Phantasmagoriat wrote:True Progress is when we ALL agree upon something, and something changes.
This is what I was arguing with because it's my belief that:
Phantasmagoriat wrote:...progress can only occur through struggle/conflict.
I thought we were on opposite sides, but I guess we're in agreement after all. Like you just said, progress can only occur through conflict. You can't have conflict if everyone agrees. Thus you can't have have progress if everyone agrees. Progress comes from compromise, agreeing to disagree and trading things so that everyone gets a little something, not unilateral agreement. Because if there ever was a unilateral agreement, that would be the end of progress until disagreement rears her ugly head again. That's why the earth was flat for so long.
But, back to the original question...I don't like the word surprise.
Surprise is a gimmick. It's an eyecatcher, something that makes the vid stand out just long enough to make people watch it. Once they've watched it, they'll forget it unless it has something that appeals to them on a personal level. It's the appeal that makes the video good, not the eyecatching gimmick that caught the person's attention in the first place. People talk about videos with a surprising gimmick the same way they talk about movies with a twist ending. But once you've seen the twist, it's only good for sharing with friends who don't know the secret yet. [I believe this is why Castor's newest and last crossover has such mixed reviews. The gimmick is cool to first-time crossover viewers, but it's the fans to whom it really appeals.]
That's why we give more weight to reviewability than we do to originality. It's only original the first time you see it. If you keep watching it after that, then there must be something more than a surprising twist of originality in there. [If you don't think reviewability should be more important than originality, then that's an entirely different discussion I'd be happy to debate.]
Take Dewelopers as an example. For those who are not mentioned in the vid, it's quite a unique video aimed at the community by a member of the community. It's great fun to show people for the first time. Those who wish they had been listed might continue to watch it, and those who are interested in some of the effects used in it might watch it often enough to emulate it, but the main people who enjoy it are the ones listed, the ones it was made for. They have a personal attachment to it. It appeals to them. It's a well-made video, but without that personal appeal, it's not worth watching more than once for the majority of amv fans.
If we have to single down one thing that a video *must* have in order to be good, then I think it has to be appeal. Surprise wanes and grows old with repeated viewings. If surprise or originality was what mattered, then editors wouldn't be able to consider their own videos good because there is nothing in there to surprise the one who made it. They might be surprised at themselves, but not the video. The video is entirely predictable for the one who made it, and for anyone who watches it over and over. They keep watching because it touches something in them, it appeals to them on a personal level.
The problem with this is that one thing won't appeal to everyone (see all my posts in this thread). So even if we agree to tell others that "appeal" is the thing a video must have to be good, it's not like saying "good capture" or "a gimmick". Anyone can do good capture and put a twist or editing gimmick into their video if we tell them "originality or a surprise" is what they need to do for it to be good. Saying "appeal" is necessary is more like telling people to make fun videos for those who like fun videos. That's a given, a no-brainer, and not very helpful to those who want specifics.
So, while I wouldn't advise telling people that "appeal" is the necessary ingredient, because that's obvious and very vague, I wouldn't tell them that "surprise" is the necessary ingredient, either. Just look at what happened to movies when they all decided a twist ending was necessary - people started expecting the twist and so it was only surprising when they didn't get one.
Another example would be the AMV Hell vids. They're chalked full of surprises, but they're worth rewatching because some of the jokes, the surprises, never get old. They don't get old because they appeal to you on some level, an inside joke that's personally amusing, a song and character matchup that you might have thought of yourself (and thus you're on the same wavelength as the editor who gave it to you), your favorite characters being mocked, your hated characters being trashed, eyecandy that you wish more editors would provide you with (I'm referring to the boob and panty sections, of course), etc etc. The gimmick of making a hell-type vid has gotten old, so the surprise has worn off. But they're still great vids and fun to watch (and make) for those to whom they appeal.