I recently came across a preview (also see the YouTube version below) for the live-action movie version of the Transformers. I grew up with the toys and the television cartoon, so the thought of a “real-life” portrayal of the inter-galactic battle between the Autobots and Decepticons unfolding before me on the big screen next year really has me excited. Yes, thank you, I am a dork.
In case you haven’t noticed, consumers are creating content–both building on and in homage to the works of others. Digital video editing and animation tools, previously the sole domain of professionals, help us as amateurs to create even more impressive expressions.
“Uh, okay Alex,” you say, “but what do the previous two paragraphs have to do with each other?” Thanks for asking. This preview for the Transformers was not created by Paramount Studios, but instead, a fan with some (amazing) talent. The studio’s official trailer for the movie can be found here. Many say that the amateur’s version is superior, but I’ll leave that up to you. Sometimes the love of a subject can produce a better product than can money.
In a sense, fans are almost always be the best promoters of their favorite products. Sure, some of us Mac zealots sometimes get carried away. Regardless, increasingly, today’s digital technologies when combined with the ease of Internet distribution are enabling amateurs to reinterpret and even impact the professionals’ work. Sometimes with entertaining outcomes, sometimes not.
Hopefully, as this trend continues, professional content creators will have enough forethought to permit fans to continue to create and promote, and not use copyright and trademark to stifle this kind of creativity. It’s in all of our best interest, whether we do it for love as amateurs or for money as professionals.