In our remix video, “Eternal Culture and the Public Domain,” we used clips from various adaptations of Frank L. Baum’s “The Wizard of Oz,” to demonstrate how the presence of the public domain enables culture to stay “forever young.” We started with the earliest surviving Wizard of Oz film, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” (1910), followed by Larry Semon’s “Wizard of Oz” (1925), and Ted Eshbaugh’s cartoon, “The Wizard of Oz” (1933). We also included examples from Baum’s own thirteen-series collection of “Oz” derivative books and the 1939 edition of “The Wizard of Oz,” which famously featured Judy Garland. Finally, we included a scene from “Walt Disney’s Wizard of Oz” which was released only a year before the story entered the public domain in 1958.
We visually portrayed our argument by decolorizing all the clips dating prior to 1958 to foster a stronger sense of control and lack of creative potential. Once the film entered the public domain, we portrayed all the derivative works in color to illustrate the newfound freedom and possibilities. We demonstrated our theory regarding the relationship between remix and relevancy in many of our clip selections. For example, a portion of a “Family Guy” episode includes a title which states, “The Wizard of Oz Adjusted for Reality.” This clip completely aligns with our argument because the author acknowledges the original work that he is renewing and remixing with his own ideas. We also included a clip from an unreleased movie entitled, “Oz the Great and Powerful” (2013), to demonstrate the ongoing nature of remix culture.
Our background audio selection further exemplifies the inherency of evolution within culture. Music continues to evolve as genres come in and out of popularity. We tracked Alphaville’s “Forever Young,” (1984) through a variety of samples and remixes to show how the song has been adapted to modern culture. In the end of our video, we returned back to the original Alphaville version to demonstrate how culture is cyclical will inevitably repeat itself. For example, in Kanye West’s song, “Young Forever” he used direct samples from the original song in combination with his own rap and lyric modifications.