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Old May 19th, 2011, 01:55 PM  
OK, critique my Save The Date
Lisa Maxwell Lisa Maxwell is offline May 19th, 2011, 01:55 PM

I'm holding my breath and ready to receive the blows. Aside from my focusing issues please help me get better by telling me what you might do differently, and lo and behold if there's anything that is likable, let me know that too! : )

Note: everyone was about an hour late so the sun was much lower than I would have preferred, and I forgot I had an ND filter on my Glidecam. I'm ordering a loupe today, if only I can decide which one will work best for weddings...I don't want to glue anything to my cam, and I don't want to spend as much as the Zacuto runs for.

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Old May 21st, 2011, 07:53 PM   #46
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

Jeff, I don't think you should beat yourself up about the way things developed.

Ironically, I too had become exasperated with Lisa's questions - and rather than express that exasperation in the forum, I'd written privately to a number of people here who share some of my views about the forum and commented that for someone who appeared to be active in the business, ie a professional in the precise use of the term, Lisa was asking some very basic questions eg How to focus her 60D, the use of ISO settings etc etc.

Having neither the patience which some others enjoy nor the intimate familiarity with the camera, I didn't reply but privately expressed the wish that people needing that basic level of help should read the camera manual, books on the subject - pretty much what you wrote later in this thread and (I believe) wrongly got censured for saying so.

It's one of the themes which to my mind recur far too often these days; first that people prefer to ask questions in forums rather than learn about their equipment either by reading the specific manuals or by trial and error; second that skills are a matter of getting a list of things to do from "experts", and repeating them in sequence.

In my view the reality is a bit like playing a musical instrument. Many people can follow the sequence, study the lessons then practice day and night and in so doing acquire a degree of ability on that instrument. However, without an intangible extra which I'd call talent, they will never become great players. In the same manner, I study the work of the great practitioners of our art, to try and discover what makes them great and to try and apply it to my work, not by mere copying or plagiarism, but as inspiration.

Unfortunately all event programme making and weddings place constraints on the degree of creativty we can use, and thus don't especially lend themselves to that methodology in a major way, but I do try and include something of myself, my soul if you want to get very deep, in my re-telling of the story of the wedding day.

We've now for certain come a long way from the critiquing of Lisa Maxwell's programme but I hope we've taken along a number of our fellow posters and not a few of those who only read the threads. I hope most have found some parts if not all of it useful and that everybody making wedding video production a business, has regard to the innate value in what they take money for doing and that it is more than just recording and editing sound and pictures.
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 07:54 AM   #47
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

Hi Lisa, I wanted to send you a message via the forums but you have turned off that ability. Do you have another way to contact you?
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 09:54 AM   #48
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

You can tap someone on the shoulder or you can kick them against the legs, both way's have the same meaning; to get the person's attention. I think some have kicked to hard, my guess is Lisa is not active anymore on this forum.
As for her contact details; you might ask Philip Howells as he seems to have been studying Lisa's website and I"m sure he knows how to contact her.
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 11:08 AM   #49
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

Think you're right Noa. I was going to suggest he contact her via her website, but her website is no longer listed in her profile. Danny if you do a web search for her you'll find her site I'm sure.
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 03:48 PM   #50
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

Guys honestly, Lisa had the chance to learn something in this forum but she chose not to.

Many people here tried to help her out and provide some constructive critique.

The samples of her work so far showed that she doesn't have it. Maybe she better start a different career path.
It may be better for both her and her unaware clients.

Let's move on.
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Old May 26th, 2011, 12:46 PM   #51
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiros Zaharakis View Post
The samples of her work so far showed that she doesn't have it. Maybe she better start a different career path.
It may be better for both her and her unaware clients.
Let's move on.
that's cold man, did you have 'it' when you started? and do you think have 'it' now?
Lisa, don't let anyone discourage you, and generally speaking any kind of business including video production, not for people who can be easily discouraged, if you love what you do keep doing it, watch and learn, 'it' comes with experience only;
I didn't have a chance to take a look at your video, but I can tell that my first one was terrible;
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Old May 26th, 2011, 02:12 PM   #52
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

Buba -
I think Lisa "left the building", likely with an unfortunately bad taste, and rightfully so. There's a fine line between "constructive criticism" and unkind "opinion".

You hit it on the head with the fact that everyone starts somewhere, Lisa started with excessive enthusiasm and a very noticeable lack of technical knowlege, which put some people off, and caused a pretty severe backlash.

I stayed out of the unfortunate mess, as I never saw the video, so I don't know how "bad" it really was. I've seen some pretty awful video and photography represented as "pro" (or at least as PAID FOR), so I'm realistic about how some "over-estimate" and over-sell their "services". But it's safe to say that what passes for "pro" can vary quite widely depending on the geographic location (how did that old saying go... "in the world of the blind, the one eye man is king"). Lisa was perhaps a little TOO "bubbly", but when she came asking for critique, the comments here looked more like a ripping apart... not characteristic of the usual civil tenor here.

Not having seen the video, I really don't know if it was THAT bad... Even if it was, there are ways of being polite and thoughtful...

No one is born with technical knowledge - perhaps with innate skill/talent, but not with the ability to know all the operational details of a complex technical piece of equipment (or system), and with that come "errors"... until one learns the necessary knowledge. When someone comes to DVi, they are seeking KNOWLEDGE, and it's here in "firehose" quantities!

Admittedly it's a little tough when someone comes with enthusiasm and a false sense of knowing more than they do, but some people are ENTHUSIASTIC... others are just plain grumpy I guess...

I'm more than a little disappointed at some of the commentary on this thread, it's not "spirited sparring" ala some of the copyright "discussions", but seems rather mean spirited.
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Old May 26th, 2011, 04:07 PM   #53
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

Garrett... Since this thread is alive and kicking, I bought the book "the five C's of cinematography"... I just wanted to say thanks for suggesting it. I've been a big fan of it so far.

Steve
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Old May 26th, 2011, 04:34 PM   #54
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

I just ordered mine, thanks for mentioning it Stephen, I had forgotten about it. The other one you mentioned Garrett is at my local libray, I'm waiting for it as it was on a waiting list.

I definitely am looking forward to reading both!
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Old May 26th, 2011, 07:03 PM   #55
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
(snipped)
I'm more than a little disappointed at some of the commentary on this thread, it's not "spirited sparring" ala some of the copyright "discussions", but seems rather mean spirited.
Dave, I've reviewed the entire thread because of your post and cannot understand what causes you to accuse people of being "mean spirited".

First, the poster asks for a critique, actually implies she's ready for the worst and in her first few responses indicates that she recognises many of the basic errors which have been pointed out to her.

Second, in response to a comment she shows she has never heard of the basic tenets of framing. She then objects to being recommended to "go to the library". In my judgement that was neither harsh nor profane but sound advice.

Third, the principal consideration begins to get a little lost when people start treating the lady as if she was a newbie, preparing to come into the business with enthusiasm but no training or ability. The trouble is that's not what she was. She's evidently been doing this job and taking money for doing so since 2009. The analogy I offered at the time was that people objecting to the directness of the comment - and none was more harsh than that - would think differently if they'd paid full price for their car to be serviced by someone with the same lack of ability in car mechanics as the poster's questions had shown her to have in video technique. Again, as was pointed out, to take quite reasonable money for work of that standard offered the potential for one of those horror press stories where the client refuses to pay the bill. We all abhor those stories because they reflect on the whole business not just the single operator.

Fourth, if you think my judgement was wrong it's your prerogative to say so, but it's the nature of criticism, it's an opinion and it's what she asked for at the outset. If anyone had been offensive or profane or dishonest I would have been the first to object but that wasn't the case.

Finally, to get the overall picture, I suggest you review the 18 threads the poster initiated since February this year and then, bearing in mind this is a working professional taking moderate fees for producing work, ask yourself if the suggestion to "go to the library" was harsh or mean-spirited. I don't think it was.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 12:40 AM   #56
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

Every day when I cruise by this forum I expect to see the little padlock on this thread, and every day (so far) I've been glad to see there isn't one. And every time a poster says this thread has run its course I want to jump up and shout no, it hasn't, because important things are being discussed here, both in the discussion about the way we conduct ourselves and in the subject matter itself.

I'm sorry Lisa is gone. I genuinely am. I hope she comes back because I think there's a lot she can learn here -- I know I do every day from the professionals here who make a lot of the stuff I watch. Many years from now, when she is successful in business, she may look back on this as the best advice she ever got.

But for someone to so completely overreact to the suggestion that a photographer ought to know how to frame and focus -- that professionals of any type should read the manuals, know how to operate their gear and know the most very basic of the basics before charging customers money -- suggests that one may be ill-suited for the business -- or any business.

It was not that Lisa didn't know what she was doing that was the main problem. It was that she was offended by the notion that she ought to, and called Jeff rude for suggesting that she learn, suggesting that one needed to be a Super-hero to be able to open a book, that mere mortals shouldn't have to do that, that Jeff was way out of line for even suggesting it, how dare he?

We volunteer to help here because we want to make our profession better. We want to help others be more successful at it. Whether we are involved in video as a profession or as a hobby, and whether the people seeking advice wish to do it as a living or as a time killer, we want to help them do it better. When they ask for criticism we owe it to them to be honest.

We do them no favors by just telling them how great they are just for trying. That is for third-graders. That is what their friends do anyway. When everyone gets a trophy just for showing up it lowers the level of the game forever. Our duty is to raise it. The best teachers you ever had were not the ones who let you cruise by with a "B" for doing mediocre work. They were the ones who pushed you to your limits and made you work for everything you got. At least I hope they were. Didn't you see "The Paper Chase"? "An Officer and a Gentleman"? "Rocky"?

Unfortunately, if you are honest and direct and use simple clear language these days you are accused of being mean. Even Jeff, who I thought was quite tactful in his phrasing, was called rude. The closest thing to mean-spirited I saw -- and it wasn't very close -- was my observation about the breathless prose of some who are overwhelmed by the romance of this subsection of the video business, and it was a pretty accurate observation and neatly encapsulated what's wrong with the entire thought process of this particular subgroup and the very reason for this entire thread.

We all want to be nice, because nice is nice. It's nice to be nice. But nice sometimes obfuscates the truth. And that does no favors for anyone. It does a disservice to all to say that passion and enthusiasm are all you need to succeed in this or any business. It would be nice if that were true but it isn't. If it were, I could send my Golden Retriever out to Philip's next job and no one would notice, because there is no creature on this planet more passionate and enthusiastic.

Someone comes to me and says "Teach Me" and I'm happy to spend sixty hours a week for free doing so. And while it looks like that's what Lisa was saying, that wasn't quite it -- she was looking for someone to just hand her quick answers in this and her other threads. There's a difference between helping your kids with their homework and just giving them the answers.

She wasn't looking to learn her craft. And that was the problem. And she got upset when she got called on it. And that was the shame of it all.
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Last edited by Adam Gold; May 27th, 2011 at 01:29 PM.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 03:59 AM   #57
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

Hi Adam

Very well put!!

In my younger days I was a judge for amateur video competitions and if an entry was bad I told it like it was with, of course, disasterous results. You were, according to protocol, only supposed to make nice comments but that never taught the videographer anything.

I think the bottom line (despite what people say) is that they expect only great praise and acclaim for what they consider a masterpiece and then get upset when genuine advice is given.

Unless you are tough as nails and are prepared to take it on the chin then the best advice is not to submit actual videos for "appraisal" but maybe just ask questions about areas you struggle with.

Chris
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Old May 27th, 2011, 07:20 AM   #58
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

At least she had the balls to offer something for everyone to take a look at.
There are still a lot of people out there who (for whatever reason) prefer to keep their work close to their chests.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 09:05 AM   #59
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

I feel sorry for Lisa, just like in Major League Sports there are the MVPs, bench warmers, role players but in essence they are paid professionals. Wheter we think the player deserves his million dollar contact or not, the owner sees something in him/her that is worth paying for. It would have been more appropriate to have given her the professional courtesy of a constructive criticism than a downright dismissal.

My 2 cents!
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Old May 27th, 2011, 02:20 PM   #60
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
Buba -
I think Lisa "left the building", likely with an unfortunately bad taste, and rightfully so. There's a fine line between "constructive criticism" and unkind "opinion".
.
Dave,
I hope she'll be back, because I'd like to think that this is the place for everyone who passionate about video, and not just for those who has "it"
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