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Topic: Selling 35mm film as a supply?  (Read 2424 times)
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sweatereyes
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« on: June 16, 2012 06:57:35 AM »

So my partner and I have a really large collection of 35mm film trailers (probably around 300), from various movies between 2006-2011, plus some that are older (from the 90's and some from the 80's).  I've tried to use some for craft projects (I made a desk light, bows, and bookmarks), but there is just no way that I can use all of them (and a lot of them I don't personally care for). 

They are taking up a lot of space in my tiny house, so my question is... do you think they would sell on Etsy as a supply?  I think that a lot of people are interested in crafts with them, but don't have access to them (especially since 35mm film is going to die by the end of the year).  I found another seller on Etsy selling them, but they seem to only have a few (where as we have some super hot titles like Twilight, Harry Potter..). 

What do people think though?

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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2012 07:25:09 AM »

I would think you'd get more dough out of it selling the film as collectible items rather than craft supplies. I'd list 'em on ebay.
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2012 06:43:07 AM »

Technically, there is a bit of a legal issue.   You can't actually sell 35mm film (entire movies, trailers or ads) as film because there are exclusivity rights, technically every theatre was/ is responsible for destroying every piece of film (or sending it back to the production company).  But, of course people *do* sell lots of 35mm film. Some do sell on Ebay, even though it violates Ebay's policies, and they are frequently shut down because of it (some people do go for a long time, but not with bigger name, and newer Hollywood flicks).  There is also a huge grey market of 35mm film, but I don't think that the film we have is what those customers are looking for (they are usually trying to find entire movies, or trailers from the 80's and earlier, most people who are trying to track down in this way want them in order to show them and no grindhouse is going to show a 35mm trailer of Twilight).  Which is why I was considering selling them as a "supply" and not as something that could be projected and watched.. Plus a lot of the trailers I have are for movies that aren't really all that great, but would still make some great crafts!
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Ill weave your names into my ribcage; lock your hearts inside my chest.
Regain the passion I once carried; do away with all the rest.
I tore the sickness from your bodies; smashed its head against the bricks.
I made a castle from its bones that you may always dwell in it.
Mrs Kay
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2012 03:19:43 AM »

It might be worth opening an Etsy shop selling both the film and your handmade crafts using it (the bookmarks in particular sound like a winner and would be inspiration for people looking to make their own).

If the film sells well as a supply you could then focus on that.
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« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2012 11:11:58 AM »

You can only, then, sell it as general film strip and not use the names of the movies or the characters/actors in any part of your promotion, descriptions, or advertising. This is what makes it a "supply" and not a "film". If you sell the "supply" as a piece of film from, say, "Howard the Duck", then you just ran over the copyright claim line. On the other hand, someone may not want a piece of film that has an image of Howard on it, so you might only say that a batch of film has movie images on it, but you cannot say what those are. That is beyond silly, but if you want to get technical, there you have it.

As an example of silliness, I had a knitting business card design pulled from Zazzle because I gave it the humorous name of "Knit & Pearl Jam"; even though the name was bogus (I assume people are going to put their OWN BUSINESS NAME on the dang cards, duh!) Zazzle wouldn't put it up with "Pearl Jam" on it. Stupidity has no sense of humor.
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sweatereyes
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2012 05:42:42 AM »

From what I understand, what makes it illegal to sell as "film" isn't necessarily the name-brand movie titles, but the *idea* of profiting off of something intended to be shown publicly that is illegal to show publicly (and illegal to make money off of showing publicly).  Also I guess it is important to note that technically speaking, all of these trailers were legally obtained, as they were lovingly scooped out of a garbage compactor (In Canada at least, when something becomes "garbage" then ownership of the object is lost)(also I don't recommend jumping into a garbage compactor, especially at a place that you don't work it is dangerous stuff). 
So the real problem isn't even the selling of the 35mm film, it is that production houses see selling it as selling the possibility to project and display it at a profit, hence breaking their copy right and exclusivity. 

But really, I didn't care to talk about the legality of all of it... I know the laws, and I have a few friends who are very familiar with them. I was more curious to see if other people would be interested, or think others would be interested in buying trailers in this way?
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Ill weave your names into my ribcage; lock your hearts inside my chest.
Regain the passion I once carried; do away with all the rest.
I tore the sickness from your bodies; smashed its head against the bricks.
I made a castle from its bones that you may always dwell in it.
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« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2012 10:38:07 AM »

Just because someone was stupid enough to throw them in the trash doesn't mean if you start selling Twilight trailer film on etsy that the Twilight people won't come after you - they're an aggressive bunch as far as copyright goes and they have gone after plenty of people already for some very iffy-at-best "violations". I imagine that they have a lot of rights to the images on that film that isn't covered by a Canadian trash law. But you've answered your own questions already. You want to sell it as a supply, so just do it.
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MissMouse
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2012 06:31:02 PM »

As far as I know it's not legal to sell anything you don't own the copyright to. For example, if you made super mario stars and sold them you can be taken to court for selling something that's not yours, even though you might have came up with the pattern yourself.
I knew a lady who sold Thomas the Tank Engine fabric by the yard on etsy and was sued by the company.

As for if people would be interested, yes I would think they would be. However, personally, I would not risk the potential law suit.
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sweatereyes
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« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2012 06:34:38 AM »

Well obviously I *want* to sell it as a supply, otherwise I wouldn't  have asked this question in the "get product and website opinions" forum, and it is not that I do not appreciate everyone's concerns over whether or not I will have copy right law suits, or cease and desist letters coming my way from big hitters (arguably, they go after anyone they think they can go after because they are bigger and think they can use intimidation).  I didn't answer my own questions, I was looking for input from others about whether or not people who would actually be interested in this.  Of course, to me, these trailers are pretty cool, theres a reason I risked my neck to get them, I just have too much of them and would prefer to get them to people who would also enjoy and appreciate them, or use them in a cool creative way so that they are not just sitting around collecting dust in a box that I've shoved under the bed.  I didn't think I had an unbiased opinion on them, which was why I thought to ask here.

(Also as a side note, knowing people who work in theatres in different cities, and for different companies, over a long period of time, it is common practice to destroy trailers once the movie has come out, since it is cheaper to put them into a compactor than it is to send them back to the company, either practice is acceptable to production houses who don't actually want the trailers back anyways, so it wasn't someone stupid enough to throw them in the trash, you can go ahead and call me stupid though all you want, it wouldn't be the first time I have had such a response about dumpster diving)

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Ill weave your names into my ribcage; lock your hearts inside my chest.
Regain the passion I once carried; do away with all the rest.
I tore the sickness from your bodies; smashed its head against the bricks.
I made a castle from its bones that you may always dwell in it.
filmmaker35mm
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2012 12:01:50 PM »

Technically, there is a bit of a legal issue.   You can't actually sell 35mm film (entire movies, trailers or ads) as film because there are exclusivity rights, technically every theatre was/ is responsible for destroying every piece of film (or sending it back to the production company).  But, of course people *do* sell lots of 35mm film. Some do sell on Ebay, even though it violates Ebay's policies, and they are frequently shut down because of it (some people do go for a long time, but not with bigger name, and newer Hollywood flicks).  There is also a huge grey market of 35mm film, but I don't think that the film we have is what those customers are looking for (they are usually trying to find entire movies, or trailers from the 80's and earlier, most people who are trying to track down in this way want them in order to show them and no grindhouse is going to show a 35mm trailer of Twilight).  Which is why I was considering selling them as a "supply" and not as something that could be projected and watched.. Plus a lot of the trailers I have are for movies that aren't really all that great, but would still make some great crafts!

Actually, you will have no legal issues with selling 35mm prints, and that includes feature films. No one cares about trailers especially. Ebay will not take films down and close accounts in this day and age because the studios do not care, as they are more interested in digital files should they want to screen old movies.  Also, if you want to get into the whole 'legal issues' of copyrighted material then I will tell you for a fact that selling anything associated with the film, including advertising material (posters, press kits, lobby card sets, etc) is against the law. However, original movie posters and lobby card sets are easily available on ebay and many people have businesses assicated with memorabilia items, yet again despite this conflicting with ebay's policies no one will ever remove the items.  Check any lobby card and you will see the disclaimer "This advertising material is loaned and not sold, and is the property of national screen service, and should be returned or destroyed at the end of the rental term) So there you have it, even poster selling is illegal because it is the copyright of the film company!  Sell your 35mm trailers on ebay under the titles of the films, please you are worrying about nothing, as the studios will not sue you or threaten you with legal action. They're more interested in the real perpetrators who bootleg their new movies and re-sell them and stream them for free on the internet. I hardly think that someone selling a few hundred trailers for old movies is going to be of any interest to them whatsoever, and you can quote me on that!
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