Update and Reminder: Don't Forget To Make Your Film!

0 Posted by - May 30, 2007 - Blog

(Still) Wanna be a filmmaker? The folks at OpenSourceCinema (still) want you to be a filmmaker, and they want you to help make their film.

As Art Threat reported back in April, Basement Tapes project is an online collaborative film project – a moving images and sound “wiki”, if you will – where anyone can begin to mash-up the feature film project with new video clips, remix the old parts, and add sound. Basement Tapes takes collaborative filmmaking into a whole new dimension: it means inviting the (online) world to participate in the creation of a film.

OpenSourceCinema and Basement Tapes are brainchildren of Brett Gaylor, an artist and activist who has dedicated his creative talents to challenging the creeping cultural cancer of copyright regulations gone amok. The film project is intended as a direct challenge to the dangerous concentration of cultural commons into private hands. Says Gaylor: “Culture—which needs to live and breathe and evolve—is being stored in vaults, released at the discretion of corporate interests. So this film project is about more than just music, it’s about the future of all creativity.”

Basement Tapes is a documentary about copyright in the digital age. But how the film deals with the subject is entirely up to us. Check out the ever evolving wiki script for the film…and then change it! That’s the point. The film creating process has been opened up to the anyone who can get themselves online.

The film is edited in segments. Participants get involved by remixing existing segments, or contributing new footage. To remix, you download Final Cut Pro files (you can download them directly or using bittorrent, the files are pretty big), recut, then upload the newly mashed segment. To add footage, you can upload video from your computer or from youtube, you can upload audio, and you can submit still images. The final version of the film is scheduled to shown at the NXNE film and music festival in Toronto June 1, 2008.

To add to the fun, participants can win $250 cash and a role in the final film.

The project raises many questions: Will the copyright questions over source material keep the final film from being screened anywhere but online? Can copyright cops stop the project altogether? What if people culture-jam political and critical material into the mash-up? And these are exactly the kinds of questions Gaylor is trying to raise. Who owns our collective creative output in a digital age? Check out the OpenSourceCinema manifesto.

And get busy. There’s lots of film to be shot and cut together before June 1, 2008. The story of the cancerous growth of copyright legislation is our story, and it it’s time we told like it really is.

Basement Tapes is being made in creative partnership with eyesteelfilms, the National Filmboard of Canada, Creative Commons, and blip.tv.

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