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Old December 1st, 2008, 08:45 AM   #16
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Hey Patrick,

I still remember speaking to you in Montreal, and being impressed at how open you were with answers to my questions. I respected you for that, and was grateful for your time.

As well, I've watched your stuff over and over, and have been inspired by it. I think it's made a difference in my shooting and editing, though I don't remember trying to actually copy anything directly. Perhaps the best thing about seeing your work is that it rekindles excitement for what I do. It's easy to get bogged down feeling "damn, ANOTHER wedding", and your stuff reminds me that we can think out of the box, and try new stuff all the time. I thank you for that.

Originally Posted by Patrick Moreau View Post
we need to hold more back, and as a result those who enjoy our work and are inspired by it lose out
I think it's impossible to hold back. Like it or not, you have high visibility and a great name. Holding back limits what prospective customers can see as well, which can only be bad. And do you really want to be viewed by your peers as some sensitive star who's peeved that someone stole your ideas?

Yes, some will copy you. So what? If you haven't moved on to something better by then, well, then you're just part of the crowd and will fade away. Tough luck, right?

But somehow I don't see StillMotion frozen in a style, refusing to innovate. Just won't happen. As Bill quotes, "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." Enjoy the notoriety, you've earned it.

All the best,
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Old December 1st, 2008, 08:51 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Bill Grant View Post
You certainly must understand that the people that try to copy you are on the first stage of a long journey. No one is going to be able to do it for a long time, nor would they want to even if they could. Your points are valid enough, but can you imagine the difficulty of someone just starting out in this business of having to try and do anything original without using influences. I think your fears are unfounded, and I think this point of argument discourages people from experimentation. You set the bar very high and make yourself very diffcult to copy. I steal a shot or two from you here or there, but that's what all art forms are about. All musicians, painters, photographers, etc. take bits and pieces of the people that have influenced them to make something different. It is stifling to the art of what we do to say "don't you dare copy me". It also comes across as a bit defensive. and I have been to the VonLanken workshop, these things are so.

I didn't suggest not being influenced, I certainly do hope we influence and inspire. I am also not saying 'don't you dare copy me', I am saying 'please think before you copy us, others, or yourself'.

Your certainly welcome to disagree. I hope you would notice that this same sentiment has been echoed more than a dozen times in the past couple weeks by other people on various forums, so I felt it would be a good time to say what we thought.

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Old December 1st, 2008, 09:22 AM   #18
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I personally haven't seen anyone say anything similar to this. I have seen many posts about outright stealing of clips and reposting them etc. but never anyone as prominant as yourself asking people not to copy you. I know if I had myself in your position, I would encourage if not dare people to try and copy me, just to demonstrate how difficult it is. At this point, I'm not even confident enough in my work to post it on this forum. So, you have to know how this comes accross. I guess I am just dissapointed to hear it to say the least.
Cinema Couture
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Old December 1st, 2008, 09:35 AM   #19
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Patrick don't you take your influences (or copying as you seem to like to call it) from photography and photographers. Your post angers me patrick and i feel insults alot of great wedding videographer contributors to this forum

If you were to have a wedding video that was "stillmotion inspired..." this is frowned upon by stillmotion however you are happy to be inspired by the unique work and look of a Tim Burton film ("Sweeney Todd Inspiredů" is the heading of one of your recent blog posts)

Stillmotion has a workshop "the evolution experience // from videographer to cinematographer - the three-day workshop" So how do you evolve these videographers into cinematographers, maybe you show them the wonders of steadicam and 35mm adaptors, or perhaps techniques that give more cinematic results. at the end of this three day workshop do you tell them - oh but by the way we don't actually want you using these techniques because thats kinda our thing
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Old December 1st, 2008, 09:48 AM   #20
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I don't shoot weddings, and I don't even know what the Still Motion look is - but I know what the "Ken Burns" look is. I know how he influenced an entire industry. I know that there are EFFECTS called 'the Ken Burns Effect' - which are basically pan and scan programs for dealing with still images.

Ken Burns didn't invent motion controll over still images. He didn't invent the approach of using talking heads and still images for B-Roll. But Ken Burns STYLE is uniquely Ken Burns. Sure, people can do this documentary 'in the Ken Burns Style' - even though it existed before Ken Burns made "The Civil War" - his skill with these tools was so deep and exquisite, and more importantly his skill with TELLING A STORY - actually attached his name to the process. Now, he enjoys the marketing benefits of everyone else using his name to describe a process they are going to attempt to emulate.

But nobody else is going to BE Ken Burns, or carry his reputation.

Just my thoughts on cost/benefit of fame.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 09:59 AM   #21
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Created a Market

I don't know if I am alone on this one. I have 2-3 Brides asking me if I can copy the Still Motion look. It just shows the impact of Still Motion and the market they created. With no disrespect to Still Motion, if I were to copy a shooting style, I would copy Mark Von Lanken's, one I think we shoot the same way and the videos shot by Still Motion and Jmag is hard for a traditional videographer like me to copy.

I peronally think that imitation is the greatest flattery. It's also a challenge for shooters like Still Motion and Jmag to continually evolve.

My 2 cents.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 10:54 AM   #22
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I think there's still a bit of misunderstanding here. I don't believe Patrick is saying "Don't copy us... or else," nor is he saying being inspired by others is a bad thing. I believe he's merely explaining the cons of copying his work for us, not him. He is also advocating finding your own style is more beneficial, which is very hard to argue with. Who out there wouldn't rather have their own style than strive to imitate someone else?

Obviously the Still Motion team is extremely skilled and continuing to evolve. They will no doubt stay busy for years, and years, and years, regardless of how many of us are knocking off their work. But wouldn't it be better to have other videographers trying to copy your style than measure your own success by how closely you got your last wedding to resemble the last Still Motion posting?
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Old December 1st, 2008, 11:13 AM   #23
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Thanks Matthew- that is exactly what I wanted to say but I don't think I am getting it across. I appreciate you putting that down.

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Old December 1st, 2008, 11:43 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Patrick Moreau View Post
3. we put our work out there to share with others and hopefully inspire many who view it. as it gets copied more and more, we need to hold more back, and as a result those who enjoy our work and are inspired by it lose out
Don't stop posting I haven't gotten to steal anything yet!!! ; )

I think all the posts in here are valid ones, which doesn't leave me with much to say. I do know that some have taken Patrick's post the wrong way though, which is easy to happen over the internet. Anyhow, I believe the main point is don't try to BE someone, try to be LIKE them. No matter what you will NEVER be them. In other words, in an artistic business you just need to remmeber that you have your own style (or developing one). If you strictly copy someone it will always be frowned upon, and to me, that is no longer art.

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Old December 1st, 2008, 11:55 AM   #25
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The moral of this thread:
Don't display your BEST work online and NEVER show off your signature shots over the internet! Show it only to the prospective bride when she meets you face to face.

You'll be very shocked at how people will copy, make it better, then claim the idea was theirs. It happens all the time.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 11:57 AM   #26
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Totally agree with John. What a shame that this thread has been taken the wrong way.

We need to make a point that there is a difference between being inspired and going out of your way to copy an exact shot, which is out of place with your own developing style.

I use glidecams and now dof adaptors, but I know for a fact that Patrick wouldn't see that as me using the 'stillmotion look', coz that's not what he's saying. And besides, I truly wanted those bits of equipment before I even knew about stillmotion, and also i'd say use them in different ways too.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 12:09 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Warren Kawamoto View Post
Don't display your BEST work online and NEVER show off your signature shots over the internet!
I have to disagree with this Warren.

Show it only to the prospective bride when she meets you face to face.
Who will only meet you face to face if she's seen your best stuff and your signature shots. What kind of bride will meet you if you post a demo but say you left the best out?

You'll be very shocked at how people will copy, make it better, then claim the idea was theirs. It happens all the time.
Well yeah. But that's their lack of imagination leading them to copy instead of striking out on their own. But you're right...
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Old December 1st, 2008, 12:14 PM   #28
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Patrick - I'd love to know what specifically set this off? I mean right before you posted your original comments, what did you read or what spurred you feel the need to throw your opinion out there? Something had to spark that action because to the rest of us it seemed to come out of left field and I think that's in part why people have reacted strongly to your statements. Just curious about the genesis of this thread.

I make no bones about the fact that we didn't begin down the path to where we are today till I saw what Josh Smith was doing in my market and thought to myself, "now why aren't we doing that?" It just made sense to change our business to that type of model because it was way better than what we were doing. Have we caught and passed him? Not even close, same as the guys who saw what you were doing and tried to raise their game to match but we definitely raised our game because we saw a better way and I've got too much pride as a video guy to let someone completely wipe the floor with me visually.

Now marketing and business... that's a different story, and that's where you guys like Still Motion have no need to fear. We turn out good videos, but you guys KILL at marketing and selling your product. That's where you'll always have an advantage over people and don't under estimate that. We all might have 35mm adapters, stedicams, nice edits, good color grading and anything else we see the top dogs doing but the real kings of this industry understand how to run a good business and frankly, that's a lot harder to figure out than how Patrick got a certain shot we like.

In any community of artists, the masters shine through and you'll have a tier of really good artists just below them who can't help but be influenced by what they see. Whether we realize it or not, by coming to these forums and seeing what other people are doing we're being influenced, either by shooting or editing techniques, or by seeing a service someone offers that we never thought of, or any number of 1000 different ways. Styles evolve, pick up things along the way, drop bits that no longer belong and when intermingled with 100's of others many will begin to look similar. Just look at how far this industry has come visually in the past 5 years and tell me this is somehow a bad thing?

I'm sure it sucks to be the guy who thought of it first only to see your work lose a little of it's uniqueness because other's have seen it and picked up on some of it, but that's inevitable when you've become successful. I wouldn't fear that other's are hindering themselves by emulating what they see in your work, if anything its helping them to try something new. They might start out copying what you do, just as we did with Josh's work a couple years back, but eventually over time you find your own style and voice. I don't see how someone could copy another artist without forming their own style unless they're doing a shot for shot recreation of one of your videos which at a live event would be impossible.

I've been typing this for far too long and have lost my way. At this point I'm just rambling so I'll just stop now.

-Ethan Cooper
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Old December 1st, 2008, 12:23 PM   #29
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Hey Richard, your post made me laugh! in a good way.....

I don't personally see the point in copying anyones style. I get my inspiration from many sources, and personally don't worship anyone for what they can or cannot do.

I think their will always be similarities in many peoples work due to the fact that most or everything has been tried and done and copied, extended already.

It is good to create your own style you are comfortable with it and we all progress and are at different stages in that progression. I am still developing my style, omitting and adding things as I go along and I am sure many others are doing the same.

I like many styles of work, and think they all have a place. It is so easy to make our demos look impressive for the web, but the bottom line is are the clients happy. What is the finished product really like.

I see many great examples of work on the web, but when viewing them at an awards ceremony etc, they fall far short. What happened. Well it was a montage, the best bits, but the main wedding fell to pieces!

Just my thoughts.........right or wrong.

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Old December 1st, 2008, 12:41 PM   #30
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We had no earthly idea what was going on in the wedding video world.

When we created our company, we wanted to be better than the norm locally, but didn't really know what that meant. We started to think outside of the box. We googled some of the world's greatest still photographers to see if there were any interesting points of view or shots that might look great for a wedding video.

Then we came across this website, joined to expose ourselves to people passionate enough about this field to join a message board, and learned about StillMotion.

Seeing StillMotion's work was an eye-opening experience for us, as we had no clue that people in this industry were creating such great looking wedding films. And this extends far beyond StillMotion. We have our favorite contributors to this board and we also watch just about everyone's clips, just to see how everyone else is thinking outside of the box and to appreciate what they are doing and their bravery for trying new things.

StillMotion really just opened our eyes to the fact that we aren't restricted or limited to what we can shoot. They let us know that we have freedom with what we shoot and that there are no parameters to shooting a wedding. Which is awesome. We owe a whole lot to StillMotion for letting us know that it's okay to use our limitless creativity with a wedding.

Don't get me wrong, we were striving for creativity before we knew about StillMotion, but we thought there were sort of industry-standard regulations. If that makes sense.

Before we knew about StillMotion, we'd started to rethink our whole approach and the way we look at a couple and their wedding. But StillMotion really gave us a scope of how vast creativity can carry us in this market. Today, we are so excited and chomping at the bit to do each wedding we get, as we see it as another opportunity to try to be better and to come up with fun shots and things we can be proud of.

If someone said "Hey, you guys look like StillMotion." We'd feel honored by the comparison, but I think we'd be pretty heartbroken as well, since we're really trying to become what we will be in this industry. We'd rather have someone say, "You guys are almost as good as StillMotion," meaning, our quality is up there, but our vision/approach/style is our own.

To be on the other side of the coin, as StillMotion is, I do feel like I would feel like Patrick. In other words, this is really our thing and it works for us.

We would love to inspire other fimmakers to approach a wedding with more creativity and an open mind. We would take issue with and be frustrated by others flat out copying us since they are not getting the fact that a fimmaking style is personal and evolving. And that they should focus on their own evolution as they study all of the styles that are out there and find their own.

In my extremely humble opinion :)
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