We’ve reached a time when originality is simply easier said than achieved. It seems like everything’s been done, twice, yet originality is still one of the most effective aspects of any successful video production. So, the question is: How do you magically turn inspiration and influence into originality without looking like a bumbling thief?
The surrealist painter Salvador Dali once said, “Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.” That he thought that way means a lot, considering Dali is generally thought of as one of the most original artists in history. Yet, even he had someone else’s ideas in mind that pushed his work in certain directions.
Another incredibly inventive artist, filmmaker Jim Jarmush, advised to “steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination.” He goes on to say you should steal only what “speak(s) directly to your soul,” and, as a result, your work will be authentic. Notice he uses the word authentic rather than original.
The point is, authenticity is what the artist should strive for, in video production or elsewhere. There’s nothing wrong with being inspired by something or someone and allowing it to influence or permeate your work. The chances are, whomever you’re stealing from probably stole some of those very ideas from another anyway.
However, part of the responsibility of the artist is to have an understanding of why those who influence their work did the things they did. If you take the time to know and fully grasp their motivations, you’ll be able to put your own signature on a similar piece. You’ll gain an understanding of the state of mind that led to the work, and, hopefully, how to get there yourself.
Any artist, whether in video production or songwriting or any other medium, must be somewhat honest to truly connect with an audience. If you feel compelled to express yourself and, at some point, strong influences begin surfacing, don’t worry. It’s okay to take from others. It’s all about what you do with the stolen goods.
KVibe Productions is a full-service video production company. Whether it’s a product video production, a corporate video, or a commercial production, KVibe offers the total package of multimedia services from development through distribution.