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#gamergate antifeminism davis aurini grandiosity gross incompetence hypocrisy irony alert jordan owen misogyny sarkeesian!

Oh, glorious day! Davis Aurini has released a “Rough Draft Preview” of The Sarkeesian Effect: Team Aurini Version

The Sarkeesian Effect (Film Goes Here)
The Sarkeesian Effect (Film Goes Here)

Lovers of cinematic catastrophe, rejoice!

Facing accusations of fraud, douchebaggery, and skull abandonment in the wake of a split with his estranged “filmmaking” partner Jordan Owen, the formerly bald film auteur Davis Aurini has released a 38-minute “Rough Draft Preview” of his version of The Sarkeesian effect. 

I have not yet had a chance to watch the whole thing, but from the brief bits I have seen it more than lives up to the hype, if by “hype” you mean “the general consensus that Davis Aurini cannot possibly produce anything but poop.”

In the first 4 minutes alone, Aurini uses narration and music from Owen that he clearly doesn’t have permission to use; the rest of the footage is also “borrowed” from others, and the much ballyhooed “Animated Title Sequence” consists of the words “Animated Title Sequence” over a still image.

Watching this, it is important to remember that this film was not edited by a 5-year-old on a budget of one juice box, but by an actual adult human being who considers himself something of a filmmaking pro, with a budget in the tens of thousands of dollars.

So let’s watch this together. I will offer more extended notes once I’ve had a chance to stop giggling and digest the rest.

EDITED TO ADD: Ok, I finally made it all the way through and, wow, it’s even worse than I expected.

Where even to start? There’s no real narrative; none of this will make much sense to anyone who hasn’t been following the whole #Gamergate thing already.

The “argument,” when it’s not completely incoherent, is thoroughly dishonest and (when it comes to criticizing Sarkeesian’s actual videos) ridiculously petty. The film makes repeated assertions about Sarkeesian (that she’s a “bully,” that she wants to censor video games) without any evidence at all.

When we finally get around to the interviews — there is no original footage at all in the first 18 or so minutes of the “film” — the argument is simply laughable. Essentially, Davis says “SJWs claim to speak for women and minorities, so here’s a … WOMAN (dramatic pause) who disagrees!”

It’s not explained why they’re interviewing a sex worker, much less this particular woman. In fact, she made webcam videos parodying Sarkeesian, but this is never mentioned. (Also not mentioned: the fact that she’s the wife of the “mediator” involved in trying to get the film made.) Why is she talking about Gail Dines? Has Sarkeesian ever spoke in favor of censorship?

And then we get the “Honey Badgers” complaining about “damseling,” followed by Paul Elam … damseling. (What relevance he has to a discussion of Sarkeesian isn’t clear.) Then Alison Tieman damseling.

Oh, and then there’s Davis complaining that when Sarkeesian gets threats, she gets money from it! Never mind the $30,000 collected by AVFM last year ostensibly to pay for security. Or that the Owen and Aurini are basically living off of people’s hatred of Sarkeesian, as are a number of bloggers and youtubers .

Other, er, highlights:

  • Terrible fonts (an Aurini trademark)
  • That stupid grid of YouTube videos that Aurini uses when he’s got no actual filmed footage or stock photos or anything else to use for a visual
  • The terrible sound, with volume changing radically from clip to clip
  • Terrible lighting  in many of the clips
  • The lengthy segments with no visuals at all, just a black screen
  • Various people shown without introductions or subtitles to explain who they are
  • Even when people are identified, no real effort to explain why on earth they would be relevant

Probably not a good idea to include so much footage of Owen, given that he. you know, has publicly said that Aurini is a fraud who doesn’t have permission to use any of the film footage

It’s striking how much more professional the clips from Sarkeesian videos are when compared with everything  Owen and Aurini filmed.

Now, obviously, this is a rough cut. Real filmmakers often make rough cuts missing elements from the final film — music, cgi special effects, etc.

But they generally don’t release these to the public in advance of the film’s release, because they generally look terrible. The footage they use to promote the films prior to release are designed to make the film in question look awesome, not to prove, yes we have some footage.

The only reason Aurini has to release this is to “prove” that he actually has been putting in some work on the “film.” But what it really shows is how little work he’s done. I mean, take a couple of hours and clean up the fucking audio a little. At least make sure the volume is consistent within shots and from clip to clip.

The “quality” here is less than the quality of many unprofessional youtube videos that are slapped together in a day.

Also, it’s kind of amazing that he had no original footage at all to use in the first 18 minutes. Did they film nothing but the interviews themselves? Not even some footage of, I dunno, someone watching YouTube or pretending to type something on their computer?

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Imperator Kahlo
Imperator Kahlo
6 years ago

Top class rant there, Paradoxical Intention. Let me send over some chocolate milk to go with EJ’s biscuits.

Jon9
Jon9
6 years ago

Hey, I’ll go against the grain here and say that you guys are all wrong! I’ll have you guys know that this preview of an upcoming documentary was a true masterpiece in film-making, with utterly perfect cinematography throughout. The people interviewed were superb, the script was dynamite awesome, some truly great special effects used, and overall a fine effort from Messrs Aurini and Owens.

Now granted, this impression only became possible after going through a couple kilos of cocaine, but level with me here.

Also first comment here, hi!

sn0rkmaiden
6 years ago

Uh oh, Matt Forney has weighed in against Jordan Owen in his latest podcast:

http://www.donotlink.com/fy68

I haven’t listened to it as it’s Forney and I don’t have enough brain bleach to get through listening to one of his nasty little hatewanks. But I’m guessing major trigger warnings would be appropriate.

If Forney’s on Aurini’s side, then Aurini is in trouble.

contrapangloss
6 years ago

…Jon9, I salute you. You actually had me giving your post a “what the fudge?” look till I got to that last little bit. Good job.

To any lurker’s wondering how to properly sarcasm, there you go! Excellent job. 🙂

*Note: I do not endorse the usage of mind altering substances in order to make awful special effects and scripts seem wonderful.

Besu
Besu
6 years ago

WHY WHY WHY do these idiots begin with a sequence that makes their ‘enemy’ seem extremely appealing and forward thinking? They did it in the trailer, having serious newspeople discuss misogyny followed by grimly lit interviewees who dismiss it, the first one in an odious fashion. If you have a subjective documentary, unless it’s meant to be a ‘GOTCHA’ type with a twist, you need to establish the negative aspects of your subject and provide emotional engagement like testimony from his or her victims. But of course, emotions totally beta.

tralala
6 years ago

watched a few seconds, scrolled ahead to see how long this thing is and…OMFG he used PAPYRUS?!?!?!

Bwaaaaaahahahahaha

Binjabreel
Binjabreel
6 years ago

Sorry to come off so harsh, that’s just what I was trying to say- that it’s callous as hell to whip out a connection to as big a tragedy as that because it’s presuming that others might not as well.

Binjabreel
Binjabreel
6 years ago

*might not have one, that is.

Cyberwulf
Cyberwulf
6 years ago

NINE MILLION CANADIAN US DOLLARS

hajiminion
6 years ago

I’m mostly disappointed that I couldn’t hear their arguments, because the sound in that version is so terrible. Aurini couldn’t even type up some close-captions before throwing up that awful thing.

John Pavlich (@johnpavlich)

I just found this great takedown video mocking The Sarkeesian Effect: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_OtqTPR2Q0&w=420&h=315%5D

dlouwe
6 years ago

Wait, these guys wanted $15,000 a month to do this thing? Here’s the trailer for another crowd funded documentary made by an acquaintance of mine with a $10k budget: http://takingmyparentstoburningman.com

Granted, it’s a very different format of documentary, but it’s a good illustration of what the production value *should be* in that budget range when handled with any measure of competence.

Cyberwulf
Cyberwulf
6 years ago

I got as far as “The Outright Lie, the Lie by Omission, Manipulated Evidence, and The Double-Bind” and promptly keeled over and died from irony overdose. I’m typing this from beyond the grave.

GardenGallivant
GardenGallivant
6 years ago

Some of the comments seems so very odd, this fellow has a brief dialog with Aurini that seems as disconnected with the subject matter of the Tropes videos as much of the TSE’s rough draft content.

Laser Reloaded ponders:
+Davis M.J. Aurini Have you considered making your side of TSE into a series? You could point out how Ms. Sarkeesian has many allies in academia and traditional mass media, and how she has virtually NONE in the areas of precision manufacturing, robotics, financial services, engineering and medicine. Have you also noticed how certain groups, such as the NRA, and hedge funds are not only successful in avoiding Sarkeesian, but basically give her and her followers the middle finger. A series would be needed to broach these subjects. Just saying’,……my two cents.

Davis M.J. Aurini replies:
+Laser Reloaded You’re bang on; it’s merely a question of how much can I say without losing people in philosophy? Ultimately I want people to walk away with a firm resolve against the sort of manipulators that are all over the place, for whom Sarkeesian is merely a stand in.

I am a molecular biologist but I have no reason to follow any feminists work from a professional viewpoint nor does the research department of the company I work for, even though I do as a person. This attempt to connect various technical fields with critical analysis of the content of any media (video games, literature, art) makes sense only if the media reflects relevant social attitudes towards those fields.

contrapangloss
6 years ago

Ultimately I want people to walk away with a firm resolve against the sort of manipulators that are all over the place

-Davis M.J. Aurini

Does anyone else wonder if he was able to type that with a straight face?

GrumpyOldSocialJusticeMangina

Well, I was always curious what Beavis and Butthead would do when they “grew up”.

skiriki
6 years ago

freemage:

So, David, I take it Christmas came early for you? I mean, seriously, the Sarkeesian Effect is like some sort of bizarre hydra.

You mean, if you chop off one ass, it grows two asses, and will gleefully display them to you?

hajiminion
6 years ago
Reply to  contrapangloss

I don’t think he’s capable of taking himself less seriously.

melknapp
6 years ago

Watching that Owen response video…

Oft MRA will doth MRAs mar indeed!

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