PotC - Th Scrt of Mnky Islnd

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This is a work in progress.


[thinking about it]

I started off thinking about Disney's iron hold on copyright. That train of thought led to thinking about instances in which Disney borrows creatively, then the practice of borrowing creatively in movies in general. I scrapped my original ideas of working with The Lion King/Kimba the White Lion (an animated TV series by Tezuka aired in Japan in the 60's), then Reservoir Dogs/City on Fire (an 80's Hong-Kong action film) since both of these comparisons have been explored pretty thoroughly already, and I felt I would've been taking too blatant a stance. I eventually chose to explore the similarities between the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and The Secret of Monkey Island, a videogame first released in 1990 by LucasFilm Games. The parallels between the two are less incriminating than those between Simba/Kimba and Tim Roth/Chow Yun Fa; there are also the further ambiguities of the gamemakers crediting the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland as inspiration for the vibe of the game as well as a cancelled Monkey Island movie project with a screenplay supposedly written by Ted Elliot, who would later go on to write the Pirates of the Caribbean series. I'm also interested in the re-release of the Secret of Monkey Island (special edition) in 2009 after the success of the Pirates films and general reconsiderations in light of Disney's recent acquisition of LucasFilms.

I'm also thinking about the interaction of visual and written narrative and the forcing of a storyline into an existing visual arc. What changes are made in areas of transition, whether they're simple glitches from file conversions or an arguably "art" piece out of pre-existing creative pieces?

[working on it]

This project is 190845097x more labor intensive than I thought it'd be, and I'm sure there are programs that do easily what I've been doing manually, though I kind of enjoy the weird mistakes that are coming out of such a jank roundabout method. I downloaded videos of Secret of Monkey Island gameplay off of youtube (about 3.5 hours of footage split into 21 parts) and went through them, taking notes on visual and plot similarities to scenes in the PotC movies. I then found the scripts for the PotC movies and matched them to moments in gameplay.

I put the gameplay videos into Final Cut and reordered/cut them together to follow the structure of PotC: Curse of the Black Pearl. Then in photoshop, I opened up individual caps from the gameplay videos and replaced the existing dialogue with dialogue from the PotC script. This would've been made infinitely easier if the game had used separate dialogue boxes instead of overlaying the text on top of the images. Saving the photoshopped caps as jpgs, I put them back into Final Cut and overlayed them to change the script of the Secret of Monkey Island game. This process, in addition to multiple file type conversions, has glitched the final video in unexpected ways. I recently worked on a video using the glitch aesthetic, so accidental glitching was a pleasant surprise. It got me thinking about bullshitting meaning into art and objects greater than the sum of their parts.

The video currently uploaded is of a single scene in PotC, but in my Final Cut file, I have gameplay footage arranged to just about Will Turner and Jack Sparrow's departure to Tortuga. The plan is to rinse and repeat until all game/movie parallels have been exhausted. Then bonus round with PotC: Dead Man's Chest.

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