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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old December 1st, 2008, 12:48 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Leahy View Post
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
Brian- your jumping the gun just a bit here. Please re-read the original post. I think inspiration is great, it is the flat out copying that I don't agree with, and I am posting this in terms of how it hurts you to copy us, not how it hurts us.

Yes we are inspired by many, and our photographers are certainly among them, but they inspire us- we don't try and directly copy them.

You are using the words interchangeably- I am not- and it is the distinction between the two that is at the heart of this whole thread.

P.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 01:02 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Ethan Cooper View Post
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.
Hi Ethan,

It was Travis' post about his demo. Several people mentioned that it looked too much like StillMotion while Travis said he was inspired by us, but that this was his own style. The actual post that set it off was by somebody else suggesting that there is nothing wrong with copying us because we are 'fabulous'.

Travis' demo is awesome, and I am happy we have inspired him- but I certainly don't think he is copying us. That distinction is what is at the core of this thread, which many people seem to be overlooking.

P.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 01:15 PM   #33
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Maybe I am missing the point here, but there are a lot of creative people out here who have no intention of copying your style Patrick, or wish to either!

You created your style from inspiration from various sources, and whilst you are posting here there will be many others creating their own unique style.

It is good to let people praise your work, but don't praise yourself! Pride will destroy all you have accomplished if your not careful.

Crumbs, now I'm starting to preach...I'll shut up.....

Cheers.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 02:48 PM   #34
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Patrick, and dear colleagues.

I can relate to a great degree to original post.

We are in Wedding, Event Videography Techniques thread!
We deal with, talk about repetitive events. What does it mean? What are implications?

A "repetiton", a pattern is in the core of our business and creatively "an art" form.

By definition "a copy of an art piece can never be art in the true sense of the word".
Paradoxically, that includes the author himself! Can an artist, once creating an art form,
stay with it a long time,repeat it? The answer is easy, NO, no way.
Any predictability, reflects a model, that can be easily imitated by many followers and creator himself.

(Interesting enough, in Russia, there are followers of Stillmotion approach, some colleagues do masterclasses based on that!I see now many young videographers copy that "look and feel". I am inspired by the work of Stiillmotion myself, yet try to reinvent how to approach a wedding every time!
We all have to reinvent ourselves all the time, when we stop, we stale, no growth anymore. All the accomplishments are forgotten, that is sad but true.

Another thought, if we take feature films, as comparative example, predictability kills the movie. As long as the audience can see the pattern, repetition, it slows down the emotional flow of compation and empathy.
Stedicam and other camera moves can be easily copied, editing techniques can be mastered, same music can be taken, so on...

What can be always original that no one can take away, copy, pattern, model, mold ??

The people in front of the camera, the couple, the narration of the story, the wedding day, the true emotions, true essence!
Every time we try to use developed pattern, we shoot ourselves in the foot in a sense of
creative novelty.

Last edited by Oleg Kalyan; December 1st, 2008 at 04:32 PM.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 03:10 PM   #35
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Oleg, that post was a breath of fresh air. You said what I thought, but could not put down in writing.

Cheers.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 07:10 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John De Rienzo View Post
Maybe I am missing the point here, but there are a lot of creative people out here who have no intention of copying your style Patrick, or wish to either!

You created your style from inspiration from various sources, and whilst you are posting here there will be many others creating their own unique style.

It is good to let people praise your work, but don't praise yourself! Pride will destroy all you have accomplished if your not careful.

Crumbs, now I'm starting to preach...I'll shut up.....

Cheers.

John,

My post isn't directed at the many people who have no intention of copying our style. It was to present the other side of the argument as to why it might not be beneficial for somebody to try and copy anothers work. This holds true for whomever you may be copying, including yourself (as Oleg pointed out).

This is not about praising our work. This is about the attitude that it is completely fine to outright copy (even while that is certainly the minority). This is about the dozen or so threads on various forums where others have posted their work and somebody commented on how it felt too StillMotion (these comments weren't from us). This is about the 8 emails we have received in the last two weeks from people we do not know sending us clips they have come across that they feel are an attempt to duplicate what we are doing. These are not some random thoughts I chose to post for no reason.

P.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 10:14 PM   #37
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Patrick...watching your work has taught me a lot. Mainly it has elevated my sensitivity to finding unique shots. To push the equipment, push the grading, study compostition, use of available light and use of all the tools as creatively as possible. I am a fan of storytellers: Bill Gaff and Chris Jones are a couple that come to mind. For shots that make your jaw hit the floor well that would be StillMotion, JMag and another damn canadian CloudNine. I guess my point is that I feel that we are still evolving into our style and the melting pot of those I admire contribute to that. Hopefully when we reach that pinnacle of "our style", we will, hopefully, be able to recognize it. When I read your original post I took it that you are selling yourself short to duplicate shots and it does not allow your mind to be open to creativity. In the wedding niche, if there are any running steadicam shots, its hard for it not to look like one of yours. But if people are constantly worried about it looking like this or that, it's going to show. I get tons of inspiration by shooting some photography, other photographers, music videos and the likes of those videographers mentioned.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 10:39 PM   #38
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I have a tough time understanding why some people are having such a tough time trying to grasp what we are getting at, even though there are others using different words. Many have even gotten offended and that is certainly a shame.

I, as well many others, when I started last year, was looking at SM and looking for inspiration. Things snowballed for me and now I am part of IT. And seeing all those clips all over the place, which sometimes scream "Still Motion" isn't actually flattering. I don't believe that you have to imitate somebody's style first to find your own. You can use the same colors we get at the paint store and then mix them on your palette and create your own colors. And how much more you will enjoy it. You will create, not copy.

All we ask for is, don't copy our work shot for shot. I'm sure you haven't seen all the copycat stuff we see out there. We have seen a lot of clips which are just pure rip off.

As a team, we put a lot in what we produce and every single piece is well thought out. There is a reason behind every shot, music choice, grading. A lot goes into creating the story. And then somebody takes that clip and copies bites of it and creates (I'm sorry but I can't use this word) or rather butchers a clip, which has nothing to do with the couple, says nothing about who they are, isn't original and doesn't even look good as a whole.
Why? Because if you take the same song we used and get the couple to the similar looking place, have few exact shots together with some other truly yours, copy the ring shot (same composition, light and idea), add a voiceover at the same time in the song, and then to be truly unique, fill it in with whatever (again, to not to make it a copycat)
ISN'T good for anybody. The couple gets a custom made pair of shoes, except it's not made for them.
I know I'm being harsh right now, but I think it is needed. Now, this can relate to any other studios being copied. I don't say don't copy us, but copy others. Don't copy anybody.
Now, for those who are now eager to start a stupid argument again, cause they still don't get it:
We don't say that if you use steadicam or 35mm adapter, color grade your work, shoot TTD and have ring shots in your clips; you copy us. That is some sort of influence. And of that we are proud of. I'm sure we helped tiffen sell good number of units, I'm aware that there are more brevis units out there being used for weddings. But that is where we are happy to help our industry to get better and grow. Be inspired and use steadicams. Use 35mm adapters, cause guess what, it will make your work better.
I have a lot of respect for guys like Jason Magbanua or Oleg Kalyan. You can tell by looking at their work that it is theirs. That's unique. That's beautiful. They don't try to copy anybody. I'm sure they watch other's work. We do to. But if we like something, we will ask ourselves how we can make it better. And only if we can, we will try. And yes, we get inspired also but other things. Sometimes it's a photo or movie, sometimes a poster or painting. Or maybe a song itself. But we work as team and try to develop the idea and create something unique. It maybe similar to something you've seen in the past. In a way. Maybe a part. But it will never be pure copying.

So we do encourage others to get influenced by us. We like that style. At the end we do it cause we like it. It is nice to know that somebody likes what we do and can learn. I myself was learning from SM too. I am still learning now. And they are learning from me. It's an ongoing process. But they learn only because I chose to remain myself. Otherwise they would relearn from themselves. I believe I brought my own vision and talent to SM too. They already had it. But now there are even more colors on the palette to mix with.

We are on the forums for a reason. We want to learn, we want to share and help others.
Personally, I owe it to you guys as well, that I could evolve quite fast. 10 years ago it wouldn't be possible. Without forums like that and all the info in the web it would have taken me years to learn what I've learnt in a year.
And we also want our industry to become better. We all have to fight with vidiot stereotype that brides have in their heads. We all want more awareness about who we are and what we are capable of.
That's why we are also doing workshops. We want to share. And NO, Brian, we won't tell any attendees they they can't use the techniques they will learn. We will do all we can to help them find the art sense within themselves, so they can, using all those tools and techniques, tell better stories and create art. Cause isn't it what we are all supposed to do? Isn't it what really our industry lacks right now?

Thanks for reading the whole thing.

Cheers!

Last edited by Konrad Czystowski; December 1st, 2008 at 11:44 PM.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 12:19 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Konrad Czystowski View Post
All we ask for is, don't copy our work shot for shot. I'm sure you haven't seen all the copycat stuff we see out there. We have seen a lot of clips which are just pure rip off.
I have to agree, ive seen some videos that i know for a fact that the videographer saw Stillmotion then copied it as close as they could. They did a horrible job, and their attempt at it literally ruined the song that they used (actually copied from stillmotion when they used it a month before).
I kid you not... I have never seen a video that could be so bad that it can kill a song, until these copycat.

(I wont post the name of the company/video i saw, but can send people link if they want proof.)
They used the same song, and copied the same exact edit at the same time in the song.. Is it a coincidence? Maybe, but i REALLY doubt it.

PS, im no professional videographer, just a hobbiest who enjoys watching videos (ive seen alot...)
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 12:33 AM   #40
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Konrad,
What you describe and you guys come by so "easily" and I say this tongue in cheek is the most difficult thing about what we do. Style is not something you can just sit around and develop without inspiration. Despite your intentions it is discouraging and dissapointing to hear this argument from you. I don't have the slightest intention of "ripping off" your shots or anyone's for that matter, but it is discouraging to hear that this is a problem for you. You should look down on us mere mortals with pity not anger. I, for one, wouldn't have the slightest idea of how to pull off what you guys do. Honestly it looks like alot of work I'm not being paid for, so you can have it.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 12:52 AM   #41
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For the videographers who copy StillMotion clips shot by shot, I fail to see how this could be a dependable business strategy in the long run? Do they pace themselves to book a new client only after SM releases a new clip so they can imitate it?

Or are these people using SM's ideas to jump start the style that they themselves would eventually develop? I think the latter is more likely..
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 04:40 AM   #42
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As a teacher on occaision, I'd like to add a bit of commentary to the mix...

There are basically three stages to learning any "craft", and perhaps anything...

Stage 1: Learn the "tools" and the fundamentals of how they are used... this includes the unique lingo of any trade.
tripod, camera, aperature, DOF, etc. etc.
You have to learn the basics one way or another, and when starting out, learning to speak the language and use the tools is a good place to start. Children have to learn the alphabet and numbers... without that, there's nothing to build upon.

Stage 2: Imitate (yes, copy) the creations of others by studying their technique and the "rules" which they appear to follow in the pursuit of their craft/art. "Rules" are part of the framework we must go through along the way, so we have SOMETHING to go on while we are learning...
This is pretty typical of how human beans learn ANYTHING - they see and imitate someone they think is "cool" or authoritative on a subject... doesn't mean the authority figure knows it all or even pretends they do, but that's how the "student" sees them...

Stage 3: Innovate... this is where the magic comes in - you take the fundamentals, the rules, and everything you've taken in, and you throw it in a blender, break all the rules, try strange techniques, and try to do it in a "live" environment and do something unique and cool. If sucessful, you'll be the "cool" guru dude... or at least sucessful! If you really break all the rules, you're the Beatles or... maybe Still Motion <wink>.


What I think Patrick is saying is don't get stuck at stage 2, because stage 3 is where the magic happens. I can say after watching his behind the scenes corporate short, it's that creativity and magic that drives the "Still Motion" team to push the boundaries in what they do.

Maybe I'm being presumptuous, but I think Patrick want's EVERY videographer to see and be inspired not to slavishly copy, but to innovate and find their OWN voice and vision - because if they don't they will just be another wannabe.

We live in a world of cheap knockoffs, thank the internet for that... BUT we also live in a time when we can be spurred to greatness by building upon the collective genius of those who choose to generously share and teach what they have learned. It's all a pile of poo if we just "copy", and it's sad that that's as far as some people get (pity, really!).

Speaking for myself, I don't mind being "copied" (and it's an honor to rise to a level that you're WORTH copying!), but I think it's more exciting to see others take that leap to their own creative expression. I know that while I'm still flogging along learning how not to be disgusted by my own work, I have those "moments" when things just come together and send a shiver down my spine because they "work". We all should stirve to find those "moments"...
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 08:29 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Bill Grant View Post
Konrad,
You should look down on us mere mortals with pity not anger. I, for one, wouldn't have the slightest idea of how to pull off what you guys do. Honestly it looks like alot of work I'm not being paid for, so you can have it.
Bill
I think by now those who wanted to understand why we brought it up, understood.

I don't know where you, Bill, are finding the anger.

Thanks Jack. It is exactly that what we don't like and yes, we are not happy with that. And nobody should.
These clips were what set this off, together with Travis's demo. But the two, being the opposite, were used as comparison. There were people saying that his demo is SM. It's not, but there is maybe some influence. We wanted to show that this what we don't mind and are actually proud of. Who wouldn't be? But on the other hand we wanted to say, while this is perfectly fine, you can't just take any clip and just try to copy it.
And Dave, while I agree with you on the learning process (you can take a shot or two and imitate different things), I would just like to add that I don't think you have to copy the whole clip.
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Last edited by Konrad Czystowski; December 2nd, 2008 at 09:28 AM.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 09:59 AM   #44
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Joel- I completely agree with you. My point or intent in dissuading others is for their own benefit, more so than ours.
I understand what you're saying but I'm not sure that altruism is at the heart of your message. This discussion has taken place dozens of times on dozens of forums. Trying to quell imitation is like trying to blind yourself to influence. It can't happen. 10 years ago having online clips was a novelty. Blogs didn't exist. Videographer forums were very few and infrequently visited. Now everyone's works is online, competing for paying client eyeballs. By posting that same work on public forums and entering contests you can reach a certain level of notoriety amongst your peers, which in reality has nothing to do with your business interests. The result is that it can be unnerving to see your ideas being carried out by others. What you may have professed to do at the outset, share, has actually worked. Any subsequent thoughts or comments based on what has happened that aren't completely altruistic and encouraging are based on ego, which easily masquerades under the guise of 'sharing'.

Whatever it was that drew you to the forum, whether it was altruism or ego, has had consequences, both positive and negative. In the end what has always happened will happen: Someone else comes on the field with unique ideas and their work becomes the work to be imitated. Its an endless cycle. None of it matters, because this online world doesn't exist. Its a virtual world of people separated by space that puts nearly all of us outside each other's real-world sphere of influence. What does matter is your business, and in nearly every case the innovators keep innovating and the copiers keep copying. No matter how many discussions like this have taken place and the good intentions that people declare human nature will never change. When it comes down to being able to create something that is tangibly more valuable people will use anything they see. There are companies doing work that is just as unique that go about serving their customers without going out of their way to post work for other videographers. They don't have an ego to satisfy so as a result they aren't pushing the industry forward by freely dispersing ideas. I think the industry is in a better place because you've been generous about sharing your work, but that was a decision you made that will have consequences regardless of how hard you appeal to people's better judgement.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 10:17 AM   #45
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Joel I am going to agree with what you say wholeheartedly! Ego, pride, self importance come to mind, all self destructive. You can mask it how you like, but it will still reveal itself...

It is blatantly obvious people will copy, human nature! If you don't want them too, then stop putting your work where the whole world can see it!

Cheers.
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