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Open Source Cinema.

Photo of Eric Kohn By Eric Kohn | Eric Kohn November 30, 2008 at 5:31AM

Open Source Cinema.
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brett gaylor.jpg

It was great to read about the success of Brett Gaylor's open source cinema project, Rip: A Remix Manifesto, in recent indieWIRE dispatches from Peter Knegt and Eugene Hernandez. The movie, which deals with the absurdities of modern intellectual copyright laws, was produced with the help of a newly formed online community that Gaylor allowed to access his project during production. It's a highly ambitious concept that many filmmakers have expressed reservations about, but the warm response the movie has received on the festival circuit may change that. When I attended the Futures of Entertainment conference at MIT last weekend, many people expressed hesitation about the ramifications of collaborative filmmaking over the net. In theory, the idea sounds like a cold reprimand to individualistic creative expression. But Gaylor's project shows that this doesn't have to be the case. We've all had the troublesome experience of watching a movie and thinking, "Well, it's pretty good, but it would have been better if this or that was changed." At the site for Gaylor's film, you can realize such thoughts by remixing the film to your liking, without disabusing the director of his own creative impulses.

I spoke with Gaylor for Stream (back when the project was called Basement Tapes) and again for a recent indieWIRE story about swarm filmmaking.