Monday, September 9, 2013

Lucia - The new face of success!

Few days back, I talked about a new experiment in Kannada film industry through Lucia. I also told that I will share the link for film once it is released. The film got released on Sept 6th and got very good reviews. I am sure it will be a great success. However, I decided to withdraw my distribution right after the release. I felt really sad while doing that, so I wanted to share what that means to my earlier post and what provoked me to do that.

A day after the release of Lucia, we received a mail from Pawan saying we will have to wait few more days before getting the online link to watch the movie. His main concern was that, if it is shared online, there is a very good chance that one among the 1300 distributors will rip the movie and upload it online which might compromise the sales. So, he said the movie will be shared after the theatrical run.

That didn't go well with many of the distributors. Few showed their unhappiness over the decision publicly mainly on the following point. The decision to delay the online release is against the concept of pre-order as those who have pre-ordered the movie wouldn't be able to watch it till the theatrical run is over. It is also against the concept of 'audience funding' as the film is being delayed for the audience who have already bought the tickets to watch it. If the piracy happens only because of the online version, none of the existing films would have really had the problem of piracy so far.

I agree with all those points, so I really felt that the decision to delay the online release was against the principle of pre-order. But at the same time I also understood the compulsion to delay the online release as the chances of pirated versions will be higher with simultaneous theatrical and online release. That may not be a wise move for a commercial venture. But one could also argue that it wasn't a pure commercial venture. It is a venture to change the existing system. In any case, the decision to delay the online release wouldn't make much difference to me, though I might feel bit disappointed. That was the same view expressed publicly for the mail sent by Pawan as well.

6 hours after Pawan sent his first mail regarding the delay of online release, he sent another mail justifying his decision. The subject line was 'Loads of Criticism about Online Release'. That indicates it is not just the people who publicly questioned his decision, but many more private mails as well expressing the disappointment. It is that mail which made me think more than his original mail about delaying the release. The main points from his mail in his own words:
  • A request... pls dont treat ur 'Pre-order' as a BUY. We never took you onboard as a customer, and neither were we vendors. We always said - Thank you for associating with Project Lucia... called you Team Lucia
  • If I was in ur place, even I'd be quite disappointed. But its beyond my control.
  • At no point did we say... U WILL PIRATE. I know for sure that you wont...  
  • I don't see a theatrical run of more than 3-4 weeks. That would be the max. As soon as the movie shows a downfall in sales... i will send you all the link to watch n distribute. May be sooner than that...
  • And we have not sold the rights or entered into any agreements with anyone to stop us from doing this. Our only intention on holding Online release is to avoid piracy... thats it. And this was informed in regular font size while the film was bought.
  • We are almost done inventing a technical application... where in we will be able to identify anyone who downloads and pirates.
  • To all the unhappy ones, to those who still think all this not valid, I have even offered a Refund. Pls write to with Refund as the Subject. We will gladly return. Just dont question our integrity, vision, our ideas n efforts to bring in a change. If you think you were a customer in this project, then you got it all wrong.. so pls dont hesitate to claim refund.
I had been following Pawan's blog for some time. This was certainly not the impression I had about 'audience film' and 'Pre-order' till date. It looked like Pawan was just trying to justify his decision rather than accepting that he has done a mistake by delaying the online release. I do remember reading one blog post in home-talkies criticizing those people saying home-talkies entertains the piracy as the one with wrong intentions of not able to see the success of a good project. There was also another post by Pawan where he talked about releasing the Lucia only on home-talkies if he can't break the nexus of theatre owners and the current system. That certainly gave me the impression that he was very serious about taking the film directly to audience using home-talkies as a vehicle. If that is the case, why this double speak in his latest mail. He was a true hero of film industry for me till today. Why would such a great personality find it so difficult to accept his mistake and say sorry instead of trying to defend his action through double speak. I was in a dilemma to doubt him. So went through the mail again and sent him a response. The essence of that mail was:
  • What makes you think that 'Pre-order' isn't a BUY? If it wasn't for ordering the movie before release, why would you even call it 'Pre-Order' to confuse others? The mail response after the pre-order says "The Lucia Audio Album is in its final stages of production, we will mail you a download link very soon. We will deliver DVD and movie steaming ticket as soon as the movie is ready for release. An estimated date of release in is April 2013."
    Isn't that saying the movie will be ready to watch when it is released? 
  • If you were in our place why would you get disappointed? The only reason to get disappointed is when you were promised something, but wasn't given. That is indirectly accepting that the decision to delay is breaking the trust of distributors.
  • You have clearly said in your mail that one of the 1300 distributor will be having the bad intention of ripping the movie. Technically, you did say I could be that person who wanted to pirate the movie. What is the need to change the plate now?
  • Instead of vaguely saying it will be released when the sales is down in 3-4 weeks, why don't you clearly say the movie will be released online by 3 weeks or 4 weeks. That would have surely made things much easier.
  • You say you mentioned the movie could be delayed in regular font, which I don't think any one of us remember seeing it. But the home-talkies pre-order says in bold letter that it will be released on Sept 6. If it is not for online release, why even bother to put that misleading information in home-talkies? Why would you say you never had any agreements with anyone to stop you from delaying the online release?
  • A software to curb the piracy can make millions on its own. So, I don't really think that is the reason for delaying the release.
  • If I claim the refund, it is not because I considered myself as a customer. But only because I could feel the arrogance in your response. I agree it feels bad to get abusive mails. But what you really need to do is to feel the anger from people who think they have been cheated. What you have sold to us is not the film, but an idea and a dream. Clearly you have failed to do that in your first attempt. No worries, I can completely understand that. We still need some more time to achieve that. But, what I don't understand is the arrogance in defending that you haven't sold us that dream. I think you still have the time to accept your mistake. If you fail to do that, I am sure you will lose many more fans like me.
I knew success might also bring arrogance along with that. I have experienced that myself to some extent in the past. But, surely I wasn't expecting that from Pawan. Certainly he is more mature than I was. But I have little doubt left now that he got blinded by the success of his new venture, atleast for some time. I should perhaps stop expecting too much from individuals as 'complete human beings'. I still wasn't sure whether I should ask for a refund or not. I had to hear atleast few words from him before framing himself with my charges. It shouldn't be that difficult for him to respond as the questions were precise and I was starting a dialogue instead of framing him. I could decide whether to get the refund or not based on his response. Within few hours I got the reply back.

pls claim refund. thanks. :-)

After-all, he wasn't as arrogant as I thought. He was kind enough not to say 'take your money and get lost!' directly.

So, I had no option left but to ask for a refund. I am truly happy that it won't affect Lucia in any way as the film is already released. I was extremely happy to give my support when it was needed for Lucia. I have read loads of good reviews that the movie has come wonderfully well. I was also happy that it will bring some change in the film industry that I was hoping to see when I did my bit to support it. If Pawan wants support for any of his future initiatives, I might still continue to contribute. But, I am sure Pawan would never understand why would I support him even after writing so much about a 'small issue'. That is because he never really understood why I and many more people like me supported Lucia in the first place!


Anonymous said...

If i were you , i would have waited to see the movie , and then talk.

Vinay Shekhar said...

Mr. Satish. I am glad to see an honest response in the form of a blog post. However I beg to differ with your view about the online release date.

I don't remember reading ANYWHERE that the movie will be released simultaneously on home talkies and theatres. In fact, in the mail I received after pre-ordering the movie, it was written clearly that the movie releases on Home talkies at least a month after it releases theatrically. Have you not seen that?

In fact I remember writing to Pawan on August 29, wishing him luck for the release of Lucia and this is what I wrote, "Anyway, I am glad to receive this email. I shall circulate it among my friends who are working or studying in different parts of India. As for me, unfortunately, I will have to wait till the end of september or october to watch Lucia on Hometalkies. It is such a paradox that I want to watch the movie ASAP on Hometalkies but at the same time I don't want it to be released so soon on Hometalkies since releasing it early means making less money in theatres. So, I hope Lucia doesn't release online till Kannada Rajyotsava."

I think you didn't read the information properly and just built false hopes in your own mind to watch the movie online simultaneously and when it turned out that it releases late, you lost your patience.

Moreover it is plain stupid to even expect it to release simultaneously on Hometalkies. No movie, anywhere in the world, releases online or releases DVD simultaneously with the theatrical release. You can pre order movies on Amazon or Flipkart but they will only be delivered to you once the DVD releases and not when the movie releases. By your logic, the TV channels should be shouting at movie producers that they are not allowed to release the movie on TV when it releases in theatre because they have paid crores for the movie. Please think rationally before ranting out loud.

Anyway, I wish you luck on your refund. Since you will get a refund, I guess you will lose your pre order and won't have the link to watch the movie. So, when the movie releases online, don't worry. I will send you a link to watch the movie.


Anonymous said...

"I guess you will lose your pre order and won't have the link to watch the movie. So, when the movie releases online, don't worry. I will send you a link to watch the movie."

Hahahahah LOL ROFL :)
Whatta dialogue!! :P

Sathisha said...


Sorry, I am not talking about the movie. I am only talking about Pawan's defence to delay the online release. Nothing else.

@Vinay Shekhar,
Thanks a lot for your comment. The main reason for me to write this blog is to hear from someone like you, as I didn't hear from Pawan. As I mentioned, it doesn't make much difference to me if the movie is released online immediately or after a month. I even didn't pay much attention to the first mail though my wife said it is wrong to not let the people to watch the movie who have pre-ordered. As per Pawan's second mail, that is the response from a lot of other people as well. So, even if we assume it was in one of his earlier mails, you need to agree that it wasn't communicated properly to others. I went through my Pre-order mail again and there is no information saying it will released online after a month. still says the release is on Sept-6th. If that release isn't for home-talkies, don't you see the need to say it will be delayed by a month in the same font?
Again, my blog wasn't a result of my false expectation about the film release. It is just because I found it plain wrong to get a second mail from Pawan defending his actions, though he has clearly broken the (false)expectations of a lot of people. If I was in his position, I would simply say sorry instead of justifying the case. There is no need to drag that by giving further justification. I wanted to say sorry to Pawan for writing this mail. But, so far I haven't seen enough evidence to defend his second mail.
>>So, when the movie releases online, don't worry. I will send you a link to watch the movie.
Sure, if you can give me 30% discount. One of my close friend is also a distributor and would give me 25% discount :)

Adarsh said...

This is my response for the LATEST email from Mr. Pawan Kumar (Actorinme)

Pawan Kumar wrote -

"This is the LIMIT. I have been very patient so far. ANY MORE 'reply all' will automatically get you off the Lucia List. Your money will be refunded and thats it. We will in fact add you in our black list so that you dont get associated with us in the future as well. And I request the rest of the victims to mark theid ID as spam in their respective mails.

I think enough request were made. If anyone wants to ASK something... pls send it to ... THT ID ONLY.


Below is my response for Mr.Actor in me!

"Ooooh! I am scared! :P

Friends, the reason Pawan is asking us to stop replying all is that, his lies are getting exposed here...He is probably scared! I sent couple of emails to audiencefilms and to him individually, but no response from there yet! Probably they are automatically marked as junk! Till now he had time to address all of our queries, but now he does not have time in his moment of glory!

Below is the extract of the email that I got from Mr.Actorinme when I pre-ordered!

"Your Pre Order package also includes – DVD Disc, Audio Album download and a Streaming view of the Lucia Film on Home Talkies. We will deliver DVD and movie steaming ticket as soon as the movie is ready for release. An estimated month of release is July 2013."

Does it not mean, the DVD will be delivered and the online link will start working as soon as it is ready for release? Can somebody explain me in detail to understand this simple English?

It was YOU who did the mistake by exposing all our email IDs. It was YOU who promised something and did not stick to it! It was YOU who played with Kannadigara emotions!

I feel CHEATED and I don't give a damn for your threats! You will add me in you black list so that I dont get associated with you in future?! What an irony? LOL! I have already blacklisted you... bcos it is not spam but it is a SCAM and I definitely do not want to get associated with cheaters anymore! Rathri kanda Baavige, Yaradru Hagalalli bilthara? LOL!

You are definitely an actor (actorinme!) no doubt about it, you acted very well to lure all the kannadigas and played with their emotions. You played the Bhashabhimana card very well to get bitti publicity for your movie and funding for your movie! There is no surprise that you are now ready to refund as you no longer need that money as the goal is already achieved and you have probably earned multiple times already! Shame on you! Are you ready to refund with Interest for all those folks who were waiting eagerly for the movie to be released online on September 6th rather since July 2013?

As you had arrogantly claimed in facebook in one of the comments that your mother tongue is Marathi and not Kannada and you are doing a favor by doing movies in Kannada, you played very well with the emotions of Kannadigas like all politicians and people who migrate to Karnataka are continuing to do! You acted very well there Mr.Actorinme! You are no better than any of those Khangress politicians who are looting our country with a scam everyday and act very arrogantly when questioned!

What next Mr.Actorinme? From which constituency are you contesting elections? :P

I don't lose anything if I don't watch your movie but with your arrogance you have definitely lost lot of fans including me! I refrained from asking for a refund because I did not pre-order the movie for Mr. Actorinme but for the whole Team Lucia! I am sure there are 100s like me who feel cheated and there is atleast one person in your production unit itself who definitely think you are doing a mistake!

SHAME ON YOU Mr.Actorinme! Cleanup your Act and atleast apologize for not delivering on you promise, I will definitely forgive you!

Friends, On a lighter note, we should report this SCAM to Mr. Arnab Goswami as the nation needs to know the answer! LOL!"

Anonymous said...

@ Adarsha:
Did you really replied like this??
ROFL.. Shame is on you man for such a lame comments.

I would infact appreciate Sathish to have taken some dignified stance by writing a blog!

Adarsh said...

@Anonymous, Lame people deserve lame comments!

Abhiman said...

I guess the audience funding model is yet to fully form in Indian cinema. Hopefully going forward for any such ventures there will be a clear and honest communication. But

I watched the movie yesterday and totally loved it!!! For the first time I've seen a professionally done and intelligent Kannada movie. Hope everyone who took the risk and pitched in money get to see the movie soon.