Underground Film Journal

Posted In » Online Cinema

Full Film Online: Hollywood Burn

By Mike Everleth ⋅ March 4, 2014

Hollywood always seems to enjoy a good story about an underdog fighting against all odds to emerge triumphant. But, what if that “underdog” was a video pirate named Elvis Presley seeking to liberate media from Moses? That’s the premise to the epic Hollywood Burn by Australian remixologists Soda_Jerk, a nearly hourlong film that remasters audio and video from hundreds of movies into a hilarious, time-warping, action-packed odyssey. Hollywood Burn is a work of staggering compexity.

But, that complexity doesn’t just come from the film’s incredible technical achievements. The whole issue of video piracy and copyright infringement is a tricky one to navigate in the way that financial and moral concerns intersect and become entangled.

Hollywood Burn would seem to fall completely under the categories of Fair Use and Parody. While Soda_Jerk re-uses exact images from copyrighted films, it’s fully clear that nobody is going to confuse these remixes with their original sources, making this new finished piece a protected work. But, at what point does non-remixing, non-cut-up reproduction of corporate-owned images and audio start to actually infringe on the original?

Iconic moon scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey that recasts the monolith as a VHS tape

In the year 2014 and the age of easy digital manipulation and reproduction, it appears that entertainment corporations have started to relax on what used to be aggressive pursuit of tamperers of their original material. (Insert joke about Hollywood producing “original” material here.) Allowing admirers of Hollywood product to digitally tweak mainstream films in original and inspired ways is a measure of good will that only furthers and entrenches brands into society — as long as audiences aren’t “stealing” material for lazy consumerist ends.

To learn more about Soda_Jerk, please visit their official website.