It is a household between art and technology, where one would not operate at full capacity without the other

Dragoș Vasiloaia, on the stage name Cuscrew, comes from Roman, but realized that he wants to start his life as a VJ after a show Silent Strike & Kazi Ploae in Iași, on screenings by Dan Basu. He was 16 at the time and the visual trigger was a sampled brain from the movie Pi. There were parties where he got pro bono, added visual elements as knowledge gathered and parties grew, among the names he collaborated with were Golan, Subcarpathians, Nane, I think I’m an alien.

“I understood how important it is to know the hardware and software you use as well as possible, but at the same time, how important the artistic concepts, the composition, the chromatics and everything related to the aesthetic part are.”

The nasty part of the whole VJ-ing thing is the situation in which the VJs are put, often embarrassing, says Dragoș. With the exception of a few clubs, they have desks with no visibility to the wall on which they project, discarded cables, disinterested staff or old projectors. Maybe it’s related to the fact that it’s a job that is done from the shadows, this being one of the cool points of the job for Cuscrew.

The first years under the projector

It was May 24, 2013 when I first noticed, in a concert, that sight can be more important than hearing. I was 16 years old. Contrary to the reason I was there, namely the music, from the moment the screenings started, I could not take my eyes off them. I wasn’t by chance at that concert. I had come to Iasi especially for the release of the album “Silent Regis”. I was a big fan of the soloist. The image that has remained in my head until today is a sequence with a brain sampled from the movie “Pi”.

The scene at the beginning

I don’t know what it was like in the rest of the country, but in the area I come from, especially in Roman, the emphasis was only on sound. The projections were not neglected, but non-existent. I was impressed by their absence, especially since they made me turn my attention from my favorite music artist, on a cold concrete wall.

Show no.1

The day after the concert, I looked for pictures from the event on Facebook so I could see the software interface that the VJ was using that night. No pictures. I tried the next day, nothing. After weeks of searching, I abandoned the idea … A year later, I accidentally remember that concert and search again. I find the picture! After a few Google searches, I discover the name of the program, but also the name of the VJ that evening, Dan Basu. From that day I started to learn the program and experiment.

Where to learn from

Luck made me meet the organizers of some local parties to whom I proposed pro bono to be VJ at their next event. The first time was pathetic, but gorgeous. I didn’t know what I was doing, I just had to do it. The second time the bar had already been raised. It happened in another club where the video projector was much better, the projection surface more than enough… I had no excuse. I was learning on the go. Looking back, the shows were improving exponentially. To each VJ set I added new elements that I liked and I missed those that were no longer relevant to me. I think the best teachers were time and passion.

Everything was self-taught. At first it was more like a game, but over time I got to know older people in the field, from whom I had to learn something. While some were very technical, others were very focused on the artistic side, I understood how important it is to know the hardware and software you use as well as possible, but at the same time, how important the artistic concepts, the composition , chromatics and everything related to the aesthetic part. It is a household between art and technology, where one would not work at full capacity without the other.

The unseen part of the VJ job

Probably the time invested and the knowledge necessary to run a successful show sum up the unseen part of a VJ. One aspect of this job that I really like is the fact that it is always operated from the shadows.

Tools for a successful show

It’s an expensive field when it comes to the equipment through which the images are unfolded. Many people want a show as spectacular as possible, but when it comes to equipment, they want the cheapest option. In a race, you are a good driver in vain if the car you are driving is the slowest on the route. You probably don’t finish last, thanks to experience, but you can hardly cross the finish line first.

How to prepare for a show

Pre-production is a basic element in the whole process. This happens a few days or months before the event. During this time, the graphic concepts, the structure and everything related to the good performance of the concert / party are done. During the show, after you have all the materials ready in time, the laptop becomes your tool.

What’s on trend

Being a field that happens in real time, with a live audience, the vibe of an event is given especially by the energy of the people present. This makes the importance of controlling the footage you have as high as possible. I believe that the near future lies in real time rendering.

The most appreciated kind of show

In this area, size matters. And the better the stage design is done, the easier the life of the VJ is.

How adapted are the locations in Romania

With the exception of a few clubs, the situation in which VJs are placed is often embarrassing. Desks that do not give you visibility to the wall on which you project, discarded cables, where you have to lose half the day just connect and then see that the projection is barely distinguishable, disinterested staff, old projectors with which you risk giving blue screen during the show, and the list goes on…

How well the VJ is paid

To become a good VJ, I believe that passion takes you to a certain point. From there the money comes depending on how dedicated you are. It’s not an easy job. It may sound fun to go to 3 parties a week every week. That’s until it really happens.

Pandemie & VJ-ing

In the pandemic I managed to find the time I needed to satisfy one of my passions, namely that of making music videos and 3D animation. I had this in mind long before the pandemic, but I never found time to do it, always going to concerts or parties. This break with force caught me very well, but now, a year later, VJ’s longing for life has come to the surface and I look forward to using my skills learned in the pandemic.

Still, the situation of the events is not so clear, but there are already calls to various small festivals. We’ve all seen lately how unpredictable life is, so I’ll go with the flow.

3 shows that impressed you

Source: IQads by

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