*points to icon* Still Margie. :)
Next installment! Disc Two includes the second half of Premieres, plus more "Also Premiering" vids.
Caveat lector: I talk about all the vids on the disc, whether they worked for me or not.
Premieres part 2
playlist with links (if available) here: http://community.livejournal.com/vidding/1
Lifetime Piling Up
fandom: Stargate Atlantis
summary: Rodney's life flashes before our eyes.
Aw, Rodney! This is a lot of fun, and a nice lighthearted way to lead into the second half of the Premieres show. I like the buildup, as Rodney's life gets more and more dangerous and scary and just plain *tiring*, while Rodney never gives up, and then a switch out to his personal life with his sister and his love interests (and hee, fantastic timing on "can't keep my trousers up", from Sam to Katie to John, perfect!), then back out to danger, and into him facing a slow death head-on.
I really liked the ripple effect into and out of the "cry cry cry [...] scream scream scream" section; perfect for a section that was all about Rodney trapped underwater. (I had some issues with the overlays in that section, though; some of them were jarring to me.) And then the wrap-up, where everything is better because Rodney and John are together now, and things may still be wacky and strange but Rodney's got it all under control. Yay!
fandom: Children of Men
summary: Well, ok.
I'd never even heard of this movie, so have no context for it at all. But that's okay, because the vid tells me everything I need to know. Clearly the pregnant woman is a miracle who needs to be protected in a world turned almost totally violent as civilization is breaking down, and where infertility is the norm -- she's a new beginning for the human race. And the guy has taken it on himself to protect her and bring her somewhere safe, no matter how high the cost (and it's pretty damn high).
The contrast between intense, chaotic violence and intensely reverent reaction to the pregnant woman and her baby is really striking, and makes this look like a really cool movie. *puts on list*
Women's Work (song: Violet)
vidders: Sisabet and Luminosity
summary: Our Bodies, Ourselves
This one didn't work for me. During Premieres, I was mainly lost in the ever-changing characters, and distanced by the random violence and the washed-out color palette. Despite that palette, I didn't know what fandom it was until a woman caught fire on a ceiling; by the time she showed up, it was far too late for me to try to contextualize the rest of the vid with what little I know of Supernatural.
After Premieres, I was surprised by the reaction to it; my assumption was that, like other vidders working with fairly dark source, Luminosity and Sisabet were attracted to this particular level of creepy violence in Supernatural, and wanted to share that love with other fans. It never occurred to me that they were making a wholly political argument about TPTB. I've been assured that that is indeed the case, though.
Rewatching it with that knowledge, I can see that it's a meta statement about how horribly Supernatural treats women, and I'm glad that the few episodes I've managed to catch have been apparent exceptions to the usual SPN fare. But I don't see this as a statement about all fannish source (or all source, fannish or not?) everywhere, which is what I'm told other fans are reading it as. The visuals in the vid were evocative purely of the horror genre to me, which is a very specific thing.
For this to have worked for me as a statement about all fannish source, I think it would have to have been a multi-media vid, and certainly one that incorporated fandoms that aren't horror-based. As it is, hearing that people are saying "this could have been any show", I have to strongly disagree.
In the end, both my initial read of it and my later more informed read of it boil down to the same thing: Supernatural is clearly not a show I should be watching.
Falling From the Sky
fandom: Battlestar Galactica
summary: A deeper look at the many pilots Starbuck has failed, including herself.
This blew me away in Premieres on a visceral level, and I've watched it several times since I got home to see just what it was that affected me so strongly (beyond the pure visual sweep and pounding audio, which are thoroughly engaging just on that level).
Jarrow starts off strong from the first notes, with credits that slam in to the beat in a way that really works for me, followed by a viper in a controlled tumble, leading into a closeup shot of Starbuck in the pilot's seat, turning to face us and laughing. So your first reaction, fast and early, is that this is going to be a vid about the Starbuck who takes life by the horns and lives it as hard as she can, with as much enjoyment as she can, the Starbuck who teases and jokes and dances when she flies.
Just a few seconds later, we see vipers in formation flying straight, and an orderly group of Cylon Raiders in the distance, leading into another closeup on her face in her viper -- looking around, worried, sensing trouble. And *that* is who the vid is about -- the Starbuck who worries and grieves and fails and betrays because she can't bring herself to trust. Playtime's over, here.
I love the build in this, as the vid carries us through Starbuck's life -- nothing is right, and even the things that look like they're going right wind up blowing up in her face, and Starbuck gets steadily more haunted and desperate. Even her memories aren't safe -- every flashback is more pain. Things tumble more and more out of control until the end, where everything is spinning madly and Starbuck, who started the vid laughing at her joy in the controlled tumble of her viper, has literally lost her grip and is falling through space. Just, wow. This is fantastic.
The Wind That Shakes the Barley
fandom: Kingdom of Heaven
summary: O Jerusalem, armies stand before you like fields of grain.
I fail at vid-parsing. I watch this on a purely visual level, because the visuals are beautiful, and I'm totally happy to be swept along by them. Even after hearing people talk about this at Vid Review, though, I miss the story here. Part of that, I think, is that for some reason I have a hard time with the singer's voice; at least half the time, I hear the sound of it but not really the words. But since I do catch some of the lyrics, I can't just let go and treat it as an instrumental, so I'm straining after the lyrics, and losing the sense of what I'm seeing. (This is still true after multiple viewings. There's just something about the singer's voice that my ears don't hear properly.)
vidders: Seah and Margie
fandom: Dresden Files.
summary: Dresden. Harry Dresden.
Nothing to say. :)
fandom: Twin Peaks
summary: You try to fly, but you cannot fly.
It's sort of odd that something that creeps you out can also make you nostalgic, but this pulled that off, reminding me with a gut-twist of just how cracked and surreal and weirdly *fun* Twin Peaks was.
I really liked how astolat opened the vid, on Agent Cooper's voiceover -- it put me right back in Twin Peaks, and the audio... quality? tone? I suck at audio terminology. At any rate, the sound of his voice was a really good match to the sound of the song that started up afterward. And I have a real fondness for vids that are from the bad guy's POV, and this was a great example of that kind of vid. God, Bob was freaking scary.
The colors in this are also amazing -- all orange/red and blue, with barely any departure from that (and what wasn't orange, red, or blue tended to be beige or brown, completely neutral). Even the faces were oversaturated toward orange (... except when they were blue/grey). It makes everything that much more connected and freaky.
I have to admit, though, the ending device, which was sort of a framing device with the initial voiceover, didn't work for me. I'd been happily creeped out during the vid, but the end credits told me it was over and it was time to reset my emotional state to get ready for the next vid, so that's what I did. Having a creepy bit show up after that was startling but not in a good way; it came across to me as OTT and out of place, instead of feeding into the vid's emotional structure.
Cold as It Gets
vidder: Friday Night Lights
summary: Tyra and the town of Dillon.
This is the first thing that has ever made me think that I might actually be able to watch Friday Night Lights. I have no idea who Tyra is, but I feel for her during this.
vidder: here's luck
summary: One day we'll both find what we're looking for.
Mal and Inara, trying, and failing, to make it work. While I think the vid did exactly what here's luck wanted it to do, it lost me as a viewer on too many counts for me to do any sort of justice to it: Firefly is not my fandom; het is not my thing unless I have a vested interest in a given pairing; and the song, while it's perfect for the vid, is exactly not-my-taste. Any combination of two of those factors would probably have been fine, but all three together were enough to tip the scales for me.
Another Sunday (We Built This City)
fandom: Stargate Atlantis
summary: I like cheese, especially 80s cheese. That's my only excuse.
OMG. I adore this vid. This is all about the love, and I don't think there was anyone in that audience who didn't love it right back. Jescaflowne is an anime vidder who brought her entire toolbox with her when she made this vid, to fabulous effect (excuse the pun). Cheesy music, cheesy effects, and some clip choices that had everyone cracking up made for a fabulous vid. I mean -- Ronon *sparkles*.
Interestingly, both Melina and Carol (who put the Premieres show together, and thus saw all the vids ahead of the con) had poor reactions to it in their living rooms; the group energy at the con made everything funnier and happier. And wow, was that room happy after that vid. *g*
fandom: Pan's Labyrinth.
summary: You cannot keep the night from comin' in.
Okay, so, there's this movie where really fucking scary things happen to this girl, and there's a mother and a baby, and scary-ass fairy things, and fascists, and I am so never going to watch it. Meep. I can't seem to stop watching the vid, mind you, but, seriously. meep.
Every time I watch, I try to start building an actual story in my head for it, but by halfway through I'm just sitting there letting it all wash over me as I get wigged out all over again. (And that mandrake, omg! I know I should be more freaked out by Pan or the blind...ish... being...thing, but the mandrake, eeee.)
The song choice here was amazing, absolutely perfect -- it really worked to ramp up the creepiness of the source, both instrumentally and vocally, with its sense of innocence that's just kinda... wrong. Meep.
Southwood Plantation Road
vidder: Sarah T
fandom: Doctor Who
summary: A romantic comedy where the dead walk again.
This one didn't work for me; I feel like I'm missing the point Sarah T is making, no matter how many times I watch it. I can't tell if the problem is that I'm supposed to be decontextualizing the clips and just going with the lyrics, or if I'm not a deep enough watcher of Doctor Who and thus am missing the subtle contextual clues that I need to parse this.
I also admit to having a cultural cringe response to a vid about a black woman to a song whose title is "Southwood Plantation Road," which doesn't help me parse things.
The Trouble With Poets
summary: The trouble with poets is they talk too much.
Aw! This hit all my nostalgia buttons in the best way, right down to hoping that certain clips would show up and being all cheered when they did.
Someone in Vid Review pointed out that this is a traditional vid made to a more modern aesthetic, which I think is very true, and helped a lot in making it seem fresh and new; I really liked how Anoel cut in flashes of both Duncan's and Methos's lives through the ages. It gave a sense of weight-of-years to both of them, and made it clear how much baggage they're both carrying around all the time. Really nicely done.
Dreams Are Not My Home
summary: Torchwood means your life will never be the same.
Oh, I liked this -- Gwen's slow slide into getting what she wants and finding out that you really should be careful what you wish for, and how much she really loved what she had before. I love how it's not just her life she's slowly destroying by going after what she wants; Rhys's happy life is slowly ripped apart, as well.
People in Vid Review mentioned the different approaches to "I want to act like a real girl", which were really cool, but the progression that struck me most on rewatching was the one about "if I had wings".
It starts with "if I had wings I'd cut them down" used as a sort of hindsight as Gwen laments biting off more than she could chew and almost wishing she could undo her choice to get involved in Torchwood. From there it moves to "if I had wings I'd use them now" as Gwen, totally immersed in Torchwood in sometimes bad ways, decides to use whatever power Torchwood has given her to try to make things right.
She doesn't have time for regrets anymore, she has to accept who she's become and move forward, even if her new life is grimmer than her old one. It's a fabulous summation of her arc.
summary: And the Age of the Sword shall be followed by the Age of Aquarius.
There were two main takes on this vid at Vid Review, which seemed to depend on interpretation of the ending (and possibly on show context): that it carried a positive message, and that it carried a more depressing message. I have little context for Jeremiah (what I know about the show is what I've gotten from vids over the years), and I'm one of those who thought it was a beautiful but depressing vid.
Killa went with the Joni Mitchell version of the song, which is ethereal and lovely, but much slower than the Crosby, Stills, and Nash version I'm used to; against the visuals, it came across as an ironic and sorrowful look at a violent world where peace has no chance, instead of a joyful celebration of a peaceful gathering that offered hope for the future. It worked really successfully for me on that level, though.
And thus ended the Premieres show. After this there was milling around for a while, then karaoke, which I was a little dubious about and which turned out to be ridiculous amounts of fun. Hee!
Ahem. Anyway, back to the discs...
Also Premiering on disc two
These were also all in Nearly New, I think. (I can't find an online playlist for these, sorry.)
fandom: Loving Annabelle
summary: Trying to bloom in snow.
This is a really solid vid, with a great song choice and a strong narrative that I could follow easily without ever getting bored. I'm guessing that this is largely the story of the movie, which works for me since I've never seen it. It looks fascinating on the level of being about the adult having the sexual awakening, rather than the (apparently much more aware/secure) teen, but unfortunately, it hits one of my major squicks -- romantic teacher/student relationships (made worse for me because of the wide age disparity) -- so one viewing was pretty much it for me.
Bring Him Home
summary: A combination of Broadway musical and Horatio Hornblower? If it's Les Miserables, just possibly. This highlights the relationship of Hornblower and Pellew. God Save the King!
The song choice here didn't work for me; it's too strongly emotive to fit Pellew, whose affection for Horatio always struck me as very deep but also deeply restrained. I couldn't suspend my disbelief enough to buy into the vid.
fandom: Beauty and the Beast
summary: This is the story of the fairytale of Catherine and Vincent. Their love and lives were a dream realized... even for a short time.
It may look like overkill to have the audio be saying "Here is my heart, I give it to you -- take me with you across this land" to a clip of Vincent handing Catherine a small crystal pendant, but... that's probably exactly what he was saying. The lingering clips match the dreamy tone of the music and the sense of romantic fairytale, too. This is a wallow, but if you were a BatB fan, it's a wallow that will ring true to you.
I do wish that the vidder had used the DVDs rather than what looks like were probably her original tapes, though. The DVD source on this show is probably gorgeous, and the vid would have benefited from that.
summary: Strapped into something tight, keeping me small.
Having seen more of Keely's work at the con and on the DVDs, I feel like I'm probably misinterpreting this vid, but I haven't changed my mind in any of the times I've watched it.
What I see in it is that Lana is a person who consistently latches onto the strongest male she can see and forms a relationship with him; if he leaves her, she's devastated and lost, but quickly turns to the next and settles into another relationship where she can be protected. If she doesn't have a man, she has nothing. Worse, she's doing all this to try to replace her dead parents in her life (never mind that she had an aunt who loved and raised her in a stable home). It's everything I disliked about Lana in a concentrated three-minute form.
From the summary I'm guessing that Keely means it to be the men who are strapping Lana in and keeping her small, but I don't see any indication that it's not Lana's own choice, here.
summary: A retrospective character study of season one Sylar.
I really like this. It had to overcome an obstacle for me -- a different version of the music was used in an anime vid that I really liked, which was pretty cheery and bright. The remixed version kiki_miserychic used was fast enough that I wanted an even brighter and cheerier vid from it, and instead I got... Sylar. Who is not really so bright and cheery.
But the effects she used were enough to keep me engaged until I got over the song thing; the layering and jerkiness gave the impression that we were inside Sylar's head, which worked really well for me. I couldn't see/understand a lot of the visuals, but Sylar's crazy, and I don't want to understand what goes on in his head, so it's all good. There were spots where I wished the visuals were moving faster, but overall the pacing was solid and chilling.
I did have a problem with the credits, though -- they were so fast and jerky that I couldn't read them, particularly the vidder's name. If I hadn't had it on my program, I wouldn't have known who vidded this. That's just a minor quibble, though.
On the Grind
vidder: Turtle Lightly
fandom: Rat Patrol
summary: Under the hot, hot sun, lots of work needs getting done. Sand and jeeps and gun, all goats are on the run.
The song choice here was so disconnected from the fandom that I never connected emotionally with the vid at all. I also had a problem with some of the repetition, where Turtle Lightly would cut back to the beginning of a clip to repeat it, for three total times (it's not ghosting; she repeats an entire motion, beginning to end, each time); I never understood the point of doing it at the times she chose, since the rest of the clips were relatively long, and not adjusted to match the music.
That wraps up disc two, and all of the Premieres show plus Nearly New premieres. I'll post disc three tomorrow, with the first half of Club Vivid vids.
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)