: What do you look for when creating and/or consuming vidlets?
This is yesterday's post late, because I came back from a party last night with a touch of food poisoning and fell asleep without doing anything much (just to complete the perfection of a thoroughly awful week). I'm going to take "vidlets" as "fanvids" because I don't particularly prefer or require them to be short, it was just that I called them vidlets in that particular post because if they were made quickly enough for the meme they'd have to be 30 to 60 seconds long.
This is a really difficult question because it's often been more defined by things that I don't want, when consuming vid, like ridiculous introductions that stroke the vidder's ego, excess special effects to the point they distort the clips, the CONSTANT talking montages (oh God Haven fandom why?) placed over the video. But looking at the pluses is something I haven't really done before. The negatives might still come in a little bit, but I'll try.Good, strong music.
I'm not someone who listens to the charts and the radio. I have an aversion to plastic girl/boy band/singer pop. But if a song fits, then it fits. I'm more likely
to like something with an older or indie or rock/folk/otherwise unusual song on it, but if it's a current chart song and it fits like hell and says something, then that can work just as well. Pirate Bones
was using music I wouldn't usually like, although that song's alright and it is perfect for the context. The big thing is that for the love of everything it should try to be as unique as possible, at least a lesser vidded song. It can
work with a song that's been vidded a million times in every fandom out there already but it had better be a perfect, perfect
match otherwise there's no excuse for not finding something to give people a different experience. (There's always that little personal exception to this one, though: for instance, I'll rarely not enjoy a vid to Kryptonite
SO, individual/unique song choice. Something that fits the fandom's general musical tone is sometimes better, but it's not necessary. Particularly with a show that provides only an insipid folksy music soundtrack. (Disclaimer that musical taste is personal and there's nothing any of us can do about that, but a good match is still a good match.) I struggle hugely with song choice tbh. I've known I wanted to vid Duke/Nathan since I started watching Haven, but it took me a year and a half to find a song for them. Sometimes Fanmixes are good inspiration, although it's probably good to tell the fanmix creator they inspired you and then credit them the original thought behind the song choice.A narrative is nice.
I like the videos that say something. I think most of mine have that narrative tied to the song lyrics. I'm a lot less about the vids that are composed of a bunch of shippy clips of a couple or sexy clips of a character or funny clips of a show. Sometimes with mine the narrative is quite complicated. Maybe too complicated. (One More Mile
and All That's Gone
, for eg.) Things tend to work better with a single clear intent than something that takes a paragraph to explain. But I kind of dig going for the complexity.
At the same time, I don't love vids to be so focused saying something meaningful and clever that the clips are weird or not interesting to watch or not really focused on the characters or relationship and the things that I'm into that show for
...I want to see the show/characters/clips in the vid.
If it's covered in special effects this can make it difficult to enjoy the vid for the things that I'm in it for in the first place. I'd rather see the characters, and that they not be green, strobing, cycling colours or flashes, or distorted by whorls or watercolour styles or anything else artificial. Sepia and black and white I'm alright with but it can take the visual interest from a vid if it's used the whole way through. I'll use black and white in sections for flashbacks or to distinguish a more thoughtful stretch of clips from the rest. Sometimes I'll alter a clip's original speed; this is usually
if something doesn't fit the space I want it to occupy, or is slightly too fast/slow for the music. About 1-2 clips per vid I'll have a movement effect or a zoom on because it didn't have enough happening or didn't have the immediacy I needed without it. I'll use fade to/from black/white. That's about the limit of me and effects.
There have been very rare exceptions to this but as a rule an effects covered vid has to be done really, really
well and hit all the notes perfectly to work for me.Variation in pacing is good.
Generally the actual songs vary their pace, and have faster moments and slower moments, and give natural places to vary the pace of the vid. It works better if the clips follow that and take advantage of it to vary pace and zero in on parts that give the potential to do something slightly different. I think it adds more interest and makes it easier to keep attention. It also helps to break the vid into sections so you can have like little subordinate clauses to the main statement in it (hah) and focus on maybe a softer aspect if there's a slow section, and the like.Cutting and clip choice.
I'm fond of relatively fast cutting because, hey, I've seen these clips before, you know? I know what happens next. All that's needed is to give me enough of the scene for the visual and to make the thematic/storyline connection and then move on. I don't need the whole scene
set to music, because then my attention starts to drift. There's a particular style of framing the contents of the screen that I'm probably more fond of, looking for clips that are symmetrical (or give that appearance by the movement in them) or central -- if you want to see this in super-obsessive action look at Weight of the World
because that one's packed with them. But there's also a factor of varying where the eye focuses on the screen being important, and the sense of movement within the clip itself is important. I think the movement issue is big in Poison
, off the top of my head. That's in terms of sending the eye across the screen in an individual clip. Between clips it's not great to follow a head shot with a head shot, unless it's cutting within a conversation or a Meaningful Look between two characters (where that's really more the same clip with a cut in the middle). Basically I don't by preference want a clip that takes a particular distance view, whether close-up, middle-distance or long-distance action, and follow it up with a clip that's the same distance view from a different scene. If it's the same scene with a couple of cuts in it that's fine and can even help avoid confusion. This is more forgiving with the middle stuff than the extremes of this, though; it's just a matter of watching what looks right and making sure there's enough variation in there. But it is
better in all instances (I think?) if the clips vary which part of the screen the main focus of interest is in, unless perhaps you're trying very hard to centre the eye's focus through the whole thing (see Weight of the World
as above). This is still all about visual interest and variation.
I like and will use jump cuts. I believe they're not everyone's cut of tea. But I usually find there are moments where they work well. This feature has largely come about through wanting to pack clips into space that they are too big for. :D
ETA. Related to my effects bug, I'll use two types of transitions -- regular unadorned ones and fades. I don't know if anything else ever does anything but distract and detract from a vid, for me.
I'll probably think of something later that I could have said, but I think that's about it for now...? I'm always a little wary of the appearance of giving any guidelines and how-to-vid meta because I think I'm a part-time vidder at best, and there are lots of fans for whom vidding is their main thing who have more stake in this than I do, but at the same time I do have strong preferences/opinions. I think the conclusion here is I'm in the middle ground between 'clips of x character/ship looking hot set to music' and 'super arty vids', and ideally I want my preferred characteristics of both.Links to the vids mentioned in here:
One More Mile http://roseveare.livejournal.com/406383.html
Weight of the World http://roseveare.livejournal.com/472222.html
All That's Gone http://roseveare.livejournal.com/716520.html
Pirate Bones http://roseveare.livejournal.com/477135.html
Vids tag on LJ for all my vids: http://roseveare.livejournal.com/tag/vids