I don’t know whether I should be happy or flattered or incensed. Nearly four years ago I began writing episodes of (the then untitled) The Bloke Show. I was inspired by a series on ABC television in Australia called Andrew’s Guide to Being a Man. Two friends of mine starred in “Andrew’s Guide” – Andrew Booth and Pete Marshall I watched a couple of episodes got the gist , decided I wanted to write an episode, sent it to the producers, who loved it, the script was accepted and I was in the process of writing more when the series was cancelled before my episode was shot.
I’m aware that there are millions and millions of ideas out there and that a duplicate idea is completely within the bounds of possibility, however, this clip (which I Stumbled Upon) despite having an altered context and that it isn’t exactly as I wrote it, is similar enough (very,very similar) to the scene I wrote to arouse more than a little suspicion. The caption at the beginning which reads “Tacoma, Washington” – now takes on a dark overtone and is a little obvious and a little insulting – Tacoma is where I live! – it has pushed it way past the point of coincidence in my mind.
The good news – the clip has received over one million views which validates the humour of the concept – hooray! The clip has okay production values on the whole -certainly good enough for what I was envisioning anyhow.But I hate the graphics.
The bad news – the clip is very poorly directed,it isnt funny and it bloody well should be! Where’s the sense of the ridiculous (well, apart from the obvious)? Where’s the tongue in cheek? Where’s the self mockery? The director certainly does not understand of the idea of a fully explored set-up. The audience reaction to “the arrival” is horribly projected – we hear the reaction before we see the subject! Please people! It should have worked the other way ie stunned silence followed by amazed and enthusiastic response. The humour is in the set-up and the pause folks! We are the audience – let us do the discovering and let us find joy in being right about the response – how clever we are!
The other thing that pisses me off is that (believe it or not) I developed the idea a lot further than this. Will I run into problems, as I haven’t been able to protect my own work yet?Maybe; maybe not, but I shouldn’t have to be concerned about that at all.
I am trying to contact the youtube uploader – I have a few questions. I don’t object to it being filmed per se, its more that they’ve cramped my style, stolen my idea and possibly made it difficult for me to take this further that bugs me.
And far more damaging to me is this: although I’m not so naive to believe that people don’t steal each other’s ideas or work – I really didn’t think it would happen to me, nor so brazenly. I’m just getting over my last legal battle with an A-hole who exploited me, now I have to deal with more of the same. I like having faith in people, I like that I trust and would rather see the best in people by choice. Now, I just don’t know who to trust anymore. It’s beginning to feel as though nobody is trustworthy and that kind of loss of faith is really a tragedy.
I won’t be seeking feedback on my scripts anymore, I’ll simply have to have faith in my own judgement, which is fine, I’m loathe to lose the feedback it’s a really valuable commodity, it’s not easy to find people in whose judgement you trust.
Anyone who can help me with International copyright issues would be much appreciated here .