We’re obsessed with Adi Shankar’s gritty Power/Rangers Bootleg fan film. The director managed to reboot the 90’s kid favorite into something dark and compelling and awesome. That’s why we were so bummed when Vimeo caved to the demands of Saban Entertainment, the owners of the Power Rangers franchise, and took the film down. Now it seems that YouTube has submitted to pressure from the rights holder and the video is no longer available. This morning creator Adi Shankar released a statement regarding the dispute.
To Whom It May Concern:
Today, I was deeply disappointed to learn that Saban Brands decided to attack my Power/Rangers “Bootleg Universe One-Shot” film. To all the viewers that enjoyed this film, I consider this an outright infringement on freedom of expression and individualism. I set out to make this film because I am a childhood fan of the Power Rangers. As children our retinas are burned with iconic images and as we grow older these images come to represent crucial moments within the trajectories of our own lives. This film is a homage to the original creators of the Power Rangers, and a parody of a television series we all grew up loving. Films like my Power/Rangers “Bootleg” are vital expressions of creativity in our troubled world. If we suppress this creativity and become passive participants in the consumption of the culture we live in, we implicitly allow a dangerous precedent to be set for the future of the internet.
Shankar also thanked Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook for continuing to host the film on their fledgling video platform. If Facebook is serious about winning over the creator community and claiming more territory in the online video space then standing up to rights holders on behalf of independent creators is certainly one way to do it.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out Adi Shankar’s Power/Rangers Bootleg Universe One-Shot (or you just want to watch it again) you owe it to yourself to check it out. Facebook has saved this awesome film, but we can’t be sure for how long.