February 24, 2015 | Art of Video, humor

Make A Parody

Looking for a great topic for your next video? Make a parody of a well-known film. The example above may get your creative juices flowing, but it will only be meaningful if you’ve seen Birdman which just won the Oscar for Best Picture on Sunday night. Below is the full length trailer.


The film is remarkable for its seamless look. You have to look closely to see the edits (they’re mostly hidden in pans.) These are long running shots relative to how most movies are produced. The questions is – do the longer shots contribute to the story-telling?

But I digress. Back to parody. Start brainstorming a scene that everyone knows. An obscure scene won’t get a laugh. Since your parody will not have the production value of the original so you will have make yours funny. Give it a twist or a double entendre that was not in the original. Play with the idea.

Look into the legal distinction between parody and satire. While a parody can provide an exemption from the copyright law, you could still be sued or have YouTube remove your video.


What is parody?

To be be considered a parody, a film has to be spoofing or making fun of either the original work, its subject, or style. It must be a humorous or ironic imitation of the original. The courts have historically held that parodies are a protected area of speech. But that doesn’t mean you will not hear from the creator of the original work. This is an important issue for filmmakers who produce parodies. Educate yourself by consulting an intellectual property attorney or a book like Clearance and Copyright: Everything the Independent Filmmaker Needs to Know. The author is an intellectual property attorney. I refer to this book often and highly recommend it.


Keep Reading...

Commercial Drone Use Now Legal

DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ Quadcopter with FPV HD Video Camera

DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ Quadcopter with FPV HD Video Camera, drone, quadcopter

Read More
Filming in Zero Gravity

Filming in Zero Gravity

Filming in zero gravity takes a lot of planning as you can see in this OK Go music video. It was filmed in a Russian transport jet. The result is their music video Upside Down & Inside Out.

Read More
iPhone 5s shoots 120 fps slow motion

iPhone 5s Slow Motion Video At 120fps

Slow motion makes nearly everything look better. Apple’s new iPhone 5s can do something no other smart phone cannot do – shoot 120 fps. The Canon 7D, the Panasonic GH3 and G5, Sony NEX 5, 6, 7, as well as my own Sony Ea50 all shoot 50p/60p. Straight out of the camera it looks pretty […]

Read More
Logmar Super 8 Film Camera

First New Super 8 Camera in 30 Years Features Film AND Digital Technology

New Super 8 Film Camera with XLR audio and digital technology. First new Super 8 in 30 years.

Read More




One thought on “Make A Parody

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • Forbes Magazine calls VideoUniversity one of the best business-to-business sites for digital video production.
  • WINNER
    Videography Magazine's
    "Website of the Month" Award
  • WINNER
    PC Magazine Online "Best Desktop Video Site" Award
  • WINNER
    CyberFilm School's "FOUR STAR" Award