Episode 164: VidAngel

9 Jun


In this episode, Tyler, Josh, and Reed discuss the pros and cons of the streaming service VidAngel.

3 Responses to “Episode 164: VidAngel”

  1. Dave June 16, 2016 at 11:58 am #

    Just wondering your thoughts on the re-purposing of art. Art made from other art. Specifically the fan edits of things like all three Hobit movies into one palpable film, or the Topher Grace edit of the Star Wars prequels, or heck, the webcomic marriedtothesea, or a well made collage. What is your opinion on well made art, made from other art?


  2. Jason Waggoner June 21, 2016 at 1:44 pm #

    Tyler, appreciated you openness and opinion.

    I too thought of the Hobbit edits. I mean maybe there are times when the director’s vision isn’t best for the film. 🙂

    For me, (he says more somberly) it’s important to distinguish that the original released film has not been destroyed or censored. I would be against this if it were filtering being imposed so that no one could ever see the original version.

    After your episode I actually checked out the service and found it interesting. The filtering can be incredibly granular and in some cases the filter even calls out objectionable elements that are necessary to the plot.

    Another surprise was that the tagging is but automated and crowd sourced. Someone watching can notate a potentially offensive element and it gets added to the list (I’d assume with some oversight.) This creates an interesting opportunity. For instance, someone already created a filter that skips the scenes Lucas added to the original Star Wars trilogy. This moves them further away from the directors “vision”, and closer to the original release (and probably makes them better movies).

    In the end, I can’t figure why anyone would want to watch something like Deadpool filtered (if you turn on the content filters it cuts over 40 minutes from a 1:45 movie). But I can definitely see a value in showing my kids the original Goonies movie in a version much closer to the TV one I loved growing up.

    I’d be interested to hear your further thoughts.

  3. Reed June 21, 2016 at 7:24 pm #

    Fan edits were something we did briefly discuss off mic after we had recorded and I think the three of us actually landed even less favorably towards fan edits than we did towards VidAngel, particularly in instances where a fan is benefiting or perhaps even profiting in some way from another director’s work.

    I think a distinction should be made between what I would call sampling and re-editing another’s work. Hip Hop and often electronic music have tremendous examples of other people’s work being elevated by the work of another. But this, to me, is different because the artist is almost always adding an additional creative element to the mixture. Even still, I think this should be done, where possible, with the expressed permission of the original artist before profit is made.

    I think where I land on a personal level, and I can’t remember if I stated this explicitly in the episode, is that I am not opposed to the desire for, or even the existence of, a service like this for folks who want to make minor TV-edit type corrections to a film they own. But I find VidAngel’s general business model, and general tone of promotion, to be suspect. I wish there were not such a stigma surrounding adult content falsely being deemed “unnecessary” and I do wish certain other films were more palatable and had less “adult” content. I think both audience and artist can act a little too entitled sometimes on both ends, but I’m also strongly opposed to broad public censorship.

    So, as usual, I land somewhere in the middle, which is likely where I’ll stay on this one unless there’s a bigger paradigm shift for me.

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