Say those words out loud.

“Inspired by…”

I can’t read or say those two words without them coming off as dreamy, reverent or almost ethereal at times.

One of the STAR WARS: The Force Awakens, movie trailers inspired me in a big way. The now famous scene of a half dozen TIE Fighters silhouetted in front of a blazing sun inspired me to get out my camera, my wire, my TIE Fighters and get to work.



I ended up with a shot similar to the movie trailer version and a few variations on the theme featuring different settings and different starships. I considered all of them original but still “inspired by”. I also gave credit to the scene in the trailer so folks wouldn’t think I was trying to pull a fast one.



Shortly after I posted my picture I learned the shot from the Star Wars trailer was directly inspired by another movie. Director J.J. Abrams credits a scene of helicopters from “APOCALYPSE NOW” for his scene of TIE Fighters in the sun.



I was dumbstruck. My scene was inspired by a scene which was inspired by a scene! The original of which dates back to 1979!

The trail of inspiration goes cold there though. I was unable to find any source credited by Francis Ford Coppola for his inspiration. Maybe it was a combination of setting and scenario. Maybe it was just pure genius on his part, I don’t know. I do know this, J.J. Abrams had the decency to give credit to the origin of his idea. I’ll even bet that when Mr. Abrams looks at his version and is asked to describe it he says the words “inspired by…” kind of dreamily.

So, are we all “inspired by” ? Are any of us (creative types) truly original anymore or have we all unknowingly become copy cats to some extent?

Something to ponder on a Friday afternoon…