Try to make something good outta these lemons, Bey.
Beyonce unleashed Lemonade on the world, but about a week before an her album dropped she posted a trailer on YouTube for her HBO special. According to a new lawsuit filed in New York, this trailer was copied without permission from a short film titled Palinoia. Heard of it? Yeah, me either.
The plaintiff in the case is Matthew Fulks, a filmmaker and creative director at WDRB. Fulks says he conceptualizes, writes and directs TV advertisements for the Louisville, Ky.-based news station. In the complaint, Fulks talks about how Sony Music, Columbia Recording and Beyonce’s Parkwood Entertainment may have gotten access to his film, and used parts of it without his permission. And honestly, it doesn’t seem SO far fetched that Bey and her team would have used some images or concepts being circulated to him, seeing has he was contacted about the opportunity to direct a video by the Columbia-signed musical group MS MR, and as a result, links to Palinoia were sent to others including Bryan Younce, who has created videos for Beyonce and has been credited on her self-titled 2013 album.
The lawsuit claims that in July 2015, Younce requested Fulks’ email and that later he send the plaintiff a note acknowledging that he had received his “info” with an invitation to submit a treatment for consideration by Columbia. Not bad…but then Lemonade happened.
“The number of aesthetic decisions included in Plaintiff’s PALINOIA Work that are parroted in Defendants’ LEMONADE Trailer demonstrates that the LEMONADE Trailer is substantially similar to the PALINOIA Work,” states the complaint. “The misappropriated content includes both the particular elements that the Plaintiff chose to comprise the PALINOIA Work and the coordination and arrangement of those particular elements.”
Specifically, the complaint cites nine visual similarities comprising 39 seconds of a 60-second trailer. The images allegedly taken come without any linear narrative raison d’etre. The visual similarities cited are “graffiti and persons with heads down,” “red persons with eyes obscured,” “parking garage,” “stairwell,” “black and white eyes,” “title card screens,” “the grass scene,” “feet on the street,” “side-lit ominous figures,” all adding up to a supposed total concept and feel substantially similar to the short film.
Check out the film below and let us know if you think they’re uncomfortably similar, or if this is just some attention-getting maneuver!