Filmmaker Kiah Roache-Turner is far from pleased his Australian zombie film Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead is such a hit among internet pirates.
Following last Friday’s iTunes release in the US, Wyrmwood rose to TorrentDay’s most downloaded flick over the weekend, surpassing the likes of Constantine, Grimm and 12 Monkeys.
Co-writer, producer and director Roache-Turner is shattered that internet pirates have flocked to download his film while the northern hemisphere release has grossed less than $150,000.
Shooting Wyrmwood cost just $160,000, but that figure skyrocketed upon completion, reaching the $1 million mark. The film’s deferred payment basis deal with Australian distributor Studio Canal means everyone involved in the production of Wyrmwood won’t see a cent unless the release is a success.
“If you like it, please buy a copy. We made it on a deferred fee basis, meaning no one has been paid yet.”
“It’s a double edged sword for filmmakers,” Roache-Turner told Business Insider Australia. “It’s a really exciting time, because you can pretty much become a global sensation overnight and nobody has had access to that in the history of cinema. You can have a million people watch your film in under a week, which is amazing.”
“The problem is the monetisation is almost zero. You’re lucky if you break even and it shouldn’t be that way.”
A Friday the 13th early release saw Wyrmwood gross $85,000 in 75 Australian cinemas, but won’t be officially released Down Under until April 2.
“Until we can release films here (on all platforms) on the same day as the US, we’re stuffed,” he continued in an interview with IF.com.au. “The windows are a dinosaur. The April 2 release is a step in the right direction but it means we will be sitting around for two months watching money leak out.”
“Honestly, we’ve got bills to pay and we’ve got to buy food,” he added. “It’s really hard to find work in this country as an actor and really hard to find money as a filmmaker.”
“Torrent, go ahead, but if you like it you should think in this case you owe it to people who worked for four years straight to give it some cash flow.”