There are those fans who were really excited about “New Moon,” buying Robert Pattinson-emblazoned pillows and making elaborate scrapbooks for the stars, and then there are those fans who may have gone overboard in their excitement. Samantha Tumpach was busted in a Chicago movie theater for allegedly taping three minutes of the “Twilight” saga sequel inside a theater in late November and could face up to a three-year prison term for her actions; Tumpach has said she was essentially filming a home movie had no intention of distributing the footage.
Now Chris Weitz, the director of “New Moon,” has come to Tumpach’s defense, saying that the prospect of such a harsh sentence is unjust.
“Needless to say, the case seems to me terribly unfair and I would like to do what I can to address this,” Weitz wrote in an e-mail to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Weitz also said that he’s been in contact with Summit Entertainment, the studio behind the franchise, about his concerns but admitted there’s little he can do since “the film is, after all, not my property.”
Tumpach, 22, spent two days in jail following her arrest on a felony charge intended to dissuade bootleggers from recording films in a theaters and selling illegal copies. Last week, Tumpach told the Sun-Times she was recording her sister’s surprise 29th birthday party celebrated with family members and shot three minutes of footage inside the theater. She said the recorded footage contained ads, previews and snippets of the film and that she had no intention of distributing the footage.
‘There is, needless to say, a difference between trying to protect the copyright of a film and making an unfair example of someone who clearly seems not to have any intentions towards video piracy,” Weitz said.