‘Everything Is a Remix’ Takes a Look at How the Familiar Is Copied to Expand New Ideas

Kirby Ferguson recently rebooted his renowned series Everything Is a Remix to reflect the world as it is in 2021. The first part of this rebooted series focused on music. Part two is all about copying the familiar to expand new ideas. This is seen in memes, film and television formulas, adaptations, sequels, remakes, and genres.

One such genre is that of the superhero. Ferguson notes that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the highest-grossing franchise in history, yet it too follows a formula.

All superheros are similar. They all have trademark powers. …They protect the public and do good deeds. They have a dramatic origin story. The bad guy is like a superhero but he’s evil. …Beyond the character of the superhero, these movies aren’t that different from any popular film. … In a way, all movies are sequels.

With that statement, Ferguson concludes that people are desirous of those things that are familiar because familiarity allows for new learning.

Just like the words you know to understand the words you don’t know, we use old stories to understand new stories. ….The reason that memes and sequels and genres are so overwhelmingly popular, is because they make new information easier to understand. They play to our desire for familiarity.

The movie that epitomizes all of the above plus more, according to Ferguson, is Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse

Into the Spider-Verse is inspired by a pair of disrespected art forms that have conquered popular culture, hip hop and comic books….It copies from live actions film, from 2D and 3D animation, and especially from comics. …What makes Into the Spider-Verse so unique, fresh, and innovative is its combination of influences.