Should VJs Use Beeple Clips?
“No Beeple. Unless it’s a clip he released this week or you can really hide it. Everybody’s using those clips and have used them forever.”
There are some interesting comments whenever Beeple is brought up for VJ Loops. Go on forums and you’ll notice lots of VJs start out by using Beeple’s clips, and it makes sense, they’re free and super high quality. Yet there’s some VJs that think you shouldn’t use them.
“I feel like Beeple is almost too good of a source for VJs… his stuff looks amazing with almost any style music, but ends up being absurdly over used.”
Today we’re going to look at this question from both sides, why VJs should/shouldn’t use Beeple clips.
Why VJs Shouldn’t Use Beeple VJ Clips
The biggest argument some VJs have against using Beeple’s clips is that everyone uses them.
This is understandable. If every VJ uses the same clips than what sets other VJs apart from the next guy? This is the equivalent of DJs using a lot of the same songs at festivals. When you’re simply playing the loops front-to-back, or just playing the song start-to-finish it’s hard to stand out from other performers.
It would be disappointing to see an artist perform at a large festival and see the same Beeple clips behind every DJ.
At the same time his loops are amazing. They are insane eye candy and I think a huge inspiration for people getting into VJing. Just like a DJ wouldn’t completely ignore the hottest song out there, VJs can’t ignore all the incredible and free work that Beeple has put out.
So should you never use Beeple clips? The answer will vary but I think there are definitely good reasons to use Beeple clips in your VJ sets.
Why VJs Should Use Beeple VJ Clips
You can’t really learn how to use your VJ software if you don’t actually have any clips to play with. It’s like learning to DJ without music.
A VJ isn’t anything without content and you need enough to actually do a show with so you’re not repeating yourself.
This is one of the biggest struggles when people first get into VJing, where do you actually get content? VJ loops are expensive so if you’re just starting out you’re probably not comfortable spending a lot of money on loops until you feel like you know what you’re doing.
Which I why I think it’s perfectly fine to use Beeple clips as a starting point for VJing.
Use Them For Learning To VJ
There’s enough free content of his to perform with and this can give you a lot of clips to practice and learn your VJ software with.
In the beginning it’s fine to simply play the loops but over time beginners should try adding effects to at least “remix” the clips and add their own style to them.
This is where some VJs will say that you should just learn to make your own VJ loops but that is an entirely different skill. Learn how to make your first generative loop using Resolume here.
Knowing how to make VJ loops should not be a barrier to VJing. If a lack of VJ loops is what’s getting in your way of actually starting to VJ than go crazy with the Beeple loops.
Not “Everyone” Has Seen Beeple Clip
As a new VJ your first instinct is to search for “free VJ loop” and guess what you’ll find, a lot of Beeple. Of course because lots of VJs do this, everyone (VJs) know who Beeple is.
VJing is a very niche area and as VJs we’re in a small echo chamber. But consider your audience, the people who are going to see and experience these visuals.
Are the people at your first house party, or first club venue going to know the VJ Loops are made by Beeple? Are they going to say “ugh not more Beeple loops“. Assuming the people aren’t all VJs or DJs, most of them won’t have a clue who Beeple is. All they’re seeing is some crazy visuals. On that note if people compliment the visuals be sure to give credit where credit is due ;).
When Should You Stop VJing with Beeple Clips?
If you’re new to VJing, you’ve got your first show coming up, or you just need some visuals for a one off show than definitely use Beeple’s clips. There’s more than enough to perform with and it will actually get you started on the path of VJing. And since Beeple releases them under creative commons you can legally use them (better than using YouTube rips).
However if you’ve been VJing for a while and you’ve decided that this is something you want to keep doing, than it may be time to invest in other VJ loops besides Beeple or learn how to start making your own so you can define your style. This is especially true if your goal is to start doing bigger shows, where the artist may want content that’s unique to their show.
Ultimately it’s up to you whether you use Beeple clips or not. Remember these simple guidelines:
- Give credit
- Use them as a starting point for learning to VJ
- As you progress try remixing them with effects and layering in your VJ software
- Use them to learn and take inspiration from when you decide to start making your own
What do you think, should VJs never use Beeple Clips or when should they stop using them? Share your thoughts in the comments