Tag Archives: Twilight

Fan Videos Made in 2013

So, this is the last post of the year. It has been quite a busy one and it marks about my six months on WordPress. I am very glad that I made the move for my website to this platform. I am looking forward to post new content in 2014. I have a few posts in mind already for the upcoming weeks, but to end this year, I decided to go with the recap of the videos I made since April – since this was when I started vidding again.

2013 marked my eighth vidding anniversary, my 300th video and overall I got the surprise – when counting for this post – to see that I made 24 videos, which makes it quite a productive year, especially given all the academic projects I was busy with. I am happy that the vidding muses have been cooperative and I’m eager to make new videos in 2014. I even have some ideas!

So, below is the generic recap of number of videos per fandom. When some are posted online, the links are between brackets next to the name of the fandom, so you can check them on YouTube.

  • 4 x The X-Files [x, x, x]
  • 3 x Harry Potter [x, x]
  • 3 x Speechless
  • 2 x Lethal Weapon
  • 2 x The Dark Knight Trilogy [x, x]
  • 1 x 2001 A Space Odyssey
  • 1 x After Earth
  • 1 x Babylon 5 [x]
  • 1 x Brave
  • 1 x Game of Thrones [x]
  • 1 x Iron Man [x]
  • 1 x One Good Cop
  • 1 x Prometheus [x]
  • 1 x Star Wars [x]
  • 1 x Twilight

I hadn’t thought I had vidded so many fictional universes, including a few for the first time this year! Only one Star Wars video surprised me as well, but I guess I’ll just have to make more next year. I hadn’t seen the X-Files vidding rampage coming either, but that makes me very happy because I hadn’t vidded that fandom in forever! So without further ado, here is the last video for 2013, another X-Files one (focused on the first movie Fight The Future) on The Bee Gees’ I Started A Joke.

Happy New Year Eve!

Books Read in 2013

Since July, I have only read a handful of books, because I have been a slow reader. I was more focused on writing than reading – at least actual books, since I browse through previously read books or new ones every time I need specific quotes for academic papers and chapters. A month ago I picked The Host by Stephenie Meyer, whose first few chapters I had read while visiting a friend in June. The novel is 619 pages and a couple of days ago, I still had almost 500 pages left to read. I have a pet peeve: I don’t like reading a book over two calendar years, even if I finish it in early January. It might be silly but that’s one of my quirks. So tonight, having 350 pages left, I was on the mission to finish it. And I did! Not only did I find the book captivating (I enjoyed the Twilight series but in my view it doesn’t come anywhere close to this one in quality. The Host is one of my favorite books read this year!) I also decided against checking the movie adaptation because the main cast just goes completely against how I picture the cast, and I find them all way too young!

Anyway, since I am all caught up with reading for this year, as I am hoping to maybe sneak in a final video before the new year, I decided to make my recap reading post here. So, without further ado, here is the list of the forty books I read in 2013:

  • Book of Sith – Daniel Wallace
  • The Clone Wars: Gambit – Siege – Karen Miller
  • Buffy: The Harvest – Richie Tankersley Cusick
  • Buffy: Halloween Rain – Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder
  • Buffy: Coyote Moon – John Vornholt
  • Buffy: Bad Bargain – Diana G. Gallagher
  • Illuminati: de l’industrie Rock à Walt Disney – Laurent Glauzy
  • The Power of Six – Pittacus Lore
  • Buffy: One Thing Or Your Mother – Kirsten Beyer
  • Buffy: Immortal – Christopher Golden
  • Que reste-t-il du cinéma? – Jacques Aumont
  • Coruscant Nights III: Patterns of Force – Michael Reaves
  • The Witcher: The Last Wish – Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Buffy: Sins of the Father – Nancy Holder
  • Get Out of That Pit: Straight Talk about God’s Deliverance – Beth Moore
  • Star Wars: Knight Errant – John Jackson Miller
  • Jedi Apprentice: The Hidden Past – Jude Watson
  • Jedi Apprentice: The Mark of the Crown – Jude Watson
  • Jedi Apprentice: The Defenders of the Dead – Jude Watson
  • Jedi Apprentice: The Uncertain Path – Jude Watson
  • Jedi Apprentice: The Captive Temple – Jude Watson
  • Jedi Apprentice: The Day of Reckoning– Jude Watson
  • Jedi Apprentice: The Shattered Peace – Jude Watson
  • Jedi Apprentice: The Deadly Hunter – Jude Watson
  • Jedi Apprentice: The Evil Experiment – Jude Watson
  • Jedi Apprentice: The Dangerous Rescue – Jude Watson
  • Jedi Apprentice: Deceptions – Jude Watson
  • Twilight – Stephenie Meyer
  • New Moon – Stephenie Meyer
  • Eclipse – Stephenie Meyer
  • Breaking Dawn – Stephenie Meyer
  • Jedi Apprentice: The Ties That Bind – Jude Watson
  • Jedi Apprentice: The Death of Hope – Jude Watson
  • Jedi Apprentice: The Call to Vengeance – Jude Watson
  • Jedi Apprentice: The Only Witness – Jude Watson
  • Jedi Apprentice: The Threat Within – Jude Watson
  • Star Wars: The Approaching Storm – Alan Dean Foster
  • Star Wars: Winner Lose All – Timothy Zahn
  • The Single Woman: Life, Love and a Dash of Sass – Mandy Hale
  • The Host – Stephenie Meyer

While the list is dominated by 22 Star Wars books, 7 Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Twilight series, it still remains quite an eclectic one. There are fiction and non fiction books, children, young adult and adult literature. I enjoy a range of different types of books to read, though I tend to favor Science Fiction and Fantasy in the recent years. In the non fiction books, I’d like to give a shout out to the last one I read: The Single Woman: Life, Love and a Dash of Sass. I discovered the author through a friend in 2012 and has been following Mandy Hale on Twitter since then. The book had been on my to read list for a while, but I really enjoyed it. I was a little wary at first because of the very girly vision it seemed to give of the single girl, but Hale’s writing is extremely compelling and I love what she says about life in general, following one’s passions, the importance of friends, family and faith, and working hard. It felt particularly inspiring with the path I am currently on.

I will now refrain from starting a new book until January 1st. Good thing is that I don’t have to wait for too long, especially with how I’d love to create another video before end of the year. I think I’ll pick the Star Wars novel Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn to begin 2014, except if another book catches my attention more amongst the ones I might get for my birthday tomorrow (well later today since it’s almost 1am and already December 30 here!)

Eight Years of Vidding

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!

LogoSig

A Bag of Mix and Match

Hello Monday! I’m working on the introduction of my eBook about Star Wars: The Old Republic and gender dynamics, which means a pile of books on the table, including the SW:TOR encyclopedia. Having played  the game again for the past week reminded me of a more elements I want to address in the eBook. I have also sent the finished drafts of my Farscape and Supernatural papers. I’m still waiting to hear whether another couple of papers will be picked for publications. Hoping they do, especially as one of them isn’t my usual topic (Bollywood).

During the weekend I’ve kept catching up with more movies and TV shows. As always, it makes for a rather eclectic mix. I’ve finished the second season of Falling Skies. I started the show in April while traveling and really loved it. I originally tried it out of mere curiosity and because I heard it was a bit similar to Jericho (which I finally finished earlier this year). As much as I liked Jericho, I find Falling Skies much more engaging. I think that most characters interest me (contrary to about half of the ones on Jericho) and that there is the threat more present makes Falling Skies a more enjoyable watch. Like in Jericho I love the family ties that are explored and believe they are a crucial part of the show. While I won’t say that Falling Skies is a revolutionary TV series, I still think that it is one of the few good Science Fiction shows that currently air. After all, revolutionary is a big word, and many movies, TV series, books or games can be engaging even when they aren’t all that original, as long as the overall narrative makes sense and that characters are layered and interesting.

I have also finished to watch the Twilight movie series. I still like the books much more and think the movies could have been (much) better, but I really enjoyed the last two installations. I regret that the movies are so unequal in quality. There are some gorgeous pictures at times, but on the other end the vampire design was kind of a fail, especially with how white the make up was at times, which was just distracting. I enjoyed how the last two movies showed the more witty and bantering aspect of the relations between the characters, which is something I really enjoyed in the books. I find it paradoxical that moments like the wedding and the honeymoon that could have been just boring and too sugary (as it was a big issue in the first three movies) were just great with funny and sweet moments. I even managed to find Pattinson decent in the last two movies, which was a surprise, as I still wish they had picked another actor for Edward (otherwise I think they did a really good job with the cast) but I accepted the choice better in Breaking Dawn Parts I and II. At least, it will make it easier for me to vid the stories withotu having to ‘recast’ Edward in my mind! One thing I found really well done in terms of visual design was when Bella becomes a vampire and has her new and ‘better’ perceptions. I also found it pretty neat that they added people from all movies at the end credits of the final movie as well. There was at least one thing that was equally great throughout the five movies: the music, either the songs used or the original soundtrack.

Speaking of music, I was amazed with the score of the Tudors until the very end of the show, which I finished recently as well. I had started the show years ago, but finally caught up those last two months with seasons three and four. That show was really outstanding until the very end. It is hard to find one thing to complain, as actors, locations, costumes, jewelries, weapons were impeccable. The one thing I couldn’t stand was the fifth queen. The five or six episodes where she was in, it was quite a torture to watch. I couldn’t wait for the moment she would be executed. Afterwards, the end of season four was back to being the grand series I loved to watch. I enjoyed how the King had visions of his deceased wives in the final episode, and how the stream of memories that came back to him in the very final scene. That specific time reminded me of the finale of Highlander where Duncan McLeod had memories of everyone, to the point that I was almost expecting Bonny Portmore by Loreena McKennitt to kick in (which also means that I now plan to make a Tudors video on that song). There were so many emotional moments in that final episode as well, including the final moment between Henry VIII and Charles Brandon, before this last one passes away. When I watched The Tudors, I couldn’t help but wishing that we could do such series in France, especially when we have such an extended history. Wishful thinking doesn’t hurt at times!

So, next on the TV catch up list is Buffy the Vampire Slayer (season five), and also Babylon 5 (season three)…

Postcards and Projects

Science Fiction, Transmedia and Fandom is now back online. I am still on vacation, but will have time to work on polishing more content for this site once I’m back home. Right after, I will tackle the writing of my upcoming Ebook about female characters and gender dynamics in the MMORPG Star Wars: the Old Republic, which I am very much looking forward to. I believe that it will give me a reason to play some of my characters again, as a reminder of certain aspects I want to write about, with all the classes and NPC characters.

This vacation has seen me jumping into a good many books from the Star Wars EU, from Knight Errant by John Jackson Miller (not sure I’ll check the comics but really enjoyed the novel, and it confirmed my great liking for the Old Republic era) to the youth series Jedi Apprentice by Jude Watson (I had already read a few volumes, including the first one written by Dave Wolverton), which made me inclined to rewatch the Phantom Menace in the near future. I admit that I would also enjoy seeing a series in this pre Episode I era be made, like The Clone Wars was. I also came up to me as I was (finally) catching up with the beginning of The Clone Wars second season. That’s one good thing about being behind on TV shows and book series: you can’t reach the point where nothing left to watch or read.

I also read something else, that I didn’t expect to. While visiting a friend, I ended accepting to pick up the first book of the Twilight series, by Stephenie Meyer. I have of course heard a lot about the saga since its original publication and then with the movie productions, but I never wanted to really look at it. All that I had heard about in negative really made me feel like staying as far away as possible from it. But like I did last year with Harry Potter, I eventually took a leap of faith and tried it. I read the four Twilight books in less than five days. I don’t believe that those are world changing books, but I found myself loving the story and appreciating how she spent time developing all of her characters throughout the story, and went from one stage of narration to the other, without stalling nor rushing things. I only saw the first movie so far, but planning on watching the rest now.

Due to the good surprise Twilight was, I’m now reading The Host by Stephenie Meyer. I’m a little curious about it. Either I’ll finish it before going back, or I’ll have to get my hands on the paperback version as soon as possible. What can I say? Having bookworm friends is a blessing.

This vacation also saw me go to the movies three times, for two different feature films. The first was After Earth. I had enjoyed the trailer, and was hoping it might be a decent movie, but it turned out to be better than I had expected. In my view, it is one of Will Smith’s best movies, and a good Science Fiction one altogether, with emotions, a good family story, and great visuals. So it is definitely something I’ll purchase on Bluray and I’m even tempted to write about it at some point, when I work on fatherhood.

The second movie I saw (twice and planning to go back a third time) was Man of Steel. Now I didn’t use to be a comics fan, but during the past few years I found myself enjoying a good many movies based on Marvel characters. I never really got into the DC universe. Yet, I wanted to see Man of Steel because of cast, director and music composer. I was blown away and I think that this is Zack Snyder’s best movie so far without hesitation. The whole cast was impeccable and I think it is one outstanding Science Fiction movie. There is so much I’ll likely say about it (though I am afraid many already covered the topic!) I can’t wait to see the movie again, and the day I get the Bluray I know that I’ll be vidding it for sure. And I really think that Russel Crowe should do more Science Fiction roles. I don’t really visualize him in the Prometheus sequel, but if Ridley Scott keeps going with more Science Fiction movies, he should definitely do one with Russel Crowe in main cast.