About a month ago, I made two parody trailers of "Brokeback Mountain" with clips from the movies "Heat" and “Rush Hour”.
Over the weekend, an anonymous reader left a comment on my site stating one of them, “Brokeback Heat”, was mentioned in March 2nd 2006 edition of New York Times (24 KB pdf file) among several other spoof trailers by Virginia Hefferman:
"My favorite of the parodies, however, didn't require much technology or even editing, just a good sense of double entendre scenes of emotional intensity between men.
It's the ‘Brokeback’ mashup with ‘Heat,’ the underrated Michael Mann movie with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. ‘Heat’ was a psychological tango movie, with the alpha actors playing a police detective, Vincent, and a bad guy, Neil, respectively.
They're supposed to be talking about the cops-and-robbers life, but in ‘Brokeback Heat,’ which just replays without legerdemain a whole scene between them, they seem for all the world to be talking about their love, and gay love generally, and their unwillingness to be straight.”
She then went on and narrated about the clip to her readers.
Before I was able to celebrate my achievement, a man by the name of “Matthew Warbet” writes on his blog accusing me of stealing his idea.
According to his “I have been ripped off”:
“I didn’t care about it at all until someone decided to take my ‘Heat’ recut idea and turn it into a Brokeback parody.
Just for the record, I released my ‘Heat’ parody (and it was a parody in the general sense, not a swipe at Brokeback Mountain) on Nov. 17th 2005 (even though I didn’t post about it until Dec 5) which was over 3 weeks before Brokeback was even released in theaters.”
Without mentioning my name but just a link to my site, he ends his rant with:
“I’m all for remixing and recutting and creating new things from old things, but isn’t this just a little too convenient?”
I would like to use this opportunity to give my own “Just for the record”:
1. “Heat” was first released in 1995.
I am sure there are many others, including myself, have thought about doing or have done parodies about it long before Warbet’s Nov. 17th 2005 version.
2. I first saw the trailer for “Brokeback Mountain” was during the preview for Constant Gardener in Aug. 31st, 2005.
That is two and half months before he ever released his parody.
I could have done my parody trailer during that period of time, and decide to release it on Feb. 3rd, 2006.
3. I am not here to say Warbet’s version was an unentertaining attempt, especially he has said that his recut was “a parody in the general sense, not a swipe at Brokeback Mountain”, but his parody had nothing to do with “Brokeback Mountain”. I have never heard of him until March 2nd, 2006.
4. I am really wondering who is actually stealing whose idea here.
For example, in his “comedy” entry on June 7th, 2005, about Lindsay Lohan’s forehead, he used a ratio scale to demonstrate and prove his point.
Here is my entry on March 3rd, 2005, three months earlier than Warbet’s, notice the similarity? Plus, why is Warbet picking on Lohan, when he himself looks like this?
Even the layout of his own website is a direct rip-off of Amazon.
Michael Warbet and I are two very different people.
He has photos of him posing at comedy clubs, I would prefer the anonymity.
He claims to be a comedian and trying very hard to be one. Yet, most of his written material and video clips posted on his site are just not funny (maybe except his looks).
At the same time, I am just an under-motivated slacker whom could careless if I am humorous or not and ironically get more recognition than him.
I would suggest Warbet to try the Taoism approach of “when you try nothing, everything will be presented to you.”
Booya! That means “balls out of your ass”, Matthew Warbet.
Update: March 24, 2006 - Matt Warbet has sent me an apology letter via email.