With a little thanks to endorsements from both comedian Bill Hader and filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, a recent petition to save the recently cancelled FilmStruck SVOD service is gaining traction.
Created by Kevin Bahr, the Change.org petition to save the service has accumulated just over 32,000 signatures in its quest to prove to WarnerMedia that the appeal of FilmStruck goes just beyond the ‘niche’ audience which the company called it in its statement when it announced the shutting down of the service to take place at the end of November.
The petition claims the service goes beyond mere servicing an audience, it is also important in terms of film history: “FilmStruck is not just a niche market, it is a massive archive dedicated to keeping art of the past alive, much in the way a museum keeps artists from centuries ago alive. It deserves to live, not only to provide an outlet for film lovers of the past but also to create new fans through the next several generations, and perhaps open some more eyes along the way.”
There’s also a recent Los Angeles Times article which makes a good case for the saving of the service and how those film buffs who claim the answer is recommitting to building their disc collections are going to be impacted to with Vanity Fair film critic K. Austin Collins saying:
“What people who prioritize physical media take for granted about ownership is that someone has to make it. We’re all drinking from the same tap, here: physical media, like streaming options, rely on institutions making them available. But with a future that is leaning pretty hard toward streaming, you really can’t depend on that in perpetuity, can you? A company obsessed with the bottom line has no reason to keep selling DVDs of Nicholas Ray films, does it? I see a future in which physical media dweebs are just as poorly off as the rest of us.”
Another currently acclaimed film writer, Matt Zoller Seitz, tweeted: “The older I get, the more convinced I am that if film buffs don’t personally make an effort to keep film history alive, it’s going to disappear, because the corporations that officially own the movies don’t care. At all.”