Six Great Source Filmmaker Parodies

It’s only been around for about a month, but so far Valve’s Source Filmmaker is proving to be a powerful video editing tool for those with the creativity, talent, or ambition. When the software was released Valve’s managing director Gabe Newell mentioned the importance of giving the game community more than just games to play, but games to play with. While there are an enormous amount of spoofed “Meet the Heavy” videos some have taken it a step further by recreating iconic scenes from popular movies. I’m sure a year from now talented individuals will be wowing us with their work, but in the meantime here are my favorites so far.

If you haven’t seen any of these scenes before some of what you’re about to see could be considered a spoiler.

Pulp Fiction’s “Apartment Scene” 


Although I’m sure everyone has seen a film featuring Samuel L. Jackson at some point in their life, if you had to explain what kind of actor he was to someone who hasn’t the “apartment scene” in Pulp Fiction is where I would start.  Arguably the most memorable scene in a movie with nothing but memorable scenes, it’s no surprise that someone has taken the time to recreate it using Source Filmmaker.

If seen a bunch of parodies so far, but this one stands out for its use of believable body language, accurate set design, and the fact that the characters’ mouths move in realistic fashion, something I can’t stand if done incorrectly. Even though using TF2 characters makes the whole scene a bit of a joke, the fear in the eyes of Brett and Marvin are pretty damn convincing if I do say so myself.

The roughly 3-minute clip took YouTube user Thingshappen about five days to make, impressive considering how recently the software was released. The original can be found here if you’re in interested in making a comparison.


Step Brothers “Bedroom Scene”


I don’t really know what else to call this scene, but it’s one of my favorites from the film. There isn’t nearly as much production quality in this video as there was in the last, but I still found myself laughing. There’s something about Will Ferrell’s voice coming out of TF’s soldier saying “this house sucks ass” that makes this short clip funny. I don’t know if I would have used a medic to play John C. Reilly, perhaps the heavy or the engineer would have been a better choice. Either way the use of SFM and TF2 characters didn’t diminish the humor of this scene. 


A Few Good Men – “You can’t handle the Truth!”


“You can’t handle the truth!” is one of the most parodied lines in all of film, so again I’m not surprised someone took the time to recreate in SFM. I picked this scene because of how well done the soldier’s facial expression were when he spoke. Sure, it’s no replacement for Nicholson who received an academy award nomination for the role, but it’s startlingly accurate for what’s essentially free software.

I wasn’t even aware that the soldier had eyes under that helmet of his, let alone that he would look like Nicholson’s Colonel Jessep as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if Valve looked at a bunch of iconic movie military figures, Jessep included, when creating the soldier for TF2.


Team Fortress 2 – Reservoir Dogs Parody


Here’s another well done Tarantino parody, this time spoofing the famous Reservoir Dogs “slow walk” intro. Again there’s no real change from the original, the editing, music, and even the font are all the same, but the fact that each character looks like their doing their best “act cool” impersonation makes it funny. It’s legit enough to run as a TF2 commercial, that’s for sure.

A video like this, and some of the others, has crossover appeal, meaning non-gamers are just as likely to be exposed to something like this as gamers are. It may not be enough for a non-gamer to rush home and download TF2, but it might be enough for a fledgling film maker to download Steam and test out this software. Here’s hoping that someone bothers to recreate that psychotic “Stuck in the Middle with you” ear severing scene.


Taken “Telephone Scene”


Yet another scene I’m inventing a name for, but considering this one has become a meme I’m sure most of you have at least heard of it. Hats off to whoever made this, the lip syncing may be a bit off, but the lighting is spot-on compared to the original and the slow zoom, which wasn’t in the original, adds some tension to the scene.  It’s a short clip, but it was done well enough to make me forget that the same medic was calling Will Ferrell “the retard” in the Step Brothers video a few minutes ago.

Maybe it’s a testament to the sophistication of Source Filmmaker that the characters are able to be both goofy and serious, playing multiple roles in somewhat believable fashion. Obviously there’s some skill involved with the animations, but so far it seems that each of the characters is capable of a wide range of emotions in the hands of someone who knows what they’re doing.


Austin Powers – “Zip it”


This one is by far my favorite, solely for the fact that the heavy is a perfect choice to play Dr. Evil. While some of these videos simply utilized the lip syncing capabilities of Source Filmmaker, this one shows what one can do with expert use of body language and editing.  The top comment says, “I could watch the whole movie like this,” which is a sentiment I can agree with, and I’m sure it’s only a matter of time until someone releases a full film using SFM.

The demoman was the obvious choice for #2 due to his eye patch, but is it me or does Seth Green’s voice feels like it was meant for the scout? Maybe it was just good voice work, but his high-pitched sarcasm fits with the scout’s model. Either way this video is full of win and I hope there’s more to come.

It’s clear that the characters Valve created for TF2 have become more than simple video game classes, they’ve become digital actors, crossing over into fan-made spoofs, parodies, and recreations. Just today we watched some of these characters play completely different roles in relatively believable fashion I might add. I’m anticipating eagerly what the community is going to do with this software once it reaches its official release.

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