View Full Version : Ideas Factory
17th February 2003, 02:12 PM
Although there are now several sources on the internet outlining how to get started in VJing, as well as how to develop, Channel 4 has recently launched a site called Ideasfactory, and BBC Radio 1 has launched OneMusic, both of which aim to inform young creatives in general. Y'all might find the following links basic, but interesting nonetheless:
VJ Guide (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/onemusic/guides/djing/vj1.shtml)
Channel 4 Ideasfactory
Creating a system (http://www.ideasfactory.tv/music_sound/learning/ideasbank_7.htm)
Selecting an Art School (http://www.ideasfactory.tv/music_sound/learning/ideasbank_8.htm)
Create Your Own Content (http://www.ideasfactory.tv/music_sound/learning/ideasbank_3.htm)
Expanding Your Creative Palette (http://www.ideasfactory.tv/music_sound/learning/ideasbank_6.htm)
Selling Yourself (http://www.ideasfactory.tv/music_sound/learning/ideasbank_5.htm)
Roadie vs. Talent (http://www.ideasfactory.tv/music_sound/learning/ideasbank_4.htm)
18th February 2003, 08:58 AM
That was the first thread I encountered about VJing - it was excellent to find some quality info on the subject as a complete beginner because I had no idea that there were other people doing it professionally.
Only thing, you mention using 3 laptops a visual mixer etc, obviously dated info, what is your setup now?
18th February 2003, 10:46 AM
You're right -- I think I wrote that about 8 months ago.
I now use a Hippotizer, plus I carry a 5 inch monitor, a wee 3-octave MIDI keyboard, a 4x4 router, a tiny Panasonic camera on the DJ, and a small iBook (emphasis on "wee" in all cases).
I use Motion Dive on the iBook to create DJ names logos, as well as any on-the-fly text that's needed in an emergency. I keep it plugged into the video-in on the Hippo, via the video matrix switcher.
18th February 2003, 11:46 AM
Is the Hippo the way forward - in your opinion?
The thing about hardware is that newer versions come out and tend to make the older pieces of kit outdated - is the hippo upgradable or will it be a brand new machine for each release?
18th February 2003, 12:54 PM
the hippo is just a standard PC running a custom version of VJo - fast graphics card, P4 processor, windows XP - you should be able to upgrade it but they will probably charge you a fortune to do this - the limmits of it are in the software anyway - which agin will be updated but from the pricing structure of VJo i'd doubt that the updates will be free
if you like VJo then the hippo is a great thing - not cheap but should be reasonably reliable - it also comes with a load of content (this is actually why it costs SO much money) this content makes it an atractive option to club owners but i suspect most vjs would rather show there own stuff (it starts to look very expensive if you don't want the content - you'd be better off with a rackmount pc and VJo if you don't want the content )
18th February 2003, 01:26 PM
Sleepytom is right -- you can build your own, but I don't have the time or the inclination anymore -- I've already spent too many years of my life leaning over a computer with a screwdriver, and then worrying about it on a gig. And if I were a club owner, there's no way I'd put my own together, or trust my production people to do the same. They're targeted at clubs (like the best DJ mixers) and for clubs they're not expensive, and are one-box solutions. So, yeah, I do think it's the way forward.
They've got an upgrade path whose details I don't understand, but essentially you don't get stuck with a plug-in breezeblock after a year, and they do 24-hour on-site service-replacement in the UK.
Second, it's dedicated hardware. When I program music, I've got a lot of software suites and macs, but mainly I use my hardware synths and samplers. They're dedicated kit, designed to do one thing and do it well, and are therefore more reliable. It's the same situation with the Hippo. It's a video machine, designed specifically for that purpose (although it is a PC, but I don't let myself use it that way).
Third, we've all experienced buying a bling piece of kit, spending a lot of time with it, then the company goes tits up or changes directions and we're fucked (read: "Amiga", "Ensoniq", etc.). Green Hippo has shown impressive results as a company in their first year, and I'm confident they're going to be in business for a long time -- if I wasn't, I'da passed on it.
Also, in their first year in business, they've already placed dozens of units in clubs around the UK. That was before they were called the "1210's of VJing" by DJ Mag. Now, VJs may or may not agree with that, but club promoters will read it, believe it, and act on it. So I expect we'll see more of them in clubs over the next year. And more of them owned by production support companies (meaning we'll see them cropping up at festivals). Meaning, as content VJs, we're gonna have to know something about them anyway.
Finally, it's just a wicked fucking machine. At Queen Elizabeth Hall, it was handling multiple 10 minutes long 25 fps 800x600 files across my MIDI keyboard. I mean, damn. Fuck it. My Macs won't do that.
So, yeah, I'm on that shit for the next coupla years. I'm not losing the Macs in my studio, and I still use them for production, but when I'm out mixing, I take the Hippo.
18th February 2003, 01:50 PM
Tom is partly right...
I agree the hippo is pricy for VJ, especialy starting out ones.
But let's not forget the hippo is aimed at clubs not VJs
going back to the original subject,
one thing lacking in the 'choosing your school' article
is the specialised courses and workshops.
At the moment i am teaching a free 10 week course
on all aspects of VJing.
Also next monday (24.02.03) I'll be giving a midi workshop
at the ICA from 2 to 5 PM called Technical Skills Lab.
more info on the ICA website http://www.ica.org.uk
25th February 2003, 04:34 AM
it's funny , "Roadie vs. Talent " ! i think it should maybe say VJ vs. Visualist . the talent of a VJ , is only a small part of the over-all creativity involved in the set-up of the projectors , the design , creation , lay out and hanging of the screens . if you own all of your own projectors , screens , and Vjing gear you can rent it out on top of your " VJing talent " to make your self a into a business . you can always hire your own staff to help you and turn it over in your invoice as labor costs if you scared of hard work . the last show we did i added on a alot extra in renting my projectors to the production and more to set it up . if you charge money for VJing why not make a little more money , and take total control of the entire visual enviroment . DJing is DJing , no VJ is going to bring a room to a grideing holt if they don't make a perfect mix every time . the "talent" is knowing your equipment and content , the differance is all about the style of your images and the way you mix it . i don't mean to sound negative but working hard and making your set-up just the way you want it buy doing it your self doesn't equal a lack of talent . for my last show i also hired Opitic and Toffer VJ's from Victoria , as well as Cody Wan from Toronto to help me out . we had the camarderie of the "Technical production crew" enjoy the perks and riders of the "Talent VJs", had super plush hotel rooms payed for , and i made sure we all made out like bandits when we got payed . if there are so call perks in both areas, do both , and get the best of both worlds . one is just an extention of the other .
25th February 2003, 12:20 PM
What you say is absolutely true. Technical knowledge never precludes aesthetic knowledge, or vice versa. You'll note in the text that the examples given are "extremes", at the far ends of the spectrum. There are millions of models in-between.
Ideasfactory is written principally for people just starting out, who will not have developed a mature business model for what they are doing -- that is, in the case of VJing it's pretty unlikely they'll own all the production kit, as well as have developed a broad range of content.
I don't think any one model is better than any other -- they're just better for some people -- and a synthesis of models is even better.
And of course, "talent" is not to be taken literally as "having talent", but rather positioning oneself as Talent in the promoter's ledgers. If you can fit into TWO columns in the ledger, even better!
25th February 2003, 05:39 PM
i guess i just don't want the new people getting into it thinking they have to be either one or the other , and mistakenly making a mental barrier for them self believing that is the only way . rather to build toward a healthy well rounded middle ground incorporating both the technical and the creative (oh , and good negotiation skills too ) . i guess its just a sore spot , and i certainly don't mean to negative . you are doing a really good service buy the ideasfactory , and i apologize if i seemed heavy at all as that's the last thing i am . their certainly are folks out their at those ends of the spectrum , and there doesn't seem to be a universal standard involved , it seems , as to what a VJ is worth . it's hard to know how other folks conduct business as if someone else has been hired to do the job you generally not around to find out they do it . thanks for the excellent points you have made and being gracious about me chucking in my 2 cents .:yep:
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