A couple of weeks ago, we shared a mid-week inspirational video on our Facebook page:

Because.. well, we are all up for a bit of Shia mania. Yes, the man may come across more of a modern day Oliver Reed and is never far from the headlines, but we take his art and craft seriously, he’s a very good actor and an all-round funny dude. And in ‘Just Do it’, there’s something un-arguably attractive about the simplicity of the video in both content and message.

It’s a video that stuck with me creatively, and when we dug a little bit deeper we found that it was created as a collaboration with artists Nastja Säde Rönkkö and Luke Turner, along with fine art students from Central St Martins. The original video features Shia performing 36 improvisations as introductions to the students final projects but it’s this one that has stuck out and become a truly viral video, racking in over 4 million views at the time of writing.

Going Viral

Bolstering the success of this video is the fact that it was filmed in front of a green-screen, allowing the students to use it in whichever way they wished in their final pieces. The perhaps unintended consequences of filming in this way has meant that the video has been re-edited, mashed up and shared not only in it’s original form but in new and even funnier ways. The reach of this content is now almost un-measurable via a multitude of channels, each delivering the same message.

Upon looking into this a little deeper, I discovered that this video is also part of movement called metamodernism, which is an artistic movement that stems from post-modernism.

And down this wormhole of discovery, I stumbled upon this…

All of this got me thinking about originality. What these videos demonstrate are two different approaches to the creative process; an original video, and a video that is made up of somebody else’s work and edited together in a creative way. Both ideas are just as legitimate and original as each other, with the latter using recycled video to make brand new, fresh content.

It Doesn’t Have To Be All You

More often than not, clients come to us with an idea that is far from fully formed. In a surprisingly high number of cases the reason this idea has not been developed further is a fear of plagiarism and lack of originality. However, what a lot of them have failed to realise is that even though their idea is a merging of other ideas and concepts they have seen elsewhere, this is still original and a completely valid pre-production methodology.

So, if you’re thinking about embarking on a new project, video or otherwise, take a moment to consider this: originality is no longer the property of geniuses and one-in-a-million thoughts.  By simply observing and absorbing the world around you, and the wealth of inspirational ideas the internet has to offer, you can bring together the thought processes of others to create completely unique experiences for your audience.

Dan Sherratt

About Dan Sherratt

The creative director of video production for Shorefront Films and a badge-wearing music technology geek.

Leave a Reply