During a recent interview with Screen Rant, supervising sound editor Nancy Nugent explained that much of the audio used for the cameos in “The Flash” came from videos accessible on YouTube, and from what it sounds like, likely user/fan-uploaded footage to boot. As Nugent said:
“I’ll tell you the truth; a lot of them were pulled from YouTube. [We were] finding those old clips, and then it was a matter of removing music if there was music tied to it, or just cleaning it up. Because it was such a design-y moment and there was music going on, we could hide a lot of that. Whereas if it was just playing by itself, [it] might require us digging deeper into the archives — if that stuff even existed. Really, it was just a matter of finding out what we were legally allowed to use: which properties, and whose voices, and all of that, and then finding it on the internet and cleaning it up.”
The comment about having to remove music tied to the footage is what makes me think some of the clips were uploaded by fans, as copyright strike-avoiding content creators have been underscoring film, TV, and Broadway shows with additional audio tracks to trick the algorithms from easily recognizing bootlegs for over a decade. Hilariously, “The Flash” isn’t the only big release of 2023 to use YouTube to help fill in production gaps. Earlier this year, the Apple TV+ film “Tetris” needed a shot from the game “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!” on the NES, and did so by repurposing a Let’s Play from the popular YouTube channel, Game Grumps.
YouTube has been a vital tool in helping countless people launch their careers, and now as it seems, helping Hollywood complete their biggest would-be blockbusters.