January 24, 2006
As I'm creating this entry, I am second guessing my decision to create a category called "Deep Thoughts". How presumptive of me to assume that entries I make here are deep. Maybe "Sometimes Deep Thoughts" would be better until someone equates my prose with the musings of George Gilder, Paul Saffo, or maybe Hunter S. Thompson, which is highly unlikely.
But back to the subject at hand. Last week on the plane to MGLA (more specifically sitting on the tarmac waiting several hours for Alaska Airlines maintenance to verify the delamination of a cockpit window was within tolerance; it was not), I was reading the latest issue of RES and to my pleasant surprise I noticed a spread ad for the Adobe Production Studio.
Over the years, I've seen a few Adobe ads for our video products, and this one was the best one so far. But as much as I liked it, I couldn't help but notice that it violated one of David Ogilvy's "golden rules"; reverse type is too hard to read. It made me reflect on other "rules" I had imprinted in my brain such as never wear a striped shirt with plaid pants. In fact never wear plaid pants at all unless you are on a golf course or maybe a gathering of the clans in which case you'd probably be wearing a kilt.
But I digress (and now you might see why I regret calling this category deep thoughts). Closer to home, I remember being told in college never edit a video with a jumpcut (thanks to Herbert Zettl). I agonized over projects I had to edit where I didn't have b-roll to cover a jumpcut (now there is a solid rule: you can never have too much b-roll), only to see the no jumpcut rule go out the window by people who hadn't been indoctrinated in the rules of Professor Zettl, who happened to have authored the textbook used in his class.
From that day on, I realized that rules are meant to be broken and some of the most interesting motion graphics today are done by artists redefining the rules.
Speaking of rules, I welcome comments and believe it is important to share both kudos and constructive criticism, but the one rule I have is that if you submit a comment, please use your real name (or handle if you must), but you need to include a valid email address. Commenting in anonymity goes against the spirit of this blog.
Have you broken a golden rule of motion graphics or vfx? Or do you have a golden rule that has served you well (keep it on topic please). Share your thoughts here and inspire others to follow your lead.