*points to icon* Still Margie. :)
Time to get into the actual discs on the DVD set! Disc One includes the first half of the Premieres show, as well as some "Also Premiering" vids.
Caveat lector: I talk about all the vids on the disc, whether they worked for me or not.
Premieres part 1
playlist with links (if available) here: http://community.livejournal.com/vidding/1
Overall theme of Premieres this year: O hai, is it can be creepsing out tiem nao?
Moons of Jupiter
fandom: Doctor Who (2005)
summary: Have you hugged your Ten today?
*Fabulous* show-opener -- bright, energetic, and glowing with love for the Doctor and the show. The mood is set immediately, helped along by the audio -- the vocals start out with the singer laughing a little into the lyric, which lets you know that you're in for a fun, upbeat ride. The whole thing made me really happy. And made me want a Ten of my very own to hug. Also, there's a Doctor/TARDIS OTP section in there that had me just beaming, because, *yes*! Heee. Yay!
It's Not Over
summary: Dean won't let the road end here.
I have minimal context for Supernatural -- I've seen a few eps, and I hear people talk about it -- so I'm sure I missed a lot of the subtleties of this vid. What I did get from it was a fairly intense Dean, whose entire world is Sam, and how determined he is to hang on to Sam no matter what. That was helped a lot by what butterfly did with effects -- she did some very cool things with layers and overlays/masks here, giving the impression that Dean is thinking about Sam all the time -- really nicely done.
Seven Nation Army
summary: The Losers' Club isn't going down without a fight.
As a general comment in Vid Review, Sandy mentioned that she has two basic primary reactions to movie vids: for movies she knows, she wants a vid that says something new and different about the movie, while for movies she doesn't know, she wants a vid that basically summarizes the movie in some interesting way.
I'm the same way, and as I've never seen It, this vid really worked for me. I could see the clear parallels between the kids and the adults, and how the adults had to come together again to repeat (finish?) what they'd done as children; I'm guessing it was the same evil that they faced, which they were perceiving in a different form.
I did hear someone mention that the vid wasn't as scary as the movie (miniseries?), which disappointed them, and I just wanted to say to Gabby: Thank you for not making it as scary as the movie. Having been utterly creeped out not only by scary-movie vids in the past, but also by parts of this year's vid show, it was refreshing to watch a vid that was clearly about horror, and that gave clear hints and indications of that so that I came away with the strong sense of it, without actually having a little voice in my head going "AAAA AAAAA AAAAAAAAHHH!!!" all the way through the vid. Sometimes a little distance is the best thing.
My Happy Ending
fandom: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
summary: Her POV. Rather AU. Look Ma, no penguins!
I have never seen this movie, and therefore have zero context for what's going on. (Every time I say that, someone helpfully explains the whole thing to me. I forget again almost immediately. Which I think means I belong *in* this movie, actually. But anyway.)
So with only the song to go on to give me context for the clips, the story I get here is one of a happy-go-lucky couple, until he starts looking elsewhere, and they wind up just sort of bitter and angry for a while until she decides enough is enough and literally erases him from her life. The frame around the vid -- a shot of a card with the woman's name disappearing -- is really cool; it gives a structure of "She wants him gone, and here's why, and now he is cut off from her forever."
(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay
vidders: FairestCat and lovelokest
fandom: Stargate Atlantis
summary: Looks like nothing's gonna change / Everything still remains the same
This didn't work for me, which disappointed me; I love the song, and I thought it was an interesting choice for an SGA vid.
The first few clips came across to me as Atlantis POV, which I admit intrigued me enough that it took me a while to shift to seeing this as an Elizabeth POV even after the vidders brought her in more clearly. After that, though, there were several places where it seemed to slip out of Elizabeth's POV for a few clips, or where there was an emotional weight on other characters that I didn't understand, which left me grasping after their meaning.
I did like the use of original-timeline Elizabeth as someone who had chosen to sit and wait (she's doing it with more purpose than the song's narrator, but she is just sitting and waiting), but then I was confused by the return to young Elizabeth, clearly in charge of things and not just sitting around.
Pulling the ending back to original-timeline Elizabeth didn't quite work for me, either; it left me unclear on whether she was a POV character as I'd thought, or just another part of current-timeline Elizabeth's Atlantis existence.
Basically, I thought there were some nifty ideas behind this one, but the vid never really gelled for me.
On a purely technical level, I had issues with the source throughout this. When there's no other option but poor-quality source, it doesn't bother me -- heck, I've vidded off EP tapes before, I sympathize -- but SGA has several high-quality options available, both official and unofficial. This looked badly overcompressed, to the point where there was not only pixellization in spots but also weird color-haloing things going on, and it was very distracting for me.
summary: Big damn vid.
My lack of context for Firefly and the music both worked strongly against me here, to the point that this one didn't work for me. It feels much longer than it actually is, mostly because the song shifts a *lot*, with several natural ending points that I kept expecting the vid to end on.
But song and vid kept going, shifting focus with each verse, leaving me with half my brain trying to parse the lyrics and melodic shifts to find the "section" breaks, and the other half trying to catch and figure out every clip, with no consistent storyline to give me hints about what might be coming next. It was too much for me to keep track of.
Given the reaction to the vid at the con, though, I'm thinking this is a very different experience for fans of the show. :)
Men In Black
vidder: Apocalypse West (Dianne)
summary: They're your first, last, and only line of defense against the worst scum of the universe.
Watching this in Premieres, I had to get past my attachment to an SG-1 vid made to the same song, so I wasn't giving this as much attention as I should have, and came away feeling basically neutral about it.
More braced for it at home, I watched again and really liked this. Torchwood is a pretty damn fun choice for Men in Black, and I grinned at a lot of the choices Dianne made here (cricket! hee.), and winced at wincey spots (Gwen and Rhys on "they make you forget" -- ouch. True, and ouch, and a lovely choice to show that Gwen really is a Man in Black at this point.).
I had a few minor quibbles, like the Dr. Who footage (I know why it was there, but it still threw me out of the vid for a second), and a couple of the clip choices toward the very end of the vid that didn't seem to match the song or emotional tone as well as the rest did, although I liked the final shot a lot.
Mostly, though, I just enjoyed the heck out of this.
vidders: Gwyneth and Jo
fandom: Charlie Jade
summary: Three worlds, one hope... but he can't get there from here.
This was the recruiter vid of the Premieres show; it blew people *away*. At Vid Review, Sandy (I think) asked how many people had seen the show; five or six hands went up. They she asked how many people *wanted* to see the show after seeing this vid, and practically every hand in the room shot up. Including mine.
You may be sitting there thinking, "well, it must have been a shiny fun vid, then!" Shiny, yes, indeed. But also complicated as all hell, from what is clearly an immensely complicated source, with multiple universes and travel between same and wow. (Also, as someone pointed out in Vid Review, you know you're in a room with a lot of SF fans as well as vid fans when the image of someone compressing a piece of paper clearly indicates "collapsing universes". heh.)
I've seen the vid several times now, and every time I get more out of it (helped by the fact that I was lucky enough to see a couple eps of the show in Chicago before I went home). It's just fabulous, and well-constructed, and thinky, and fascinating. Very cool.
Signal to Noise
fandom: Battlestar Galactica
summary: A new dawn breaking.
The more I watch this, the more I like it. It didn't work for me at all at first, which is entirely because I brought my own preconceptions about what I expect a BSG vid to be/do, which surprised me (I didn't even realize I *had* such preconceptions). As I got past them, this vid started to really grow on me.
It's the show through the lens of Lee, who only wants to do the right thing -- protect humanity, love his family and friends, be a good man -- but who is having to deal with a reality that thwarts him in that goal more and more, both in terms of his crumbling relationships and the universe at large that he lives in.
How do you protect humanity from Cylons, in a universe where human/Cylon babies are being born, and actively being bred? How do you trust the comrades you have to trust, when any of them could be a Cylon? How do you tell the human religious fanatics from the Cylon religious fanatics, when they're all fanatics? How do you protect humans who want to make peace with the Cylons? How do you keep going, when the people you love betray your faith in them?
And the more his world crumbles, the more he loses his own stability. Fabulously done.
This is fast. Really, really fast. No, faster than that. *g* It doesn't seem it, at first -- it builds up. But once it hits its stride... whoosh.
So at the con, all I was seeing here was visual sweep -- color and speed and motion. It's breathtaking on that level, with an often-soaring vocal line (in Gaelic, so for me the vocal is almost another instrument) and planes that, well, take your breath away. They're WWI bi-planes, fighting it out in the skies, violent and staggeringly beautiful.
There's one shot of about 30 planes all in frame at the same time that lifts me up every time I see it, and a shot of a plane dipping so low that its wing literally brushes the grass on a cymbal-brush that blows me away.
There are people, too -- fighter pilots, two of whom are clearly connecting very strongly. I didn't know much about them other than that they were part of a group of men, they were friends/more than friends, one had a lion (!), and they were pilots who soared and swooped around in their planes. But that's okay, because for the Premieres show, I was all about the swooping and flying in this vid.
Jill's cutting is flawless, and she's not afraid to cut incredibly quick and short if the beat calls for it, dipping in and out of scenes so fast in places you don't even consciously register what you're seeing. There was an effect for me in some places as though I was catching stuff out of the corner of my eye for a split second, which, wow.
It makes it hard to follow the story on the first couple of viewings, but it adds tremendously to the motion of the vid, making the shots on the ground of the characters swoop and stutter like the planes and guns duking it out in the air scenes. It also matched the pace of the music perfectly; it flows beautifully without being jarring at all.
It took me several viewings at home to get the actual story of the vid; every time through, I'd pick up more of it. Only part of that was me getting caught up in the sheer pretty of the imagery; I was also hampered by the same thing that tends to hamper me in any military and/or period vid -- I have a terrible time telling apart men in uniform / similar costumes (especially when the uniforms include goggles that cover half their faces whenever they're in the cockpit).
But eventually I got it all sorted out in my head, and wow. Love and loss and vengeance, with huge chunks of this vid happening in a matter of seconds in "real" (movie) time -- almost the entire vid is a flashback (or a rapid series of flashbacks, more accurately), framed by a few "real time" clips.
I'm still not done watching this; I know there's more to find out. There's stuff happening so fast in some scenes that I'm missing it completely, and I want to find out what that is. So cool.
Head Over Feet
fandom: Lord Peter Wimsey
summary: Strong Poison, Have His Carcase, and Gaudy Night constitute the detective romance of Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane. They are simply wonderful, and if you haven't read or watched them yet, you should.
This didn't work for me, unfortunately. I had no context at all for any of it, and the vidding style was extremely context-dependent, using lots of lingering shots of faces and expressions that were static to my canon-ignorant eyes.
Although it's a strange thing to say of a vid, it feels almost like the vidder was "telling" the story instead of "showing" it (to use fic terms for a minute). I knew the vid was a romance between these two people -- the summary said so, the lyrics said so. But the scenes themselves had nothing visual in them to show the intensity of the emotion they were supposed to be carrying.
It was interesting to watch, though, in how its style and narrative choices stood in stark contrast to most of the other vids in the show, where action and symbolism can carry as much weight as canonically emotional dialogue or other scenes, and where the cuts generally come faster as a way of keeping the vid's momentum going.
summary: Skacore, con artists, and hugs.
Hee! This is so much fun; light and breezy and wonderful. They're con artists, see, and they take absolute delight in that fact, and all love each other a lot, and enjoy each other a lot, and trick people, and dance together, and run naked through the streets, and drink pink cocktails with umbrellas in, and it's all utterly, utterly charming. I've got to get hold of more eps.
summary: What the Yellow-Eyed Demon wants (in no particular order): John, Sam, and Dean Winchester; fresh tasty babies who can kill with their brains; an awesome demon-killing Colt revolver; a do-over.
Again, I have little context for Supernatural, so I missed a lot of the specifics here. But the outside POV, of evil watching Dean and Sam in really creepy bad ways, was very clear, and worked for me in ways I wasn't really expecting. The female vocals, especially, worked for me, giving a strong sense of female power (creepy bad power, but power) that I liked a lot.
(Okay, there's one shot in here that disturbs me, which is completely inadvertent; early on, there's a shot of a (clearly evil!) thick Z with a hole in the middle of it that looks a lot like the Z with the eye in the middle of it that Zen uses as her logo, and which was at the end of her vid right before this one. *looks warily at Zen*)
summary: Don't blink. Don't breathe.
Ahem. I thought this was really well done, and I liked it a lot. The creepy chant of the audio, gradually layering on more intensity, was a great choice for Miracles, and the sped-up clips lent just the right air of surreality to Paul's visions while making the audio sound more and more frantic (helped along by the fast-ticking-down clock at the end). The whole thing is short, intense, and spooky, a perfect match to the show.
One small sort-of technical issue that I noticed with this was the credits. They were a really solid creative choice; the location of all the text at the bottom of the screen, with the red color and the faint shiveriness (leading straight into Paul shivering in the tub), is like the text itself is in the visual equivalent of a minor chord, and definitely sets the mood for the vid while I'm watching on my tv. But at the con, people's heads tend to block my view of lower portion of the screen.
It didn't actively detract from the vid (I could see enough of the title to make it out), it was just something I made a mental note to remember for sending vids to cons in future, and figured I should mention.
Sick Cycle Carousel
fandom: Star Wars
summary: To break the cycle you have to be willing to let go.
This didn't particularly work for me, through no fault of the vid; Star Wars vids that include the second trilogy are a hard sell for me. But that said, Wolfling did a a really nice job here showing just how many cycles and parallels there really are in the two trilogies, tying them all together.
West of Her Spine
summary: Finding love in the strangest places.
I loved this vid; it's Brian's arc through and through, in all its creepy fixation. I like how sweetestdrain mirrored what the show did, making him seem innocuous at first and only eventually showing the monster within, and then after that moving on to the connection with Dexter, who is the closest thing to a soft spot Brian's capable of; she set the vid up in almost perfect thirds, in a pacing that worked really well for me.
This gets everything about Brian: how good he is at passing for normal; how *utterly* fucked up he is; how very much he wants to connect with Dexter. What I found interesting was the hope and sweetness in his relationship with Dexter; sweetestdrain ramped that up a bit from canon by playing down some of the creepier parts of their connection.
It turns the whole vid into a twisted love story: first he tries with Deb, but that doesn't work out (so he has to get her out of the way); then he tries with a hooker, but that doesn't work out either because it's more exciting to kill her; then finally he finds Dexter, and hey, this could be the real thing! So he seduces him, draws him in, makes the connection. She ended this perfectly, given that -- on the connection and the hope.
summary: A vid about the undeniability of Buffy's extreme techno.
This one almost works for me, but not quite. I think Zoe undercut herself with the summary; when I read that, I expected this vid to be about Buffy, specifically, and instead it's an ensemble vid about pretty much everyone.
On the ensemble level, it's a fun look at the show, the characters, the surreality that you don't even notice while you're watching eps, and the empowerment that shows up everywhere. It wobbled for me in a few places, though, particularly toward the end, where it started to feel in spots like Zoe was filling in blackspace because the song was still going. I think cutting some of the ending off would have helped tighten it up.
I also wasn't sure about the final clip as the music faded away into silence, of Willow and Buffy meeting and chatting -- it didn't match the rest of the vid at all. I'm guessing it's there to show that Buffy also wants to be just a normal kid, but that's not set up elsewhere in the vid so it felt tacked on to me, and actually weakened the whole vid as a result.
That was the last vid in the first half of Premieres; at the con, there was a 15-minute break at this point for people to stretch their legs and take a breather.
Also Premiering on disc one
These were all in Nearly New, I think. (I can't find a playlist or links for these, sorry.)
fandom: Century Hotel
summary: I said I'd never come to this ugly old hotel again. Baby, here I am.
I've never heard of the movie before, so have absolutely no context for this vid. Watching it in a room at VVC after someone checked the Nearly New tape out of the con library for the night, my initial reaction was, "So, there's a cursed/haunted/possessed/demonic hotel, where everyone who goes there has to have sex. Cool."
Having rewatched it on the DVDs, I've amended that: There's a cursed/haunted/possessed/demonic hotel *room*, where everyone who stays there has to have sex that usually turns out to have horrible results. Cool!
The music is bluesy and mellow and works remarkably well for a movie that clearly does span a century (the outfits and hair styles are solid pointers to period without being intrusive). It also works really well to build a sensual feel at the beginning; the slow, easy rhythms make everything sexy, and it's only as the vid continues that you realize that All Is Not Well in the sex hotel.
I really like the way Gabby eased into showing things going wrong. The first indication was jarring, but done in such a way that my reaction both times I saw it (hey, I'm slow) was to retcon it to fit the whole haunted/demonic/cursed thing, because obviously, sometimes things will go wrong in circumstances like that. Then it's back to sexy and fun for a bit, then, okay, things are not good for everyone, but hey, there's still sexiness over there, and... wait, no, that's going bad too, eep! The structure worked really well for me.
The other thing I wanted to mention was the length, which I didn't notice at all either time when I was watching because I was so caught up -- it wasn't until I noticed the DVD player's counter that I realized this was a roughly 6-minute vid. Six minutes of slow bluesy music is a tough thing to pull off, and Gabby did it beautifully here by keeping me interested in the characters she chose to follow and the structure of growing evil that ramped up the creepiness factor as the vid went along.
My one quibble with the vid is the ending, where as someone with no context at all, I'd rather have seen the final two clips reversed, because I don't know exactly what's going on in the final clip. But that's a minor thing. (On yet another rewatch I realized the final clip was a framing clip, but given the variety of people and storylines in the vid, I still would have liked the final two clips reversed, I think.)
There was one ongoing technical issue with the vid, too, with slightly jerky source, which thanks to AbsoluteDestiny's Tech Panel of Doom, I now know is that the vid was exported with reversed-field interlacing. It's distracting but not impossible to see past.
fandom: Doctor Who
summary: The Doctor just wants to do his own thing, man.
I grinned my way through this -- Andraste's affection for the entire show, right back to the first Doctor, shines through, making this a fun romp through Doctor Who history, with some clip choices that had me making little happy noises for how perfect they were.
She's got everything in here; not just all the Doctors (yay!), but a lot of the companions, and the monsters (omg, cheesy '70s BBC monsters *loves*), and Bessie, and of course the TARDIS. I am full of nostalgic glee, here.
Columbia Is Bleeding
fandom: Angel and Buffy
summary: Angel goes beige.
This didn't work for me; I get lost in the visuals with no idea how they connect (other than that Angel, Darla, and Dru are fucked up and their lives are constantly intertwined), and I can't hear the vocals well enough to use them to make sense of what I'm seeing. I also fail at making sense of the vidder's "notes" for these -- all I see are Angel clips (nothing from Buffy that I recognized), and I don't understand the summary in terms of the vid.
Jesus for the Jugular
summary: Ain't nobody ever gonna have to die.
I can't say anything about this one -- while what I saw looked fascinating and well-vidded, I decided that literally clapping my hands over my eyes in reaction to a particular scene early on meant that I should stop watching. (Other vids have convinced me that I should never watch this show, and this definitely reinforced that.) Sorry, obsessive24.
And that's it for disc one. I'll post disc two tomorrow.
ETA - complete con report/vid reviews:
Disc Zero (at the con - Geneaology of Vidding, Vividsection, Town Hall on Vidding and Visibility)
Disc One (Premieres part 1; also premiering)
Disc Two (Premieres part 2; also premiering)
Disc Three (Club Vivid part 1)
Disc Four (Club Vivid part 2; Challenge Show)