Meanwhile, the discussion page is back up at the TPoP promotional site. It would seem that some visitors are a bit miffed at the astronomical price the producers charge for it.
So Robert Wosnitzer offers this labored explanation, which I'll take the liberty of fair use to bring you. It's a bit dated but reveals a couple of interesting things:
"Hi everyone -
I am the Associate Producer and Co-Writer of The Price of Pleasure, Robert Wosnitzer. Generally speaking, we've set up this forum for people to address issues, raise questions, make comments, etc. about the film and the related topics. As a user forum, we've agreed that we, as the filmmakers, will seldom respond to the discussions, in deference for people to voice their opinions freely and engage some of the questions that we've tried to raise in our film. We don't want to stifle any conversations or debates, and believe in our audience to engage one another however they choose.
On occasion, we will, of course, respond to specific questions, and try to clarify some points about the film, and address concerns. Clearly, the concern being expressed in this thread is one of those "warranted moments"
We completely understand and empathize with the frustration of those of you who wish to buy and/or view the film and find themselves unable due to the high cost of the film from MEF. So let me address both the reasons for this, and the solution that is forthcoming:
1. Media Education Foundation has been the distributor for all of the films we've produced in the past. They've provided us with extensive logistical support over the 4 years of production, marketing, and packaging of The Price of Pleasure. As some of you know, Media Education Foundation primarily distributes to university libraries, academic departments, and non-profit groups. As these organizations are very large, the institutional price reflects the norm for licensing these institutions to allow the institution to screen the film as often as they like, and to allow people affiliated with the institution to see the film as often as they like, in perpetuity. So, it is a very different agreement than the agreement for individual sales.
We've committed to pursue this distribution strategy at this time, as we do feel we are able to reach a large audience in an efficient manner.
At the same time, we do realize that this strategy prevents an even wider audience to see the film, which is painful for us, and for potential supporters of the film. Individual sales will be available after a requisite amount of time to allow the institutional market to respond to the film.
I know it is frustrating, but please be patient, and we will let all of you know when the individual copies will be available for purchase at a nominal price.
2. The Price of Pleasure is currently being considered for several film festivals in the US, Canada, Australia and Europe. Film festivals (typically) request that to be considered for selection, individual sales are not made until after the festival screenings. We make no money from being selected into film festivals, and we see it as an opportunity to reach a larger audience, and to bring them into the conversation of the film. So until the film festival circuit has been completed, it is one more reason we're unable to offer individual copies at this time.
3. We're doing our best to schedule as many screenings in as many cities as possible so that many people will have an opportunity to see the film, and, importantly, to participate in the panel discussions with us after the screening. We recently screened the film in Austin, Texas, and the film recently premiered at the Montreal World Film Festival. There are screenings scheduled for the following cities, with some details still being worked out:
Chicago: Tentatively scheduled for October 10.
New York: October 17
Los Angeles: October 30
At these screenings, we are contractually permitted to sell a limited number of individual copies at nominal prices. If you can attend any of these screenings, it would be great to see you all!
4. Briefly, I wanted to address the tension of "profits" and the social activism we strongly advocate. We have completely self-financed this project, with very limited outside support. We chose to self-finance this project for several reasons, primarily because we felt it is a film that needed to be made no matter the cost. Secondly, it is monumentally difficult to attract financing for a project that incites such strong reactions, agendas, and political passions. We also wanted to remain independent so that the film's content is our voice, and was not inscribed with agendas that we either found unpalatable or narrow. Third, we are committed social activists with various projects in production across a range of issues (racism, sexism, globalization, poverty, etc), and any "profits" generated from this or any other of our films funds these other projects. As academics, we are financially supported by our institutions (salaries, benefits, etc), which does allow us to not only make films such as The Price of Pleasure, but also to make films that wouldn't otherwise receive funding or have a built-in large audience. Our position as salaried academics allows us to not privilege profits over production, which is why we, personally, do not profit from any of our projects. We fully understand the privilege we have as academics and the support we receive from our institutions, which is why we also try to fund projects that we ourselves do not produce. Clearly, revenues from The Price of Pleasure and our other projects further this cause, enabling ourselves and other media producers to make work that we find imperative.
Also, MEF deploys a similar strategy. While certainly their prices appear exorbitant, it is not only in-line with institutional rates, but the revenues generated by the films in their catalogue enable them to continue to produce and distribute films with vital social and political content that would otherwise be left out in the cold. So while it is frustrating to see those prices at this time, we hope you can consider some of these elements that occur "behind the scenes".
5. When we are permitted to engage in individual sales, we will be sure to make a large announcement on our website, and contact those of you who have expressed interest.
Thanks for taking the time to read through this, and I do hope it provides some context and clarification. If there is anything else that I can answer or clarify, feel free to email me or Chyng anytime (our emails are on the "Filmmaker" page). And to reiterate, this is a rare occasion where we will respond to postings on this site unless directly asked.
All the best
You will note that the producers make no secret of their intent to distribute TPoP to the general public. They are already doing so at screenings, per Wosnitzer's stated intention in paragraph 3.
You will also note that in paragraph 5 he promises "to make a large announcement on our website, and contact those of you who have expressed interest," when sales are opened to one and all."
In what way do these stated intentions square with the very limited exemption for educational and institutional use of 2257 regulated materials under the law? Advertising this schlock on the Web and selling it to all consumers unquestionably puts TPoP's producers in the same category as producers and distributors of commercial pornography.
Wosnitzer proudly promises to violate federal law with this product as extensively as possible at the earliest possible date.
If anyone in our business made a similar pronouncement, it's not hard to imagine what would follow. Even with the F.S.C. injunction in place, I seriously doubt that any producer using the same material that appears in TPoP could boast of future plans to flood the market with it regardless of the blatant non-compliance of its presentation without receiving an immediate visit from the feds.
I'll be looking forward to that "large announcement" on their Web site. At that point, any meaningful distinction between what these people are doing and what John Stagliano was indicted for will vanish. And Stagliano's material is, in fact, fully 2257 compliant.
Looking at the facts, TPoP's site shows a trailer for sexually explicit material that can be viewed by anyone, minors included, and will soon be using it to market said sexually explicit materials to general audiences. That's the key issue in dispute in the Evil Angel case.
How many laws will these people break before something is done about it? I guess we'll be finding out soon.