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    I Hate the Word "Talent"
    #1
    VHS Member Old Skool Jim Brennan's Avatar
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    I was going to post this in the Directors forum, because that's where the conversation came from, but I think it applies to all of the crafts we pursue.

    I was having a discussion this AM with someone who knows me well, and has been on many sets with me, as well as being involved in other phases of productions.

    We were discussing another person's involvement in an upcoming project and she told me that directing came "very naturally" to me, and that I was "talented"

    I wanted to scream, and explained that I was appreciative of the comment, and that I was glad that it all looked good coming out, but it was an extremely difficult thing for me to do. I work very hard at it, and am very nervous actually doing it.

    I know that this happens to people all the time. Athletes, actors, musicians. People see the result and figure it must come easily. They must be talented, because if anyone could do it (to a certain extent anyway), with hard work and dedication, that would take away their excuses.

    Don't get me wrong, I know that some people have more of a knack, or pre-disposition for something. But that is just the grain of sand that the pearl grows around. Telling people they are talented diminishes so much of the hard work they put into something. I know that most people mean it as a compliment, but I hate it.

    Sorry. End of rant.


    "...there is no magic, no mystery---just common sense and hard work" - Nestor Almendros


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    #2
    Sound Modulator MattinSTL's Avatar
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    *LOL* I read the thread title and thought "hell yeah! I'm sick of describing some of the actors we use as 'the talent'... but it's way more pc then calling 'em meat puppets"... because "the talent"... when referring to whomever will be on-cam (who? whom? whatever)... isn't always accurate.

    Hey in my view... maybe you should change your own perspective of the word. To call somebody talented doesn't have to take away the credit for work and perserverence... "talented" can describe a level that has been achieved, rather then bestowed.

    Sometimes it's OK to accept a compliment and smile to yourself about your own little secret... that it didn't come easy... so when they say "hey you're really talented"... maybe just smile and say "thanks"

    I'd be way more offended at the connotation of something "coming naturally"... because that, on the other hand, is frequently under-explained (then again, maybe that's what you meant and I'll shut up now).
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    #3
    Section Moderator Alex H.'s Avatar
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    Second that!

    Aptitude, natural gift, etc., only describe the passion for doing and the overall grasp one might have for the practical concepts of the craft. "Talent" takes that further to describe the willingness to develop that gift/aptitude into something remarkable. And that's no easy task. It takes a lot of dedication and hard work.

    "Talent," to me, also includes the patience to push through the most challenging, difficult times, with no fear of what the result might be. The nervousness that you experience is born of both passion and concern for the end product, and that's not something that can come from a text book. Talent accepts possibility, denies probability, and has a vision that looks past both.

    I've known a lot of folks who are skilled at making camera gear work... but there are only certain ones I would dare call talented.
    Last edited by Alex H.; 11-19-2008 at 08:37 AM. Reason: Spelling, grammar... office heater is broken, and my fingers are frozen.
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    VHS Member Old Skool Jim Brennan's Avatar
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    Thanks for to perspective guys.

    "meat puppets"...yeah, I've used that term before


    "...there is no magic, no mystery---just common sense and hard work" - Nestor Almendros


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    #5
    Looking for a woman ugafan's Avatar
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    The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work. [Emile Zola]
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    #6
    Retired Moderator J.R. Hudson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ugafan View Post
    The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work. [Emile Zola]

    I like that.

    I think of talent as an aptitude. An inherent ability, as for learning; a talent.

    I know very well I have an aptitude for filmmaking, but as UGA quoted, without the the work, what good is the talent ?

    Some people are naturally gifted, while others have to work very hard at what they do, and even then, they may never achieve the caliber of the one who has the inborn gift who puts in half the effort.

    Next time Jim ?

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