5 Times Fans Made The Pros Look Like Total Amateurs
Everyone who's been on the internet for more than five minutes has learned to fear fan art. The mere mention of those words brings forth images of pregnant Sonics, giant-dicked Garfields, and anime characters having sex with Tetris blocks. But when fans create something that's actually better than the original? Well, then they deserve their own goddamn article. So here we go again ...
Players Remaster Video Games Better Than Game Companies
When a remaster of the mega blockbuster Skyrim was announced, people got hyped for an excuse to buy their third or seventh copy of the game. Unfortunately, there are two big problems with it. First, it's rather costly, both for your disk space and your wallet (there's no discount for owning the original nine times). Second, fans have already done a much better, much lighter version. For free.
In the mod, the Skyrim is now a nonsmoking area.
In case you missed the big words, we're not comparing the fan mod to the original; we're comparing it to the newer remaster. Even the snow looks more impressive:
Which is good, because that's 80 percent of the game.
That tower looks better than the Tower of Pisa in real life.
And those are the still images. Get your Kleenex dispenser ready before you look at the video footage, because you will cry.
Much like what happened with Skyrim, the developers behind Half-Life felt compelled to remaster the experience to attract new players and get more money from the old ones. Thus came forth Half-Life: Source, which adds things like mild light effects and, uh, that's about it. The disappointment prompted fans to create a full-fledged remake of the original game, and hot damn:
Sorry, we meant "hot dam."
They even added a whole new color palette for the part of the game that takes place on an alien planet. So that's why Valve hasn't released Half-Life 3. They're afraid some fans are gonna mod it and make their work look like shit. Speaking of which ...
Seriously, Hollywood Should Leave Posters To The Fans Now
We discussed in the previous entry in this series how the film industry seems to have given the job of making its posters to bored interns with rudimentary Photoshop skills. Take Ghost In The Shell as an example. That movie was a flop, but maybe more people would have bought tickets had its poster looked less like glitchy JPEG porn from the '90s ...
... and more like one befitting the Japan-fueled cinematic insanity the film was trying to bring. This was made by DeviantArt's RUISBURGOS:
That right there is the difference between a hastily shopped pic of the star and real artwork. And it's not like posters don't matter these days. We're all getting our viewing material from streaming services, so this art usually winds up as the thumbnails we scroll past every day. Just look at Netflix's 13 Reasons Why. The "poster" image makes the protagonist look like a shower stalker:
Now compare that to the image that Italian fan Lorenzo Imperato put together:
Come on, guys, this is your chance to make a first impression! Shouldn't that first impression be "We put effort into things"?
Some Cosplay Is So Good That It Becomes The Real Thing
Cosplay takes a lot of time and effort (unless your favorite character is "average guy in the background of a Bones episode" or something). Look at Russian cosplayer Anna Moleva. She spent two months preparing a costume for a video game character which she'd only so far seen in promo images ... only for the creators to change the design, forcing her to start over. And all she got in return was ... the chance to become that character in the game itself? Wait, shit, that's pretty good.
Ken Levine, director of the game in question (BioShock Infinite), saw Moleva's photos after they went viral and invited her to have her face scanned for the game -- a process we're assuming looked like Jeff Bridges getting sucked into the computer in Tron.
If another cosplayer dresses up as that character, the cosplay-ception paradox would destroy the Universe.
Moving on, can you guess whether the R2-D2 below is a fanmade recreation or the one from the movies?
The J.J. Abrams is just the android the real one sends to social events.
The answer is that it's both. It was built by British Star Wars fans Lee Towersey and Oliver Steeples, and the latter spent ten years collecting pieces and doing research before making his first R2 unit. This one is completely operable via remote control (as opposed to the one from the original trilogy, which ran on the tears of little people). One day, Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy was strolling through a Star Wars convention when she saw Towersey and Steeples' work and approached them, presumably to ask where they stole it from. They half-seriously, half-jokingly told her that they were available in case she was interested in their services. She answered half-seriously, half-very-seriously that she was.
And so the pair ended up working as official droid builders on The Force Awakens ... in which R2 barely moves at all. But hey, at least he had dialogue.
Fans Are Better At Editing Trailers Than The People Who Do It For Money
2016's Ghostbusters got a lot of hate for a lot of reasons, but it certainly didn't help that the official trailer made it look like a complete drag. It takes exactly 40 seconds to actually show something, and when it does, it starts with the oldest vomit gag in the vomit gag book. It's just downhill from there. Maybe there's simply no way to make a fun trailer out of this footage?
YouTube user Bevan Bell would probably disagree, since he managed to get over a million views and overwhelmingly positive reactions with a trailer for the most hated movie on the internet. While the official trailer robs seven seconds of your life by showing you this ...
Making Kate McKinnon look completely unfunny is no small feat.
... in the same amount of time, the fan version introduces Chris Hemsworth and gets you pumped for some action.
Of the nonsexual type, as well.
It's energetic, it doesn't commit sacrilege by butchering the original song, and it's only 50 seconds long. Yep, it's already getting you into the ticket line by the time the original trailer is beginning to suck.
This brings us back to Ghost In The Shell (we're starting to think the marketing for that movie left something to be desired). The teaser showed nothing but random clips poorly cut together with absolutely no flow between them, while the official trailer used generic blockbuster tunes and spoiled basically the entire movie. Contrast that with this fan trailer by Tim Gonzales, which shows tidbits of action without spoiling any of the story, all while making use of the source material's awesome soundtrack. This is how you make audiences see your movie instead of Boss Baby:
Admittedly, "random clips poorly cut together with absolutely no flow between them" is a fair representation of the finished movie.
Then there's Drive, an artsy film with a big dumb trailer that made it look like Fast & Furious: Ryan Gosling Edition. YouTube user Yoko Higuchi decided to correct that with a fan trailer that can only be described as tense. There's also the plus that it doesn't spoil the entire movie or make you believe that Vin Diesel is going to show up at some point.
Companies Release Unfinished Games, So Fans Finish Them On Their Own
Today, releasing an incomplete game is considered an exciting opportunity to squeeze some extra DLC bucks out of gamers. But back in 2004, it could be a death sentence for a developer. The company behind Vampire: The Masquerade -- Bloodlines, for instance, ended up folding soon after putting out the game in an obviously unfinished state (apparently, they hadn't even settled on a subtitle).
So gamers finished it for them. Fans have been working on Bloodlines for over a decade ... and most shockingly, the results are quite good. The game is more than fully playable; it's bigger than it was supposed to be at release, since fans managed to reconstruct content the developers didn't even get close to completing.
"Full clothing" is the only missing piece they're unwilling to restore.
In one instance, fans read about a scrapped level in an interview, hunted through the code, and painstakingly built it based on the information available. A reporter who wrote about this discovery in 2016, 12 years after the game's release, likens the process to filmmakers reshooting and updating the lost scenes to classic movies. George Lucas is probably going, "Oh sure, it's fine when you do it" right now.
Speaking of Lucas and half-assing things, Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic 2 is another beloved game which was famously rushed to meet its deadline. As a result, a ton of content had to be left out, and the game ends in an abrupt cliffhanger. Players didn't just restore the developers' original vision (including the ending) -- they even restored the sound, digging up unused audio files and reconstructing entire interactive conversations.
The only file they decided to leave out was "YIPEE.MP3."
If KOTOR 2 didn't have an ending, then Fallout 4 pretty much didn't have a middle. At some point, the developers decided to replace the awesome dialogue system from the previous games in the series with a slew of game-breaking bugs. Once again, fans not only cleaned up the bugs, but also brought the entire classic dialogue system back. Which is great, until you consider that game companies will eventually adapt and start shipping out big piles of unplayable assets. "Here you go, guys! Do your thing! That'll be $60."
You can show up Hollywood with your own fan made trailers by utilizing the Adobe Premier Elements editing software. Take that Rachel Dratch!
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