The Girl With the Stick-on Tattoo.
Right after Joe opened the FBE on Saturday (I just happened to be there changing out the little cafe fridge with a new one), an earnest 30-something dude marched in with the Hollywood version of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and demanded to know why we’d rented him a burn of the DVD. He opened the DVD case to show us the disk itself and with a slightly smug, accusatory tone advised us that he’d pieced together our crime. The title, emblazoned in black magic marker on what appears to be a DVD-R, is actually a savvy bit of too-clever marketing from Sony Pictures, but our Leslieville Poirot, in his haste to call us out on our ruse to dupe him, missed the fact that both Sony’s logo and the MPAA rating are also on the disk. Without a hint of embarrassment or an apology, he uttered a quick “oh” and then left.
I wonder about people like our little Hercule. Here’s a guy that lives in a society where nearly everything is fake apparently fully comfortable/justified in accusing his local indie video store of renting him an illegal copy of something. While I admire and appreciate Hercule’s one-man battle to combat video piracy, I can’t help but wonder whether he’s simply a twat or if his inquiry wasn’t a cry in the dark about the collective loss of anything remotely approaching authentic in our thin veneer time. When you think about it, in some way, shape or form, nearly everything we can buy, from the carpeting at Home Depot, to the cell phone plan at Rogers, to eBooks, Ikea furniture, and DVD-R’s of theatrical releases at convenience store counters… are knock-offs… some more obviously than others.
To be honest, I’m still stinging a little from the thought that our customers might actually believe us stupid enough to write the film title on a burned copy in black magic marker, but I’ll get over that. Having prided ourselves on solid graphics design and brand recognition for well over a decade now, it still hurts to think that we’d have gone to all the trouble of producing a perfect copy of the DVD (remember Hercule was RETURNING the movie and indicated that he’d watched it the night before), imprinted the DVD-R with the MPAA Restricted rating, added a perfectly imaged “SONY PICTURES” logo to the disk and then, like idiots, simply wrote the title on with a fucking Sharpie. Quite frankly, I’m a little insulted.
On a final note, that a film about a computer hacker (who, at a key point in the plot, records a horrifying assault made upon her on DVD-R), would be distributed by Sony using a disk made to look like a burn, I thought it was pretty clever… so clever in fact that Hercule was convinced that The Film Buff was shafting Sony Pictures out of their due recompense. Sorry Hercule, but we’re basically the ONLY people who actually purchase original DVD’s from the studios anymore, but there’s 3500 convenience stores I could happily supply you with the addresses of if you want to step up and fight the video piracy wars in your spare time.
To be fair to Hercule’s questionable powers of deduction and observation however, he obviously isn’t alone…
Sony Disk Art Confuses the Humans… http://ca.movies.yahoo.com/blogs/wide-screen/girl-dragon-tattoo-dvd-packaging-confuses-purchasers-165011792.html