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Author Topic: Fashion Film; RIP Stills?  (Read 1952 times)

Rob C

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Fashion Film; RIP Stills?
« on: May 04, 2018, 04:07:08 AM »

Excuse my presence here as I have no film knowledge, but maybe this might interest both BC and Fred:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOBZMS9Bhr0

Rob

fredjeang2

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Re: Fashion Film; RIP Stills?/
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2018, 10:05:56 AM »

Excuse my presence here as I have no film knowledge, but maybe this might interest both BC and Fred:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOBZMS9Bhr0

Rob
That's a nice link Rob. I enjoyed all the video.
Agree 100% with all Nick explained
And also very very good peices of fashion movie samples here.
There is a huge potencial in this form of expression that can even
Be acheived with relatively small set-up and few crew (if not none).
The present/future is on mirrorless hybrid high performance cameras and all the
Post will soon be done in PS and not with dedicated motion aps on one side vs photo aps on the other.
The same way image adquisition tools do both still/motion, so will the softwares in one single package.
Because this is what history requires.
Not Resolve, nor Avid etc...Photoshop! At least layer based 100% hybrid workflow. Adobe knows it.
This is not photography any more but imagery. And it's a much wider frame.

Also, it's just a question of (little) time that stills will directly be extrated from motion files.
It already can be the case but I'm talking about raw workflow here at 6 and above k. More than enough
For magazine prints. That will be 30, 60 raw/sec, one camera, one workflow!!
While the stable standard for motion will be 4k for quite awhile and I beleive like S Shaw that HDR is a gimmick
But some sort of HDR will remain (in fact the NSK stipulated or similar).
So yeah...exciting times.

Ps: The brand that refuse to embrasse imagery and think photography or motion separatly will disappear.
On MF, Fuji and Hasselblad understood that. Others seem not to have waken-up and sell less and less.
Red will survive because JJ was wised from the very beginning and they built the system exactly based on this evolution.
Actualy there is a still section in the Red forum. This is the now, not yesterday.
But companies like Pentax or Nikon are completly zoned. They don't get it.

They don't understand what Nick is talking about.
Remember Contax? Big names can disappear or become the next Sigma.

And as we are in LuLa, is fair to remember that one of the few who fully understood this evolution very early was Michael Reichmann.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2018, 10:58:25 AM by fredjeang2 »
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bcooter

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Re: Fashion Film; RIP Stills?/
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2018, 06:10:25 PM »

I gave the Nick Knight video a quick look, but realized it was 5 years old and in the last 5 to 7 years things have changed drastically.

I started to write a reply but realized it would take 4 pages that nobody wants to read.

Basically it drills down to this.    Client’s want everything for every type of use.

A few weeks ago a client asked us to shoot e-commerce, but for the numbers and time frame we couldn’t get it in our schedule so I reviewed 4 e-commerce studios and selected one, brokered the estimate and learned a lot.    They work in a way we don’t but it’s a long story to explain why and some of these studios are in-house, some use standard lighting and simple backgrounds, some specialize with those machines that look like a stand up MRI that the model goes into a booth, the camera is on a vertical rail the exposure is preset, the talent steps into the booth and boom you press a button and the machine shoots it. 

Some shoot the clothes on a green mannequin pre posed, the image goes into the computer, you select from a package of models and the computer puts it together.  The result isn’t bad, but it’s kind of funky looking not real, not unreal.

But things have really changed.   Now many if not most large rental studios/stages in major markets are now defacto ad agency/production houses, that offer in house still, video photographers, marketers, web and print designers, producers, stylists, h/m, retouchers, editors, etc.

In other words rental studios that 10 years ago just rented space, now compete with their previous clients:   photographers, ad agencies, marketing departments.

Today much if not most retail fashion photography today is shot in full service e-commerce studios which come in all flavors and prices and you’d be amazed at the even the higher end retail level, how the production values have changed.

In fact Zara, which does a good job though is in reality a lower priced retailer is photographed by one of the world’s best known fashion photographers.   https://www.zara.com/us/en/-pL1808001.html?v1=6251171&v2=939016

I’m not sure if he shoots all or just the features.

In regards to one camera that shoots it all, uh maybe, but in my use to take a 4.5, 6 or 8 k RED and turn it into a still camera requires a change in the settings and workflow.   We do a lot of combination projects in still and motion and usually use separate cameras, because it’s more time effective to slide another camera in place or if the set allows run two cameras at once.  The only difference is for the time you usually use continuous light if you're shooting motion and stills.    What you will notice in even a 14mpx still camera is the detail of the still frame.  For stills the newest REDs are good, but your at $50 grand just to get started in 8k and you better have a lot of computing power on set and in studio.

This project illustrates what we sometimes do today.    Stills, motion, stills that move, motion that is still.   You work at a furious pace, and every image here was shot in about 15 minutes, maybe 20 including some form of motion or multimedia and though the brief is for social media, web, mobile and it also will see use in print, outdoor, in store, etc.





So my bottom line is if you want to  work you offer as much as possible and even if not asked, still do it.   On two separate motion projects, (I hate the word video) One in southeast Asia, one in France/London and LA the client said they definitely do not want stills.  Anyway, on both projects when I had a brief moment, I’d fire off a round of stills, to match the motion.  Result: the client selected over 100 stills to be lightly retouched.

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not complaining, it’s just the landscape has changed and on some projects if you work commercially, you have to change with it.

Are stills dead? No.  Will it all become video . . . don't think so.  But when someone asks me what do I do, It's not a one word answer.


IMO

BC

Chris Sanderson

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Re: Fashion Film; RIP Stills?/
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2018, 10:16:03 PM »

...Basically it drills down to this.    Client’s want everything for every type of use..

Fascinating and illuminating reply. Thank-you Russell. The business is exponentially more demanding today than it was a few years ago.

Each medium and each new medium has its particular idiom, its shibboleth. Stills vs. motion is probably a false dichotomy. I think each will continue to have its space and require its separate skills and techniques. The confusion for some of us observers is that apparently the skills required overlap, leading us to believe that the extraordinary artist and technician who successfully accomplishes both should be the new normal. Resistance to that expectation on the part of creators is needed imo but today that resistance may render its author commercially non-viable.

I believe that  the magic of superb stills imagery and the seductive fascination of motion remain quite different attractions to the observer and equally different are the skills required of the author.
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Christopher Sanderson
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bcooter

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Re: Fashion Film; RIP Stills?/
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2018, 04:17:41 AM »


  snip.......
I believe that  the magic of superb stills imagery and the seductive fascination of motion remain quite different attractions to the observer and equally different are the skills required of the author.


Chris,

Thank you for the kind words. 

In some aspects I respectfully disagree.   I know film guys think they shoot film, still guys are buried in tehcie and that perfect still image, but in real life it doesn’t work that way.

If you put a camera in front of your face your everything to a client.    Everything.

Now do I know the difference between 120 minutes of cinema to a 2 minute you tube, or a web shot clip, of course, but in reality it’s all the same. 

Be realistic, how many movies without long dialog have more than 15 second cuts . . .  none.    Dialog is simple, you lock it down and shoot it.

 I am now reinstating my IATSE card.  Why?

But do I see a difference.   NO.   Because in the last 5 years I’ve shot shot 10 million horizontals vs. 4000 verticals.  I think a normal lens is a 35 and it’s all multi media anyway.

To me it’s really all the same.

BTW:   I. as you loved Michael, we had a few conversations, one on this and regardless on what was said online it was always pleasant and honest.  I miss that.



IMO

BC
« Last Edit: May 07, 2018, 03:42:14 PM by bcooter »
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fredjeang2

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Re: Fashion Film; RIP Stills?
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2018, 06:09:56 AM »

Chris, James,
We are vintage and rusty good looking boys.
Chris's points towards more a romantic theory. Still valid for the moment, specialy when talking about high-end industry niche where highly skilled specialists are required? But kids aren't doing such separation and their capacity to absorb both facettes of the knowledge and craftsmanhip for both still/motion is quite amazing.
We were born in a highly specialised industry. Not a long time ago, the simple fact to access a color grading suite was so expensive only high end budgets could afford. Now it's given for free or at the cost of a good pair of shoes.
The comming generation has grown up in a completly different society. What appears oscur and separated to us is the routine for those kids.

In the music industry the same happened. Avid ruled and established "my way or the highway" sort of dictatorial politics because there was nothing else and it was expensive. Rent a studio with Protools, a sound engineer or die. Now musicians do their own mixes with Reaper and their own distribution. They had to learn all those techniques, they did. And not only the ones on budget but even top musicians.

Merging, melting or whatever we can call it is not knew but always gives place to resistence and uncertainties until it becomes completly natural. Electricity and magnetism...
In our medium, many voices pointed out, not a long time ago, to the fact that the skilled printer was an irreplaceable craftsmanship so for one side the shooter specialist and on the other the art printer knowing all the secrets darkroom alchemy, both with enough skilled to manage on its own department not to be unifyable.

Then Epson swiped all orthodoxy. Now most photographers do their own prints and judging by the complexity of some threads on profiles, display calibrations and so on, we see that we had to learn quite a lot of new skills. But in the end we did.
And it's curious Chris, when I advocate in this forum in favor of separated skills like "send your images to a good printer and save time and hassles", or "go to a colorist" the repply I have are always "I want to control it all". Why? Because we can. Epson, Blackmagic gave us freedom... and headackes.
Just like Coco freed woman from the unbearable dictatorial overloaded clothing and shaked the fasion industry, we see that the same tendency is happening in our medium.

If there is obviously a place, and will be, for highly specialised professionals, it does not garantee the quality of the product at all. In other words, it does not garantee that those skills and knowledge will be reflected in the end result.
We have gazillion examples of high-end budget productions with la crème de la crème crew that were a complete desaster and on the other hand
Watch in Vimeo Fine Arts artists who learned motion "on the fly" with very little mediums doing some amazing works, some of whom have been hired to do important brand campaigns.
Does the emperor have clothes? It depends.

Everybody is sort of learning on the fly.
Motion is more complicated than it seems for a photographer.
Everybody-is-a-colorist is a fallacy but at the same time, everybody will become a colorist, and some will excell.
Yes, it would be unrealistic thinking that one comes into motion imagery and becomes the new Federico Fellini in 2 years. There is a lot to learn and master.
But the evolution of technology and cost effectiveness is influencing the nature of the craft itself.

James emitted reservations about using one tool for both still and video.
This is correct now. We still need a 5000 euros still camera for one side and a 50000 motion camera on the other, so to say. But less and less and less.
Wait until the triumvirat (pana-sony-fuji) put raw workflow at 50/60 fps in-camera (it's going to come faster than we think) at 2000 bucks and we'll see that nobody will have the necesity to shoot still-only in many cases and they won't. It's not there yet but on the corner. 

Elegant silent shooting. Why would have I to review gazillion of raw files in a LR which is a real hassle, when I get them all in a container frame by frame in one single workflow and I have both still/motion material ready per hour of shooting? So from whatever software it's going to be "save as...raw individual still" or "save marked sequence as...psd, exr". It already is but not yet there on par with a proper still camera but some editorials have been shooted with Red with success.
And I beleive the landscape photographer will have to sell both prints and video-art for client's TVs.

Yes there will be unexploitable frames, yes one will need to use still techniques for sure to acheive certain goals: they will give it to us everything we need pressing a button, C mode. Done.
Look at this little Pana G9. It does frankly good video and 80mpx stills for product photo that rivals some MF imagery by switching button in a package that is 1/2 the size of the 1D...and that's just the beginning.
Same with AF for motion. Not there yet but more and more there.
In a few years, focus pullers will be relegated to the museum of bizarre. They are bringing the tech, and they go fast.


Ps: Coot, completly agree with your last post.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2018, 09:02:01 AM by fredjeang2 »
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UlfKrentz

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Re: Fashion Film; RIP Stills?
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2018, 02:47:47 AM »

RED skipped their X-sync connectivity with their recent DSMC2 line and kind of abandoned their initial approach despite their new sensors being better than ever for stills. You simply don´t pull stills from motion, you might shoot stills and choose them from a motion clip, but you probably won´t do that with strobes but with continuous light. While I really enjoy this workflow sometimes (it´s just a completely different tool and pleasant way to work) it creates tons of data and does not make handling and choosing frames easier.

BTW, I love that cup of tea in contrast of the showcased fashion clips, lol.

fredjeang2

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Re: Fashion Film; RIP Stills?
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2018, 04:00:42 AM »

RED skipped their X-sync connectivity with their recent DSMC2 line and kind of abandoned their initial approach despite their new sensors being better than ever for stills. You simply don´t pull stills from motion, you might shoot stills and choose them from a motion clip, but you probably won´t do that with strobes but with continuous light. While I really enjoy this workflow sometimes (it´s just a completely different tool and pleasant way to work) it creates tons of data and does not make handling and choosing frames easier.

BTW, I love that cup of tea in contrast of the showcased fashion clips, lol.
Ulf, so you finaly joined the elitist club of vintage and rusty good looking men? Welcome then.
We need more old fashionned members like me, thinking both genre will never end to melt completly.

More serioysly,
It has to do probably more with the philosophy of the current
So-called pre-burst mode(s). Currently limited to 6k short time and this is why
I used the future tense: we're not there yet. We are missing some years of dev and
Available power. Will still be located on the second card or how they implement it? I don't know.
Extracting stills from the motion containers is a common practice with kids educated hybrid. They don"t care.
They just do it. It's being used in editos and can only evolve better and better.
Imo if Red abandon their initial approach is a mistake on the long term.
Of course, I'm not advocating that this workflow will suit all situations. This is why
I pointed towards the hybrid technology with one switch, click, your camera
Is a high performance movie cam, or a high performance still, all pre-setted and hopefully all in raw workflow.
This is the meaning of hybrid.
Voices of reason: "but it"s not possible cause a still camera is a bad motion camera and vice-versa".
Kids: we don't care.
They will make it possible.
It's not something weired, it's there already just that the balance between still quality and motion quality-usability
Is not acheived yet.
Voices of wisdom: "it's not acheived yet because it's not acheivable"
Engineers: "we don't care".

For the moment we have high performance still cameras that feature not so high performance movie features in one package with some compromises in terms of usability for motion. Evolution in design will be necesary.
But observe that those movie capabilities are getting better years after years. The cost/effectiveness
Is improving year after year. There will be a moment where we'll have both features on par.
Red is a small company compared to giants like Sony or Panasonic. Those 2 are really putting a lot of efforts
In R&D and have almost unlimited ressources. Adobe is a huge player too and surely PS/LR is the big future deal with sync  PP. Imagine a workflow where you simply switch PS to do your final looks.
More and more dudes are doing their look in PS and simply use the LUT in Resolve.
Horror! points out a vintage and rusty real hollywood colorist...this ain't working. You have to use the wheels and embrasse ACES.
Kids: we don't give a bloody damn.

I think we are just at the beginning of a huge revolution. A transition from what is in fact
An orthodox workflow merely adapted to the digital age with a lot of
Resistance and scepticism, and a complete different paradigm.
I may be wrong but I beleive that the future belongs to hybrid mirrorlesses. This is were the buzz really is.

Yeah, this cup of tea...lol
« Last Edit: May 08, 2018, 04:17:47 AM by fredjeang2 »
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UlfKrentz

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Re: Fashion Film; RIP Stills?
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2018, 07:57:56 AM »

Fred, I see your point. Those Kid´s "we don´t care" just reflects the "good enough" philosophy that is present today. You have to be dirt cheap or extremely  top notch, that broad space in between is narrowing pretty fast. What I meant was the models performance and shutter speed that differs for motion or stills. You usually want sharp stills that would strobe in a motion clip and setting the shutter speed to a light motion blur might ruin (or be extremely cool) for stills. It´s just another tool and I really embrace it - definitely not for every job though. Cheers!

Rob C

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Re: Fashion Film; RIP Stills?
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2018, 05:36:55 PM »

The cup didn't even get lifted - maybe it's empty. But then, the water wasn't any the more popular either. Too many props bring their own riches of embarrassment.

But anyway. He mentions the magazines and sort of blames them for not pushing the 'new way' but hey, at so many thousand quid a page, why cut their own throat? Can they ever approach anything like that sort of fee for exposure on a crummy website that's a pain in the ass to watch? Have you tried to enjoy any of the Vogue sites?

Throwing expensive promotions out onto the Internet and hoping to reach the right customers seems much like handing out leaflets in a railway station and expecting to sell Chanel. I can imagine it perfectly okay for advertising a supermarket...

If there's any general message to be picked up from my recent experience in buying Italian Vogue (this is shooting in the dark, on my part, because that was a freak, impulse buy, first in several years), then it's that it was almost impossible to tell the advertising from the editorial: they both looked as if they'd been shot on 8x10, devoid of character and atmosphere and as exciting as a dead fish, every scale revealed in clinical, autopsy detail. Who the hell needs that? I would be expecting to be seduced into buying my expensive clothes, nor offered a legal contract instead. I may buy another issue, just to make sure they weren't having a bad month in Milan or wherever.

But what is the venue, where the outlet for designer fashion motion advertising?

Do the rich women spend their time looking at their cellphones or living a life? I don't think it's the same thing.

Sure, I can see it working for Levi and people of that type. But couture?

Rob
« Last Edit: May 08, 2018, 05:40:06 PM by Rob C »
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fredjeang2

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Re: Fashion Film; RIP Stills?
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2018, 05:52:37 PM »

they both looked as if they'd been shot on 8x10, devoid of character and atmosphere and as exciting as a dead fish, every scale revealed in clinical, autopsy detail. Who the hell needs that? I would be expecting to be seduced into buying my expensive clothes, nor offered a legal contract instead. I may buy another issue, just to make sure they weren't having a bad month in Milan or wherever.


Rob
Rob,
You're preaching a convert. This is exactly what I've been saying over and over again for the latest months in this forum. But nobody cares. This has become a cult imagery for the medical surgery association. This ain't fashion any longuer. (or yes fashion as understood nowdays, Zara obliges, but not couture) It's pores and autopsy detail. Fashion is as dead as its faces in HDR. This is why I prefer Lindberg.
And I'm afraid the motion imagery is sinking in the same extreme. They will all shoot 8k in super HDR (that will be watched on cellphones for the most part!!) and it's going to look crap because to find emotion under layers and layers of frequency separation we may have to rehumanize our screens introducing on purpose the unperfection factor. If it keeps going like that I may decalibrate my monitors and through some dust see if it's better. ;D
But no you're not dreaming and they weren't having a bad month in Milan. Just that now we have 4x4 Ferraris so new-rich clientelle can drive them in the desert dunes. What do you expect?
We need a new movement to counter balance that tendency.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2018, 04:28:11 AM by fredjeang2 »
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Rob C

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Re: Fashion Film; RIP Stills?
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2018, 05:53:28 AM »

Rob,
You're preaching a convert. This is exactly what I've been saying over and over again for the latest months in this forum. But nobody cares. This has become a cult imagery for the medical surgery association. This ain't fashion any longuer. (or yes fashion as understood nowdays, Zara obliges, but not couture) It's pores and autopsy detail. Fashion is as dead as its faces in HDR. This is why I prefer Lindberg.
And I'm afraid the motion imagery is sinking in the same extreme. They will all shoot 8k in super HDR (that will be watched on cellphones for the most part!!) and it's going to look crap because to find emotion under layers and layers of frequency separation we may have to rehumanize our screens introducing on purpose the unperfection factor. If it keeps going like that I may decalibrate my monitors and through some dust see if it's better. ;D
But no you're not dreaming and they weren't having a bad month in Milan. Just that now we have 4x4 Ferraris so new-rich clientelle can drive them in the desert dunes. What do you expect?
We need a new movement to counter balance that tendency.

It doesn't stop there: some months ago I looked up a Scottish knitwear website to see if the company was still alive.

It was, and they had just put on a display of new seasonal clothes, "shot in true 60s style" they said, by the son of either David Bailey or Albert Watson, I forget which. Holy shit, the fathers are the real thing, and still working: why not just use them? Or me! I could have done it perfectly well, the genuine article, too! I think I'm still alive, and I know I could use the money.

;-)

eronald

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Re: Fashion Film; RIP Stills?
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2018, 05:17:58 PM »

It doesn't stop there: some months ago I looked up a Scottish knitwear website to see if the company was still alive.

It was, and they had just put on a display of new seasonal clothes, "shot in true 60s style" they said, by the son of either David Bailey or Albert Watson, I forget which. Holy shit, the fathers are the real thing, and still working: why not just use them? Or me! I could have done it perfectly well, the genuine article, too! I think I'm still alive, and I know I could use the money.

;-)

Err, Rob, first rule of the biz nowadays is if you look like you could use the money you're not gonna get it :)

Edmund
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BJL

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Fashion Film; Stills from moving pictures?
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2018, 09:57:29 PM »

For now, one problem with getting still images by selecting frames from a “moving picture file” (I also dislike the name “video”) is the longish exposure times that go with normal shutter angles and frame rates. Is there a solution on the horizon? Could it be done by using a high frame rate—about half the desired still image shutter speed—and then suitable blending of successive frames to produce a normal frame rate? (So, temporal oversampling and downsampling.)
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bcooter

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Re: Fashion Film; Stills from moving pictures?
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2018, 10:46:27 PM »

I think this conversation has moved and what isn’t being considered is the client’s viewpoint. 

I know three people very well that are in the apparel business.  One a CEO, the other the chairman of the board, the third a Couture.

I can tell you, talking to these three people, the only thing you hear is “retail is difficult” no matter what side your own, off the rack or bespoke.

And, it’s not just apparel, it’s all retail.  I was in an apple store the other night, buying drives (I’m always buying drives) and the customer next to me was lining up portable ssd’s and looking online to see the best price he could get.

Once he did his research, he walked out, so I guess he found a better price online.  Now Apple doesn’t need the money, but their sales have also taken a drop.   People just won’t buy the newest I-phone because it’s out.

As Rob observed, fashion publications and high priced brand’s photography have also taken a big hit, more every year.    I was having my hair done and while waiting I went through every single page of what I think was the latest US Elle magazine.

Thick book, full of ads but doing a count there was only two editorial’s that was shot on a location, 98% were shot on either colored backdrops or stripped into them.    The two with locations were of the “free kind” like standing in a street or on a lobby construction site.    Not the old Peter Lindberg in the south of Europe with Kate Blanchett and Bradley Cooper. 

The advertising was all on simple backdrops, except one for shoes that was in some hotel room.   

But from the designer’s/maker’s standpoint, they don’t have the budget and their newer creative’s that are the decision makers didn’t get into the industry until the recession.  In other words they have never been on a shoot that requires props, locations, even medium sized crews.   It’s the old form of catch 22.    They don’t make the marketing enticing, so the sales suffer, which means they cut back on the marketing budget. 

Rob mentioned websites and unlike Rob I have no problem reading or viewing a magazine electronically.   It’s fine as long as the content is strong.   Rob mentioned Chanel and they did spend some money but all on their fashion shows in major markets, hence most of the imagery was of the fashion shows, in still and motion, though the motion imagery is more visceral   https://www.chanel.com/en_US/

It’s not that the sky is falling, it’s that you have to learn different skills and how to direct the whole process.  Drag man, but this business has never been easy.

Now Rob, I know, you know if you really wanted that sweater campaign, it takes more than saying you want it.  Get some sweaters, do a test, build a purposely designed web promo and go after it.

Yes, it takes investment and yes it’s no fun “testing/presenting” for free, but until they see what you can do, what you will do and who you are, the chances of them finding you on your roma site are almost impossible.

IMO

BC

Rob C

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Re: Fashion Film; Stills from moving pictures?
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2018, 05:09:05 AM »

I think this conversation has moved and what isn’t being considered is the client’s viewpoint. 

I know three people very well that are in the apparel business.  One a CEO, the other the chairman of the board, the third a Couture.

I can tell you, talking to these three people, the only thing you hear is “retail is difficult” no matter what side your own, off the rack or bespoke.

And, it’s not just apparel, it’s all retail.  I was in an apple store the other night, buying drives (I’m always buying drives) and the customer next to me was lining up portable ssd’s and looking online to see the best price he could get.

Once he did his research, he walked out, so I guess he found a better price online.  Now Apple doesn’t need the money, but their sales have also taken a drop.   People just won’t buy the newest I-phone because it’s out.

As Rob observed, fashion publications and high priced brand’s photography have also taken a big hit, more every year.    I was having my hair done and while waiting I went through every single page of what I think was the latest US Elle magazine.

Thick book, full of ads but doing a count there was only two editorial’s that was shot on a location, 98% were shot on either colored backdrops or stripped into them.    The two with locations were of the “free kind” like standing in a street or on a lobby construction site.    Not the old Peter Lindberg in the south of Europe with Kate Blanchett and Bradley Cooper. 

The advertising was all on simple backdrops, except one for shoes that was in some hotel room.   

But from the designer’s/maker’s standpoint, they don’t have the budget and their newer creative’s that are the decision makers didn’t get into the industry until the recession.  In other words they have never been on a shoot that requires props, locations, even medium sized crews.   It’s the old form of catch 22.    They don’t make the marketing enticing, so the sales suffer, which means they cut back on the marketing budget. 

Rob mentioned websites and unlike Rob I have no problem reading or viewing a magazine electronically.   It’s fine as long as the content is strong.   Rob mentioned Chanel and they did spend some money but all on their fashion shows in major markets, hence most of the imagery was of the fashion shows, in still and motion, though the motion imagery is more visceral   https://www.chanel.com/en_US/

It’s not that the sky is falling, it’s that you have to learn different skills and how to direct the whole process.  Drag man, but this business has never been easy.

Now Rob, I know, you know if you really wanted that sweater campaign, it takes more than saying you want it.  Get some sweaters, do a test, build a purposely designed web promo and go after it.

Yes, it takes investment and yes it’s no fun “testing/presenting” for free, but until they see what you can do, what you will do and who you are, the chances of them finding you on your roma site are almost impossible.

IMO

BC

Hi BC,

First off, I do hope you understood that I wasn't being serious about getting that knitwear work! I have been out of the loop so long that I don't know any of the models anymore, nor even the companies left in business.

One of my best fashion ones used to send me off twice a year to wherever I though was good within their budget, and we'd shoot their spring/summer and autumn/winter ranges. Well, even they came up against the realities of international competition. Turned out that having the knitwear produced in Scotland was too expensive, so they went to Hong Kong to try production there. I wondered why the time for the seasonal shoot has passed without a word, and then the guy came to me with a pile of negatives that he'd had a Hong Kong photographer shoot of their clothes, using the owner's secretary as model!

He was embarrassed, but asked me if I would print a run of them for press hand-outs, which I did, and the next thing I discovered was that they had given up the fight: no way they could keep going. And this was way back in the 70s, so the rot had already begun. But at least I got paid.

"Testing/presenting for free".

I had no problem with that: it was how I got my first really huge calendar contract.

I'd gone to this client's office to discuss a shoot set up by a PR man I'd known when we both worked in the engineering industry, and the first thing I noticed was a Pirelli calendar up on the guy's wall.

After the meeting, I discussed the Pirelli with the PR guy in his car, and he told me that his client was not anywhere near ready to engage in that sort of calendar for his company. Needless to say, a couple of weeks after that I was back in the client's office with a mock-up calendar. He asked me to get a quotation for producing it, the names tailored to each of the forty-two companies within his group. I did that, and to my astonishment, I got the job, which lasted long enough to produce six or seven more years of these huge runs. From being the UK's largest plant-hire and sales suppliers to civil engineering (cranes, excavators etc.), they also vanished, broken down, sold off to a Canadian firm and then God alone knows what else in turn. It is indeed rough out there.

BC, my dream today would be to get handed a box of pretty non-clothes, my model of choice, and the budget to wander off again somewhere and shoot whatever turned us both on. And not a monitor in sight, not even a Polaroid! And no, it doesn't have to be super-expensive at all. It's the additional people that aren't really needed that inflate budgets and kill 'em off. It's how I used to do it, so if it was possible then it should be possible today, too. Things are supposed to have improved! ;-)

But there is another factor working within all of this: I never, ever, wanted to grow into anything more than a one-man band. I just wanted to be able to provide a decent standard of living for my family, and enjoy the ride. That itself is hard to do: there is a kind of momentum that can set in, where you might need more hands than you have, and so the temptation is to stretch and grow, and then you have to keep on growing just to find the work to find the money to pay those addtional pairs of hands you had to take on board. (My favourite restaurant here, run by a French guy, faces that dilemma every year.) No thanks! I never wanted to go to bed at night just to worry about tomorrow.

Rob
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 05:16:12 AM by Rob C »
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Rob C

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Re: Fashion Film; RIP Stills?
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2018, 06:26:34 AM »

Err, Rob, first rule of the biz nowadays is if you look like you could use the money you're not gonna get it :)

Edmund


Um, yes: that was one of the reasons I bought my Submariner back in '72. It was unmistakably Rolex, and that didn't hold with all of the models the company produced at the time. If you were going to make a statement, then make one. Anyway, I could afford it without tears.

Later, I noticed that a lot of magazine photographers wore them, and they even featured on the wrists of models (female) and I used it as a prop on one of my own calendar shots too. Damn! Only now, as of writing, do I realise it might have been a business expense for which I failed to claim!

That aside, it was the finest bit of engineering design I had ever seen, along with the 111G and M3, neither of which I bought because I really needed reflex cameras.

;-)
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 06:35:03 AM by Rob C »
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eronald

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Re: Fashion Film; Stills from moving pictures?
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2018, 09:11:33 AM »

James,

 The *average* income is the same, but the median incoming is dropping, where I am. In other words, the rich are getting richer, but much of retail is about the middle class, and they have less and less money. And worse, as housing and education are fixed costs, what is getting compressed is first the middle class *discretionary income*, which is where retail and entertainment makes most of its money.

 This is why the french brands are all trying to move to "luxury" because they think that selling to the middle class is a lost cause. The top and the bottom of the market are now often the places to be. Marketing expenses for mid-brands are harder and harder to justify. Elle, I believe, is mostly mid-market.

 In my opinion, Apple themselves have becoming a major competitor to apparel sales, because they are now sucking $500 per year out of the spending budget of the *whole* of the 13-30 demographic. That $500 out of the teen's budgets is a big slice. And every year they are pushing the prices up and squeezing the kids more for their "must have" item.

Edmund

PS. Ventes Privées - the online "sales" site- say they now account for 20% of apparel sales in France.

I think this conversation has moved and what isn’t being considered is the client’s viewpoint. 

I know three people very well that are in the apparel business.  One a CEO, the other the chairman of the board, the third a Couture.

I can tell you, talking to these three people, the only thing you hear is “retail is difficult” no matter what side your own, off the rack or bespoke.

And, it’s not just apparel, it’s all retail.  I was in an apple store the other night, buying drives (I’m always buying drives) and the customer next to me was lining up portable ssd’s and looking online to see the best price he could get.

Once he did his research, he walked out, so I guess he found a better price online.  Now Apple doesn’t need the money, but their sales have also taken a drop.   People just won’t buy the newest I-phone because it’s out.

IMO

BC
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 09:26:48 AM by eronald »
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fredjeang2

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Re: Fashion Film; Stills from moving pictures?
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2018, 09:40:11 AM »


The *average* income is the same, but the median incoming is dropping, where I am. In other words, the rich are getting richer, but much of retail is about the middle class, and they have less and less money. And worse, as housing and education are fixed costs, what is getting compressed is first the middle class *discretionary income*, which is where retail and entertainment makes most of its money.

This is correct. I'm with you 100% on this one. And it's been on air for awhile.

Are there working class areas or low-end middle class left in London or Paris downtown? Just impossible for those people, they left in the 70's. They're all being pushed away on hugly suburbs, but the novelty is that not only the poorest people can not afford a decent living but the very same middle class is struggeling to keep-up. The big cities' centers de-cluttered from the undesirable and impoverished middle class are becomming a disneyland distraction for the new rich, tourists and speculators. Because more and more families are being pushed to the remote unpersonal and deshumanized suburbs, the demand increases and the living cost quickly jumps even in bad dirty lands.
Quite well designed I must say...
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 10:18:23 AM by fredjeang2 »
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BJL

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Re: Fashion Film; Stills from moving pictures?
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2018, 09:50:59 AM »

I was in an apple store ... and the customer next to me was lining up portable ssd’s and looking online to see the best price he could get.

Once he did his research, he walked out, so I guess he found a better price online.
That is the exception that proves the rule for Apple Stores; they are overall amazingly strong in revenue per square foot exactly because most of the products on display are from Apple, so any online purchase will be from the online Apple Store, or al least will still be products of Apple or its subsidiary Beats.

Getting back to fashion, that single brand store seems to be the best change of survival for "offline" retail clothing outlets—pioneered I believe by Benetton and The Gap. And getting back to photography, the Leica Stores.
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