Today, The Social Network screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, who is launching a new show called The Newsroom — spoke at the All Things D conference. During the chat, he was asked about the mashup culture on the Internet, where creative works are recut and remixed to create new things.
Examples of this include recut movie trailers or entire films that are remixed with other music or movies.
In reply to the question, Sorkin said “You know, there’s not much you can do about that. I smile at it, and I’m flattered when something of mine is included in something like that.”
“I know that I get big a kick out of it every year when the American Society of Film Editors holds a contest for assistant editors where they have to take existing material from a movie, generally a famous movie and cut a brand new trailer for it so that it seems like an entirely new movie.”
He then referenced the recut trailer of The Shining, which turns the horror film into a ‘feel-good’ comedy. Here’s that trailer:
He called it “brilliant” and said “I wouldn’t want to stop anybody from doing that.”
The debate over mashup culture has been ongoing, especially in the age of the Internet, with some content creators at a high level coming out in favor of it, and others making every effort to stop their creations being used this way. Often times it’s not the creator themselves but the studios that stand to make the most money off of those works, that pull the plug.