Author Interview with Timur Seyfi from VideoHive

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Meet VideoMagus (Timur Seyfi) from VideoHive!

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, what do you do for a living?

Thank you indeed for this interview opportunity. I really appreciate it, definitely not being the best After Effects master on VideoHive, though I am one of the best sellers – thanks to the VideoHive buyers.

Well, a bit about myself: My name is Tim. I’m not as young as most of the VideoHive authors. A long time ago I became happily married, and have two nice children. For the last few years I have lived in Vancouver, Canada, having moved there from Europe.

I was born in Russia, graduated in Linguistics from Moscow State University, then studied in a European Film College in Denmark and completed a Russian Film Institute with Diploma in Film & TV production. For the next few years I worked as editor, director, scriptwriter, and actor for Russian TV channels and some international projects. I then spent a few years as a freelance multimedia artist in the Czech Republic, Germany, Malta, and Spain.

And now I do my best as a video freelancer on the very west of Canada and the world. LOL.

Which marketplaces do you belong to? What types of files do you sell?

Currently I contribute mainly to VideoHive, a bit to ActiveDen and GraphicRiver, and some other media stocks. I like different types, techniques, genres and styles, and prefer doing three to five projects simultaneously. Most of my best selling files are different motion design elements and some live footage. Now I have to push myself to produce more After Effects projects. Stay tuned!

How did you get started? Have you had any formal training?

I started my first ever media stock in 2007 on the old cosy FlashDen as ‘Bushido’, where I signed just for fun (on my genius son’s advice) to try to sell my flash animation experiments. And only a few months later I suddenly found there a very small and poor video section, with a dozen authors and two hundred clips and loops made for occasional Flash design needs. They were mostly low resolution, some After Effects and Particle Illusion presets, a few artistic backgrounds, and no real live footage or motion design projects at all. And these fairly simple files were selling really well as the video era was just starting on the Internet.

But the strange video reviewer xdosex (Mark) wasn’t happy with his tiny FlashDen section, and secretly dreamed to turn it eventually into the world’s best video stock site, despite the many strong competitors like iStock, Revostock and others. Nobody believed it could happen two years ago, but I did. And so did some other FlashDen video veterans like ScottWills, Baf2681, Sharky, Hedley, Kramz, Flashato, Zanimotion, yocreative, creative_sq, elements, juanmar00.

I started with a few very, very simple clips, and they were very drastically criticized by Brian, revealing his future talent as a VideoHive reviewer. So I forced myself to look for more originality, and submitted my first original live footage compositions like Glamour Walking and Rail Enchanting. By the way, at that time I had no education in pro motion design, just various video directing, shooting and editing experience.

The market demand here two years ago was mostly for original background loops and particle transitions, and I found that Apple Motion 3 was very friendly and effective for that. I started to make more and more files, improving my video effects under Mark’s passionate guidance, gradually moving up in the number of satisfied buyers.

The visual technologies and markets are quickly expanding and changing, and self-education is rather slow-effective in our fast times. So in the next year I hope to get a good formal training in hi-end film and TV, and visual effects as well.

And VideoHive is changing. I had a secret mystic dream about two new VideoHive sections for Cinema 4D and Maya animation projects, so be prepared!

Describe your home workspace.

For my current motion design practice I’m powered with Final Cut Studio on iMac and After Effects CS3 on PC. I guess it’s very common to work on a second machine, while the first is rendering something huge. And I like to use different software with different features.

Describe your creative process. What steps do you normally follow to create your files?

The steps of my creative process are not that strict – just balancing between my artistic wants and the business needs. It’s always some kind of a cocktail of my impressions from the mass media, serious art masterpieces, real things and surreal dreams… and VideoHive reviewer’s rejections of course!

What is your advice to other authors regarding how to create a successful portfolio?

The most important thing is to try to create something not only different from the rest, but really new. That’s the best way to learn the tools, to get a sudden masterpiece, and sometimes to produce a good seller for VideoHive.

There are many ways to be a successful producer – as with a huge, wide-range portfolio, or with just a few very brilliant files. But it’s always about the five complex rules – the right marketing response, good technical quality, high presentation level, strong promotional support.

And fifth – keeping only positive relations with your partners and customers. There is no good conflict – you only lose your life’s time and energy. Even when planned as a tactical move in your mighty commercial strategy, the tail wags the dog.

What do you do to market your files?

Self-promotion is still my weakest point. I don’t advertise my VideoHive portfolio very well. I don’t advertise on any of the popular social and professional networks. I just occasionally post on Envato’s forums. I have a very simple link-listing web-page, www.videomagics.com, and a very limited personal stock site, www.videomagus.com.

I definitely need to hire a good agent, or at least a smart secretary. Oh, I forgot – sometimes I get an interview as VideoHive celebrity!

What are your three favorite files, and why do you like them?

Over the past two years I’ve made about five hundred stock files, and always try my best. But nobody’s perfect!

If I had to pick just three favorites, they might be:

– the CGI background loop Silver II,

– the live footage based intro, Underground Countdown,

– and the After Effects project, 3D Brochure.

Apart from yourself, who is your favorite marketplace author, and why do you like them?

I’m really impressed with the number of superior VideoHive files, which are growing daily. They are much better than mine, made by veterans as well as newcomers – including Plamencvetanov, InLifeThrill, Vaynah, Felt_tips, Wayman, Placdarms, Dorde, and UNVI – just to name a few of the best.

But my favorite author ever is MarkBrodhuber, with his one absolutely unique After Effects project – called VideoHive!

What do you do in your spare time?

In my very rare spare time I’m happy to play with my kids. No kidding!

  • http://www.tripodbg.com Stefoto

    Great interview! I really enjoyed while reading it! :)

  • http://videohive.net/user/vibes35 vibes35

    Excellent interview! Inspiring as well… thank you :)

  • http://videohive.net/user/Wayman?ref=wayman Wayman

    And again excellent interview which I with pleasure have read! And also nice to know that such a talented author is my countryman. :) Timur, I wish you inspiration and new heights of creativity!

  • http://www.dfilmon.com Filmon H Abraha

    Loved the Interview always wanted to know the thoughts of the “TOP AUTHORS” very inspiring.

    In this really hard time(economically) hearing stories like these gives hopes in Artist who’s bravely pursuing his dream. God Bless

    -humbly yours

  • http://felt-tips.net Felt Tips

    Great read, Timur! Nice to put a face to the avatar! Did you ever live in Berlin on your travels? I remember one of your stock footage files was shot around Berlin, I think.

  • http://videomagics.com VideoMagus

    Thank you all – my interviewer, readers and commentators ;)

    @ Felt Tips: Yes, I’ve used to visit Berlin for a while every year… before I moved to Canada… It’s one of my favorite places… I guess you’re enjoying it as well… And the mentioned footage clip was – Berlin Night Light – now it’s not selling on VH, but viewable on Vimeo – http://vimeo.com/13198665 ;)

  • paolo

    hei man! really like your work!
    any chance we can talk?
    im based in nyc!

    paolo