18
Apr 11

*as of yet, untitled. | Kickstarter Video

In this day of Social Media overload where almost everything interesting is documented and posted online virtually before it happens (pun intended), there is a new project by William Etundi (founder of The Danger), where artists can express themselves in a non blogging, non tweeting, non shooting environment.  The Social Media phenomenon has so shaped our collective conversation that I am intrigued as to how the dialogue will change in the absence of it. As Will describes this event…

“You are invited to be involved in the creation of something simple, gorgeous and potentially profound.”

I describe it as TED meets Eyes Wide Shut. This event *as of yet, untitled will take place in a large but unfinished raw space in DUMBO and they need additional funding to build out the space. I was asked to shoot the video posted below to help raise money for this project. Log onto the Kickstarter page to contribute.

TrVZ

TrVZ


16
Apr 11

Tiny Feature Saturday’s – New York Farm City

This week on TFS we bring you a short film about self sustaining farms in NYC.  One of the best things you can do on a beautiful spring day is to browse the Farmers Market in Union Square, even if you never buy anything, (I rarely do, lol).  Their is a humble integrity that farmers exude that I think comes from living off the land.  The experience of looking at their produce is akin to looking at artworks in a museum.  This video by Petrina Engelke and Raul Mandru reminds me of that feeling.  Their tilt-shift cutaways are also a joy to watch.

Enjoy
TrVZ

 


15
Apr 11

The Videographers Guide To Not Falling On Your New Media Face | Chapter 7 – To Music Video, Or Not To Music Video…

I have struggled both as a Production Assistant and now as a New Media Filmmaker with two distinct genres of film-making.  The Commercial Video vs the Music Video genres.  You may be surprised at just how different these two sides of the same coin are.  Not only in technical and budgetary aspects, but also in the culture and the temperament of the people who make up the crews. Music Video crews tend to be younger, more insecure about their careers and less discipline on set.  Mostly due to the lower budgets, the normal 12 hour shoot day can easily go into double (16 hours), triple (20 hours), or quadruple time (24 hours), without any guarantee of additional compensation.  I know that sounds insane to folks who haven’t worked on film sets, but if you’re working in a non-union position especially as a PA on a set, you get paid a day rate and get treated more like an intern than a professional. (Don’t think I didn’t fight it, I actually tried to organize a PA union.  lol.)

When I first started freelancing in the 90′s as a Production Assistant in the Music Video world I thought the verbal abuse exhibited on many of these sets was par for the course in regards to film-making as a whole.  It wasn’t until I got my first taste of a big budget Commercial gig that I realized just how insane the Music Video world was.  Suddenly people weren’t screaming at each other, egos weren’t being flexed at every turn, and things were run with a more professional approach than they were on Music Video sets.  There were rarely any double days and on the occasion we ran into double time there was an 80% chance you would get compensated for it.  But what really resonated with me was the fact that for the most part people were actually saying please for this, and thank you for that.  It’s amazing how far those simple words can go even in the most stress-full situations.  I am like John Travolta in the Pulp Fiction “Bonnie” scene when it comes to the word please.

However both genres have positive and negative aspects that need to be considered. The Music Video world is a creative persons playground, on the other hand the Commercial world is mostly devoid of it. The lack of creativity exhibited on 90% of these commercial shoots was mind boggling.  However on Music Videos I’ve worked with the likes of Diane Martel, Brett Ratner, Hype Williams, Sophie Muller, and dozens of other well known music video directors, and on those projects there was rarely a lack of creativity.

Fast forward to the present day.  Here I am a filmmaker myself albeit in the even lower budget genre of New Media.  Allot of things are different but allot of things are the same.  In the Old Media environment you learn right away that the Music Video lies at the bottom of a filmmaking hierarchy list that is topped by the Hollywood Feature.  Back then most directors didn’t want to get labeled with the “music video director” tag.  It’s a tag that even the most talented Music Video directors like Hype Williams find difficult to shake. On the other hand if you had a reputation as a decent feature filmmaker the Commercial world welcomes you with open arms into their fraternity.

These days largely due to the Internet and DSLR technology the Music Video is experiencing a renaissance and finding a new audience. The budgets are smaller than Old Media budgets but so are the required resources. As a result New Media film-making has taken on the characteristics of the photography world. I also worked as a Production Assistant on dozens of photography sets and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I found that 99% of the gigs were cush by any standard.  I also got the opportunity to work on sets with the likes of David LaChapelle, Terry Richardson and many more talented and creative artists. The laid back sets nurtured a more creative and communicative environment that kept everyone’s spirits high, and made the production experience more enjoyable for everyone. Too often there is this misconception that creative people are screaming ego-maniacs.  This is the stuff of Hollywood and makes for great drama.  Some are some aren’t, it has little to do with their creativity.

What is very exciting about New Media for me is that it is evolving into something that resembles the photography culture.  Old Media producers will probably never be able to let go of the perks and rules that have developed over decades.  Nor will they be able to make the experience of producing films as enjoyable as a smaller more intimate crew can.  And that is the beauty of what we are doing in new media.  We have a blank slate, a new beginning and we have the power to shape this landscape into our own vision.  Personally I try to make the creative experience on my sets enjoyable even in the most stress-full time crunched situations.  Sometimes all that takes is a please or a thank you.

So to answer the question “To Music Video Or Not To Music Video…”  If you can take the positive aspects of a small crew setting and make it an enjoyable experience for all involved I say Yes! I think if I ever get offered the huge budgets offered to Old Media productions I will use what is absolutely necessary for the production and pocket the rest.  Labels you have been forewarned.

Next Friday: Feedback, who do you tune it out.

Thanks

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.

 


14
Apr 11

Wayback Thursday’s – Getting To Know You | A Melo-X Dedication Party

This week on Wayback Thursday we rewind the clock to August of 2008 and a party produced by Melo – X titled The Dedication Party. This party was intended to be a part of a series in which Melo would pay tribute to his creative friends.  This particular episode is pretty cool because it features a couple of artists who are blowing up right now.  The first being the host and former New Pop Crew-mate Melo – X (who has toured all over the world with Kid Sister and just got back from Paris promoting his mixtape More Merch), Mickey Factz (featured in the URB Next 100 with us and just recently finished touring with Big Sean), and Theophilus London (who was featured or made cameo’s in a number of New Pop episodes and can now be seen everywhere from MTV to The Tonight Show with David Letterman).

Back in 2008 they were all striving for big things but were rubbing elbows in small places.  This video not only highlights these three artists, but pays tribute to the collage of talented folks that made up this scene.  A big reason I launched TheNewPop was my desire to capture talented people and relevant movements before they evolved into something bigger.  It’s a bit early to confirm that is what’s happening now, but if it isn’t it’s pretty darn close.   Anyway check out this video which actually is the video that gave me the idea for my Getting To Know You series that I started last year and plan to take on the road this spring/summer.

Enjoy
TrVZ

Wayback Trivia: Thenewpop.com was a direct offspring of the website sceneinteractive.com a videocasting site I founded in 2004.  After leaving in 2005 I wanted to take that concept and apply it to musicians and artists. The early newpop videos were not much more than video head shots with artists telling their stories to the camera.  Innovative yes, creative not so much.

 


13
Apr 11

Portrait: Ralph Gibson

This is the first installation in a series of video portraits we are doing for the Leica blog.  This introductory episode focuses on Ralph Gibson who has achieved worldwide acclaim as a photographer for more than four decades. A champion of individual expression, Gibson urges photographers to develop a personal style by following their own instincts.

Enjoy
TrVZ


12
Apr 11

Inventor Portrait | David Sasson – Inventor Of The Digital Camera

In my lifetime there are two inventions that intrigued me when they first arrived in the Public Domain.  Wireless Internet and the digital camera.  For those of you not old enough to remember the time before these technological advancements were readily available for consumption It may be harder to imagine just how trans-formative these devices were.  If however you are old enough to have been using film and wired connections as an adult you may remember the marvel you had when these inventions exploded on the social landscape. The closest thing to that experience in recent times is the introduction of the iPhone.

The digital camera as you can imagine holds a special place in my heart because it is the medium that I use to express and support myself.  David Friedman’s Inventor Portrait had the opportunity to sit down with the inventor of the digital camera, Steven Sasson. Through the short interaction, Sasson shows off his original prototype.

Enjoy
TrVZ


11
Apr 11

Safewalls | Freinds With You

This Interview courtesy of SafeWalls features FriendsWithYou founders, Arturo Sandval and Sam Borkson. They discuss their recent Art Basel 2010 exhibition titled Building Blocks and Rainbow City. I dig their concepts and the video lighting on Arturo.

Enjoy
TrVZ


09
Apr 11

Tiny Feature Saturday’s | Simple Life Manhattan – a 90-square-foot microstudio

This week on Tiny Feature Saturday check out this video about tiny living titled Simple Life Manhattan – a 90-square-foot microstudio. I’m always browsing the small space living books in Barnes & Noble and I am kind of digging what this woman has done.  The truth is when you think about it why throw money into extra space when everything you need is a walk, a bike ride or a subway stop away. That’s it I’m subletting half of my apartment and living the Bill Cunningham life.

Enjoy
TrVZ


08
Apr 11

The Videographers Guide To Not Falling On Your New Media Face – Chapter 6 | Who Makes More Money?

Most great artist are also skilled technicians, and many great technicians incorporate a conceptual approach to their skills. However in both cases one usually starts off more versed in one style than the other. Those artist who create abstractly and on the fly may rely on their more technically adept friends for insight.  While many technicians who find it challenging to think in abstract terms may rely on the feedback of the conceptual artist to improve their work. So who fairs better in the new media landscape?  Well that depends…

The Corporate Environment:

Producing videos in a corporate environment requires considerable technical proficiency.  Just because the new media budget might be a fraction of what the old media budget was, somehow it doesn’t always translate proportionally to the level of work that is expected.  In my case I was coming from a background of shooting parties and events handheld and on the fly.  As a result I developed some pretty bad habits, many of which I was not even aware of until I started shooting corporate videos.  It was only when I was being judged by committee that I realized just how bad my sound, lighting and even my editing was.  After the novelty of hiring the “new media videographer” wore off, many of those old clients stopped calling.

The Indie Enviroment:

On the other hand, not being a formally trained filmmaker meant that I was learning new ways to produce videos.  I knew what I wanted and often took take the long way to create the desired results.  Many times what you will find is that taking the long way to get where you want to go will give your videos an indie polish that distinguishes it from the stodgy old media films that dominate your television sets.

So Who Fairs Better?

In my opinion the more technically adept filmmaker will fair better in the short run.  The bigger jobs are still awarded by the establishment.  And more often than not regardless of the budget they want their videos produced as flawlessly as humanly possible.  Chances are they got where they are by exhibiting that same technical proficiency with their own products.  But despair not, there is hope for the visionary.  While your highly conceptual albeit somewhat gritty videos may only fly with an indie audience, true visionaries are a rare breed indeed and corporations will pay a premium for it.  If you are patient enough to stay the course, the glass ceiling that so often impedes the ascent of the technocrat won’t exists for you. (Sorry if this reads like a Horoscope.)  In the meantime work on those technical skills to increase your short term value.

Next Friday: To Music Video, Or Not To Music Video – That is the question.

Thanks

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 thenewpop twitter feed for more.

 


07
Apr 11

Wayback Thursday – Fanny Pack Crew

This week on Wayback Thursday, we rewind to sometime around February of 2007 and an event called Back 2 Basics.  This event really epitomizes what was happening at the dawn of the social media revolution in Brooklyn and the LES. Myspace was the dominating social networking site in 2007, and both artist and promoters relied heavily on it as a medium of expression and promotion.  It was generally understood that if your event was not documented that it did not happen.  A point of view that is even more prevalent today.  As a result the Photo/video artists became the vanguards of online documentation and The New Pop found it’s legs.

This particular event took place at Fat Baby’s in the Lower East Side.  Looking at it now brings back some great memories for sure.  This DIY event was organized by a couple of cuties and dear old friends Jen Pop and Ladi Dotie AKA The Fanny Pack Crew.  The only sponsor was another old friend photographer Jason Lewis and his Tinpod Ipod case.  Jason’s a great guy and those cases were great art (I still have 2 of mine), but you had to keep opening the damn things to access your Ipod. And then there are the artist interviews which apparently are strikingly similar in content to the ones I do now.  Until I watched this I forgot that this recent Anthony Michael Sneed profile I did was not the first piece on 8 Bit art.  Mikel featured in this video was doing it in 2007.  Also forgot that Kanye was not the first guy to play the MPC drum machine on stage.  Also seeing DJ Yamez, Holy Smokes, Cicely, 2 Hungry Bros and of course Jen and Ladi who were all (and probably still are (lol)) myspace friends is priceless.

Enjoy
TrVZ

Wayback Trivia: When Tone and I first started shooting events in 2006 we would say to each other (with great childlike enthusiasm I might add) how great it would be if we could gain free admission and get free drinks at events in exchange for documenting them!  Oh how times have changed.