We recently had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Dan Greenberg, one of the creative minds behind MSCHF internet studios and some of the most celebrated internet oddities like Times New Roman and Man Eating Food on YouTube. In other words, MSCHF creates internet trends and we should all hope that the next one takes off.
Dan's latest project is as the Director of Strategy and Distribution for newly created Cignature Films. Unlike other studios, Cignature Films will be taking popular television shows and movies and re-editing them and re-releasing them without the use of tobacco. In fact, they're replacing all cigarettes with kazoos. Yes, you read that right, kazoos. Those annoying buzzy sounding instruments that kids love and parents hate.
It's widely knowns that smoking cigarettes cause cancer and many deaths yet Hollywood keep featuring characters that make smoking look cool. Cignature Films has had enough of it.
First up, the pilot episode of Mad Men, aptly titled "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes," has been completely redone with Cignature-kazoos. Don Draper has never looked so silly...or healthy. The episode will make its debut on January 29th and hopes to lead the way for other Cignature projects, and expand their anti-smoking campaign through Hollywood.
Keep reading to learn a little more about Dan, Cignature Films and why they're doing this.
TheThings (TH): Tell us a little bit about your background in film and media. How did you get here with your own studio?
Dan Greenberg (DG): My background is in creating viral internet products. As for Cignature Films, we just started it.
TH: Where else have we seen your presence on the internet?
DG: We have been featured by hundreds of major media publications, influencers, celebrities, television programs, and radio shows. You can see some of our press at https://mschf.xyz
TH: Your new studio Cignature Films has taken to replace cigarettes in films and television with kazoos. Where did this idea come from? Where did the passion for this new studio project come about?
DG: We wanted to show how pervasive cigarettes were in films and television, and this idea came from one of our team brainstorms. We just had an internal drive to do this.
TH:Why were kazoos chosen? Were any other objects considered as replacements for the cigarettes?
DG: After thinking about lots of items people but in their mouths (toothbrushes, toothpicks, pens, bananas, cheese sticks, flutes) we ended on kazoos cause they are both silly and roughly fit the shape.
TH: We all know smoking is bad and causes many deaths. Have you ever been a smoker or been affected by the habits of one? Why are you taking on the tobacco industry and so passionate about ending smoking?
DG: I personally have not, but lots of our friends and family have and we see the struggles.
TH: Are these new episodes/features meant to be as serious and in the same context as they were originally? Kazoos are a bit silly to be holding in your mouth when you’re not a child at a birthday party.
DG: The mission should be taken seriously, but the kazoos we can all agree are a bit silly.
TH: Are there any plans for original projects or is this just merely to show how prevalent and unnecessary smoking is in modern media?
DG: We do not plan to do original projects, but who knows down the line.
TH: How much smoking is there really in today’s media? Are we blind to it now?
DG: There is a ton. You can read more about it here: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/
TH: What would be the impact if smoking was to be eliminated from popular culture and movies?
DG: Seeing as 44% of adolescents start because of images, one could assume roughly half of people who smoke would never have even started.
TH: How many movies and shows do you plan to transform? What is the end goal with Cignature Films?
DG: We have plans for Stranger Things, The Godfather, and Fight Club. If major studios see this and decide to remove cigarette use from their movies (like Disney did) that would be huge.
Thank you so much for speaking with us Dan! Cignature Film's remasted episodes of Mad Men will premiere on January 29th. Watch the episode and see how you feel about the new kazoos and the impact this could have on the public.