Thursday, May 21, 2009

Inspiration or imitation?

While it’s difficult to take anything away from an ad which inspired a nation to discuss a particularly sensitive topic, it’s equally as hard to ignore some of the negative feedback which it also garnered.

The ‘Funeral’ TVC, created by Leo Burnett and directed by Yasmin Ahmad for MCYS, has been picked up by a number of bloggers who the claim it is a blatant rip-off of a scene out of Good Will Hunting.

In the ‘Funeral’ ad, a widow speaks of her dead husband’s imperfections at his funeral. In the scene out of Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams’ character talks of the ‘little things’ he remembers about his wife.

Bloggers have been quick to draw similarities between the two films, questioning the originality of the Funeral TVC.

For those who don’t want to sit through the entire Good Will Hunting scene, skip through to about the 1min 40 mark.

This similarity raises a larger issue for the creative industry around the world. Creatives get inspiration for their work from a variety of sources. But when does this cross the line? Is there such a thing as a truly original idea anymore?

Have bloggers been correct in labeling the MCYS ad a rip-off of Good Will Hunting or are they reading too much into it? Would love to hear your thoughts.


LAW DICHE said...

Never heard about the similarities comment until now. Now, I realise why the lines in the TVC sounded familiar. Judging by the GWH scene dialogue, yep I must agree, it was a blatant rip off.

yasmin said...

"Have bloggers been correct in labeling the MCYS ad a rip-off of Good Will Hunting or are they reading too much into it?"

It's not so much a case of "reading too much" as it is a case of "not enough reading".

To credit Matt Damon for the idea of finding beauty in "little imperfections" would be to insult the ancient Chinese, and Japanese Zen Buddhist philosophy, and 19th century English poet John Ruskin, in one clean sweep.

Yes, the bits in the ad which mentioned farting and a dog are similar, but my husband DOES fart in his sleep and everything else before and after those bits were rooted in the philosophy of "wabi-sabi" (look it up and READ, dear).

If anyone still insists that the idea of this ad came from GWH, then I submit that the idea for that speech in GWH came from the writings of John Ruskin and Zen Buddhist koans and thoughts.

A rip-off, if you like, of a rip-off of a rip-off of a rip-off.

In any case, how much wisdom, or talent, or movie-watching does it take for someone to realise that he/she is imperfect, and that the sooner he embraces the imperfections of others, the better his chances of attaining happiness.

addy said...

though the similarities point to a blatant copy but the topics discussed are way too general. how many times have we ourselves made fart related jokes amongst our friends? does it mean we have infringed on someone else's work? as for the dog, i guess it is the most common domestic animal. don't think that "scaring the pet fish" makes sense.

as for the theme of being perfectly imperfect, it is a common sort of wordplay used by marketers.

my take is that, it might have been a sub-conscious influence or the GWH director might have gotten his/her inspiration from a similar source to yasmin. who's to say?

Melody said...

How do you like them apples?