So, what follows is a personal history of vidding.
The first vid I ever watched was astolat's 'Drop Dead Gorgeous'. The first vid that ever made me cry was rivkat's 'Running up that hill'. The first vidder I ever really got to know was talitha78. She inspired me and helped me find the confidence to stumble towards vidding myself.
I watched a lot of fanvids before I ever started making them myself. And I gave a lot of feedback. I had no idea what to say about vids to begin with, but I found that the more vids I watched, the greater appreciation I had for them and the more subtelties I noticed. Even when I didn't have the words for the techniques used by the vidders, I found I could usually describe what I liked about the vid. Giving feedback also taught me to watch vids more closely, so I could catch the nuances.
I started finding songs I wanted to vid myself, and I'd play them obsessively. I never thought I'd be a vidder though, as I'm not good at technical problem-solving and I gathered there was a lot of that involved. However, after a year of so of obsessing over all the vids I'd never be able to make, I figured I had to at least try before abandoning that dream. So I enlisted supacat's support and advice.
'What do I need in order to vid?' I asked.
As always she was honest, practical and rather brutal. 'A Mac,' she replied.
So I bought one.
I know a lot of vidders vid successfully on PC and are probably rolling their eyes at that, but supacat was my only possible tutor, and Final Cut Pro was the only program she knew, and she assured me it was way less glitchy than PC equivalents. And I really haven't regretted it. My little ibook and my LaCie Brick external harddrive have had a hard workout this year and have held up well, apart from one--slightly devastating--harddrive crash.
The first vid I made was about a minute long and was very simple. I don't have a complete copy of it any more, alas.
The first full vid I made was Don't u eva. It arose quite instinctively and naturally. I wasn't particularly invested in the subject matter (Kara/Leoben), and I think that's the only way I managed to complete it. I'm still, to this day, nervous of vidding my most beloved characters or ships for fear of not doing them--or the image in my head of the vid--justice.
Life for rent was the second vid I made and I managed to make it very quickly. Again, I chose a subject that I had some emotional distance from. I liked Tyra but she was still a character I was getting to know. I still have a soft spot for this vid. I was invited to submit it for the 'Newbies' show at Vividcon, but unfortunately the original files were lost in my harddrive crash.
Like a friend, my first Clark/Lex vid, was my first real vidding nightmare. I really pushed myself hard with this vid, especially in terms of the fast cutting and the control of movement. I felt stretched by it, and I really struggled with the overall tone. Humour is very very hard--and I had meant it to be humorous. Early drafts kept plunging into dark territory and I struggled to revise them. I finally found my way to a completed version that I was halfway happy with, but of all my vids this is the one that still feels most unfulfilled to me.
It was really tough after that to pull myself up. But I found some escapism in my fluffy Kara/Lee Road rage. I didn't put such heavy expectations on myself with this one, and I didn't agonise over it for so long. It came together relatively quickly and I let it grow organically again, not pushing things too hard.
After that, I had the confidence (just) to start 'Middleman'. It took me months and it was agony. I had no linear plan for the vid, everything was trial and error. I knew the mood I wanted, I knew the meta I wanted to get across, but I had no idea how to get there. And the only way I knew how was to keep clipping and cutting and changing until something came together. That also meant being in touch with the subject matter mentally and emotionally, which was TOUGH. Some days I just couldn't face it and other days I'd spend an hour or so just trying to get back to the place I'd been at creatively the day before.
I needed a break, and that break was Southside. I was far less attached to the concepts in this vid, but I was attracted by the action potential. And it's probably still the vid that was the most fun to make. Once I started, I couldn't stop. And I quickly realised it had a lot more potential than I thought. I ended up pouring a lot of time into it, and I'm glad I did because I loved the result. I also had a BALL with the action--and I learnt a lot about movement and how to work with it. It really hit home with this one just how addicted to vidding I was: I stayed up all night to finish it, and remember lying in bed dozing waiting for it to finish exporting. The feeling of completing it was both elation and relief.
I'd almost forgotten I had another vid to finish! Middleman, my Lee vid, is the vid that means the most to me personally, because it was such a struggle, and such a private struggle. And because so much got poured into it: a lot of meta conversations, a lot of personal epiphanies, a lot of hard work. It didn't matter to me if it wound up the least popular of my vids, because it became something I needed to make. I hit the sick and unsatisfied stage with it by the end, but I feel lighter for having got it out of my system. And then I was overwhelmed by the thoughtful feedback it prompted.
After 'Like a friend', I wasn't sure I'd ever make a Smallville vid (or listen to radioreverie) ever again. Luckill I did! :) Samson saw the light of day largely because radioreverie kept bugging me about how perfect it was for Clana. I agreed the song choice was brilliant right from the start, but it took me eons to rip all the necessary clips and find my creative rhythm. Again, this was a very organic vid. It defied my efforts to storyboard it. I also pushed myself to work with crossfades, which I've been phobic about.
I still can't quite believe I've made all these. I still feel like a beginner. I have learnt a lot, it's true, but there's so much I don't know and am scared of. Every time I learn a new technique the same agony of nerves hits all over again. In some ways, I've been very cautious not to rush to using shiny effects too soon. Not only are they technically difficult for me, but I also worry they'll swamp my storytelling. I vid on instinct and it often feels like my ideas will slip between my fingers if I spend too long fussing over the tech. I hope with time to gain more confidence and slowly add more techniques to my repertoire.
For every vid I've finished, there's at least ten more I'd love to make. I've found that I have to seize the moment when motivation for one in particular strikes. Looking ahead, I realised I'd like to set some goals for another year of vidding:
1. I'd like to post to a comm. I never have, I've been too shy. But I've had lovely feedback on my vids and I think I should get over this--after all, I encourage heaps of other people to post to comms...
2. I want to improve my credits/vid title--I usually leave these until the last moment and get bored by them. Just once I'd like to have credits that 'fit' the vid.
3. I want to keep working on crossfades, now that I've gained some confidence with them.
4. I want to try modifying colour and light. (Though the recollection of my one agonising attempt to make an icon haunts me!)
5. I want to make another action vid. At least one. :D
6. I want to use a snazzy effect without it looked 'pasted on'.
One of the best things about vidding has been getting to know other vidders. And while I still lurk around their journals feeling awestruck and shy, I've also made some wonderful new friends. Vidding myself has only increased my admiration for other vidders because I'm so much more aware of the many layers of effort and ability and instinct it takes to make a great vid.
Recently a few vidders have posted commentaries on their vids. I haven't been able to watch many since imeem's been crashing my browser (*grumble*) but the one's I've seen have provided a whole new layer of inspiration!
I'm not sure if anyone will have made it through this far, but if you have, is there anything you'd like to ask? I love talking vidding, even if I don't often do so. So ask away if you're curious. :)
Timely announcement: I now have a permanent hosting site for my vids and have uploaded download links accordingly, both in the original posts and in this post. Thanks to the lovely bananainpyjamas!