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; 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]

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

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 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. 3.0 3.1 Jonathan McIntosh. "What Would Buffy Do? Notes on Dusting Edward Cullen". Retrieved August 19, 2017. 
  4. "Vidding". 
  5. Jonathan McIntosh. "FAQ on Buffy vs Edward". Retrieved August 19, 2017. 
  6. Doug Walker on Channel Awesome. "Bum Reviews: Twilight". Retrieved August 19, 2017. 
  7. "Twilight". 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". 
  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.