Mad Men Chops Its Pilot Episode Into 154 Clips and Wants Fans to Reshoot Each One

The best will get stitched together into a Fan Cut

Ahead of Mad Men's final episodes on AMC this spring, the series has launched The Fan Cut, a contest that lets would-be auteurs remake scenes from the show's pilot episode in (almost) any way they see fit.

That first episode has been cut up into some 154 clips ranging from 8 to about 40 seconds long. Up to five fans can "claim" each scene, and they have 30 days to create and upload their own versions. Ultimately, the entire pilot will be re-assembled and screened online based on select submissions.

The rules warn us: "Any depiction of consuming alcohol or smoking tobacco should be simulated." (The crew behind the camera, presumably, can get as sloshed as they like.) And just in case any wisenheimers get ideas about crashing this bash and bragging about it to the ad blogs, the inclusion of third-party brands is strictly prohibited. (But if you do manage to sneak in a plug for a real client, be sure to tell AdFreak about it first!)

On the one hand, The Fan Cut is a creative way to connect with the landmark show and puts a sort of reverse spin on breaking through the fourth wall, letting the audience do it instead of the cast. On the other, it's a huge waste of time, just like the ad business itself!

Kidding, of course. The competition promises to be a ton of fun and should yield some intriguing, and possibly insane entries. Look for anime Don, emoji Pete and sock-puppet Peggy. I'm also expecting scenes featuring helium-voiced stand-ins for the regular cast, along with adorable babies (swathed in Brooks Brothers) and cuddly puppies (battling existential angst).

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.