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C-FU

THE NAME OR THE LEGEND?

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So I've been toying with the idea of using my actual name vs C-fu which I have used for years. I was wondering what seems to be effective? Since I don't have a reputation at the moment, I guess it won't make much of a difference if I change my handle or go with my real name at this point in my career. I have always liked using a word that can be associated with my name vs my own birth name but I was wondering if it even makes a difference? I believe, from a marketing standpoint, that using a simple word is easier to remember versus a whole name. Although, I can't help but wonder if it truly does make a difference or is it just something as simple being "cooler and more mysterious" vs "creative and dependable". Is the clever name more of a reference to graffiti handles or does it truly hold weight in the industry?

 

Not that you need examples but here are examples of what I am referring to:

 

Special names:

GMUNK

dstrukt

dlew

RENASCENT

gkaster

the monkey

etc.

 

Full Names:

TED GORE

JUSTIN HARDER

SÉBASTIEN CANNONE

DANNY YOUNT

etc.

 

These are just random choices... I know there are tons of exceptional people out there but these are off the top of my head that are singular entities of the industry. If you want to add to the list, be my guest, but I hope you are getting my point versus who I am pointing out.

 

~Chris

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Personally I don't think it makes a difference at all. If there is a mystery to having an alias then I think only their fan base on boards like these may make something out of that. But actual paying clients just want to see reels, know references, know work ethic, etc. If someone hires someone based on a cryptic alias being mysterious then I've guessing they won't stay in business long. I also wonder if it just seems like some of these guys are meaning to use an alias only because it started with the intention of having a business name and website, but because one person does all the work, you tie that business name to them as a person. Like I know with Monkey, it was his nickname and DJ alias when he was working the wheels of steel back in the day. If he's reading he can correct me, but I think with his clients he still always used his real name. Like when I hired him for a SONY project a few years ago I referred to him as The Monkey to my clients and I don't think that had been done before at that point. He was Mike Senften to everyone else outside of mograph/DJ culture. And when I referred to him as The Monkey to clients, they didn't even bat on eye or second guess. My point is that I really don't think the people with the money really care either way. The creative people down the chain to them are just the weirdos that do that graphics thing they need to have so the Marketing VP gets what he needs.

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Yeah, from what I hear the bigger agencies and networks soon suss out if you are a basically a one man band with a bunch of mates and freelancers you can call upon, and they will then think of you as just that. I guess to some less well-informed corporate or smalltime clients you might appear as somehow more of a company... but it bites back half the time anyway as those people are often looking for a reliable one-man-band they can deal with directly and (they think) save money with, over a bigger studio. A lot of the more experienced freelancers who are also Art Directors in London have some sort of moniker or name but they aren't any different to the ones who don't. I'm not saying there's no point at all... if you don't like the sound of your name, or have some reason to be anonymous online then maybe it's a good idea.

 

Are you looking for opinions on 'C-fu' specifically? The initials FU bring to mind a phrase that I wouldn't personally want a potential client associating with me, but I don't know the mindset of you or your clients.

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My point is that I really don't think the people with the money really care either way. The creative people down the chain to them are just the weirdos that do that graphics thing they need to have so the Marketing VP gets what he needs.

 

 

 

100% true.

 

You could be wearing a clown suit and calling yourself whatever you want. All they care about is that you deliver and they end up looking good. The seventh floor could care less about what happens on the sixth floor.

 

 

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My point is that I really don't think the people with the money really care either way. The creative people down the chain to them are just the weirdos that do that graphics thing they need to have so the Marketing VP gets what he needs.

 

ROFL...it's extra funny because it's true.

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Some marketing managers ('cause they're talentless hacks) want to be associated with awesome people. In those instances it does matter how you brand yourself.

 

Interesting...and UGH.

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Well the name I put on my demo reel started when I went to college. I have always been given some random nickname through my life. "Son", "home Slice", "LC"(short for Little Chris), C-fu or sifu Drew because I did kung-fu during my breaks in between classes with another guy that did martial arts. You get the idea. Since a bulk of my good friends commonly used sifu, I decided to drop the "si" and just use a C instead. My sifu said "KUNG FU" can be translated into "good skill". Not realizing my stupidity in knowing that things can be reversed, especially in Japanese language for example, I referenced my name as C-fu which meant to me "Chris' Skill". Now after a year of using it (2005) I looked up the meaning. If I went with actual Chinese translation sifu means "father master" but Kung fu means "Kung = Achievement/skill fu = man". So C-FU actually means "Chris man". Makes no sense really. So now, after 7 years, I have decided to do away with C-fu altogether, but wanted to change the name to "crew" or "cdrew" but at this point I kind of just want to use my birth name and go with it.

 

Sorry if some of my translations are really off. I don't want people to presume I know what I am talking about when it comes to Chinese language. This is based off of what my Sifu told me and wiki. So I apologize if any of this comes off as insulting.

 

Kitkats- I know what you mean and people did bring that up as an issue. "Are you saying C F*&k you?" That started my doubt train a few years ago.

 

C smith- this gives me a bit of confidence on using my birth name.

 

Jon- wearing a costume or a superhero out fit crossed my mind a few times.

 

Thanks for the feedback!

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I agree, it doesn't particularly make a difference in client work.

 

I think your name and identity can change around a lot as well. If you think this is hard in mograph, I have several musician and street art kinda friends where the world of psuedonym, handles, and tags seems even murkier and more urgent. Many of them go by their artist names in most of walks of their lives, except with their parents and girlfriends.

 

My opinion is that a collective can build up mystique in a name- I still think MK12, all these years later, have some sort of mystical, magical process they use to make sexiness that is mysterious and interesting because they create from a conceptual identity.

 

On the other hand, I've always used my own name when it comes to people paying me to do something. It's honest, straightforward, and won't get outdated. I feel the same on teh interwebz even on forum boards. I like not being anonymous and having some accountability for how I talk and how I present myself. My url is movecraft.com, mainly because... well.. it was an available URL, and it seemed google-ble. The value should be what the artists brings.

 

This doesn't mean you can't create under another name. Musicians will create under dozens of identities all of the time to get the creative juices out. I worked for a couple who changed their last names when they got married to "Cobra" (it was the combination of their last names) and it became the foundation of their creative agency, which is pretty cool. I create live, glitchy video work under the name CSTNG-SHDWS with another artist, which tends to mesh more in the world of musician names and club spaces. I also am slowly earning my MFA and in the fine art world you almost always use your full proper name.

 

also @c-fu "Are you saying C F*&k you?" - it's actually kinda the first thing I think about. Maybe it reads that way a bit on the internet. When you say kung-fu, then it makes sense. A creative director told me "movecraft" sounded like a boating company. oh well.

Edited by Colin@movecraft

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also @c-fu "Are you saying C F*&k you?" - it's actually kinda the first thing I think about. Maybe it reads that way a bit on the internet. When you say kung-fu, then it makes sense. A creative director told me "movecraft" sounded like a boating company. oh well.

 

I hate to say I second both of those. I thought FU was an F.U. and I do often think of Jet Skis some when I hear Movecraft :(

 

can't go wrong with real names. If you're a company then have at it.

 

edit: I will say for fairness though my film production company "sugar" is mostly confused with a porn business so really all names can be celebrated or ridiculed. Talent, talent, talent - all that matters. We only notice how stupid a band name sounds if they suck. If they rock then we forget that Smashing Pumpkins is one of the dumbest names of all time.

Edited by C.Smith

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Take a look at the "full names" on your list. They may sound like regular names, but many of them also sound legendary. Justin Harder? C'mon. It meets both needs: it's a brand™ and a traditional name.

 

If your parents didn't bless with with a mograph friendly name... make one up. But I think Chris Drew™ has a nice ring to it – the two first names name is always memorable.

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Ya, if you're just another normal white guy with a boring name I think it could be a good idea to carry around some sort of alias, if not only to make yourself more identifiable. Something like Chris Smith for example isn't the kind of name that sticks in people's heads :P unless you got the talent to make it memorable of course. On that note, I'd definitely hold back on using an alias til you're really good, otherwise you'll just look like a tool haha. 'maxiMuz the intern' just doesnt have the same kind of appeal to it

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My name is Mike and there's usually 2 or 10 (or 50) in any given room.

My last name is unpronounceable to 3/5 Americans and it doesn't rhyme with or share similarities with any other English word... at all. I envy cool real names. E-N-V-Y... to my satanic core.

 

When you have a name people don't jive with you learn it early on. As a child I watched my father give the same radio-code-agram of our family name until it echoed like whale song. And I learned that I would need to deal with this some day myself.

 

Believe it or not, I used the_Monkey at mograph.net in the beginning to remain anonymous. Seemed pretty generic.

Like Chris said it was leftover from my "musical youth" and didn't figure anybody would know who the hell I was.

I don't think many people knew my real name until I met Maxon last year and they started referring to me by my "birth/mograph/surname" in their press releases. Now I definitely feel like I should watch what I say more... yea... should... yea.

 

Everybody in the studio introduces me to new people as the Monkey without thinking twice about it and I will often politely smile and say, "Hi... I'm Mike." I'm not tryin' to flex my coolness on people. I prefer people call me whatever they feel comfortable calling me. I always think of that bit Cedric the Entertainer did about "Delicious". I could imagine rollin in and callin' some dude monkey...pfffft.

 

I'd like to think people don't dwell on my nickname much.

I certainly don't.

 

-m

 

*Oh and talk about not branding yourself... I have never ever done a logo animation for myself or my company or anything ever. WTF? I made that icon the day I signed up to mograph. And so the cobbler's kid goes without shoes. ;) Oof, that's gotta change. BTW, if anybody knows any bad ass designers that have experience with Arabic Calligraphy send them my way.

Edited by the_Monkey

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EPIC response Mike...Er, Monkey :) My last name isn't that common or easy to get at first either.

. I almost always have to spell it out or risk having someone calling me Dave GLANDS. Ew.

 

I always joke that someday, I'll have a kid named "sweat" or "reproductive"

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EPIC response Mike...Er, Monkey :) My last name isn't that common or easy to get at first either.

. I almost always have to spell it out or risk having someone calling me Dave GLANDS. Ew.

 

I always joke that someday, I'll have a kid named "sweat" or "reproductive"

 

I know what you guys mean. My last name has always been mispronounced. However, I do mainly go by my given name. I usually introduce myself as Robby and mumble the last name.

 

I did choose to use a different name for my website. I wanted to go with something catchy and memorable. At first I was using brain farm production, but some bigger studio eventually took that name so I am now using damn fine work. I like this new website name, but I feel like I need to figure out a way to brand it so that I don't come across as a cocky bastard.

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Well I got lucky my "brand" is just my name with a "MR" in the front ... it was a "nickname" I had gotten on set back in my universal days. It all worked out for the best haha :P

 

Certain people can get away with a brand name ... I find that most of the time its easier to use your own name since your selling yourself and cute names are never really a selling point.

 

Cheers

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I hate to say I second both of those. I thought FU was an F.U. and I do often think of Jet Skis some when I hear Movecraft :(

 

can't go wrong with real names. If you're a company then have at it.

 

edit: I will say for fairness though my film production company "sugar" is mostly confused with a porn business so really all names can be celebrated or ridiculed. Talent, talent, talent - all that matters. We only notice how stupid a band name sounds if they suck. If they rock then we forget that Smashing Pumpkins is one of the dumbest names of all time.

 

Right. If a bunch of kids came to with the band name "Nirvana" you'd think it was the most generic sounding thing of all time. Probably ditto for "Radiohead"

 

I also don't think "Steven Saagmeister" or "Jacob Trollback" or "Marian Bantjes" or "Alex Trochut" are easy to remember or pronounce but because of the work associated with them, the names gain value.

 

c

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Almost all non-Canadians understandably mispronounce my very French last name (Beaudry) as Bee-Audrey or B.O.dry. It's supposed to be pronounced BO-dree with an optional rolled R. I got sick of correcting people and started just going by Beau, which for some reason people have less trouble with (Beau Bridges being somewhat in the public consciousness probably helped me out here :rolleyes: ).

 

Beau means good looking/handsome/pretty in French, so it's decent for a design alias I guess. Most people still call me Paul, which I'm fine with.

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