In 2009, web developer Casey Pugh began a massive undertaking to remake Star Wars IV: A New Hope shot-for-shot. But instead of hiring a crew and casting actors, Pugh opened the project to hundreds of strangers; Star Wars Uncut is the result of close t0 500 15-second clips re-shot by fans and uploaded to a website, where Pugh and his team worked tirelessly to edit them all together into something amazing.
The process was simple – Anyone who wanted to participate simply went to Star Wars Uncut and reserved a 15-second segment of the movie, and were free to recreate it however they liked. There were no limitations on creativity, which meant submissions ran the gamut from live-action to animation, with actors and environments changing vastly second to second. It must have been a continuity nightmare for Pugh’s crew but somehow they managed to make 4 transitions-per-minute feel surprisingly fluid and still hold on to that amateur film charm. And you can see it for yourself because now the Star Wars Uncut Director’s Cut is finally available on the internet for everyone to see. The 2-hour long film is streaming on Vimeo and on Youtube:
And how do I know so much about the creation process? I was lucky enough to participate in the project, after it was brought to my attention by a friend of mine. We spent 2 hours shooting in the halls of our university’s science building for a 15-second payoff. And being a part of it all is totally worth it (You can see the four of us from the 2:55 mark until 3:10. I am the rebel in the white shirt).
At the beginning of Star Wars Uncut‘s production, Pugh stated he would consider continuing with the other Star Wars films if A New Hope‘s was successful. I can’t imagine a bigger success than this: Star Wars Uncut won the Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Interactive Media, in 2010. I don’t know if there’s been any official word on an Uncut sequel, but I’d love to see a sweded version of Empire Strikes Back.