Star Wars: Uncut

Organised at the Helsinki Cable Factory, the Alternative Party event is an annual festival on digital culture and a demoparty that draws programmers, musicians, hackers and other creative forerunners in digital culture. The theme for this year’s festival, now organised for the 10th time, is Space, the Forgotten Frontier.

Star Wars: Uncut
Star guest at Helsinki Cable Factory

Emmy-awarded Casey Pugh won Participative Media category

Technology guru Casey Pugh is the most reputable winner in the Live 2011 Grand Prix media competition organised by European Capital of Culture Turku.

Pugh was awarded an Emmy in August 2010. Now awarded for his entry Star Wars: Uncut in the Participative Media category, Pugh appears at the Alternative Party to be held at the Helsinki Cable Factory on 22–24 October.

In the Star Wars: Uncut project, Pugh cut the first Star Wars episode, Star Wars: A New Hope (1977), into 437 separate 15-second segments. Star Wars fans then used the segments to re-create the film by utilising animation, home videos and parody.

Several alternative versions were created for each 15-second segment. The Star Wars: Uncut website uses an online voting system to select the favourite segment submissions, which will then be used to recreate the full film. Based on the voting, the online film constantly changes.

Star Wars: Uncut was the first exclusively online production to receive the Emmy Award for Creative Achievement in Interactive Media in Los Angeles in August 2010. The project is a stand-out example of crowdsourcing and utilisation of the creativity of the online community as the fans had a unique opportunity to contribute to the production of the film.

Vimeo programmer's spare-time hobby project

In 2007, Casey Pugh was one of the original programmers of Vimeo, an online video service. In addition, he has worked for the Boxee.tv project, whose aim is to integrate Internet videos, radios and films into television. Pugh is commonly regarded as a creative technology guru who masters programming, video editing and, according to himself, composition of horrible techno music. To Pugh, the awarded Star Wars: Uncut was a spare-time hobby project.

Together with Casey Pugh, his brother Bryan Pugh attended also the event at the Cable Factory. Bryan Pugh participated in the Star Wars: Uncut project as a programmer and an editor.

The first prize for the Participative Media category was awarded to two entries that allow the public to participate and influence the use of audiovisual artworks. Together with Star Wars: Uncut, the first prize goes to Buscando al Sr. Goodbar by Michelle Teran. In the work, Teran uses ethnographic methods to track down the original shooting locations for YouTube video contributors filming their own lives in Murcia, Spain.