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Type of VJs

Discussion in 'Law & Ethics Discussions' started by vjrei, Oct 23, 2003.

  1. vjrei

    vjrei Miami Caracas New York

    Ok, I do not want to fall in to political or racist arguments, nor sabotages or any other kind of discussion out of topic.

    Any way.

    I have been thinking about the different kind of VJ and I came to these different kinds. A VJ can execute all of them or just one. I'm looking for missing positions or may be to simplify them.

    The reason of this is because each position will charge different, a "visual artist" does a different job than just a "technician" and so on. The value of each is not estimated but I have been asking to work in low budged performances just to punch some one else's clips with Arkaos and that is it, that is a job that a VJ does very well but I can not charged as a Visual Artist. I'm just an operator like the guy of the lights. This can help potential clients to understand what we are capable to do exactly. Because people are very confuse most of the time, specially when we know we can do more of what we are supposed to and they do not get it.

    So, here are my first candidates for VJ:

    Visual Artist: Plastic artist most of the time, the performance doesn't depend from music, it is a independent concept. It can be applied in galleries, museums and parties too.

    Mixer: Close to the DJ, it will perform based on the music played, the performance is handled in real time and is found at club, parties and events and rock bands.

    Technician: Will just play clip on a specific cue, it is a software operator. It will perform in conferences and maybe rock bands.

    Content Developer: It creates content for other VJs, it doesn't have to perform for sure. It develops a huge library of visuals for different types of music or situations. Usually is good editing videos, Flash, After Effects, Artmatic and others.

    Visual Producer: Usually a VJ with a lot of experience can start managing and entire visual concept for an event, that is not only video but lighting and even decoration. This is very useful for corporate events like E3 and Sigraph and specially rock bands like U2 (some day).

    Any comment?
  2. holly

    holly WetCircuit.com

    Hmmm. I'd probably define the "Mixer" as a VJ. All the others are only a bit loosely VJ because they are having something to do with video at a live event.

    I guess I've been all of those, and I understand the distinct nature of each. Trying to think of more....

    Oh! "Video Hostess" was a term someone came up with here that meant someone who plays music videos but injects their own personality. Like MTV style VJ. That's something I have not been.
  3. disassembler

    disassembler Mix+Mix+Chop+Chop

  4. vjrei

    vjrei Miami Caracas New York

    I had the "mixer" as a "vj" before but at last time I changed because it would make a VJ -> VJ and I was afraid of "hurting some ones feeling", but you are right. The "mixer" is the actual VJ stereotype.

    disassembler: I'm aware of that but to make some sort of conclusive classification is good for new VJs and for the public in general.

    I'm about to post that classification in my web site but I do not want to do it without talking about it first. It is something very general that would help to create conciseness of our work.

    The last thing we want is a VJ book that doesn't represent us.
  5. wellREDman

    wellREDman Saitek Warrior

    im with holl,

    what you call a mixer is broadlly what i think of as a vj,
    most vjs also fall into at least one of the other categories as well

    i would be more interested in what types of vjs as in

    live fx

    or combinations of above

    id say im
    20% loopy,
    20% swirly
    20% mixy
    40% live FX
  6. holly

    holly WetCircuit.com

    Ha! Sounds like a cocktail!

    I'd say I'm
    25% humor
    25% sexy
    30% Swirly(?) abstract moving things
    15% Sparkely, Glisteny, Glammy
    2% Samply
    3% DVD logo accidently showing on the screens.
  7. ristuuk

    ristuuk Member

    shurely a vj is someone who provides the live visuals in a club or band no matter what the format. thats including 16mm and clip triggerers.
    We all fill the screens in a venue. Why all the terminology and the in fighting??
  8. wellREDman

    wellREDman Saitek Warrior

    this is about the calmest thread on terminology there could be.
    discussing types of vj not arguing about absolute definitions seem to be a good way forward for our obvious penchant for word disection :)

    ive said it before, but the oldies are the best,
    how many vjs does it take to change a lightbulb?
    1 to change it and 3,709 to define the word lightbulb
  9. holly

    holly WetCircuit.com

    I don't think we are in fighting, Ristuuk. Rei is just trying to tie down some definitions (mostly job oriented). There is nothing exclusionary about this thread. He is merely suggesting that he would charge different rates based on the "job" at hand. He places a different value on creative work than on technical work ? not a higher value, just a different value.

    RED's point is basically differences in technique/style.

    Viva la Difference.
  10. fluchtpunkt

    fluchtpunkt Moderator

    (...already posted this in the dropped thread...)

    other 'functions' of a vj:

    - (vj) tool developer: software or hardware

    - performance artist: closer to a musician playing an instrument than a dj.

    - mad scientist: exploring new and 'unobvious' ways of working with (audio)visual media.

    - cultural/political agitator: reflecting social (...) realities through their art.

    - 'PR' agent: if the dj is responsible for a parties 'soul' then the vj is responsible for its 'face' (...ehhm somewhat like 'corporate identity').
  11. vjrei

    vjrei Miami Caracas New York

    A VJ today is like calling yourself an "Engineer", I say: I engineer in what? There are 3000 kinds of engineers.

    For example, if I'm called just to punch some butons and the client give me the material and where I have to puch each clip, I can not charge as a"visual artist". Of course I can improve a bit and sugest some other stuff in the performance.

    Is like a musician, you can play a guitar very well and you can write songs too. But you can be hire in a studio to play just a script and because your technique is very clean. You are not hired as a composer and you should not be consider as one because that is not the service you were asked for.

    That is a good way to treat the client because around here I have found poeple that hired me that comes with the most twisted visions of what a VJ can do.

    I was just performing with this Celtic band, and the guy who hired me told me that some other people told him that a VJ would not do what he was looking for because VJ do not do that. He just had some visual material and he wanted some one to puch it during his performance. I said I do it, what is the problem?

    I feel that some people feel more importnat when they are more problematic. We just have to settle some parameters to start with, some people may take it and some others not.

    It is good the analogy about the lightbulb.

    I would say:

    1 to change it and 3,709 to define the word lightbulb besides choosing if the one who is gonna do it is right wing, left wing, uglie, pretty, black or white. :help:
  12. vjrei

    vjrei Miami Caracas New York

    other 'functions' of a vj:

    - (vj) tool developer: software or hardware. That can be part of the Developer.

    - performance artist: closer to a musician playing an instrument than a dj: Yes, it can be under VJ or as a Performer (a new category)

    - mad scientist: exploring new and 'unobvious' ways of working with (audio)visual media. That fals in to Visual Artist.

    - cultural/political agitator: reflecting social (...) realities through their art. Visual Artist too.

    - 'PR' agent: if the dj is responsible for a parties 'soul' then the vj is responsible for its 'face' (...ehhm somewhat like 'corporate identity'). Visual Producer maybe. The original name I had was General Producer but at last time I turned in to Visual Producer. I did the same with Mixer, it was originally VJ and I'm gonna keep it as a VJ by popular demand.

    Of course we can have subcategories. I had some but I didn't want to rush. I do not want to put words in to peoples mouth, specially around here:rolleyes:
  13. asterix

    asterix IMAGINEER

    What about taking it a step further even...

    could a VJ be put in a 'genre' lets say like Metallica is classed as heavy metal, or Roni Size is drum and base...

    Are there any noticable characteristics of a vj and thier technique/content that would do that?

    I.e. I produce alot of synthesised trippy psycadellic content for out door parties which generally requires little or no mixing. (more a visual artist style concept)

    Clubby type gigs I'd live mix using alot of scratching techniques to simulate the music... but no real set characteristic on content (mostly ripped) (more a vj style concept).

    Or do we really need to go there at all??
  14. julez

    julez Syn.thesia Visuals

    yeah id say u could put vjs in genres the same way u put musicians in them.

    u can get industrial glitchy visuals with lots of cued samples to accompany aphex twin or u could have organic smooth visuals on a chillout dvd or something. Its the same as music i suppose
  15. Portal

    Portal New Member

    VJ Styles Do Exist

    Without a doubt, VJing styles do exist.

    I would classify myself as a "surreal realist", as differentiated from "computer synthesist" (a heavy user of CGI), or "abstract psychedelic".

    I prefer realistic footage of live action films and/or animation, which I subtly modulate, layer, and tweak out as music sets continue to build. This adds a sense of wierdness to intuitively comprehensible scenes. I don't use a lot of flashy "strobing" or colour inversion effects until after a huge track build, and prefer smooth video mixing to chaotic image/clip collaging.

    I guess genres do exist in the visual world, but it is up to us to define them, as they are not quite the same as those of the audio domain.

    Marcus {VJ Portal}
  16. vjrei

    vjrei Miami Caracas New York

    You are talking about a VJ+Visual Artist. The thing is to make the people easy to get it, even between us.

    The content can be anything, you can be politically oriented just like U2, but that is the content.

    Of course the VJ is the most complex BUT not every one does it that way. As I said it, I have people that will show their art but will not be in sync with the music. No scratches or things like that.

    You may know the DVD of Underworld with the visuals of Tomato Art, that would be consider Visual Art VJing. It is actually pre recorded, so I do not think is gonna even fall in to a VJ performance. It would be a Content Developer.
  17. ristuuk

    ristuuk Member

    so U2 do visuals.
    Doesnt someone do visuals for U2?
    Tomato do visual art when pre recorded but when play live....


    The light surgeons , first time I saw them they used 16mm...last time they were using video and 35mm slide...
    I dont understand the need to complicate things...
    He's a vj because he uses a laptop.
    He's a roadie vj because he uses a laptop and owns some equipment
    He's a visual artist because he pre records some stuff.
    on and on
    If I do a gig and use a projector to put logos at the entrance then i am corporate av.
    another one in the chill out room using prerecorded loops then I am a visual artist,
    and more in the main space playing live, then I am a vj...depending whether I use a laptop ,video etc.
    The camera makes me a cameraman.
    using optikinetics with oil wheels makes me a lampy (or a hippy)
    Kodaks make me an art student
    16mm make you the dj-no you cant play records on those big spinning round things dear punters

    I really did think we were all in the same boat. it doesn't matter what you use as long as you use it and embrace new technology

    I may buy a drink at the bar tonight whilst im working (sorting out what i am)
    That will make me a punter vj.
  18. holly

    holly WetCircuit.com

    Ristuuk, I think the original purpose was not to gaze at your own navel and contemplate your existance. You are carrying this too far. The purpose was to define price structures for clients, not to put labels on yourself. Since Rei states that a band thought a "VJ" would not do a certain job because some other VJ told them that's not what a VJ does, he is trying to go ahead and say "These are the services I offer, and this is what you can expect to pay".

    Even you admit the is a difference between putting corporate logos at the entrance and performing a VJ set for a crowd of sweaty dancing ravers. Can you not see that you might charge a different amount of money for these two very different jobs? Rei is defining specific jobs for outsiders so he can draw up a rate chart. He is not trying to divide the scene by excluding everyone who doesn't neatly fit in a box. Jeez, this is NOT the same old arguement, can't you open your mind and see this might have a purpose when you are sending someone an invoice? Not all VJs are going to offer the same services. Some VJs are allergic to corporations and would never create a corporate logo animation for an event. Most simply want to perform their own stuff, hence the band thinking they could not hire a "VJ" to run their existing content.

    We've already established long ago that "VJ" is a blanket term that covers everyone here because why would some lighting designer be on a VJ forum. This is for clients, not other VJs.
  19. signal55

    signal55 robotfridge

    From my stand point of being a fine art student, being a vj is about being an artist and getting pretty fine grades for it, also being able to bring a mainstream fun media into conceptual art practice to blow out the cobwebs of mindf**k art, which to be honest is just a bit past it now,

    love mossy
  20. solly

    solly New Member

    I think in my case I try to go with the mood of the crowd just like a dj, and put graphics or animation or live footage during a whole nite to make it interesting for the people.
  21. neeko

    neeko New Member

    Rei, how about this then.
    A Video jock handles the visuals.
    If some Vj told a band that a Vj wont do something then put the band straight, A vj can do all of the above and if not is a vj with limits and is wrong to be telling the band otherwise.

    Most if not all the things in ristuks list look like valid areas for Vjs. why limit it at all. could it be that those that want to section off parts to call Vjing, are those that lack the ability to the do others, and if so, why should they be allowed to define vjig to suit their skills alone.
    If as holly ponits out, Vjing is all of the things the members can do with visuals, does it not follow that a Vj is someone that can do everything on that list and that specilists should not really be telling people that things on the list are not Vjing. Perhaps some specialists wish that only their specialty is the role of a Vj, and wish to dismiss the others to aviod looking limited to the band.
    perhaps the issue is the Vjing is all of the above while many Vjs wish it only to be the part they feel they are good at.
    If Vjrei can provide all of those things and all of those things are Vjing. why would he need to define those areas to suit the definitions of someone who cannot.
    would it not be better to tell this band that the previous Vj's definition was limited to thier personal view, and allow the band to know that many Vjs will do all on the list while others choose to specilize.

    It would be better to accept that all on that list is Vjing instead of allowing each individual Vj to move the goal posts to suit their unique style at the detriment of others.
    It cannot be healthy to standardize our role worldwide based on Vj rei's problem with a band who have been misinformed previously by some unknown Vj in South America.
  22. vjrei

    vjrei Miami Caracas New York

    neeko, you are talking about a different thing.

    This is not about art, it is about the services a VJ can offer or beoing asked to do.

    Most of the times you will not be asked to do all the things you can, you can be asked to do certain things and you should charge for those certaing things only.

    For example, if I ask you: Neeko, I have a performance in two weeks, and need some new material based on "this and that", I'm very busy with something else, can you do the material for me?

    Now, are you gonna charge me for your projector and your performance too... of course no, I'm just asking you to create 20 or 40 clips for me in a CD rom.


    What I'm fininding out is that many people has their own material and they just want them to be punched in an specific cue. A VJ can do more than that.

    The fact that you are a man doesn't mean you are a porn star, but sex is something we all do. You are telling me that is you have sex with some girl you are her husband. I'm telling you, you can have sex with her and do not be even her boyfriend.

    Many people are confuse around at the time of hiring a VJ. For example Haward Stern is a DJ but you will not find him in Ibiza mixing. He talks on the radio only. For me that term of DJ is very confusing, at list that is the way is applied only in the US and it has those two variants only, a VJ is worldwide and has many variants in the field.
  23. disassembler

    disassembler Mix+Mix+Chop+Chop

    VJ = vid-e-o Jockey

    some form of jockeying of video.

    jock?ey ( P ) Pronunciation Key (jk)
    n. pl. jock?eys
    Sports. One who rides horses in races, especially as a profession.

    Slang. One who operates a specified vehicle, machine, or device: a bus jockey; a computer jockey.

    vid?e?o ( P ) Pronunciation Key (vd-)
    Of or relating to television, especially televised images.

    Of or relating to videotaped productions or videotape equipment
    and technology.

    Computer Science. Of or relating to the production of images on video displays.

    So you must be able to ride a horse, drive a bus, and have a computer. While televising on a display.
  24. littlecatalyst

    littlecatalyst Retireded

    what about if you can't do that, but you can mate goats while driving a cigarette speedboat, using cctv to send letters to mom?
  25. neeko

    neeko New Member

    I don't think it is a diffrent thing.

    If you ask a man to be a porn star he can if he's able

    If a client asks you to provide a projector you can if your able.

    What you seem to be asking for is a definition of services, which are already clear in ristuks list and dont actually need any other names.

    If this is for your Invoices,

    VJ, time, ?x
    custom content ?x
    projectors ?x
    incidentials ?x

    wil be plenty.

    if its for your website to attract customers, then the issue must still be that customers could be mislead by particular specilists into beliving that Vjing is only this or only that, in which case the onus is on all of us to widen the appreciation of the overall diversity of the role and not unwittingly accept or participate in narrowing it down to every indivduals self serving definition.

    I think puting definitions on oyour web site would in some way make them appear valid or accepted.

    None of us have the right to decide what Vjing is for anyone else or to pidgeonhole what others are doing. I'm sure that there are some who would say that they are vjs and what you or I do is not.
    Taking the wider view that its is all Vjing and some of us are specilised leaves room for everybody.
    In some ways defining catagorys comes over as a justification that you are a Vj while people doing other parts of the whole are excluded as artists, producers or hire.
    I guess what I'm really saying is, that its not your place or any other individuals place to decide on catagorys for Vjs.
    Vjing is the all inclusive collection of abilitys and skillz, no of us has the right to tell another that what they do isnt included. We do have the right to say I don't do that part. but who are any of us to decide what isnt Vjing or place the skillz others into a sub catagory so we can call our individual skill Vjing on our own website.
    My feeling is that you are going about this backwards.
    Assuming for a moment that the generlisation of Vjing is the combined skillz and abilitys of all accross the board, your need only concern yourself in listing the abilitys that you can provide, while allowing the customer to see that there is scope for more instead of less
    My gut instinct on your delima is, your defining Vjing into catagorys for your own reasons. I'm not totally comfortable with that. IMHO, I feel that Vjing should be accepted and left as all encompasing by every Vj, and the only sub catagory reference be those that are self imposed by each individual based on what they choose to be their personal area of specilization.

    I can see lots of reasons why this may not suit you, but in the end is it really your place to define Vjing at all.
    In the interest of the bigger picture would it not be better to make it clear that Vjing is All of it and make it apparent on your website how much of that whole you can provide for your clients.

    unless we all want to continue the im a Vj and but your not argument.
    Would this not be a logical policy for all of us to adopt anyhow?
  26. disassembler

    disassembler Mix+Mix+Chop+Chop

    Can you imagine how quality catching that on video would be. Oh my!
  27. Rovastar

    Rovastar /..\

    You are really confusing me what lists have I posted?
  28. vjrei

    vjrei Miami Caracas New York

    Believe it or not, that is more or less what people have in mind about what a VJ does. Good quote, I would like to use it in my web site as a prologe.
  29. neeko

    neeko New Member

    my goof, it was ristuks list, ive edited accordingly
  30. Amukidi

    Amukidi New Member

    All you get with pigeon holes is pigeon shit!
    Me - I do visuals.

    One of the great things about all this is, that it is virtually impossible to categorize.

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