Spreading around the internet like wildfire is the DVD Screener of the J.J. Abrams movie Super 8. Screeners leak all the time but what makes this one special is the watermark that is on this specific screener.
First off, for those not sure about what a screener actually is.
Screener – These are early DVD or BD releases of the theatrical version of a film, typically sent to movie reviewers, Academy members, and executives for review purposes. A screener normally has a message overlaid on its picture, with wording similar to: “The film you are watching is a promotional copy, if you purchased this film at a retail store please contact 1-800-NO-COPIES to report it.” Apart from this, some movie studios release their screeners with a number of scenes of varying duration shown in black-and-white. Aside from this message, and the occasional B&W scenes, screeners are normally of only slightly lower quality than a retail DVD-Rip, due to the smaller investment in DVD mastering for the limited run. Some screener rips with the overlay message get cropped to remove the message and get released misslabled as DVD-Rips.
Note: Screeners make a small exception here, since the content may differ from a retail version, it can be considered as lower quality than a DVD-Rip (even if the screener in question was sourced from a DVD).
This new screener for the movie Super 8 has a watermark showing the Paramount text at bottom then H. Stern in the upper right hand corner.
According to a quote from http://www.deadline.com/2011/08/pirated-super-8-print-points-back-to-howard-stern-show/
“I’m told by studio insiders that Paramount indeed made a copy of Super 8 for the Stern show and that one was leaked. The studio has already conducted its own investigation.”
It seems that there has been verification that this screener was indeed intended for radio show host Howard Stern, but what isn’t clear is how the screener got leaked. Was it one of the Stern show crew? Perhaps a courier? Or maybe the screener was loaned to a friend that made copies and passed it around. There’s no telling, it will be interesting to hear in the next few days the fallout stemming from the leak.
The leak itself has spread like wildfire and is on every torrent search engine, including Google, sites such as http://www.kat.ph, http://thepiratebay.org/, and http://demonoid.me all have multiple torrents for the screener. And searching around google also pops up several direct download sites as well.
From today’s Howard Stern Show Monday August 8, 2011:
this discussion also mentioned on Marksfriggin
Howard complained that he had a lot to yell and scream about on the subject. He said there’s an article going around about him leaking a movie with his name on the watermar. The movie ”Super 8” with the watermark Howard Stern on it is on the internet and he was aware of it. He mentioned he was contacted by Paramount Pictures and he’s already discussed the situation with them. Howard said he likes to get screeners and wondered why studios would never give them to him. Howard then mentions he has friends who are in show business who are not in the business of promoting this stuff yet they get these screeners and he felt it was unfair. He said the studios must trust these people. He wondered why they didn’t trust him. Howard said he would never bootleg a movie.
With that said Howard did flip flop on the subject several times, right after his first tirade complaining that he didn’t get screeners and yet his friends did and how he felt it was unfair he does a complete 180 on that subject by saying that he told the studio that he does get movie screeners and how it was very annoying to see his name on them. Howard said he was very embarrassed because the studios are going to think that he leaked this. Howard said when he gets the screeners they come into the office and Tracy or Gary will hand it to him then he takes it and brings it right back to work after watching them. He said he would like to put it through a shredder but the studios ask for it back. That’s where the problem is. Howard said he gets “the shakes” because he doesn’t know what happens to it when they get it back. So even though he started the tirade off how he “never” gets screeners, he goes on and flip flops doing a complete 180 on the spin by saying he does get screeners and explains the process how he handles them. So which is it? Does he never get screeners or does he always get screeners, He sounded like some kid that got busted trying to lie his way out of trouble and not able to get his story straight.
Gary, Howard’s producer, did claim that he had been on the phone with Paramount discussing the situation with them. Gary again explains the process for handling screeners how they put it in Howard’s “bag”, Howard views it at home then brings it back to office and Gary or Tracy gets it tso it can be given back to the studio. Howard mentioned they were doing an internal investigation and feels he won’t ever be getting another screener. But with that said Howard went on the defensive doing another 180 degree flip flop on the story by saying there was nothing he could do about it. Howard further deflected the issue saying quote “There are other shitheads who get screeners with their name on it” and “he would rather not get any screeners and put up with this type of situation”
Howard first claimed he never gets screeners and made it sound like this was the only screener he got, but then changed his story once Gary was involved explaining how screeners were dealth with in house which Howard then admitted they do get screeners and explained the process how he aquires them and returns them to his producer to be returned to the studio. He complained and deflected the leak by blaming the studio requiring the screeners to be returned and not allowing Howard to just shred the disc.
From hearing Howard’s reasoning today, it was mostly deflecting and blaming the studio’s return policy on screeners. Again it will be interesting to see if anything does come of it over the next few days if Paramount will fine anyone or what comes up from the investigations.