Whilst still trying to figure out a good idea for the simulated project, we went on a Disney nostalgia trip in our house yesterday and raided our VHS collection (we ended up watching The Lion King and Aladdin, in case you were wondering). Inadvertently, we ended up getting as much of a nostalgia kick out of the pre-feature piracy warnings as we did the actual films.
For those who might not remember them, they usually say that illegal video cassettes means a loss in quality, possible risk to future film production and possible damage to your VCR.
Annoyingly, this is the only one I could find. One of the later films (possibly Hercules, but I’m not sure) had one where it compared an actual copy to an illegal copy. We were all in agreement that the way these warnings were presented was far better than the ones nowadays, by pointing out what impact it has on you, rather than the corporations. Granted, the damage to the VCR is only likely to occur if the cassettes were damaged or tampered with (the tape’s a pain to get out once it’s been eaten), and in this age of digital media, the only problems you’ll encountered are usually down to someone screwing up. But there’s something to be said about the quality issue – I’ve amplified the audio on some mp3’s in the past (the iTunes volume check really is useless) and have accidentally ‘hit the ceiling’ on the waveform and caused distortion during the louder part. And if you’ve ever looked at Youtube videos, the quality is usually terrible, even when on the highest quality setting.
This got me thinking. When you copy something (and right-click save as doesn’t really count), it’s never the same as the original. So, for the 20 second animation (which by the way seems a rather short amount of time for this kind of thing) I figured I’d have a character trying to buy a DVD and, when he finds he can’t afford it, sticks it in a photocopier (for the sake of argument) to get a free one. The copied product is shown to be “flawed” (I’m really tempted to make it look like it was drawn by a six-year old) and something to do with the cops or something at the end. Haven’t figured out what yet.