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What Qualifies You?
  • I'm noticing a disturbing trend around here, and so to help those coming here seeking knowledge and insight; Here is a simple guide for filtering out the "noise". Before seriously considering one's opinion on something you should look at a few things.

    1. If evaluating someone's opinion on a certain camera or lens - look to see what that person has shot and what it was shot with. Do they have footage you can look at that in your opinion qualifies them to speak on that subject?

    2. If evaluating someone's opinion on image manipulation or image quality - again look to see if this person has any footage that demonstrates they know anything at all on the subject.

    3. If evaluating someone's opinion on drives, cards, codecs, software, etc... again look to see if they have any tangible evidence to support their claims. (I know this seems like common sense, but... here we are)

    4. If the above categories are satisfied according to your judgement, then evaluate if the aesthetic produced by these individuals is something that "speaks to you" as an artist. If the answer is "yes" then that person qualifies as a reliable source to instruct or guide you in determining what gear and software you might want to purchase, along with which sources you might want to consult in your endeavors to improve your craft or acquire better tools.

    [let me add - do your own tests. Experiment find out for yourself.]

    The proof is in the final product. The rest is nonsense. [this also applies to me - I am not special in this regard. If you believe me to be unqualified, then at least you've done your due diligence, by exploring the above steps to do so. I have a wealth of experience and knowledge, but if what I do doesn't "turn you on" so to speak. Then there' no need to listen to me. Find someone who does, and push forward.]

    I write this as a simple guide to help cut through the overwhelming wave of opinions that are not backed up by evidence. Specs don't mean anything. [People told me that I couldn't be doing with 8bit video what I'm doing with it. Which is ridiculous. Clearly I'm already doing it. If the specs say it's impossible, then the specs are misleading.] If the final product - the images and sounds are non-existent or worthless then it stands to reason that everything coming from that source is unreliable.

    If you have something to contribute, by all means step forward, but if you can't solidly back it up, then please... think twice before bangin' on the keys. Mis-information around here is like a cancer, and it's slowly overwhelming the good information. This is a hazard with all public forums like this, but those who really have something to contribute are souring on the cacophony of nonsense... it won't be long before they tire of trying to help.

    [on a side note - I love a good argument. Arguments are healthy, if and, only if, they eventually lead to some truth. That truth has to come in the form of some sort of proof. I realize I have strong opinions, but when evidence is presented that convinces me otherwise, I will concede, and change my opinion. Convince me, and I'll switch sides, otherwise I'm gonna rely on my experience and my ability to examine and evaluate, and thus form an opinion. As should you all. Just make sure you have good materials from which to judge. But on the things that I know for a fact, tried, true and tested, I will stand firm.]

  • 14 Replies sorted by
  • Must resist the Borg! Must resist the Borg!!!!

  • lol - nice analogy

  • I think it important to look at larger body of work as well, for example if you have made hundreds of videos over a number of years, that is decent videos. But ultimately people like to talk about gear, it's human nature. And if they made a movie about people who like to talk about gear, it might be pretty boring.

  • @shian

    It is all good, but be warmer to beginners and their opinions. They could be right or wrong, but all must be accepted and respected.

  • Same as musician forums full of people with opinions on gear, software etc that never finish an entire song... welcome to the interwebz.

  • Not directed at anyone but some comments looking at the other side of the coin - from a poorly qualified bottom feeder....

    For what it's worth I am a third party producer for a music platform called Nebula by Acustica audio. So I know what it is like to deal with beginners through to producers of chart toppers on the various audio forums. As far as video goes - I am a beginner really. I am not a pro but I think I know what looks good to my eye. What qualifies many to speak on any topic here is the fact that they may consume what gets produced by providers of content. They may not have the right to tell you how to do things if they have little experience but they have an opinion that has merit because it may show a better or easier way of doing things. I bought Musgro as I heard about it here and followed the journey of seeing our humble camera used so well. ( The flick didn't do it for me actually to be honest but I was supporting a fellow artist). Anyway, content has to be marketed to buyers who must appreciate your work for its merits or they won't buy it. Producers of content are also buyers and have an opinion on what they like or dislike and will vote with their wallets, whether they know what they are talking about or not. They may not be technically expedient or proficient at all times in explaining what they are drawn to but the likelihood of them buying something they dislike is low. So sometimes if you listen hard enough to the 'unqualified' they may just teach you a thing or two. Heard the expression - Out of the mouth of babes hey.......Now I am not referring to the ignorant, argumentative type that just wants to be right. And I am not referring to the trolls either. Some beginners also read more than the experienced because they are hungry to learn and may have read somewhere about a different way of doing things - whether they have tried it themselves may be immaterial. I have learned a lot this way actually - Listening to people regurgitate info that I would otherwise have never come across.

    We have a cross over now where previously inaccessible tools are now in the realm of affordability for the prosumer. Sometimes the unqualified. A stills photographer who wants to add video. A music producer who wants to shoot his own stuff. The film school producer trying to hone his skills. All drinking from the pool of recently affordable cameras and with various flavours, tastes and abilities.

    This is a prosumer site so you will get many opinions. Personally,I think there is too little time in this life to waste on a prosumer forum if you wish to avoid the prosumer talk. Sites like CML are geared toward the high end cinematographer and you won't get the bottom feeders there. Those producers tend to be little known in the world, rarely blogging, tweeting or involved in self promotion. Their work speaks for itself and rarely do they care about the opinions of those who aren't qualified - they just smirk, shrug their shoulders and get on with producing high quality products that the end user buys because it is incredible - even if they cannot verbalise it in tech speak they stump up the cash. If anyone here produces a really nice music video or film that I can easily buy, chances are I will get it. If you call me names and are rude condescending or arrogant, even if I am unqualified...... chances are even if it is a great flick you may have annoyed me so much that I will walk on by. Perhaps we can gain or lose hundreds of potential buyers by our online conduct - especially such a huge site like PV. The Musgro guys came here and spoke candidly about the production and won me over. So I bought their product - as a CONSUMER - I couldn't care less about what they think about ND filters, support rigs, anamorphic, white balancing etc. Just give me a purty picture and if I like it I will support you. Back here on the forum, I may ask questions, wrestle with you or disagree. With more accessibility comes more content which means more wannabe producers and more stuff to wade through to get the gems. The cream rises to the top though. Isn't that what ultimately we all want, for our product to be bought? Basically - treat everyone nice - even if they are an imbecile and talk rubbish. Gently bring correction, avoid the pointless arguing that may annoy them........they may buy your product or even hire you. No point producing a technically perfect flick that no-one buys ehhhhh

  • @shian Interesting thread Shian....I assume there was something that triggered it. As one of the old photographers turned videographer, which is like a Saturday Jogger trying for the Olympics, it didn't take me a lot of time to pick up on who to pay attention to and who to ignore.

    I say it's interesting because some of my favorites haven't been posting much lately.

  • Honestly, @peternap - I only created the thread to save me some typing, so the next time somebody tells me, "But [name drop of popular name] said that x is true, but you're telling me it's not.... and that y, which is impossible, is true. You must be wrong because x is widely known, and you're not." I can just shrug and point to this thread and save myself some typing. I, like many others (they've expressed such to me), are growing tired of explaining/justifying ourselves. If something works, works well, and consistently, does it matter what the numbers say, or what somebody else said? No.

    I'm still trying to help, but I'm tiring of it. Ask any GHearHead if I'm not tireless in my attempts to answer all emails and chase down problems and even consult on their projects. I want young filmmakers to have GOOD information and access to information I never had when I started. Stuff that will save years of trial and error, and getting stuck in a school of thought that stifles creativity and wastes time. That is the ONLY reason I do what I do both here and with ColorGHear. It's not for the money, if it was, I'd charge a HELL of a lot more.

  • @shian and this is one of the better public forums for this kind of discussion. I'd almost pay to see the look on your face trying to construct a non-thermonuclear response to ideas I've seen floated elsewhere. Like, did you know that following focus is a technique that's not really common, overrated or, worse, lazy? I was almost hoping they were trolling and didn't actually believe that.

    I know I contribute more than I should to noise but I'm willing to concede when I'm proven wrong about something, because knowing the truth and having good information is essential to my sanity. I know that compared to your experience shooting, and guys like Kholi, I'm a total noob behind a camera. My experience is elsewhere. And so I value you guys being so forthcoming with information and technique. But it's always shocking for me to see people with obviously no real experience in your specialty challenge your efforts to put them or others on the right path. They may not know who you are or be directly familiar with your work but I've seen the same thing done repeatedly to folks with maybe a little more name cache like Brawley.

    I've experienced the same thing with regard to my own specialty. If I wasn't drawn to the fight I'd have walked away from these kind of forums a long time ago but it's the rare presence of voices that I respect, that I recognize as having information that I can learn from, that keeps coming back so thanks for sticking it out.

  • Good points there, subco. For anyone willing to learn, it never stops. I try to avoid those just looking for an argument (even though an argument may be useful sometimes as a projection of the self).

    Over time, with experience, we learn to keep our eyes open to things which interest ourselves.. What´s bad is if that entails shaping our vision according to confirmation of our own ideas only.. (it should be quite the opposite - pay attention to obstacles a.s.o)

    Personally, I think there are no real shortcuts when it comes to gaining knowledge as experience is so very important for handling of data. However, in good conditions (time / motivation / resources) then one can learn a lot in a relatively small time frame.

  • @shian

    True words but I must admit I feel a little compromised by the prospect - some time soon - of a videographer being expected to reveal who they are or possibly to post anonymous footage online.

    Me, I like to hide my true identity - without creating an elaborate false one. Like others, I have video which depicts family, friends, clients and their homes. I don't get special online release forms signed by talent. My ordinary shots are seldom representative of anything we're discussing here - although I sometimes shoot tests which are.

    (So there ya go.. don't listen to anything I say!)

  • Being humble... that's what we need. We will grow old and die. Don't waste it. Or waste it well.

  • I have come here to chew bubblegum and BS about cameras*... and I'm all out of bubblegum.

    • which I can't afford to own, let alone operate!