‘The Upper Footage’ Explained – Is it Real or Fake?

Published 1 year ago by , Updated April 15th, 2014 at 11:23 am,

The Upper Footage 2013 Explained Fact fiction real or fake The Upper Footage Explained   Is it Real or Fake?

Truth is often stranger than fiction, but these days it’s harder than ever to separate the two. Such is the case with The Upper Footage, a found-footage film about the supposed real-life cover up of a young girl’s overdose in an affluent NYC socialite’s apartment. The movie is now available online (read our review), but the one thing people are likely to walk away with – whether they see the film or not – are questions about its level of authenticity (or lack thereof). 

We’ve done the necessary digging to settle the issue of the Upper Footage, once and for all. And while the answers may be just what you expected, there is nonetheless a lot of intrigue surrounding this film and its long road to the screen.


The Story We’ve Been Told

Here’s a quick rundown of the “official” story surrounding the film:

Taylor Jackie and Devon in The Upper Footage The Upper Footage Explained   Is it Real or Fake?

“Jackie,” Devon and Taylor in ‘The Upper Footage’

The film recounts a night in 2009, in which “affluent New Yorkers” Blake Pennington, Will Erixon, Taylor Green and Devon Petrovsky left a nightclub bar with a young woman who was never seen alive again. In 2010, a video called “Socialite Overdose” hit YouTube, depicting four young men with pixilated faces standing over a pixel-faced girl who was overdosing in the bathroom of a what is asserted to be Pennington’s  NYC apartment. The video was blackmail, part of a 393-minute reel that Pennington had allegedly shot on the night of the woman’s disappearance.

In 2011 more clips from the video surfaced (and were quickly pulled), this time said to feature some popular young celebrities partying with Pennington and co. over a mountain of cocaine. At that point the story hit the media radar – despite the thick fog of uncertainty surrounding the story.

The Upper Footage Movie Jackie The Upper Footage Explained   Is it Real or Fake?

The story and celebrity connections were soon dropped by the media – until filmmaker Quentin Tarantino allegedly purchased the rights to the entire tape that same year (2011), and began production on a documentary and featurette called Upper, said to be a scathing inditement of the upper class’s ability to circumvent justice.

Tarantino supposedly released a trailer in September 2011; however, shady behind-the-scenes backlash had him suddenly pulling the trailer from the Web and killing the film. In October 2011, a cryptic message appeared on the Upper movie site proclaiming that “we” were now in possession of the footage – with no explanation of who “we” is. The Upper Footage is presumably an edited-down version of the night in question  - this time without the censored details.

So what’s the REAL story? Well, as I said “truth is often stranger than fiction…”




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  1. i like the fact he did it to give a middle finger to shows like TMZ, E.T. etc…

    • if you read the dread central link of the email the guy sent, the guy acctually gives a shout out to them for not touching this story at all

      • shout out to tmz, forgot that part

  2. Has anything been done like this for a movie before? I know Blair Witch fooled people but not the media like this… Not everyday that you see something this unique. Who knows if the movie is any good but kudos either way.

    • Joaquin Phoenix having a breakdown, growing a beard, acting odd and starting a rap career for a movie. He fooled everyone and the movie ended up being crap anyway.

      Cannibal Holocaust was thought to be real and the director made the actors sign clauses to stay out of the spotlight for a year after the movie’s release to make it seem like it really happened and backfired when the director was arrested for murder.

  3. What a shocker.

    Hopefully this makes some people realize that most media outlets are basically nothing more than the average kid on Youtube spewing random rumors, just with more money, better equipment and network backing. Fact checking is so 20th century…

  4. lol so who is this girl “Jackie” hahahah. this is a shame. Shame this movie has no real merits of being anything but bad. Wasting you life working on a film that most people really don’t know a thing about.

  5. I wouldn’t say it was surprising about it being all for show. But I would say it’s surprising the amount of work and detail that went into it being a hoax. That and the strange stories that happened behind the scenes actually making the movie. Very interesting article.

  6. Using Cole’s own logic, there’s no reason to believe a single word of his “brave little indie filmmaker David vs dark forces of Hollywood Goliath” schtick either. Hoist on his own petard there, not to mention you can only pull that kind of stunt once in your career.

    • Yep, the fact he even says he’s in the midst of something similar screams “the man’s a fool” because they’ll all be watching out for him now.

  7. This is probably he stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of. What a waste of time and energy

  8. Don’t know if it’s true, but supposedly the unknown actress is Rainey Qualley, Andie MacDowell’s daughter.

  9. call me a mark but I just bought my ticket, will report back on how it is.

    • mark

      • I actually saw it last night and it far exceeded my expectations. It certainly isn’t for everyone due to the fact that is very uncomfortable, but it a rare that you watch anything that evokes so much emotion.