As filmmakers we're often trying to convince an audience that what they are seeing is real, even if what they are watching couldn't possibly exist. That's why it's always interesting when "viral" videos come out that really make people question what they are seeing, if only for a short time. We saw this recently with the fake Hoverboard video, and even though some work for different reasons, for the most part they play on the fact that people tend to have their guards down when watching "amateur" or "nonfiction" videos. While a new video claiming to be leaked on-set footage from the newest Star Wars film is obviously CGI, is there something about it that makes us want to believe it more than the films themselves?
Here is the Star Wars video from Frank Wunderlich on YouTube:
Looks like the Story of Star Wars plays on Earth too in the next Episode. I took these pictures on my Flight back from the States to Germany at the Frankfurt Airport. Seems like the biggest german airport plays a key role as an imperial starport in the new episode -- there have just been imperial forces at the scene.
Maybe the Rebelboys hide in Berlin... :-D
As well done as the video is, it's obviously fake, but at least a few people have been fooled. The title and description may be contributing to that at first, but what about these techniques might be convincing to regular people besides the premise that it is actual footage? Certainly the rough handheld approach in the beginning can trigger something in our brains that tells us this is "home video." Plenty of viral videos over the years have utilized this technique of poorly shot footage mixed with solid CGI, and more will utilize it in the future.
We've also seen this with found footage films. Movies like Cloverfield and Chronicle are both shot as if they were taken as amateur video, even though what we're watching is obviously a Hollywood creation with plenty of CGI. Probably the most famous of these films, The Blair Witch Project, utilized the same techniques, and tried to catch the audience off guard by telling the audience it was real in the beginning, and by creating marketing material around the film that might convince people who aren't paying close enough attention.
Whether or not the audience knows for sure if something is fake, putting doubt in their mind or engrossing them enough so that they forget is usually what can help a film or video be more successful. While it's easy to dismiss these kinds of videos, exploring the techniques used can help us learn more about our potential audience.