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Steve Connor
OT but part of the debate I think
on Nov 8, 2011 at 2:06:15 pm

http://www.mikejones.tv/journal/2011/10/3/start-acting-like-an-amateur-if-y...

"My Name is Steve and I'm an FCPX user"


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Gary Huff
Re: OT but part of the debate I think
on Nov 8, 2011 at 3:33:56 pm

Congrats to Walter Biscardi for the positive call-out!


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Alan Okey
Re: OT but part of the debate I think
on Nov 8, 2011 at 4:10:27 pm

The "golden rules" list at the end is priceless.

I am also annoyed at how a shallow depth of field in EVERY SHOT is now considered the latest badge of cinematic street cred in amateur circles. When was the last time you saw a major feature that had nothing but shot after shot with a shallow depth of field? Does that mean Citizen Kane isn't truly "cinematic" because it has shots with extremely deep depth of field?


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tony west
Re: OT but part of the debate I think
on Nov 8, 2011 at 4:41:53 pm

I agree, very silly.

I just had a shoot that involved many city landmarks in the background of the talent and a young production person asked me if I wanted to use a DOF adapter.

I told him the whole point is to SEE the great images in the background.

He then agreed.

You just have to get people to THINK about what they are doing so they don't just follow blindly.


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Andy Neil
Re: OT but part of the debate I think
on Nov 8, 2011 at 4:45:04 pm

True it's annoying, but it's also unsurprising. After all, digital film making has been available to the masses for low cost since the late 80s, early 90s, but only recently has there been a relatively low-cost option for shallow DOF. This has led to the inevitable over-doing of the technique.

It'll shake out in a couple of years. Until then, RACK that focus!

Andy

http://www.timesavertutorials.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: OT but part of the debate I think
on Nov 8, 2011 at 5:33:46 pm

I think it's a tool like everything else.

I'll tell you where shallow DOF saves our asses, although we aren't filmmakers and don't claim to be.

Many times, our clients will setup rooms to do interviews. We arrive on location and the room is a piece of sh*t and looks horrible. We can now throw the whole background out of focus, add some subtle light back there, and it becomes pleasing with some bokeh, or whatever the kids are calling it these days. But this is very deliberate, helps the overall look of our work, and we use it as a tool, not a mandate.

I do agree, it is way over used, and a lot of programs look the same because of it. It's almost a gimmick at this point.

I know I have posted this before, but this video tickles me:



Jeremy


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Scott Sheriff
Re: OT but part of the debate I think
on Nov 9, 2011 at 3:06:38 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "I know I have posted this before, but this video tickles me:"

I love the pie chart! The "one episode of House" chart segment is priceless. If I had a dollar for every time some wannabe with a 5D mentioned that to up their cred, I could go out and by an Alexa.

Scott Sheriff
Director
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com


"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." ---Red Adair

Where were you on 6/21?


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Clint Wardlow
Re: OT but part of the debate I think
on Nov 8, 2011 at 8:13:20 pm

The master of deep focus, to my mind, was Sergio Leone. How many times would he show us a stunning, perfectly in focus, scenic vista only to have a grizzled face in close up invade the frame? Or a great shot of a gunfighter in the distance standing ready to do battle while a gunbelt and hand over the gunbutt is in sharp relief in the foreground.

Unfortunately, video seems to flatten the frame of such shots and never seems to have the 3D-like depth of film. It is getting better, but still not quite there. With the shallow depth of field I think video looks more film-like...and that is why it is being over used, IMHO.


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Marvin Holdman
Re: OT but part of the debate I think
on Nov 8, 2011 at 8:20:46 pm

As for me, I can't wait until the new Passive-Agressive 2.0 rig comes out. Man, I'm gonna look GOOD on the set!

Marvin Holdman
Production Manager
Tourist Network
8317 Front Beach Rd, Suite 23
Panama City Beach, Fl
phone 850-234-2773 ext. 128
cell 850-585-9667
skype username - vidmarv


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Bill Davis
Re: OT but part of the debate I think
on Nov 8, 2011 at 8:53:23 pm

[Marvin Holdman] "As for me, I can't wait until the new Passive-Agressive 2.0 rig comes out. Man, I'm gonna look GOOD on the set!"

Made me laugh! Thanks.

I enjoyed reading the OP too. But I'm stuck thinking that while he's absolutely correct on one level - there's another level in play that's changing things even MORE than the problem of the faux professional he addresses here.

It's the rapidly changing nature of the entire game.

Once upon a time I was a young creative in RADIO. I honed those skills to a fine edge and essentially salivated when I got my paws on my first 4 track Otari in a radio station that could ping-pong and build complex mixes.

Then a funny thing happened when I transitioned into Video. Those audio skills were only PARTIALLY useful. In the world of pictures AND audio, the audio that was my passion didn't solve my problems the way it had before. When you could SEE the character speaking, you could understand them perfectly well in the context of a mumbled phrase that valued the on-screen EMOTION over the precision of each syllable.

The game I was playing had changed. And I had to notice and appreciate that.

Here we go again. If you're goal is making a Hollywood Movie, yes, you need to learn a WHOLE LOT of craft if you're going to do a good job. And the problem of the inexperienced NOOB with delusions of grandeur is very real.

But while you're trying to get one of the 2,000 rarified slots at the top of that Hollywood pyrimid - or even one of the 20,000 "noted professionals" slots at the level down from that, or the 200,000 slots down at the "working craftsman" level - over on the web, in corporate suites, and on the screens of millions of iPads there are other games being played. And out there, there are probably 20 MILLION opportunities to craft a reputation and a decent life.

The real disaster, IMO is propagating the idea that the ONLY game that makes sense to play is the shiny one being shown at the Movies or on Network TV in an era where new communications patterns and new income streams are cropping up literally every day.

IMO the big problem isn't helping the new kids see the real trees in this forest. It's allowing ourselves the freedom to ask if we're even IN the right forest at all.

Just thinking out loud here.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Thomas Frank
Re: OT but part of the debate I think
on Nov 8, 2011 at 9:21:49 pm

Reading this Blog I can hear the fear in between the lines of someone that is afraid losing project and jobs to a uprising generation that might be more talented with less technical knowledge which is learnable.



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Chris Harlan
Re: OT but part of the debate I think
on Nov 8, 2011 at 9:26:20 pm

[Thomas Frank] "Reading this Blog I can hear the fear in between the lines of someone that is afraid losing project and jobs to a uprising generation that might be more talented with less technical knowledge which is learnable.
"


Really, that's what you get? Feed that delusion, pal.


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Thomas Frank
Re: OT but part of the debate I think
on Nov 8, 2011 at 9:31:23 pm

okay why do you think and why would say something like that?
If not the case why complain about it?



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Chris Harlan
Re: OT but part of the debate I think
on Nov 8, 2011 at 9:38:05 pm

[Thomas Frank] "okay why do you think and why would say something like that?
If not the case why complain about it?
"


Sorry, Thomas. I SO don't understand this question. I'm sure it is a typo. Could you possibly clarify?


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Walter Soyka
Re: OT but part of the debate I think
on Nov 8, 2011 at 9:30:34 pm

[Thomas Frank] "Reading this Blog I can hear the fear in between the lines of someone that is afraid losing project and jobs to a uprising generation that might be more talented with less technical knowledge which is learnable."

Did you read the comments, too? Mike Jones has some dialog with other readers who suggested this same thing.

I'll posit that neither talent nor technical ability alone are the driving factors behind success in this business, though.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Thomas Frank
Re: OT but part of the debate I think
on Nov 8, 2011 at 9:33:22 pm

That is true but one is talent and the other is learnable.



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Walter Soyka
Re: OT but part of the debate I think -- NOW: talent
on Nov 8, 2011 at 9:35:27 pm

[Thomas Frank] "That is true but one is talent and the other is learnable."

Ok. What elements of good production depend on some innate talent and cannot be learned?

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Thomas Frank
Re: OT but part of the debate I think -- NOW: talent
on Nov 8, 2011 at 9:37:22 pm

Well if you know how to write a story but you have no talent in telling a story I guess its only half good. No?



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Walter Soyka
Re: OT but part of the debate I think -- NOW: talent
on Nov 8, 2011 at 9:45:31 pm

[Thomas Frank] "Well if you know how to write a story but you have no talent in telling a story I guess its only half good. No?"

What is the difference?

Are you saying that storytelling is not a learnable skill?

There's an awful lot of current thinking that talent has very little to do with success. See Steven Pressfield's The War of Art, Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers: The Story of Success, and Geoff Colvin's Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else, for example.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Thomas Frank
Re: OT but part of the debate I think -- NOW: talent
on Nov 8, 2011 at 9:52:51 pm

I think you didn't get what I am saying "talent" the "creativity" the "imagination" is half... it is part of your success, never mind it is your success. Anybody can educate themselves with technical mumbo jumbo...

Einstein quote:
Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.

Funny a coworker said something like this similar on FCPX... can't use FCPX professionally try using your imagination. hihihihihi



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Chris Harlan
Re: OT but part of the debate I think -- NOW: talent
on Nov 8, 2011 at 10:02:37 pm

[Thomas Frank] "I think you didn't get what I am saying "talent" the "creativity" the "imagination" is half... it is part of your success, never mind it is your success. Anybody can educate themselves with technical mumbo jumbo...

Einstein quote:
Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.

Funny a coworker said something like this similar on FCPX... can't use FCPX professionally try using your imagination. hihihihihi
"



Hey pal, you keep following your path. It sounds like you are on just the right one for you.


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Thomas Frank
Re: OT but part of the debate I think -- NOW: talent
on Nov 8, 2011 at 10:27:54 pm

Can't complain, growing establishment. What about your path?



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tony west
Re: OT but part of the debate I think -- NOW: talent
on Nov 9, 2011 at 3:06:32 pm

I'm sure most of the people on here have plenty of work.

You see, the reality is that clients tend to just go with the people they feel comfortable with and have worked with for years.

I often try to push work to young and new folks I think have potential. The clients just shrug and go with another person that they have worked with for the last 20 years. Not wanting to take a chance that something may go wrong.

I went through it myself as a young up and comer. "Just give me a chance : (

Finally the did : )

If someone is totally independent and does their own film that won't effect someone else getting hired on a different project.

I was working on a music video and a young guy came up to me with this dinky little camera and asked me a million questions about lighting and such.

I had a track dolly and a decent budget.

He said "I do videos for people who can't afford you"

I thought good for him. Maybe one day when I'm over booked I can push something to him.

Maybe they will give him a chance : )


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Walter Soyka
Re: OT but part of the debate I think -- NOW: talent
on Nov 8, 2011 at 10:27:25 pm

[Thomas Frank] "I think you didn't get what I am saying "talent" the "creativity" the "imagination" is half... it is part of your success, never mind it is your success. Anybody can educate themselves with technical mumbo jumbo..."

So you think creativity cannot be learned? Again, I must disagree. Creativity is a process which can be studied; it's an activity which can be practiced; it's a skill which can be improved.

I think that part of the point of the original blog post was that while anyone can take the time to learn the concrete aspects of the field, there is a large subset of people around the industry who don't accept that they would benefit from doing so. Instead, they believe their extreme "talent" is more than enough.


[Thomas Frank] "Funny a coworker said something like this similar on FCPX... can't use FCPX professionally try using your imagination. hihihihihi"

I'd argue this, but I guess it'd just be technical mumbo jumbo.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Thomas Frank
Re: OT but part of the debate I think -- NOW: talent
on Nov 8, 2011 at 10:39:06 pm

True you can investigate it but you can't acquire it. Well maybe with the red pill.
You an argue with FCPX all you want technical or not, he has done it on two projects.
He says it's like a Adobe sweet from many developers send it out for sound, grading and printing it to tape.
Me on the other hand like to keep it in house. To bad Smoke cost as much as the new canon EOS 300 camera. :(
Maybe next year... :)



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Walter Soyka
Re: OT but part of the debate I think -- NOW: talent
on Nov 9, 2011 at 3:16:00 pm

[Thomas Frank] "True you can investigate it [creativity? talent?] but you can't acquire it. Well maybe with the red pill."

Thomas, I have never met anyone in my life with literally zero creativity or talent.

I have met many who have neither the inclination nor the drive to develop it.

I have also met many who don't even believe such a thing could be done.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Gerald Baria
Re: OT but part of the debate I think -- NOW: talent
on Nov 9, 2011 at 10:02:13 am

[Walter Soyka] "So you think creativity cannot be learned? Again, I must disagree. Creativity is a process which can be studied; it's an activity which can be practiced; it's a skill which can be improved. "

Wow, really?! Talent, as in pure bread, just born with it crazy good the first time, tyoe of talent is completely ridiculous to you? And the only way to really make great work, is to study 10 years in films school, work under some 60 year old pro for another 10 years, and start from the bottoom and move slowly up..only then could you be given the credit to be "capable" of doing something great?! I cannot believe I am seeing this staement from a Cow writer. Have you people really have lost all respect for ART, just to protect your slowly disappearing turf?!

Here's the hard facts.

Many people can get the best equipment, best crew, best grading tools, huge budgets..but if the director has NO TALENT, his movie will be CRAP. That is proven several times every single year from all the crap that comes out of Hollywood. CRAP..as in that ridicolously bad Mobius movie by Laforet for the C300 demo. Technically well made YES, but overall value is poop nonetheless. And a lot of times...low budget, meager equipped indie dudes really make something great.

You can argue all you want that only 4 decades of hard work and experience is the ONLY way to do great stuff but the proof is in the pudding. I see american TV everyday, I see hollywood movies every week. And those are old well equipped, hard working "pros" but 98% of the things I see is still CRAP. Because talent, can and will never be learned. When you have it..you just have it. If you dont, no amount of money or training can cover it for you.

Quobetah
New=Better


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Walter Soyka
Re: OT but part of the debate I think -- NOW: talent
on Nov 9, 2011 at 3:06:25 pm

"[Walter Soyka] "So you think creativity cannot be learned? Again, I must disagree. Creativity is a process which can be studied; it's an activity which can be practiced; it's a skill which can be improved."

[Gerald Baria] "Wow, really?! Talent, as in pure bread, just born with it crazy good the first time, tyoe of talent is completely ridiculous to you? And the only way to really make great work, is to study 10 years in films school, work under some 60 year old pro for another 10 years, and start from the bottoom and move slowly up..only then could you be given the credit to be "capable" of doing something great?! I cannot believe I am seeing this staement from a Cow writer."

Why should you believe it? I said nothing of the sort. I said that creativity can be learned, and through practice, can be improved. You made up the junk about film school, decades of experience, and only one path to success, then falsely attributed it to me.

Also, nowhere in this thread have I denied the existence of innate ability.

Here's what I've been getting at with my line of discussion: talent (innate ability) is neither necessary nor sufficient for success, and talent doesn't matter nearly as much to success as hard work does.

If you're not interested in any of the references I provided earlier in the thread, I'll refer you to Aesop. The hare was a talented runner; the tortoise was a hard worker. The tortoise won. In my mind, the moral of the story is not "slow and steady wins the race." I think the moral is "there is no substitute for hard work."

You'll note that if the hare had seen any value in hard work, he could have easily won the race. Don't ever make the hare's mistake of relying only on your talent. If you do, you'll lose.


[Gerald Baria] "Have you people really have lost all respect for ART, just to protect your slowly disappearing turf?!"

Gerald, I believe your idea that talent matters more in art (with a capital A) than hard work does is an insult to actual artists everywhere who push themselves every single day to do better work.

If talent (innate ability) were all that mattered, you'd never see artists grow. They'd be just as good when they were born as they were the day they died. This is demonstrably false, so clearly there's something more than just inborn talent to this.

Immature artists hold up Talent, or worse, Creativity, as some unique, you've-either-got-it-or-you-don't natural attribute which separates them from mere mortals. A quick glance through any freshman-level art class's sketchbooks will show you that talent is a simple inborn head start on otherwise learnable skills. A cursory read through any research into creativity will show that creativity is a process that's fundamental to human cognition, which we are all capable of, and without which we couldn't solve problems.

Finally, I want to touch on this "you people" and "your slowly disappearing turf" thing and its ridiculous adversarial tone.

First of all, I doubt I'm that much older than you. Secondly, I believe the market is expanding, not contracting. (This is one of the benefits of healthy competition.) Thirdly, you falsely assume that none of the established industry players have as much talent as newcomers do. Fourthly, you falsely assume that established industry players don't see any value in continuing to learn. Finally, you falsely assume that established industry workflows have no value, and are maintained through fear or reticence, not merit.

Every time someone points out the value of experience or hard work -- and please note that while they often go hand-in-hand, they are not the same thing -- someone else who values neither (possibly because he lacks experience and has not yet put in the hard work) suggests the motivation for this is fear.

It is not fear.

In fact, it's fearless.

Posts such as the blog post that started this thread come from a sincere desire to share experience in order to help other people -- even possible competitors -- working in the industry.

The "you people" that you're railing against collectively have tens of thousands of posts here on the COW, helping complete strangers on the Internet with their production problems, freely giving away knowledge acquired through years of experience and hard work.

Speaking for myself, I contribute here to help others grow, because CreativeCOW has helped me to grow and continues to help me to grow. I can't pay it backwards, but I can pay it forwards by actively working to make the community better and to advance the state of the art.

What are you doing? Climbing up on the shoulders of those who have come before you, then looking down and spitting?

If you can't pay it backwards, pay it forwards.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Gerald Baria
Re: OT but part of the debate I think -- NOW: talent
on Nov 10, 2011 at 7:30:35 am

[Walter Soyka] "talent (innate ability) is neither necessary nor sufficient for success, and talent doesn't matter nearly as much to success as hard work does."

See this is my problem, and the one I'm disagreeing on..especially those words in bold. Not suffiecient for sucess, yes..but "not nescessary" now that is just appaling. Does that mean that any regular joe, who has money and time, can just buy some first rate gear, go into film school, and after he comes out of it he's another Spielberg? Anyone?! As is any "regular guy"..can make works of art such as the "Schindler's list" after going thru some film school and practice?

Really.

Then why am I seeing a lot of crappy work both in television and in movies then? Why am I not seeing the same depth, interpretation, artistry, pace, story telling emotionally moving movie every single time...?! I assume the people who made them have been working really really hard top be able to have worked for some of the richest studios in hollywood? Why is there still so much crap?

I get it. Im young. Im poor. The work I have done so far sucks balls. but that's because my abilities havent caught up to my "taste" yet. I know whats good..i wanna make them..but currently i am not capable yet, majority of the reason is i am not financially capable of buying all the shit I need, and learning all the knowledge that I need to know....or so I assume. Now when it comes to,"learning enriches talent", I will agree on you on that. But you had to have talent in the first place.

A tree wont grow without a seed.

Quobetah
New=Better


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Chris Harlan
Re: OT but part of the debate I think -- NOW: talent
on Nov 10, 2011 at 8:02:16 am

[Gerald Baria] "I get it. Im young. Im poor. The work I have done so far sucks balls. but that's because my abilities havent caught up to my "taste" yet. I know whats good..i wanna make them..but currently i am not capable yet, majority of the reason is i am not financially capable of buying all the shit I need, and learning all the knowledge that I need to know....or so I assume. Now when it comes to,"learning enriches talent", I will agree on you on that. But you had to have talent in the first place.

A tree wont grow without a seed."


Gerald, this a terrifically straightforward thing for you to say. There is nothing wrong with you being where you are developmentally. And it is terrific that you aspire to make great things. There is also nothing at all wrong with you choosing FCP X as a tool to grow with. For laying things out this way, you got my vote.


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Walter Soyka
Re: OT but part of the debate I think -- NOW: talent
on Nov 10, 2011 at 3:30:34 pm

Gerald, thanks for the good response. I think this is one of the most interesting side conversations I've had here.

[Gerald Baria] "See this is my problem, and the one I'm disagreeing on..especially those words in bold. Not suffiecient for sucess, yes..but "not nescessary" now that is just appaling. Does that mean that any regular joe, who has money and time, can just buy some first rate gear, go into film school, and after he comes out of it he's another Spielberg? Anyone?! As is any "regular guy"..can make works of art such as the "Schindler's list" after going thru some film school and practice?"

We treat the professions based on traditional arts as if they were somehow special: that there's a magic spark within a person called Talent or Creativity that pre-ordains them for success. I don't dispute that tremendous natural talent is a huge advantage, but I think that saying innate ability is necessary for success is elitist and untrue.

I don't disagree at all that it takes an incredible amount of ability to create a truly great film. I'm just saying that it immaterial whether that ability is innate or developed over time.

Spielberg is an interesting example. Was he exceptionally talented? Was he born with a gift for filmmaking? Maybe -- but USC didn't think so. They rejected his film school applications twice.

I'd argue Spielberg is a great example of how hard work breeds success. He started making films as a child with his father's 8mm camera -- and then he just never stopped. His "talent" may not have been filmmaking; it may been passion, drive, and the ability and desire to never stop learning.

When Spielberg made Schindler's List in 1993, he was 47. Given that he started making films when he was 12, he had 35 years to hone his craft. 35 years to accumulate experience and perspective. 35 years to work, study, learn, and improve.

I don't think a regular Joe can just buy gear, go to film school, and come out a genius. I do think it's possible that Spielberg was a regular Joe who worked damn hard to earn his success.


[Gerald Baria] "Then why am I seeing a lot of crappy work both in television and in movies then? Why am I not seeing the same depth, interpretation, artistry, pace, story telling emotionally moving movie every single time...?! I assume the people who made them have been working really really hard top be able to have worked for some of the richest studios in hollywood? Why is there still so much crap?"

You are conflating commercial and artistic success. Hollywood doesn't. Hollywood is a set of businesses trying to make money.


[Gerald Baria] "Now when it comes to,"learning enriches talent", I will agree on you on that. But you had to have talent in the first place. A tree wont grow without a seed."

Have you ever met anyone with literally zero talent? Can you be sure?

I really do encourage you to read the books I mentioned earlier (Pressfield's War of Art [or its less ethereal brother Do the Work]), Gladwell's Outliers, and Colvin's Talent Is Overrated). Whether or not they change your mind on the topic of our debate, they have valuable lessons on how we can work to improve ourselves and our performances.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Herb Sevush
Re: OT but part of the debate I think -- NOW: talent
on Nov 10, 2011 at 3:59:44 pm

To amplify on this subject I would suggest that some people have greater genetic ability in certain areas - visual, audio, linguistic. As such you might find prodigies in music, poetry and the visual arts - it's not hard to find someone with a natural eye for composition, an ear for music or a flair for writing.

I will leave aside the whole notion of the importance of combining those gifts with the gift to learn and the gift to work hard and say instead that there is no such gift for making movies, because there is no single skill that is involved.

There is no part of the brain that is mapped for filmmaking the way there is for audio, visual and language. There is no part of the brain mapped for dramatic narrative. The ability to make a great movie involves all sorts of different talents - you don't have to be gifted visually (see Billy wilder) you don't have to be gifted linguistically (see Alfred Hitchcock) and while it's not unusual for filmmakers to be musicians it is by no means the rule.

It is rare to find great films by young people (Welles and Spielberg come first to mind) and there are no Mozarts of the cinema that I am aware of.

Gerald spoke of developing "taste" as an aspect of creativity but taste is something that is absolutely not genetic, it's an acquired appreciation developed over time. There's an old saying something to the effect that the way to know whether a painting is good or not is to first look at a million other paintings (Gladwell would reduce this to 10,000 I'm sure).

As for why most movies suck, well there's plenty of blame to go around, but one thing is for sure, most sets in Hollywood are filled with people of enormous natural talent, from the on screen talent to the production crew to those working in post. Neither talent nor good intentions can override a system where movies are supervised by committees who are in turn supervised by other committees. A camel is a horse designed by a committee.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Chris Harlan
Re: OT but part of the debate I think -- NOW: talent
on Nov 9, 2011 at 3:06:48 pm

Gerald, you got big stones, babe. Why don't you point us to some of your work so we can see some of that sprung from the head of Gerald brilliance?


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Herb Sevush
Re: OT but part of the debate I think -- NOW: talent
on Nov 9, 2011 at 3:18:05 pm

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/20157

The nice thing about you Gerald is that you seem to be exactly the person Mike Jones was writing about in the blog that started this thread.

Would all you multi-hyphenate, DSLR shooting, one-man-band, editor / director / screenwriter / colour-grader / filmmakers, with your ultra-shallow depth-of-field, Vimeo hosted music-video showreels - who have never actually had a paid professional gig in your life - please, for the love of God, (censored)…!

Please Stop blogging, please Stop tweeting, please Stop dispensing advice or setting up websites with your ‘pro’ techniques and commentary, please Stop propagating fallacy and ignorance, please Stop offering your opinions on what is or isn’t Cinematic, Please Stop signing your signature with a litany of job titles just because you own a fist-full of software plug-ins and a Mac. Please Stop Pretending…


Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Rafael Amador
Re: OT but part of the debate I think -- NOW: talent
on Nov 11, 2011 at 3:33:44 am

[Gerald Baria] "Many people can get the best equipment, best crew, best grading tools, huge budgets..but if the director has NO TALENT, his movie will be CRAP."
That's half right, and you are talking of a situation where the DIRECTOR has left in other people hands al that meaningless "technical mumbo jumbo".
You are saying that the only talent needed to make a great film is the Director's talent.
Take your camera, go out alone and show your talent.
Win the right to direct others showing that you can direct your self.

When Michelangelo painted the "Sistine Chapel" (with a huge crew) he has already shown what he was able to do and he new very well him self all his "mumbo jumbo".

[Gerald Baria] "You can argue all you want that only 4 decades of hard work and experience is the ONLY way to do great stuff but the proof is in the pudding. I see american TV everyday, I see hollywood movies every week. And those are old well equipped, hard working "pros" but 98% of the things I see is still CRAP. Because talent, can and will never be learned."
That's a completely different discussion Gerald.
That the real talented people and the new ideas have a hard way to go is absolutely true, but that happens in every single field in real life, not only in art or film making. That's like that from the kindergarden up.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Marvin Holdman
Re: OT but part of the debate I think -- NOW: talent
on Nov 8, 2011 at 9:54:24 pm

In all seriousness, I got from him that he was trying to help out those who are trying to get into this business by giving them a glimmer of understanding as to how they might appear to a potential employer. Stand on your soapbox and scream, "You're afraid of up and comers, ya geezer!" if you like, but you're missing the point if you take that kind of attitude to your next job. When I was young, and worked around the "geezers" I held them in quite high esteem, as they were where I wanted to one day be. I realize now that some of them probably didn't deserve such blind adoration, but in the end, I also realize at least in part, that respect got me to a point where I can make a living doing something I love. I also realize now that I had no idea how completely naive I was at the time. Only time and experience can wash away some of that for the VAST majority of fledglings. Frankly, it's a tiny percentage of the up and comers that are that wise, and if you think you are one of them, I can tell you with a pretty good certainty that you are not. Humility goes a long way in this business of epic egos.

In the end, he was trying to help. Take it as you will.

Marvin Holdman
Production Manager
Tourist Network
8317 Front Beach Rd, Suite 23
Panama City Beach, Fl
phone 850-234-2773 ext. 128
cell 850-585-9667
skype username - vidmarv


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Bill Davis
Re: OT but part of the debate I think -- NOW: talent
on Nov 8, 2011 at 10:38:54 pm

Gosh, Marvin...

Are you saying that a group of those in the "priest class" of a particular profession have NEVER dismissed the newcomers who see new possibilities, or methods of thinking, or yes new tool sets with a curmudgeonly "that's not how we PROS do it" knee jerk dismissal?

Jeez, dude, history is rife with that. Like it or not, the new ALWAYS pushes aside the old.

Experience and talent both have great value. But NEITHER of those are enough to protect you in times of great change.

For a civilization to advance to dismiss EITHER the experience of age OR the energy of youth and progress are equally stupid IMO.

And sorry, but there are plenty of "old pros" around here who appear to be stuck in their existing business model and can't see any picture outside of their suites. I honestly hope they get it precisely right and time their migrations from their old practices to more modern ones at exactly the right time. And I hope the brash youngsters last long enough to temper their enthusiasm for the new with the experience and wisdom that comes with finally seeing that the "old ways" grew that way for good reasons -

But just like in politics, the extremes are usually where the plodders typically get stuck.

And I do believe that has happened here a lot.

FWIW

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Marvin Holdman
Re: OT but part of the debate I think -- NOW: talent
on Nov 9, 2011 at 2:28:48 am

Wow Bill, way to completely miss my point. You are either a troll or muttonhead. Either way, you really haven't got a clue.

Marvin Holdman
Production Manager
Tourist Network
8317 Front Beach Rd, Suite 23
Panama City Beach, Fl
phone 850-234-2773 ext. 128
cell 850-585-9667
skype username - vidmarv


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Bill Davis
Re: OT but part of the debate I think -- NOW: talent
on Nov 9, 2011 at 3:25:25 am

Excellent riposte, Marvin.

The old fallback "you're just a dummy" argument.

Nice use of reason, that.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Herb Sevush
Re: OT but part of the debate I think
on Nov 9, 2011 at 1:59:52 am

[Thomas Frank] "to a uprising generation that might be more talented with less technical knowledge which is learnable."

You make the mistake of many talent scouts in various sports who look at a kid and say, jeez look at his natural ability, what an athlete, we can teach him how to (hit, pitch, throw, catch ...)but we can't teach natural ability. Then they sign the kid and it is almost always a disaster, he never does learn the skills, because it turns out that "learning" is also a talent, and if you don't have the habit of learning down before your twenty, your not very likely to pick it up later.

What I'm trying to say is that the ability to learn what you so contemptuously term "technical knowledge" is a rare talent, as rare as having a good eye for composition or color, and that it's a losers choice to bet on some talented youngster who has not shown an interest in the technical side of his trade. Imagination is good, ideas are a dime a dozen but the ability to execute, to put thoughts into action is rarest of all. It also helps if you know how to light.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: OT but part of the debate I think
on Nov 8, 2011 at 11:47:40 pm

[Bill Davis] "on the screens of millions of iPads there are other games being played. And out there, there are probably 20 MILLION opportunities to craft a reputation and a decent life.

The real disaster, IMO is propagating the idea that the ONLY game that makes sense to play is the shiny one being shown at the Movies or on Network TV in an era where new communications patterns and new income streams are cropping up literally every day. IMO the big problem isn't helping the new kids see the real trees in this forest. It's allowing ourselves the freedom to ask if we're even IN the right forest at all.

"



ah god Bill, you're funny, and a little depressing, and I pray that no spunky young entrant reads a one of your posts. ever.

of course. There are no trees, there is no skills attainment, there is no previous generation, the kids aren't obsessively watching and internalising the craft of film makers they admire, films they adore, and beginning to wonder at the role of the editor in the creation of said films.

Scorsese's smugglers craft doc I always found fascinating - i wrote my wee design thesis on it. Its a gorgeous piece. His debt to Minnelli, Ray et al.

Scorsese is a product of observation. He is utterly himself now, but he grew out of internalising observation.

And so what are we to observe? A cheaply made corporate film, or the best of film? the best of documentary? realising that in fog of war Macnamara was addressing a carefully placed monitor screen? don't you love the placement of the cameras?

It is your horrific push against a respect for the top end, as if it is some closed pyramid scam, to be ignored, that i find truly and crassly irritating Bill - and let me stop you here - I'm not angry with you, indeed I'm not venting any anger: I am simply, on a personal level, irritated by the inanity of your arguments.

People in the creative arts, by definition, every day, to the best of their abilities, aspire to the best of the craft. they aspire to matchlessly express the art, (and after a fashion, themselves), building on, and informed by the best of their peers, and the best of those that have gone before.

In order to do this at the highest level, in order to express their skill at the highest pitch, they will strive to rise through the profession.

NOT EVERYONE DOES. (to borrow your caps)

My father was a good documentary maker, my mother is a good actress.

Neither have received oscars or nobels.

Your deathless idiotic argument that the finest expressions of editing "one of the 2,000 rarified slots at the top of that Hollywood pyrimid - or even one of the 20,000 "noted professionals" slots at the level down from that"... god almighty Bill. the notion that it is, in effect, a static mute lottery that needs to be ignored, because of its rarified number, that we should wade out in reverse into the mass of some proposed twenty million, is, I find, one of the most truly anti-intellectual, depressing, death of craft arguments one could ever encounter.

I find your proposed argument and boxing of attainment into a false rarified cabal both contemptibly false, and indescribably annoying.


For shame, frankly.


http://www.ogallchoir.net
promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: OT but part of the debate I think
on Nov 9, 2011 at 2:34:50 am

It's a shame that all of this mud slinging was caused becuase of the release of cheap and incomplete piece of editing software.

This sucks.

There is nothing to learn from here.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: OT but part of the debate I think
on Nov 9, 2011 at 2:38:33 am

Wrong. This isn't mud slinging, this is fundamental debate.


http://www.ogallchoir.net
promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: OT but part of the debate I think
on Nov 9, 2011 at 2:58:09 am

ok


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Herb Sevush
Re: OT but part of the debate I think
on Nov 9, 2011 at 3:32:43 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "There is nothing to learn from here."

Sure there is ... human nature.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: OT but part of the debate I think
on Nov 9, 2011 at 3:55:28 am

[Herb Sevush] "Sure there is ... human nature."

It's so wonderful


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Herb Sevush
Re: OT but part of the debate I think
on Nov 9, 2011 at 4:23:24 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "It's so wonderful"

It's so interesting.

"The proper study of Mankind is Man." A.Pope

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Herb Sevush
Re: OT but part of the debate I think
on Nov 9, 2011 at 1:43:24 am

[Bill Davis] "But while you're trying to get one of the 2,000 rarified slots at the top of that Hollywood pyrimid - or even one of the 20,000 "noted professionals" slots at the level down from that, or the 200,000 slots down at the "working craftsman" level - over on the web, in corporate suites, and on the screens of millions of iPads there are other games being played. And out there, there are probably 20 MILLION opportunities to craft a reputation and a decent life."

So you think being ignorant of the basics of the craft of visual storytelling is some sort of advantage? That Ipad viewers prefer a shitty looking image and badly recorded sound? Most people don't grow up to be novelists or poets but it still helps to know an adjective from an adverb, even if your posting on the web.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: OT but part of the debate I think
on Nov 9, 2011 at 2:55:23 pm

I think this whole repetitive argument boils down to this: success in your craft is a balance of your innate, god-given (let's not start an argument on this, please) talent, balanced with your knowledge of the processes and technologies used.

A writer won't get very far if he doesn't know how to use a typewriter, a pad and pencil, or a word-processor. No amount of talent will overcome a lack of technical knowledge. If this writer learns one of the three processes, and has great talent, he will likely succeed. But there's also no guarantee of that, either. Where does he live? If he's in New York, or LA, his odds are greatly increased. If he's in Calais, Maine, his odds are greatly reduced.

That said, there will obviously be some very talented people who go no where in the field they love, and there will be hacks who make it to the top. I know some very talented editors, technical directors, and others who should still be in the industry, who are now real estate brokers, investment counselors, you name it. In addition to the talent and technical knowledge, you have to know how to turn a dollar with it.

My feeling is that every piece of software out there should have a label on the side that says "Talent Not Included". That said, I also realize that technical knowledge does, and should, play a major role in how far you can get once you look beyond the elusive "talent".

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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