Playing the title role in Tim Burton’s 1994 biopic Ed Wood, Johnny Depp once bragged, “Why, if I had half a chance, I could make an entire movie using this stock footage.” And now, 20 years later, New York-based stock photography provider Shutterstock has proven just how prescient Depp’s words were. Using only royalty-free stock footage, video editor Niko Brown has created a montage that convincingly apes the styles of five influential modern filmmakers: Wes Anderson, David Fincher, Quentin Tarantino, Alfonso Cuaron, and Terrence Malick. Anderson is evoked through fussily symmetrical shots of fancy furniture, falcons kept as pets, and old-timey tape recorders. The Fincher portion turns the color saturation way down and presents a grim, ominous world of shadowy hallways and glowing monitors. Tarantino? Easy. Some weapons, some bloodshed, and guys straightening their neckties. Done. The video’s approximation of Cuaron focuses, logically enough, on the stranded-in-space epic Gravity, only minus Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. (Hey, they’re in those bulky astronaut suits. Who can tell what’s under there?) The pièce de résistance, however, is the Malick simulacrum: contemplative shots of wheat fields, flowers, and clotheslines coupled with twinkly music and some vaguely poetic narration. It could easily be a deleted scene from Tree Of Life. And all with humble stock footage.
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