The decision to ‘give away’ the film for free on people’s mobile phones and on the internet was, we hoped, (in addition to being refreshingly forward thinking and in the spirit of the story), also a way of being one step ahead of the pirates. Instead of needing to steal it by illegally downloading it, people could experience it – above board – as a gift from the filmmakers. Those who could not afford to buy a cinema ticket or DVD would not miss out on the experience if they wanted to have it.
And just as food for the body costs money to grow and distribute, so do films. A DVD can cost much less than a night out in the pub, another new Tshirt, or many of the other so-called essentials that people do not think twice about laying out their hard-earned cash for.
Also of note: Potter’s film premiered exclusively on the iPhone using the Babelgum app (download on iTunes).