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m.feder

Music Video: The Glitch Mob “Fistful of Silence”

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I enjoyed that. Thought it was dope. HOWEVER, it got redundant extremely quickly. By the time the second "verse" hit with the bigger sounds, I felt like you just kept revisiting the same thing with only slight changes. So I wasn't taken on a journey. But the part you did, I liked a lot. Felt great with the music. Just go somewhere with it across the song.

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Interesting feedback, thanks for that! I can understand what you are saying, but for me it is the other way around. what I wanted to do is to explore one visual aspect

that is very fascinating for me. I don't know how else to put it but in my eyes its the relation between the surface and the volume of something. the way they define each other and also the way they can set the viewer on the wrong track in his perception. So for me it is not about a journey, its about exploring a visual phenomenon.

Edited by m.feder

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Well, if it's meant to be a long test, then it certainly achieved it's goal. If the goal was to do a music video for general entertainment, then my notes are still relevant me thinks. But yeah, if it's a test, I suppose you can show a leaf blowing in the wind for 3 hours if you like analyzing and justifying the architecture of leaves ;) As you probably know, if an artists needs to have long justifications on how the viewer is supposed to interpret what they have done then there is some back to the drawing board needed. But again, if this is just a test, then have at it. It's your test.

 

As a guy who can nerd out on 3D art, I like it. as a guy who just wanted to be entertained, It lost me after the first 15 seconds.

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Test is not the word I would use to describe my work and I am not sure if general entertainment is necessarily the prime objective of a music video. I mean if you see a music video in a commercial sense as marketing instrument then I guess you are right ... but I don't see it that way.

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I think it's really lovely, although I'll admit to being a total sucker for this stuff from the beginning. And you've done a really beautiful job of it, top to bottom.

 

I'll agree with C.Smith in the sense that it's a big ask to think that an audience will not expect something revealing to come of this. From their perspective, they're presented with something visually appealing, the purpose of which is in question. Your call is to unveil something about that thing, however vaguely or abstractly. Otherwise, the thing you've presented fails to have purpose, meaning, function, importance of any kind, and that's uninteresting to your audience. That isn't to say that you can't create a mystery here, but even mysteries have the hook of promised or hinted meaning that entices the audience. Your piece doesn't have that hook, but it wouldn't take much to provide.

 

Again, there's nothing explicit that you have to present to get your audience hooked in. You've made this piece by intuition, and I think your intuition would serve you well in developing some (perhaps vague) sense of greater purpose in it. Maybe it's an extra element, or an action that takes place. Maybe it's something you tease us with it at points in the video, and dangle right on the edge of the frame in the last shot, but never give us. It really doesn't have to be anything defined or physical. It could even be editorial. But it needs to be there for us to care.

 

And you want us to care. Sometimes it's enough for a thing to just be nice to look at. But you're asking people to sit for a few minutes and watch this. They're going to want an experience in return. Make them feel they've had one. It's a lovely thing you've made. It's worth the small extra effort.

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You're not really accepting criticism from two of the more traversed members of the board, one being the foremost critic around these parts.

 

You'll get exactly what you're looking for with this piece, and there's no way anyone will change that.

 

As an aside, allow me to speak into the wind and say I agree with everything CSmith and Binky have said, and add 2 things.

 

Art without storytelling is weak, and "its not as funny if you have to explain it".

 

OK, 3 things. Experience > concepts.

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I am thankful and open for criticism but that does not mean that I won't make up my own mind.

I dont see whats wrong with that. Having a conversation about something doesn't necessarily have to end

in everyone having the same opinion.

 

Didn't know there is only one opinion acceptable around here ...

Edited by m.feder

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I am thankful and open for criticism but that does not mean that I won't make up my own mind

I dont see whats wrong with that. Having a conversation about something doesn't necessarily have to end

in everyone having the same opinion.

Didn't know there is only one opinion acceptable around here ...

It's not a question of one opinion mattering more than others but rather that to write a long considered thoughtful criticism, takes a lot of time and effort and when someone who normally (I am assuming) bills a pretty high rate for their time is willing to offer those expertise for free it deserves some respect and not to be dismissed out of hand.

 

In terms of the opinions expressed around here, this is a motion graphics discussion forum. Most of us involved in motion graphics are in the business of communicating so any work posted here is going to be evaluated through that lens. From my point of view both as just a random audience member and as a professional communicator while the work has a beauty that makes me initially take notice after a short amount of time I lose interest and there isn't that next level of communication or emotional involvement to make a lasting impression.

 

I still think it is great work and I'm not trying to flame you by saying this, it's just where I think you have room to grow and take your work to the next level.

 

Now if you are purely concerned with exploring form and not with communicating beyond that, of course that is legitimate, but I think you will find people more in tune with that on a fine arts forum rather than a mograph forum.

 

There are certain expectations when a work is presented as a music video. By definition the whole medium of music video is a commercial one, designed to sell music and promote the artists who created the song. If your video was presented as an installation in a gallery I think you could get away more easily with saying it should begin and end with an exploration of form but it seem kind of disingenuous and unfair to the musicians to do this in the context of a music video.

 

Even fine art is all about context, outside of a gallery Marcel Duchamp's fountain is just another place for me to take a piss.</div>

Edited by anothername

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It's not a question of one opinion mattering more than others but rather that to write a long considered thoughtful criticism, takes a lot of time and effort and when someone who normally (I am assuming) bills a pretty high rate for their time is willing to offer those expertise for free it deserves some respect and not to be dismissed out of hand.

 

That was not my intention, I value your feedback and criticism!

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There are certain expectations when a work is presented as a music video. By definition the whole medium of music video is a commercial one, designed to sell music and promote the artists who created the song. If your video was presented as an installation in a gallery I think you could get away more easily with saying it should begin and end with an exploration of form but it seem kind of disingenuous and unfair to the musicians to do this in the context of a music video.

</div>

 

First thing I thought was this would work as a background visualization at a concert where this song being performed, but for sole use as a music video, I agree with other posters on here that it doesn't hold up in that medium.

 

Keep on keepin on!

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Mr. Feder, no one here is flaming anyone else. I use the word 'flame' as I saw through email you had used that before editing. We all like your work. It's really nice. That's first and foremost. But also mograph.net has a long tradition of philosophical discussions about art, commerce, and pop culture. This thread would have started a 10 page discussion on what defines a 'music video' if this was in 2006. We were snarky and opinionated but never would I call anything a flame as it's all smart, creative people having a fun go at it for the greater good.

 

AnotherName said it very well. You kind of dropped off your work for review here, made points to disagree with criticism without any reasoning - only that you disagreed. So when a few of us started to counter-debate, it was the same response form you - So you aren't into the game of the artistic conversation. No-harm, no foul. But no flaming intended. God I miss the old mograph.net.

 

Mr. Feder can ignore this next philosophical pondering and just know I like his work for the first 15-30 seconds until I want to switch the channel:

 

I think the issue here is the semantics of what defines the term 'music video'. The way I see history and witness it in our business is that a music video IS a commercial. I make commercials for a living. The people that pay me are not philanthropists. They don't care about art or design. They care that they sell some wares they invested in. When commercials and it's musical variant the music video are thought out well, there can be that devine marriage of art, message and higher profit margins on your return. Music Video networks around the world (the diminishing amount there are) and Vevo are playing you musical commercials to sell artists and records AND still airing commercials! It's really a genius concept. But how did they get away with having kids watch "musical commercials" all day and then real commercials? They try and make them entertaining. But most of all while you're there, you are selling something for the band. If it's Mariah , you are selling her on a chaise trying to look sexy with her face blown out so you don't see her age, if it was Aphex Twin, you were trying to sell them being weird and cool through what some people would call "artistic weirdness". BUT, it still sold Aphex Twin records because it made an image that people wanted to be associated with.

 

SO, here I have this nice piece of work presented here in this thread. It's a nice piece of art. It's pretty to look at. It was presented as a 'Music Video' so I expect it to sell me something by giving me a purpose by it's existence. It doesn't. It's pretty, and well executed, but also redundant. If it played on a music video outlet in the world, people would stop looking at the screen after 30 seconds as they have seen the organic shape with a pound of chromatic aberration on it for long enough. "So where is the 'band' going with this?" , they may wonder. I say 'band' because a lot of average viewers feel like it's the band's message to them, not an artist at his Wacom pad for a few days.

 

So , I would whole-heartetdly disagree with the term 'music video'. I think of it as a 'test'. But if it's a presentation and not testing something, then maybe an 'artistic study of shape and beats'? I also agree with eyedesyn, it looks well made to be the background screen at the bands live show. That would actually be a stellar use of it and I think it would make the show that much better as the audience is mostly entertained by watching the band, light show, and the girl in the mud who OD'd on MDMA. But I still would never call that a music video. However, if it changed up, and went somewhere throughout the duration of the song and achieved the goal of me watching the whole time and associating it with the band's image or message, and most importantly made me want to buy more Glitch Mob tracks (I already have a few), then THAT would make it a music video as it would be selling something which is why it was invented.

 

But again, to be clear, it's a very nice artistic study of shape and beats.

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I use the word 'flame' as I saw through email you had used that before editing.

Yes, I edited it because it did not fit on second thought.

 

I agree that in the definition you offer my work is not a music video.

It is a music video in a formal sense. It has music it has video and the

two are connected somehow and build something together.

Or as you put it:

 

 

artistic study of shape and beats

 

that is all its supposed to be! So much for my work.

 

 

 

Here are my thoughts about what a music video is today, or my hat in the ring of the artistic conversation ...

Once there was a whole industry producing commercials to get people to buy music. They had their

own companies using specialized tools and even had their own tv channels. Because the record

industry was selling music like crazy they made sh*tloads of money. And so did the people who made the

music videosBut then some things changed the world of music videos.

First thing is that the music industry got caught on the wrong foot by the internet and before they could

adapt to the new distribution possibilities they lost so much money that all the industries dependent on

the music industry had to suffer too. So the money that could be made off music videos declined and

concentrated massively.

Second thing was that the specialized tools used to produce music videos became consumer market

products. The availability of once highly professional tools going hand in hand with dramaticly improving

usability of these tools let the number of possible producers of music videos go through the roof.

And last the steadily growing speed of internet connections and the success of dedicated communities

gave all of these possible producers the chance to share their work with likeminded professional and

hobbyist film makers. And so even the tv channels lost their value for the music video industry. (Do you guys

in the states have actual music videos on mtv? here in europe its just one ridiculous show after the other ...)

 

So I think the term music video can't be reduced to the commercials made to sell music anymore. Because

if some hobbyist film maker shots a film with his dslr edits it in imovie to his favourite song he does the same

thing he produces and arranges images in connection with a certain music to fit together as one. And the

result can be horrible, great or whatever but it is a music video nevertheless. the border between professional and

amateur are as unclear and unstable as ever before.

Another point is that with the new ways of sharing videos with a massive audience the music video genre attracted

more and more artists seeking attention. Who got the chance to produce artistic videos for none mainstream acts

on a low budget or without any budget at all.

 

I mean today every band has music videos no matter how small their audience is. They have some animation students

do it or some artist who is into their music or a small studio that once wants to do something nice to attract new clients.

 

well that is what i think about the music video genre. it gets a bit out of order at the end but i hope you understand what i mean ...

Edited by m.feder

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well that is what i think about the music video genre. it gets a bit out of order at the end but i hope you understand what i mean

Yeah these are interesting points here about the state of the industry, although I don't think any of them address how storytelling might be unnecessary in that context for a successful piece of work. It's one thing to speculate on what the current production and subsequent monetization models are for music videos, and another thing entirely to talk about how an audience might get value out of a music video. Sorry, that sentence sounds a little thick. :D

 

Music videos aren't really a genre as much as they're a format, and the ways in which that format functions haven't seemed to change much given the new contexts it's being viewed in. The audience may primarily be finding videos on youtube or whatever, but the viewing experience is much the same. What's changed is that a viewer can easily choose, at any moment, to skip past a video in lieu of a billion other choices. So a given video's ability to engage the viewer and catch his/her interest is even more critical than it was before. Storytelling, in the very broadest sense, is therefore seemingly all that much more important.

 

That's really the point of contention here, I guess. What I'd love to find out is if you're going for a method of engagement that somehow doesn't involve some form of storytelling/narrative. The audience here seems to think that the end result is beautiful, but not engaging, so maybe the attempt hasn't worked yet. But what is it, how does it work, and CAN it work? Or are you not interested in engaging the audience, and what's the worth of the project if no one ends up caring?

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I think that the viewing experience changed dramaticly. Back in the days you had to watch whatever was on the tv channel. At best you could switch to another station or wait for a special interest show. Today you only watch stuff from your favorite bands, videomaker or recommended by your trusted inspiration blogs. As you said you have a billion of other choices and you choose what appeals to you. And not every viewer has the same taste in music or in visuals so even if you are a very special band doing strange music that only few people can enjoy you will still find your audience that cares about what you are doing. So now you can rate an audience not only quantity but also quality.

 

And one more thought about aesthetics. In the highdays of music video I guess the briefings for most videos was "band performing in ...". Music videos without featuring the musicians were highly unusual. Which makes perfect sense in a commercial way. Today its no big thing to have a music video without any visual reference to the musician at all.

 

Maybe we also have to distinguish between major acts and independant musicians. Both do music videos but with different intentions.

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Anything I say will probably just be poorer versions of what Binky already says perfectly. I recognise the tools and the industry has changed dramatically. And yes, in the US "M"TV has fallen to the same ends as TLC, The History Channel, Nat Geo, MTV2, etc in that it is all crap reality shows (But I still watch some of them). As far as I can tell music videos only play in bowling alley video screens and Vevo. In the 90's I wanted to direct music videos SO BAD. Then last summer I got a direct line where a huge rap star asked me to direct his music video. And it was at that moment I realized, there's no outlet or payoff for the director anymore so I declined and chose to shoot the 3 commercials I had lined up for the month and I officially took my music video dream and threw it in the trash as there is no longer any money or audience outlet anymore for the medium. So I realize, it's changed dramatically. But like Binky, says, entertaining an audience is still the point of any piece of art. That's it. If it's something else then *my belief* is the artist is either being selfish or delusional. Art is not for people to say, "Wow, I don't really get it, but that guy is great at it!". Whether you make a video for $2 with an iPhone or $500k like the old days, it doesn't change the fact that humans still need to be entertained and engaged. If they aren't then who is benefitting at all in the process? My argument for the fact that every kid now has a camera and iMovie is that you have to entertain more diligently than before BECAUSE there is more competition or more accurately dilution. Just like people in the commercial industry are scared of the TiVO ruining ads, I tend to hope it makes clients chose more creative scripts from their agency so people will chose to watch and not fwd past it. A logical reason to WANT creativity and not just because you have a captive audience with no DVR like the old days.

 

So just because you CAN make a music video for nothing (except blood and sweat equity) doesn't mean that you have to throw the very basic rules of art and entertainment out the window. I would argue that even MORE than in the 90's it is important that your video be entertaining , and evolving and rich with ideas and execution than ever before. That or the guy next to you with C4D and AE will do it better. And here lies our criticism of your work. No one is saying, "That's a piece of shit". They are saying, "It's great! Where's the rest of it?".

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You are absolutly right that now that more and more people have the technical possibilities to do music videos and commercials the craft of doing it gains importance. With craft I not only mean technical skills but also the skill of telling a story and entertaining the viewer.

 

But I disagree when you say art should always entertain. A few years back when I was at a short film festival I watched a 20 minutes short film a guy filming his shadow and the shadow of his grandma in the garden and I was like wtf this guy is crazy and his movie sucks because it bored the sh*t out of me. Then a few years later I was at onedotzero in London watching some animated abstract shorts and I realized there is not so much of a difference but

I could deeply enjoy what I see. Then I realized that I was wrong about the guy and his grandma ...

I think art can be entertaining but it should never be its sole purpose. I also realized that most of my favorite music videos are no music videos at all they are artistic short films that have a deep connection with music. But they don't advertise the music act.

 

One more thing about entertainment. When it comes to entertainment I can't help it but make a comparision with movies. There are movies that are built to entertain the maximal possible amount of viewers. Block Buster stuff that is designed to be efficient and get the best possible return value. And there are movies that are not for everyone which target a special interest groups. In my eyes both have their right to exist and both make perfectly sense in their own way.

And also what we regard as entertaining is a highly personal thing. Most movies get different responses from different people. I mean yes there are products that are designed to please everyone but if you stick with the example of the movies: most movies made to be liked by everyone end up being so unpersonal and synthetic that nobody really cares at all. So here again I see a difference in quantity and quality of an audience.

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I don't think you were wrong about the guy and his grandma. It probably was boring as shit and that dude, may still be sitting at home starving. He selfishly wasted your time because he found way too much meaning in nothingness. The pieces at onedotzero entertained you. Maybe it was the context (like if your piece played on screens at a concert).

 

I'm not making a comparison between indie stuff that is more niche and the latest Michael Bay explodathon. Both should be entertaining you on some level or they won't make any money because there isn't an audience out there who wants to watch it (whether small or massive). Maybe the indie thing entertained you because it told a tightly crafted story of a love between a guy and his neighbor and their talks in the park and the blockbuster entertains you because of loud noises and overcranked boobies running from gunfire. Unless, of course you are talking about the phenomenon that any human on this planet can do ANYTHING cryptic and strange and there will always be a group of hipsters and socialites who will justify why they see some über-deep meaning in it just so they can pretend they are more artistic than everyone around them. But I don't count that as I wouldn't want that fake adulation, would you?

 

It's incredibly easy to be original. It's very easy. I could tie a rat to a pole and put a violin at his feet and record the chaos through a delay pedal and say it's original art. That being said, it won't entertain anyone. No one's dopamine will rise and rush through parts of their brain. A small group of people will act like if you don't get the "genius" then you aren't deep enough. What is really hard that takes true genius is making something profound, moving, and life-changing to as many people as possible without lowering your standards to fit the very least common denominator. And only the truly brilliant can do it well. But to just do something original but selfish, and say "I don't need to entertain anyone, I'm an artist" is the easy way out. Most feedback on this forum is usually with the assumption you are trying to make your piece as strong as it can be - well thought out in every aspect and appeasable enough to an audience large enough that you expect to get paid for it at some point.

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Yes context is king! As I also learned at onedotzero: films that deeply touched me in the cinema context were plainly unwatchable back at home in front of the computer and got the fast forward treatment after a few seconds. And so as this is the place where most videos are watched today it supports your argument that it is more important than ever to grip the audience with an entertaining approach.

 

I think indie entertainment is not necessarily cryptic or only for hipsters. I think its more about connecting with the cultural background of the target audience. If you take humor for example. There are a few jokes most people can laugh about but most humor is strongly dependent on the cultural and social background and in the end also of the personal taste. You don't need to be a hipster to end up being the only one laughing about an inside joke, you just might happen to have read the right book, seen the referenced movie or come from the same part of the town.

But if you design your product for such a closed market you have to live with it, that it is not for everyone.

 

Personally I enjoy both kinds of entertainment I can watch the latest pixar movie with the whole family and also enjoy some "deep" arthouse stuff that doesn't care about telling a nice story. But there is also a lot of stuff I can't connect to on both sides of the medal.

 

And as you, I believe that it can be possible to do both at the same time and that it is brillant when it happens. But that doesn't mean that both have no right to exist on their own.

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