Mash-up Movies: Should I Let Other People Recut My Movies?

Recently I chatted briefly with a much younger person about mash ups. I’d heard the term, but never gave it much thought. While there is a range of mash-ups, they all involve the recombination of pre-existing material into something new.

I’m a bit slow sometimes, so I only just realized I had a similar idea many years ago. I think it would have been the late 1980s at a film class I took.

We talked about the future of film and I suggested that someday movies would be released to the public with all of the film shot for the movie available to the viewer. The director would provide a “program” so you could run the film the way he/she intended. But, in addition, viewers would be able to do their own cuts of the film.

I haven’t seen anyone do this with their movie yet, although I did “recut” Memento into chronological order.  I suspect I wasn’t the only one to do that.

What intrigues me now is that I could do this with my own films. I have all the footage for Line of Taxis and My Most Difficult Case in digital files that I could make available. The transfers I had done for My Most Difficult Case were broadcast quality, while those for Line of Taxis were not. I only planned to use the Line of Taxi video for my offline edit. I don’t think the transfer quality would prevent it from use in mash-ups.

I am almost done the new version of My Most Difficult Case, so I’m not about to release any of that material. I would need to do a format conversion for Line of Taxis, but that wouldn’t be a big issue. How and where would I make the video available, and would I charge for it? I think that could be worked out with out much difficulty.

The big question for me, though, is: do I feel comfortable letting other people recut my film?

The advantage from my point of view is that it would draw attention to my work. Of course that would only work if people acknowledged they used my material. The main disadvantage is that people could use the material to express opinions that I disagree with. That could be a real embarrassment to me.

Give me a little more time and I think I just might do it.

Leave a Reply