Star Wars crowdsourced film reaches million YouTube views

Star Wars Uncut A feline cast member delivers a creditable performance in the remake

Related Stories

A "directors cut" of a fan-made version of Star Wars has passed one million views 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, told the BBC it showed "the power of the web to engage people in a global collaborative effort".

The website began asking for fan-made scenes in 2009. It went on to win an interactive media Emmy in 2010.

Scenes submitted to 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.

Writing online, the project's creator Casey Pugh said: "Finally, the crowdsourced project has been stitched together and put online for your streaming pleasure.

"The director's cut is a feature-length film that contains hand-picked scenes from the entire collection."

The new version of the film quickly became a YouTube hit. "1M views in 72hrs! Thanks everyone for all the wonderful feedback," tweeted the @starwarsuncut account.

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."

He added 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.

According to reports, Lucasfilm has been supportive of the project.

The release comes at a time of fierce debate about copyright law provoked by the US Stop Online Piracy Act, which some fear might stifle projects of this kind.

The @starwarsuncut Twitter feed said of the release: "We have to admit it was a little anti-SOPA inspired."

While Mr Youseph acknowledged the risk, he told the BBC that it was important for people embarking on these projects to "have the necessary permissions in place before undertaking a project".

But he added: "Surprisingly many organisations and individuals have granted rights for their material to be used in this manner.

"A good example is Joss Whedon and 20th Century Fox who allowed fans of the sci-fi show Firefly to crowdsource (and crowdfund) a fan film based on that show."


More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 36.

    I think some people have seriously missed the point here.
    Recreating scenes from a classic movie with Lego figurines, cheep costumes and cheesy animation is deliberate, and what makes it funny in a Monty Python-esque way. If it had been produced by a bunch of professional animators and actors, you'd just have a re-make of the original; it would be pointless.

  • rate this

    Comment number 33.

    My daughter loves films like Star Wars etc and loved this,my son has never seen SW, isn't his kind of thing but he loves this. Thanks to all involved.I enjoyed watching from beginning to end.Some parts are so funny.

  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    Great fun it was, powers of creativity there be in this one

  • rate this

    Comment number 23.

    It's quite good but I prefer the original personally.

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    While this may not be to everyone's taste, rather than questioning 'Why on earth is this news' or 'is it art', why not celebrate the fact that hundreds of strangers have worked together for no tangible benefit just to create something for others to enjoy.

    Incidentally, I think it's fab! Well done to all involved and it's made me smile on a misty January night in deepest darkest Yorkshire!


More Technology stories



Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.