Mad Max Fury Road Re-Edit Taken Down Because Of Course It Was

from the copyright-road dept

As I was poking around the interwebz yesterday morning, I came across an interesting project one fan of Mad Max: Fury Road had made. To preface this, if you haven’t seen the movie, shame on you and all of your ancestors. It’s two hours of mind-blowing nonsense wrapped up in an action film that appears to be attempting to be the definitive action film moving forward. That said, director George Miller has also made some comments about how he would have preferred to have the film edited in black and white, with limited to no dialogue and the musical score taking center stage.

Well, one fan went ahead and worked to produce Miller’s vision. The resulting movie was strikingly different and resulted in a very different experience compared with watching the movie. If nothing else, it was a wonderful example of the power of dialogue, editing, musical scores, color and sound. The person responsible for the edited film put it this way.

George Miller has said that the best version of his film is in black and white, with no dialogue. BLACK & CHROME is an attempt to realize Miller’s alternate vision. The cinematography, the editing, the sound design, and the score, are now represented in a completely new experience.

I do not own the rights to this video. All rights belong to its rightful owner/owners. No copyright infringement intended. This is merely an exercise and study of the art of filmmaking.

But before you go rushing to check out this awesomeness for yourself by clicking the link above, you should know that this is what will greet you.

Yes, in an outcome that I predicted immediately after I shared the fan project with the rest of my Techdirt compadres, it appears the video has been taken down over copyright issues. And that’s dumb on a variety of different levels. First, the takedown itself wasn’t necessary. Nothing about Black and Chrome competed with Fury Road. The entire point of the fan project was to show just how different small changes could make the overall experience. Those experiences were unique enough to be non-overlapping from the film viewer’s perspective. This is just a control power move by whoever made it.

But I’m not entirely certain fair use shouldn’t come into play, as well. As a matter of art, the project is undeniably transformative. Certainly there is little effect on the original work to consider, save perhaps for an increased likelihood that others will want to see the original after seeing the fan-edit. That said, a significant amount of the original work is used to make the derivative, so I’m not sure it goes far enough for fair use. Regardless, the creator of the fan-edit appears to be taking the takedown well.

Thank you for liking, sharing, and watching BLACK & CHROME. This is it for now. Your response has truly shown what the joy of movies is about. Hopefully, the right person(s) will have WITNESSED this and we can look forward to an official version of Mad Max: Fury Road in black and white. The film has lived, and has died, but can it live again?

It’s just too bad the film wasn’t allowed to become a fun bit of experience for Mad Max fans everywhere.

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Comments on “Mad Max Fury Road Re-Edit Taken Down Because Of Course It Was”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

The only allowed creation is authorized creation

Disappointing, but not in the slightest surprising at this point.

A work was built on to create something different, something apparently more true to the director’s idea of how it could have been, and it was killed off.

Because it was an act of creativity, and not money, it was removed.

Because it was created on a whim and not after careful negotiations with the expected sales sheets filled in, and the profit ‘sharing’ contract signed and sealed, it was shut down.

Because it was created not to make a buck, but because of a desire to create, to take an idea and make it real, it was blocked from the public.

More songs, more books, more films and more pieces of art may be being created than ever before in history, but it’s not because of the laws in place regarding ‘creativity’, not because of the permission culture that demands payment for every use, lest it be killed off, but in spite of those things. People are creating because that is what people do, despite the repeated attempts by those that would lock creativity behind a paywall, and prohibit the growth of culture unless every single parasitic middle-man was paid first.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: The only allowed creation is authorized creation

Have my insightful vote, sir.

If anything, this is not promoting creativity, arts and whatever. This version would NOT be produced anyway and the author clearly didn’t make any money on it so how the hell is this a win for anybody? I think the reasoning behind this is the same of giving a 75 year post mortem copyright lock, whatever this reasoning is since the decease will not be creating anything anymore.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: The only allowed creation is authorized creation

so how the hell is this a win for anybody?

For the maximalists, it is a win by removing competition for peoples attention, and therefore reducing the the attention to and income from the official version. Similarly the desire for perpetual copyright is so that they can prevent works falling into the public domain, and providing competition to the ones they currently have on the market.

lfroen (profile) says:

Re: The only allowed creation is authorized creation

> Because it was an act of creativity, and not money, it was removed.
No. It was removed because it was made of something authors doesn’t own.
Want to shoot a movie – go ahead, cameras and computers are really cheap these days. Oh, you can think only about stuff coming Hollywood? No, that’s won’t fly.
On related note: is that what’s called “creativity” today?

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: The only allowed creation is authorized creation

Uhh, yeah, that’s how creativity works and culture grows. You take what’s been done before, change it, sometimes a bit, and sometimes a lot, and present the new work. Then someone does the same to what you created, and the cycle continues. Creativity does not happen in a vacuum, people are influenced and inspired by what came before, and it shapes what they create for the next set to build off of in turn.

Speaking of ‘creativity’, I’m sorry, how many films out of hollywood are based upon ideas from elsewhere? Pretty much Disney’s entire catalog of films early on were film adaptations of stories told in other formats(and in the case of one of them, ‘The Jungle Book’, deliberately delayed so as to avoid having to pay the original author), this Mad Max film was a re-telling of previous Mad Max films, James Bond films based upon the books, ‘re-boots’ galore…

Before you go on about how someone needs to start from scratch, with their own ideas to be ‘creative’, might want to look over how often the major studios take what’s been done before and re-mix it and change it into something different. Unless of course you’re fine with claiming that they aren’t creative either.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: The only allowed creation is authorized creation

Jungle Book is a great example of the worth of a good story, and how different people can put different spins on it over the years all without damaging the much loved original.

It has been adapted into film multiple times over the years, many of which can be found at IMDB. Currently there are two movies based on those stories alone in production: The Jungle Book (2016), and Jungle Book: Origins (2017).

The Jungle Book would seem to support the case that being available for adaptation can make for a strong cultural involvement with the property in question, that presumably significant profits can be realised even if people have ‘seen it before’, and that studios understand that two takes on the same story can be significantly different enough to not be ‘competing’ against each other in a detrimental way even when effectively being developed simultaneously.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: The only allowed creation is authorized creation

That. Sometimes a mere remake of an old movie with better resources produces an entire new work because the details gain life and richness. I mean, take any black and white, mute movie and push new cameras, effects and treatment on it and you have an entirely new creation that does not deprive the original of its value. I always watch both/all movies when such thing happens (and both new and old are available).

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: The only allowed creation is authorized creation

“On related note: is that what’s called “creativity” today?”

So, you’re arguing that only things made 100% from whole cloth can be considered creative? Think carefully, because you’re about to reject a huge amount of classic artistic material if you go down that road.

Also, one thing to remember here is that even not considering their final products, every artist has learned by copying to some degree. The main difference here is that those attempts are far more public than they used to be, but don’t lie to yourself by pretending this hasn’t always happened.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: The only allowed creation is authorized creation

There was no copyright in Shakespearean times: Shakespeare “stole” poems, plays, and stories that others wrote and rewrote them better. For instance, his play Romeo and Juliette was stitched together out of a sappy contemporary love poem and a leaden, lugubrious novel written years before. If there had been copyright at the time, Shakespeare would have been prevented from writing what many believe are the most sublime plays and poems ever written.

And that’s what was called “creativity” in the 1600s.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: No copyright, but there were pirates.

“Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was published in two quarto editions prior to the publication of the First Folio of 1623. These are referred to as Q1 and Q2. The first printed edition, Q1, appeared in early 1597, printed by John Danter. Because its text contains numerous differences from the later editions, it is labelled a ‘bad quarto’; the 20th-century editor T. J. B. Spencer described it as “a detestable text, probably a reconstruction of the play from the imperfect memories of one or two of the actors”, suggesting that it had been pirated for publication.”

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

You seem to have missed the point.

No amount of money would have allowed one to purchase the fan-film, because it was never for sale. Buying the ‘source’ movie would not have allowed one to watch the fan-film, because they were different things. It wasn’t ever a matter of ‘being too cheap’, the two were different films, even if the source was the same, and watching one wasn’t likely to take anything away from watching the other. If anything they would have built upon each other, providing different takes on the same film, allowing people to compare and contrast the ‘theatrical’ version against what was in a sense the ‘director’s cut’ version.

Someone interested enough to watch the fan-film has likely already seen the source film, and those who hadn’t would have been much more likely to do so, if only to see the ‘original’, but that opportunity, much like the fan-film, is now gone.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“If you want to watch the movie, then buy the DVD or Blu-ray”

I would, but I’m not allowed to since it’s not released yet where I live. If only they wren’t so obsessed with turning away money through regional windowing…

“Piracy is still a violation of copyright”

A re-edit of a film is not piracy of that film.

“Pay the $20 and support the filmmakers.”

I did when I watch it at the cinema. I’m still waiting for the asshole studio to allow me to pay more. In the meantime, I would have loved to see this TOTALLY DIFFERENT video. Got that?

“It’s not the studio’s fault that some people are just too damn cheap to buy the movie.”

It’s not our fault that some people are so stupid they don’t realise they’re turning away paying customers, and that the people most likely to watch this re-edit HAVE ALREADY PAID for the original.

Anonymous Coward says:

Know your audience!

To preface this, if you haven’t seen the movie, shame on you

Know your audience, Mr Timothy Geigner!

I haven’t watched any movie in years. Pace Jack Valenti (“Everyone loves movies”—sworn testimony to Congress), I myself do not like movies. I just do not like them.

I have some reason to suspect that I am not singular in this respect among the Techdirt readership.

Anonymous Coward says:

Sorry guys, but this is exactly what copyright law was intended to address. It’s great that people want to make fan derived stuff like this, but I can’t see how Black and Chrome could be considered fair use. In an ideal world, the studio would have been asked and given its blessing to such an endeavor. But this isn’t an ideal world. It’s still an obvious derivative of Fury Road and unlikely to convince a judge or jury that it’s transformative enough to qualify it for fair use. DMCA and copyright law, in this case, working as intended.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“Sorry guys, but this is exactly what copyright law was intended to address.”

Uhm no…not in the slightest bit.

“The primary purpose of copyright law is not so much to protect the interests of the authors/creators, but rather to promote the progress of science and the useful arts—that is—knowledge.”

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

If stripping out almost all the dialogue, and changing it from full color to black and white in an attempt to make the kind of movie the director said he’d wanted to do isn’t transformative, you seem to be setting the bar extremely high. Looking through the fair use ‘test’, it would seem to be a pretty strong case to me.

1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

Taking the original film and changing it to fit what the director claimed he would have preferred, stripping out color and dialogue in the process, which you’d be hard pressed not to call creative or transformative. Non-commercial.

Fairly strong argument for I would say.

2. the nature of the copyrighted work;

I’m honestly not sure if I’m reading the description for this one correctly, but if I am, it seems to me that this test is based upon the reason of a work. Is it educational, for entertainment, social purpose, what?

In this case I’d guess the primary classification of the work would be for entertainment purposes, and I imagine that would lower value of this step towards the work.

None to low argument for, or none to low argument against here.

3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

The entire film was used(if trimmed down), but at the same time if you’re going to create an ‘alternate’ version of it, rather than just a short demo of ‘what could have been’, they couldn’t really do anything else.

This one could go either way, for or against, really.

4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Here’s where I’d say the strongest argument for comes into play. The primary viewers of the fan-film are almost certainly going to be the ones who’ve already watched the original film, and of those that haven’t, odds are good that more than a few of them would want to afterwards, just to see the ‘original’ that the fan-film was made from. I don’t imagine very many people would have watched the fan-film and as a result decided not to watch the original it was built upon, given how different the two were.

Given the above, the affect upon the original work would likely be negligible at worst, if not actually increase the market for it.

Very strong argument for Fair Use.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

I managed to get about 10 minutes in before I had to turn it off. But even the first five minutes of the movie gave me a really strong opinion.

If this doesn’t qualify as a transformative work, fucking nothing does. Completely different vibe, completely different felling. It’s almost a different story.

The only reason I had to stop was because of the dialog. The fact that they still spoke we just couldn’t hear them just turned me off to the thing. If whoever created it put more effort into removing those parts, it would have been epic (I know they had limited film to work with).

I wonder what George Miller thinks of this. I bet he’d be proud.

Anonymous Coward says:


So, I’ve watched the original around 20 times…Not because I’m a fanatic but because I was in the middle of moving and it was the only form of entertainment at the time.

But after watching the chrome version *witness!* I noticed endless little nueances the director threw in that have definitly gone unnoticed since the dialog et al distracts from taking notice…

The movie would have been a historic masterpiece if it was initially done the way the director envishiond it.

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