intellectual property

Generally speaking, I try to keep this blog on a positive note (there are of course exceptions on occasion). This week I have reached my peak in frustration though. It’s a culmination of things that was pushed over the edge when our good friend, Liz Hayward, showed us the logo design in the trailer for the movie Crazy Stupid Love. You can see it above. You might notice a distinct similarity between it and the logo that Liz designed for Brainwashed Love

I know this sort of comparability happens quite often in design, and who knows, it could be a complete coincidence. On the other hand, perhaps it’s not. There is a definite trend right now where larger companies are directly taking ideas, whether they be films or handmade items or photos, from individuals and using them as their own without any kind of credit.

Larger organizations are preying on the ideas of the creative community. I read recently about a photographer who’s image was lifted from flickr and used on the Delta website front page without any compensation or permission. The photographer only found the image by chance when he was looking to purchase a ticket from the airline.* Or what about this blogger’s face being plastered on t-shirts and sold without any kind of permission/credit/compensation for either her or the photographer who took the photo? There is essentially no repercussions for this blatant plagiarism as quite often individuals don’t have the means to go after the perpetrators.

Months ago when the 30 Seconds to Mars video for Kings and Queens came out, I expected it to look a lot like the photos Shawn had posted to Midnight Ridazz over the years, as there were thousands. What neither Shawn nor I expected was to see a stop motion wildfire in the middle of the video. For no reason. Just a few clicks away from Shawn’s many photos on Midnight Ridazz, one would find his short film Ignite, which is, as you might have guessed, a stop motion film of the Griffith Park fire. The music video also reuses Banksy imagery amongst other things so it’s clearly not trying to be original, but I’m sure Jared Leto just felt this was all derivative. I mean he did pay a bunch of cyclists to ride to the MTV music video awards with him and pose as his bike friends. Because that’s the sort of thing you can do when you have money I suppose.

That’s what it comes down to…money. Which is what makes this so frustrating. It’s frustrating because Shawn and I spent everything we had and more on making Brainwashed Love. We made a super low budget film on our own terms and I’m so proud of what we did. Since we made a truly independent film we’re left to rely on film festivals as one of the only options to get the publicity needed to distribute our film. Unfortunately, this often puts us up against “independent” features which cost 100 times the budget of our film. It puts us against films with Hollywood stars trying to earn some industry cred that are enticing to festivals who can in turn use those names to promote the festival itself.

So when a Hollywood film comes out, before we’ve even had a chance to get our movie released, and it has nearly the same logo as the film that we poured our heart and souls into it makes me want to scream. It makes me crazy that money gives you power and that this movie which could be a complete piece of junk will be seen by so many people with a logo just like ours and there is nothing we can do.


Brainwashed Love Title Sequence from Shawn Bannon on Vimeo.

Here is where in another place this post might turn into a Kickstarter campaign to help us distribute the film ourselves. That’s not what I’m looking for. I have faith that we will find a way to get this film out there. Instead, I ask that you watch our opening sequence with its awesome titles by Liz Hayward. Or instead, check out our teaser trailer. Become a fan of Brainwashed Love on Facebook so that when we are able somehow get this film in theaters we can let you know. If anything though, this lit a fire in my heart again to ensure the success of our film baby.

Most importantly, support your creative contemporaries. And if you’re out there making stuff, keep making. Don’t give up.

Oh and if by chance you happen to know anyone looking to distribute a great feature film, in any capacity, feel free to send them my way.

*I of course, now can’t find where I read this article, so if anyone has a link I’ll gladly take it.

11 Responses to “intellectual property”
  1. Maggie says:

    There are a few indipendent theaters in Columbus, OH that might be willing to show this sans a distributor–if you’d like me to ask around for you, let me know. Good luck! Hopefully that big movie that’s coming out tanks. <3

    • miss alix says:

      We’ve actually been planning a screening in Columbus. It was briefly sidetracked but it’s definitely on the plate. Perhaps a totally independent Brainwashed Love tour should be in order.

  2. Sharon says:

    This is such bullcrap.

  3. I totally hear you. This is incredibly frustrating and happens in the craft world all the time. Abercrombie and Fitch and Urban Outfitters immediately come to mind as huge companies that steal designs from indie crafters without a word or a penny. It’s shameful, and I am so, so sorry that something like this happened to you! I’ve seen a couple of successful campaigns in the crafting world when this has happened. If you want to go that route, I bet you can get some good support from the blogging world. It’s tricky, bc like you say it could be a total coincidence, but it could also…not be. Either way, it’s a sucky situation. 🙁

  4. Renata says:

    happens to me all the time.

  5. What awesome opening credits!

  6. quarrygirl says:

    ugh, this is SUPER annoying. if i were you, i’d be furious.
    if it’s any consolation at all, your logo is much cooler…with the hand-drawn-style and bright color.
    idea theft is super shitty. the silver lining is, it proves you had something that other people wanted to rip off.
    i can’t wait to see brainwashed love! please do the independent tour!

  7. Lex says:

    Wow that Title Sequence is KILLER! Such a good song! Don’t stress about that logo at all yours is way better.

  8. Julia says:

    I believe in you guys. My sister and I love your blog and all of your creations so much. No one can ever replace you and Shawn as two special hearts with gold light around them in a sea of brown thieves and copy cats. We love you. Thank you for existing.

  9. Keri says:

    We would *love* to see the movie!! It looks amazing! If you have a screening in Columbus (about 275 miles away) we’d love to be there!

  10. Sharon says:

    Aside from the blatant rip off aspect of this whole thing, Crazy Stupid Love looks like a Crazy Stupid Movie too.

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