June 1, 2006
The Ten Commandments: A Teenage Love Story?!?

After posting about The Skeletor Show last week, here comes the latest example of a YouTube-distributed piece of fan-generated content.

Geoffrey Long, a co-conspirator here in the Convergence Culture Consortium, brought to my attention this movie trailer spoof of Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 film The Ten Commandments.

The piece, called 10 Things I Hate About Commandments, is a trailer for a teen drama featuring Moses and Ramses fighting over the same girl. While a parody of sorts for both the older film and the teen drama form, as well as a parody of movie trailers in general, the piece is more a celebration and send-up spoof than a biting critique and is an example of the ways that fan-generated content can bring new excitement to long-existing pieces of work. When I first watched the trailer early this morning, the trailer already had over 600,000 views. While some Christians may be offended by Samuel L. Jackson's language in his version of The Burning Bush, I don't read this as a criticism of the original film or the biblical story, save its the camp value of some of the acting and costuming.

More than anything else, though, this trailer demonstrates the tremendous power of fans to generate "poached" content in ways that look as professional as a real movie trailer, for the most part. The use of quotes from the actual Ten Commandments shows the time and energy put into conceiving, piecing together, and executing a trailer like this. I can't help but be continually amazed at the expertise and dedication of fans.