What defines something as original? According to the video series “Everything’s a Remix” (http://everythingisaremix.info/watch-the-series/ ), nothing starts out original. Everything we make is just a variation or combination of something that has already been made. This is where our creativity is put to use.
There are three basic elements that make up creativity. The first is copy, the second is transform, and the third is combine. Many inventions or major advances has been made by using these elements. The printing press, model T, and world wide web are just to name a few. All of these are made up of a combination of things that were already invented. This is why we say copying is how we learn.
Another example is the type righter, which was created from the idea of the piano. If the piano was never made, maybe the type righter would have never been made. The making of the type righter was taking an idea and creating a variation.
Perhaps, a hot topic in popular culture is the ‘copying’ of films. I think most people don’t realize how heavily the box office relies on existing material. In fact, 74 out of 100 films made yearly are considered sequels, remixes, or adaptions. Many filmmakers are interested in turning the old into something new.
Here are some film ‘adaptations’ that are popular today:
1. The Pirates of the Caribbean movies were adaptated from a theme park/ ride.
2. Hairspray, the movie, was written after the musical, which was made after the original movie.
3. The Transformers movies were based off an animated T.V. show, which was created based off toys.
4. Julie & Julia, the movie about Julia Child is based off a book, which was based off a blog.
The sequels that have made are more obvious than the adaptations. Popular ones include the James Bond movies and Star Wars. There are numerous elements of Star Wars that were previously used in other movie and books. To make and come up with ideas for Star Wars, George Lucas took many different materials and transformed them into his own. Lucas believes that creation requires influence and that everything we make is a remix of existing creation, our lives, and lives of others. Perhaps, this is why Star Wars is so popular.
Here are a few questions to think about:
1. Do you think originality in film exists?
2. If so, can you name some examples and what makes it original?
3. Do you consider sequels/remixes/adaptations to be copies?
4. Does creativity require the basic elements (copy, transform, combine)?
Here is another interesting article, “10 Authors Who Loved the Film Adaptations of Their Books”