11/16/2012 06:31 pm ET Updated Jan 16, 2013

A Side Project Wins an Emmy and Approval From George Lucas

Casey Pugh recreates the Star Wars saga, one segment at a time.

Ah, spare time... We've always got such big plans. We almost always end up falling asleep in front of "Storage Wars". So we're always amazed by people who actually create something in their spare time.

While working at Vimeo, Casey Pugh used his flex time to create a full-length swede of Star Wars IV. Fans would choose a fifteen-second segment of the movie, and then recreate them as best they could. The resulting stitch-up plays exactly like film, albeit with decidedly different production values.

In another galaxy, that would be grounds for a light-speed cease-and-desist from LucasFilms, but remarkably, the notoriously litigious company decided to cooperate with Pugh and his accomplices. "I was at my desk at Vimeo, and the land line phone rang," Pugh told us. "I don't think anyone's ground-line rang the entire time I was there. It was an executive at Lucasfilms who said they loved the project."

The finished product went on to become the first Internet-only production to win a Primetime Emmy. "We were up against Dexter and Glee," Pugh said. "So it was amazing to win with a zero dollar budget when these people probably spent millions."

Pugh is now the co-founder of VHX, a video distribution startup out of DUMBO. And The Empire Strikes Back Uncut is nearing completion. But you can still get in on the action and claim your 15-second shot at fame here.

Now go forth (and pick up the pace).

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