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30 December 2010 @ 03:01 pm
Year in Vidding Review  
This, my fourth vidding year, was far and away the hardest, the best, the worst, the most fun and the most ridiculous since I started. I learnt more this year than I did since my first year (I pretty much feel I learnt nothing for a good three years--I just languished around feeling dissatisfied--which probably explains the cranky malaise with which I entered this year). It's definitely a weird (and interesting!) year to look back on, but it doesn't really show in the vids I actually released... :p

Previous years: 2007, 2008, 2009 <<--watch me get more and more miserable

At the start of the year I thought I would give up vidding. I should remember that because it is a sign of how far I came in a year. I started fiddling with a few vids privately as a last-try to see if I cared enough to continue.

January
Meddle (made for [community profile] festivids, The Vampire Diaries, Vicky)

March
When Life Gives Me Lemons, I Make Lemonade (Community, ensemble)

August
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me (first-ever Vividcon premiere! Smallville, Oliver Queen)

October
Brand New Start (True Blood, Jessica/Hoyt vidlet)

November
Shove It (The Good Wife, Kalinda)
How Soon Is Now? (Community, Abed-centric episode vid) with [personal profile] kuwdora

December
Some Time Around Midnight (Battlestar Galactica, Lee/Kara)
I'm Not Yours (Lip Service, Frankie/Cat)

See that big swathe of time until August with only one half-assed vid? Yeah, I was vidding that whole time, but only for myself. I did a lot of vidding for myself last year and it was great. The only downside is that I find I don't ever finish vids when they are just for me. I just play until I get bored or hit a roadblock and then move on. That said, I consider that time just as enjoyable and 'productive' as the rest of the year, it's just not visible to people. I will never in the future worry about vidding things that don't see 'the light of day'. That said, I'm currently in a phase where I'm happy to make things for an audience again. I'm sure I'll waiver back and forth.

My favorite video this year (of my own):
That is really hard. The one closest to my heart is Some Time Around Midnight but I had such a heartbreaking time with it we need some time apart and I need to see how I feel about it in six months time to know for sure. I suspect it is my favourite though. Second place would definitely be Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me for reasons that should not need explaining (OLIVER!).

My least favourite video this year:
Meddle. I actually usually forget that it counts in this year because I made it in 2009. I do like it, but I don't often rewatch it because although I liked Vicky she's faded from my memory.

Most successful video:
Hahaha, it's not even one I made this year! Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying absolutely boomed on YouTube, thanks to it getting recced on some Japanese sites and getting an influx of adolescent Japanese girls watching. It is now far and away my most viewed streaming vid. I know 8000 is tuppence to many vidders, but for me, for my kind of vids, that is mindblowingly large. I have an AUDIENCE! It's a weird (but nice) feeling.

But since this meme is more aimed at the Livejournal-centric vidding community, in terms of that community, it's Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me, which got such a surprisingly good reaction at Vividcon.

Video most underappreciated by the universe, in my opinion:
I'm Not Yours--small fandom, smaller number of shippers, very abstract and emo vid, full of me experimenting rather than pleasing an audience--this is a lot closer to the 'vidding for me' that I did this year and consequently I didn't expect it to hit the right note for many people. I'm completely zen about that. I love that vid and I loved making it.

Since I think the meme should include this too:
Most overappreciated by the universe, in my opinion:
When Life Gives Me Lemons, I Make Lemonade It's okaaaaay, but it's not great. In fact, it's sloppy and I knew that when I posted it, but at the time I thought Community had a small audience and I had gone as far as I could be bothered with a throwaway fun idea, so I just posted it as is. I nearly didn't post it at all. If I'd known it would get as many views as it has I might have polished it some more! Oops! Of course, Community kind of boomed after that... so yeah, this is a classic case of 'popular because the fandom is' rather than good vidding.

Most fun video:
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me DUH!!! I actually stretched out the editing of that as long as I could because Oliver is so beautiful and I was revelling in his adorable yet lolzy yet GENUINE! emo. :D The colour work was NOT fun though and I am blocking that from my memory.

Video with single sexiest moment:
Since when was this in the meme?! Dear god! For me, definitely the moment when Cat rolls on top of Frankie as their hands interlace in I'm Not Yours.

Biggest vid fail:
God, I don't know... the stray frame in Hold Me, Kill Me springs to mind! (LOL, I used EXTREME SELF-WILL not to sink into a tiny puddle of FAIL in my front-row chair at Vividcon when THAT flew up! Memo to self: no matter how sick and tired you are of colour work, always, always check your vid one last time before you upload the fucking thing to be a premiere you big idiot. And yes I did fix it but god, presumably the DVD has it too...)

Hardest video to make:
Some Time Around Midnight by MILES. I can't even begin to describe... it made me ill (I threw up), it triggered my depression (I stopped eating at one point and was just crying under a blankie), I had huge anxiety waiting for beta feedback for weeks, it definitely demanded not only the greatest amount of courage in facing the material and in carving out something I was vaguely happy with, it also demanded the most emotional growth from me as a vidder. I learnt a lot about myself especially in the beta process and in navigating whether a) to finish it at all b) to post it. Technically it was a lot more difficult for me than it looks since I used a lot more filters than I usually do to try and give it the feel I wanted. I had the highest standards for myself on this one because it was LEE. Probably I could never have lived up to them.

Most unintentionally telling video:
I think they're all INTENTIONALLY telling... I don't exactly hide myself, in fact I feel very exposed in my vids, like people can see all the flaws in my psyche and personality RIGHT THERE (if they know where to look). Probably the most directly connected to me though is I'm Not Yours since it was largely my own feelings I was working through in it (just using the characters as a filter) and it captures something I feel is an integral part of love.

Things I learned:
Don't hold your breath while reading this!
- Improved colour correction techniques
- How to do some basic things using 'composite' mode to create better looking vids
- An entirely new-to-me method of clipping (to MOV!), setting up a project and exporting (for shinier results!!)--thanks to Foolish Passion vidding forum tutorials. Basically I learnt how to do what they bill as their 'for complete novices' way of vidding in FCP. Yup, took me FOUR years, people! *facepalm*
- Improved use of movement, particularly improved movement between shots (I FINALLY FINALLY understand the feedback I got in the anon meme two years ago--I didn't even know what people MEANT for a good 18 months!)
- Fade transitions! And layers! I used some! in I'm Not Yours.
- What a 'gaussian blur' is--it's just an even blur, apparently, why the hell can't they call it that!?!
- Better self-awareness about what is and isn't too personal to post for an audience.
- That I love vidding ITSELF, not the audience stuff so much--I was completely happy without an audience for six months.
- That I can post to a community and even to [community profile] vidding and survive the experience emotionally intact (this has always been hard for me to do).
- That in person vidding fandom is less crazy and more friendly than it seems online (though it sucks online if you've never met anyone in person). Specifically: contrary to the firm opinion I held for most of the year, most vidders do not hate me. Indifference has never been so welcome! \o/

Reflections
In terms of my actual vids, I am not sure how much my growth shows, but I personally know how far I've come this year technically and creatively and I feel very pleased with that--but it's only in the last month that this has really settled with me and indeed only the last couple of weeks where I actually feel happy with what I've done. It was supposed to be my Vidding Productivity year and in terms of output it doesn't really show here... although it was certainly more productive than 2009! But I learnt so much else this year about vidding generally that I don't mind so much. I am definitely glad I got in a few vids before year end though!

For 2011:
I think I'm giving up setting myself goals in vidding because whenever I do something completely different happens instead. This year, by the end of it, some GOOD came back in the journey--making it feel like the journey was more important than the end result.

The most special thing of the whole year is that [personal profile] kuwdora and [profile] m_a_r_i_k_s offered to teach me things. That makes me so happy you can't believe! I have learnt the hard way that no matter how I try, I can't learn vidding from a book. I do try! Because traditionally I learn most things this way--I'm that kind of learner. But evidently my 'learn to vid' brain is different as it rarely sticks. Whereas when I had someone to ask things of directly and someone giving me step by step instructions this year I really did learn things! I also learnt in the process that if you are not one of these instant vidding geniuses you just need to spend a lot of time experimenting and trusting your own instincts to eventually (EVENTUALLY--i.e. years and years--being the operative word) get you there. I don't like the agonising slowness, but I am thrilled that I've at least started fingerpainting! :) And I am so grateful to my lovely, patient mentors! With them, I learnt to be braver (and also, to my shame, learnt just how much handholding with this stuff I need).

I do envy all these people that seem to reach this state of zen with their vidding where they really feel comfortable with themselves as a vidder. I can imagine doing that in maybe... thirty years? I know it probably sounds crazy to people because no one is making me push myself, I don't enter competitions, I don't mind vidding for a small audience... it's purely my own feelings that make me want to be a 'better' vidder--by 'better' I simply mean 'better able to realise the ideas in my head' and more fulfilled creatively. I think I need to accept that none of this is easy for me and just ignore all these people that seem to have a completely different relationship with vidding. Some years I may not grow. I have learnt this. I have also learnt (this year!!) that that doesn't mean I never will again. THANK GOD.

So a year that started terribly, ended pretty well. Hanging on to what I learnt this year and vidding from my heart are probably the only vague-ish goals I will set myself for 2011.

This entry was originally posted at http://bop-radar.dreamwidth.org/232078.html. comment count unavailable comments Comment here or there, as you will.
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amnisiasamnisias on December 30th, 2010 08:47 am (UTC)
*Big hug*
I love the new zen you, and it's lovely seeing you enjoying yourself again! And I totally second that motion that goals aren't really that helpful. Just taking things in your stride and going where the road takes you is way more rewarding!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!bop_radar on December 30th, 2010 10:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah, looking back at the previous years it was clear that setting goals hadn't helped at all! I get frustrated when I try to control everything about vidding... I'm learning that I can't really, things happen how they happen, take as long as they are going to take and forcing it seems to bring me heartache.
Talithatalitha78 on December 30th, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC)
- That I love vidding ITSELF, not the audience stuff so much--I was completely happy without an audience for six months

This is interesting to me, in that it is definitely different from my interaction with vidding. I don't love the process, I love the product. It's always about the audience: me. I mean, obviously I enjoy the act of putting the clips together to some extent, but what I really love is having the finished vid to watch (obsessively). Even if the vid never matches up to my vision of what it could be, the bulk of it is stuff that I like seeing. Vidding is quite a sybaritic hobby for me--it's all about the physical pleasures. Oh, and comments from other people are awesome, too. Musn't forget that! :D
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Dexterbop_radar on December 30th, 2010 10:42 pm (UTC)
I thought I didn't love the process either! But I do! :) At least most of it... I like the clipping and the editing. I don't like the kind of polishing I do on a 'big' vid--like colour correction and tricky use of filters and credits. Hate that stuff. Hate exporting. Hate the checking stages. But most of it? Yeah, I do. I was really happy puddling around and not even driven to finish things.

But I did find over time that there was a cumulative malaise from not having any finished vids to watch. It wasn't that I wasn't enjoying what I was doing, it just felt a little more directionless eventually. But connecting with enjoying the process was really good for me! :)

Of course I do enjoy the feedback very much! And now I'm back in a 'finished stuff is cool' phase again. ;)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Audrey Tautoubop_radar on December 30th, 2010 10:48 pm (UTC)
PS. I think the other thing is that sometimes I can be such a demanding audience that I am no fun to finish a vid for... 'Some Time Around Midnight' was a classic case of that. I was dissatisfied in the face of positive (if conflicting) beta fb.
Talithatalitha78 on December 31st, 2010 12:51 am (UTC)
I can be such a demanding audience that I am no fun to finish a vid for

Ah, yeah, I can see how that would be really tough. On the other hand, maybe I'm too easy on myself and would achieve great things if I pushed myself harder.
Ms Cranky Pants of the Depresso Blogbofoddity on December 30th, 2010 08:23 pm (UTC)
It's awesome that you're enjoying the vidding again! I re-discovered writing as something that I really love to do this year too, and while I do have a need for audience it's also really freeing to do something just for yourself, without the pressure of having to meet audience's imaginary standards or your own impossible standards. I'm glad that you learned so many things and your productivity in midst of the learning is really impressing, especially since you haven't even shared all of it. I wish you a rocking vidding year for 2011!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!bop_radar on December 30th, 2010 10:53 pm (UTC)
I am so glad you've found a creative form you enjoy too! And yes, I think probably a balance is good? I do enjoy vidding for an audience, very much, but it's good to know I enjoy the process without that pressure as well. Thanks very much!
counteragentcounteragent on January 2nd, 2011 06:36 pm (UTC)
{{{}}}
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Aish facepalmbop_radar on January 2nd, 2011 10:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks, darl! Phew, what a year! *wipes brow* It's nice not to have fannish mental illness any more. :p