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Ti West asks the Internet not to pirate his movie


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“The Innkeepers,” the new horror film from “The House of the Devil” director Ti West, will be available on video on demand starting tomorrow (it opens in theaters on February 3). I saw “The Innkeepers” at South by Southwest; I’d say it’s definitely worth your money. But will you pay for it? Or will you wait for it to pop up on torrent site — which, knowing the Internet, won’t be very long — and download it for free?

If you answered “download it for free,” do me a favor: read this letter from West explaining why you shouldn’t first. One of the most popular arguments for piracy is the Robin Hood theory — “These movie studios have hundreds of millions of dollars; I don’t, therefore it’s okay for me to take one.” — West, who still hasn’t seen any money from “The House of the Devil,” explains what that feels like from the perspective of an indie filmmaker:

“Every time you purchase something you are making a statement. You are creating physical evidence that something has value. If something has a high value, then it becomes in high demand. So if you make a concerted effort to support lesser-known, interesting and esoteric things (Art?) then you are helping make those lesser-known things more popular. I’m sure we can all agree that there are incredible movies made every year that never get the attention they deserve – That’s not the movies’ fault. That is our collective fault for not being proactive enough to GO OUT OF OUR WAY to support them. So yes, I want you to go out of your way and pay for my movie. Not because I’m greedy, but because if the movie makes money (whomever for) that’s tangible evidence of a paying audience out there for movies like mine. For independent films. For something different. Not just bland remakes/sequels or live action versions of comic books/cartoons/boardgames. This is a powerful time for the consumer. With a small platform release like ours (VOD/Theatrical), it’s been made incredibly easy for you to support the film… You don’t even have to get out of bed.”

Even on a film as small as West’s, your money isn’t going directly into his pocket. But it is going to the people who gave West the dough to make “The Innkeepers” in the first place. And it’s telling them you like his work and you want to see more of it. Or, as film producer Keith Calder eloquently put it in this follow-up note to West’s piece:

“The types of films that can make money are the types of films that keep getting made. That is the simple math of the film industry. When someone loves a film they didn’t pay for, that’s a vote that doesn’t get counted. When someone hates a film they did pay for, that’s a vote for more movies like that. So if you pay to see ‘Transformers 3’ in theaters and pirate ‘The Innkeepers,’ it’s a vote that you want more films like ‘Transformers 3’ and don’t want films like ‘The Innkeepers.'”

West’s plea comes on the heels of comedian Louis C.K.’s plea to consumers to buy his new stand-up special instead of illegally downloading it. Whether C.K.’s letter made a difference, his special is doing phenomenally well — so well, in fact that he’s started donating some of the proceeds to charity. That’s an encouraging sign for independent artists.

So bear that in mind and vote with your dollars, people. If you liked “The House of the Devil” and you want to see “The Innkeepers,” pay for it. If you’re taking it, you’re not just hurting some big faceless conglomerate. You’re also hurting that guy sitting at that table up there.

Has West’s letter affected your thoughts on piracy? Tell us in the comments below or write to us on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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