On The Clubfeet-Champagne Controversy

(Australian Band Rips Off Brazilian Musician and Film Maker, Turns Around and Blames Japanese for Ripping Off Their Ripped Off Technique)

Earlier this year, some Australian band called Clubfeet put out a video for one of their singles – “Everything You Wanted”. The video uses a technique that, due to lack of a better name, I will call “Future Frames”. This technique shows a particular object moving towards a frozen version of themselves and “jumping” or “walking” into it. It’s best seen than described, so go ahead and take a look.

It’s a cool technique – it’s new, innovative, and visually impressive. Last week, Japanese group by the name of Champagne released their video for a single called “Forever Young”. It uses the same “Future Frames” technique. You can see the video here:


Now, I’m sure you just noticed that this second video is not on Youtube, where I usually get my video sources from. That’s because Champagne took down their video from Youtube. Why? Because Clubfeet called them out on their rip-off.

Clubfeet is on the right. Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing to copy someone else’s strategy, but this is clearly a blatant rip-off right? It’s clearly plagiarizing a brand new and innovative strategy, right?
Absolutely. However, Clubfeet are acting in a highly hypocritical way. Why, you ask?
I didn’t make up the term “Future Frames” because it seemed to fit. “Future Frames” is the name of a cinematographic technique used by Mystery Guitar Man (Joe Penna) in his August 19th, 2010 video titled Future Frames.

In this video, he pioneers (to my knowledge) this technique. Since then, several people have done tutorials on how to make this effect, and other Youtubers have created videos using this effect.

It seems to me hypocritical, unethical, and deceptive at best (and downright evil at worst) to call someone out for “stealing a technique” when that technique was stolen in the first place.
Now, I know that Clubfeet fans (and Clubfeet’s PR people) that it’s not the same style or the same technique (it is). It’s pretty much what they are saying in their tweeter feed have been saying after they were confronted with Shit Robot’s “Take ‘Em Up” video, which uses a similar technique.

Keep in mind, Mystery Guitar Man, Future Frames, August 19th, 2010.
Now, one could make the argument that Clubfeet use MGM’s technique, but they improve on it (they don’t) or that their music is great (I’m not saying it’s not), or that they “popularized” the technique (they didn’t. Mystery Guitar Man has 1.5 million views on his Future Frames video than Clubfeet have in their rip-off), but the fact remains that they are living in a glass house – they are accusing someone else of ripping off a technique that they themselves ripped off.
Nicely done. I take my hat off at your thieving skills, Clubfeet. Bravo.

[Original source: http://kotaku.com/controversy-over-a-cool-visual-technique-being-ripped-o-471973470%5D


About Quijano

Johansen Quijano is a professor of English in The University of Texas at Arlington, where he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in English. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Development focusing on TESOL, and a Master’s Degree in English Literature. He has published and presented on a variety of topics including video game studies, popular culture studies, education, teaching methodology, language acquisition, romantic poetry, and victorian literature. His research interests include the above-mentioned topics, narrative, interactivity, simulation, new media in general, and 18th century literature. He also enjoys creative writing (fiction, historical fiction, and poetry), and reading all kinds of epic literary works - from the Epic Poem of Gilgamesh to Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series.

Posted on April 11, 2013, in Film Commentary and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. hey man, the issue isn’t about using the technique but in doing an almost frame for frame rip off of a video… down to actual movements of band members, clothes etc.

  2. that’s true, but all in all I’d say it’s not enough for some legal action, especially becasue Clubfeet wasn’t that creative. I’d loved to discover thay music though ^^

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