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Most VJs are rubbish.

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by continuityB, Jul 24, 2005.

  1. continuityB

    continuityB video-out

    Does anyone else think this or is it just me?

    What I'm talking about is not technical knowledge or ability to work software/hardware but the fact most VJs in the end project a load of rubbish.

    I've seen VJ teams with thousands of pounds of gear projecting crap shapes or cliched samples when I'd rather watch one guy with Resolume on one laptop as long as his visuals were considered and quality (not that big teams can't be good, you get the point).

    Can't help being critical about this coming from a visual arts background and I'm not trying to be arrogant, after all this is fairly anonymous, but don't you think there are a load of bluffers devoid of any artistic/design talent out there with 'all the gear but no idea'? I'd say less than 1in5 VJ acts I've seen impress me.
    I'm not talking about beginners either, I think there's a noticable difference between a beginner with potential and a bullshi**er.

    What do people think?
  2. Kyle

    Kyle "Hello my VJ friend"

    Same thing can be applied to most of the posts here, dee jays, and movies that came out this year. It?s all opinion.

    I would love to see your work. Welcome to the community. :yep:
  3. littlecatalyst

    littlecatalyst Retireded

    i think thats pretty bold for a first post (or quite ball-less if u cant let er know who u really are).

    and as trying usually implies failure: you do come off as arrogant
    .....went to art school too,? oh my you must be god, after all-- every little pisher with a BFA is soo touched with genius... that's art school arrogance for you

    do you just crit, or can you do also? ((cant blloody wait to see your feces d'artist))

    and yeah even if 1 in 5 is shite, remeber you aint at an art gallery... youre in a club, its supposed to be fun first and the rest will come.... mabe there are cliches and lamo stuff, but there are also many moments and you dont get to see them when youre busy looking down your nose (you want f-art? go to video at galleries only. stay away from the clubs......

    kyle's right, most cars suck, most movies dont make it to theatres.. most pop music?? (or most house, techno...) most painters will never exhibit, most people are ___________, moswt most mostb [puke] who gives a shit about most?? y not focus on what rocks? y not look at that top 5% of work? y not worry about what u do?
  4. jeremy

    jeremy World's 10th TopVJ 2006

    well, I'm agreed with this,
    but i'm not agreed with the title of his thread

    be nice, this guy is right...
    some gig are so borrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnng...
    specially the laser shows with some 6h of typo-still images, such as "Live", "eat", "dance"... blabla...

    business is business...
    Can you show us what you do ?
  5. videoswitchboard

    videoswitchboard Pointless Crew-Glasgow

    1 in 5

    Hi Continuity,

    That's a pretty bold claim to make on a VJ forum!
    good luck to you.

    Was a bit thrown back to realise that you're based in Glasgow too. Since you mention the Glasgow Art school in your profile, I guess it's quite likely that you've seen our stuff and there's a good probability that we're part of the 4 out of 5 too, but, i don't really want to know as I don't really care if people don't dig our stuff or not.

    Having said that, I think you've got a few valid points:

    -So many posts on the forums seem to be dedicated on how to "raise the profile" of the VJs on a professional level that we can all witness that the "scene" is already attracting a lot of egomaniacs that care more about their own interest than whether they are actually bringing something interesting to the party.
    If only "VJ" didn't sound like "DJ"... I think it's fair to say that we can expect more of that kind of attitude in the future.

    -VJs seem to be self-absorbed and very elitist about the practice, focusing mainly about content mixing and delivery. As a result it seems that both animators/ content producers on one side, and the visual display designers/ lighting designers/ rental companies on the other side don't seem interested in what we've got to say. We desesperately need the support of those guys to move to the next level. If VJs were more inclusive about their practice we could get rid of the cliche-vj thing which is starting to be a real plague.

    However Vjs are artists in their own right (even though I don't think the definition of the VJ practice is precise enough yet), the Arts Council are lapping up this new buzzword more than anybody else so there is absolutely no point trying to start an Art vs Club war. come on! we're lucky enough to have one of the most laid back art scene on the planet here in Glasgow (it is reasonably wanker-free compared to most places if you ask me) so let's not even go there.

    Are you going to show us your stuff then?

    respect to the no-superstar-vj attitude.


  6. Anyone

    Anyone New Member

    It's just you

  7. RayV

    RayV =] ++ [=

    Re: Re: Most VJs are rubbish.


    ROFL !!!

    It's just you
    -> Everyone
  8. DrEskaton

    DrEskaton Triple Hexagon, Osaka

    the current flood of interest in VJ'ing will bring all sorts to the market.

    some promoters are rubbish, and the clubs they promote are rubbish so they probably won't mind booking rubbish vj's will they? seriously some promoters are perfectly happy with generic winamp swirlies, trance tunnels and plastic 3d.

    i've also noticed a new trend in "over designed vj'ing", talented designers with very pretty layouts and abstract shapes but no emotional or symbolic appeal at all.

    fusing design with music in realtime and still having a narrative or at least some common thread is hard. people are still learning how to do it, but I've seen some good examples recently.

    if 4 out of 5 VJ's are rubbish then the good ones will stand out and get more and more bookings won't they?

    still eagerly awaiting a link to your visuals continuity b.
  9. neoteo

    neoteo Active Member

    Most VJs are rubbish.

    Most humans are rubbish

    welcome to the world
  10. pedrolopes

    pedrolopes Video Freak

    I see your point of view, i don't want to sound a superstar but only with a laptop i do better vjing and sound interaction, than some collective vj's that have lots of gear and stuff...just my opinion :yep:
  11. MJ

    MJ I've given money to VJForums

  12. continuityB

    continuityB video-out

    I can happily take constructive criticism of my work and my post. If you didn't get it was meant to provoke a wee debate(the title especially), well, you should have . I know fine well it was ballsy :jump:

    Plus, it's a bit of a no brainer that most of anything (music, art, film) is rubbish, as pointed out.


    To Dav, I know your stuff (I'm a mate of Tom Eskrima Subscience BTW) you're a goodie mate ;) The Eskrima +'s were simple and worked great. Also saw you at the (oh so legendary...) Chateax once a while ago. Your comments are pretty much what I think too. Rosko of YUVa knows my stuff pretty well if your interested BTW...
    Wasn't a comment on Glasgow (love it mate), more to do with showreels on the net and festivals on TV. Just keep seeing crap to be honest.

    I'm certainly not saying you have to go to art school at all to be a good VJ because that's just not true. I'm not on an 'Art v Club' tip and I'm not going there, I was pointing out it made me more critical of content (I'm taught to be so).
    BTW My profile's WAY out of date I only got one go up at the art school (which is also a venue btw) before the night was vjing for disappeared. I'm currently only regularly doing Urizen @ the universal.

    To Anyone, fair comment! Saw you at Livevevil btw was very drunk but liked it.

    On to littlecatalyst...
    WHOA there.

    Anyway I'm not *trying* to remain anonymous, it's just the nature of such a large forum and that I'm not trying to big myself up with this post. It doesn't matter who I am.
    I'll not dig you up on your apparent resentment I go to art school because I think you were maybe just a wee bit too quick off the mark with that...
    I'm well aware that video art is not club video, the two rarely meet in my work. Most of your post is spat-the-dummy type anyway, *chill-out* I'm not here to make enemies - If you disagree, cool, go for it constructively mate. :love:

    I'm also not saying I hate the fact (or opinion) 'most VJs are rubbish', it's just an observation, and, if you are any good it should be good news for you. But I'm not going to say I like your work if I don't just to be polite. That's my stance.

    As for MY work here's a wee sample as promised...

    Don't have a proper showreel yet (too lazy) but here's a bit I filmed over my shoulder at a gig a few months ago. I'm a one man operation so obv there is no mixing going on while I film. Again, it aint a proper reel just a few quick snatches edited together so don't be too critical of that part ;) but it should give you a taster of some of my style. I make 99.99% of my stuff, the only bit in this that isn't mine is the karate/judo clip I had a weakness for...

    The link should feed it faster than 2Mb/sec so if it's sluggish try back later. Approx 23MB.
    Urizen drum&bass @ The Universal, Glasgow 11/06/05
    Comments welcome

    And thanks for the welcome guys :yep:
  13. murk

    murk Bringer of Blight

    Hate to say it, but yer stuff ain't following the music.

    VJFRESCO Oozy Member

    I don't agree that most VJs are rubbish.

    I do think though that a lot of experimenting is going on and I think that is good up to a certain point. As Kyle already said, it is a matter of opinion. Who are you to decide what is rubbish or what is not.

    The VJ community can use some critizism though but then from people that are capable of critisize because of their experience and background. (don't mean to put you down or anything)

    Then again, next to entertaining people shouldn't vj's also rebel and renew that what is already there? Is VJing not also an artform? In that case there is a thin line between rubbish and absolute brilliance... a matter of opinion.

    hmmm.... interesting subject
  15. 0cuLa

    0cuLa motionmontage

    hello continuityB, i,ve been to the budapest statue park where your images are taken from from, nice place took me ages to find the place tram/train/bus.

    your visuals are okay, the statue park is better though:D
  16. fluchtpunkt

    fluchtpunkt Moderator

    it all depends on the training of your perception.

    lack of training may very well make you percieve rubbish as genius and genius as rubbish! once you have spent a considerable time dealing with visuals you will start to appreciate nuances in a performance you previously did not like or did not even perceive. on the other hand things that initially excited you you may start to regard as boring, generic, cheap.

    of course depending on what you have previously focused your perception on it will be sharpened/trained to perceive according aspects particularly well. if you are new to visuals then you are to a certain extent literally blind to a lot of things that are going in a mix.


    not to refute your statement. if that's what you perceive then that's what you perceive ;). however the reason for this lies in yourself as much as in what you see.


    case in point: i have seen a lot of visuals from people with 'only' an arts school or design background - i.e. they were new to visuals. my impression is that they typically overestimate the quality of their visuals. as one should expect from people with such a background their visuals tend to be stylish, aesthetic and well composed. so far so good. ...the thing is... typically (imo) that's all there is to it. no interaction of the visuals with the beat, the room, the vibe; no or only rudimentary rhythm; no narrative structuring; etc. ...but since these people do not yet perceive more than style, aesthetics and composition they cannot be bothered. ...they may not be able to appreciate performances that are mediocre in one of these aspects, but excel in others.

    i'm not trying to diss anyone. 'learning to see' is part of any learning experience - such as in discovering the world of audiovisual performance. i think it would be a shame if finishing art school left you with nothing new to discover... (assume most can agree with this).
    ...just trying to put things into perspective.
    I don't have a problem with vjs who are somewhere else on the learning curve than me (perhaps even *gasp* in some earlier stages)... who may still be discovering stuff that lost its novelty to me. i know in other aspects it will be the other way 'round. i can 'still' enjoy their work - actually such differences often make things more interesting to me.
    talent is important, yes. to me, passion is more important.


    you say you can take constructive criticism, so here goes :D : imo you have some nice styles in your mix. solid, but nothing unheard of. however your visuals hardly interact with the music (i can see you're trying to get there though). no apparent narrative structure, just a mix of more or less random content (granted perhaps there is one and one can't tell because of the short outtakes). ...and please get rid of those horridly generic text animations. if you use text or text animations... do it right, and invest just as much thought and time into integrating them into the overall composition as with any other layer! this made the difference in the impression i got from your clip change from respectable (without text) to cheap (with text).
  17. continuityB

    continuityB video-out

    Yeah I know.
    I'm still learning the performance/delivery aspect of VJing . Plus I was mucking about with the camera at the time, no-one else to control em you see so they were really off at points esp. that breakdown bit.

    I don't think that would be fair to say of the *actual* set as a whole though. I experiment with what I do to the music constantly, not that it always works. It's tough, especially on your own for say 4 hours.

    Like I said it's a dodgy edit of some runaway visuals, just a taster of what my stuff *looks* like.


    I get your points, people are connesseurs of their own specialities. I know fine well it's an opinion and people will disagree, that was why I posted in the first place. ;)

    This is where collaborations are useful I suppose. I disagree that all art students are bothered about is style however - rhythm and narrative are concepts that certainly get drilled into me at school. There's also more than the one generic 'art student' - you get painters, illustrators, graphic designers, sculptors etc who all get taught and see in different ways.

    But granted I don't have much VJ experience.

    Yep the text is cheap swish. I wasn't going to but buckled at the last minute. Lesson learned...

    Overt narrative isn't always necessary in the club I don't think. I sometimes go for it but more often than not I don't because I know I don't have a captive audience. I do consider it anyway.

    I don't want to be 'cutting edge' either, just good, so I'm going to stick at it.

    As for criticism - anyone can do it as long as they make it clear 'where' they are doing it from. In context, criticism from the guy on the dancefloor is just as important as say an art/film critic in their own ways I think.

    My feeling is a lot of people don't really consider their content enough, that it's all about the gear (it's so easy to get today). Maybe they need to hook up with artist/designers more - and vice versa. Obvious perhaps but I don't think it happens enough from what I see. I *need* to hook up with more technically experienced VJs.

    *well done recognising the statue park that man!*

    Keep it coming - I'm under no illusions my visuals are great BTW!
  18. sakamoto

    sakamoto VJ CUTUP

    I dig it, nice style and movements... though too many "Urizen drum&bass" repetitions, maybe because of the edit?
  19. continuityB

    continuityB video-out

    Thanks mate.

    Mainly the edit but I probably overused it anyway.
  20. VisionsUnleashed

    VisionsUnleashed New Member

    I agree with sakamoto. It has a clear style, looks good, but too many repetitions of the text. It felt like being advertised a little. The font didn't seem to work so well for drum&bass as it did for urizen (nice kerning). The clip is too short to crit timing imo.

    "Maybe they need to hook up with artist/designers more - and vice versa."

    That's why I'm here. I am not a VJ myself but very interested in this field. I'd love to be contracted to produce content, especially motion gfx and 3d animation. So it makes sense for me to hang out here and get a little involved from time to time. I'm interested in what kinds of things VJ's would like but are unable (technically or artisitically) to produce themselves.
  21. jaqx

    jaqx New Member

    HAhahahhahahha. Neo you are cleared from my ignore list...

    ContinuityB i have not been able to distinguish any difference on your work from the rubbish that you consider prevailing. That said, you do have a point. Several issues affect the quality of modern live visuals.

    To begin with, there are thousands of non-professional vj's who don't get any money or if they do they probably get paid less than a bar-tender on the same night and club.

    Also, there are paid vj's who carry lots of expensive gear and produce crap visuals. To them, quality is not a worry, they enjoy the thrill of being a VJ and getting fat money for that.

    We are witnessing the growth of a new form of expression, and as time goes by, we will see a noticeable improvement in quality. Think about dj's: even if you have the latest gadgets you won't make it into a club or any given music scene if you are not good at what you do.
  22. fluchtpunkt

    fluchtpunkt Moderator

    i perfectly agree. that's not what i mean when i use the term 'narrative structure' though. with narrative structure i mean a meaningful, not random and dramaturgic structuring of the elements of a mix in the time dimension into a whole that is more than the sum of its parts. ...when i do abstract visuals i still try to give them a 'narrative structure'. perhaps dramaturgy would be a better term (?).
  23. continuityB

    continuityB video-out

    That's fine - but why? (in terms of visual quality because that's what I'm concerned about here)

    Really will take on what you think.

    Back to the topic also -

    What do you think about the visual quality of most of the visuals you see?

    I think that's a more succint way of putting the original post ;)
  24. unjulation

    unjulation Moderator

    just for the originol poster - dam cart find the snoring avtar's but snooze city mate :) been there and had to by the t-shirt cos i'm uinworthey ;)
  25. asterix

    asterix IMAGINEER

    But can I add - why make such a pointless post? The VJ community around here is pretty positive and can do without that sort.
  26. qwerty

    qwerty New Member

    first poster.
    one thing destroys your view.
    the word school.
    school teaches you to think.
    when you master that the word school leaves your vocab.

    Vjing cannot be quantified or taught it can only be experienced and learned live from audience reaction. your figures are wrong.
    99% of vjs are rubbish . but then 99% have never played live and dont want to admit that the little they know is the softs and the principles
    Those with the gear you are dissing understand the truth
    when money is involved responsibilty is the major factor.
    budgets for vjs are based on not screwing up an event, the budgets are not there for artistic impression.
    There is no interest in quality visuals amoung the clientbase, there is only interest from them in knowing that you can turn up and put solid visual content on a screen without cock ups or offence.
    There is little need of a art school opinion in the equation, the visuals are next to irrelevent for 90% of a gig, just as lighting designers are irrelevent at a typical club.

    Until Vjs actually experience gigging and grasp that a maglite, multi tool, cable ties and gaffa are usually more signifigant to a gig than any opinion on pretty pics to be screened, things cant move forward since the artzy vjs are shunned as clueless idiots that are to up themselve to even question the fact.

    Of those holding down regular spots your figures one in five make sense. 4 out of five make little effort to be artzy, they dont need to, they know they are not paid to be artzy, thier paid to rig and gig and thats all they will ever be required to do. Your one in five adds art to that same skillset for no other reason than wanting too push the envelope because they can and perhaps also because they respect the value of their gear an want to see how much more they can do with it.

    Unfortunatly for 99% of VJs there can be no gig openings since they mistakenly think that vjing has everything to do with art.

    everybody on the planet has an opinion, art is based on opinion dont ask whats good art, ask what isnt. art is subjective, what one person love another hates.
    When it comes to vjing, pleasing most of the people most of the time and offending none is a more relevent skill than waxing lyrical about quality art or apolgising for occasional blue screens
    for most promoters hiring in a projector for an artzy type it mor of a risky proposition than hiring in a projector and having the lighting guy run a vhs of winamp that includes titles and stings produced by his tame artist that did his flyers.

    on the other hand he can hire a gig experienced crew that knows the score with suitable visuals for the event, who are dependable reliable, responsable and equipped who never risk being considered to be pertentious wankers by talking shite about art and vjing being anything but remotely related,

    The reason you dont see fantastic art on the screens is obvious.
    no budget an no place for anything that stands out as art to be hated as much as loved. Forget art and try "suitable for the task in hand" The only art in vjing is knowing what where and when, and what connects to what where and when without getting anybody killed. Till you grasp that, talk or art and school brands you as an outsider guessing at whats really what and dreaming of your utopia where your opinion is how it works.

    Your not alone, there are many who think as you do.
    they also pay in on a Sat night
    others who know better are paid to be there.
    If your thoughts on the matter had any relevence, you would be one of them
    Clubbers make great critics and great hobbiests, they seldom get past that to make even an average VJ.

    Art? Bleahhhh
    Real art is keeping your gigs and not ending up in debt for yor equipment.

    Pure art is comming home from a gig with nothing broken, nothing lost, noboby hurt, nobody offended and in profit with a smile on your face.

    What people think of the visuals hardly matters since there will allways be some who liked it , some who hated it, and a great many to busy soaking up the general atmosphere to care.

    My advice is next time you go to a gig, Think! if you paid in your a clubber, enjoy or realise your standing there like an arts school geek critiquing the images when you paid for the chance to party.

    A misfit clubber dos not a VJ make! Life is sad for those so obbsessed with lappy withdrawal symptoms that the only conclusion is to seek a means to stand out a be heard or seen when its really just an urge to bring their lappy to the club in vein hope that they will become famous or important via mega artzy geekdom

    Dude your so missing the point.
    get off your tall pony, get the gig, get laid get paid and leave the critiques to the great unwashed who paid in.

    Oh wait.

    You did pay in!

  27. disassembler

    disassembler Mix+Mix+Chop+Chop

  28. thomase

    thomase VJ Wunderkind

    I do actually agree to a certain point.
    First of all: A lot of the SHOWREELS (and this is what he's talking about) are not good...
    And tbh I actually like the looks of continuityB's visuals - except the text :D
  29. DrEskaton

    DrEskaton Triple Hexagon, Osaka

    qwerty your cycnical view is disproved by the fact there are gig experienced crews around who are reliable and dependable AND still manage to produce work that approaches art.

    never offend anyone? what a boring life to lead. visuals should occasionally provoke and offend. not all the time, not in the face but subtly from time to time.
  30. brain

    brain New Member

    hmmmm so you're saying you are not impressed with most other VJs showreels while you are too lazy yourself to do one. you are asking for understanding that your clip is just some quick shot and you can do better.

    well i think many other VJs could do better showreels if they were not so lazy. so whats your point.

    btw. the type design + animation is the most boring + unfitting for dnb i have ever seen. sorry.

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