Sony Cites Piracy as Reason For Moon's Non-Oscar Campaign
Last week while Hollywood slept, Moon director Duncan Jones expressed his displeasure with Sony over its lack of support for his "little film" in the run up the Oscars. Jones's Twitter barrage sparked a momentary burst of outrage and grass-roots momentum for recognition of Sam Rockwell's extraordinary one-man show as a marooned astronaut, and now, Movieline has learned why the studio put the kibosh to distributing DVD screeners to the Academy -- or its official reasoning, anyway.
A representative for the Sony Worldwide Acquisitions Group -- which picked Moon up in spring 2008, handed it off to Oscar war horse Sony Pictures Classics in January 2009, then reclaimed it for home-video release this year -- acknowledged seeing some of Jones's grievances. But, he added, the call to avoid Oscar screeners was a business decision as opposed to any lack of support.
"The DVD and Blu-ray come out on Jan. 12 -- next Tuesday -- and it was felt that to preserve the integrity of the film, we didn't want to send screeners," the rep told me. "We're concerned about piracy. The thing about Moon is that its particular genre is very predisposed toward being uploaded onto the Web. We really just wanted to protect that aspect of it. It's a simple as that. [...] A lot of publicity for Moon is coming out next week. Hopefully that will remind all the consumers, all the readers -- and especially any awards folks -- that this terrific title is out there."
Mission accomplished, I guess. Nevertheless, the only "for your consideration" advertising component of that push -- which requires no screeners at all, and would theoretically aid a film about to be released on DVD -- is coming from outside the studio. And most of that is coming from an angry Jones, who tweeted that he and Sony execs had "knocked heads" over the awards non-strategy in recent weeks before redirecting potential signatories to Moon's petition for a Rockwell Oscar nod. (For the record, the Sony rep said he didn't know what Jones was referring to.)
Tough breaks all around, but again, Oscar snubs are almost better company than Oscar winners. Be encouraged, Mr. Jones, be encouraged.