Alright. Bear with me, here, because I have no idea whether what I’m about to talk about is real or fake. A couple days ago, a trailer was released for a film called The Upper Footage. It’s available on YouTube, and we’ve included it above. It claims to document a young girl’s accidental overdose and death, as well as include information on the subsequent cover-up and extortion that occurred as a result. I encourage you to watch the video for yourself and draw your own conclusions, but the words they use are:
“What started as a night out…ended in a young girl’s death…became Hollywood’s biggest scandal…turned into the controversial film project…now a one of a kind film experience.”
The trailer includes footage of partygoers using cocaine, with some faces blurred out and some clear, as well as one clip of a young woman (face blurred) throwing up what looks like blood over a toilet. This is apparently the woman who doesn’t survive the night. And then the trailer ends with the sentence, “The Movement Begins. January 31st 2013 NYC.” Okay so. I don’t know what to think with this. It’s being billed as real-life footage, but even in the trailer they make reference to The Blair Witch Project, which we were also told was real, at the time. But in order to truly explain this phenomenon, I have to assume it’s real. So let’s do that for a moment, if only to figure out what the eff is going on.
A good place to start is at the film’s Facebook page, which will then lead you to the film’s website, which includes a timeline. Finally. Actual details about what this project is. According to said timeline, this all started on December 28th, 2009, when a young girl named ‘Jackie’ was seen leaving a popular bar in New York City with ‘affluent New Yorkers’ Blake Pennington, Will Erixon, Taylor Greene, and Devon Petrovsky. This was the last time she was seen alive, and within a few days, every trace of the four guys I just listed had disappeared from the internet.
Nothing happened with the footage for about a year, until a clip entitled ‘NYC Socialite Overdose’ is posted to YouTube on November 10th, 2010. It shows a group of people, their faces blurred out, standing around the overdosing girl, making fun of her. Whoever posted the footage warns that if they are not compensated monetarily, the un-pixelated footage will be released. The fact that it takes a year for anything to happen is kind of a double-edged sword as far as determining the truth is concerned. On the one hand, it’s extremely suspect. You’re expecting us to believe that there was no formal investigation mounted into the death of Jackie? But on the other hand, that seems to be something that the video is addressing — the fact that because of the affluence of the men involved, they were able to avoid consequences for their actions. Whoever is behind this would like us to believe that that’s the aim of the film, to bring the perpetrators to justice. Hard to know what to believe. Soon after the release of the clip, various commenters allege that the apartment in the video belongs to Blake Pennington, whose name we already know from before. However, the video is quickly removed, and the substantial media coverage that had stemmed from its posting is also pulled down as well.
Five months later, on March 5th, 2011, two more clips surface, with similar extortion demands, although it isn’t publicly known whether the same person is behind both these clips and the clip from November. More people confirm the apartment is Blake’s, and this video is pulled as well. However, mainstream media has already picked up the story, including Crushable, almost two years ago. “More than one famous person” is alleged to have been involved, and rumors include Demi Lovato, and Disney actresses Chelsea Kane and Nicole Anderson. All deny involvement, and media outlets stop reporting on the speculations, leading to rumors of a cover-up. It is discovered that the footage is up for sale, at which point it’s allegedly purchased by Quentin Tarantino.
On April 15th, shortly after the purchase, production allegedly begins on ‘Upper’, a feature-film length documentary of sorts distilled from the 393 minutes of footage, with an accompanying featurette. According to the website, it’s intended to be a ‘wake-up call’ to the nation’s wealthy, and to expose the cover-up. The film begins being marketed on September 24th, 2011, after months of editing and jumping through legal hoops. Two days later, due to the immediate backlash, Quentin allegedly backs out of the film and pulls the trailer from the internet. In October of 2011, ‘we’ acquire the footage. No explanation is given on the site as to who ‘we’ is.
And now yesterday, after a year of ‘lawsuits, threats, and delays’, the film has been given a release date: January 31st, 2013, in New York City. If you’re interested, you can buy tickets here.
So, there’s that. It’s been over three years since this event allegedly occurred, and people might finally get to see the result of all of this at the end of this month. I’d have to see it to know if I believe it or not — and I might not even know then — but it’s certainly a lot of work to go to for a hoax. Although people have gone through more. Just look at Manti Te’o. What do you think? Is this real or fake?