While the film industry struggles to come to terms with free downloading of content on torrent sites there are some in the industry who have instead welcomed the opportunities offered by Pirate Bay et al, albeit rather begrudgingly at first.
Yet the director taking this admirably progressive attitude to the distribution of his film after seeing his creation sail up the download charts is not one of the leading big bucks opinion-shapers you might find at a glitzy studio in Hollywood.
In fact director Jason Eisener’s film is creating a massive following more for its retro style and its grindhouse appeal.
Of course we are not talking about any old B-movie here, this is Rutger Hauer starring in the stunningly titled Hobo With a Shotgun.
Not an entirely surprising choice of name though, given that the director’s past flicks have included Treevenge, with a premise focusing on sentient pine trees hell-bent on revenge over yuletide massacres of their kin by the human population.
And, just like said Hobo, who takes aim at everyone from corrupt cops to a bad Santa, this film has blasted its way into the public’s consciousness in a similarly surpirising way to Rebecca Black’s recent ‘Friday’ video which has similarly inspired wanton bloodlust in the majority of online viewers.
With a set looking like London’s Holloway Road on a relatively good night, the former Blade Runner star is a post-apocalyptic pump-action wielding tramp with a mind bent on vengeance in the film which was generated a mass of interest in its trailer.
However the immense popularity, which eventually spilled over into full downloads of the film, initially caused the director to plead for downloaders to stop grabbing his low budget film for free.
“Today it hurt to hear that people are illegally downloading Hobo With a Shotgun. I saw one torrent seeding over 7600 downloads,” Eisener wrote on the site.
“I knew this day would come, I wish I could stop/prevent it from happening, but I can’t. I didn’t think it would shank me up this much.”
He went on to appeal directly to those who were grabbing the film, filmed in Nova Scotia on a modest budget, saying that it could cost him his livelihood.
“Please don’t steal my movie. I never stole anything from you guys. The writer and the producers and myself put our pay checks back into this film, so we could make it happen.”
“If you’re gonna steal it, at least come to my home and try to steal it from here.”
However it seems that Eisener, who created the film after taking inspiration from a fake trailer in the Robert Rodriguez Grindhouse film, gradually began to warm to the idea of Hobo being downloaded.
“If you like it I hope you guys at least support it on DVD or Blu/Ray,” he wrote. “I gave my pay check back to production so the film could be made. It’s hard for indy movies to make back their budget.”
“I appreciate people wanting to see my film. I just hope you guys spread the word about the dvd/blu ray or when it comes out in theatres.
“I appreciate the supportive comments. If you dig the movie, please support it. I see a lot more people downloading the film today.
“I’m glad there is demand for the movie and people want to see it. I appreciate those of you who are spreading the word.”
And we hope that the downloads of the HWAS do indeed turn into cash sales as well, or we can imagine Eisener’s next film will centre around the mass strangulation of illlegal downloaders via their keyboard wires.