The Tracey Fragments
So, I just became aware of this film called The Tracey Fragments. It’s an independent Canadian production starring Ellen Page (Hard Candy, X-Men 3) as a girl telling the story of how she came to find herself as we find her at the beginning of the film: naked beneath a shower curtain at the back of a bus, looking for her little brother, who thinks he’s a dog. Though I haven’t seen the film as of yet, it is apparently shot and cut in a “multi-pane” format sort of like Ang Lee’s Hulk.
By now you’re surely thinking “Social thread”, and I would normally agree, but for one fascinating initiative. If you go to the film’s website there is a “tab” labelled “Re-Fragmented”. If you go to this tab, you will find the entirety of the raw footage for the film, everything that was shot (approximately 20GB), available for free.
That’s 100% free, no strings, non-commercial download. They expect, and in fact encourage, other filmmakers to edit music videos, trailers, or even an entirely new cut of the film. They have also made the film’s score available for free under the Creative Commons license.
Also included in the bundle is the Final Cut Pro project files for the filmmakers’ version of the film. So if you have Final Cut, you can examine just how the film was ultimately constructed by the filmmakers.
This is, of course, a big deal. Imagine if other filmmakers jumped on this kind of share-and-share-alike bandwagon. Imagine what YOU can do in a creative community like this. And if nothing else, imagine what you could learn. Want to be an editor? Here’s an exercise for you to practice with: Download the files and the script, but do NOT watch the final film. Instead, use the footage and the script to create the version you, as an editor, conceive. Then compare it to the final project. Find out what you like better than their way, and what you think they did better than you did.
There’s also a contest, the best UGC (user-generated content) entry will win a Final Cut Pro package. I’m not entirely sure what value that is when the people getting the most mileage out of the files already use Final Cut, and only Canadian residents are eligible, but there you go.
I know nothing about the film or its content besides what I’ve already told you, and the film has not been rated by the MPAA. So there’s a chance there will be offensive or inappropriate material in the film. Almost certainly there’s language, and from the trailer it appears that there is some sexual content as well. Be aware of that possibility going in. I’m not endorsing the film itself, but I definitely endorse the initiative and possibilities the film represents. They follow directly on from yesterday’s post regarding the democratization of content and the rebirth of the read-write culture.