Brett Gaylor‘s documentary Rip: A Remix Manifesto, which explores the legal and artistic ramifications of the mash-up using Greg Gillis, a.k.a. Girl Talk as the central figure received a standing ovation at the conclusion of the screening at the International Documentary Film Festival held in Amsterdam over the weekend. Subsequently, it took home the Dioraphte Audience Award.
As reported by indieWIRE, Gaylor, a graduate of Montreal’s Concordia University, with popular DJ Girl Talk at the heart of his story, garnered considerable attention during the event, which is the world’s largest documentary film festival. Known for his intricate mash-up work, Girl Talk goes under the microscope to demonstrate how he constructs music by sampling multiple pop tracks, and he joins a chorus of folks defending his use the samples to create new music. An Open Source Cinema project, the doc delves into contemporary copyright issues. As the filmmaker recently told indieWIRE’s Peter Knegt at the Montreal fest, “I wanted to document and explore the war of ideas between those who want to share ideas — the copyleft — and those who want to lock up ideas – the copyright.”
As the trailer shows, Rip: A Remix Manifesto, Gillis is interviewed along with friends and family regarding the illegal nature of his music, emphasizing the point through anti-piracy commercials, news clips on Disney and Napster, and what would a music piracy documentary be without Metallica’s Lars Ulrich? And in an act of good faith, Gaylor has opened up his work to prospective film mashers, as he went on to tell indie WIRE.
“We made the film in collaboration with the Open Source Cinema community,” Gaylor said. “[It's] a remix website launched so that peers could remix and contribute to the film. We posted our raw footage under a Creative Commons license, and asked people to remix it around key themes. The resulting work was then included in the film — the goal is for these stages of remixing to continue throughout our festival release, and then once the film moves from “beta” to 1.0 — that we release it to the web.”
But hey, at least the Germans will have his back.
Trailer for Rip: A Remix Manifesto