We chat with Brooklyn-based John Handem Piette, the person behind the viral ‘America: Endgame’ parody video, that includes US President-elect Joe Biden and President Donald Trump
As John Handem Piette sat in his house in Brooklyn, New York, watching the information avidly because the voting counts for the US Presidential election rolled in, the nation had its eye on the state of Georgia which seemed prefer it was going to flip. This second sparked hope and motivation within the filmmaker who was deeply happy with Georgia’s Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams, rifled by means of film scenes that had an influence on him.
However when he got here throughout the tear-jerking lead-up scene to the ultimate battle in Avengers: Endgame, he knew he had landed on one thing particular.
“That’s a really highly effective scene,” he recollects over a video name from his house, “as a result of it was the fruits of 10 years price of storytelling on the a part of Marvel, that’s why it had a lot emotional resonance. Even in Infinity Conflict, when Thanos merely snaps his fingers and half the heroes vanish, that was one thing you don’t see usually in superhero movies.”
He attracts a parallel with the 2016 election the place Trump received, the place many People felt “defeated”. In Endgame there’s a second the place everybody returns and, “the ethical arc of the universe bends in direction of justice. After I watched it, the theatre erupted into cheer as a result of it was such a galvanising second for many individuals’s consciousness.”
Not eager to waste any time, John pulled an attention-grabbing edit collectively on his laptop computer utilizing Adobe Photoshop and Premiere, foregoing After Results to not need the video to take one other day’s price of labor. The 2-minute-twenty-second video, appropriately titled America: Endgame, was uploaded to Twitter and Fb on November 6 and collectively rounded up near 40 million views, having earned reward from Jennifer Aniston, Mark Ruffalo, Steve Levitan, and extra. America: Endgame, at its core, is cheeky and light-hearted, as John totally meant it to be.
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Who’s who? And why?
John admits that US President Donald Trump “naturally matches the persona and power of Thanos” however provides that, like Thanos, Trump doesn’t suppose he’s “evil”. Nonetheless, he acknowledges that each Republicans and Democrats have individuals who “combat the nice combat”. Whereas it was a provided that Trump is Thanos, Biden is a battle-weary Captain America, and Kamala Harris as The Falcon on this particular video, it was the casting of the remainder of the Avengers that had folks everywhere in the world reacting.
A screenshot from ‘America: Endgame’ that includes US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as The Falcon
Within the edit, Black Panther is portrayed by former US President Barack Obama whereas Keisha Lance Bottoms and Stacey Abrams performed Shuri and Okoye. Georgia, for John, is a Wakanda. John gushes over the inspiration of Abrams specifically, “Due to her Herculean effort, she is a nationwide treasure; she’s sensible, crafty and empathetic. And Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms turned an actual star through the Black Lives Matter protests earlier this yr. Some leaders actually emerged in our nation, particularly in opposition to voter suppression legal guidelines.”
A part of this tribe of progressive leaders included U.S. Consultant Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez as Captain Marvel and former first girl Michelle Obama as Gamora. What touched many individuals’s hearts was the late Supreme Court docket Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg as Conflict Machine.
There have been some castings that earned many a double take, primarily that of late actor Sean Connery as Rocket Raccoon. A James Bond fan, John laughs when that is introduced up, including, “I do consider he was very vocal in politics within the UK, significantly in Scotland. However I additionally did need to reduce by means of the earnestness by that includes him.” Elon Musk as Iron Man earned just a few laughs however John states, “Musk is an attention-grabbing determine whose behaviour we might not at all times agree with, however he was vocal about local weather change and the ability of know-how for the longer term, as was Tony Stark.” And, after all, Greta Thunberg as Pepper Potts, had inexperienced netizens fairly excited. Given there have been many social media back-and-forths between Greta and Trump, so John noticed this precisely becoming.
There are figures in politics and widespread tradition who didn’t make it to the edit, and John is effectively conscious. He shakes his head and smiles as he recollects some suggestions he obtained on social media. “Some folks have requested for Dr Fauci, particularly throughout this pandemic time,” he places forth.
As a author and filmmaker, John additionally commends comedians equivalent to Invoice Maher, Stephen Colbert and Dave Chappelle for holding People knowledgeable of the nice within the nation. “They poked and prodded at Trump in ways in which saved onlookers sane,” he asserts. Although we might not see them in America: Endgame, they had been an essential a part of assembling — pun meant — this mission.
John discovered how highly effective memes will be, not only for their relatability issue but additionally the exceptional method during which they’re markers of historical past, they usually have a capability to begin severe conversations catalysed by humour. “I perceive the emotional enchantment of America: Endgame however I hope folks don’t take it too significantly! On the finish of the day, it was a extremely enjoyable and uplifting mission, and it might spur extra such movies from me within the close to future!”
Secure to say, we are able to look ahead to a sequel of kinds.