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The MOD Films FAQ

What's this all about then? Some questions answered...
General What are re-mixable films? Re-mixable films are films designed to permit explicit sampling of film assets. A film MOD (or modification) is like a game MOD, a modified version which you can experience as a bolt-on (or replacement) to the original experience.
Cinema What is a MOD? A MOD is a modification of a film made by the audience. A film MOD may be passive (e.g. a film re-mix) or interactive (e.g..a game MOD).
General Yet another "choose your own adventure" idea? No. In the past, "interactive movie" projects have been less than successful. This is a different paradigm to that one. A re-mixable film still has one linear story and one "final cut" of the story.
Cinema What is MOD Films? MOD Films is a company making re-mixable films and helping other productions to re-use film material. MOD Films provides bolt-on services, like asset management and pre-visualisation, and hosts the online community service.
General Why bother mixing films and games? They're different beasts. True. The philosophy behind MOD Films is not to muddy the waters between a film and game experience unnecessarily but rather it is being developed to explore a phenomenon that is already taking place. It appears to be something that both creators and fans, as opposed to big business, actually want. People watch games without interacting with them. People play with films that aren't designed to be played with. There is an opportunity for film productions to benefit from wider more open re-use of their material.
General What's one reason why I would want to MOD a film? Localisation costs. Film distributors typically pay for a certain number of sub-title and dubbing tracks to accompany new releases in foreign markets. Re-mixable films allow the audience to create their own sub-titles and dubbing tracks. There are over 1200 recorded human languages. How many languages does a film normally get translated into? Nine? If you're lucky... A re-mixable film platform enables local communities to customise films to suit their own experience, just as traditional story-tellers have always done.
General Go on, what's another reason? Art costs. The cost of computer game production. 50%-75% of interactive entertainment budgets are typically spent on creating high quality art. As a result there is little incentive to develop new forms of entertainment. Greater direct re-use of film material could not only make business sense but also be fun.
General Doesn't this idea only work with certain genres like sci-fi? No, any film could be ripped apart, sampled and re-used. Even if there was no story context for doing this, there will always be an education context. Re-mixable films are a less cynical approach to film-making that empowers an audience on many levels.

General What is the difference between and is a collaborative public resource which aims to be a useful reference for film-makers and film fans alike. is the website for MOD Films, the production company hosting
General What is the status of MOD Films? MOD Films was formed in February 2004 with support from a NESTA Inventions award. Sanctuary, a re-mixable film pilot is currently in production.
Cinema What existing films support MODs? Several film productions (e.g. Nothing So Strange, Outfoxed have released assets licensed for re-use (under Creative Commons).
Cinema What MODs exist? There are a huge number of film MODs in existence but few legal MODs. There have been a few film releases that sample bits of old films (e.g. Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, What's Up Pussycat?). It remains technically illegal for an audience to re-version and distribute Hollywood studio material. You are supposed to simply watch them from beginning to end. The Phantom Edit, a re-edit (MOD) of The Phantom Menace is a successful film MOD.
General What do you need to play a re-mixable film? MOD Films is producing re-mixable films that appear to be DVD-Video titles and will play in standard devices. To download and install MODs however, to change the film experience, you will require a game console or personal computer.
General What devices will play film MODs? MODs can vary in terms of their technical requirements. As this is a new paradigm there is no standard device which support the range of MODs we are supporting. MODs for _Sanctuary, the MOD Films pilot, are being created for network-connected "gamer" PCs.
General How do I MOD a movie? The ways in which you will be able to MOD a film will be as varied as the technology available to you and your own creativity. In practice, it will come down to what film assets are released (the bits and bobs that make up the production). If all you are given is digital video (e.g. digitised from 35mm film) then your options may be limited to re-mixing audio and video. However, with real-time technology becoming increasingly available, options are widening.


MOD Films is planning to release films which allow you to re-version scenes, replace music and dialogue, re-mix playback like a DJ or VJ, and provide software development facilities for programmers. By controlling cinematic art via original code, audience members will have new opportunities to create high end interactive experiences that have never been affordable before. The aim is to showcase the art of film-making and empower the audience. A re-mixable film will encourage more sharing and collaboration between artists for fun, as well as for profit. Film-makers relinquish some control in order to develop new relationships to their work and widen their audiences. The concept of interactive story is ready to be reclaimed.
Community Who is aimed at? is aimed at people who already play with films in new ways (e.g. machinima artists using game engines, DJs, VJs, video artists, sound artists, even traditional film-makers) and people who are looking to get in on the action. is a collaborative space for existing online communities to take advantage of.
Cinema How do you MOD a film in a cinema?

Sing-along Sound of Music and Movieoke are two established entertainment experiences revolving around the cinema experience. MOD Films titles will support this kind of activity.

The focus is however on a living room experience.

Sanctuary.MODFilmsFAQr1.6 - 25 Apr 2005 - 02:49