In accordance with the digi-revolutionary nature of our doc, we’ve recently been blessed with the participation of numerous faneditors. If you’re not familiar with the form, the first thing you ought to do is read the FAQ page on the following website:
In a nutshell, fanedits are reinventions, fresh interpretations of popular films made by talented, often professional editors with a passion for the craft obviously exceeding their desire to profit from it. There are three kinds of fanedits out there: True Fanedits (an alteration to an existing film that is considerably different from the original version), Extended Editions (self-explanatory), and Special Editions (click on the link above for the exact definition). Some of the most extraordinary fanedits we’ve received to date include BUILDING EMPIRE and RETURNING TO JEDI by Jambe Davdar, STAR WARS: EPISODE IV 2004 SPECIAL EDITION REVISITED by Adywan, and The Man Behind the Mask’s 6-hour epic STAR WARS 30s SERIAL EDITION–a black & white silent version of the STAR WARS saga, harking back to the old serials that inspired George Lucas to make these films in the first place, in a style akin to Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS (Natalie Portman gains an eerie Brigitte Helm-like silent star quality when seen through that lens).
In case you haven’t noticed, these guys operate exclusively under “noms de plume”. Coupled with the fact that THE PHANTOM MENACE apparently started the trend (an interesting bit of trivia that is certainly relevant to our doc), the participation of esteemed faneditors in PvsG truly raises the bar, as far as I’m concerned. These are mightily talented editors who dedicated months or years of their lives to the reinvention of George Lucas’s films, because they loved or hated them enough (or both) to show the world how they would have done it, or how George “should” have done it. You know… the old debate.
What fascinates me about fanedits is that they’re at once homages to and critiques of the original works they refer to. From a filmmaking perspective, they make for fascinating studies. From a cultural standpoint, the fact that the overwhelming majority of available fanedits out there happen to be reinterpretations of George’s body of work is of obvious interest to me. Would the thriving fanedit movement be around if George hadn’t released THE PHANTOM MENACE? Can George possibly be responsible for this, too? There’s a fascinating correlation between what many filmmakers have told us (namely, that George inspired them to make films for a living) and the sheer amount of SW fanedits in existence. Whatever their true intents are, filmmakers and faneditors alike continue to be inspired by George Lucas, to take that extra step that makes them different from other fans. Because of George, thousands of fans were inspired to take matters into their own hands. The fact that fanedits can (unjustly, I might add) be perceived as the Dark Side of the Atom STAR WARS fan movie challenge is almost irrelevant to the great George Lucas debate. But they undeniably provide another compelling ingredient to the mystery that we, at Exhibit A Pictures, are working day and night to deconstruct and wrap our heads around: the unique chemistry between George and his fans that continues to morph our cultural landscape in bizarre and unexpected ways.