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07 September 2009 @ 08:43 pm
Vividcon recs  
I am still swimming against the current of Vividcon vids, via the DVDs, and trying to get round feedbacking. Apart from the humour panel (what? I have my priorities straight!) I've not got to the vidshow playlists yet. Seriously, I don't know how anyone with a full time job catches up with this stuff within a month. I'm trying to remind myself I've got a whole year to catch up. *wipes brow*

Anyway, it seems timely to make a few recs for posterity of my personal favourites from the con premieres. I like each of them for different reasons.

For being innovative
bradcpu and laurashapiro's Hard Sun. The inclusion of real fans in this tribute to Firefly fandom felt very fresh and exciting. Gave me lots of thinky about fannishness and personal identification in fandom. It felt both deeply personal and universal, which I'm realising is a combination I respond strongly to.

For the emotion
heresluck's Sea Fever (Slings and Arrows) I've never seen the show (people tell me I should) but I found this really moving and poignant.

jarrow's Learn to Crawl (Kara/Kat, BSG) is classic slash vidding at its best, drawing on the subtext and creating something grander. The emotional narrative carried me away despite all my problems with the source.

bananainpyjamas's We Are (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) Instantly engaging, but gets better and better on rewatch. I love the message of personal responsiblity that it, and Sarah, insist on. Oh, Sarah!

obsessive24's Red Cliff, through the musicality of the vidding and the beauty of the source.

For the crazy wicked editing
Can Delight by Jescaflowne: I'm still trying to come up with words to sum up the editing... mostly I'm just marvelling dizzily. Also, hello, cheerleaders?! Eliza? Slayers? Slayers cheerleading? There's no bad here. Oh, the song's also horribly right: I love bad songs made good through vids.

bananainpyjamas's Break Teen Spirit in Four Minutes (Wanted) Shit-hot kinetic joy.

Ones which mean a lot to me personally
These two, along with talitha78's That's Not My Name, make me feel like the universe is spoiling me.

halcyon_shift's Army of Me (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles)--it's my favourite show to my favourite song! (True story: dancing to this song, or at least the original, can bring your friends for life.) All kinds of cool that I'm still unpacking.

kiki_miserychic's Once Upon a Time (The Fall) That's right! A vid of The Fall! My favourite movie of all time. \o/ I love seeing someone else's interpretation of the story, and it uses an ace track. Prettiest source in the world.

There were many other vids I enjoyed, particularly some lovely character study work. There are also some pieces I'm still reflecting on and ones I think may grow on me in time. I'm not a one-view kind of person so while the above vids grabbed me very fast, I expect there to still be other favourites to come.
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Kass: let love be your enginekassrachel on September 7th, 2009 12:22 pm (UTC)
A lot of these are among my favorites, too. I just showed "Hard Sun" to a couple of friends a few nights ago and was blown away again by how awesome it is. I think it didn't quite penetrate my consciousness on the night of the Premieres show -- I was a little bit exhausted and glazed-over (pregnancy + many hours of vidwatching = a frustratingly sleepy Kass) and it kind of went right by me. But I watched it again shortly after getting home and went WHOA, that was AWESOME, which continues to be my response!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee concentratingbop_radar on September 7th, 2009 10:50 pm (UTC)
Seriously, that's one thing I really don't get about cons: how do people process so many vids so fast? Can they really appreciate them on one viewing? I know a lot of con vids are made with that in mind but it's so antithetical to my viewing approach that until I experience myself I really don't think I'll 'get' it.

I find Hard Sun moving but then it also gets me thinky because I see it in a continuum of vids about our identification with the source like Lim's Us. And I think the most fascinating thing for me is that there seems to be a conflicted attitude within fandom about the degree to which we express our identification with the source... on the one hand, that's what fandom is built on--mutual enjoyment of the same source material--and on the other hand there seem to be constructed boundaries to how much we're allowed to put ourselves (literal or otherwise) in our work. I found it interesting that Hard Sun provoked so much discussion. I think that's in part because it blurred those boundaries and did so in such a heartfelt, commmitted way. I admire that courage. And it made me think a lot about my own reasons for vidding and what I'd rather be vidding and the mutual experience of vidders... and, well, lots of things. :)
Kass: veronica and wallacekassrachel on September 7th, 2009 10:59 pm (UTC)
Vid overload is definitely a challenge, especially at Vividcon where I tend to sit in the vidshow room for hours on end. I think I've trained myself somewhat as a viewer -- I've gotten better at processing more information and I don't hit overload as quickly as I used to -- but it's still definitely an issue! which is why when I first get home from the con, my responses are usually on the level of "ooh, shiny, I liked it" and then hopefully later on I make time to rewatch the vids and can try to actually say something thinky. *wry grin*

When I first started getting into vids, I guess five or seven years ago, people were talking about the distinction between a "con vid" (designed to be relatively simple, to play well to a big crowd, to evince laughter or tears or whatever, to be intelligible to an audience which might not know canon well or might not be watching all that closely) and a "living room vid" (designed to be watched alone or in a small group, probably meant to be watched multiple times on one's VCR, and therefore able to be more subtle or sophisticated.) I think that distinction has largely evaporated in the age of the internet -- now that vids can be streamed, we can watch them on our own computers at our leisure, as many times as we wish, without degrading the VCR tape or what-have-you. I think that's contributed to a rise in complexity and a speeding-up of average clip length -- as a vidding audience we've all collectively learned to parse faster cuts, and I think that as there start to be more of us who are fans of vidding (rather than just fans of vids featuring a given pairing or show) we learn to love vids for their viddiness rather than necessarily for how well or wisely they handle canonical moments on the screen.

But even with all of that... I think people get overloaded by the end of a con vidshow (two or three hours of vids all in a row is a lot of shiny to process), and I think it's particularly challenging at a con like VVC where some of us watch vids for 8h/day and then go to the Premieres show with our eyeballs already bleeding. :-) I've learned to take a nice quiet dinner with a couple of friends on Saturday before Premieres, and maybe to take a nap or skip a vidshow sometime earlier in the day, just so I'm likelier to have fresh eyes when I want them!

Anyway: YES to everything you said about "Hard Sun." The question of how much we put ourselves in our work is a fascinating one -- and seems to be a theme for Laura to some extent; do you know the wonderful "I Put You There" which she made with lithumdoll?
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!bop_radar on September 8th, 2009 01:28 am (UTC)
Re. con vids versus living room vids, I definitely hear what you're saying and I have seen change in that time too (I've been watching vids about that long as well) but I can still see a distinction between vids that play well to the con audience and vids that play better at home. I think it is possible to create a vid that plays well to both audiences but it's not easy... I know myself I'm not very drawn to making vids that would play well there, which is something I struggle with in determining how I actually fit in this wider 'vidding' fandom (rather than in a specific fandom).

that's contributed to a rise in complexity and a speeding-up of average clip length -- as a vidding audience we've all collectively learned to parse faster cuts
Yes, agreed! It's amazing how slow older vids feel now, isn't it? But I think sometimes we forget that people newer to vid watching aren't as attuned to the watching of fast clips as we are. I have friends who find fast cuts throw them out of vids. And I respect that. So fast cuts are great, but they can limit audience accessability.

we learn to love vids for their viddiness rather than necessarily for how well or wisely they handle canonical moments on the screen.
Er, yeah. This is a big issue for me in vidding fandom. I mean... I heart viddiness too but I think the purpose is just as important as the execution. (And I can sense vidding fandom will bitchslap me for this!) It can be a well-made vid but if I find the canon meta premise dodgy then you've lost me--assuming the vid clearly draws on canon, if it's completely AU then go for your life, you know? I was a show metaist first and I'm having trouble shaking that in vidding fandom. I see people flip out for vids that are technically brilliant but which are really very low on my list of favourites because I reject their entire premise. I also wish people signalled more clearly whether the vid was one for the show's audience or for people that don't watch the show or only watch it in passing... because there's a BIG difference. If it's a show I watch, I'll judge it based on what I know of that show and how interesting the meta is. If it's a show I don't watch then it's a lot easier to take the vidder's construction on faith and I don't have any of those jarring moments. I feel, increasingly, that it's considered 'not ok' to feel jarred by these things. Like we all have to bow down to the fact that someone made a good-looking vid regardless of how sound the meta is. And that personally really irks me. Sorry. You got a mini-rant. This gets back to my comment in the inclusion post about vid popularity. I am frequently baffled by vids that are massively popular but flawed from a meta standpoint and since it's considered not ok to critique the meta (well to crit at all, on LJ!) I can't say anything. I also feel like, as a metaist, I have to 'sell out' to be accepted in vidding fandom. When I put show meta in my vids, vidding fandom has a lukewarm reaction while the people who watch the show deeply love it. I care about the shows and their audiences... so how will I go being part of this wider vidding fandom? Will I only ever be able to engage on a shallow level with the source again? I don't mean that all vids that play well to vidding fandom are 'shallow' in terms of not being intelligent, but they do have to be 'transparent', and in being so they usually make simplistic arguments about the source. :(

Sorry. This is a BIG issue for me. Sorry to prattle at you. I'm really struggling with this at the moment.

nice quiet dinner with a couple of friends on Saturday before Premieres, and maybe to take a nap or skip a vidshow
Oh, what wise advice!

seems to be a theme for Laura to some extent; do you know the wonderful "I Put You There" which she made with lithumdoll
Oh yes, that's another one of those vids! :) I do love them. Oh fandom, you are so perplexing with your conflicting messages. *sighs*
Kass: veronica and wallacekassrachel on September 8th, 2009 01:07 pm (UTC)
I completely agree that there's still a distinction (or there can be) between vids which play well to a crowd of 100+ and vids which play well to a solo person at her laptop.

I also wish people signalled more clearly whether the vid was one for the show's audience or for people that don't watch the show or only watch it in passing... because there's a BIG difference. If it's a show I watch, I'll judge it based on what I know of that show and how interesting the meta is. If it's a show I don't watch then it's a lot easier to take the vidder's construction on faith and I don't have any of those jarring moments.

Ooooh -- this is a really interesting point, and one I had not considered. *ponders* My path in to vid fandom was via vids for the pairing I already knew and loved. I remember an Escapade vidshow where I was really bummed-out because nobody was vidding "my boys" and I felt like I wasn't part of the intended audience for anything. Of course, the real problem was that I only had one fandom (and it was an oudated one by then) so of course people had moved on to the new shiny -- and also I hadn't yet reached a point where I could enjoy vids as vids even if I didn't know the emotional resonance of every moment shown onscreen. For me it's been a progression from "I like Jim/Blair vids" to "I like vids for fandoms I know" to "I love vids for fandoms I know, but I also like vids for fandoms I don't know!" But I hadn't thought about how I watch vids for fandoms I don't know differently than vids for fandoms I do know.

(I also want to mention multifandom vids and meta vids here -- I'm thinking of something like "A Fannish Taxonomy of Hotness (Hot Hot Hot)" by sherrold and wickedwords, or the recent "Metaphor" by flummery and cesperanza -- these don't always have powerful meta-textual insights to offer, sometimes they're just shiny, but I think they fall into a different category from single-fandom vids in a lot of ways.)

I tend to find that if I know a fandom, then I'll watch a vid looking for it to tell me something I can understand. If I don't know the fandom, then I'm just watching to see whether it's pretty (and in truth, I don't often watch new vids for fandoms I don't know at all unless I'm at a con.) But I hadn't thought about what happens when someone makes a vid for a fandom I know, but the vid doesn't seem to me to say anything. I do think that one answer is that there's a need to cultivate spaces where critique is permitted / honored / enjoyed.

When I put show meta in my vids, vidding fandom has a lukewarm reaction while the people who watch the show deeply love it. I care about the shows and their audiences... so how will I go being part of this wider vidding fandom? Will I only ever be able to engage on a shallow level with the source again? I don't mean that all vids that play well to vidding fandom are 'shallow' in terms of not being intelligent, but they do have to be 'transparent', and in being so they usually make simplistic arguments about the source. :(

See, I think vidding for the audience who loves the show along with you is a completely legitimate thing to do. To me, that is being a part of wider vidding fandom -- even if your vids speak most powerfully to the people who know your show(s). I don't think you necessarily have to vid to an "uneducated" audience (by which I mean, an audience who doesn't know the ins and outs of your fandom) -- the trade-off may be that people who don't know the fandom deeply will miss some of what you're saying, but isn't that always true?

And btw, I am so enjoying these conversations! I think having finally become brave enough to step up and say "I make vids!" I am discovering that I am incredibly hungry for conversation about them. So thank you for indulging me. :-)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: DW Sally Sparrowbop_radar on September 8th, 2009 02:34 pm (UTC)
For me it's been a progression from "I like Jim/Blair vids" to "I like vids for fandoms I know" to "I love vids for fandoms I know, but I also like vids for fandoms I don't know!"
Mmm, *nods*, I think that's a pretty common path for a lot of us. I certainly followed it as well... from Clark/Lex onwards.

I think they fall into a different category from single-fandom vids in a lot of ways.
Yes, in many ways they're more accessible as they draw across multiple fandoms and so there are lots of doorways 'in' to the vid while the viewer can also track the common theme. Those seem to make good 'con' vids for that reason--they can appeal to a wide audience and find some common ground between fandoms. (Not to say they don't play well at home too)

I tend to find that if I know a fandom, then I'll watch a vid looking for it to tell me something I can understand.
Yeah, it's a little like weighing it in your own mind against what you already know and feel, right?

If I don't know the fandom, then I'm just watching to see whether it's pretty
Hee! I think I have a few levels I view unknown fandom vids at--one is DEFinitely the pretty, one's how much of an emotional connection the vidder can create for me (some very powerful--and that really impresses me if I don't actually know the source) and the other is how comprehensible and interesting the narrative or meta is.

hadn't thought about what happens when someone makes a vid for a fandom I know, but the vid doesn't seem to me to say anything. I do think that one answer is that there's a need to cultivate spaces where critique is permitted / honored / enjoyed.
Ah, that idyllic non-existent space! ;) I don't know... maybe I'm the only one that feels this frustration. :p The main reason I feel it is often because I'm itching to talk about the reasons why the meta doesn't work for me in the same way my fingers itch in post-episode discussions... it's part of a longer process of me working out for myself where I stand on things, and I wouldn't even mean it as the vidder should agree with me, I just wish there was more of a chance for dialogue without it being read as crit, you know? It's hard though because vidding is deeply personal for most of us. If someone laid into my Lee vid because they found the character construction flawed or wrong in relation to canon, I can't say that wouldn't hurt me. So maybe I should just learn to let it go. ;)

that is being a part of wider vidding fandom -- even if your vids speak most powerfully to the people who know your show(s)
Is it? That's interesting. I wonder if others agree. I don't mind about being popular or not but I do think vids are often judged as good or not based on how well other vidders can understand and connect with the vid... and fair enough! Only I find vidding for an audience that doesn't know the source to be creatively limiting sometimes. So I feel like I've got this puzzle... on the one hand, following my creative impulses further should surely be what being into 'vidding' is about, right? yet doing that actually holds me back from connecting with other vidders because I'm not making vids that will play well at cons or to people that don't know the source (i.e. most of vidding fandom).

the trade-off may be that people who don't know the fandom deeply will miss some of what you're saying, but isn't that always true?
It is, I think. I think there's a trade off in reverse too--if you only vid the show shallowly, you may not get the response from the specific fandom that you want. Although from what I can see, as long as your vid is shiny, a lot of people will still like it. :p

I am discovering that I am incredibly hungry for conversation about them. So thank you for indulging me. :-)
Oh, yes!! You have the vidder insatiability for discussion about such things! yay! I could talk about it all endlessly. :) And thanks for fielding my little rant. I have been worrying about this stuff too much in my own head for too long and it all gets a little bit exaggerated. I should just worry less and vid more, probably.