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11 October 2008 @ 08:34 pm
Vidding chat: Defining vid genres and narrative styles  
This week in our vidding chats I want to start talking about different narrative styles in vids. There's a lot of meta out there already on this subject, and many experienced vidders or vid-watchers may have discussed this and thought about it for a lot longer than I have. But this post is where I ask everyone--whether a vidder or vid-watcher--to share with me your thoughts on the following subjects:
- What different types of vid are there?
- What characterises these different types? How do they vary in their structure?
- (As a vidder) are you mainly concerned with telling a story? with making an argument? or with capturing a mood?
- (As a watcher) do you prefer a particular narrative style in the vids you like (e.g. linear story)? /do you have a preferred genre of vid (e.g. humour)?

Disclaimer: a lot of this discussion is about defining different terms and that has disadvantages along with advantages. While it can make it easier to discuss things if we have a shared understanding of certain terms, there are many vids that defy easy classification--and that's absolutely FINE. I hope that this discussion will prove interesting; it is not my intention to limit the ways in which we make and view vids, and everything I say here can be contradicted.

Before we get to narrative style, I thought we should first think about the different genres of vid. Here are some that spring to mind for me:
- Character studies: focus on a character or characters
- Shipper vids: focus on a relationship
- Comedy: for the giggles!
- AU or constructed reality: the vidder departs from canon and builds their own story from the source
- Action: Vids that foreground action
- Multifandom: Vids that use source from several different sources/fandoms
- What sockkpuppett calls universe vids (vids that show the universe of a show). The term 'recruiter vid' is often used to describe these--they showcase a certain fandom to those who may not be familiar with it.
What other genres can you think of?

As a beginner vidder who had watched vids for some time, I was aware of the difference between a (canonically) chronological vid (simply put: clips appear in the order they appear in canon) and a non-chronological one (clips jump around in the canoncial timeline). That was about as subtle as my understanding of narrative in vids got. My very first vid took a chronological approach--it basically recounted one story arc from canon with very few 'diversions' along the way. I was self-conscious that it was 'unsophisticated' because it seemed like the simplest form of narrative. However, I am still drawn to vidding that way and I have made my peace with it.

However, my understanding of different types of vid narrative has deepened, and now I tend to think in terms of the following:

1. Linear narrative
These vids 'tell a story'. There is a beginning, a middle and an end. They can either tell the same story as in canon, or they can tell a different story.

2. Non-linear narrative
There are many forms of non-linear storytelling. One of the simplest examples is a vid that features 'flashbacks' in certain sections. A more complex non-linear narrative may be one that at first appears chaotic, if associative, but which gradually builds up a complex picture of a certain show, character or situation.

3. Persuasive or argument vids
These vids have a central 'argument' that the vidder is making. They may use clips selectively to make or pointedly to make that point. These may be 'meta' vids since they don't just tell a story, they make a point.

4. Vids that 'tell deeper'
This is a term that I think laurashapiro first coined. She defines it as follows: 'As a vidder, my interest lies in retelling canonical stories with different emphases, exploring events or feelings that might have gotten glossed over in the show, or characters that received short shrift. I think of this as "telling deeper." And again, that's all about subtext: picking a clip not because of what it literally shows, but because of the emotional information it carries -- which can be due to context, movement, facial expression, or even something as deceptively shallow as color.'
(Personal note: I love telling deeper in my vids!)

5. Freeform/associative vids and mood vids
These are kind of stream-of-consciousness vids--I do think they exist. They may build connections between things, there may be a bit of a story or an argument, but mainly they flow along seamlessly and create an overall impression. In some ways I think humour vids often fall into this category since they're main intention is to capture a certain comedic tone, rather than make an argument or tell a story.

Complicating things further, these categories are not mutually exclusive: you could have a non-linear persuasive vid that is also highly associative, for instance.

Each of these different types of narrative, like each different genre, have their own characteristics. For beginners, maybe the easiest way to think of them is as different ways of organising the clips within your vid.

Related meta
There's a lot of great meta out there on this subject, which you may be interested in if you want to read up on how other vidders think of these things. Here are some related posts, but feel free to share your own:
- heresluck asks what types of vid are there?
- heresluck discusses vids as storytelling.
- heresluck talks about narrative.
- yourlibrarian talks about vid categories.

Now the fun bit! Talk to me! Tell me about the vids you watch and the vids you make. Here are some extra questions to add to the introductory ones above (and to encourage you to talk as much as you want! :p)
- When watching a vid do you ever get confused about the intention of the vidder? do you lose track of the story or argument? What helps you NOT to lose track of the story? What keeps the narrative clear?
- When you think about different categories of vid, what are the main types you think of? (Feel free to give examples of different types--I was going to do so but ran out of time. *g*)
- Vidders: what narrative styles do you use? Do you think about narrative when you vid? Does it help you organise your vid?
- Does it even matter at all? :) Does my post make sense? (Ask questions/quibble with it, if you wish!)
- If we were to discuss a particular genre or narrative style one week in these chats, which would you be most interested in discussing? *ulterior motive*
Current Location: sofa of comfiness
Current Mood: tiredtired
Call Me OneTrackcallmeonetrack on October 11th, 2008 01:44 pm (UTC)
This is such an interesting topic (and what a great job parsing it Bop!)Selfishly I'm glad you've posted this this week because I just asked a question of vidders on my own blog about organization/narrative in instrumental sections of songs.

Because I love words (and am primarily a writer), I tend to be very lyrics-reliant to tell stories in my vids. I've completed one shipper vid that had light persuasive tones, and the first draft of a character study that is comic/action oriented. I have an idea in the future to do something associative with repeating/parallel images in a show.

I'm most impressed/awed by AU videos and/or "telling deeper" vids that take the aired footage and construct a completely different narrative than the one the show puts forth. I haven't seen many of these at all and am totally new to the world of vidding really, but one example that blew me away was ferdalump's Breathe Me which managed to construct an incredible Chlark storyline of marriage and pregnancy from manipulated(?) footage from the show. I'd never really seen that done before, using source material to tell a completely non-canonical story and it was very interesting. (If I were to choose one genre I'd like to hear more about in these chats, it's the AU vids).

Organization and structure: I tend to be non-chronological because I like to have a wider canvas and be able to choose just the right images to correspond to lyrics from all aired episodes. In my completed shipper vid I tried to organize according to sections, one verse and chorus about one character, one verse and chorus about the other, and the ending about them together. In the one I'm currently working on, because it has a light, comical tone, I've found I like it to have less narrative structure and be more surprising in a way, so that you never know what type of clip you'll see next (an action clip, an emotional one, a funny image.) At first I tried to organize (because I love structure and a plan helps me decide which clips to choose when there isn't lyrics to guide my way) so that I would have sections (playing, fighting, frakking), but I found I liked being able to skip around more.

Very interested in hearing everyone else's responses to this!

K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Sally Sparrow coffeebop_radar on October 11th, 2008 10:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm delighted you liked the topic as it's not necessarily an easy one to wrap one's head around but I do find it intriguing...

I agree about AU vids: they really blow me away and I would love to know more about how people create them. Even more than most vidders, I feel I'm very much a 'canon' vidder--I struggle really hard to include anything, even a mood or tone, that is not there in the original source. But that's not by choice! It just seems to be a creative limitation of mine... so I definitely admire the AU vidders. I always think they must have such a powerful personal vision of their vids.

one verse and chorus about the other, and the ending about them together.
That's a very logical organising principle for a shipper vid. *nods*

I've found I like it to have less narrative structure and be more surprising in a way, so that you never know what type of clip you'll see next
Oh, yes! I'm with you... I've just completed a comic vid myself for Vidukon and surprise was definitely something I tried to work in. It was quite a difficult experience for me to move away from my more story based vidding (and I totally didn't manage to do so completely successfully!). Structure is so comforting! (I feel like a little kid clinging to her security blankie!) I'd really like to be able to move to a non-linear, non-story based style.
(no subject) - callmeonetrack on October 12th, 2008 04:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 12th, 2008 05:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
laurashapiro on October 11th, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC)
How lovely to be quoted here!

To expand on what I wrote years ago about "telling deeper", I don't think of it as a genre unto itself, but as a method or style that can be applied in any genre -- even comedy vids.

Also, I have to note, it's not what's been motivating my vids lately. (: I mean, I think I still do it, but it's more subconscious now? It's another tool in the toolbox.

To address your questions:

Yes, I often get confused by vids, particularly lately, it seems. A lot of the vids I've been watching for the past year or so are mood vids, which may play fast and loose with narrative or not contain narrative at all. I love them, I love that there's a whole community playing around with this kind of art. But my brain is very story-driven, and I find myself trying to tease out a narrative, or even impose one if I don't see one there.

I also watch a lot of vids that aren't in my fandoms. These are the ones most likely to lose me, and I think that's okay. If the vidder is making a recruiter vid or otherwise going wide in terms of audience, there are things she can do to make a vid accessible: introducing characters individually (as in flummery's "Haunted"), keeping the storyline simple, cutting closely to intelligible lyrics, etc.

In categorizing vids, I'd say you have the traditional ones covered, but I'd add meta vids and vids that are purely celebratory of a relationship but don't make an argument. I'm reluctant to call these "shipper vids", since many shipper vids are also narrative, or also comedy, or also arguments.

What narrative styles do I use? All of them! But not all in the same vid. (: I think about narrative constantly while vidding, but the vid's structure (whether narrative or non-narrative) is always determined by the song's structure. I can't impose narrative structure on a song that's doing something different, so the song is always what determines what story I'm telling -- if I'm telling one.

And for your last question, I'd love to talk about mood vids (what heresluck calls lyric vids) and the recent trend toward them.
daybreak777: sunrisedaybreak777 on October 11th, 2008 03:23 pm (UTC)
But my brain is very story-driven, and I find myself trying to tease out a narrative, or even impose one if I don't see one there.
Yeah, me too! I often wonder if I'm too story-oriented sometimes. I feel I have to be so because my mind leans very much toward AU. In that case, you need a clear story since everything else is so non-canon. (I'm talking about vid bunnies in my head which will firmly stay there until a story for them gets sussed out.) Someday I'd like to create something 'looser' but since I'm new I can't give up my anchor quite yet. Might be fun, though.

What's a mood vid? I found this definition below in heresluck's meta, but have to confess I don't really know what it means.
In a lyric or thesis-driven vid, what's important is the events' mutual relationship to some external point: events are there to illustrate something else, not primarily to connect to each other.

Can someone give an example? Any mood vidders out there?
(no subject) - laurashapiro on October 11th, 2008 03:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aycheb on October 11th, 2008 08:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 11th, 2008 10:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aycheb on October 12th, 2008 06:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 11th, 2008 10:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
daybreak777: help me plan this opdaybreak777 on October 11th, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC)
Yay, vid chat! Great questions as always. This will be a quick response since I'm not at home, but I will be thinking about this topic for the next few days.

As a vidder? I am concerned with telling a story. The story doesn't have to be canon, but I try to have a beginning, middle, and end to vids I make. Not always linear, either but some structure. Or else I just get happily lost in pretty pictures. Again, my vidding style is very much like my writing style (I think, I haven't really thought about my writing style). I do find the way I make vids is now influencing how I write but that's another topic. :-) I have always liked stories in music videos (like MTV), since people started making them. I think I have definitely been influenced by those.

As a viewer? I'll watch anything. I just don't want to get lost. It is so easy to get lost in a vid. When you start asking too many questions in your head, instead of just sinking into the vids world. I can even be well-anchored in a vid of an unfamiliar fandom. Like the Dark Angel vid 'Big City Lights'. (Not linked because of time, sorry.) I never saw an episode of that show, but I saw its story in the vid. So many vids are almost 'recruiter' vids for me. 'Sugar' by darlulu totally recruited me to Smallville along with a bunch of SV vids.

But here's the thing, I am so story-oriented I will find a story where there is none! I, as viewer, make up my own story! It was funny when chaila and I both watched this wonderful vid called, Every You and Every Me (scroll down). I am sure it was intended as a Starbuck/Roslin slash video. I think the vidder has even said that was her intent. But I see it totally, totally non-slashy. My own story! I want Laura and Kara to be good friends and this vid gives that to me.

But here is a question, I wonder how vidders feel when someone (like me) has a different interpretation on their vid style or its story? As a vidder, I think it's fun! I think, "Wow, you saw that? Didn't intend it, but great for you!" I'm just happy people watch and find something they like. :-)

As viewer though, sometimes I worry, I got the vid 'wrong'. I thought it was a character study and it was an 'argument' (like your Middleman) or I thought it was a linear narrative, when it was a shipper vid. I enjoy watching but sometimes I feel puzzled. I don't want to offend someone and their hard work by missing the point, you know?
laurashapiro on October 11th, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC)
I wonder how vidders feel when someone (like me) has a different interpretation on their vid style or its story?

I feel that artists can never control how audiences receive and understand their work, and giving up the need to do so is part of what frees us creatively. I keep my audience in mind while vidding, but I also understand that alternative interpretations are a good thing: part of what makes the audience's experience interesting.

And often a viewer will say "I love the part where X did Y, because you were saying Z and it was so cool." And I think "Wow, I never meant to do that, but that IS cool!" Viewers can help you understand your own work in new ways.

I do feel that if the majority of viewers totally miss the key point(s) of a vid, then that vid has failed -- it's not communicating its message. But that's not something I blame the audience for! And if it's just a small percentage of the audience that didn't get the key point(s), well, that's not a vid that failed, that's just "you can't please all of the people all the time." ::shrug:: nothing wrong with it.
(no subject) - daybreak777 on October 11th, 2008 03:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 11th, 2008 11:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - bop_radar on October 11th, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 11th, 2008 11:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!bop_radar on October 11th, 2008 11:18 pm (UTC)
gives them expectations for what they're about to see. So what “kind” a vid is depends I think on who’s watching and for what purpose
Excellent! I'm glad you've raised viewer expectation and intention as well as vidder intention. Great point. We can't control how others will view our vids.

We could probably choose a vid and ask everyone to define what category it would primarily fall into and what narrative style it uses and I bet we’d get lots of different answers for lots of different reasons (which would, um, be really interesting now that I think about it :D).
Hee! Yes, very true.

meta, but that's just my catch-all category
I use that too, yes.

I always like to think I’m trying to do is “tell deeper,”
*nods* You probably saw above that lauarashapiro notes that she sees it as a method that can be applied to any genre, rather than a category in its own right.

I loved your ramble and am totally glad that you felt happy responding this way. My questions in these chats are only ever there as initial prompts for anyone who wants to use them. I'm happy to hear anything even remotely on topic. ;)
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(no subject) - bop_radar on October 12th, 2008 08:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - bop_radar on October 13th, 2008 02:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
Nickyobsessive24 on October 11th, 2008 10:41 pm (UTC)
I don't know what my narrative style falls into. Obviously it depends on the vid, but probably mostly telling deeper and argument vids? I know I always need a narrative in my own vids, and I always need one when watching other people's vids to make it worthwhile. What that narrative is, however, can change from vid to vid. I think when I'm talking about "narrative", what I actually mean is "have a point". The vid needs to do more than just haphazardly throw clips together. Even when the clips individually match the individual lines of lyrics quite well, if they don't build up to any particular point then I can't get into it and don't consider it a good vid.

Not all new vidders start out this way, of course, though I do think it's something that a lot of new vidders struggle with because they don't quite understand the concept of a vid. At first it's more like "ooh, this one line in a song really literally fits my 'ship! Let me build an entire vid around that line as best as I can." And it's not until later that you begin to see the vid as one coherent whole that's supposed to be building toward something, and literal interpretation of each individual line may take a backseat to "how to make the narrative start in one place and end in another".

Looking over my vids this year, I've done a couple of argument vids (Piece of Me, Climbing up the Walls). The narrative seems to follow a traditional argument, taking into account the particular nature of vidding. You set up your premises (Britney is moaning about her media status + the people around her + how she's represented in the media; look at these siblings getting 'cesty + explore the background as to why it could get this way), then you use these premises as strands of evidence that build up to the final conclusion toward the end of the vid.

What interests me is that this year I seem to have done a couple of vids that are structured very closely around there being different narrators to each lyrical segment. One of them is New Slang (three narrators through the course of the vid in clearly defined segments), and the other one hasn't been released yet, though it illustrates my point quite well.

I always pay attention to the assignment of the narrator: who is saying the lyrics at this part? Can we trust what they say? Does the POV change? bradcpu did a couple of great vids that deal with narratorship from VVC08: Creep is a more straightforward example of multiple narrators, whereas Tear You Apart is a great example of an unreliable narrator.

In Climbing up the Walls, there's been some debate about who the narrator is and whether it changes over the course of the vid. The majority interpretation is that it's the older sibling, at least most of the time. I agree with that reading, though I also had a deeper reading in mind. I think the narrator could be the idea of incest, telling the siblings that it'll always be a thought in their head, and they can't ever escape from it. I think this interpretation lies closest to the interpretation of the actual song - that a mental disease is whispering to the head it inhabits.

Too long. Cont'd.
Nickyobsessive24 on October 11th, 2008 10:41 pm (UTC)
I love vids that spin their narrative styles mostly out of mood and thought association, and there are some truly spectacular vids out there that accomplish this. Though like Laura said above, the vidder him/herself may or may not agree with this categorising - I think it's because sometimes "mood vids" seem to have this negative association attached to them, as though the commentator is accusing the vidder of not thinking enough. I think the best mood vids still all say something quite complex about the subject matter, but the way the narrative is carried out is very fluid and thought-association-y. I'm thinking of, for example, bradcpu's Vertigo and lim's In Exchange for Your Tomorrows. I personally love them when they're done well, though my brain doesn't seem wired to function that way when it comes to my own vids.
Re: cont'd - bop_radar on October 12th, 2008 02:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 12th, 2008 02:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - callmeonetrack on October 12th, 2008 04:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - beccatoria on October 12th, 2008 11:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - callmeonetrack on October 12th, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 12th, 2008 08:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 12th, 2008 08:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
jude_judith82jude_judith82 on October 12th, 2008 12:21 am (UTC)
I find your posts on vidding fascinating. I've made one but this is basically a guide I'm more than likely not going to make any but very informative.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!bop_radar on October 12th, 2008 02:48 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you find them interesting. :)
Sing me a bawdy song, make me merrythe_sun_is_up on October 12th, 2008 05:00 am (UTC)
Regarding categories of vids: I've done mostly character studies, shippy vids, and action vids. Especially action vids. I almost exclusively vid Avatar, and it's a pretty action-heavy show with a lot of flashy fight scenes that are a joy to vid.

However I'd add another category, something I call "plot vids." Vids that retell some portion of a show's plot, but with a focus on a specific character, group of characters, or theme. Like in "The New Year," I retold the first half of Avatar S3 through the eyes of the main character, but not in such a focused way that it could be called a character study. I don't know, I view a character study as being more intimately focused on the character and nothing else, whereas this was more of a balance between plot and character.

As far as narrative, I'd not really thought about it before! D: I tend to focus a lot on the lyrics and let those guide the story I'm trying to tell.

However now that I think about it... hmm. Linear is always a nice way to go (just because it makes sense!) and I've used flashbacks in several vids. One narrative technique I used once, and quite liked on reflection, was I let one particularly emotional scene be the sort of centerpiece of the vid, and then intercut clips of that scene with clips of other scenes that fit in with the angsty tone of the vid. That was for "Hide and Seek," a shippy vid.

But I do like using the sort of "side-by-side" technique, where you have two scenes that you're flipping back and forth between, to juxtapose the two, either for similarity or contrast.

And then there are action vids which are a whole different ball of wax!

And as far as the freeform vids, I've never seen one but I'm intending to make one soon, which, yikes! It's going to be focusing purely on the imagery of the clips, with no real narrative or argument. I hope I can make it work. D:
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Old-fashioned storybop_radar on October 12th, 2008 05:38 am (UTC)
something I call "plot vids.
*nods* I think I think of those as linear vids--vids with a clear narrative, plot or story.

I let one particularly emotional scene be the sort of centerpiece of the vid, and then intercut clips of that scene with clips of other scenes that fit in with the angsty tone of the vid. That was for "Hide and Seek," a shippy vid.
That sounds like an excellent structure for a shippy vid!

I do like using the sort of "side-by-side" technique, where you have two scenes that you're flipping back and forth between, to juxtapose the two, either for similarity or contrast.
Yeah, I'm a sucker for that too. ;)

Good luck with your freeform/imagery vid! I'm sure it will be an interesting learning experience.
Becka: BARBARIANS!beccatoria on October 12th, 2008 12:01 pm (UTC)
You know, this is totally fascinating and also makes me realise how little of my conscious thought goes into these things. Apparently I make vids very instinctively through a process of clip and lyric association and general fumbling around and worrying about whether bits 'don't work' and then fixing them if I feel they're not doing what the vid's supposed to do, whatever that is. Sekritly I suspect that a lot of people probably work this way!

But I do think that I agree with the people talking about how these genres and styles are more venn diagram or waveform than firm boundries. But then...isn't that always the case with genres?

I would add a type of vid, though. Gen! I suppose this comes under 'Universe vids,' and actually I'm reasonably happy with that title, though gen vids can choose to concentrate on certain parts of the universe rather than the whole thing.

Though if we were going to discuss a specific type of vid, I'd love to discuss AU and crack vids, and when, exactly, a vid crosses the border to becoming a crack!vid.

This curiosity actually comes from the fact that a lot of my 'gen' vidding (and character vidding, and, screw it, my vidding in general) isn't simply an attempt to retell the story, but, as I suspect is the case with most other vidders, an attempt to say, "Here. This is what I see!"

And because the writers aren't me, that's often something that diverges to some degree from canon, even if just in terms of focus.

I think what I'm talking about is the difference between constructed reality vids and vids that 'tell deeper' (and what a wonderful phrase that is!) and how...I'm no longer sure where the boundries of those are. The same way I'm no longer sure where the boundries of silly crack and serious crack are. Sometimes it's obvious....sometimes not.

For instance, I don't consider myself to have ever really made an AU vid, but I did recently make a Sam/Kara/Scar the Cylon Raider OT3 vidlet from the Raider's POV. Obviously that's a humorous premise and an AU premise, but at the same time, I wanted to treat it deadly seriously and point out the parallels I really think exist between Kara and Sam and their various parallel encounters with these raiders as a metaphore for the cylon influence in both of their lives and destinies. So...yeah.

I think AU and constructed reality vids are so tricky to discuss because there are actually a bunch of different things going on with them, and a bunch of very different sub-genres; all of which are pretty impressive. There's the total departure from canon, which is technically impressive in terms of its construction of a new story, and then there's the sort where you adhere to, but completely reinterpret existing canon which is impressive in the way it teases out new stories and makes commentaries on the way canon exists at the moment under a more traditional interpretation. Which is, I think, what a lot of the best slash vids do.
Call Me OneTrack: big laughscallmeonetrack on October 12th, 2008 05:25 pm (UTC)
This is not a deep comment at all, but I love Crack!Vids. They make me so happy and are so fun to watch. Esp. for a show like BSG which has so little humor in it (esp. nowadays) I think it can be really challenging to ring out humor/parody from its raw material/clips.
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 12th, 2008 09:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 12th, 2008 09:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
kiki_miserychickiki_miserychic on October 12th, 2008 09:33 pm (UTC)
my thinky thoughts
While I think there is a need for categories for clarity, I find myself more interested in the vids that defy labeling.

I use different terminology for a few things. I like calling an AU vid an unrealized reality. The concept comes from the Farscape episode where John Crichton is shown different alternate worlds where some things are different and some things are the same. I liked the idea because there are many possible outcomes based on parallel situations. So I like calling AU vids unrealized realities because if there were Planet Terror zombies on Supernatural, that's what it would be.

In my own vidding I tend to prefer character studies that try to get under the skin of a character and see the world the way they see it. I also like trying to get at the reasons for their actions to provoke a deconstruction. I like paralleling and showing connections as well. I play with POV too much in my vids, so it never comes across very well.

I've been confused when watching vids before because I wonder if I'm supposed to take the clips as something new or if I'm supposed to only see it in the context of the vid.

I think that some limited repetition within the vid helps to get certain thoughts across. Associating colors or something to a character helps sometimes.

While I prefer certain genres, I can appreciate all of the for their own attributes and differences.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clex fascinated with youbop_radar on October 13th, 2008 02:41 am (UTC)
Re: my thinky thoughts
Yay thinky thoughts!

an unrealized reality
I like that term!

I wonder if I'm supposed to take the clips as something new or if I'm supposed to only see it in the context of the vid
Mmm... yes, I'm not sure if I read it somewhere but I often think of it as the vidder needing to take the viewer by the hand and lead them through the vid. I've learnt that it's important to signal your intentions and framing device(s) to the viewer.

I think that some limited repetition within the vid helps to get certain thoughts across. Associating colors or something to a character helps sometimes.
Oh, those are interesting ideas! Thank you for sharing them.
Allison: Cally/Nickyfrolicndetour on October 13th, 2008 12:11 am (UTC)
Fascinating discussion! I love reading this as a non-vidder because there's none of that "uh-oh, maybe I should be doing that, but I'm not sure I could pull it off" feeling I sometimes get when reading about the fic-writing creative process.

-When I particularly admire a vid, I worry a lot about getting the interpretation "right," because as others were saying I don't want to write someone novel length feedback and tell them how brilliant they were to do something completely other than what they intended to to! So I worry about losing track of the argument of the vid when writing feedback to 'argument' or 'telling deeper' vids in particular. It helps if the vidder will tip her hand a bit early on, because if I don't detect an organizing structure fairly early on my mind will start to impose one. I think the best example is one of my now-favorite vids, that I initially thought I would absolutely hate. Not because the vidder did anything wrong, but because the character it was about + song choice + the author's notes made me expect something entirely different than it was. (It's called Jolene and it's about Cally and Cylonhood as the other woman"> I don't know whether I'd characterize it as an argument or as 'telling deeper' - probably both? I guess argument vids must always be exploring aspects of the show that are already present (so 'telling deeper') but not necessarily explicit - unless the argument is just non-canon based. (?)

I think my favorite vids are those which explore metaphor or otherwise cause me to look at various characters and events in ways I hadn't before. (Or vids about Kara - those don't have to be intellectual at all! ;) Like Hera Has Six Mommies, for example, which among other things paralleled Roslin and D'Anna - not characters I would have thought to compare, which made it all the better for me.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kara destinybop_radar on October 13th, 2008 02:47 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you enjoy reading it as a non-vidder: thanks!

It helps if the vidder will tip her hand a bit early on, because if I don't detect an organizing structure fairly early on my mind will start to impose one.
Ah, yes, I agree. I do think strong beginnings are very important to establish for your audience what you are doing. Otherwise, as you say, the viewer may adopt all manner of other interpretations... which is great, but if you want a particular point to get across, you need to guide them.

I've meant to watch 'Jolene' for aaaages so thanks for reminding me that I need to go do so. I went on a personal BSG hiatus of sorts and never got round to it.

I guess argument vids must always be exploring aspects of the show that are already present (so 'telling deeper') but not necessarily explicit - unless the argument is just non-canon based. (?)
If they're canon-based argument vids, yes they use what's already present in some form at least... but there are 'statement vids' which very definitely speak outside of canon about canon. (Vids like 'Women's work' for SPN, or 'How much is that Geisha?' for FF, or 'Origin Stories' for Buffy.)

vids are those which explore metaphor or otherwise cause me to look at various characters and events in ways I hadn't before
I agree--I love those most of all. I like it when a vid makes me think about something I haven't thought about before or encourages me to see a character in a different light. Those are the most exciting moments for me.
Dusk Petersonduskpeterson on October 13th, 2008 09:22 am (UTC)
I haven't watched enough songvids to contribute to the genre discussion of them, I'm afraid. (I'm partially sighted, so watching vids is a strain on my eyes. I tend to wait for recs to come my way, rather than search out vids.)

What I can say is that the situation over in the booktrailer world, where I come from, is very different. Booktrailers, as far as I can tell, are divided into two sorts: blurbs and linear narratives (recreating part of the book). Among American booktrailer creators, blurb booktrailers far outnumber narrative booktrailers, which I find puzzling, because the success of music videos shows that many viewers love narratives. I think the relative failure of booktrailers to capture viewers' interests is partly due to this (and also to some really boring choices in image and music).

In my vids, which are trailers for my originalfic, I usually try to blend the blurb and narrative approaches, but I'd like to do more pure narrative vids, like this one.

By the way, thanks for beginning this series! The discussions are really interesting.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!bop_radar on October 20th, 2008 08:19 am (UTC)
Cool! I'm glad you're enjoying it. Thank you for bringing a different perspective to the discussions.