Monday, January 23, 2012

Star Wars Uncut: The Director's Cut — May the video editing software suite be with you

Star Wars Uncut: Director's Cut from Casey Pugh on Vimeo.

In 2009, Casey Pugh asked thousands of internet users to remake Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope into a fan film, 15 seconds at a time. Contributors were allowed to recreate scenes from that film however they wanted. Within just a few months, Star Wars Uncut grew into a wild success. In 2010 its creators won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Creative Achievement In Interactive Media.

This crowd-sourced project is finally online for your streaming pleasure (or kneejerk disgruntlement). The "Director's Cut" is a feature-length film that contains hand-picked scenes from the entire collection.

This cut is over two hours long, far more than I'm able to stick with it in one go. However, take 15 minutes to jump-click through various scenes. Star Wars itself of course needs no introduction or synopsis, though this time we get it performed by an amateur cast of hundreds, stitched together with Gorilla Glue and paper clips, shot in environments real and animated, presented and reconceived with a low-tech, zero-budget aesthetic. Many of the sequences are filmed in crudely comical fashion, daisy-chaining, for instance, live action college pals wearing paper hats, stop-motion animation using colored paper or Lego Star Wars figurines, Toy Story action figures, kitchen items, cartoon work recalling various nostalgia touchstones, parodies of pop culture subgenres such as anime and grindhouse, the family dog, and so on.

Love it or hate it (or some of both at various points), it's possibly the funniest, most charmingly obsessive-compulsive tribute vid ever slapped online.