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Redundancy


Matins 2
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It is getting more difficult.

A few factors at play:

- More homogenous globalised world, with cultures coming closer together under the umbrella of capitalism and internet

- Global pool of talent and art, yes that's what you have to stand out against now. Before, you only had to be unique within your sphere of influence or country

So the internet has changed what it means to be unique or new.

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If you're doing this creatively or as a hobby it's very daunting to be faced with the best of the world's output.

I faced this problem recently when I was starting to post some creative photography on Instagram. One negative thought that I had was, indeed, "what's the point of making and posting work when thousands of others are doing the same thing, only better than me?"

The answer for me, in this context, was that there is still a local audience. And while the pics I was posting were nothing spectacular in a global arena, they were pretty good compared to what others were doing in my local area. I built up a respectable following after a while, 99% of which were genuine local followers.

Similarly, I used to do a bit of documentary film making, but haven't for a while. But when I was it was fairly easy to get a screening at a local or national film festival, and quite a bit less likely for me to be screened internationally. The local festivals were lots of fun. I met great people and had a great time. The slightly more prestigious international festivals (when I was able to travel to them) were like a special treat in comparison, all the better for being a little bit more rare.

So I would say: find your audience. You don't need to be broadcasting to millions or even thousands on YouTube. If you make a video about your granny's cat she'll absolutely love it, and you'll feel good too!

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8 hours ago, kye said:

Let me ask the opposite...

Do you think you have ever had a new idea or captured an existing idea in a truly new way?

I have never had an original idea in my life that I am aware of.

Instead, I take an amalgamation of inspiration from all manner of sources (should be sauces) and stir them in a big pot.

I then focus on producing a result 100% for me despite the clients paying.

I am somewhat ‘fortunate’ in that regard that I do not work to client briefs but instead produce something in my style specifically why they choose me, ie, they don’t want any input.

I have tried to reinvent the wheel several times, but it has never worked for me so I spend my effort on polishing my wheel instead and making it as shiny as possible.

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Because I shoot for nonprofit agencies mostly (that's NGOs for you non-American types 😉), the videos I shoot are pretty issue specific and not at all redundant. Just yesterday I was up in a wetlands restoration project that had been burned out in a major forest fire. The Forest Service and our local land trust are replanting it. The clips I got from it will go into a three-part series of social media shorts about how the land trust and its partners are helping the community and the ecosystem rebound from this devastating event. And I maybe be able to use it in a longer term documentary about the fire and its aftermath in context of climate change and the increase of severe wildfires in our region.

That's definitely not redundant content and I'm really excited/motivated to tell these important stories. Maybe the answer to feeling like you're creating redundant content is to find unique stories that feel like they have value to you and shoot them!

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23 hours ago, kye said:

Let me ask the opposite...

Do you think you have ever had a new idea or captured an existing idea in a truly new way?

If we are strictly speaking about image capturing, then probably not..

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On 3/5/2021 at 2:44 PM, MrSMW said:

I have never had an original idea in my life that I am aware of.

Instead, I take an amalgamation of inspiration from all manner of sources (should be sauces) and stir them in a big pot.

I then focus on producing a result 100% for me despite the clients paying.

I am somewhat ‘fortunate’ in that regard that I do not work to client briefs but instead produce something in my style specifically why they choose me, ie, they don’t want any input.

I have tried to reinvent the wheel several times, but it has never worked for me so I spend my effort on polishing my wheel instead and making it as shiny as possible.

I guess it depends on how exactly we define things.  An original idea may be "I Kye, will pick up my camera, and point it at that thing, and record video frames at these exact moments, with the light hitting the subject in exactly this way" and yes, everything we ever do is completely unique.
If I say "potato centrifuge Halifax cumbersome trellis" then that's probably the first time anyone has ever said that.** 

However, if you abstract up a little, getting a mid-shot of the subject with a 35mm FOV, well, that's been done more than a few times before...

I did purposefully comment rather cheekily and not actually answer the question.  Redundancy in creation is contextual.  You could post the same image and depending on context it may or may not be redundant.  The Kuleshov effect is in the mix too.

If you're creating content for a particular client where they know or care about who is in the footage, in some ways it doesn't matter how generic the style is (or it might even be desirable) because it matters who is in the footage.  A corporate video full of middle-aged white men talking about their company in corporate speak is completely meaningless unless those middle-aged white men are the middle-aged white men from your clients company, in which case, the video is worth paying for.
Ditto for wedding videos, or the videos I make of my friends and family.

Its a tough gig making content for people who don't know anyone who is featured in the final video.  In that case you would have to work super-hard to make the content interesting.  I'm glad I don't have that burden!

(** I look forward to your replies with the google results)

On 3/6/2021 at 5:43 AM, Matins 2 said:

What about yourself?

Not at all.  In terms of new ideas, my videos are far away from that territory.  

However, as discussed above, my videos are of my friends and family, or are camera tests of some kind, so either the audience knows the people in the video, or the audience might care about the camera test I'm doing.  In either case, there's little redundancy.

If I did want to push into new ideas or capturing things in a new way, I would have two options.  I would either need to capture things in a radically different style, which would likely not be at all appetising.  

I could shoot my videos using only a fisheye lens pointing at the sky and a tele macro that only frames a single eye of the subject and have a video that cuts back and forward between these two angles at random intervals.  New? yes.  Desirable? NO.

The alternative is to embrace the style, which in my case is on the continuum between Cinéma vérité and the cinematic highlight style of travel or wedding videos.  I tend to create a mixture of the two, not showing the parts where the kids whine about everything and their mum gets angry at them, but also not making our activities look like we live a fantasy life where everything is interesting and everyone is always happy (like most travel films tend to).
To get my videos anywhere near the level and finesse of the greats in this territory would require many lifetimes dedicated solely to the study of every aspect of creation, as well as doing deep work on myself to enable my own creativity to come forth much less unhindered than it does currently.

Meanwhile, I don't worry about it.  I have fun, do my best, and enjoy the process.

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It's definitely daunting but the world is smaller than we think. While there is more content than ever there are more niches than ever. Old content is also replaced by new. It's probably more about marketing than the content itself. 

 

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There ain't much of any kind of shot I capture that you can't find something very similar to it elsewhere.  I think that's true for most people, even the pros.  In fact, I was watching some of Roger Deakin's work from Sicario earlier this week and realized there's an almost identical shot from the David Lean's 1946 "Great Expectations" that's a direct copy. (soldiers defending into darkness, shot by Guy Green)  Pretty cool homage/rip-off.

But, even still, every combo of shots and audio is definitely a new context.  So what we do with those shots is what matters.  Often I get paid to create mundane context, but it's context the client wants.  I'm okay with that.  I'm not super creative.  No genius stuff here.  Ultimately I'm rock and roll, not progressive jazz.

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On 3/9/2021 at 4:15 AM, fuzzynormal said:

There ain't much of any kind of shot I capture that you can't find something very similar to it elsewhere.  I think that's true for most people, even the pros.  In fact, I was watching some of Roger Deakin's work from Sicario earlier this week and realized there's an almost identical shot from the David Lean's 1946 "Great Expectations" that's a direct copy. (soldiers defending into darkness, shot by Guy Green)  Pretty cool homage/rip-off.

But, even still, every combo of shots and audio is definitely a new context.  So what we do with those shots is what matters.  Often I get paid to create mundane context, but it's context the client wants.  I'm okay with that.  I'm not super creative.  No genius stuff here.  Ultimately I'm rock and roll, not progressive jazz.

Well said.

Ultimately, when all the good stuff has been done, you can either repeat the good stuff or .....

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