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The Gerald Undone Challenge


Andrew Reid
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It is funny to watch channels reviewing gear, when their main use case is making the review videos. I think Linus Tech Tips is the best example, where they have entire videos about building workstations to edit their videos about building workstations. Credit where it's due, it's not a bad business model, and in Linus' case they're open and honest about it.

Actually I'd say the same about Gerald, who has said in a few videos that his primary use for his gear is sit-down corporate interviews. He's said in a couple places that he's not a "cinematographer" or a "vlogger." I think the guy does a good job presenting information. If I want basic information about a camera or mic he's reviewed, I usually watch his video. I wouldn't try to get any artistic ideas from his videos.

I think that's where you should position yourself with your channel, Andrew. I've always liked/agreed with your opinions on color. I think you're at your best when talking about artistic use cases and reviewing gear from that perspective. We don't need you to compete with tech gear reviewers, just talk about what you're good at.

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13 minutes ago, Silenkiller said:

I think you are confused a bit. He is a gear reviewer from a purely technical standpoint and probably the best there is on YouTube. Can't even begin to understand, what is so hard to understand, about that one.

So by this same token, can you have a guitar guru who knows everything there is to know about guitars but has never picked one up to make music? It's a bit absurd isn't it.

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4 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

So by this same token, can you have a guitar guru who knows everything there is to know about guitars but whom has never picked one up to make music?

Well, are there instruments for measuring the accuracy of an instruments sound? Thereby taking all of the human factor out of it? Gerald uses charts math and science to review most of the gear on there which requires zero artistic skill whatsoever. Or do you think the engineers at Sony that design the sensors and put together the cameras should have a cinematic portfolio as well?

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You can't take the human factor out of it. The charts, math and science are all entwined with the creative side in filmmaking & photography.

Anyway, I feel you misunderstood the gist of my video which is about the circle jerk becoming like a cartel and all quid-pro-quo boosting each other with mentions and it is all intentional and coordinated in my opinion. You are being played by a cartel-like community of online marketeers disguising themselves as camera users or filmmakers.

The point I made in the video about Potato Jet hyping up an Alexa one day and then a C200 the next, is about the pure consumerism and marketing aspect of that - people watching who are dazzled by the object of desire on display.

What does any of this have to do with filmmaking? Cinematography? Photography, and beautiful images which is why we need cameras in the first place?

And does the talent of the person giving the advice matter at all?!

To me it does. I would sooner take advise from Roger Deakins than from Peter McCanon.

If this hypothetical guitar guru who promises all sorts of wonderful sounds turns out to be unable to play it and it just makes very mediocre sounds in his hands, just seems wrong.

Will Gerald ever pick up a GH2 from years back and show us his images with it? I'd love it if he did so. Perhaps there is not enough views or not enough affiliate link money in it? Ask yourself why hasn't he done something like this yet in all these years, or gone into classic gear like vintage lenses? Why has he never been an EOSHD reader or even acknowledged that we exist as a community of 11 years, or that Magic Lantern exist, all that history of the DSLR video revolution he has just kinda glossed over like it never existed. Fucking poor, man.

It always seems that the gist of his video is BUY this new thing... and on a very rare occasions, he'll snub something like the Sigma Fp, with the overall message being BUY something else!

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I can't stand Potato Jet because it's shameless consumerist hype, but I don't mind Gerald Undone. I don't expect him to be an artist - what he does well is putting together videos with extensive detail and testing regarding tech specs. There is some value to that in evaluating these tools, and he does it better than most others on YouTube.

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I'm generally pretty hard on YouTubers but Gerald is harmless and doesn't claim to be anything more than someone that enjoys gear, enjoys talking about gear, and enjoys making videos about gear. He's pretty transparent in my view. It's definitely not for everyone but I also don't think people go to him to learn about the actually art of filmmaking. 

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3 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

What does any of this have to do with filmmaking? Cinematography? Photography, and beautiful images which is why we need cameras in the first place?

Ah but Andrew, this is why YOU buy camera gear and I buy camera gear and many others buy camera gear, but I suspect we are actually a minority in this market.

There are far more who are “gonna” but never actually do other than with their intentions. Nothing wrong with that and they are just harmless and if anything, help keep the camera industry alive for us pros and serious amateurs who do actually use our kit.

I have no idea what the actual numbers would be but the percentage of kit sold to folks who actually really make use of it, for financial return or not, has to be single figures surely?

Personally I find Gerald pretty harmless and a seeming straight up guy. I don’t think he is pretending to be anything but what he is which is a YouTube reviewer of gear who focuses on the technical side of things.

He didn’t love the FP-L but then I didn’t either when Sigma sent me one for test.

I wanted to. In fact I had hoped that having one hands on might allow me to find some reason to justify purchasing one, but the reality was it did just the opposite and confirmed it has multiple insurmountable flaws for my needs. 

But I did buy the 65mm f2 (that they also sent me) off the back of that test and it arrived yesterday! I shall now not make a YouTube video about it but it becomes my primary video workhorse welded to my S1H for the foreseeable future 😬

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I don't watch most of those Canadians anymore. On Youtube, you really need to look for authenticity because you won't find it in almost any of the bigger channels. I've been watching for a long time now to see it go from authentic (and often normal) to shameless self/product promotion. 99% are simply infomercials, nothing more. You can still learn and laugh from them, but that is still the core of what they do.

"Still Life - Art and the photographic image" by Justin Jones. He's a British guy who's into all forms of art and has 2.72K followers. He will never be known most likely, but his content is great. He's the type of YouTube I like. Here's a video:

 

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I recall seeing a video where Gerald actually says that he doesn't consider himself a filmmaker and that he's only ever done small corporate gigs and that's why he never shows any footage. He's more of a technical guy that's interested in testing cameras and camera gear.

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1 hour ago, John Matthews said:

I don't watch most of those Canadians anymore. On Youtube, you really need to look for authenticity because you won't find it in almost any of the bigger channels. I've been watching for a long time now to see it go from authentic (and often normal) to shameless self/product promotion. 99% are simply infomercials, nothing more. You can still learn and laugh from them, but that is still the core of what they do.

"Still Life - Art and the photographic image" by Justin Jones. He's a British guy who's into all forms of art and has 2.72K followers. He will never be known most likely, but his content is great. He's the type of YouTube I like. Here's a video:

 

I love this one. Thanks for sharing it. 

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52 minutes ago, stv said:

I recall seeing a video where Gerald actually says that he doesn't consider himself a filmmaker and that he's only ever done small corporate gigs and that's why he never shows any footage. He's more of a technical guy that's interested in testing cameras and camera gear.

Found the video. He answers the question at 9:50.

 

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I'm quite a fan of Potato Jet - he's clearly a nice guy and also a working commercial videographer (although he readily admits that his YT activities take up more and more of his time). His really strong kit recommendations tend to be for items he finds useful for his commercial work (and the Arri Alexa thing was fairly jokey - although he still has the beast standing on a tripod in his studio). Similar to him are the guys at Epic Light Media, who intersperse gear videos with lighting tutorials and flights of preposterous fancy.

A YouTuber who is much more focused on actual film making is, of course, Rob Ellis, whose videos about lighting, composition and colour are excellent.

Personally I find Gerald dry as dust and twice as boring.

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43 minutes ago, Tim Sewell said:

I'm quite a fan of Potato Jet - he's clearly a nice guy and also a working commercial videographer (although he readily admits that his YT activities take up more and more of his time). His really strong kit recommendations tend to be for items he finds useful for his commercial work (and the Arri Alexa thing was fairly jokey - although he still has the beast standing on a tripod in his studio). Similar to him are the guys at Epic Light Media, who intersperse gear videos with lighting tutorials and flights of preposterous fancy.

A YouTuber who is much more focused on actual film making is, of course, Rob Ellis, whose videos about lighting, composition and colour are excellent.

Personally I find Gerald dry as dust and twice as boring.

All the people you mention seem to be after one thing: our time, which on YouTube means money. Here's my experience:

  1. I see a clickbait thumbnail.
  2. I click it.
  3. I sit through 5 seconds of Adobe slowware, thinking "not that sh*t again"
  4. I start watching the video (now they're getting paid by my view), admittedly some nice footage sometimes
  5. I watch some BS ad right in the middle of what they're trying to get to in their BS thumbnail. They're selling some BS service that no one needs (yes, they get a cut if you're dumb enough to sign up).
  6. I watch to the end. Now, they ask me to like and make a comment (more of my time) about their self-promoting BS video to enrich themselves. "Don't forget to click subscribe and click on the alert bell" so can also get spammed by YouTube. Let's not forget the Amazon affiliate links they so generously added in the description section. Finally, they pinned the the first comment (oh, what a surprise, it's they saying some more BS).

Is anyone else tired of this over-produced, time-sucking, self-promoting crap? Is this what google meant when they said "Don't be evil"? At this point, I'm asking myself if I have anything better to do with my limited time on this planet.

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1. Do we expect from engineers creating cameras, sellers selling cameras, technicians repairing cameras to be artists? Does it mean they know nothing about cameras in their respective roles ? Obviously not. Some do.

2. Cameras are not used only for artistic work. TV, sports, reportage, corporate, personal and family even some commercials and weddings videos are not art. Would say that people using cameras for artistic work are minority. So what? People using cameras in all those mentioned areas are not qualified or entitled to have their opinion?  Or don’t have knowledge and experience with cameras ?

3. The art part cannot be completely disregarded in youtube channels related to technical reviews. But in a different role. My observations are that success of a youtube channel is greatly affected by the presenter. How it speaks and act in front of the camera. What's so great about Casey Neistat reviews and similar to him who have millions of followers on youtube. Or Patoto Jet. They are all great presenters and somehow good actors. It's fun to watch. It's entertainment also. That's why they are popular and with lots of followers. Why was top gear so popular ? Because it's about cars and technical reviews or because it's a great entertainment  led by great presenters, screenplay writers etc. ?

People and I mean 99% men like technical stuff. We like to talk, play and occasionally use cameras. Just kidding. 🙂  That's why Gerald Undone channel is much more popular than Mark Bone's channel. Mark is a pro DP and also Canadian.

I like Gerald Undone channel, lot's of useful information. Does it mean that will rush and buy Sony A1 ? Not likely. Use those reviews only as guideline. At the end it's my budget and personal experience that decide what to buy and use. Don't blame the reviewers, there is interest, they satisfy this interest and make a living of it. There is some advertisement but it's easy to skip. Lived in a world where only reviews were in Popular Photography and magazines like that. It's much better now.  Lots of reviews from different people. More or less independent. If you don't like it, don't watch it. So simple.

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