Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Last week, I posted Shades 0, so I guess it's only right to also show you our follow-up.

The YouTube description I wrote:
From the director of SHADES 0...

Did you know that illegally downloading music is not only unfair to the artists and a blatant violation of federal copyright laws, but can also get you KILLED? That Kazaa and Bittorrent are not just portals to free media, but portals to HELL? That while you may avoid buying the music, you'll still end up selling...YOUR SOUL?!

Watch BURNED, and have your eyes opened. Based on a true story, this "masterpiece of breathless relentlessness"* lifts the veil and shows you the real consequences of file-sharing. And I think you know what consequences I'm talking about. I'm talking about DEATH.

*An actual quote from MaryAnn Johanson at Though she was talking about "The Bourne Ultimatum" when she said it, not this film.
Essentially, it's a cinematic Chick Tract -- one-dimensional characters, a token moral dilemma, shoddy research (check out those statistics at the beginning!), a ludicrous climax, and a message delivered with the subtlety of a photon torpedo. Chick's strips operate in an all-or-nothing universe, where there is no middle ground between right and wrong -- his world is black-and-white, just like his strips...and so too is this film.

If I had a chance, I'd go back and reshoot this one again -- or, hell, if I had another crack at the raw footage, I'd just do some minor editing tweaks. The entire film was shot in a single day, and some breathing space would have allowed for a few retakes of critical scenes. (If you watch me chewing René out after the credits, that's why I was so upset -- screwing up the dialogue forced us to shoot another take, and we didn't have time.) The music is also too loud in a few places, obscuring the dialogue. But at least the YouTube-sized video obscures one of the biggest problems -- you can't really tell, but my camera's auto-focus went berserk during a lot of the scenes in Ian's (my) apartment, causing everything to blur and clear up again quite randomly.

But even with all of that, I still think Burned is pretty funny, and certainly skewers the fanatical response to P2P downloading (and we made this in 2003 -- the fervor has not died down at all, has it?). I hope you enjoy it.

Now playing: Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins - 05/11/2007 Disparities
via FoxyTunes

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