A question of credit

I happened to run across this video from a friend of mine, and I really enjoyed watching it and bobbing my head along. But within seconds I realized, I had seen something remarkably similar a few months back by a japanese man: Mr Takeuchi Taijin. It was titled “A Wolf Loves Pork” and it was so great only for it’s original take on stop motion.

As evident through people’s comments below the video, some people believe Olympus outright stole his idea without even blinking or any intention on crediting him. Regardless of intention it’s been stewing in my mind these past few days. I always knew it was a very thin line between building on inspiration and downright stealing. I agree with the commentors, that they should’ve mentioned his name at the outset, Olympus cited that they didn’t want to attach Taijin’s name to a project he hadn’t officially approved, but isn’t that part of the job? To make sure you get clearance before you start?

You could argue that only an designer’s ego would want credit for the origin of a great idea, but I think it speaks volumes about who you are as a designer and what you strive to do with design when you show all your cards on the table. It’s saying you are not a one-man show, but a sum of many great team members and inspirations such as Mr. X and Ms. Z.

I will give props to the fact that Olympus didn’t have to do any post production. Impressive, to say the least. And the music really makes it a worthwhile video that pulls a little bit at the heartstrings. Overall, I think it’s a really strong campaign, but I would feel so much better supporting it, if there was transparency from the outset. Besides, with people’s access to information within SECONDS you would think they’d at least have the forsight to know they’d be nailed to the wall (just as they were). Besides, this isn’t the first time. Check out the truly amazing Bonaroo video, but the even more astonishing beginnings in one Javan Ivey’s graduate work at Pratt.

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