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04 April 2012 @ 09:41 am
Vid: No Light, No Light  
Title: No Light, No Light
Artist: Florence and the Machine
Source: Battlestar Galactica
Summary: "Tell me what you want me to say!" - Kara
Acknowledgments: Without [profile] m_a_r_i_k_s this vid would not exist. The work she did on it goes far beyond 'regular' beta-ing and audiencing. While it is my vision, it is [profile] m_a_r_i_k_s who gave me the space to create it and held that space for me when I faltered. Thank you, dearest!
Download: 76 MB mp4 (zipped)

Notes: These notes get lengthy, and I'd prefer if you didn't read them until you've watched the vid (and no need then either if not so inclined!. They're really a personal record of what it took to be able to make this.

This vid is born out of a personal and intuitive connection to a character. If anyone remembers me from Battlestar fandom when the show was airing, they may be surprised by that, since I was always such a hardcore 'Lee' girl, and claimed not to understand Kara at all. I could never have made this vid while the show was airing--not, actually, because I didn't understand her, but because I was blocked from that part of myself that DID, very much.

The block is and was a personal one first of all, but it was greatly reinforced and validated by the noisiness of 'Starbuck' fandom. In saying that, I mean absolutely no personal criticism of specific fans. The fact that Battlestar generated such passionate attachments to specific characters is one of its great beauties and I would never want to take away from that. Had I been stronger enough in my own identity, I could have withstood the interpretations of others far easier.

The problem for me is that I like *Kara* far more than I like 'Starbuck'. I'm not suggesting that they're not one and the same person, but I do think you can quite clearly see a public outward persona that Kara Thrace adopts, as a mask and shield. It comes from a real part of her, and some of it (her honesty in calling other people on their shit, for instance) I love very much. But when she's really in that over-the-top 'you may refer to me as GOD' personality I find it alienating. It's not the primary part of her that I love. However, it *is* the part that generates an AWFUL lot of fangirling.

I didn't connect with Kara in the mini. It took me a while with her (unlike with Lee) and when I did have flickers of affection for and empathy with her I quickly buried it, largely out of respect to the many LOUD and VIGOROUS Kara (Starbuck) fans, whose words about what she was feeling didn't always tally with what I felt in those momentary flickers. I started 'turning off' my own intuitive antenna. I started deferring to others, and it was especially easy to do when she was in a scene with Lee because often my first sympathies lay with him anyway and then there were always plenty of people willing to tell me indignantly why Kara felt he was in the wrong and was so frustrated with him, etc. etc. I listened like a good little schoolgirl.

The main thing that I found ignored or overlooked by these fans was how chronically FUCKED UP Kara was. They seemed to worship her fucked-up-ness, if anything, and long for her to STAY IN IT. Kara is a character at war with herself. The battle is rarely (if ever?) expressed in dialogue, but it shows in her contradictory actions. The thing which I dislike the most in what I'll call 'Starbuck' fandom is this unwillingness to see Kara be vulnerable. Ever. As if vulnerability is 'weakness'. Well, sorry, that's the kind of bullshit Kara's own mind is bullying herself with ... crap that her mother taught her. Alas, in Battlestar fandom it was sometimes embraced as 'feminism'. I hated that and felt guilty for loving Kara very much in her vulnerable moments (even if that vulnerability was still masked by violence or defiance). I longed for her to embrace that aspect of herself more, and I feel strongly that it's only through that that she can grow as a person. To be not just a collection of coping mechanisms strung together with adrenalin and alcohol. Perhaps unlike many, I feel that growing in that way would make her MORE COOL, not less. And when I did see such growth--in some scenes in Maelstrom and Six of One, for instance--I adored it. But I kept quiet. And respectfully stayed in my neatly defined 'Lee' box. Because what the fuck would I know?

When I say I was blocked, I mean really really firmly blocked. Me from a couple of years ago would have denied totally having any understanding of Kara. And I would have thought it a terrible sacrilege for ME to make a vid of her. As if I didn't have a right to my own version of Kara that I saw... as if other people's visions were the only legitimate ones... Kara is a character that so many people project their own stuff onto. And she legitimately has so many different aspects to explore! Yet I handed over the rights to that to other people.

A large part of that is, I suppose, because the part of me that relates very strongly to Kara, and some specific threads in her personality particularly, is one I'm not comfortable with and which carries a lot of pain. That's fitting, I suppose, as Kara isn't comfortable with aspects--often the same aspects--of herself either! ;) She also tries to bury and deny them. So strongly that were you to ask her she would deny any such feeling at all.

This vid is made from a place slightly beneath that layer of denial. What I discovered first of all in vidding Kara for the first time is how 'in her face' everything is--people, situations, LIFE. She bounces from one adrenalised situation to another, and it's exhausting actually, but she rarely slows down and lets herself feel it. No wonder--I realised--she punches people so often. :p I also developed a strong 'arrrrgh, get out of my fucking face!' feeling while clipping for the vid. ;)

Kara is far more emotional than people allow her to be when describing her. Sure, she's tough and she puts on a brave face--and people see that and respond to it enthusiastically (probably wishing they could themselves be so 'tough')--but she's a mess of raw emotions underneath and it makes her very very beautiful, actually. Vidding the 'Farm' sequence of this vid was one of the most rewarding aspects of this vid for me, because through it I really got to feel how enormous that life experience was for her--there were so many layers of emotion which she had to work through in such an incredibly short amount of time, and the result was that different aspects sort of fused together in her mind and heart. I really wanted to capture that bewildering experience as an example of the sort of inner turmoil she is actually in FREQUENTLY on an unconscious level. And why it leaves her so unprepared to deal with Lee and his apparent 'demands'. Why it results in her rejection of him or contradictory push-pull behaviour with him. Kara often responds to Lee as a 'threat' because he sneaks under her defenses. And I can understand that very strongly. She may not be consciously aware of it. It doesn't matter. It's clear anyway.

One of the things that first made me realise that I do, in fact, have a 'Kara' part that was repressed inside me was acknowledging that I have actually had tons of songs, over the years, that I've thought of as 'Kara' songs, but I have talked myself out of vidding (or, worse, never even considered vidding) them, because of how 'real' Kara fans would react to them. Well fuck that shit. I don't care what other people think because this is about me reclaiming part of MY heart, not anyone else's. Other people should do what they need to do.

The bullshit I told myself was that I had too 'sentimental' a view of Kara, that my view of her was influenced by being a Lee fan (i.e. I wanted her to be more how Lee would want her to be) or a shipper (i.e. I just wanted whatever would make the ship work). I let go of that crap to make this. And I looked instead with fresh eyes to see 'who is Kara really? and if I love her, why do I love her?'

I had started playing with several tracks but this one just TOOK OFF. The bulk of it came together very quickly. Having said that, I only began it probably about nine months after I first had a breakthrough (and breakdown) about having cut off and rejected this Kara-intuitive aspect of myself. Yeah, I fidgeted and procrastinated and 'sorted' inside myself for a really really long time before I could actually sit down with a timeline. That period, also, although invisible and even largely subconscious, was also a part of the generation process of this vid.

Now I fear you may not be able to stop me vidding Kara more. :p In the past I might have worried about how oversaturated with Kara vids the fandom is, or how no one wants to see my version of her or how no one even cares any more about BSG. But this is not the sort of vid you make to please an audience. ;p And I'm happy to say that I feel vidding this has been personally liberating.

APOLOGY: Sorry to everyone that watched and downloaded the first version with the shitty aspect ratio! It is corrected now.

This entry was originally posted at http://bop-radar.dreamwidth.org/241592.html. comment count unavailable comments Comment here or there, as you will.
Current Location: sofa of comfiness
Current Mood: contentcontent
workerbee73 on April 4th, 2012 02:09 am (UTC)
I love this. I love this vid, I love this song, I love the way it's cut and edited, and the way you capture the emotion so unbelievably well. And I love your words most of all because they ring so damn true. You are not alone in feeling this way (so not alone!) I share a really similar view of Kara and I guess I also come from a Lee perspective (as much as anyone really comes from one perspective or the other). Point is, I've found myself doing a similar amount of deflecting and deferring over the years, but also becoming resentful of the Starbuck caricature and the Starbuck ideology. And it took me a long time to kind of be able to own my feelings about her and feel validated inside my own head (as weird as that sounds.)

ANYWAYS... long comment is long. Point is, YES. So much yes to everything you've said here. I'm fangirling you like hell right now.


Edited at 2012-04-04 02:11 am (UTC)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kara destinybop_radar on April 4th, 2012 09:33 am (UTC)
Wow, I'm blown away! Thank you! I'm so grateful too to hear from someone that understands this phenomenon of sidelining one's own vision. It's great that you also have been able to own your feelings about her!! It's harder that it might seem!

So touched that you like the vid!!
scifishipper: OTPscifishipper on April 4th, 2012 02:17 am (UTC)
Gorgeous and painful! You've captured their "almosts" so well, the times they tried and tried and failed to be together. It's filled with angst but also with genuine pain and longing and strife. It's perfectly pilots. Thank you so much for taking the time to make it and share it with us.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kara/Lee dreamybop_radar on April 4th, 2012 09:38 am (UTC)
Wow, thank you so much for watching and leaving such lovely feedback! It means a lot to me that you found it very fitting for pilots! :)
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!bop_radar on April 4th, 2012 09:50 am (UTC)
:) :) :) I hoped you would be pleased! I think this song will be vidded a lot, I'm sure, and no doubt there are many many ways to vid it also--it's an incredible song! So I had a momentary worry about not having the 'right' vision to match it, but once I started making it those faded away as I had a clear feeling how it wanted to be in *my* incarnation of it anyway.

You know... I really hope that I will be able to deliver such a vid, but I worry. I don't love GoT the way you do, and I'm not thrilled with the promo shots of Brienne ... a lot will hinge on whether I click with the actress I think.
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(no subject) - bop_radar on April 4th, 2012 10:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Leekarabop_radar on April 4th, 2012 09:58 am (UTC)
((((hugs)))) Wow! That's an amazing compliment! Because of course each vision is personal...

Apart from the ending, which m_a_r_i_k_s helped a great deal with (practically created!), I vidded most of this without thinking very much at all... just letting the images flow from my subconscious, so it's amazing and gratifying to hear it's a vision in tune with someone else's!

The song seriously haunted me once I first saw you mention how good it would be for them!
(no subject) - m_a_r_i_k_s on April 4th, 2012 07:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Call Me OneTrack: Kara: I love you toocallmeonetrack on April 4th, 2012 03:52 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you made this vid. *hugs*

What I love most is how you completely capture the duality of Kara and how each sequence of where she lets someone in or feels something too deeply is immediately followed by her pushing them away or walking away or intentionally frakking it all up (mostly with Lee) when the pounding chorus of "no light no light" comes back. I do totally see the "inner turmoil" and "constant in-your-face-ness" that Kara's experiencing plain as day with the way you've cut and edited this vid. <3 (I also really love that it begins with this quiet introspective moment for Kara just herself, just alone, when she doesn't have to put on an act or make herself be any particular way because it's a totally unguarded moment. And I love that there's the breakthrough groundbreaking night footage of Lee upsetting her apple cart at such a powerful break in the music before the pounding chorus comes rushing back. And I love that the end is the slap-kiss--because what better represents Kara and her complicated feelings towards Lee, towards love, towards being loved.)

I'm no doubt one of the LOUDEST STARBUCK fans around, but I what I love most about her is her layers and when she's vulnerable, which is why I was only ever interested in shipping her with Lee because it's with him that we get to see that deepest self of her I think, that chewy emotional center which is what I always think of when I think of Kara. Not that she's a creampuff, because she certainly isn't it, but that the real core of her is sooo buried and hidden all the time and we mostly only get glimpses of it with him.

Whenever I see that miniseries scene of her hugging herself and staring at Lee where there are so many emotions on her face and she's soo incredibly vulnerable for that one moment (which has been juxtaposed against everything else we see with her in the miniseries where she's being the tough fighter pilot/saucy insubordinate) it just takes my breath away still. That's Kara, that's the Kara I saw from the very beginning of the show and I'm so glad you see her too. <3 <3
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kara/Lee boxing hugbop_radar on April 4th, 2012 10:10 am (UTC)
Oh, Tara, I'm so thrilled and amazed and humbled that you like this so much, and that you see your Kara in it!! Thanks so much for reccing it as well! ((hugs))

And yes, I DO SEE HER TOO!!!! *twirls* It's really thrilling for me, actually, it's like discovering the whole show over again... and in a more complete way, because it makes the picture much fuller when I can connect openly with Kara's perspective too.

The credit for the ending should go to m_a_r_i_k_s who suggested the slap-kiss! I agree it works really really well. I'd been playing with some other footage but when I tried this it was immediately apparent what a great choice it was for summing up.

I'm super-thrilled you like the night footage. :) I really pushed out the length that shot was held for but it was such an amazing opportunity to show how uncomfortable Kara is. ;)

it's with him that we get to see that deepest self of her I think, that chewy emotional center
I think so too! Of course there is some wonderful material of her with other people too... even not necessarily shippy, I mean--I'm thinking more that some scenes with Adama are very revelatory about her ... but definitely consistently with Lee we see a lot of different facets! Those glimpses of that buried self are so compelling, aren't they? They're a treasure!

You're so right... it's the only moment in the mini when we see her so emotionally exposed. And she's also RADIANT in that moment--as she so often is in that moments where the mask slips and she shows her heart, however briefly. :)
(no subject) - m_a_r_i_k_s on April 4th, 2012 11:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
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dianora: bsg karadianora2 on April 4th, 2012 05:58 am (UTC)
This was wonderful! As someone who has always liked Kara, but not been a "fan" of hers, it's her fucked-up-edness (I just made up a word) that was the most appealing part of her for me, because it was the most relatable. If she had just been "Starbuck" all the time I probably wouldn't have liked her much at all. (I have similar feelings about being a "strong woman" becoming coded as being ass-kicking, even if you're a fucking mess inside. Annoys me.) So I think you captured her really well here, and as I see her too. Plus of course the mechanics of the vid are fantastic, because you are an artist.

Great vid and I enjoyed your notes too. I think this might be the most BSG I've watched since the finale. LOL.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Karabop_radar on April 4th, 2012 10:16 am (UTC)
It's so lovely to hear from you and hear that you have similar feelings about this issue of 'strong' women!! And yes, I totally agree that her fucked-up-ness is the part through which I can relate to her ... it is a path for empathy with the character. (Same with Lee really.)

I'm really thrilled that you watched (especially if you've not seen much since the finale: can be a shock to the system! ;)) and thank you so much for commenting!
wicked_sassy: BSG: starbuck & roslin hugwicked_sassy on April 4th, 2012 11:27 am (UTC)
What a great video--I'm glad Tara recced it! You did such a fantastic job capturing the multitudes Kara contains, and the clips you chose are set so perfectly to the music. Thanks for sharing this with everyone!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!bop_radar on April 4th, 2012 11:53 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!! She's an amazing character: multitudes indeed! ;)
m_a_r_i_k_s: KL_minim_a_r_i_k_s on April 4th, 2012 11:55 am (UTC)
You posted! I was thrilled to see you did in the morning. :-) And then other fans response - it's an impulse of beauty, isn't it? You deserve it!

Thanks for having trusted me to beta. I can honestly say that you're a truer BSG fan now since you see both POVs clearly :-) Not just Lee's. It feels liberating. No need to demand or blame or feel offended, confused as hell by their self-contradicting actions, right?

The intro... I just revel in the literalism of "night time fear" and in the subtlety of the fact that you don't show Lee up till quite late in the vid... And I love "the hole in my head"... No Lee but his presence every step of the way... Even back then when she was with Zak - you linger on the picture... I love that you don't show Zak but it's her feet we see and Anders at "space in my bed" hits where it should, it's beautiful - highlights her crime of filling that space with someone else as a pale substitute very early on. Look how vulnerable she is... it always amazes me - her reaction to Tyrol's words... so reserved... just like Lee in Son Also Rises. Waiting for a moment to be alone with her grief and open. She'll never go into hysterics though. Not on our screens anyway, but you can see it in her eyes and in the set of her jaw.

K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kara can't notbop_radar on April 4th, 2012 12:09 pm (UTC)
I don't mean it as bragging or anything, but I feel like a truer BSG too--it's how it feels internally, because more of the world is accessible to me, and intimately familiar. :) It's profoundly liberating, yes--and yes, the confusion is gone... and it opens up such compassion for both of them.

I was nervous about 'night-time fear' you know! ;) But I trusted that if it was too much, you'd have told me. :) I'm really glad it worked not to show Lee for so long--that was clear to me from the beginning that it needed to be just the suggestion of him for quite a long time.

:) It's lovely to hear your words about that long reaction shot to hearing about his death. It's an amazing parallel actually--you're right, they're both very reserved in their grief, actually. It doesn't mean it's not there, very deeply indeed. But it's private, it's in their hearts and sharing it with others would feel like an invasion, I think. There's also some part of both of them that really wants to hold the other in their hearts after death, secure that place... privately. We see it in Lee lingering over her photo and Kara lingering over his. :)
(no subject) - m_a_r_i_k_s on April 4th, 2012 05:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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Cosette: [bsg]  kara starcosetteferaud on April 4th, 2012 12:11 pm (UTC)
This vid gives me all the feelings!!! Kara <333

You are one of my favorite vidders out there, and I love this vid and this song. I believe you captured so damn well that amalgamation of contradictory feelings that is Kara: her inner struggle and her demons and pain, her need to run away from loving and being loved, out of fear and masked by the belief that this running is necessary to survive. I also enjoyed all you have written about her. As you well know I am a hardcore Kara fangirl, but I think we share a similar view of her. I felt drawn right from the start to her strength, her resilience, her “fuck you all” attitude, but it is this side of her that never was readily apparent that I found truly fascinating. She was so beautiful in these moments, albeit brief, when she surrendered and exposed her fractured soul. You have captured them wonderfully. Amazing job!! <3
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kara/Lee dreamybop_radar on April 4th, 2012 12:34 pm (UTC)
Oh wheeee, you like it!! *happy*

Thank you--it means a lot that you see a true version of Kara here. She's a bundle of contradictions, for sure, but it's so very human.

It's exciting that people welcome this exploration of Kara-behind-the-mask!
word_vomityword_vomity on April 4th, 2012 01:46 pm (UTC)
Oh good gods! This is everything a Kara Thrace video should be!!! It unflinchingly shows every side of her. Both good and bad and everything in between. Her bad-assery and her vulnerability. Just . . . so raw! I love when she is shown as more than more a big mouth viper jock.

The song fits PERFECTLY and happily enough is also a gorgeous song (aren't all Florence songs though?). And it's edited together WONDERFULLY!

Now I fear you may not be able to stop me vidding Kara more

PLEASE DO! I would love to watch more!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Leebop_radar on April 4th, 2012 10:29 pm (UTC)
Yes, Florence is amaaaaazing! Such a pleasure to vid. :) I'm thrilled you like it so much. I'm glad you felt I showed all sides of her--because it's something I strive for in any character study: not to avoid aspects I don't like or that seems disconsonant but to reconcile them and show their interconnectedness.

The encouragement is very welcome--thank you! Really did not know how people would take my first stab at Kara!
kdbleukdbleu on April 4th, 2012 03:05 pm (UTC)
This is really amazing. (Ok, I always feel really inept when I go to comment on vids because vids are so outside of my creative zone. But here goes...)

But this is just an amazing combination of song and visiuals. Kara's push and pull is just perfect. Thank you. :)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Karabop_radar on April 4th, 2012 10:30 pm (UTC)
Oh, please don't worry! Vidders are happy to hear from anyone, just that you watched!!! I love that you saw the push and pull clearly. :) That's awesome.
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Karabop_radar on April 5th, 2012 02:07 am (UTC)
Oh thank you for your feedback! It's great to hear from 'Kara' viewers!! I'm particularly touched that you liked the closeups, because I know it can be a fine line... too many closeups gets repetitive and some viewers can find it very boring and lacking in action, but I did really want to use her face as much as possible because it tells so much.

lovely, mad, imperfect thing,
That's such a beautiful description! And I think Kara is very special to many people for that reason and it's amazing when you see echos of yourself in a character! It's been lovely to recover that for myself. And even more exhilerating to learn it's not so different from what other people see in her!
something clever: never fade awayshah_of_blah on April 4th, 2012 03:51 pm (UTC)
This is absolutely divine. I can't pick out any favorite moments because the whole thing just embodied Kara so perfectly. Yes, this is her.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Karabop_radar on April 5th, 2012 02:12 am (UTC)
Oh wow! Thank you!!
koolaidmom11koolaidmom11 on April 4th, 2012 04:36 pm (UTC)
I can't describe in such "thinky thoughts" like Bee and Tara et al but I feel this video perfectly describes the duality that is Kara Thrace. The push and pull of her desires vs. her fears.

Beautiful. I never heard the song before but I'm going to download it now.

Fandom is da bomb!! So glad I found it :)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Karabop_radar on April 5th, 2012 02:13 am (UTC)
Thinky thoughts not necessary!! I love hearing that people connected with it emotionally. :)

It's a gorgeous song by a great artist! I'm really happy that you could discover it through this vid.
Becka: kara is fiercebeccatoria on April 4th, 2012 05:27 pm (UTC)
Aww, dude this is gorgeous. I love all the hard cuts and jump cuts, it's just the perfect feeling of messy and un-made-up for BSG and the song and Kara all at once. This made me feel nostalgic for her in ways I didn't know I could still feel.

Thanks so much for sharing it. ♥
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Roslin Kara yaybop_radar on April 5th, 2012 02:13 am (UTC)
Oh cool! I'm thrilled you like it and I managed to recover some feeling of Kara-y-ness for you! :)