Films are now downloaded in a day, or less. There's no way to stop it.
They can kill Napsters and those that followed, but now it's too late. The only way to stop downloading now would be to turn off the internet, and the cat is truly out of the bag – and it's had dozens of kittens too...
Nobody likes advertising, nobody sane that is. Nobody would watch channels that sell things unless they make them into programmes: little shows with intrigue and stimuli to keep attention high right till the credit card slips out of their grubby little paws. And adverts at the cinema don't work either. Even if they are for popcorn and coke it's too late, the only way they can make the victims sucker up is if they have a half time pause, mid-film. Now this is something that Italy insists on doing, with nearly every cinema having a half time break that could once be justified by the cinema possessing only one projector per screen, and the half-time swap over giving everyone a 5 minute break to go to the toilet. Nowadays it's there to get the punters to buy some crap. Films used to have the B-movies just for this: lights come on and suddenly there's a tray of tempting produce close to hand (and to wallet).
Just as the music “business” (*spit*) will have to adjust to survive, the film industry will have to work in a different way. As I see it, their options are these:
Make films so “spectacular” and visually stimulating that they “need” to be seen on the big screen with amazing sound systems that vibrate our hearts and loins.
Put the advertising in the film, obviously in a way that can work, doesn't offend, and could maybe even appeal.
Product and producer tie ins.
The first might very well lead to films that rely on special effects, bubble gum for the eyes, and all I can say is “so be it”. If that's what the people want, give it to them. You can't stop Mer'Donald's so why try? If, on the other hand, it means films become more “beautiful” to the eye, then I don't have a problem with that either.
What about films that rely on dialogue, and not explosions? Well, apart from the fact that even films that are based around words can be visually stimulating, and they should at least try to be, otherwise we have product placement, point number 2. It's commonplace now, for an example off the top of my head, just imagine how much Audi and I Robot worked together... Personally, I've never seen anything that has sold Audi to me more than that film, and I'd like to think that maybe the film even pushed Audi designers to create something special, something that then turned up in their present day cars. To help finance your film, Product placement shouldn't be a dirty word (or two). Here in Italy, product placement is seen as yet another way to avoid paying taxes on advertising, and that coupled with the intellectuals' argument of product placement being synonymous with “artistic prostitution” (based around the nightmare image of a Michael J fox-like figure turning to the camera with a C**a C**a can carefully held in hand and angled to the camera for maximum advertising impact) and it's easy to see why “product placement” is a four letter word. It shouldn't be that way, of course, and I guess that it won't be that way in the future. Films that flaunt products will lose their public, and won't be seen in cinemas or even downloaded. On the other hand, a film that puts the products in the viewer's mind in the right way, and in a good film, well that makes it a winner for me. Do we have to protect the public? Flash a message that says “advert” when the killer takes out a Glock and kills someone, or types at an Asus portable, or gives the dog a can of Pal? No, screw 'em. If the product placement is done well enough to sell the product without annoying or detracting from the film, then that's a better advert than the 9 minute interruption mid film on the television of a bank, two laxatives, a beer, and a nappy.