Titanic 2, Coming Soon!

April 17, 2006

I love YouTube! I'll like to think that it exists so that a whacky and tacky person like moi can watch all kinds of whacky and tacky videos! A clip that I enjoy is a trailer of the movie “Titanic 2”, starring Leonardo DiCaprio of course. Here’s the catch – this move does not exist…but it sure is believable! The super-titles were well done, the voice-over sounded professional, and the editing was smooth. The creator put it together using clips from Leo’s films, as well as other action movies like Con-Air. As someone who likes to do video editing, I certainly appreciate the creativity and editing skills of the trailer’s creator.

This trailer is an example of grassroots appropriation from the kingdom of fandom! It is a bottom-up evolution and mutation of existing cultural forms.It mashes movies, celebrities clips and music into a new "product" with a refreshing perspective. Power to the people! Hooraaay!

My personal view on the ethical issues involved is that such creative re-working is a win-win situation for both corporations and citizens of fandom. It increases the cultural value of the Titanic and other Leonardo movies. At the same time, showcases the creative talents of normal citizens. I don’t think this trailer will reduce the sales of DVDs and soundtracks related to these films, if anything, it might even revive Celine Dion’s career (ok, I m exaggerating here). End of the day, nobody gets hurt! But things might get thorny when there's revenue involved for the trailer's creator…I'll explore the copyright and revenue issues next time.

In 2004, while I was a trailer producer for a television network back in Singapore, I did a spoof of the American presidential debates for a movie trailer. This movie (check it out here) was scheduled to be telecast one day after the third and final round of the 2004 American Presidential Debates, which was heavily promoted by the rival channels in Singapore.

My spoof aims to ride on the hype generated by the American political scene over the past few months, and capitalize on the momentum generated by rival channels and other medium such as newspapers, magazines and internet. With the near 50/50 support for Bush and Kerry, it also aims to reflect (and satirize) the state of America's voting population at that point.

This cannot be considered a grassroots appropriation since I had access to professional editing equipments and the video footages. Still, it is an example of creative re-working and it taps into audiences existing awareness of another prominent (though totally unrelated) event.

Over the past two decade, the grassroots movement has been greatly enhanced by the Digital Revolution – the relative ease of access and lower cost of new media technologies. This includes the emergence and proliferation of digital formats, hardware and software such as Personal Computers, the internet, Digital Video camera, Photoshop, AfterEffects, iMovie, FinalCut Pro etc. As technologies continues to improve and becomes more affordable, the grassroots appropriation movement will only grow bigger in future.

 

P.S. Check out this other example of grassroots movement with a political/social agenda – A spoof of the Australian Tourism Ad "Where The Bloody Hell Are You". It generated some controversy from the public and the tourism board.

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One Response to “Titanic 2, Coming Soon!”

  1. tykara Says:

    what is this this titanic 2 wow i love this movie like really love it when is it coming out


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