The producer behind the Power Rangers bootleg fan video is now taking on Bond. James Bond. The video is called James Bond: In Service Of Nothing and is an animated take this time around, using Sean Connery’s likeness. Asked if he is worried about similar legal issues as those he encountered with Saban Entertainment and the Power Rangers fan film, Adi Shankar said he can’t think about that. He says that he has a First Amendment right, that the business is changing at a rapid pace and he is tapping into what people want.
It seems with the whopping 18M online views (all in) of the Power Rangers Bootleg — which rocketed to that number in only a matter of days before Saban cried copyright foul — Shankar is right. It’s a new world, and younger fans are driving entertainment in another direction. Studio executives, take note.
“There is a changing of the guard, and we need to stop pretending that the people in the digital filmmaking are not credible because the audience is gravitating away from us and to them,” Shankar told Deadline. “You must be fearless, but the vast majority of decisions in this industry are fear-based. The fact is that more people saw Jerry Purpdrank and Britney Furlan on Vine this weekend than saw Will Smith in Focus. It’s not a knock on Will Smith, it’s a commentary on what’s happening in entertainment.”
The Smith-starring Focus only pulled in only $18.6M at the box office while one six-second Purpdrank video on Vine pulled in 1.8M loops and Furlan’s video in one day pulled in 5M loops. All of those videos are shot on the iPhone. “This new generation doesn’t hold movies as above or below any other form of content out there,” said Shankar. “And stuff that is easily accessible online is in a lot of ways closer to what they actually want to watch in terms of the pacing and storytelling.”
James Bond: In Service Of Nothing is Shankar’s fifth bootleg video and only 10 minutes long. It is directed by pre-visualization artist Tyler Gibb. The story follows Connery as Bond in his younger days, but then we see that it is only one of the older, retired Bond’s flashback. The reality is that he’s in today’s world wandering around “trying to find purpose and meaning,” says Shankar. “I always wondered what would happen to the Ian Fleming James Bond in today’s world. He was an alcoholic, reckless guy with Mommy issues and has the same instincts as a serial killer, and if you revoke his License to Kill, what would he become? This is not the kind of person that you give a gold watch to. He’s a highly weaponized guy, and then at some point you figure he’s going to snap after the call for duty ends.”
It took several months for Shankar to produce the Bond film, and he worked on it at the same time as Power Rangers. He said it was done mainly with all volunteer work, favors and an animation collective. He said the costs were minimal. “When people are passionate about something, they just want to do it,” he told Deadline. “These are the same models that these digital artists are doing. They are doing things for the collective good.”