Monday 10 October 2011

The Talent

When I first started getting serious about making videos and did some research on techniques, I kept on hearing the term 'the talent' - not as an attribute, as in 'so an so' has talent, but as a proper noun, as in 'place the talent there', or 'make sure the talent ...'. At the time it seemed a bit strange to refer to the subject of the film in that way, almost as if no one else had any talent.

In my proper job - marketing manager for a major computer company - I work with many very talented people every day, and I'd be disingenuous if I tried to claim that I didn't have a little myself, but ...

... over the past few days I've been editing some of the footage I took in this year in Essaouira in order to build some DVDs of the preparation and performances of a couple of the groups, and suddenly it made sense - these people aren't the same as most of you and me. There's something about them that forces you to watch and listen to the same bits of their music over and over till you capture it just right, so that you can portray them in the best light. I stand there while they perform and record them putting their soul into it for our sakes, but I'm like a financial derivative, they are the prime assets.

I got to thinking - would people pay to watch me work? Would I entrance then as I put the finishing touches to a marketing plan, of submitted a request to update a web page? I guess you all know the answer.

Anyone who buys books, CDs, movies, or goes to concerts knows this to be true - we couldn't write those books, sing and play on those CDs, act in those movies, or whatever. It's only when you get close to musicians and actors, as I've been privileged to recently, that the truth hits home - talent is not just a subjective characteristic, like beauty in the eye of the beholder, it's something innate. It's what makes them different. It's why we pay good money to be in their presence - whether physically or virtually.

I could go on, but 'nuff said.

Sunday 2 October 2011

Great glass by Ton Verdegaal in Amsterdam

On my last visit to Amsterdam, Maggie bought me a wonderful piece of glass as a birthday present. It was made by Ton Verdegaal, who has a small shop cum studio at Berenstraat 41.

I stumbled on his shop by chance, only to realize that I had bought another piece of his the year before. I'll post a photo of that later.

You can see more of Ton's work on his web site
, but if you plan to visit Amsterdam, take the time to drop in, and see it for real.