Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by Maurice, Apr 23, 2018.
I was just about to edit my original reply to correct my statement after reading the article.
My mistake in pruning the quote too much.
At about 11:00 or so, isn't that one of those Spock helmets?
Also, I am hunting for a comedy anthology film I recall from the 1970s. It's not Kentucky Fried Movie or The Groove Tube or Tunnel Vision or UHF. I remember it had a parody of about every disaster movie ever. It may (maybe) have been called Drive In Movie. Not sure and both Google and IMDB aren't helping.
Was it this? It doesn't look like an anthology, but it looks like they have parodies of movies showing.
Awesome, that's it! Thank you.
Sure! Glad to help. My Google-fu is strong.
The films you mentioned made me think of this....
J-Men Forever!, Peter Bergman & Philip Proctor, 1979
(NOTE: this was recorded off USA's Night Flight so is chock full of vintage commercials)
EDIT: The video I'd originally linked was taken down so I pointed to a playlist of the film. The cuts are a little broken but it's mostly there.
If the above does not automatically advance to the next segment, the playlist is linked here (link).
This is NOT a short. What Firesign Theater alums Bergman and Proctor did was create a wicked pastiche from Republic serials that had had fallen into the public domain and intercut scenes from them to construct a wholly new story, replacing all the dialog with a ridiculous script they wrote. Look out for Leonard Nimoy in clips from Zombies of the Stratosphere (link to a joke about him)!
Click here for the Wikipedia article on this film (LINK)
Why it's significant
It's truly "transformative" in the actual Copyright Law sense of the word, inverting and subverting the original. Whereas What's Up Tiger Lily? (1966) overdubbed a wholly new script onto an existing Japanese spy film, J-Men goes one step further by mixing up a bunch of different serial stories and ties them all together via a handful of custom-made scenes. A few years later Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid similarly took scenes from other movies and mixed them with newly shot footage, but in that case the original lines in those clips were left intact and made ridiculous by the new material intercut in with it.
If the film has one flaw in technical execution it's that they should have overdubbed the newly filmed scenes as they did to the vintage material to make it all of a piece.
One could make a pretty blistering parody/critique of fanfilms themselves with this approach. But the resulting hew and cry would be deafening.
It's a bit like What's Up Tiger Lily, yes?
"I believe I said that, Doctor"
Sorry. I am mucho distracted these days.
Have more coffee.
A, Jan Lenica, 1965
TO CLICK IMAGE TO VIEW THE FILM ON THE INTERNET ARCHIVE
Animated (cartoon, combined technique), West Germany/France. Awards: 1965 - Grand Prix at Oberhausen, Bundesfilmspreis - West Germany, Grand Prix at Prades.
Realizing prints of this are rare, when one turned up at the Internet Archive I performed a 2K scan of it to try to produce the best image possible from the less-than-ideal 16mm print. You can find the film on YouTube but it doesn't look this good.
Opening card reads:
J'étais un garçon solitaire, bien tranquille, ni heureux,ni malheureux, avant que ne s'installe au cœurde ma maison le monstre qui s'insinue, accapare, écrase...
I was a solitary boy, very quiet, neither happy nor unhappy, before the monster, who insinuated, grabbed, crushed...
Why it's significant
It's a very simple idea played very sparely. No dialog. Just some music and sound effects. One "set". One angle. A very simple premise with a great twist at the end that suggests just where things will go from here.
I looked up John and Faith Hubley (you may have seen their animation on Sesame Street. They had a rather recognizable style). This film, by them, in an Oscar-winning short but it's not in their signature style.
Two construction workers discuss the possibility of accidents at a construction site and then their talk turns to accidents of the nuclear variety. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056075/
Dialog is all improvised by Dizzy Gillespie and George Mathews. The Hole, 1962.
Why is't significant: apart from the Academy Award, it tells a story with truly minimal animation and effort. The actors were most likely just told what their subject was, but nothing more. It still packs a punch, over five and a half decades later.
A quick follow-up on This Land Is Mine. It acts as the final scene of Nina Paley's new feature film Seder Masochism. There was a last-minute screening of that film arranged at the Internet Archive on Saturday night with Nina Paley herself introducing the film and doing a Q&A afterwards.
Here's a playlist of clips from the film (link). The first video in the playlist is here:
And here's me with her. We chatted over Manischewitz and motzah.
If there's any inspiration to be drawn from this: she animated this feature basically entirely by herself: 3 years of work to animate 70 minutes.
That's impressive! I loved the Busby Berkeley dancing goats.
First things first, click the CC icon in the lower left of the video and switch the captioning on.
Retouch, Kaveh Mazaheri, 2017
Page about the film.
Why it's significant
It tells a simple story with great economy and very little dialog. You can infer the main character's relationship with her husband without knowing the particulars. Less is more.
I posted in another forum on the subject of the death of animation master Richard Williams (link) but in putting together some of clips of his work I was struck by something I thought worth sharing here.
Over the years here any number of times there's been some discussion about if fanfilm makers actually want to make films or of they want to just make simulacra. Most of the ones that come out fall squarely in the latter camp, and I suspect that is as much about beginners learning by copying as it is about making a close approximation of something they love.
The one thing I'll give Prelude to Axanar is its modest attempt come at a Star Trek story from a wholly unusual vector. In that light and in the spirit of being "transformative" in the intellectual property sense I'd like you to consider this:
THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE (animated sequences), Richard Williams, 1968
The video features the opening titles and several interstitial sequences created for the feature film The Charge of the Light Brigade (ignore the briefly seen live action bits).
Why it's significant
These animated segments tell the story of the mechanics of an international conflict in a wholly unique way by adopting the style of illustrations and editorial cartoons of the time and animating those to illustrate the threats, the powers involved, and the symbolism of national prides of some of the players.
Given how much computers have simplified the process and cost of animation, it occurs to me that something like this could be done with a Star Trek narrative. And, in a way, it has.
Mark Farinas' 2009 Klingon Propaganda, gives us an askew version of the Klingons from their own perspective as portrayed to viewers by having us stumble into the kind of patriotic "SIGN-ON" films we used to see when many TV stations began their broadcast day. It's like catching a cold war Russian TV station going on the air as seen from West Berlin.
As originally released there were no subtitles and you had to decipher it from the images alone (unless you speak Klingon...and Turkish). That's what makes it brilliant and—to my thinking—the single most clever and transformative Trek fanfilm ever.
Let both of these inspire you to think outside the box. Every. Box.
Not adding anything new (yet) but I went back and fixed some video links in my posts which had gotten broken.
I don't know of any legal links to them online, but if you want to know how to tell a complete story that introduces characters, establishes a setting and a situation, adds complications, and provides a resolution in six to eight minutes, watch any Looney Tunes or Merrie Melodies cartoon from the late 1940s through 1960 or so.
This is not a standalone, but instead the first of a serial called "The Mercury Men." If you enjoyed the sci-fi noir style of the original "Outer Limits" you're going to be a sucker for "The Mercury Men".
Why it's significant: It tells a story in less than 10 minutes while sucking you in to watch them the way Sandy Duncan ate Wheat Thins..."One after the other!" You can start off wanting to watch one and end up two hours later wondering what the hell happened.
The whole premise is monumentally silly, but the filmmaker has done what talented film makers do: make you forget the lack of frills by telling a tightly scripted stories and drawing pitch-perfect perfomances from his cast. "The Mercury Men" is proof that the suspension of disbelief can be achieved without high tech special effects.
Separate names with a comma.