Case Studies/Black brow
Creative Commons is like having 100,000 free publicity officers. You get heaps of people watching your film because no one is scared of being arrested because of it. — Pete Foley, Black brow
Black brow is a Brisbane-based collaborative filmmaking organisation established by Pete Foley and Chris Perren, specialists in video and audio production. Operating under the brand ‘Black brow makes films,’ Pete and Chris have completed four animations which are featured on their site. Water and Waste were completed for the Logan City Council in 2006, addressing environmental management issues. The film 3xSuper Robot Heartbreak features the ‘Me!me!me!bot,’ ‘FT Work 9000,’ and ‘Ignoramatron,’ robots who wreak havoc in a town and, seeing the impact of their destruction, decide to amend their ways.
In 2005, Black brow was commissioned by Elliott Bledsoe from Creative Commons Australia to create a short animation explaining how CC licences operate. The film would be screened on the Queensland University of Technology’s Smart Train on its five-week journey around 24 regional and rural centres in Queensland including Mt Isa, Maryborough and Mitchell. The result was Mayer and Bettle, a wonderfully engaging explanation of how to download music ‘free and not illegally’. Screened at numerous CC events worldwide, including the inaugural CCau ccSalon in November 2006 and CC’s fifth birthday party celebrations in Berlin in December 2007, the film has been translated into French, German and Hebrew thanks to the CC licence permitting derivative works. Since its debut on 13 May 2005, the film has been downloaded more than 5000 times via the Creative Commons Australia website and viewed almost 5000 times on Revver. All revenue generated is contributed to Creative Commons’ worldwide fundraising campaigns.
The Mayer and Bettle animation was released under the CC Attribution-ShareAlike 2.1 Australia licence. Its script (Microsoft Word format) and source files (100MB, Moho and AIFF format) are also available for reuse and modification.
Black brow’s website proclaims that ‘All work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Australia License unless noted below.’ The films Water and Waste are excluded, as the copyright resides with the Logan City Council. Pete’s blog, Pete uses biro, features a series of his illustrations and animations. It is licensed under CC Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Generic licence.
Black brow has gained international attention, as well as several job offers, from their involvement with Creative Commons. ‘Creative Commons helped us reach markets we never considered were possible to reach for us at this early stage in our careers,’ observes Chris Perren. Pete Foley adds, ‘Creative Commons is like having 100,000 free publicity officers. You get heaps of people watching your film because no one is scared of being arrested because of it.’