Monday, June 11, 2012

The Monday Poll: Paintball Videos

I'm curious. At least for purposes of this post (& Monday Poll) let's pretend I'm curious--about paintball videos. You see being old and uncool I'm just not getting how awesome paintball videos are. In fact if the truth be told I find most of them mostly boring and more repetitious than a game of full on Xball. (That was a joke.) Once upon a time real filmmakers made films about competitive paintball. They told a story. They dug deeper than the surface flash; the action the motions colors energy visceral appeals of the game with anchors in personalities and fixed positions in time & place that imbued their stories with meaning.
Today most paintball vids seem like mood suppressants via sensory overload for the ADHD crowd. Snippets of unconnected unarticulated action that are virtually meaningless unless you already understand the basic vocabulary of the game but even at their best there is little more to them than a kaleidoscope of colors and movements swirling at breakneck speed all strung together to the beat some invariably trendy wretched excuse for music.
Is it the paintball equivalent of highlights on SportsCenter? Some might say yes but I remain unconvinced. Even on SportsCenter during the clip-o-rama the scene is set and the highlight is shown with context. Even SportsCenter knows in this short attention span era that without context the highlight loses any meaning it might otherwise have. Without context highlights become a blur of repeated actions endlessly looped.
So what's the deal with the modern paintball video? What happened?
Is the problem the audience? The filmmakers? Or am I so out of touch it's just me? It's not like I'm expecting Citizen Kane or even Big Wednesday but a (seemingly) endless line up of 4 minute videos that all do exactly the same things over and over again does not excite me. And perhaps more to the point are any of them likely to excite anybody who hasn't experienced competitive paintball already? I don't know.
That's why this topic is this week's Monday Poll. I wanna know what y'all think of paintball videos. In that quest I'ma give you a variety of choices and I want you to pick the one that best reflects your point of view. Shouldn't be too hard--and you know by now what that means--it's time to vote. And I know you've got something to say on this topic too. Let's hear it.

[Btw, lest I give the impression that paintball videos are an utter wasteland there are a few filmmakers out there with some chops and even a discernible aesthetic & style now and again. But mostly it's a lot of copycat-ism and too many kids with cameras. Just saying.]


Reiner Schafer said...

First of all, I don't watch paintball videos. I find them boring as hell. Competitive, or scenario...all of it.

But it's funny this came up, as I was just thinking about paintball videos a day or two ago and the type of people who watch them (because my 14 year old nephew is constantly on line googling paintball videos).

Being a field owner, I'm around a lot of paintball players in a paintball environment, so there is, as you could guess, a lot of talk about all things paintball. The topic of paintball videos doesn't come up very often, but when it does, it is always by someone quite immature or someone of what I would consider having lesser brain power.

A story would help. Some reason the video was made and focused around. I agree that most just seem like a blur of colour mixed with edgy music. It's like the flashing lights and sounds at a carnival, just there to draw attention, but a little numbing after you've been around it a while and you feel you need to get away.

Anonymous said...

The only time I really watch videos are recordings of the webcasts to just enjoy watching at its simplest form (sometimes muting the commentators.) Also the new derder headshot videos are alright as are more like a sportscenter type recap of each match at each event. Stay away from everything else because I hate dubstep

Anonymous said...

I suppose I should consider myself fortunate because I happen to like dubstep. Otherwise I agree entirely - most pb videos suck, and that includes derder and the various big names. I don't watch because I get too bored too fast.

That said I think of the occasional one that pops up and happened to be awesome. Karupapa's first Shlomo video back before anyone did that (now overused). Some of the pb fashion ones which at least mix the shots up with non paintball stuff and focus on over the shoulder shots rather than the usual 'here's a side on shot of a guy shooting, look at him shoot!'.

Remember the unknown soldier documentary series? I cared more about that team than any pro team, just because they knew how to make a good show. Would like more of that.

I think it comes down to this though: pb video makers are treating the sport like bmx or skateboarding or fmx, sports in which a montage is easy to watch due to the inherently visual exciting nature of the game. Paintball is not that sort of game. If they treated it more like a traditional sport the videos would become far more watchable, but the reason they don't is that that would require far more effort.

Full Bore said...

Seemingly, not only does your average player has the attention span of a teenager prescribed Methylphenidate who forgot to take his meds but also a vanity streak that runs as deep, as the Marianas Trench. Therefore, the only images they really are interested in, either moving or still, are those that depict themselves. My simple solution to appease their narcissistic personality disorders and desire for instant gratification is to replace all cameras on field with 2'x3' mirrors (incorporating a vertical wiper blade to deal with the inevitable hits) that can be angled towards the player from the sidelines so that they can see just how cool/agg, or whatever, they look. Obviously, these mirrors can only be angled towards the player, away from the opposing team, or you could simply replace all cameramen with MS refs. ©

Anonymous said...

I find the paintball videos to be entertaining to watch. Sure, some of them are not high quality but at least they are making them and trying. I think the Derder videos are awesome and he puts in a lot of effort. It's unfair to say that paintball film makers are not working hard simply because you do not like to watch them. Am I wrong?

L4F said...

I love the old Derder videos, and Monkey with a gun or similar where they told us a story or interview to players. Now exist and before and after of Cassidy videos, the guy is aweasome but all the people copy his work, and its a little repetitive but... even that is good to attract new players, the people who doesnt know paintball love before play just because the videos :)

Anonymous said...

How I miss the days of DerDers original 300fps and Traumahead videos..

Todays videos are an annoying mix of "agg" kids, more annoying techno/dub music, people getting bunkered (5 on 1 run down *yawn*), and midgets running to ice cube sized bunkers. Over, and over and over and over and over...

There is no showcasing of really talented players or awesome plays made during games (unless someone thinks that 5 on 1 run down is a good play), no showing the latest and greatest gear, or showing the trade shows (and sponsors), or even the average players having a good time which is what the events are all about..

Ahh, got to love the new "me me me" reality tv generation...

Anonymous said...

I think the problem is, time and money, as a filmmaker with a (real) job, its hard to tell a story, when you aren't living it. I got excited when a few players were starting to film, but that always falls through, because they are busy. Id say writing an article is 100 times easier than making a video, because an opinion is easy to get across. As for me, making videos is a way of keeping me in the game, even though I dont play anymore....kind of like coaching ;)

Anonymous said...

Anon who misses the old derder and traumahead videos- you realize that they are the ones who spawned this style of video and made it popular right? Personally, I enjoy the raw footage videos.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:57AM -- You must find them really broing if you'd rather watch video of a tradeshow.

Baca Loco said...

8:18 Anon
At least 100 times easier. That's why everybody does it--instead of making pb vids.

8:42 Anon
If I can speak for 3:57 Anon--and I can't but I'm gonna anyway--I think the point he was trying to make is that the older videos as he described them told him something--they brought a sense of the experience of attending events he otherwise wouldn't have gotten any other way.

Anonymous said...

I feel that the above comments are valid and reasonable. The internet is full of short paintball clips stitched together with fast music and not a whole lot of "substance".

However, is it just me or is everybody overlooking some of DerDer and Patrick Spohrer's recent work? I personally have been enthralled with the recent Headshot videos. I watched their Sunday coverage of PSP Phoenix the other day and was amazed. Not only is the footage excellent, but the content is unmatched. We've seen match by match coverage from them before, but this video was point by point, move by move, kill by kill. They called out specific players being eliminated and a lot of times who shot them. PSP's confirmed kills are posted at the end of each match to show the viewer which players stood out during the match. Am I the only one impressed by this? Its a first. Never been done before in least I've never seen it before.

Does Patrick Spohrer's PSP webcast not count as a "paintball video"? I feel the footage (now shot in HD) and the comentary (done by seasoned professionals) is top notch. It feels like I'm watching ESPN. I love the combination of Todd Martinez and Matty Marshall in the booth. To say the least, PSP is on the right road with the webcast.

Baca Loco said...

3:29 Anon
I personally wouldn't put what Patrick and PBAccess are doing in the PB videos category. It is first and foremost a live broadcast which is a completely different thing.

I don't find the DerDer Headshot stuff all that compelling but I've only seen some NPPL stuff. Seems like a not too interesting recap usually a few weeks after the fact. I'll check out the PSP Phx stuff.

Anonymous said...

Compelling maybe, maybe not. What I find so interesting is the play by play. Player by player and kill by kill which seems to be a first for the industry. Its a step in the right direction if you ask me. And FYI the Sunday stuff from Phoenix is definitely different then the Friday or Saturday coverage.

sdawg said...


Does every paintball team need its own documentary? Nobody cares about a gang of knuckleheads shooting other knuckleheads on weekends.

L4F said...

sdawng said: "Nobody cares about a gang of knuckleheads shooting other knuckleheads on weekends."

No ;)

Baca Loco said...

Relevant? To this topic? In general? Be more specific.

It will, apparently, be a paintball video. It hopefully won't be like most other PB vids. As a proposed documentary it shouldn't be like most other vids but who knows.

No every team doesn't need it's own documentary. ;)

Missy Q said...

Oh I love seeing vids about the 'personal struggle' of 'Pro' paintballers having to 'grind' every weekend so they can make ends meet.
It's just so 'real', y'know?

I empathise with them mostly at around 7am, when I get up to go work my fat ass off every day.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you are giving enough credit for the current generation of PB videos. Our team has got several kids from woods to play xball because of the action pumped, fast cuts synced to current trend music such as dubstep - teens just think its damn cool.

Things go their own way, older guys like that is more their generation, young guys make their own trends of cool.

Its like fighting windmills to say that videos produced now are flawed, they just represent whats liked by certain population in this very moment.

And they do indeed work well in promoting xball style play.

Missy Q said...

define 'work well'

Anonymous said...

The opposite of that thing you do at 8am every morning?

Missy Q said...

The opposite of Wake & Bake? I don't get it...

I guess if anything was 'working well' at 'promoting xball style play' there would be some kind of uptick in that business, or in demand for the products shown?

I think it may 'work well' in depicting the xball style play, but I don't feel they promote anything. There's no call to action. Why not include a call to action at the end of each vid, at least then we would if there was any real promotional value.

boogt said...

I love the paintball videos that are produced today, some more than others but for the most part I find them quite entertaining.
You ask if the problem is with the audience, the film makers or with you. Well.. I am sure you wont like the answer but judging by the extreme popularity of PbFashion, Nick Cucuzza, and other up and comers, I would say it could quite possibly be you, and others of course that dont like the genre either. But that is exactly what it is, a genre of paintball videos, and trends. The trend will eventually change and shift to what some will believe to be an even worse trend and "crappier" music.

What is often forgotten here is that MOST of the videos being produced today are by complete and total amateurs putting themselves and thousands of dollars of equipment in paintball harms way. Lets not forget the HOURS and HOURS of time spent editing the footage together and finding what they hope will be the perfect song. All of this done for what? So they can be torn apart by the collective genius that has never attempted such a painstaking process but can find ever little flaw that happens to make it to the final cut. Since almost none of them receive one red penny to do any of this it does seem to be a kick in the teeth to the devoted "film makers" out there that are spending their own money in equipment, gas, programs and time.

I say carry on "film makers".

I will add another thing here. As you film, think of doing something a bit different than the next guy, not just in Sony Vegas, but in the execution of the filming and footage itself. Be bold, creative, and original not just trying to copy the guy that came before you. After all real artists will appreciate the time effort and creativity put into it.

Baca Loco said...

I have zero problem with the idea that I'm the one out of touch. You are both welcome to hold that opinion and say so as often and as loudly as you like. It might even be true.

Extreme popularity of PB Fashion or Cucuzzo? Compared to what? Compared to when? While I don't mean to denigrate their particular efforts it is an empty argument to validate a "genre" self-referentially.

I'm not forgetting the time or money spent on these projects. I simply don't find it relevant to whether the project(s) have any artistic merit or paintball relevance or promotional value.

And then you close by undercutting your own argument. Nicely done. :)