amedia: (preppy fractal)
[personal profile] amedia
On Friday afternoon, I got to the vid room a little early for the Star Trek vids, and watched the last two Starsky & Hutch vids. The first one I saw, by Moondroplette, was set to “If I Had a Million Dollars,” and it was very cute and had some great choices to go with the lyrics—it’s a challenging song with all the hypothetical items to purchase, and the vidder was spot on with both literal and metaphorical choices. The final one, set to “The Real Slim Shady” by Gianduja Kiss, featured rapid-fire clips to parallel the swiftly-spoken verses; I don’t know the song as well as I’d like, so I couldn’t always follow the connections, but I loved what I caught. The final repetitions of the refrain were brilliant—the first portion of the song had been entirely drawn from the Starsky & Hutch TV show, but toward the end, picking up on more literally on the theme from the song about how “all the other Slim Shadies are just imitating,” she used clips from the Starsky & Hutch movie and then expanded the circle of imitators to include other similar pairs, including Cagney & Lacey, Virdon & Burke (Planet of the Apes), Ponch & Jon from ChiPs, even Woodward & Bernstein from All the President’s Men! You can find the video here: Great job by Kat selecting vids to show.

Kandy Fong put together two half-hour playlists of Star Trek vids; “Oldie But Goodie Songvids” and “Not Quite so Oldie, But Still Goodie Songvids.” The Oldie-but-Goodie playlist kicked off with Kandy’s “A Mocked Time,” which I had heard of but never seen. It preceded actual songvids, but was different from Kandy’s slideshows, another format that preceded songvids. It consisted of still images (from outtakes) combined with short clips of music commenting on the action or providing the perspective of the person in the image. It was unlike anything I had seen before. If I had to dredge up some kind of analogy, it reminded me a tiny bit of those Dickie Goodman pieces that used to appear on the radio where an interviewer would ask questions and the response would be a clip from a popular song. (My friends and I used to do that with a tape recorder when I was in junior high in the early 70’s. I think *every* tween with a tape recorder did that back then!) But this was something extraordinary. Some of my favorite image/music combinations involved T’Pau. When she first appears on the litter, the theme from Jaws is played; when she is shown making a ruling, we hear “Tradition!” from Fiddler on the Roof. In fact, that was one of the few songs used more than once; when she is shown making another ruling later, we hear “Tradition!” from a different part of the song, followed by an instrumental section with bells, at which point we see a still image of the attendants shaking the frames of bells. That moment in particular struck me as a foreshadowing of the songvid medium to come.

I had seen most of the other vids before and was thrilled to see them again. There were a couple of newer vids I hadn’t seen that impressed me by their non-narrative but visually appealing approach. One was to a new version of “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing,” centering more or less on Uhura and bursting with exuberant energy. Rather than trying to fit the episode clips to the lyrics, it treated the song as if it were an instrumental (most of it was, anyway), and matched brisk movements from a broad miscellany of scenes to the catchy music in a way that was almost like creating a dance. One of my favorite moments featured Spock testing a forcefield; the taps were timed to look as if he were playing a percussion instrument along with the song! I also loved the timing of a moment where Bela from "Piece of the Action" snaps his fingers--the way it goes with the music, it looks as if he's about to break into a cool jazz dance. It was followed by a vid that was done to the instrumental fadeout of the song “Layla,” which is about as long as a normal pop song in itself. Again, there didn’t seem to be a discernible narrative, but there was something compelling about the movement within and across the clips. The clips were longer and flowed smoothly with the slower music, and parallel or even seemingly continuous movements from one clip to the next created a visual continuity. I watched it again when I got home, and it might have clips from every single episode (plus the first six movies) in Stardate order? I haven't seen anything like that since DJD's "Close to the Edit," which featured every Professionals episode, but also included the title screens for each one and had a very different style and flow.

The evening vid show was shorter this year than it’s been for the last few years, but included some breathtaking vids. I also noticed something this year that I haven’t commented on before, but that makes the vid show especially enjoyable. Jamie, who organizes the show, really does a great job selecting what order to show them in. She not only mixes up the fandoms so we don’t get “blocks” of all the same fandom in a row, but she also paces the show to create good transitions from fast to slow, and serious to light-hearted. I made a point of telling her so and she said that’s something she puts a lot of thought into.

The show began with an “In Memoriam” vid showcasing celebrities who have passed away over the past year. I don’t think it was done by someone within the fannish community, but it was nicely done.

The first gen vid was a Suicide Squad vid focusing on Harley from the Joker’s POV to a song called “My Girl.” This was NOT the “My Girl” by the Temptations! It was a choppy punk-y hard-edged piece and the choppy cuts worked perfectly with it to create a twisted but weirdly romantic aura.

Kat-byrd’s Starsky & Hutch gen vid, “Pompeii,” came next. She made good use of the lyrics to point up recurring tropes from earlier and later seasons. When I saw it again the next day I was struck by how sad it was; I usually think of S&H as a light-hearted show, but there were some dark events that the guys had to deal with.

Next came a Sentinel vid by Jamie Ritchey to the song “It’s Time,” focusing on Jim’s POV. It began with Jim seeming very unsettled and moved to a more hopeful ending. I really liked the use she made of the instrumental bridges.

I was excited to hear that the show would include vids by Mary Van Deusen, whose vids are legendary! The first one was an NCIS vid to the song “Camouflage and Christmas Lights.” It didn’t resonate a whole lot for me because I don’t watch NCIS and couldn’t follow the character arcs, but I got a general sense of how much people in the military give up and how they try to make the holidays happy for one another.

Her “Boys of Summer” DS9 vid came next, and since I loved DS9, this was one I could follow. It traced the relationship between Worf and Jadzia Dax; it was funny, romantic, and sad, and I loved it. It got my vote for best gen vid.

The next vid, “Cold Blood” by Darcy, was a character study of Jack from SG-1. It highlighted the darker, violent side of his character, and visual distortion that gradually increased toward the end of the vid added to the sense of menace.

Jamie Ritchey contributed another Sentinel gen vid, this one from Blair’s point of view to a song called “Dear Life.” I thought the song was well-chosen for depicting Blair’s introspection as both funny and thoughtful.

The last gen vid, "Dashboard," was another Mary Van Deusen, focusing on the Enterprise. The mapping of various parts of the Enterprise onto the old pickup truck described in the song was engaging—the bridge, of course, was the dashboard—and the loan and return of the truck in the song was paralleled, first by scenes in which Kirk is off the ship and Spock is in temporary command, and then moved smoothly to the transitons of command from the movies. Really fun to watch and rewatch, with sweetness as well as humor.

Next came the slash vids! It started with a strange but catchy Gotham vid by Matthew Vandiver to a song called “Partners in Crime,” sung over the theme song to The Odd Couple. The vid looks like series credits (I don’t know whether that’s what the Gotham credits really look like) and links the Penguin with the Riddler (who looks comically unsure about the whole thing, if I read the video correctly).

A Supernatural vid by Holdt pairing Dean and Castiel to the song “Holy” came next. Wow.I really liked the look-and-feel, a mixture of stills and movement, show clips and fan manips, weird SFX transitions (although I suspect some of the SFX were from the original source—I’m not real familiar with Supernatural). I particularly liked the use of repetition and going back-and-forth quickly between scenes.

Next we got a Starsky & Hutch slash vid to “I’m Gonna Be” (the “500 miles” song) by Kat-byrd. It was more comic than romantic and definitely fun.

FatOrangeKat’s Hawaii 5-0 Steve/Danno vid “Somebody to Love” had a really unusual vibe for a slash vid and I liked it a lot. She made excellent use of absence and separateness; even when the characters are in the same scene, they’re often looking off to the side, not at each other. It had a melancholy, even alienated feeling, yet was overall hopeful.

Mary Van Deusen and Paul Kosinski contributed one slash vid using multiple fandoms, “If You Were a Woman.” It was hilarious—I especially liked the parts with C3P0 and R2D2 (!!!), Holmes and Watson from the Guy Ritchie movies, a great moment from Galaxy Quest, and both Doctor/Master and Doctor/Missy moments from Doctor Who. There were also some non-fannish shoutouts, like Victor/Victoria. My only objection was that it seemed to cut off short, as if it stopped in the middle.

Darcy’s Hawaii 5-0 vid “Immortals” was my favorite slash vid, although it was hard to pick from so many strong contenders. She used a filter that made the clips look slightly washed out and flickery and a couple of interesting framing devices here and there, including a sort of filmstrip look and a projector-onto-screen. The catchy power pop song worked great, with lots of action clips showing the guys running, often headlong into danger. I found the vid more exciting than romantic, with the slashiness understated;instead, it highlighted the shared dangers that bonded the characters.

Finally, One of Aradia’s Jack/Daniel vid “Fortress” used a lovely song with a recurring line, “so afraid to love you,” that she matched so convincingly to Jack’s POV that it was as if we were inside his head. The clips flowed nicely with the melody and the vid was a pleasure to watch.

The disc isn’t available for purchase yet, but I’m gonna get it as soon as it comes out!

Date: 2017-03-19 05:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've _just_ watched the Starsky and Hutch vid and it's brilliantly done. I knew "Slim Shady" was a character of Enimen's but I'm not familiar with his work and I'm impressed with his rapping. But I don't think I'll buy an album of Enimen's. I prefer my rap in very small doses. Here I have to admit that I'm not familiar with Starsky and Hutch. But they're pretty good looking.

When it comes to Harley Quinn and The Joker, "twisted but weirdly romantic" is a good description. In the comics, she calls him, "Puddin'" a lot. He doesn't reciprocate her affection, except when he wants something from her. It's sad.

Thanks for your con report. Congrats on getting all that wine, btw. ¡Salud!

Date: 2017-03-21 07:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If I had a million dollars is on this page.
Animal Planet by Flamingo isn't on line...

Thanks for the kind words. Glad you enjoyed the vid choices!

Date: 2017-03-21 07:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hooray and thank you for the link!

And thank you for your own vids. I always come away with a new way of looking at the source universe when I watch your vids.

Date: 2017-03-21 07:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You're very welcome! It's my pleasure.

Date: 2017-03-21 07:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jamie c. ritchey (from
Thanks for the great comments, Amedia.
If You Were A Woman by Mary VanDeusen and Paul Kosinski did cut off in the middle. Unfortunately I didn't catch that before the con. I discovered the Thursday before (just before I left for the hotel) that my own vid, Dear Life, was the wrong version and the right one wasn't anywhere on my computer. I had to redo it ASAP and burn a corrected dvd. After the con, I tried several times to burn the correct version of If You Were A Woman and it continuously cut off halfway. I had to save it in a different format in order for it to burn correctly. The con DVD has the full version which contains lots of great scenes from the Star Trek reboot, Get Smart and Man From Uncle that totally make it great. Mary Van Deusen's website also has the full version on it.

Date: 2017-03-24 03:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ooh, thanks for the "backstage" information! And I saw two super happy words in your comment: con DVD. So happy it's coming along well! I wouldn't blame you if you took some time off after the hard work you did at the convention, so I am tickled pink that you are already working on the DVD!!!

Date: 2017-03-23 12:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] holdt (from
Thank you for the vidshow review and your comments! Wonderful vids this year, everyone.

Date: 2017-03-24 03:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You're very welcome! Thank *you* for sharing your talent with us!

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