Is ‘Good Enough’ killing the film and video biz?

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    • #47299

      Here’s a really good audio discussion from the ‘Terrance and Phillip Show’ Podcast. (no southpark relation and no fart jokes) T&P discuss the topic of how the quality level offered by trained film & video professionals is becoming unnecessary because of lower expectations of ‘quality’ in digital media these days. From film to Mpeg4 and from Vinyl LP’s to MP3’s and more what is determined as a quality product has changed considerably.

      As those who are working pros, Intermediates looking to go pro or Hobbyists or Novices what do you think a ‘quality’ looking/sounding film or video is and what level of quality would you be willing to produce or buy? Should you make your final product high quality as possible or just get it to where it’s good enough? What do you think good enough is? Do you think low quality films and video are ruining the film and video business by just being good enough?

      Is Good Enough, good enough?

    • #194782

      That was great, thanks for posting it.

      IMHO, I don’t think so. I don’t see a downside to going the distance. Customers, Industry, Peer’s, will always judge us on a basis of quality, not how much we can put out in a day. We actually might get named something else in that regard. I know there are people that do business that way but they never seem to go anywhere with their business.

      There will always be directors out there to set the standard for what a “B” movie is by going beyond that and showing better. There will be the same in commercials and in low budget films. Even before the days of muscle cars, quality has been a means of competition between anything from the taste of a hotdog to graphics card rendering speeds.

      I say go the distance.

    • #194783
      AvatarGrinner Hester

      Nothing feeds good businesses like bad ones, man. I have no problem with other companies justifying my rates for me.

    • #194784

      I can see the point brought up, but I don’t think that is the case. If you look at the past you probably only remember the good media that came out, because it was memorable! The media and history books and even your memory forget about the crappy things you’ve seen because they weren’t memorable and not worth bringing up again. While today you can look at any category and easily pick out some bad material to criticize. I think part of the problem is that you can observe bad media today, but it’s harder to observe it from yesterday.

      Another reason why I think it may seem like the quality of media is going down is because the “baby boom” of being able to share media in the last 10 years. The fact that ANYBODY can share ANYTHING means that there is a lot more amateur media being exposed to us, while in the past only the professional material was ever deemed suitable for the television waves.

      While you can always compare today’s junk to yesterday’s prize shows and movies, it isn’t a fair comparison. Instead choose two similar objects from the past and present and instead compare those. Say the old “Star Wars” movies to the 2009 “Star Trek” movie. You don’t see any “It’s good enough” there. Compare 1960s commercials to todays commercials, in fact it seems like things are improving.

      Sure TV sitcoms will always be simple and full of dumb jokes, but that doesn’t mean the TV industry is dying. I for one don’t believe that “it’s good enough” is taking over and ruining the video production business. Not yet at least. I think it just may appear that way because of the introduction of the internet and more amateur video floating around.

    • #194785
      AvatarMoab Man

      Coming from a video hobbyist and consumer.

      I am going to break from the pack and say that it won’t kill it but hasdefinitelywounded it. For example, people don’t watch TV like they used to. Younger adults get their info on the go, they want it fast and short (personally I don’t believe they have the attention span). This is why IMHO video that isn’t bad, and audio that isn’t bad, will make the grade nowa days. I mean look at what personal run of the mill HD camcorders can put out for video quality. Add a few non-gawdy transitions and for many mission is accomplished.

      I think there will remain a role for high quality professional work between businesses, but for business to Joe Consumer OK will do and they simply want the meat & potato and hold the pretty dressings.

    • #194786


      I’ve run into both kinds of clients. Those who understand that professional looking work costs money and those who just want it cheap. I can do ‘scaled’ work meaning that instead of HD, I can shoot it on a good 3CCD Mini-DV rig. Or instead of doing a full broadcast ready package, I can produce an online or DVD ready project. However, they’re still going to have to pay more than some crap someone else would con a fresh out of the box student would charge and it will be day/night level of quality.

      What both producers and potential clients must realize is; yeah, you can do it for next to nothing. But that’s what it’s going to look like. The reason an average script like ‘AVATAR’ could bring in audiences the way it did was because of the quality of the work. Whether you saw it in 3D or 2D, the production values were par none. Now, quality really is based upon what your final output is going to be. It’s where your production is going to be shown is where the quality level will count.

      If you shot your flick with a crap camera, didn’t light it, didn’t take time to get good sound and just slapped it together with Movie Maker or iMovie and expect it to look ‘great’ and people to take your work seriously after you upload it to the ‘Tube… fuggedaboutit! I’ve seen it so many times when clients come to me with a project they know is garbage and want me to ‘clean it up’. I do my best not to front on someone else’s work. Sometimes though I see stuff that I want to ask, “What made you pay for this?”

      Really I think it all comes down to what as a professional you’re willing to sell to your client’s. Granted, most folks who read the forums won’t ever do a Hollywood budget sized production. That doesn’t mean you can’t put forth your best efforts with what you have available. I’m not knocking amateurs at all because every working professional was a noob once. But when you get amateurs trying to pass their work off as professional when it is obviously not is where my hackles raise.

    • #194787

      Not everybody wants, needs, can afford or drives a Porche or other high performance vehicle; Mercedes or Rolls or other highbrow vehicle. Even Hondas and Toyotas (well, with the exception of the recent negative stuff) get some respect. Sometimes “good enough” really is good enough.

      As has been bandied about on this thread there is a rationale for everything from artiste to starving artist, Journeyman to apprentice and down and dirty to highly polished. It takes all of us doing all kinds of “grades” of production to make various “worlds” go round. I’ve worked with self-proclaimed artistic geniuses and self-proclaimed “perfectionists” who spend a LOT of time developing product of diminishing returns where I can perceive no REAL difference between day 6, hour 8 and day 12 at midnight, except for more takeout boxes and crushed cans of Red Bull or Bullet or dirty coffee cups.

      Watched a recent video biography of Bruce Lee who was credited with saying, and I’m paraphrasing: you can spend so much time thinking about something that you never accomplish anything. I think the same can be said for taking “perfection” a state of mind and journey, not a reality or destination, to the Outer Limits.

      Anything, any philosophy, any level of creativity or artistic capability is subjective to the extent that “whatever it takes” just might get the job done profitably and THAT is important to the independent video services provider, the WalMart approach project assembly line or the one-perfect-project-every-two-years artiste.

    • #194788

      “… any level of creativity or artistic capability is subjective to the
      extent that “whatever it takes” just might get the job done profitably….”

      And that’s basically what I was saying when it comes to professional work (i.e. work for profit) being done. Hopefully, producers will do the best they can with what they have. This is the same conversation photographers had when the polaroid came out and again when 8mm film became available to the public, and once more with film vs digital. The ‘Wal-mart Approach’ isn’t necessarily a bad thing because the ‘Mart’ isn’t trying to pass their work off as top of the line. Their hook is that it’s affordable. ‘Affordable’ and ‘Top of the Line’ are two vastly different things.

      I do believe there’s a certain standard for we all have to decide when a project is ‘finished’. Of course there are always things which could be done to improve the final product, but there has to be a point where ‘final’ means finished. You’ll never get a project to be perfect. You’ll always notice things that could have been done better. Yet for a professional you have to decide when it’s good enough to get the point across without the quality of the work causing the viewer to be negatively distracted. Even assembly line type of videos have to fall within that standard.

    • #194789

      I think the art of cinematography is the only thing that could have declined over the years. And this is mainly due to the fact that you don’t need to be an expert in film anymore. Using fixed lenses, handling 35mm, knowing lighting and filter use, all things that new filmakers don’t even think about half the time. I’ve seen horrible footage turned into a decent movie time and time again with post production techniques. I actually just had to do that exact thing last week. This is my “good enough” video of the week. Yes, I shot the footage but without the proper lighting, or proper cameras for that matter. Sometimes you have to work within a budget that determines the “quality” of the work.

      With the ability to record solid state, built in filters, automatic everything and the ability to color correct just about any lighted footage, I could say that if anything the industry has gotten much easier. Whether that means it’s not as good is up to the viewer. Rarely is a movie about the image, 80% of the great films out there were about the story and the FRAMING of the image. But whether or not it was lit right, had motion blur, artifacting etc didn’t really matter in the end. The only ones who see half that stuff is us! lol

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