Gilberto Gil Interview in Rip: A Remix Manifesto

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Friday May 01, 2009

From: Wired Magazine
By: Scott Thrill

When it comes to remix culture, copyfight and crowd-sourcing, Brett Gaylor walks the walk. The director of “open source documentary” RiP: A Remix Manifesto released his feature-length film under a Creative Commons license and even adopted Radiohead’s name-your-own-price business model when he made the movie available online.

“We’ve gone to really great lengths to make this film as accessible as possible,” Gaylor explained in an e-mail interview conducted after announcing the download Monday. “It’s already on the Pirate Bay, and that’s great — it’s another delivery format. We didn’t put it there ourselves, though; we didn’t need to. Had we gone that route, it’s fairly likely, given the realities of the film-distribution universe, that we wouldn’t have these other opportunities to get the film to people who still watch TV, rent DVDs or go to movies, which is, in fact, most people. We wanted those people to watch this movie.”

Featuring mashup artist Girl Talk and luminaries like Lawrence Lessig, Gilberto Gil and Cory Doctorow, RiP: A Remix Manifesto debuted in Amsterdam and Canada last year and in North America last month. It opens theatrically Friday in New York.

The movie’s compelling analysis of sampling, sharing and copyfighting was pieced together over six years, during which Gaylor shared his raw footage with other filmmakers, some of whose remixes he spliced into the film. Given the realities of remix culture, where there is no such thing as a final cut, Gaylor subsequently offered the movie online as a remix experiment at Open Source Cinema, which he founded and beta-launched in 2004.

Since then, the little doc that could has nabbed awards, screened at panels and walked the tightrope between theatrical and internet distribution, original art and open-sourced amalgam, without falling off.

Gaylor talks about copyfight crusaders, the trials and tribulations of the distribution war, and the joys of messing with the media.

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