The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Crowdsourced Cinema: Beetlejuice

WHAT: Crowdsourced Cinema: Beetlejuice 
WHEN: Filming Summer 2019, Public Premier: Academy of Music on Sunday, October 27th at 2pm

We are going to remake the film Beetlejuice together.

Zero budget. Thirty-eight film crews of approximately 300 people. 38 different lead characters. Sixteen new pieces of music and composition to reinvent a Danny Elfman soundtrack. Unproven fledglings and grizzled veterans working in silos on a collaborative project to remake a famous Hollywood film that would have cost $32,000,000 to make in today’s dollars. Welcome to the public art project that is Crowdsourced Cinema. Welcome to our community’s remake of Beetlejuice.

Each team (which is one or more people) signs up to participate in the project and are randomly assigned a one-to-three minute scene from the film. They have all summer to remake the scene. That remake can approach the scene in any format and teams are encouraged to be creative – they could be filmed with live action, animation, remix, puppetry, or other visual styles. The scenes are stitched together at the end of the summer, color corrected, audio normalized, and there is a public premier celebration slated this year at the Academy of Music on Sunday, October 27th at 2pm.

This year marks the fifth annual chapter in the journey of Crowdsourced Cinema, with successful remakes of Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Princess Bride, Back to the Future, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off already in the can. And in that time the project has grown.

The project has been franchised to the eastern part of the state where the project Crowdsourced Boston remakes the same film as Crowdsourced Cinema, and versions have been run in Connecticut and Wisconsin as well. Last year teams were allowed to pick their own scenes by queuing up at a set time. This year the format returns to randomly assigning scenes because to make the process is more equitable. Every scene in the film was claimed six hours after the queue opened. There is a five-year old child who has appeared in all four films produced thus far, as one, two, three, and four year old. Just imagine that IMDB page. Each team, each scene, has a story behind the scene, that is the story of a family, or an arts program for differently-abled youth, or neighbors, or your local city council, or your local newspaper.

“Creation is an act of bravery,” said Northampton Open Media Executive Director Albert Williams. “The act of making something is an act that exposes your voice. It opens you to judgment. It is intimate. While many people feel the desire to make art, the concept of being an artist is culturally reserved for a privileged group. Part of our role with the project, and with our work at large, is to help people give themselves permission to be brave with us, to identify as an artist, to make something. Crowdsourced Cinema is a playful project, because play is safe. We believe that becoming fluent in arts-like media making makes us more fluent in describing ourselves. We are more thoughtful. We are a stronger community.”

Crowdsourced Cinema is open to anyone in the regional community. Sign up at

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