Buffy vs Edward

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Vid
Title: Buffy vs. Edward
Creator: Jonathan McIntosh
Date: 2009
Format:
Length: 6:02
Music:
Genre: political commentary
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Twilight
Footage:
URL: Video on YouTube, Artist's website (Archived)

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Buffy vs Edward: Twilight Remixed is a 2009 remix video created by remix artist Jonathan McIntosh, which imagines that Buffy Summers of Buffy the Vampire Slayer met Edward Cullen from Twilight.

Description

In this remixed narrative video, Edward Cullen from the Twilight Series meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer at Sunnydale High. It combines footage from the popular television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer with that of the 2008 Twilight film adaptation, with some brief additional footage from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (in which Robert Pattinson also appears).

The remix is, among other things, a critique of popular media in its transformation of “sexy” hero to stalker.

The remix received a lot of press attention, with coverage in several publications including the LA Times, Wired, Entertainment Weekly and on National Public Radio, and was cited in the OTW's DMCA submission in 2012. It was also nominated for a 2010 Webby Award in the category of best remix/mashup.[1]

McIntosh's Description of the Video

It’s an example of transformative storytelling serving as a pro-feminist visual critique of Edward’s character and generally creepy behavior. Seen through Buffy’s eyes, some of the more sexist gender roles and patriarchal Hollywood themes embedded in the Twilight saga are exposed in hilarious ways. Ultimately this remix is about more than a decisive showdown between the slayer and the sparkly vampire. It also doubles as a metaphor for the ongoing battle between two opposing visions of gender roles in the 21ist century. [2]

Not a Fanvid?

McIntosh has always been adamant that the 'Buffy vs Edward' remix is not a fanvid, which is typically an amateur music video produced by fans; but he states that the remix was inspired by vidding, particularly vidders such as Francesca Coppa and Laura Shapiro.[3]

However, the Fanlore article on vidding defines vidding as "the act or process of creating a fan-oriented video or "fanvid" using live-action TV or movie footage set to music (or other audio)."[4] 'Buffy vs Edward' satisfies this definition, using both live-action TV and live-action movie footage set to audio - a mixture of dialogue and music clips (listed in McIntosh's FAQ about the video[5]). Therefore, there is an argument to be made that 'Buffy vs Edward' qualifies as a fanvid.

Fannish Context

McIntosh's video was produced during a period of popular backlash against the Twilight book series and its associated films, the first of which appeared in theatres in 2008. A number of online commentators, artists and critics produced material that was humorously critical of the Twilight saga, highlighting its problematic connotations and unrealistic tropes and themes. Some notable examples include 'Bum Reviews: Twilight',[6] a comedy review by the 'critic' Chester A. Bum, a persona of That Guy With the Glasses; the blog Reasoning With Vampires; and the comic 'Twilight' by Joe Loves Crappy Movies,[7] a series of satirical comics about film.

A number of fannish commentaries, jokes and memes also highlighted the numerous similarities between Twilight and Buffy the Vampire Slayer - despite the insistence of Twilight author Stephenie Meyer that she has never seen Buffy.[8][9] In these comparisons, the co-dependent romance and implicit themes of female submission and weakness in Twilight were often compared unfavourably to the romances and themes in Buffy - which frequently emphasises female empowerment, strength and independence with its main character, Buffy Summers.[10][11]

McIntosh's video therefore played perfectly to the popular anti-Twilight sentiment at the time of its creation, and the overlapping circles of Buffy fandom and Twilight anti-fandom. In a guest blog for WIMN's Voices about why he created 'Buffy vs Edward', McIntosh noted the positive audience reaction to his video, writing:

The response online has been swift, enthusiastic and overwhelming. Apparently I touched a nerve. Seems a lot of people thought it was about time the Slayer did something about Edward Cullen from the Twilight series (who, in case you are not familiar, is a vampire that glitters like diamonds in the sunlight to attract prey — sorta like a stalky My Little Pony with fangs). ... The remix has been posted on hundreds of websites and blogs, and is still circulating through Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. It has sparked a wide-ranging and timely online conversation about how obsessive and predatory male behavior passes for romance in too much of our pop culture.[3]

Response

Fan Comments

The video quickly garnered approving comments from fans, many of them existing fans of Buffy and/or anti-fans of Twilight, although some fans of Twilight also appreciated the video, while those who were unfamiliar with Buffy remarked that the video had got them interested in the series.

That was awesome! I love serious Edward was while Buffy completely countered that with her quirky quips. Buffy rules.[12]
First off, LOVED the vid. It was brilliant. I liked the Twilight saga, and I LOVE Buffy, but I was glad someone pointed out that especially in the beginning, Edward was a total creeper...[13]
Brilliant! The contrast between Buffy's endless awesomeness and Twilight's total shittiness couldn't be more apparent. Love it.[14]
Creative use of Cedric Diggory for the death scene. Big fan of Buffy and this video shows just how creepy Edward was. Yes there's parallels between Edward and Angel, but it took time for them to start a relationship. Edward and Bella took what, less than a week?[15]
This is awesome, though it would work better if the color gradings of the "dialog" scenes matched better. Buffy tends to be pretty saturated and warm, with lots of yellows and reds, whereas Twilight is much more desaturated and cool, with lots of pale blues and greens. It wouldn't be too tough for a good editor to grade this so they meet in the middle, which would give it a much stronger feeling of continuity.[16]

Well, first of all, the video was very enjoyable and well put together. However, I just feel like I need to say this; I love Buffy AND I like Twilight. I also consider myself to be a feminist. I don't feel like it's right to think that EVERY Twilight fan is madly in love with Edward and wants to be Bella. Categorizing every Twilight fan as a weak idiot is cruel and unfair.

By the way, this is not necessarily addressed to the maker of this vid, but to some of the commenters on this.[17]

However, some pointed out that the video worked so well in part because Buffy had delivered those same lines to her romantic interests in the series:

Back to this classic, since I'm binge-watching Pop Culture Detective's videos. Just to point out that most of Buffy's lines here are addressed to either Angel or Spike, both of whom she ends up romantically involved with. This doesn't make her any less of a bad-ass, of course, nor does it make Twilight any less trashy and disgustingly backwards, BUT Buffy did have a soft spot and a blind spot when it came to her vampire allies/stalkers.[18]
Haha.. Very nice with the editing. Only the color scheme messes it up. :P I'm told that all Buffy's references to stalking behavior are clips where she was talking to Spike or Angel. Why are vampires such stalkers?? XD[19]

Copyright Issues and DMCA Takedown

As a well-known example of fair use transformative storytelling, 'Buffy vs Edward' was screened for the US Copyright Office at the 2012 hearings on exemptions to the DMCA. Afterwards, the remix was mentioned by name in the official recommendations by the US Copyright Office on exemptions to the DMCA as an example of a transformative noncommercial video work:

“Based on the video evidence presented, the Register is able to conclude that diminished quality likely would impair the criticism and comment contained in noncommercial videos. For example, the Register is able to perceive that 'Buffy vs Edward' and other noncommercial videos would suffer significantly because of blurring and the loss of detail in characters’ expression and sense of depth.”

-Recommendation of the Register of Copyrights, October 2012 (Page 133)[1]

Despite this, in late 2012 and early 2013 McIntosh was involved in a protracted dispute with Lionsgate Films, the production studio behind the Twilight film adaptations, over whether or not his vid constituted fair use of their material. In a blog post to his website, McIntosh detailed how Lionsgate initially began serving pop-up ads next to his video on YouTube in order to monetize it, despite McIntosh's wishes that it remain noncommercial. When McIntosh disputed this action, Lionsgate filed additional infringement claims and then filed a DMCA takedown, resulting in a copyright infringement "strike" against his YouTube channel.

McIntosh fought back with the aid of a non-profit legal group called New Media Rights, and three weeks after 'Buffy vs Edward' was removed from YouTube, the website reinstated it and removed the strike against his channel, with no other information provided about the decision.[1]

External Links

Academic Publications

  • Burwell, Catherine. 2013. "The Pedagogical Potential of Video Remix." Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, vol. 57, no. 3, pp. 205-13.
  • Chin, Bertha. 2013. "Locating Anti-Fandom in Extratextual Mash-Ups." M/C Journal, vol. 16, no. 4, p. 6.
  • Leduc, Martin. 2012. "The Two-Source Illusion: How Vidding Practices Changed Jonathan McIntosh's Political Remix Videos." In "Fan/Remix Video," edited by Francesca Coppa and Julie Levin Russo, special issue, Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 9. https://doi.org/10.3983/twc.2012.0379.

References

  1. ^ a b c Lionsgate by Jonathan McIntosh on rebelliouspixels. "Buffy vs Edward Remix Unfairly Removed". Archived from the original on 2013-01-11. Retrieved August 19, 2017.
  2. ^ Quoted here: The Angry!Textual!Poacher! Is Angry! Fan Works as Political Statements.”, Catherine Coker
  3. ^ a b Jonathan McIntosh. "What Would Buffy Do? Notes on Dusting Edward Cullen". Archived from the original on 2022-04-14. Retrieved August 19, 2017.
  4. ^ "Vidding". Archived from the original on 2022-06-08.
  5. ^ Jonathan McIntosh. "FAQ on Buffy vs Edward". Archived from the original on 2017-10-27. Retrieved August 19, 2017.
  6. ^ Doug Walker on Channel Awesome. "Bum Reviews: Twilight". Archived from the original on 2021-11-08. Retrieved August 19, 2017.
  7. ^ "Twilight". Archived from the original on 2022-03-31. Retrieved August 19, 2017.
  8. ^ J. "21 Similarities: Twilight Saga and Buffy The Vampire Slayer". Retrieved August 19, 2017.
  9. ^ "'Twilight' Tuesday: Stephenie Meyer Says She May Revisit 'Twilight' Universe Someday". Archived from the original on 2016-11-13.
  10. ^ Ruby Tuesday. "10 Reasons Why Buffy Kicks Twilight's Ass". Retrieved August 19, 2017.
  11. ^ SIP. "The Buffy vs. Twilight Meme". Retrieved August 19, 2017.
  12. ^ YouTube comment by bufangel, June 20, 2009.
  13. ^ YouTube comment by Alessandra M. Falconer, June 21, 2009.
  14. ^ YouTube comment by versena, June 21, 2009.
  15. ^ YouTube comment by Spectre Dan, February 17, 2015.
  16. ^ YouTube comment by Sarah, March 9, 2014.
  17. ^ YouTube comment by FaeRiviera Productions, July 27, 2009.
  18. ^ YouTube comment by Elliest 55, May 30, 2018.
  19. ^ YouTube comment by illustar, June 29, 2009.