For years now, the first question anyone asks me is often “how can I see your films?”—and for years, I haven’t had a good answer to that question. I was working on it. They’d “hopefully” be on Amazon or iTunes or Netflix or in a DVD box “pretty soon.” Now that a couple of years have passed, I find that when I get into these conversations “hopefully” has become “regretfully,” and “pretty soon” has turned into “someday.”
I got tired of waiting for Someday. More importantly, I got tired of waffling my way through so many conversations without providing any good answers. So as of today, I’m going to sell 720p downloads of both of my feature films (Hell Is Other People and The Glass Slipper) for $10 each, with no DRM. The files will be playable on pretty much any computer or device out there, and they ought to be pretty easy to stream onto your television (see below).
Let me try to anticipate a few questions you might like to ask about all of this:
Because DRM sucks, and people who want to make copies will figure out how to do it anyway. I see no need to bind the paying viewers with an ugly set of handcuffs when the people who want to copy the film will pick the locks on those handcuffs immediately anyway. Yes, this means that if you buy a download, you can make numerous copies and put them on every gadget you own. There’s nothing stopping you from handing out copies to everyone you know.
All I ask is that you remember that making films is a lot of work, and yet the pay is already pretty lousy as it is. Just be fair. I trust you.
And yes, Louis CK’s experiment did influence my decision.
Why downloads instead of streams?
Quite simply, it’s a lot easier and more cost-effective for me—at least for the time being. I don’t want to share massive percentages of my revenue with Apple or Amazon, and I can’t afford to host my own streaming server. I’d love to offer streaming options, and at some point I hope I can find a way to make it work.
There are definitely ways to play the video on your TV, though, if you’re a little geeky. My personal solution is to run a Plex Media Server and then stream from there to a Roku. If you have an Apple TV, you can stream via AirPlay. There are other ways. If you have the right hardware, you probably already know how this works.
I want to thank everyone who has waited a long time to see these films. I’m really, really glad that the time to do this has finally come. Now go grab the files.