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Respect for VJ's

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:32
by MaverickHBK
I want to know you thoughts guys on this topic as I feel it is a very important one. We all have a pasison for what we do within the Vj community but why is it that DJ's / promoters and many people who dont understand the craft do not give us the respect we deserve.

We are all part of an ever growin movement that is thriving to become somthing even greater but one thing which really pisses me off is the lack of respect us Vj's get and the fact that we are frowned upon in realtion to our Dj counterparts. I also feel that the general consensous is that people are not edcuated in the Vjing world enough and it is about time somthing was done about it.

We are all skilled individuals and I think we deserrve more respect as Vjing is an art form and we are the pioneers!

Let me know your thoughts on this as I strongly feel we do not get the respect we deserve.

Re: Respect for VJ's

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 23:50
by lo-res
I would have to say that my experience so far has been positive. DJs have always been cool and thanked me for the work I've done and MCs have given shouts out for the visuals. I know for sure that there have been occasions when the promoters made sure I got paid over the DJs.

I worked for seventeen years as a DJ and I'd have to say that though the work is harder as a VJ I have found the response and financial rewards to be more positive. Hang on... that probably just means I was a crap DJ, Doh!

Re: Respect for VJ's

Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 05:17
by VJair
i may well be about to open a can of worms, but here i go anyway....

i have never had any real problem with "respect" from people im working with, certainly not with being frowned upon. i dont however see respect as an automatic right either, its something that is generaly earned, if you truly bring something to an event, people will notice. go the extra distance to make your work unique, use interesting screen setups instead of sticking to the standard, try to use techniques which are obviously live or heavily reflect changes in the sound as well as audio reactivity.... try to stand out from the crowd.

having said that, a vj isnt realy the main pull for an event, ( unless of course its a vj centered one ) and the event will generaly do as well without vj's there ( although it may not look as nice ). do you feel a vj is more worthy of respect than a lighting engineer? its far more common to see a vj's name on the flyer than a lighting enginners name, but both are working with light and colours to enhance a musical performance, which suggests to me that a vj does get a certain amount of respect.

if its clubland respect you are after, then maybe you should look at taking a role which is more the centrepin of the event, such as the dj. if its respect as an artist you are after, there are probably more suitable outlets for your work than standard clubland which is inhabited by people who are there to party, not to study the merrits of visual media. if you feel it is because people simply dont understand, why not make an effort to educate people and show them just what it is you do.

essentialy though, does it matter to you what other people think or does it matter that you are doing something you love and enjoy and are doing it to the best of your ability. for me, its the latter.

Re: Respect for VJ's

Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 14:31
by MaverickHBK
Thanks for the comments mate to be fair I take on board many of the points in which you have mentioned but in a nut shell it is more of a respect issue as me as a person and my integrity as an artist.

I will give you an example of myself I have worked in a nightclub for 8 years doing a range of different things from bar work to where I am now the Dj in which I work with has only worked in the nightclub for 3 years.

The respect issue comes into question on when I will use the example of my gig on Saturday night. I as I am sure you do also go to a gig and have visuals planned for the night ahead together with mixing and creating styles and visuals on the fly going out live for the theme and style of the night ahead which all part of the fun of what we do. Its when you are being told what to do and basically told to do what the Dj says and not having the creative control to express yourself, where the problem arises. Granted I understand where you are coming from in regards to the Dj being the main pull of the event and the visuals a nice extra but we deserve some sort of respect and integrity for what we do and should be treated as an equal not looked down upon.

Too many people just think ohh look theirs pretty visuals up on a screen but they do not understand the effort that goes into it to get it to that point. I personally think the Dj I work with was a real prick at the weekend I take what I do seriously and look at my art as an art from. He just looks at Djing as a job and couldn't to be honest really care not to mention the fact he cant mix for shit.

I got into VJing almost 2 years or so because I wanted to express my flair for design and music to a new level as I felt the whole Dj thing is becoming a bit too flooded and the days of you big DJ's and events are not the same as they once where whilst Vjing is still a very emerging thing although it has its roots for many years it is only gradually becoming mainstream as the years go by . Having a degree in visual art and multimedia I know what I am doing so to hear a guy tell me what I can and what I cant do was very patronising have you ever had anything like this happen to you and how did you deal with it?

I love what I do but sometimes I wonder if other people whom I work with have the same passion and drive and respect for the craft together with wanting to become a better artist.

Re: Respect for VJ's

Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 18:12
by lo-res
I do understand where you are coming from but it is difficult for me to be specific with my reply without knowing the level of "control" the DJ was looking for.

Your frustrations sound similar to the ones I have to put up with on a day to day basis in my main job as a graphic designer. At the end of the day it is my clients company/promotion/product/money and I am employed to help them realise their needs. A good client should understand the experience and expertise of the people they employ but at the same time it is the job of the commercial (as we usually get paid a fee) artist to develop a vocabulary and communication techniques to put our clients minds at ease and to reach some kind of compromise that suits all parties.

Having said that one of the reasons I started working as a VJ was to give myself a more creative platform from both DJing and working as a graphic designer. Unfortunately as soon as money becomes involved, in my opinion, artistic integrity is open to compromise.

Who was employing you for your visual skills, the promoter of the DJ, I suspect the promoter, therefore he/she is the only one you have to care about if they are someone you wish to continue working with.

Re: Respect for VJ's

Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 08:39
by MaverickHBK
Yes mate I can completely understand where you are coming from I am the same on a day to day basis as I myself deal with many clients and companies each day in my job as a website designer.

Your correct at the end of the day it is what the product looks like for the client and whether you as a designer have met the brief they asked of you they put a trust either in the company you work for to carry out the job and the company put the trust in you as an employee to utilise your skills to see the job out until completion.

I think and you will probably agree with this that in industry we get more respect for our skills as designers because of the fact that agencies and design houses understand what it takes and the level of effort that is but into production while this is not the case in a nightclub espically with people who may take a backward look at things.

Before I started VJing I spent almost a year planning with the owner of the club and buying equipment and generally trying to educate him in how VJing works I still get the impression that he thinks its just a load of videos playing on a screen and that's it because he has an old fashioned view on things he only cares about how much money the tills are bringing in and how many punters are coming through the door but I suppose that may be the case with many club owners thesedays.

I also started Vjing to give myself a more creative platform like yourself and develop my skills further as I am always learning not to mention the fact that it would be another feather to add to my cap and portfolio of skills but generally cause I have a passion for visual design and music.

In regards to whom was employing me for my skills it was the owner of the establishment / club after I had multiple meeting with him about starting a VJ experience to add to what already was being done musically in the club and add to the experience. We do not have a promoter as such in the nightclub which I know sounds ridiculous but personally I answer to the owner as He employees me and was the one I spent time developing a working relationship and trust with over the years.

As for the resident DJ I have known him for 3 years but only worked with him for 6 months and I can see the relationship has broken down because of his attitude towards me I personally get the feeling that his nose has been put out and he is jealous that I am sharing the limelight with him now where as before he was the centre of attention.

To be fair he is a very poor Dj as I mentioned good for what he does as I am sure you are well aware you have seen many poor DJ's over the years and get paid very well in the process when what you are doing is arguably more technical but you get paid less, but when your entire set runs of a laptop and you use 2 channels on a £2000 pound mixer all night long he obviously dosn't look at what he does as a craft or art

I hope you can understand where I am coming from I love what I do but having to share a space in the Dj booth every sat night with a guy who is a complete dick with no communication makes life difficult.

Re: Respect for VJ's

Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 17:04
by lo-res
I can see your point now. It just seems unfortunate that you have been paired with a dick after all your hard work in setting things up with the owner. Don't let his ego issues steal your positive energy, does he allow you or anyone else tell him how to DJ, (though it sounds as though he could do with this) I doubt it.

Keep strong and focused.

Re: Respect for VJ's

Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 06:14
by Charm
Well glade to hear ya'll are getting good things out of VJing. I been doing it for about a year now at a club on Pensacola beach. I started out just doing it for drinks and stuff because not many people understand it I guess. I just get the drinks on the sound tab even though I wish I had my own tab. I don't know whats going on, I recently asked the owner if I could have some kind of income for the visuals and he said he would talk to the sound guy. Then that same night the bartenders for some reason said I couldn't get any drinks and that I had to go to the sound guy for the drinks. When that has never happened they would just put it on the sound tab when I asked for it. I have even been there longer than the sound guy. I know I'm good at VJing. I use the strobe correctly, I distort the visuals to look nice and making them in sink with everything. I even use some of my own videos I made in after effects. I make the drops look nice. I have done about 6 EDM shows there, like 30+ club VJ sets there. I even VJ for the bands that come one band really love me (good guys). I get there logos and put them on the screen, I created 3 logos for DJ's there. Hell, I even have to be the security of the stage for the DJ bc the sound guy is just lazy or scared to do it. Trying to kick someone off a stage then running back because a drop is about to hit is bitch lol. I mean I know I'm doing something that makes a difference there. I have even made the logo for our EDM company and the flyer's for the shows. I'll post it later when I'm done complaining lol. I just don't know what to do. I'm trying to negotiate but I'm just not getting any respect. I will say I haven't even been here for a year yet. I moved here last may so almost a year now. Some suggestions on what I should do would be most appreciated. One of the DJ's told me I should just show up and not VJ and just chill and drink just to see how things go. The thing is I just love doing it so that's going to be hard and I told the owner that I love doing the visuals. I just don't know whats going on. We got a EDM show this Saturday so I'm for sure going to do that because I basically helped promote it and I have always been the VJ for it since it started. But, after that I guess I'm just going to walk away like the DJ said and just see if they start understanding the work I really do. I don't know, some feed back on this would be much appreciated.
420 Electrik Lights Facebook.jpg

Re: Respect for VJ's

Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 18:32
by gpvillamil
One thing that I have found to pay off really well is to really work closely with the musicians, DJs and event producers to make the whole experience feel integrated.

My best experiences have come from working ahead of time with DJs to orchestrate the visuals for the set, show them what is possible, etc. Increasingly, a lot of performers are using sophisticated enough tech that I can count on them to send MIDI and OSC data.

Working with the event producer also pays off really well, getting a look & feel set up so that the event feels planned vs here's some visuals bouncing to the beat.

At best, it felt like we were doing realtime film-making!