Today should've been a day to celebrate for Shia LaBeouf. His new short, HowardCantour.com starring Jim Gaffigan (King of Bacon & Ketchup jokes), which debuted at the May 2012 Cannes Film Festival was finally released online this morning. The short is about aimed at online film critics. Shia told Short of the Week, "As I tried to empathize with the sort of man who might earn a living taking potshots at me and the people I’ve worked with, a small script developed." Now we know the only thing that developed was thievery.
At this moment, you can't view Shia's short. It became password protected shortly after word spread of Shia's plagiarism. I was lucky enough to actually watch it, and I can tell you that HowardCantour.com is basically a word-for-word, scene-for-scene copy of Daniel Clowes' comic. Below, you can read comments from Daniel Clowes and his editor, Eric Reynolds.
“The first I ever heard of the film was this morning when someone sent me a link. I’ve never spoken to or met Mr. LaBeouf,” Clowes told BuzzFeed. “I’ve never even seen one of his films that I can recall — and I was shocked, to say the least, when I saw that he took the script and even many of the visuals from a very personal story I did six or seven years ago and passed it off as his own work. I actually can’t imagine what was going through his mind.” -
“My first reaction, before I even watched it, was basically that as much as the plot sounded like the Justin M. Damiano,” Eric Reynolds, of Clowes’ publisher Fantagraphics, told WIRED. “I presumed that LaBeouf would be smart enough to change everything just enough to make it his own thing and shield himself from any legal liability, even if it didn’t excuse him from being a weasel. Which is why, when I actually started watching it, I almost spit out my coffee when I realized he lifted the script, word for word.”
Click on image below to watch Shia's short (bottom of page)
Justin M. Damiano by Daniel Clowes
HowardCantour.com Trailer (Film by Shia LaBeouf) from Short of the Week on Vimeo.