Stop worrying about Quality and start focusing on Content!
I like to complain here on my blog about the norms of my industry. So here I go again.
EVERYONE, EVERYONE, EVERYONE….even me at times….gets COMPLETELY hung up on quality. And they should! At the end of the day quality is of utmost importance. If you can’t produce quality work, you shouldn’t be in business.
There is something that is FAR more important and that’s content. This is a hard concept to get until you’re nose deep in something beautifully pointless…like Star Wars: Episodes I – III. If you’re a Star Wars fan you know what I mean. Lucas films spent WAAAAY too much time and money on flashy effects and back drops, and gave little effort into the heart of the thing. The result was eye candy that meant very little.
Now compare that to The Force Awakens. Disney kept campy, over-the-top effects to a minimum and used them only when it furthered the story. That’s the key word folks, STORY. There actually was one that didn’t make me cringe. And they left out Natalie Portman thank the Gods!
So lets pretend for a moment that Star Wars was an unknown little group of films. If you showed short clips or still shots from the new film vs. the first episodes, I would not be surprised if people jumped on the first three as the better QUALITY. Look at those Graphics! Look at the amazing lighting in that scene! Look at the All star Cast! (Oh wait, I said unknown….anyway). What glitters isn’t always gold people.
Also: Avatar. I really didn’t like Avatar much. I liked it better when it was called Ferngully. Never heard of Ferngully? It’s the same as Avatar, 20 years previous, and minus all the extra crap. Ferngully was an animated kids movie. It featured forest fairies instead of blue aliens, and instead of a military guy getting huge and blue to interact with the natives, it’s a logger that gets small to interact with the natives. There’s a jealousy love triangle, a “getting to know you” montage, and a touching change of heart to save the Rain Forest. IT’S THE SAME STORY, minus the trillion dollar James Cameron budget and gimmicky 3d effects overload.
What made me really think about this was the other night when I was all Netflix and Chill (is that saying tired yet, I feel like it should be). I watched a documentary called “Meet the Patel’s”. It was great and has almost a five star rating with Netflix viewers. Very early on the narrator, and focus of the film, points out that his sister is filming, and has no idea what she is doing. She really doesn’t. The lighting is awful, it’s often too dark, the contrasts are grainy or blown out, and the sound mic is showing in a lot of shots. None of that mattered to the many people giving out their 5 stars. Granted, it took QUALITY story telling, and QUALITY editing to pull this off, but at the end of the day it was CONTENT that won the audience over. The film was fun, engaging, and relatable.
Even in print it is easy to go overboard. I can fit a lot of special effects into a small space and that wouldn’t make my composition any good. In fact, it’s the easiest way to spot an amateur designer, fitting in way too many “effects”. How often do you see beveled swirly fonts with drop shadows and think, “That looks AMAZING.”? The answer is never. So Stop. A blank white square with your business name in a type font would be 10x more effective then poorly executed stock effects.
At the end of the day your budget and shiny factor could be through the roof and people will still shrug their shoulders. If special effects and glitter were all that was required then The Transformers movies wouldn’t suck donkey-balls.
Put more thought into what your saying BEFORE you even think about HOW you’re going to say it, and not the other way around. The Video Game industry was victim to this for nearly 10 years! “We have all of this great rendering potential and processing power, lets show off!” The result was a bunch of games we watched instead of played. That got boring FAST. I’m looking at you FFX and your beautiful cut scenes and no AIRSHIP!
by casey andrews