the origins of those lines since for nearly ten years the anti-piracy PSA in question has been subjected to online ridicule.
Educating people on piracy matters, especially those aged between 15 and 35, is notoriously difficult. It’s all too easy to patronize those of a more mature age with amped up drama and needless scaremongering but that’s easily eclipsed by the chances of appearing terribly “uncool” to the cutting-edge youth.
None of these pitfalls appear to have fazed Creative Future, the huge coalition of entertainment industry companies with a mission to suck profit out of piracy and educate the masses.
When they’re not taking a shot at BitTorrent Inc., the organization supports groups such as iKeepSafe who in turn aim to keep the younger generation safe (and pirate-free) online.
And next year, if all goes to plan, we’ll get the chance to view Creative Future’s anti-piracy PSAs. TorrentFreak obtained a copy of the concepts and scripts and they range from mildly annoying and stereotypical to outrageously daring and hilarious.
Torrent – The Slightly Smug, BitTorrent Veteran Douchebag
One of the campaigns involves a character called “Torrent”. This intriguing fellow, set to played by a young male actor in his late 20s or early 30s, appears to be a bit of a file-sharing veteran since he has “all the answers” when it comes to justifying his piracy.
“Confident and unapologetic”, Torrent isn’t ashamed of what he does because he believes he’s right, in fact he’s so sure of his moral compass “he speaks the opinions of the BitTorrent community word for word.”
However, while Torrent is living up to his billing as a “slightly smug douchebag” with a mantra of “if it’s online, it’s mine”, his actions are affecting people who create content.
“I support art but I don’t pay big corporations for entertainment,” Torrent says, his words overlaying images of production assistants packing vans at 3am and games coders working through the night.
But while the campaign outlined above plays to a specific file-sharing sterotype, there are more exciting plans ahead.
Don’t Be An Asshole
Another PSA campaign, surprisingly titled “Don’t Be An Asshole”, features big name stars filmed on the sets of big movies. We’ve read all the early scripts (featuring everyone from Sandra Bullock to Morgan Freeman) and not only are they pretty funny but they might even turn into a campaign people won’t actually hate. Better than that, they’re a parody goldmine.
The premise is simple – if you download movies illegally, you’re an asshole. While the title of the campaign gives that away, the content of the scripts is nothing short of a huge surprise.
One PSA, set to be filmed on the set of Ted 2, features Mark Wahlberg and Ted (Seth MacFarlane) sitting together chatting on a couch.
MARK: “Hey, buddy. Have you ever done anything, like, illegal. You
TED: “Oh, ya man. Tons of stuff.”
MARK: “Like what?”
TED: “Alright, uh, top of my head…I once paid two prostitutes to have a boob
fight. Does that count?”
MARK: “That sounds awesome. One time I pooped in the deep fryer at a Doug’s Sr.”
TED: “I kicked a nine year old in the nuts. No reason. And not when I was
younger either, this was like, Tuesday.”
MARK: “One time I punched a blind guy in the face, cause I knew he couldn’t
TED: “I had sex with a Grifford the Dog doll…that was not consensual”
MARK: “I’m guilty of that one, too.”
TED: “I posted those naked pictures of your ex without her permission.”
MARK: “I took ‘em without her permission.”
TED: “Wow. We’ve both done some pretty messed up things.”
– The laughter dies down, but Mark has one last question.
MARK: “Ya. Hey, have you ever illegally downloaded a movie?”
– The tone in the room shifts immediately. Ted is clearly upset by this.
TED: “What? No. I’m not an asshole.”
TITLES: DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE
As made clear by the above, this is no ordinary anti-piracy campaign and the scripts we’ve seen reveal there are plenty more surprises where these came from.
We won’t spoil the fun but I for one simply cannot wait to see Morgan Freeman captured on film reciting the lines set down for him in one script….
MORGAN: “If you illegally download movies off of the Internet, you have a tiny, useless penis, and you should be embarrassed to be alive.”