The BBC reports that George Clooney has admitted to stealing ideas from other directors. He told the crowd at a press conference that he had “stolen from every other director.” This sounds less like admitting plagerism and more like being humble, which just seems odd coming from such a well paid star. Kind of like man-bites-dog.
A recent Wired Magazine article gave many different aspects of the mix and mash-up culture. However, is this anything new? The Wired piece touches on the idea that we (humans) have been doing this for a very long time. Didn’t Shakespeare (or whoever wrote those plays) write every major plot concievable? Aren’t all rock ballads simply G‑C-D with goofy lyrics? Isn’t photography just reproduction of prior art, be it man made or other?
I haven’t seen director-Clooney’s second film, “Goodnight and Good Luck,” which revolves around the hunt for communists in Hollywood. I couldn’t tell you if it is more like “The Godfather” or “Gigli.” However, I argue it should get to stand on it’s own. Artists, engineers, scientists, and creators from all walks of life should give credit to sources of inspiration. This should in no way reduce great works of any kind. If we determined today that Michaelangelo had just seen a statue of some naked man and went home to work on his “David,” would we think that statue is any less magnificent? What if the Declaration of Independance had been hashed out by other and just edited by Jefferson? It is still an amazing piece of both history and literature.
Be humble. Give credit. Share in the wealth. Most of all, don’t be afraid to create just because the influence or idea came from elsewhere. Some of the best works in human history have been remixes and mash-ups.
Here Are Some Of My Examples
Got any of your own? Post them in the comments