Transformers transcend all barriers and make us do things we wouldn’t normally do. Everyone can relate to Optimus Prime, the Socrates of robots. Thus Transformers have a tech meme following online and in the major off line outlets in Hollywood. The YouTube audience and community has pushed Transformers forward as it is one of the most popular terms searched for on the site. Though the culture embraces and shares the passion for Transformers, copyright is an issue when someone puts up video of the Hollywood film on YouTube. Holding on to ones work and protecting it in this community of developers, cultivators and creators causes a debate. YouTube tests Hollywood and brings a part of Japanese culture for all of us to share.
The “best of 2007″ blog post I published is missing one important news story. The movie Transformers came out on the big screen this year and made headlines in the major on and off line news outlets. I have always loved Optimus Prime as my number one transformer because he is a great leader and defender against the deceptions whom try to defeat him and his mega bots. Optimus Prime is the one true example of the perfect leader, the socrates of robots and the balance found with-in our universe. The surrounding mega-bots follow Optimus Prime and out of them all I’ve had my heart set on Bumble Bee because of his nature, size and bad-ass transformer moves. He would make an excellent protector to any woman. I have always seen Bumble Bee this way and I can prove it with my high school yearbook picture when I wore a yellow t-shirt with “Transformers” written across the top and Bumble Bee printed on it for my 8th grade year book picture.
I take pride in bringing the leader of the mega-bots, Optimus Prime, to life. When wearing the Optimus Prime helmet (that belongs to Brian Lam and I really need to return it) I often feel a certain character come upon me. It basically feels like Optimus Prime in a females body. She wants to run, fight, kick, fly, transform and eat fast food. The day before the movie launch I got to take this helmet out to order a happy meal at McDonalds. Watch the movie to see what happened.
The video, shot and edited by Richard Blakeley, went viral on blogs starting with Gizmodo. The next week it was on the front page of ABC news. They have a show, iCaught, that is pretty good. Incase you have not seen it, I recommend checking it out. Usually when a video goes viral there are the response or remix videos that follow either remix or parody the video. A great artist who emerged in the mid 1960’s, Weirner, believed in creating art to be be recreated by others. My uncle, a writer and artist, taught me that once you publish you no longer own your work. The video I made was not a response video to the Burger King commercial with Optimus Prime. The opposite actually happened. My video was published two weeks prior to the Burger King campaign launch and commercial. Their video is strikingly similar to the above video, but they didn’t say it was a response video to ours.
Given that we published before them does it seem like they stole our idea? That’s what Brian Lam suggested. The controversy over copyrighted material this year was often challenged as a consequence of a YouTube video. Weiner is alive today and would agree that art should be left for others to recreate. Why hold on to your work after you publish? Allow others to change it and use it to recreate art. With this being said, always remember to credit and link to the artist.
The YouTube influence around the Transformers movie caused reactions and remixes that are a highlight of 2007. I started a trend with in a culture and the tech meme went viral in every way possible. The motion picture was a success, special effects thriller, romance and keeps you on the edge of your seat. They lead the way on and off line and brought the culture closer together.