If You Post Your Work, Someone Is Going To See Your Work

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Beware of what you post and put online because someone is watching. Just because you’re small and think you’re flying under the radar, doesn’t mean someone isn’t going to find or see your work. And if that work you create is a rip-off of someone else’s or a copy of a tutorial you’re trying to pass off as your own work, someone is going to notice.  

These days it can feel like we need to be making and creating new content all the time whether it’s blog posts, videos, images or audio recordings. And it can get hard to come up with something new and different. It’s often a lot easier to just follow a tutorial or rip-off what someone else has done than think about it yourself. All throughout school we were taught not to copy or plagiarize when writing papers and essays. Today it’s incredibly easy to post a couple sentences into google and see if it was stolen. Where it’s easy with text, it’s not as simple with video and images. It’s often harder to get picked off or called out because someone would need to have seen both works. Depending on how high profile the work is you might be able to stay hidden but trust me you can’t work that way for too long. Someone is going to see the work and call you out.  

Working with so many different businesses and startups at LooseKeys, we want to make sure each one of our videos has a unique look and that can get hard. How many different ways can you show someone holding a smart phone or showing how you can import your friends from Facebook. I try to pull inspiration from all kinds of sources when I’m working and sometimes the work can look similar to the original and sometimes is can look like something totally different and unique. Which is what you want. If I have to stop and think twice about if this thing I made looks too much like what I was pulling inspiration from, that’s the moment I have to go back and make adjustments

My first goal when working is first to make something I’m proud of and if I were to copy something straight out, I can’t be proud of that. My second goal, which is the hardest and often is rarely achieved, is to make something amazing that will get recognized and stand the test of time. I don’t think that’s really happened yet but it might be something you have to look back at in 10 or 20 years to realize it. Simply imitating what someone else created won’t be lasting and won’t be recognized.

Alfred Tennyson said, “Great poets imitate and improve, whereas small ones steal and spoil.”

Meaning, bad artists or in this case poets deface what they steal. While the great ones take or steal an idea and turn it into something better or at least something different. Pull the best ideas from your sources and you’re going to make something outstanding. 

Everyone draws inspiration from others but there’s a difference between being inspired by someone’s work, learning new techniques and just ripping it off. Original work stands out and cuts through the noise. So next time your working think about what you’re doing, are you happy with this? Would you be proud for this to be the last thing you did? 

Doing The Same Video Twice

I’ve been having the feeling of déjà vu this past month. At LooseKeys we’ve been working on making the same video again… well not exactly the same video. I know last month I mentioned that a client wasn’t happy and we were re-doing the video to make sure they loved the video we were giving them. This challenge was a bit different. 

Recently I was approached by a business who was a competitor of another company that LooseKeys created a video for. 

I went back and forth on this for a bit, wondering if we should take it on. The original video we did was now public and had been for months, that’s how this new potential client found us. So there weren’t any issues with an NDA or giving away information about the business. Even when I do sign an NDA I know very little of how the business is being run. So right there, I wasn’t concerned that if I took on this new client I would be giving away any information about my other one. 

For me I didn’t see this as being any different than doing a commercial for McDonalds and then next month doing one for Burger King. Both businesses approached me and LooseKeys because of our skills with explaining a complicated subject in a simple manner.

Instead I saw this new project as a challenge. How could we make a video for a similar company but do it differently… this is the same question I think about when someone asks me to make them the Groupon video. Although I would have no trouble executing the same illustration and animation in the Groupon video since I did the original ones, I don’t want to repeat myself and make the same video twice. That doesn’t challenge me creatively. For me I try to figure out how I can deliver something different. Something better, something all it’s own that stands out.

Knowing that there are many explainer video businesses out there, I had a feeling that if I didn’t take on the project then this company would likely hire someone else and that company would just make a carbon copy of my original video and just swap out the logo. I’m sure there is someone who would have no trouble in just getting paid and be happy that they won’t have to think about the animation or script. Like I said, I saw this as a challenge. I wanted to make sure this was a video I was proud to show off and add to the LooseKeys portfolio. I know every project can’t be a winner but I try to make sure it’s something I’m proud of and that there’s something different or unique in every video. 

So everyone at LooseKeys put their heads together and re-worked the script and came up with a new design that pulled from the other video for inspiration but stood on its own. We then animated the new video without trying to be influenced by the original and overall we put together something that we were very happy with. Because the subject matter is so similar, when you see the two videos next to each other they do look like brother and sister but this isn’t a video we’re just going to hide under the rug. As soon as we have the ok, I’ll be posting the video. 

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