qyll wrote:Ken Robinson offered us the definition of creativity as "the process of having original ideas that have value." I think what you're trying to define is value (or if you're Robert Pirsig, "quality").
I think this is very consistent with my idea how "We Expect to be Surprised" because if something surprises us, an original idea must have been presented (at least, according to our original frame-of-reference) and the moment we make sense of it, a perspective shift can occur in our minds, giving rise to value. So I think, there is a possibility we are encircling the same idea.
qyll wrote:To pigeonhole what makes an AMV enjoyable into disparate "truths" would be a blunder. Sure, you can say that a well-made AMV ought to be easy to follow and have proper scene selection, but then these terms already connotate something desirable in the first place, and so, are not useful qualifiers of a good AMV. Even seemingly immutable "truths" such as high video qualify can fall under the mercy of shifting editing fashions. For example, imagine a hypothetical AMV fad where it becomes popular to edit retro style videos in low resolutions and grainy quality. We've see similar trends in other fields of creativity such as painting and literature. In film, Peter Jackson's The Hobbit will be shot in 48 fps as opposed to 24 fps. That's great, right? Yet many filmgoers don't like this because it makes the movie feel more TVish.
This is a very good point. But at the same time, I think it still falls under my idea of predictability/unpredictability, in the sense that we expect something to be a certain way, and when we see that it is not
-- then that inconsistency *IS* the surprise. So, I agree with you how pigeon-holing certain AMV qualities can be a bad idea, yet I still think Truth can be found. Although the word "Truth" is an enigma in and of itself.
qyll wrote:In the end, an AMV's (or any piece of art for that matter) enjoyability is in the eye of the beholder. We all perceive the world differently. To attempt to excavate, a priori, these universal truths that everyone can agree upon would be an exercise in futility. The best we can do is by way of induction; see what many people enjoy and take those things as guidelines rather than axioms. In other words, poll.
hmmm... yeah, I think Guidelines
is an appropriate word to describe 'Safe Practices' which is what most of the world defaults to, yet I think Truth is what we all strive for. So, is it an exercise in futility? Perhaps. But coat-tailing on what gote said about us all being Human, I believe there has got to be something Universal.
qyll wrote:I will concede two things:
1) The vast majority of AMV editors are amateurs. We have day jobs. Most of us don't have time to edit all day. Furthermore, the community of serious editors is relatively small. There are barriers to entry, and because of that, the vogues of AMV editing change relatively slowly. That means, for now, certain values such as visual quality are, for all intents and purposes, "universal truths".
2) We are remixers. We don't generate our own footage (there are a few exceptions), and we don't make our own music (again, a few exceptions). That means we don't have to worry about things like character design, lighting, animation quality, instrument use, etc. This considerably simplifies the search for "universal truths".
And this is where the line between Truths and Safe-Practices starts to become blurred. Depending on who you are talking to, an AMV has to have certain elements to even call
it an AMV; let alone contain True elements to make it a Good AMV. So, I fully accept your notion of using Guidelines, yet, something in me still feels compelled to search for Truth.
------------------------------And Expanded Idea regarding Truth of Entertainment
Now, nobody yet has faced my proposed Universal Truth head-on: that a good AMV is one that Surprises you
, and I honestly believe that rings true for everyone. If you accept this, than there is the possibility of more Universal Truths as well.
One could take a biological approach and notice how pleasurable things result in the release of chemicals in the brain, which is also present any time you have an Emotional Response, or even a Physical Response to Stimulus. Whether it be the story in a piece of work, where the situation alone
is enough to trigger an emotional response; or if the audio/video stimulus is enough to triggers a neural response; you are still somehow "Surprised" by what you are experiencing.
Part of the problem goes back to the Age-Old-Mystery that has eluded mankind for as long as we can remember: "Why do we like music?" Of course, this isn't something that is present in everyone, but we still haven't quite figured it out. Yet, taking my thoughts one step further leads me to believe that good music surprises
you in some respects. There are Patterns in the music that we can clearly follow, but when something like a guitar lick or solo, or the melody comes into the picture, it surprises us; and all of the sudden our brains have to try to make sense of it. But once we do make sense of it, we feel pleasure.
The same idea can be extended to narratives or movies, or any situation that has certain assumed Patterns. Perhaps there is a relationship between two people that should progress smoothly
as they are lovers. That's the pattern. But, introduce an obstacle, and all of the sudden, the audience is thrown into peril, trying to scramble for ways to overcome the surprise; to make sense of it all. Or think about video games: in the beginning, there is some unaccomplished task, a pattern that is broken somehow by an obstacle, a Surprise; and it is our job to fix it. So, what do we do? We take on the challenge. And we find that we actually like it. So we do it willingly.
I believe the idea of fixing patterns is true of AMVs as well. Once you learn about something like synchronization for instance, you now have a pattern to watch out for, and wish for that pattern to be respected. And when it is respected it makes you happy. But each time a clip makes an attempt to be synchronized, you are momentarily Surprised
; and your brain scrambles to make sense of it. And the moment that connection is made, the Universe is restored once again, and it's the best feeling in the world. Same rings true of Story Elements in AMVs-- similar to books, movies and what have you.
This is our Drive to bring Order back to Chaos; to make the world a little more aligned than it started out; to fix things that catch us off guard. Because they Surprised us.
So, is there Truth here? Truth that can extend to all forms of entertainment? Why we enjoy certain things? What makes something Good? What makes anything
Good? I'm sure there's probably more to it than I have described so far, but I believe there is Truth somewhere.
Something that would Surprise everybody. Something we can all strive for.
And it all starts by identifying what is True for You; and maybe... just maybe... identify Truth for us all.