Crowdsourced ‘Directors cut Star Wars’ reaches million YouTube views
London: A “directors cut” of a fan-made version of ‘Star Wars’ has crossed the one million mark on YouTube.
The film, uploaded on 18 January, is made up of hundreds of 15-second scenes created by Internet users.
The Star Wars Uncut project is widely regarded as an example of the power of crowdsourcing.
Ramon Youseph, of the Crowdsourcing Gazette blog, said that it showed “the power of the web to engage people in a global collaborative effort”.
The website starwarsuncut.com began asking for fan-made scenes in 2009.
It went on to win an interactive media Emmy in 2010.
Scenes submitted to Starwarsuncut.com were specially selected for this compilation.
Although the clips had been available online previously, this is the first time they have been put together into a full-length film.
“Finally, the crowdsourced project has been stitched together and put online for your streaming pleasure,” the BBC quoted project creator Casey Pugh as saying.
“The director’s cut is a feature-length film that contains hand-picked scenes from the entire starwarsuncut.com collection.”
The new version of the film quickly became a YouTube hit in just 72 hours.
The film is also available on Vimeo where it has been played nearly 300,000 times.
Jeff Howe, author of the book Crowdsourcing, said the project’s success shows the public can have a role in movie-making.
“The trick, of course, is not simply to stitch together disparate footage from many minds (and cameras), but to make it entertaining, compelling, etc,” Howe said
He said that the project had “provided clear guidelines by cutting the original film into 15-second bits.”
“What few people understand is that crowdsourcing is not some free-for-all.
“The rules are actually more important than they might be in a more traditional methodology.”
The 400-plus scenes in the film, which were edited together by Aaron Valdez and Bryan Pugh, are an eclectic mix of live-action, animation and puppetry.
Actors of all ages, and in some cases species, appear in the scenes.
Influences range from Yellow Submarine to Ingmar Bergman’s Seventh Seal.
A bewildering variety of household goods are enlisted as substitutes for the original film’s ground-breaking special effects and props.
In one scene a fly-swat has an unexpected cameo as Luke’s lightsaber.
Locations vary, with efforts to faithfully recreate the original sets sitting side-by-side with homes, suburban streets, bowling alleys and, in one case, a hot tub.