?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
02 December 2007 @ 04:55 pm
A year of vidding  
It's over a year since I started vidding and I've been thinking of posting in honour of this for some time but have shied away from doing so since it seemed so self-indulgent. However, it's a sticky summer Sunday and I'm lethargic from the heat--my mood is definitely self-indulgent--and it's this or eat an entire apple pie to myself. (OMG I've got so GOOD at making pies since watching Pushing Daisies!)

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!
Tags: ,
 
 
Current Location: sofa of comfiness
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
 
 
 
daybreak777: Lee smiling againdaybreak777 on December 2nd, 2007 08:13 am (UTC)
Bop, what a great post. Of course we will read it, it isn't often you hear someone's vidding journey. It's funny you should post this. There are a couple of songs that I've kept awhile and it finally hit me yesterday, that no one is going to vid them for me. The songs are too obscure and the characters unpopular.

But I'm doing that thing, collecting songs and clips in my head. It's not going to happen though. I don't have the time to learn and I don't have the 'feel' for video. And I'm not getting a Mac anytime soon. So I'll just quietly collect. I'm happy just being a viewer.

It's interesting how your vidding journey reminds me of writing fan fiction. You wait for someone to write the story you want to read before you realize you are the only one to give voice to it. Learning to strike when the Muse is hot, worrying that too much tinkering will destroy your idea, this is very similar in fic writing.

Writing doesn't scare me like the idea vidding though. Vidding seems so bold and visual. And there's technology. But some vids (like Samson) can move you to tears, and others can tell a whole different story. I'm so glad you braved vidding and can't wait for your next vid!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kara/Lee dreamybop_radar on December 2nd, 2007 10:32 pm (UTC)
The songs are too obscure and the characters unpopular.
I know that feeling well!

Learning to strike when the Muse is hot, worrying that too much tinkering will destroy your idea, this is very similar in fic writing.
I think the creative processes are very similar, yes. I find writing harder, believe it or not, despite the technology gap. I find it much easier to push past my flaws with vidding and keep going. Whereas I really struggle to get anything on paper when writing and then I'm usually deeply dissatisfied with it. It's really nice to have found a medium I can work in creatively--still feels miraculous!
ex_meek386 on December 2nd, 2007 02:24 pm (UTC)
I do vids at random and I've only been doing them for a few months. For me, the hardest thing is getting all the footage I need. I've recently tried using show dialogue in the vid and I have to say I like it. I try to find song that would mean something to the story of the vid and I always hope to have a key word or two of the song that the characters also say in their dialogue.

This was my first attempt at that (I don't like this one that much) and I figured out I needed to lower the volume of the music because, at times, the actors couldn't be heard. The key word in this one was "I try" at 3:00:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESeOi39I8U4

This was my second attempt (I'm pretty proud of this one) at using dialogue, so I brought the dialogue volume up. The key words in this one was "heart" at 1:00 and "questions" at 1:15:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vr1xO6eY6Kg

I've also tried going all Tarantino and showing the ending before the beginning on both of these :P People of the show would recognize that but I don't know that anyone else would :) I also used the standard sepia tone for indicating 'the past'.

Anyway, it sure is fun to do, isn't it? :)

Edited at 2007-12-02 02:30 pm (UTC)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Faithbop_radar on December 3rd, 2007 08:50 am (UTC)
It's definitely fun! :) I haven't seen Jekyll but I watched your vids and really liked the way you used show dialogue. The second one is definitely stronger. The 'key words' idea is really powerful--I can't think of another vidder who's tried that. But even without that I found the second one very powerful storytelling.

I've never tried sepia or black and white yet. But I hope to one day! :)

I know what you mean about getting the footage being hard--I totally underestimated how long that would take when I strated. ;)
slinklingslinkling on December 2nd, 2007 04:43 pm (UTC)
This is such a fascinating post -- it's like A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Vidder. And it's amazing to me how far you've come in just a year. Lately I've found myself obsessing over viddable songs, too, but I'm just NOT going to go there, honest I'm not. The only vids of yours I've seen have been the SV ones, but I've been thoroughly impressed by them; while I don't know much about the technical aspects, I've loved how you've made your grasp of the characters and all the swirling meta that surrounds them come through in the vids. (I've probably mentioned this once or twice already, but I adore your mind.)

Thanks, too, for mentioning "Running Up That Hill," which I hadn't seen before. And wow, that's a pretty intense way to start what's a bleak and snowy Sunday over here...
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kittenbop_radar on December 2nd, 2007 10:37 pm (UTC)
Lately I've found myself obsessing over viddable songs, too, but I'm just NOT going to go there, honest I'm not
Hee. It happens to a lot of people, I think, whether they vid or not. You could always pester a vidder to make it for you?

all the swirling meta that surrounds them come through in the vids. (I've probably mentioned this once or twice already, but I adore your mind.
Awww, thank you! :) I hope to make some more SV vids some time but they always take a long time since there's 7 seasons of footage to plow through. ;)

Thanks, too, for mentioning "Running Up That Hill," which I hadn't seen before. And wow, that's a pretty intense way to start what's a bleak and snowy Sunday over here...
Eep! Yes, it would be. That's such a heavy vid. It haunted me for a long time--I had to pull over while driving once when the song came on the radio and brought it all rushing back to me. I do love rivkat's vids though.
dianora: bsg lee kara like oxygendianora2 on December 2nd, 2007 05:47 pm (UTC)
I can't believe you feel insecure about posting to comms! I think you're one of the best vidders out there. I very much look forward to enjoying more of your work. :) I'm currently trying to decide whether or not to ask for a vidding program for Christmas, or if I will be sucky/unmotivated and it will wind up being a waste of money.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee owns Karabop_radar on December 3rd, 2007 12:29 am (UTC)
Aww, thank you! :) It's a weird thing--I know I'm overly critical of my work but I still dither every time I consider posting to a comm, even one I moderate. Hee!

I think it's really hard to know if you'll like vidding until you try it. I find it completely addictive but, for instance, I find iconning stressful and boring. However, you've got such a great visual eye--I'd love to see you vid!
patron saint of neglected female characters: lee-beautifulrose_griffes on December 2nd, 2007 06:26 pm (UTC)
Hey, long live self-indulgence! I love reading about your creative process, even though the medium is different. (It's been just about a year since I started writing fanfic, by the way, and I have a ridiculously long, self-indulgent post planned about my first story. Heh.)

Before commenting on anything specific that you said, I just wanted to mention that 1) vids just aren't really my thing so 2) the fact that 'Don't u eva' is one of only six BSG vids saved on my computer means GO YOU!

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.

Hm, this is interesting. My first fic was Kara/Leoben, and I don't think I would have even considered writing anything, ever if I hadn't found the story idea and the characters so mesmerising... and it was only after getting that story done that I realized I might be able to tackle other characters. As for you and your favorite characters, you succeeded wonderfully with 'Middleman' for Lee. Wow.

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...

*laughs at self* You and Daybreak... Apparently I'm a born fic exhibitionist. I started an LJ partly for myself, but partly because I needed it to post my first story to a fic comm... and I knew I wanted to do that before I even finished writing it. (Not that I think I'm such an impressive writer, but since no one else had written the same thing... I wanted it out there. Hm. Maybe that's why I can't write Kara/Lee stuff. I don't feel like I have anything new to say. Not to mention that I'm just not that shippy most of the time.)

Your awesome Lee vid and brokenmnemonic's Lee vid are both so dark and intense that I've never downloaded them, even though I found them both compelling. "A bit of a downer" indeed, heh.
patron saint of neglected female characters: breakablerose_griffes on December 2nd, 2007 10:24 pm (UTC)
Hah, I wasn't done yet. I was thinking about vids (look what this post made me do!), yours in particular, and what I like is that sense of story. The pieces you choose, the order you make of them really do combine to make something new; it sheds a different light on what we knew of the situations and characters from before. This is particularly true of 'Middleman,' which reminded me of how truly awful some of Lee's experiences have been... and Lee's never been the character that inspired me, so you made me think about him, too. Yay K!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Ameliebop_radar on December 3rd, 2007 08:25 am (UTC)
Thanks! That's wonderful feedback and a really interesting insight into what draws people to vids. I definitely agree that their storytelling potential is where a lot of the attraction lies. Often it's non-linear (Middleman, for example) and it's really hard to tell if the story-telling's working. That's where betas and feedback in general help a lot in gauging whether the message came through.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee Apollobop_radar on December 3rd, 2007 08:11 am (UTC)
It's been just about a year since I started writing fanfic, by the way, and I have a ridiculously long, self-indulgent post planned about my first story.
Ohh, cool! I will feel less lonely in my self-indulgence. ;) I agree that reading about creativity is interesting.

he fact that 'Don't u eva' is one of only six BSG vids saved on my computer means GO YOU!
Eee! That's exciting! :) It's easy to think that people aren't watching older vids, so I'm thrilled it's found a home in your collection.

it was only after getting that story done that I realized I might be able to tackle other characters
That seems a more natural approach. However I think the technical aspects of vidding created a bit of a barrier for me. There was so much to learn it felt like a bit of technical exercise, and if I'd been passionately invested in the story/characters, I think I'd have been weeping daily at how hard it was and how far away I was from being able to do justice to them. On the other hand I had to be intrigued enough to bother. But I made it for a friend, so that provided a lot of motivation. I figured she'd like it if no-one else did, since there weren't' that many Kara/Leoben vids around at that time.

Maybe that's why I can't write Kara/Lee stuff. I don't feel like I have anything new to say.
Actually that played a big part in my first subject matter too. I felt really REALLY daunted by all the awesome Kara/Lee vids (and Clark/Lex vids for Smallville) out there, so I wasn't sure what I could add to fanon.

both so dark and intense that I've never downloaded them, even though I found them both compelling. "A bit of a downer" indeed, heh.
Hee! I'll take that as a compliment. There are vids I greatly admire but can't bring myself to watch again because they're so painful. Just imagine trying to live with 'Middleman' for four months on a daily basis... ;) I'm glad I did it and did Lee justice, but WOW was that depressing!
Nora Norwich: Chloe toastnorwich36 on December 3rd, 2007 02:40 am (UTC)
A whole year--wow! Congrats on that, and on the new website.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Karabop_radar on December 3rd, 2007 07:56 am (UTC)
Thank you! :)
blowjobs for jesus: nonfandom ornamentskristiinthedark on December 3rd, 2007 04:17 am (UTC)
Yay for a permanent host! That is so cool, K! I am ridiculously proud of you and how great of a vidder you are. It's kind of cheesy to talk about it like that, I'm sure, but I can't help it. *hugs hard*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Gaius dancebop_radar on December 3rd, 2007 07:54 am (UTC)
THANK YOU! *hugs back* Your encouragement was so important to me--it means more than you realise--your bouncy reception for 'Don't u eva' definitely gave me faith to keep going. *smooshes you*
Le courage ne craint pas le crime: Early Edition Catattaccabottoni on December 3rd, 2007 04:40 am (UTC)
I don't know much about vidding either enough to discuss or read discussions about it (I only know how to do it in theory), and I haven't seen ALL your vids (*sighs and looks longingly at growing pile of unwatched TV*).

But I like your New Year's resolutions for vidding! Curious and excited to see how far you would go! And glad for your having a hosting site! :D
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TW smilebop_radar on December 3rd, 2007 07:53 am (UTC)
Thank you! I am both excited and nervous about my resolutions. :)
rhiannonherorhiannonhero on December 3rd, 2007 05:52 pm (UTC)
I am commenting so that I can remember to come back and watch these vids. Oddly enough, I spent most of last night watching my old vids (not very good) and remembering them fondly. I was going to make a post about it today, and I might still...but busy at the office, so I might not. :) Anyway, kind of kooky coinky dinky.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TW smilebop_radar on December 4th, 2007 10:47 am (UTC)
Ohh, thank you! I hope you enjoy them. It's good to revisit one's works sometimes, isn't it? Even when I see the flaws, I still enjoy remembering the energy I poured into them. I don't think I've ever seen your vids, but I'm glad you got joy from them.
Talitha: disprove woman yellow strawtalitha78 on December 4th, 2007 03:19 am (UTC)
Mmmm. Tasty post.

Has it already been a year? Wow. You've got some amazing work to show for it. You're a natural-born vidder. Yes. Yes, indeed.

I just looked back--it's been 3 years and 26 vids for me. Eek!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lana :Dbop_radar on December 4th, 2007 10:46 am (UTC)
More than a year, yeah! And wow, 26 vids for you?! Wheee! But then when I think of you I think you've been vidding for ever and ever. 3 years sounds short!
serenography: TWsmileserenography on December 4th, 2007 04:55 am (UTC)
Playing catch up here.
I love reading your thoughts on your whole vidding journey. I find some similarities to my diving into Photoshop. Vidding is something I fantasize about but would never actually undertake because a) my poor memory would make finding clips extremely difficult, and b) I'm completely intimidated by the whole process.
But I'm very happy that you've embraced it and that you seem to get so much pleasure from it. We all need our creative outlets and you certainly seem to have found a perfect fit.
I just watched "Like a Friend" because I wasn't sure that I'd seen it before (I could have forgotten though). I LOVED it. You did a wonderful job with all those fast clips and catching really meaningful scenes that all blended so beautifully together. Really, it's one of my very favorite Clex vids now.

Thanks for all the hard work, K.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clex lovebop_radar on December 4th, 2007 10:45 am (UTC)
Vidding is entirely intimidating. *nods* Believe me, I still feel intimidated!

I've never really had a creative outlet before and it's given me a way to understand what other people talk about when they talk about theirs. I did try Photoshop once and I found it defeated me utterly, so it's definitely an 'each to their own' thing. ;)

And awww, yay, you liked 'Like a friend'?! I feel it's so clunky. But I tried really hard with it. I still feel like there's a big Clex vid out there that I haven't made yet... but there are so many great Clex artists, it's really scary to be tackling them. I guess that's why I'm still skirting round the edges mostly.
hazy: BSG: Helo: hay girlfriendhazyshade on December 4th, 2007 10:35 am (UTC)
Aw, always great to hear a vidder's thoughts. :) Congratulations on 1 year of vidding! I can't wait to see what you come up with next.

I just checked and I made my first vid in summer '03, which is SCARY. I wish I still had the same enthusiasm I had back then, but on the other hand I've recently picked up an unfinished vid from a year ago and am determined to finish it. Famous last words? ;)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: as snapped by moibop_radar on December 4th, 2007 10:41 am (UTC)
LOL ICON!

It's exciting to hear you're vidding again! :D *cheers you on*
Enderenderwiggin24 on December 4th, 2007 02:49 pm (UTC)
boppy!
happy vidding anniversary :D
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Jarvisbop_radar on December 5th, 2007 07:11 am (UTC)
Re: boppy!
Thank you! :D
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: DW Madame Pompadourbop_radar on December 10th, 2007 08:38 am (UTC)
RAM and patience and a lot of caffeine = recipe for vidding, alright!