15
Jul 11

The Videographers Guide To Not Falling On Your New Media Face – “It”

For the past three weeks I would wake up on Friday morning with the intention to publish a Videographers Guide entry on what is “it” and for the past three weeks I have failed to publish that article.  It seems appropriate since the highly desirable it factor has eluded description from folks who are much more eloquent than I am.  Who has “it”? Where do you find ”it”? How do you get ”it”? Questions that if answered can make a significant difference in revenue and relevance. Sadly for each of the past three weeks the best description I could come up with is some variation of ‘you know ”it” when you see ”it”.’ But alas here I am again, this time win or lose I am giving it (pun intended) my best shot.  Hopefully I can give a little insight about the Who, How & Where surrounding this age old phenomenon.

Who Has It?

In the documentary on Bob Dylan titled “No Way Home,” someone commented that ‘he (Dylan) just looked at you like he knew something you didn’t,’ That description accurately describes those folks who have “it”. There seems to be an effortless confidence that comes from being in on the joke.  As it applies to my profession, the filmmakers who seem to have “it” seem to do everything right.  From their framing, to their composition to just having a knack for being at the right place at the right time.  They seem to interact effortlessly with their subjects and manage their environments with effortless grace.  This person has an eye for what works and what highly desirable clients want.  What are their secrets?  For starters it might be comforting to know that such effortless grace takes years of hard work to achieve, and maintain.  Pentagram’s Paula Scher is known for how quickly she works and responds to her clients who feel like they are not getting their money’s worth by stating that “[Her Designs] are done in a second in 34 years… every experience and every movie and every thing of my life that’s in my head.”  It’s an eloquent explanation of what “it” is.  ”It” is the culmination of years of developing ones taste into an instinctive split second decision.  Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink is a great read on this process.

How Do I Get It?

Early in my videography career I considered myself a person of good taste who had a good eye, however in hindsight I see that many of my videos left allot to be desired.  The footage was shaky, the sound was inconsistent, the editing was sloppy.  Today my work is much more polished, much tighter, and maintains a level of cachet that is also reflected in the quality of clients in my expanding portfolio.  So what happened? Experience is what happened.  The phrase There is No Substitute for Experience is one of the most accurate truisms there is.  Over the years I learned through observation, trial and error what is acceptable on a professional level and strived to replicate that in my work.  The time tested technique of copying.  Simply seeing what it is you like and reproducing it is how I got better.  Steve Jobs once said… “Good artist copy, great artist steal.” This phrase is brilliantly examined in a well thought out and entertaining web series titled Everything Is A Remix.

Where Do I Find It?

So what are some ways to find good material to copy.  I suggest that you develop a resevoir of material that you can resource on a regular basis.  My routine for this type of material sourcing has been a daily ritual for about 6 years.  I start my day between 6:00 and 7:00 am by browsing my favorite blogs and twitter contacts for material that gives me some insight into what is happening on the New Media front.  I have become pretty adept at quickly being able to parse the good from the bad from the ugly.  This is how I train my eye to recognize what ”it” is.

In the end just like there is no substitute for experience, there is also no substitute for talent.  Though it might be true that some people just have “it”, and some people don’t… in some ways the point of this article is to dispel the misconception that if you have “it”, you don’t need to work as hard at your craft.  The fact is the opposite is true… having “it” should be a launching pad for allot of hard work to come as well as platform from which you can begin to develop and train your eye.  And for those amongst us who just don’t have the magical “it” factor, you can always hire someone who does ; )

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.


14
Jul 11

Wayback Thursday’s: The Godfather Of Graffiti – Seen

This week we take the Wayback express to June of 2007 and one of our first artist profiles with legendary graffiti artist Seen.  Up until then TheNewPop episodes consisted of mostly parties and musician profiles. For this episode Tone who was on assignment to shoot Seen for Peel Magazine asked me if I would like to come along and do an interview that we could post on our blog. Knowing who Seen was and dying to document a visual artist I jumped at the chance to have a graffiti pioneer appear on our site.  In this interview Seen talks about his struggle to express himself as an evolved artist and not just a “graffiti” artist.

Enjoy
TrVZ

Wayback Trivia: As in this episode, in the early days we would take advantage of any opportunity to turn a gig into a New Pop Episode.  Utilizing this strategy allowed us to land interviews with artist like Wyclef Jean, Kid Cudi, Rapheal Saadiq, The Roots, Fred Armison and others.



13
Jul 11

Relentless Short Stories – Other Side Of The Lens

Yesterday my friend Tamara sent me this short film directed by renowned surf photographer Mikey Smith for Relentless Energy Drink titled Dark Side of the Lens. Mikey’s dedication to documenting the Ocean as he see’s it is the embodiment of what true passion is.  My attempt at describing the raw and majestic power of this video with words falls way short of just watching the damn thing. Director of Photography Allen Wilson deserves a boat-load of the credit. Most of these images are simply breadth-taking. So just press play and maybe you will be inspired to find the limits of your passion the way Mikey did.  Bravo.

TrVZ


12
Jul 11

Wallpaper Visionaires: Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA)

The folks at Wallpaper magazine are launching a new series titled Visionaries which explores ground-breaking ideas within the realms of architecture.  In this first episode film maker Victor Vroegindeweij travels to Rotterdam where Reinier de Graaf, director of AMO, the research counterpart to the leading architecture firm the OMA, is laying the ground work for his hugely ambitious project: to create A world driven by 100% renewable energy by 2050.

Enjoy
TrVZ


10
Jul 11

FCPX – Not Quite Ready For Prime Time

A few months ago I was excited with the announced release of Final Cut Pro X at Las vegas NAB 2011.  This weekend I purchased FCPX which has been much criticized for being more like iMovie Pro instead of FC Pro. This is my initial assessment.

Right out the gate I loved the look of it.  This version makes the previous versions look clunky and arcane, like an old 8 bit video game.  The FCPX navigation feels modern with components that move around the way you would expect an Apple product to move.  Then I started getting into the organizational functions which are well thought out.  Features like grouping clips with keywords and favorites, or automatically identifying clips by the number of people in the shot, or if the shot is wide, medium or close are all additions that are leaps ahead of what the old FCP could do.  There is also a built in audio sync feature but it doesn’t seem to work well with multiple clips. Another addition to FCP that I loved is the background rendering which speeds up the work flow exponentially. However what got me the most excited is the magnetic timeline which is a thing of beauty and has to be experienced to be truly appreciated.  Moving clips around on the timeline is less like stacking a deck of cards and more like moving apps around on your iPhone.  These are great additions, and if it weren’t for the cons, I would declare this the best web based roll out since the first Macromedia Flash came out.

Well after my euphoria subsided, I started to get to the actual task of editing a project. The first thing you need to be aware of is you can’t open old FCP projects in X, but you can run both old and new programs on the same machine.  After importing my separate video and audio files the first thing I tried to do was sync my audio and video files in the new synchronize clip feature.  Doing one clip worked remarkably well but doing this with multiple audio clips was a big FAIL!  I tried to go back to my third party plugin Plural Eyes but it’s not ready to use with FCPX yet.  Next I wanted to give the movie filters a whirl.  These filters might be great for someone who is use to iMovie, but if you use a program like Magic Bullet or After Effects they are not in the same league and might even appear amateurish, and if you were thinking you can just use Magic Bullet on FCPX you won’t… not yet at least.  The color correction however is pretty solid better than the old FCP so I will probably use that instead of the turn-key filters. Many other features such as multi-cam, export to tape, and sound export are also missing. After giving it a spin for a couple of days, I can see why professional editors like Hitler (posted below) are in such an uproar.  It seems like this upgrade gave iMovie users something really cool, and professional editors a dumbed down version of a the old Final Cut.   Until they make the necessary updates for robust professional editing my advice is to work with the old version dabble with the new.  Hopefully Apple will come up with some significant upgrades soon.

TrVZ

 


09
Jul 11

Tiny Feature Saturday’s – HBTV: Depth of Speed – JDM Legends Restored

This week on Tiny Feature Saturday we bring you another episode from Depth of Speed series.  This series a collaboration between Hypebeast and filmmaker Josh Clason is born from Josh’s desire of story, travel and a love of anything automotive related.  It is the kind of series I hope to have the time to produce for myself one day.  In this episode Josh visits JDM Legends Eric Bizek who’s passion for craftsmanship and quality in the Japanese vintage car market is reflected in his own restoration process.  The second half of this short really resonated and connected with me.  The mood and the level of craft in the Josh’s filmmaking process appropriately matches the level of craft in Eric’s work.  Bravo!

TrVZ

 


07
Jul 11

Wayback Thursday’s – Pop Life!

This week we take the Wayback machine to October of 2007.  As we were approaching the end of our first year as thenewpop.com I decided to put together a montage video highlighting some of the memorable moments from that year.  I titled it “Pop Life” and used the Prince song of the same name as the soundtrack.  (This version is actually the revised version done in early 2009 to include a few clips from ’08)

Looking back now it is fascinating to see just how much fun we were having on a weekly basis and just how much partying we were doing.  I think it is safe to say that between the three partners at the time (Tone, Texas, and myself (Trevz)), we were out 6 or 7 days a week and publishing our own content more days than we were not. It isn’t often in one’s life that you know you are living in a special time while you are living it.  We all knew it then and we kept our cameras rolling. The more time that passes the more treasured those memories become.  I am very excited for the filmmaking experiences that lie ahead, but I truly doubt I will ever have as much fun and meet as many new friends as I did during those first few years at The New Pop.

Enjoy
TrVZ

Wayback Trivia: As you can see on the page, we were still advertising ourselves as an “online video magazine,” A term that if it did exist, I wasn’t aware of at the time.  Today calling yourself an “online video magazine” is a bit passe since just about anyone who is serious about new media incorporates video into their content.  Back then we were one of a kind. I’m jus’ saying.


06
Jul 11

Handmade Portraits – Molly Landreth

Photography might be my favorite art form. Anytime I attend an art festival I am always drawn to the photo exhibits. When I browse bookstores I spend more time flipping through photo books than any other genre. My former partners at thenewpop were photographers. This is why I love video portraits of photographers.  This video by Mike Attie courtesy of the folks at Etsy profiles Photographer Molly Landreth who uses a large format camera to document gay and transgendered life across the U.S.  In photography and videography that space between you and your subject is what dictates the mood of your final image. Molly’s large format camera plays a vital role in this interplay. You can read the full story at the etsy blog

Enjoy
TrVZ


05
Jul 11

Process: Marionettes with Geahk Burchill

About two weeks ago while on one of my lengthy NYC strolls, I happened upon my very first Marionette show in Central Park.  I was amazed at what an effective and resonating storytelling medium it is.  Especially for the kids who unlike me were more on eye level with the Marionettes at this show.  This video courtesy of the amazing folks at Etsy and directed by Eric Beug gives an in depth look at this craft thru the eyes of puppeteer Geahk Burchill.  The history and intimacy behind this art form is fascinating to say the least.  I don’t know if there is any other medium including film that makes a greater leap from the inanimate to the animate. For more on this story log onto the Etsy Blog.

Enjoy
TrVZ