Today marks my eight years of vidding. I still have a difficult time wrapping my mind around it, as it feels like yesterday that I took the plunge and opened Windows Movie Maker for the first time (thankfully, I closed it for the last time only four months afterwards and have stuck to Sony Vegas since then). I find it interesting to see that it took me three years to give a try to vidding, just like it took me three years to do the same with role-playing (which I have now been doing for five years). I never really got into editing when I was in professional cinema school (I graduated in production) but fell in love with it the summer after my final year. I still remember how I spent a whole night editing a Farscape video on one of my favorite songs ever: Les Nuits Sans Soleil by Ivanov, a French song from the eighties that took me more than ten years to find an actual copy as all I had until then was part of the music video that my mother had taped for me on a VHS back when I was a child. Of course the video (along with most I did during the first year) had a lot of issues, but don’t we all have to start somewhere? Right from that first video though, I experienced that I did best when working with the “intensity” of the moment, and that if I take more than a few days to complete a video, well… They don’t turn as good. I don’t really know why it works like that, but after eight years, the same pattern exists.
Vidding is what really drew me online and this was why I began to participate to online communities and created my first website. While it is isn’t the original domain anymore, my fannish/portfolio website is still called Beyond Hope, after the Farscape line from 3.22 Dog with two Bones:
Aeryn Sun: Do you love Aeryn Sun?
John Crichton: Beyond hope.
I haven’t vidded Farscape for the past few years, but the show is still a great part of my love for Science Fiction television, and I am hoping that writing about Aeryn Sun in my upcoming book will also spring some vidding muse for that beloved series. The thing is that I can’t just watch something and enjoying it without having the need to vid it. I don’t have time nor always the clips to vid everything I want, especially when it comes to alternate universe (always Star Wars, either One Path that I’ve been working on with my friend Lionchilde for the past years, or role-playing characters) since the source materials can be tricky to find at times! In a perfect world, I would have the clips appear by magic on the computer, ready to be used, along with the perfect clip database, but maybe this is just a professional deformation of working that much about Science Fiction!
Sometimes friends and/or viewers ask me whether I’d like to work as a professional video editor. Truth is… I’d like to, but not for movies, or television series. I need the music when I edit, which is why I would love to work as a trailer, music video or concert DVD editor if given the change, but that’s it. Without the music, well I would probably just be staring at the screen wondering what to do.
One thing I hadn’t expected when I began vidding was how it would become such an important tool in my academic work as well. For the past four years, I have created a number of videos as visual material for talks, as I find them more telling than just simple DVD excerpts. I think it had been something useful for all kinds of audiences, from those familiar with my subject as much as those who had little to no idea of what I was talking about. This is probably why I believe so much in incorporating fannish activities and creations into a more academic setting as to provide a different way of illustrating one’s discourse, as what I explained in “Vidding: Blending the Fannish and the Academic” (The Litartco, 2012).
Though I went through pretty tough dry spells at times, I got back into vidding since last year, and it is a real pleasure to be able to delve back into what is one of my two main creative outlets, along with writing. I am very excited to be nearing 300 videos, as I currently am at 290. I’m not going to force it, but I’m hoping that I can reach 300 before the end of the year, which might happen since the muses are quite lively those days. And vidding is a nice change of pace in between all the academic writing I am doing, so it helps the brain unwind, which is always useful.
I mentioned Les Nuits Sans Soleil when talking about my first video. I love that song so much that I already vidded it twice more, and am aware that I’m not done yet with it. The lyrics are just so inspiring to me, and the instrumental parts are pretty much the same. I know that it might considered overkill to reuse a song that much, but as long as it will sing to my muses, I will vid it again, especially as it can be approached in many different ways, depending on the fandom I choose. So far, I have vidded it for Han and Leia in Star Wars, and more recently, for Harry Potter. This last version, I Will Stay, premiered at Vividcon this summer:
For my eighth vidding anniversary, I had originally created a Twilight video, but after finishing to watch Babylon 5 a few days ago, I had the pressing need to make an ensemble tribute to that outstanding show and its wonderful gallery of characters. So the Twilight video will be posted at a later date, as two nights ago, I created my first Babylon 5 video, on Lost without you by Darren Hayes and Delta Goodrem. I’m glad that I could have everyone at least featured for one clip. The video focuses on the sentiment of family, beyond the differences and the tragedies.
There is still so much more I want to write and vid about Babylon 5. That’s the beauty of vidding as well. I don’t always have time to work on all the projects I would like to tackle, but like writing, the ideas don’t go to waste. I can always pick things up at some point when the time, the source material and the muse are all available at a given time.
So, I’d like to take this moment to thank all my viewers during the years, all my friends and family who cheered on my projects, even when I pulled hair out because of either a dry spell or even better a muse that didn’t want me to go to sleep because it needed to be taken care of right there and right now. I’m not only looking forward to reaching ten years of vidding in 2015, but to many more afterwards.
Thank you and happy watching!