Crowdsourcing a Classic - "Pretty fun and hilarious"

Posted by Connie French on Jul 20, 2009 3:58:05 PM

I recently learned about a very interesting and ambitious crowdsourcing project called "Star Wars Uncut".  The goal of the project is to create a user-generated version of the movie Star Wars.  Readers are invited to pick a 15-second scene from the movie, recreate it and send it back to the organizers, who will assemble all of the scenes into a full length recreation of the movie.  The rules are simple - only original videos will be accepted, no music, video must be complete within 30 days and comply with specific formatting and timing guidelines.   The project got so much positive word of mouth publicity that all of the scenes were claimed within 4 days.

Suspecting that this might be of interest to our Solver demographic, I asked the organizer, Casey Pugh, to provide a bit more information about the project.

Hi Casey - can you tell us how this project came about?

Sure!  I work at Vimeo, so I'm very familiar with internet video. We have always been thinking about ways to improve our forums and user collaborations. I thought it'd be great if users could collaborate easier on video projects by tasking out jobs like, directing, animating, shooting, etc. I used Star Wars as an example project that people would collaborate on.

Eventually the idea turned into something even simpler; slice the movie into pieces and have each user pick a piece. My first reaction to it was, "woh! that would be pretty fun and hilarious". I got the idea at least six months ago. Then one day I realized I should just make my own site that uses Vimeo as the medium. This project wasn't made for Vimeo, it's just a coincidence that I work there. Anyone can use Vimeo as a crowd-sourcing platform using Vimeo's API. I hope my site will give some crowdsourcing inspiration to another geek out there.

After only four days all of the scenes were taken - did you have any idea the idea would be so popular?

No idea - the initial release of Star Wars: Uncut was to test the waters to see the level interest from the internet community.  I'm thrilled by the amount of attention it has received and by the pure excitement everyone has to get involved.

What will you do about people who still want to participate but missed their chance to grab one of the available scenes?

This weekend, I will be releasing an upgraded version of Star Wars: Uncut. It will allow a lot more people to join in on the fun. This means there will be multiple versions of each scene where fans will be able to choose their favorite version. Just imagine being able to watch Star Wars a completely different way every time you watch it. I can't wait.  I'll spare you the techinical details of how it will work right now, but I would like people to know that they still have a chance to participate!

Will you publish more contests like these?

I would like to do the next two Star Wars movies if this one goes well.  I'm very excited about it all and I hope Mr. Lucas won't be upset about our awesome tribute.

Thanks Casey, and good luck!


Topics: Innovation Insights

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