DVD Fake-Out!
November 14, 2009 3:13 PM   Subscribe

How can I make a phony DVD, that starts off promisingly, but eventually turns into something totally unexpected...with the intention of pranking a DVD thief?

A friend of mine at work made a copy of a concert DVD for a friend... please attempt to disregard issues of legality and whatnot... Please?
Anyway, he left the DVD out for the friend, but it was eventually taken by an unknown person. And this is not the first time it has happened, sooooo.... we have a DVD nabber in our midst!

I had the idea of making a fake DVD, with the title of a tasty new release written on it, but at some point within the film, I'd insert either fake footage, something disturbing, or maybe even a personalized message to the DVD nabber...

I alternate between evil thoughts and simpler ideas, and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on how to pull this off, in order to legitimitely waste the viewer's time... I have visions of the guy (gotta be a guy, right?) bringing home the DVD to watch with his girlfriend, and then, 30 minutes into it....SOMETHING FOUL HAPPENS!

Any suggestions or ideas?
posted by newfers to Grab Bag (32 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Midget porn?
posted by reptile at 3:23 PM on November 14, 2009

Or, you know, this?
posted by reptile at 3:23 PM on November 14, 2009

You could get a copy of the film "Gigli" then when the person steals it and watches it, they'll think it isn't very good - total pwnage!!!!1
posted by Mike1024 at 3:28 PM on November 14, 2009

2 girls 1 cup?
posted by TheOtherGuy at 3:33 PM on November 14, 2009

Response by poster: I thought about 2 girls 1 cup, but I wanna be creative...would like the edited piece to almost seem as though it's part of the film... so that he (yes, I still insist it's a guy...because we have our suspicions as to who it is) is thoroughly baffled and doesn't IMMEDIATELY turn off the DVD. Perhaps I could even insert a full length dubbed foreign film after the end of a scene, so that the guy thinks it's part of the movie somehow. But that doesn't seem extreme enough.
posted by newfers at 3:40 PM on November 14, 2009

An actual movie, except for the fact that the soundtrack or image is modified at a few very important points in the film where they know they missed something and not knowing what they missed is distracting and hopefully ruins the whole experience. For example obfuscating images or references to rosebud in Citizen Kane or replacing the most quotable lines in Pulp Fiction with static.
posted by idiopath at 3:43 PM on November 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

Pulling this off is fairly easy, given that you're using a DVD-R anyway and don't need to worry about labeling or packaging. What I would do is this: take any recent commercial DVD you own that might appeal to the thief. Rip the main movie to your hard drive with DVD Decrypter and then encode the first 10-15 mins to AVI format (just use XviD at 5000 kbps, original resolution and audio; this is just to make things easier later). Spend a few hours finding whatever you want to prank this guy with and download a bunch of it. Run the whole thing (starting with the legit movie segment) through DVDFlick and burn to disc. Title it appropriately and leave it out.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 3:44 PM on November 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

Perhaps get a suspense or mystery film and chop off the climax?
posted by tss at 3:45 PM on November 14, 2009

Fake edit: the result, of course, will be 10-15 minutes of Transformers 2 followed by an hour of an Angela Merkel look-a-like getting teabagged by a team of little people painted up like the '73 Mets, spliced in with footage of Rick Astley dancing and gore.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 3:46 PM on November 14, 2009 [5 favorites]

What you'd want to do is first get your hands on a tasty new release. Probably by downloading (if it's already available for purchase on dvd then by definition it is no longer a tasty new release).

Open up the file in a video editing program, in linux this would be something like kino or avidemux, and I'm guessing in the Mac/Windows world it would be something like Adobe Premier (or at least it would have been a decade ago).

Inserting your surprise video into this would really be a matter of cut and paste.

Then you would create a DVD with the resulting file (in linux I would use devede, but something like Nero (for Windows) would probably do this too) and you'd be set.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 3:47 PM on November 14, 2009

Excise the ending, or even the whole second half of the film.

On preview, what tss said.
posted by colgate at 3:49 PM on November 14, 2009

Just an hour of you staring straight at the camera.
posted by lucidium at 3:50 PM on November 14, 2009

Record a monologue into the camera. "Yo, Dave, we know you stole this. Not cool. Not cool at all."
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 3:53 PM on November 14, 2009

This will take some time, but trawl YouTube or Google Videos for as many different instances of people saying the word 'thief' as you can. Or similar phrases - 'you stole this', 'it's been stolen', 'a thief took it' , 'stop thief!' blah blah blah. Then take your normal movie, let it run for 20 mins or whatever, and slowly drop in a few of these quick 'thief' cut-shots with increasing frequency. So maybe just 1 for the first 10 minutes, so that they won't even notice at first, or they'll just think it's a bizarre non-sequitur in the movie. Then after a while add another, then with increasing regularity such that eventually the movie becomes just a straight up rapid-fire montage of people saying 'thief!'.
posted by Beautiful Screaming Lady at 4:05 PM on November 14, 2009 [4 favorites]

My vote? Do something along the lines of this Youtube video.

SHAME ON YOU! Now you're gonna watch My Little Pony!

posted by dunkadunc at 4:06 PM on November 14, 2009 [2 favorites]

Best answer: If I were going to do this -- and I have perpetuated some impractical practical jokes in my time -- I'd go for subtlety. Shuffle scenes, occasionally repeat scenes, omit scenes, pull deleted scenes out of the DVD extras and splice them in in the wrong place. A two-and-a-half hour movie become three and a half hours long, or 75 minutes. Carefully omit most of the scenes with a particular actor, so the second lead of the movie only ends up being in it for four minutes of screen time. Drop in a random shot or two of the movie's stars appearing in other movies; not enough to clue someone in, but just enough to baffle the thief... "Wait, that guy is a cop?? I thought he was a doctor." Leave the thief totally mystified as to what is going on plotwise. If you are very lucky, he will even out himself later by inadvertently confessing that he thought such-and-such a movie was crap and outlining why.

You mentioned a concert DVD. Music DVDs have infinite possibilities for messing with the soundtrack. If you have the software, speed up or slow down a song. Omit every tenth bar of a song. Stagger the video and audio feeds so they are a quarter of a second out of sync. Overdub a song with someone else's cover of it. Drop the volume by tiny amounts for each successive song for half the show then bring it back to full in mid-song, hopefully after the ne'er-do-well has adjusted the volume on his TV set four times.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:37 PM on November 14, 2009 [15 favorites]

It would be perfect if you spliced a copy of Elaine Benes from Seinfeld dancing over the end of a movie.
posted by MegoSteve at 4:46 PM on November 14, 2009 [5 favorites]

Response by poster: lol love all these suggestions...some brilliant minds hang out here on askmefi!
posted by newfers at 4:48 PM on November 14, 2009

You know, the (legit) DVD of Memento comes with a 'play in chronological order' option - which, though it makes sense, would make you wonder why the film was so critically acclaimed.
posted by Mike1024 at 4:53 PM on November 14, 2009

Fake a snuff film. He'll be all, "do I go to the cops?"
posted by notsnot at 4:59 PM on November 14, 2009

If you have any access to musical instruments, do a St Sanders and re-record large parts of the gig yourself over the top of the concert footage for a big name band. This will work best if you're a moderately talented amateur. His re-recording of Eric Clapton is one of the greatest subversive comedy moments of the modern age.
posted by Beautiful Screaming Lady at 5:42 PM on November 14, 2009 [3 favorites]

Find the subtitle file; they're easy enough to edit in notepad. With the burning software, set it so subtitles play automatically.
The real film will play but with whatever messages you want him to see along the bottom of the screen.

Hi Dave.
Love the new haircut.
How's your mom? The bathroom wall says she's GREAT.

posted by Billegible at 6:01 PM on November 14, 2009 [7 favorites]

replace parts of the movie with the 30-second bunnies version.
posted by baggers at 7:33 PM on November 14, 2009

Find a movie with a good twist ending.

About 20 minutes in, splice in a screen with text which spoils the movie. And leave this screen up for the duration of what would have been the movie.

20 minutes is long enough for the person to get sucked in to the movie and be pissed off that they wasted their time.

Or, just mess with their head. A decent way into the movie swap the video for a black screen for a few seconds. Then continue the movie omitting the part that would have played while the screen was black. Wait a minute or two and repeat. Then drop out the audio for a few seconds. Then increase the volume of the audio slowly over the course of a minute or two. Then decrease the audio over a period of time. Mix all of these up, but leave some time in between. Done right, they will think that there is something wrong with their dvd player/tv. Finally, cut off the movie at the climax with a fade to black and a message that they are a thief and shouldn't be stealing disc.
posted by MCTDavid at 7:35 PM on November 14, 2009

Cause all the critical scenes to stutter.

Unless the movie's Max Headroom, and then remove the stutter.
posted by zippy at 1:29 AM on November 15, 2009

dunkadunc: "My vote? Do something along the lines of this Youtube video.

SHAME ON YOU! Now you're gonna watch My Little Pony!

That's even more hilarious to me because, although I'd not steal a DVD, if I were the thief I'd be delighted cuz I am an 80s kid and would love to have that episode on DVD.

Another idea I thought of would be leaving out a DVD for them to take (fake labeled as a burn of a great new movie, but blank - maybe they'd think you just hadn't burned it yet), capturing their theft on webcam, and then editing that into the new fake DVD.
posted by IndigoRain at 4:26 AM on November 15, 2009

I'd make the first 5, maybe 10 minutes the regular movie. Perhaps a chapter or two, and I'd turn the volume input waaaaaay down. Like waaaaay down. And then I'd take a page from the flash-pranks of yore and splice on, say, a flashing goatse or lemonparty image and record myself loudly, overmodulating the mic even, turning sound input HIGH and the redub HIGH "I'M WATCHING PORN AT WORK" "I'M WATCHING PORN AT WORK" "LOOK AT ME, I'M A PERVERT!", something like that. Even if they're watching it at home, it could have comical effect.
posted by TomMelee at 7:19 AM on November 15, 2009

I would enjoy taking a loud audio file or song, with crazy guitar parts, boosting the levels by about 6dB, cutting about 1/2 a second from the song, and paste-paste-paste-paste until you have this nasty arse DUN-DUN-DUN-DUN-DUN-DUN looping hate-sound blasting from the TV/Speakers

It seems to be a huge deterrent when you're 10 minutes into a show and then it starts BUUUUUUUURURURURURURURURURU
posted by Khazk at 7:24 AM on November 15, 2009

There was a short video on one of the Wholphin dvd's that was entitled "Patton Oswalt stares at the camera" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwaujgtW47M). Properly inserted at a random moment into a Wes Anderson film, I'm not entirely sure it wouldn't make sense.
posted by leapfrog at 8:19 AM on November 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

No matter what you decide, you are now obligated to share your choice and a summary of the aftermath with the green....
posted by kenbennedy at 10:43 AM on November 16, 2009

Pick a reasonably nonlinear movie (e.g. Memento) and some 20 or so minutes in, start shuffling scenes around, insert scenes from other movies, repeat scenes and in general make the movie descend into gibberish. If you're lucky, you can get the thief to waste four hours of his life trying to make sense of an unwatchable mess.

Alternately, wait for a character in the movie to watch something on a screen (or have a dream, or some other suitable transition) and splice in another movie, repeating when a similar opportunity comes up in that movie.
posted by suetanvil at 1:47 PM on November 16, 2009

Response by poster: Love these suggestions, peeps, and now I need to hone my video-editing skills to make some of this work! I like the idea of messing with the volume, for example.... lowering it slowly, switching scenes, adding involuntary captions... fun fun!
posted by newfers at 8:49 PM on November 17, 2009

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