The title was just to get attention – don’t read too much into it… Haha!
But, it is simply awesome! We were just told that an article was published in the local Chinese papers on how a Channel U’s “The Illusionist” producer was “angrily defending our accusations of plagiarism”.
Firstly, I should point out that we never accused anyone but we did highlight strong similarities that we (and many others in the general public and media) found interesting.
And, at the end of my entries, I agreed that there is a possibility of independent creation and left readers to form their own conclusions.
The first entry I made was on observing similarities on Channel U’s “The Illusionist” and our professional work. Namely, the similarities in names used together, the 4D Prediction and the female magician doing the Spike Escape.
*For the record, no one else in the world (at the time Ning did “The Impalement Cage”) has ever done a full-view Spike Escape, which is what makes the escape different from all the spike escapes presented previously.
Then, a few days ago, we noticed that the sexy female magician’s character name was previously known as “Babe Yong’… So, when things get that close with that frequency, one has to wonder. But, we still let readers form their own conclusions.
The story was also picked up by the China Press! LOL! Read the Chinese article here. (It came out before my entry on the “Babe Yong” similarity.)
18 Mar 2010 Update: Image of original article from 16 Mar 2010 provided by Joyce Stella. Thanks Gal!
But, please take the article with a handful of salt… these are the Chinese tabloids after all. I’m sure the producer of the show did not make angry rebuttals but answered matter-of-factly. But, it does make better news when it is turned up a few notches 🙂
We would also like to thank the media for taking the time and effort to write the story as that in itself is a show of support for us publicity-wise. We really mean it because the media has really been good to us these past few years.
I should also stress that we are not upset in any way with anyone and there is no animosity on our part!
But, here are my personal observations on the whole amusing issue:
- Lots of people are reading our blogs but more importantly, also find our content newsworthy
- Our brand is strong enough for there to be credibility in our observations in our blogs
- The media who picked it up must have found the points in my blog to be sound enough to warrant an article to be written on it.
- 1, 2 or even 3 similarities may be a coincidence… but more than that, especially in the same context or industry?
- If the similarities were not that close, would we have received so much feedback on them? Would the media have picked up the story? Would the producer need to spend time refuting observations that hold no water?
- As producers of creative content, we hold an ethical position of not plagiarizing or copying other works. But, just as important is research and ensuring your independent creation does not seem too similar to what has been done before.
For e.g, you could legitimately come up with a movie with a plot where a young man gets bitten by a mutated bug and becomes a crime fighter known as Bug Man because his mother was killed by a robber. However, research will show this is way too similar to Spiderman.
Hence, as the later producer of the content, the responsibility is on you to make the change. Otherwise, you might get questions about the originality of your work. Why put yourself through this if you are genuinely creative?
Likewise, if a song sounds too similar and has a similar title to an established song, you will have a hard time convincing others that you are 100% original, even if you really truly are.
Finally, I should highlight that we are getting positive publicity from the TV show as a result of these similarities observed by clients, event industry partners and friends in the media. Even fellow local magicians & enthusiasts have raised eyebrows. So, we would like to thank the producers of the show for this, whether or not it was their intention to have these similarities.
We also got a chance to work with Thomas and Mei Xin during the MediaCorp Festival where we were part of the official launch of “The Illusionist”. They are both great people and did a great job for the show, as with the entire production and magic team, given the tight timeline.
As with all things, one also has to look at it from the other side. The “The Illusionist” season finale is tonight 10pm on Channel U. The TV show is also getting publicity from this so-called “tangle” with us. The TV show has been on a PR blitz this past two weeks. For e.g., the two “The Illusionist” stars are currently on the cover of 8 Days (great interview BTW!). So, all publicity is good!
So, was this all planned? Who knows? It is not important because everyone wins!