Why Things Cost Money; Or, Ain't No Free Lunches, or Free Movies

The whole "Beer Wars" flap (such as it is; again, the realm of beer geekdom is small and insular) is interesting to me for another reason (for my earlier comments see this.)

Namely the money issue. There are a lotta people out there who don't wanna pay no fifteen stinkin' bucks for a film. Ridiculous price! say some. "I'll wait for YouTube" say others. "Prolly be free on the internet somewhere" say others.

Damn, I hope not. And I hope not for the same reason that I hope people buy new, rather than used, copies of my books: it's the ONLY way I make money from them. And the only way Anat Baron will recoup any of her investment is if people see the film.

'Cause you know -- not everything in life is free. It can't be, or, well, you're gonna have a lot of homeless, hungry writers, plumbers, doctors, computer programmers, and filmmakers. Or, alternatively, you won't have ANY writers, plumbers, doctors, computer programmers, or filmmakers.

Moreover, that fifteen dollar admission fee is being divvied up among a lot of people: Anat will, I hope, get some of it. That would be nice, because she's already shelled out hundreds of thousands of dollars for her camerawoman, her crew, the film's editor, the lighting and camera equipment, to say nothing of travel expenses (the film took months and months to make and much of it was filmed on the road).

The theater owners will get some of the fifteen dollars in the form of rental fees for the theaters themselves. And some of the moeny goes to pay for the people who work at the theaters, the people running the satellite equipment, and the people who  printed the posters, and created the press releases (of which, yes, I know, you're all sick).

So: Free? Not free? Fifteen bucks? Not fifteen bucks? You be the judge.