Star Wars Porn Parody Turns to Crowdfunding to Combat Piracy

Help Us, Obi-wang Kenobi…

We talk about piracy a lot with regard to Hollywood studios and major TV networks. When Game of Thrones ends another year atop the list of the most pirated shows, we look at HBO’s efforts to make their content more available and see a path toward limiting piracy. And despite the fact that piracy is rampant, studios and networks continue to set records and rake in the cash. But there’s one industry that has been truly transformed by piracy: the world of adult entertainment.

It’s estimated that the porn industry is almost a $100 billion dollar industry, but in the past decade and a half, it’s an industry that has seen DVD sales plummet, production decrease significantly and piracy become the norm. Just as studios and networks have been looking for ways to make content more accessible to people around the world, the porn industry has been looking for ways to combat piracy. A lot of that is through services like Takedown Piracy, which aggressively go after tube sites, forums and cyberlockers like RapidShare.com that are used to distribute pirated material.

Today, we learned of one production that is taking a novel approach — at least for the porn industry — to finding a way around piracy. Axel Braun, director of porn parodies like 2016 AVN Movie of the Year Peter Pan XXX, Batman v Superman XXX and Superman v Spider-Man XXX, has launched a crowdfunding campaign for his next film, The Empire Strikes Back XXX. The film is a follow-up to his 2011 film Star Wars XXX, which was at the time the largest budgeted adult parody of all-time with a budget of $500,000.

In their IndieGoGo campaign video, Braun and his collaborators make it very clear that crowdfunding is their answer to fighting piracy:

The proposition is interesting, creating yet another benchmark for crowdfunding. Can a major porn production find enough backers to fund their project, thus allowing them to give away the movie to everyone for free. As Braun explains:

“So why do we need your help? Because this time, our ambition has gone above and beyond. Today we are driven by the same passion that pushed us to make the first movie, but we have a new dream…the dream of making the most spectacular porn parody ever, and to make it FREE to download for everyone. Everywhere. Legally.

That’s right, I am willing to give away the movie for free. Why? To fuck the pirates.

Piracy has literally crippled the Adult industry over the past five years, to the point where my movies are available on torrent sites BEFORE they actually get released on DVD or VOD. This hurts my feelings, along with my investment, my brand, the quality of my product, the people who work for me, and even the consumer. I want the effort and the money I put in every movie I make to show in the quality of my product, and when people choose to download from a torrent site they get a low-grade version of it. The colors are off, there’s artifacts and pixelation, and on top of that, the viewers expose themselves to malware and spyware. Plus, they steal money from me, and I don’t like it. So, like I said, fuck the pirates!”

This isn’t the first time that Braun has taken on pirates. After the rampant piracy of his film Batman XXX, Braun’s production company filed suit against over 7,000 individuals accused of sharing the film illegally. This crowdfunding campaign is a change of tactics for the longtime director, who is leading the charge to push the adult industry past this piracy-dominated era.

With perks such as a walk-on role in the film, a chance to have one’s face on the film’s poster and be the premiere date of the film’s leading lady Allie Haze, the campaign has a lot to offer for those looking to spend a significant chunk of disposable income. If you’ve ever wanted to visit a porn set, then just gather up $1000 and make it happen.

For more info, visit the Empire Strikes Back XXX IndieGoGo page. For our part, we’ll be keeping an eye on the campaign, as it presents an interesting benchmark in the viability of crowdfunding for adult entertainment.


Originally published at filmschoolrejects.com on February 22, 2016.

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