Apr 11

Tiny Feature Saturday’s – Painter Kureshi

This video by hanif kureshi is another example of technology replacing craft.  The video focuses on the typographic practice of street painters around India. With the advent of local DTP (Desktop Publishers) shops, these craftsman are rapidly losing there business to the quicker, cheaper but uglier vinyls. Many painters have given up their practice altogether.


Apr 11

The Videographers Guide To Not falling On Your New Media Face – Chapter 9 “New Media Cliches”

Regardless of your medium of expression, or level of expertise we have all done them, cliche shots.  In film some of these include; The man running through a flock of pigeons, Shots of subways, taxi’s.  Steam rising from the streets of New York, anything utilizing time-lapse and so on. These are just a few of the cliches that we have seen in old media.  Today there are a whole new list of cliches that have or are quickly becoming a part of the New Media vocabulary.  What are these New Cliches? Here is my top 10 list of cliches that have developed in recent years.  I will leave it up to you to decide which one of these cliches you want to add to your repertoire.

10. Craft – This one really got started by the site Coolhunting.com one of the first sites to incorporate the element of video-blogging. They excelled in documenting the obsessive craftsman or artist toiling away perfecting their creations.  It is the perfect genre for online media as it is a genre that still goes widely under-represented in old media.

9. The Lens-flare Hipster Girl combo – Nothing beats a low angle shot of a beautiful girl as the sun flares directly into the lens of the camera.  This was and still is one of my favorite cliche shots. This technique seemed to peak right around the whole MGMT, Animal Collective outdoorsy hipster years of 2007 – 2008.  A more recent example can be found on a video shot by Merlin Bronques of Lastnightsparty fame for Kanon Organic Vodka.

8. Americana – As of late there has been a huge influx of videos dealing with Americana. Putting a contemporary lens on artifacts, related to the history, geography, folklore and cultural heritage of the United States.  Hypebeast has been one of the key curators of this genre.  One recent post titled The Axe begged the question has this genre finally “jumped the shark”.  The comments on this page are among the funniest I have read.

7. Tilt Shift – This technique was great when you actually had to get a tilt shift lens to pull it off.  Now that editing software is used to achieve the same effect it is quickly becoming watered down and cliche.  The filmmaker best known for this genre Sam O’Hare does it better than anyone as this video titled Coachelletta demonstrates.

6. The Exposure Dissolve – This one sort of falls into the Vintage category, it’s the over-exposed dissolve. It looks cool, and it still works as you can see in this video titled Influencers.

5. The Act of God –  It seems like anytime there is an act of God be it a Snowstorm, a Lunar Eclipse, or a Tornado there is someone ready to exploit it for the video views only.  Maybe if they placed “God” in the directors credit I wouldn’t have such a problem with it.  A few filmmakers have managed to express these events in their own unique way as in this video from The Mutiny Company titled Idiot With A Tripod.

4. The Video Booth – This is another one of my favorites that I still utilize today.  Most recently albeit very briefly on the Artists Wanted video in which Chloe Sevigny decided to grace us with her presence. The website ShadowScene is also pretty well known for this cliche.

3.  The Middle Finger/The Peace Sign/The Point – Somehow I managed to include all three of these in the opening sequence of this party video I shot and edited for a short lived party series called Acrylic.

2. The Vintage Look – Thanks to Magic Bullet Looks, and iPhone photo aps like Camera Bag and Hipstamatic the vintage look has over-saturated us with it’s under-saturated color treatment and vignetted frames.  This video from the kinda annoying Toro Y Moi is a recent example of this.

1. The Low Concept On The Street Music Video – There was a time when producing even the most “basic” music video required enormous resources, months of planning and tens of thousands of dollars in investments. Despite the “basic” nature of these videos they still held up on some artistic level if only for the difficulty it took to produce them. With today’s technology any one can replicate or even surpass the level of production of earlier days with nothing more than a DSLR camera and a willing participant. This video titled “Address” featuring two pretty well known artist (Stalley & Curren$y) is a good example of what can be achieved for little or no money.


The 80′s VHS look – This one is still relatively new but it’s already getting the Social Media overkill with videos like  Century Girl from former New Pop Host Theophilus London, or Onra’s Sitting Back.

Sex Sells – The time honored method of using sex to sell is so cliche that it has ceased being cliche only to be cliche again, where it will remain cliche until it stops being cliche.  You get the point.  Take your pick of sites that exploit sex to get viewers.   I personally try to stay away from it.  It’s just too easy.

Next Friday: Interview Tips.

Trevor “Trevz” Bayack is a Brooklyn-born filmmaker who approaches his web pieces as mini documentaries. Recognized as a member of the 2008 URB magazine Next 100 for pioneering the “video blog” Trevz continually makes his pieces shorter, sharper and ever more shareable” Follow our twitter feed for more.

Apr 11

Wayback Thursday’s – Yours Truly Brand

This week on Wayback Thursday I bring you a gem from July of 2008 featuring the Yours Truly Brand store opening. This is one of several indie establishments that reside along with TheNewPop on the still relatively unknown “B.E.L.T” (Below The ELevated Train) on Broadway in South Williamsburg.  A few others are Mishka, The KDU, The Trophy Bar, Moto, The Beauty Bar Brooklyn, Yours Truly and my personal favorite, Frenchies Gym. We all share the common bond of living underneath the steel canopy of the JMZ line.  It isn’t as bad as you think, plus the “condo-proof” elevated line pretty much puts a cap on the level of gentrification that will ever invade my beloved strip of Williamsburg.  We literally live on the “other side of the tracks”.

Wayback Trivia: In 2005 I started a series of  short video clips that I titled Pop Spots.  The idea was to display short non-narrative random moments of the streets of New York with only ambient noise as it’s soundtrack.  I wanted to replicate the photo experience with video. Unknowingly to me at the time a considerable portion of those Pop Spots are of  a pre-condo Williamsburg.  One day I hope to republish that video series.

Apr 11

City Short – New York

Spring is in the air, for me that means one thing, weekly walks through our amazing city.   At least once a week I dedicate a day where I just walk around for hours taking in the sites of the city.  It’s my favorite reason for living in New York.  The trick for me is to get around without the use of mass transit.  I live right next to the Williamsburg Bridge so the first and last part of most of my walks start and end with a walk across the bridge. It’s an experience that I think is very unique to this city of bridges.

This video Narrated by Richard Christiansen of Chandelier Creative for the folks at Wallpaper Magazine captures that experience.


Apr 11

Safewalls | Aida, The Printmaker

Safewalls profiles UK based printmaker Aida. She discusses her relationship with the London’s street art scene as well as how she avoids becoming too commercial. I haven’t seen too many video profiles dealing with the art of screen printing. As a former screen printer myself I can really appreciate the craft.


Apr 11

A Very Special Tiny Feature Saturday – Final Cut Pro X

This week we bring you a very special TFS episode.  From the Supermeet Las Vegas Nab 2011 these videos feature what I describe as nothing short of a revolution in New Media.  It is Final Cut X.  I am not one to get overly excited over product releases be it cell phones, games, sneakers, or even movies for that matter. However while watching the presentation below I was literally jumping and cheering in my apartment.

Final Cut X is a video editors wet dream.  With FCP X Apple went back to the drawing board and pretty much made sense of the editing process.  Revamping the way it handles image quality, color correction, organization, and editing on the timeline.  No more worrying about knocking clips out of place, automatic audio sync, auto color matching, rendering in the background, a new magnetic timeline that groups and matches clips, an incredible new interface and a bunch of other revolutionary features.  This is a game changer.

Video is arguably the most relevant form of media today and with FCP X Apple has solidified it’s place in the New Media landscape.  FCP X will be available in June for the insanely affordable price of $299.  I almost started crying when I heard this.  I am buying this one.  Anyone who knows me knows I never buy programs so this is saying allot.  So without further ado, here it is, the most exciting product launch in New Media since Final Cut Pro first launched in 1999.


Apr 11

The Videographers Guide To Not Falling On Your New Media Face | Chapter 8 – Feedback

Who Needs Feedback?

This question isn’t as silly as it sounds.  Just think back to the last time you got some criticism that you absolutely disagreed with only to find that following it vastly improved your work.  If you are a working artist this happens all the time.  Feedback is like gravity, without it your art loses it’s weight and drifts and drifts until you have no reference point to come back to.  Listed below are a few pointers that help me out when it comes to feedback.

Avoid Negative Energy.

Avoid sharing your energy with people who are not on your wavelength.  If you’re a sensitive artists avoid the cynics, if you’re happy optimist avoid the depressed pessimist.  You may think they give you  a counter-balance but the truth is they are probably curtailing you from fully expressing yourself and vice-versa.  It took me almost 4 years to figure that one out.

Arrested Development.

Some people get caught up in soliciting feedback from a niche group of friends and associates.  At some point you have to go outside your insulated world and take your work to a faceless mass or worse a corporate client. This feedback can be crude or even worse apathetic.  Even if objective feedback from the masses is tough, if your work is of a high standard but polarizing, then chances are you are doing something relevant.  This could be good for your art, but bad for corporations who tend to shy away from polarizing content.  So what do you do?

When To Tune It Out?

So you have found your voice, you’re at the top of your game, and you’re pushing the envelope, but your corporate clients want you to tone it down.  What do you do?   I will pass on some words of advice given to me by a small cafe owner by day comedian by night a couple of years back.  He said “do one for you, do one for them”.  But that strategy may not work with all clients so I modified it a bit.  My modified strategy is one in which I get one bread and butter client in my portfolio that pays the bills and I spend the rest of my time building relationships with clients that are more on my wavelength.  As my portfolio grows so does my voice.

Next Friday: Cliches.


Trevor “Trevz” Bayack is a Brooklyn-born filmmaker who approaches his web pieces as mini documentaries. Recognized as a member of the 2008 URB magazine Next 100 for pioneering the “video blog” Trevz continually makes his pieces shorter, sharper and ever more shareable” Follow our twitter feed for more.


Apr 11

Wayback Thursday’s ’07 – Junk Science Grand’dad’s Nerve Tonic

This week on Wayback Thursday I take you back to October of 2007 and one of my favorite video profiles.  It comes from the Junk Science crew.  What I liked most about this video other than the dope tracks is that this crew represented a part of New York that is under-represented in Hip Hop, the outer-boro white local.  I was raised in inner city Brooklyn but bused out to Sheepshead Bay for my High School years.  So that vibe is pretty familiar to me.  There is a huge difference between white guys trying to be black, and white guys who love hip hop but maintain their whiteness.  The former feels dis-genuine and sometimes patronizing while the latter adds to the diversity that is NY in general and Hip Hop in particular.

With this episode Junk Science took us on a behind the scenes tour at the Sixpoint Craft Ales Brewery to see the production of their own Brew Grand’dad’s Nerve Tonic named after their album.  What was really cool about this video was mid-shoot I decided to turn it into a music-mentory.  They way it happened is that Baje One put on his track from the album during a break in shooting and starting lip syncing and I just rolled with it. It looked so good that I thought that we should do that with more tracks.  We had allot of fun with that and it comes across on this video.


Wayback Trivia: My very first shoot as thenewpop was in 2005 for the Willy-B festival/Block Party which you can now see on youtube. It took over the entire block on North 6th between Kent and Wythe and took place in what is now the Williamsburg Music Hall and Public Assembly.  As insane as it sounds I was the only videographer on-site to document the entire daylong event that included dozens of acts and artists.

Apr 11

The Making Of The Wallpaper* Apartments

From fashion to food every great work of art incorporates some element of storytelling.  This video from the folks at Wallpaper* documenting the construction and design of two contrasting apartments is a strong testament to this.  Further described as followed…

On the banks of the River Thames… Wallpaper* has orchestrated a duet of perfectly couter-pointed new pieds-å-terr. One is elegant, airy and formally inventive with a classical rigour and just a touch of the blues, a Gershwin surge; the other a sparing, daring and downright muscular riff on punchy modernism, the Glass act.

In this video the designers go on to describe the imaginary occupants that helped shape their vision for the two apartments. A technique I am sure most artists can relate too.



Apr 11

Joni Sternbach | Photographer

This video by Johnny Abegg on Brooklyn based photographer Joni Sternbach is a joy to watch. Joni recently visited Byron Bay in Australia where she documented surfers for her Surfland series.  This series was born out of her frustration with her own work.  As she put it… “all the kind of pictures I was making stopped, it went to a dead standstill… I actually begun to hate photography.

Personally my worst moments as an artist were those times that I felt that I’d run out of things to say.  Now I embrace this feeling because I understand that it is not an end, instead it’s the first steps of a new journey. This Surfland series is a testament to this.


You can see more of her work at JoniSternbauch.com