It wasn’t easy to get in.
A security checkpoint just to get on the lot, and then another checkpoint inside to check for weapons.
After a panel discussion, people were brought into a stage room where smartphones were collected and stored in foam cases with magnetized pin locks and security guards on ladders watching the crowd with night-vision binoculars.
No that, wasn’t a gathering of all the world leaders into one place. It was just a chance to fans to screen a few minutes of unfinished footage from “Star Trek: Beyond” at the Paramount Pictures lot in May.
The fear of piracy was so great, one would think the studio was offering details of where Jimmy Hoffa was buried, or who D.B. Cooper really was.
However, when Paramount debuts “Beyond” at San Diego Comic-Con next week, a few days ahead of its actual release, it not only will show the movie on a giant screen — it’s going to do it outside.
Matt Donnelly, a reporter for The Wrap asks a very important question: How will that prevent piracy?
“The film studio announced in May that the premiere screening would invite hundreds of fans and contest winners to San Diego’s Embarcadero Marina Park, a coastal promontory with a capacity of 3,000,” Donnelly wrote. “The park is surrounded by a marina that docks hundreds of boats apartment buildings and hotels lining San Diego’s downtown area — to say nothing of the San Diego Convention Center itself, where any costumed fan with a camera zoom function might record footage.”
The screening is part of a huge promotional event, taking advantage of the film’s close proximity release date with one of the world’s largest science-fiction conventions. Those invited are select people, including those who tried to get into Paramount’s Los Angeles event in May, but were denied once the event reached capacity.
The marina theater is not exactly completely visible from the rest of San Diego, especially with trees lining either side. But it’s still not the most secure place, especially in today’s day and age where piracy is a real problem.
“Fans might adhere to smartphone check-ins or, dare we say, an honor system when it comes to capturing footage,” Donnelly wrote. “There’s also the reality that any footage shot from a distance would be of poor quality.”
However, Donnelly emphasizes that any footage leak could create a negative effect, especially so close to the film’s actual opening.
To read Donnelly’s full story, click here.
Something else that seems to be a bit surprising is that “Beyond” apparently isn’t being screened by critics. One film critic who is regularly invited to such screenings told 1701News he has yet to receive an invitation to a “Beyond” screening, which should have happened by now, with the film opening in less than two weeks. It is possible that Paramount might be offering limited pre-screenings of the film to select critics in advance of the release, or could be encouraging them to attend some of the early Wednesday previews Paramount is offering in select places.
Typically, films that are not screened for critics ahead of their release might be to avoid an onslaught of bad reviews that could affect a movie’s opening weekend. While some have taken to Twitter to share their thoughts on the films, these are based on various premieres around the world, including those in Australia and the United Kingdom this past week.
Actual critics who attended those premieres, especially the one in Australia, were told reviews were embargoed until July 21, according to TrekZone‘s Matthew Miller.
Rotten Tomatoes, which aggregates critical reviews of films and television, has yet to record a single review for “Beyond.” By comparison, other films also being released July 22 have at least some reviews. “Ice Age: Collision Course” has 25 tracked reviews by the website, while “Lights Out” has eight, “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” has 26, and “Don’t Think Twice” has 16.