An open source film project is a movie that enables the viewer to edit the film as they’d like. They provide a more interactive user experience in which users can edit production materials and change any facet of the film. These projects allow for free floating creativity by anyone who chooses to take part in the film editing. Viewers will often take animated open source films and let their imaginations run wild. Some examples of these film types can be seen below.
- Sintel – Sintel is one of three short animated films that comprise a story about a girl named Sintel who is searching for her dragon friend “Scales.” All 12GB of production files are available on a 4 DVD package.* Any film editor can download this movie file and edit it how they please, showing a true form of self-expression and collaboration.
- Sita Sings the Blues – This is an 80 minute feature film that deals with the renowned Indian Sanskrit epic, The Ramayana. This movie was created by a single person and is available as an open source film project.*
- Big Buck Bunny – A story about three animals that enjoy poking fun at other jungle animals. The main character is Big Buck Bunny and he doesn’t appreciate being made fun of by these three animals.*
Many of these films are created with software called Blender, which is a free and open source 3D creation suite. It’s capable of performing any 3D film animation one can imagine, including simulation, rendering, motion tracking, rigging, modeling, etc. Blender’s newest project Cosmos Laundromat is a 10 minute short film which is the pilot for the planned first-ever free and open source animated feature film.**
- Elephants Dream – Sintel, Big Buck Bunny and Elephants dream are all products of Blender. Elephants dream is a 10 minute film about “complexities of a machine and how the characters deal with the complexity.”*
With open source animated film projects becoming more relevant, more and more film editors will continue to explore their artistic expression by editing these movies as they see fit. Everything from altered endings, to ridiculous animation insertion can all take place. Literally, there are no limits, which present an attractive opening and opportunity for one to show their film editing abilities.
There is also a bigger message being sent via these video types, one of freedom of speech and expression. Allowing individuals to exchange information freely and doing what they want with it. Working together in this manner, especially when it comes to personal expression and art has never been a common activity. Open source video projects aim to breakdown any preconceived notions in reference to individual artistic expression and provide a new way to look at things.
If you’d like to play around with open source video editing, these are some great movies to get started with. Enjoy the creative process and learn everything you can from it. Open source projects like this are still rare but go on to show one of the best qualities of the human condition; sharing and collaboration.