Escapade/Escapade 2001

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Escapade 2001

Escapade 2001 was held February 16-18, 2001.

cover of the 2001 program book
From the program book:
[Introduction]: We have returned to our roots in the heady resort atmosphere of the Santa Barbara Holiday Inn (Goleta); some of you will breath a sigh of nostalgic joy at its familiar family feel, while others may be experiencing our home town ambiance for the first time. Either way, prepare to enjoy yourselves. Prepare to enjoy the kind of spirited and heated debate that can thrive only in a truly secure community of friends. Prepare to enjoy the tiny surprises, the friends old and new, and the extra space as we spill over into our neighboring hotel, the South Coast Inn. If ESCAPADE is new to you, you may find it unique; the special features that define ESCAPADE can sometimes be disconcerting. Please feel free to check in with any convention committee member if you have a concern or opinion.... We thank you all for your support of a convention that now spans 11 years. It has been fun, educational, and oft-times wickedly sexy, and even today we recall the brush with the stripper-mafia with fondness and pride. Without you there would be none of those special memories. Without your support as panel leaders and volunteers there would be no ESCAPADE. Thank you.
[Charity: You Have a Choice]: This year there are three charities to choose from. One helps women find jobs. One helps women you know as they ride in the California AIDS Ride (ultimately this supporting people with HIV & AIDS). One supports a documentary film about fat women and how they're cooler, more worthy, tougher and more athletic than society would like to believe. See the back cover of your program book for information on the new charity choices, and consider which charity you want to support.
[Scholarship]: Thanks so much to all who participated, and a special thanks to those who gave above and beyond the call. Because of your generous contributions and support, we were able to fully fund Te and [Dorinda H], who will be attending ESCAPADE for the first time. We thank the following donors for their contributions: Futures Without End and [seven fan names redacted] and [one fan name redacted] for her assistance with travel arrangements. Your generosity is the very spirit of fandom.

Programming

Program Book (PDF)

Friday:

  • Fanfiction as a spiritual path, or, How hot sweaty slash changed my life by Devo, elynross, Thea (There are some (many?) fans for whom slash opened doors, widened worlds, and offered a new perspective on life itself. Are you one of them?)
  • Writing Workshop 1 by Kat Allison, Mairead/Aristide (Melissa) (A hands-on, participatory workshop that will give you a chance to play around and experiment with an actual piece of your own writing. We'll be doing a number of brief exercises in rewriting and revising, and discussing the results.)
  • Gayboy tells all by Mark (Uh... gay boy. Tells all. Enough said. Meet Mark, who is happy to answer all your prurient questions about, well, you know.)
  • Website Workshop 1 (alternate programming) by Naomi aka the lady of shalott (Will cover setting up a basic website to host your fanfic (no knowledge of HTML needed to begin with).)
  • Writing Workshop 2 by Kat Allison, Mairead/Aristide (Melissa)
  • Pushing It to the Limit: H/C, bondage, SM, death by Megan Kent, Jennifer Holland, Katharine Scarritt (Given that slash is beyond the limit of most fans' comfort, what is acceptable in slash? What role should canon play? What are the writer's motives?)
  • TiVo Users Group (TUG) Meeting (alternate programming) by Rachael Sabotini (Come and talk about our newest toy!)
  • Critical feedback: the author's best friend by JiM, Katharine Scarritt (When someone loves your writing enough to tell you what they thought, you've done something right. When someone loves it enough to tell you details of what they thought, down to the spell check and style, the use of words, then you've done something really right.)
  • Real Person Slash by Meg Bruck, Dara S (Libel? Slander? Just good clean fun? What's the appeal of Real Person slash? And who's getting RPS'd today?)
  • Eroica Fans Gathering (alternate programming) by Thea
  • X-Files: Who Does Chris Carter Think This Krycek Person Is, Anyhow? by Agnes Tomorrow, Laurie Fenster (This is a time when we look at the show and think, "Wait. Chris Carter doesn't understand the concept of 'canon'," What's up, Chris? Even ignoring the (obvious) slash elements, you're wasting a valuable character here.)
  • State of Fandom Address by Sandy K. Hereld, Maygra de Rhema (Like the State of the Union, only more interesting.)
  • Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan: Still As Bright? (alternate programming) by Eliz-mar Von (A look at the SW:TPM slash fandom nearly two years later.)
  • Rape Fic by Kady Mae, Maygra de Rhema, Carol (...for those who love it.)
  • West Wing: can a non-slash show survive in slash fandom? by Sue Love, Stacy Doyle, Merry Lynne (What is it about this show that has captured the attention and interest of slash fen? Is there an interest in the portrayal of the politics of government or is it totally character driven, how it is that it is holding the interest of slash fen, yet is arguably not slash show - or is it? If it is, then who are the viable pairings?)
  • I'm Taking My Ball and Starting a New List: or, The Balkanization of Fandom by Kat Allison, Carol, Merry Lynne (Why the proliferation of ever more numerous, smaller, more specialized, often private mailing lists in slash fandom? What effect does it have on the fannish community and on the quality of on-line discussion?)
  • QAF: Brit vs. US by Barbara Johnson, Kat Cole (Has America diluted yet another really good British show? Also, what is the nature of slash in a show where the characters are defined as gay?)
  • Yaoi vs. Slash (alternate programming) by Thea (Bedmates or Sparring Partners?)
  • Friday Night Vid Show by Katharine Scarritt (The new classics, vids you may have seen before sometime in the last year.)
  • Bedtime Story Reading by Devo (Join Devo for our traditional bedtime story reading. Bring your teddy bear, your jammies, your vibrator... on second thought, just bring a cup of coffee or a drink and kick back for the fun.)
  • Escapade Party (Free margaritas. [Megan] getting tipsy. The probability of you getting so tipsy you don't notice [Megan] doing it.)

Saturday:

  • BDSM; What It Is, What It Isn't, and Knowing The Difference by Eliz-mar Von, Ruth Gifford, Layna (An overview of what the letters BDSM mean and discussion of safety and consent issues (we can't be the only ones tired of seeing BDSM in a header and then discovering that the writer meant non-con rape and or torture). We'll have a few "toys" on display and would love to spend some time in a Q&A discussion. All three of the leaders "play" in real life and come from varying backgrounds in the BDSM world.)
  • DS: Fraser/Kowalski: Soulmates, or a dysfunctional relationship in the making? by Kat Allison, LaT, Zen&nancy
  • Vidding Workshop (2 hours) by Carol, Lynn Cherny (This workshop will cover: a comparison between digital and analog vidding; a how-to for analog vidding; a how-to for digital vidding; and a discussion of the artistic side of vidding, including song and clip choices, and techniques to avoid.)
  • Characterization: What it is and why it matters by Meg Wittenmyer/Black, Sandy Justine, JiM (If you're going to watch a show, then you're going to write a story, isn't it a good idea to write about the guys you just watched in the show? Justifying what you write based on characterization is part of the fun!)
  • Hard Core Logo: all the good things you took to your grave..." by Zen&nancy, Mairead/Aristide (Melissa)
  • Discrimination in the slash community by Meg Bruck, Naomi aka the lady of shalott (Old-timers vs. new-timers, print vs. net, producers vs. consumers, critics vs. happy-happy joy-joy. Most people have found a group with whom to identify—and many of them have found a reason to dislike another group. Fandom has grown strong enough to afford infighting and discrimination... but why?)
  • SG-1: in search of good writing in SG-1 by Sandy K. Hereld, Kathy Martin, Margie Gillis (Star Trek: Voyager - The Last Season (alternate programming). How it will affect quality of the fandom and the quantity of fiction produced.)
  • Fannish Ethics: Who sets the standards of our community? by Megan Kent, Katharine Scarritt (Manners vs. rules (etiquette); the standard is constantly shifting, but some things stay the same.)
  • Legal issues surrounding fanfic by Morgan Dawn, Cynthia Hoffman (An attorney's pov about what we do, in light of corporate admissions that slash exists and that.producers aren't doing much about it anymore. Still, who has what rights?)
  • Angel: Bachelor Number Three...? (alternate programming) by Havisham (Who is Angel's Perfect Match?)
  • Writing, Reading, and Feedback: Presents, Potlatch, or Economic Exchange? by eiynross, Sue Love, Rachael Sabotini, Megan Kent ( Discussion of the nature of the relationship between readers and writers.)
  • TS: Why Can't They Do Blair Right? by JenCat004, Sandy Justine
  • Impact of Computer Tools on Vidding by Lynn Cherny, Killashandra, Melina Clark (Vidding used to be push-and-pause between 2 vers, and a LOT of patience. Now with I-movie and Final Cut and Macintosh G4's, the technological leap is here and it isn't going anywhere. Are vids better for the technology available to them?)
  • Top 10 Elements of a Terrible Sex Scene by Mairead/Aristide (Melissa) (For example, one element might be "Use goofy euphemisms for sex acts or organs." (I'll never forget reading a story that summed up the sex act by saying, "He lanced her pure white lily." Honest; I'm not making that up.) We've all read really bad sex scenes, and this could be funny if people get into the spirit of it. It could also be educational to examine what people think makes a sex scene fail.)
  • HL: Why is Duncan "too important to lose"? by Devo, Melina Clark, Viv Nichols, Ashlyn Donnchaid (As seen from Memos', Joe's, Connor's, and the fan perspective.)
  • Magnificent 7: True pairings and permutations (alternate programming)
 by Lynn Cherny (Who are the "right" couples, and what other combinations are remotely possible? Video excerpts for newcomers.)
  • I Spy 101: a slashy introduction to the wonderfulness of I Spy by Kay, Jill, Dorinda (The 1960s spy buddy show I Spy isn't rerun much these days, so not many people know just how wonderfully slashy it is. This panel wants to take care of that problem (and just in time for the DVD releases scheduled for early 2001)! We'll provide an introduction to the show and the two central characters, illustrating the panel with plenty of video clips. Partnership! Banter! Hurt and comfort, both physical and emotional! Two gorgeous men in tight pants, taking off their shirts for the good of Uncle Sam! A hidden slash treasure awaits the curious.)
  • Agony & Ecstasy: Sex & Violence in fandom by Maygra de Rhema, Meg Bruck (Can we admit there's healthy appeal to sex and violence—and violent sex—or is there something dark and deep that we're working out?)
  • Slash as Resistance by Jennifer Stoy, Lisa Weston, Devo (An academic look at some of the reasons why we write slash.)
  • Slashing underage characters by Alegna & Company, Russet McMillan, Sheila (A panel devoted to the discussion of underage slash. What constitutes "underage", what constitutes maturity, fie authors' portrayals of such characters (accurate or not), problems certain fandoms might have with these definitions {especially vampire/immortal fandoms), and such.)
  • Website Workshop 2 by Naomi aka the lady of shalott (Setting up and maintaining a fanfic archive, and in particular how to set up the Automated Archive software used by 852 Prospect and the Due South archives.)
  • Rhiannon Shaw's Line War by Devo (Come discuss Rhiannon Shaw's Line War story cycle. Set in the Highlander universe, this story has it all -- Slash, het, poly, vampires and slave girls, crossover madness, ofc's and omc's up the wazoo, and somehow manages to hold it all together with an underlying question - how do immortals respond to the basic survival imperative of their kind? by going one against all others, or bonding to create true family?)
  • Saturday Night Vid Show hosted by Katharine Scarritt

Sunday:

  • Art Auction emceed by Shoshanna
  • Homoeroticism WOW! by Jennifer Stoy, Zoe Elena (Or What Happens when the Suits start playing Slashy. The integration of homosocial and homosexual behavior in mainstream television.)
  • Songvid Appreciation (2 hours) by Sandy K. Hereld, Rachael Sabotini (Comments and feedback on vids you saw last night, Escapade style.)
  • Outing Slash by Dara S (Can we stay in the closet forever? Should we even try? OR Moving into the Mainstream: Does slash have a place in the public eye?)
  • OZ: Bunnies From Hell by Christy Fish, Merry Lynne, Jo Schlekewy (This world is filled with graphic violence, suffering, pain, sociopaths, psychopaths, and just generally not nice guys. So why are there so many fans out there writing fluffy stories? Is the draw just the naked men?)
  • Fanfic pet peeves by Russet McMillan, JiM (What makes us nuts and why we can/can't change it. JiM and Russet certainly have their pet peeves; come and share yours, and see if there's anything to be done about it.)
  • Professionals: Heroes or Hard Guys? by Sue Love, Dana Jeanne Norris (Do Bodie and Doyle really want to make England smelling of roses and lavender OR are they bad boys who like playing with guns and fast cars. How do the eps support either view point? How are they portrayed in fanfic?)
  • Harry Potter by Russet McMillan, Naomi aka the lady of shalott
  • Escapade Brainstorm by Megan Kent, everyone who participates (What is says: a brainstorming session. ESCAPADE has continued on for 11 years now, and maybe it's time to take stock of what the convention offers, what attendees want, what things should change and what should stay the same. We hate to think we're in a rut, even if it's a good rut!)
  • Dead Dog Party (Bring your leftover food and drinks and share in everyone else's leftover stories and anecdotes. This is a great time to share last-minute convention stories, make those final efforts to convert more fans to your cause, and generally avoid ai that the convention is nearly over. Tacos and/or burgers provided by concom.)

Vid Show Playlist

From the Friday Show
SongVidder(s)Fandom
What Do I Have To DoCarol SXF
One Step UpJ Bennet & Morgan DawnSH
I'll Take Care of YouCarol S & Jackie KAngel
Everything You wantCarol S & Jackie KDAngel
Call and AnswerLynn CMag7
Scotland the BraveCarol SHL
I Burn For YouCarol SEnglish Patient
Windmills of Your MindGayle F. & Morgan DawnLFN
Play Me BackwardsGayle F. & Morgan DawnWG
Come To My WindowGayle F.VR5
Everybody Wants YouGayle F.WG
#1 CrushGayle F.LFN
And As For YouBasement AnnexHL
From the Saturday Show
When You Say Nothing At AllCarol S & Jackie KBuffy
Your Horoscope for TodayCarol S & Jackie KBuffy-Angel
In Your EyesLynn CSG
TestifyMorgan Dawn & J BennettSH
Feels Like the First TimeStacy DHarry/Johnny
For the First TimeStacy DWest Wing
When I'm UpJill, Lynn & KayOAT
She's Moved OnJill, Lynn & KayBuffy
Divorce SongCarol S & Kat AllisonHCL
ShackledCarol S & Kat AllisonHCL
Stand By Your ManKatharineBuffy
OpportunitiesBasement AnnexHL
In Your EyesBasement AnnexHL
I Need YouCentral ConsortiumOz
Brass In PocketCentral ConsortiumAT-BG
The Boy is MineCentral ConsortiumSG
Should I Stay or Should I GoChris MBuffy
Help Me MaryCarol SXF
Shown, but not included on the con tape
The Shoop Shoop SongMelinaHL
You've Got a Friend in MeMelinaHL
I WantKillaHL
Dante's PrayerKillaST:TOS
Tears in HeavenKillaHL
You ight ThinkMelinaHL
Sand & WaterMelinaHL
SteamKillaHL
Prince Charming ComesKillaHL
Wicked GameKillaHL
Alasdair Mhic Colla GhasdaKillaHL
Busted2 True ProductionsHCL
Vasoline2 True ProductionsHCL
KryptoniteGwynethN&A
Half the World GwynethN&A
LoveJo & ChristyOz
Showdown at Big SkyJoM&
Personal JesusMedia CannibalsTS
Let Me InJill, Lynn & SandyRoswell

Vid Show Reviews

General comments about the vid show: in 2001, Shoshanna posted the following commentary about the Escapade vid show to the Vidder mailing list.

(Ten years later, upon re-reading her comments, seen below, Shoshanna stated that the reactions to the Escapade vid show that year became part of the motivations behind the creation of Vividcon. (See the prehistory (and current events) of VividCon!, dated March 29, 2011).)

"Escapade is not only a great slash con, it's also a great vid con. Every year I look forward to one of the best-organized vid shows I've ever been to, often with some of the best vids I've ever seen, and virtually always with lots of the vidders there to talk with and listen to. This year was no exception. Herewith some comments on the vid show. (Comments on the vids follow [in the next message]; it was a very long post.)

Last year there were some problems with people talking and walking around during the vids. Considering that the Escapade vid show pauses for thirty seconds after every vid to allow people to write down comments if they wish, I maintain that unless someone's actually bolting for the door with both hands clamped over her mouth, there's nothing that can't wait three and a half minutes until the vid is over. This year Gywn, who is tall and imposing-looking, reminded people before each show that vidders and their work deserve the same respect that an author would who was doing a reading (I think they deserve more, since an author who noticed a disturbance in the Force -- sorry, in the audience -- could pause or repeat the line people had missed, but a vid show can't), and things were much better. A couple of people clambered into their toward-the-front seats during a vid, and I did hear some talking, but nothing near as intrusive as there was last year.

There's been some talk, both last year and this, that the Escapade vid show is "too het." I could not disagree more. As I said above, one of the attractions of the con for me is the great vid show, and I don't discriminate among slash, gen, and het vids, the way I do in fiction (I'm much less interested in reading het and gen fiction than in slash fiction). I'm just there to see *vids*. Both vidders and non-vidder viewers, in various groupings, have been talking since the con (and probably since before it) about whether a significant number of people (whatever that means) dislike seeing het vids in the show and, if so, whether anything should "be done" about it. My sense is (certainly my hope is) that nobody on the con com is going to ban or even officially discourage "het vids" (how could they even be defined? Is "I Want," discussed below, het or slash? What about "She's Moved On"? Why should a vid that is essentially a character study be labeled either slash or het?), any more than they (we; I run the art show, but I have no special input into vid policy) would try to ban panel topics that didn't deal directly with slash, of which there were plenty this year, as always. As far as I'm concerned, a character study is a study of a character, and if slash doesn't have characters, why bother with it? As for the occasional vid focusing tightly on a male/female relationship, hey, if someone doesn't like it, they can ignore it, just as they ignore a vid for a show they hate or using music they hate or whatever. It's only three and a half minutes long, after all. There were some proposals at the end-of-con brainstorming session to create, essentially, a "het ghetto," by showing all "het vids" at the end of the show, or at another time, or something. I hate that idea, and so do all the vidders I heard talk about it. I know that vidders know that the Escapade audience is particularly interested in slash topics; I'm confident that they bring or send the slash vids they have, and I'm glad to have the opportunity to see others as well.

Friday's show was older vids, and Saturday's was reserved for vids premiering at the con. There were thirty-four or thirty-five vids shown on Saturday (I think one that was on the list may have been cut at the last minute, but I can't remember), and the show, with intermission, lasted about three hours. The lights were kept low but on, so that they didn't have to be brought up after each vid and then lowered again, and I appreciated that. Some people seem to have found the room hot, but I was very comfy; I'm often cold, and tend to like warmth when I can get it. Three hours was a long time to sit, but come on, I've sat way longer than that watching fannish TV at times. It helped that the person sitting in front of me moved to another seat after the intermission, and me and the person next to me were able to put our feet up.

One underappreciated aspect of vid shows is the way in which the vids are arranged. Like stories in an anthology, vids in a show benefit from being well ordered. For vids, that means in a way that prevents jarring transitions between widely differing genres (comedy and tragedy, for instance), that doesn't allow the same few clips to be repeated over and over in successive vids, that doesn't clump too many vids of one fandom together, and doubtless does some other things that I don't even know about. Katharine (together with others?) did a terrific job. Bearing in mind technical limitations (tapes can't be cued back and forth during the show), the vid show was as well ordered as -- as -- as a really good Oblique Press anthology zine, and from me that's high praise, okay?
Commentary about the vids themselves: in 2001, Shoshanna posted the following commentary about the vids shown at Escapade to the Vidder mailing list. It is reposted here with permission:

Here follow comments on some vids. I suck at remembering details sometimes, so I'm only commenting on ones I, well, remember well enough to comment on. My not mentioning a vid doesn't mean anything about whether I liked it or not, only about whether that particular brain cell has caught up on sleep yet. (There were some vids I didn't like. At first I thought maybe I should preface my comments with "this is just my own opinion," but now I've decided that if anyone actually thinks I speak for all of fandom, or indeed for anyone except myself, I should take advantage of it. So anyone who thinks I do, please assume that this message ends with the words "Also, please send me twenty bucks and copies of the episodes I'm missing of 'The Trials of Rosie O'Neill'" and act accordingly.)

  • Melina - You've Got a Friend in Me (Randy Newman) -Highlander. This was the rare thing: a vid that lost my interest and then was able to get it back. I find the song dull; it says the same thing a bunch of times and isn't musically interesting to me either. After about three lines I figured that the vid wasn't going to do anything more interesting than the song was: Duncan and Fitz are friends, yeah yeah I got it already, let's move on! And I was wrong. By the middle of the next verse or so I was caught up again. Melina caught humor and wryness and, well, friendship that was only suggested by the song and highlighted it; she showed me more through her editing than the song could alone, or than the episodes (I've seen Fitz but didn't much care for him) did. And isn't that what vids are all about? The vid review panel on Sunday talked about the way that audiences (do or don't) put their trust in the vidder, and how the vidder can keep, lose, or gain it; on the basis of the first few seconds of this vid I didn't trust Melina, and I was wrong. I liked this vid.
  • Killa - I Want (Dayna Manning) - Highlander. A wonderful, poignant, and sympathetic look at Amanda looking at Duncan. I call this a stealth slash vid; it refers to Duncan/Methos, but only at the end, and the center of the emotion is Amanda. This is a view of Amanda we don't often get, as a woman both strong and wise, and I appreciated it. Also, the vid is edited very well; I think that as computer vidding gets more and more common (Killa vids on computer), our standards for tight edits and well-timed cuts will rise. Good choices of clips (though it's a shame that the "mansion" line had to come from the AU episode rather than canon timeline, if you know what I mean; it aired, but it's not exactly "canon").
  • Killa - Dante's Prayer (Lorena McKennitt) - Star Trek:TOS. This was a showstopper. Not literally, but the audience (and, presumably, the vid-show runners) loved it so much that it was re-run at the end of the Friday night show. It's a brilliantly put together K/S vid: hauntingly beautiful music, a visual style that matches it exactly (there isn't a single sharp-edged cut in the vid; they're *all* fades), and the pacing is brilliant. The end, in which the music trails away, and the singer's voice trails away, and the figures in the image stop moving, and everything just holds in a moment of trembling desperation . . . I saw it three times in three days, and even on the third viewing I couldn't breathe at that moment. Brilliant use of the effects that computer vidding allows: the days of cheesy dancing frames because-we-can seem to be gone, and Killa used overlays and fades that allowed her to create a mood and suggest memories. (I meant to ask her how/why she chose the specific images she did to overlay on the ending. Killa, are you here? I'm still curious.)
  • Killa - Tears in Heaven (Eric Clapton) - Highlander. A letdown after the previous -- but it's a hard act to follow, after all. But I find the song boring, and unlike Melina with "You've Got a Friend in Me," Killa didn't redeem it with the vid. Competently made, but I felt that the vid stopped saying things well before it stopped playing.
  • Gwyneth Rhys - Heart in Hand (Vertical Horizon) - X-Files. A depiction of Mulder's and Scully's relationship that accords both of them their strengths and weaknesses, and shows how they're stronger together than they are alone. I don't remember specific clips or bits, but I do remember thinking it was very good.
  • Gayle F and Morgan Dawn - Windmills of Your Mind (Sting) - La Femme Nikita. Just terrific. The vidders used both clips in which the camera spins and ones in which the figures spin and turn within the frame to create a dizzying (but not disorienting) effect that perfectly matched the lyrics and melody. I hadn't heard this version of the song before; it's slightly irregular, so that I felt that the ground wasn't quite secure beneath my metaphorical feet. And how appropriate that is for a Nikita vid, a universe in which nothing is ever secure, nothing is ever safe! The vid's choice of music and images literalized Michael's sense that Nikita has spun out and away from him, that he never knew her at all. I can't wait to get a copy of this vid.
  • Gayle and Morgan Dawn - Play Me Backwards (Joan Baez) - Wiseguy. I remember that I liked it, but that's all I remember.
  • Gayle - Come to My Window (Melissa Etheridge) - VR5. I've never seen VR5 -- oh, wait, I did watch the first couple of episodes, but as you can tell they made no impression whatsoever. This vid meant nothing to me; it was just eye candy. Pretty pictures, oo! I couldn't follow a story or theme. Perhaps it was aimed at VR5 fans and relied greatly on context, or perhaps my brain was just not funtioning at speed -- I know I can sometimes understand recruiter vids for shows I don't know; I was totally hooked on Once a Thief on the basis of nothing more than Jill, Lynn, and Kay's "When I'm Up"! I did not have any sense that this was a badly made vid -- it didn't feel sloppy or careless or anything. I just didn't get it.
  • Basement Annex - And As For You (Oysterband) - Highlander. A reconsideration of Comes a Horseman/Revelations from Kronos's viewpoint. Cool. The music is harsh and angry, and the editing matches it. I like this vid. It helps that the song grabs me from the first line.
  • Carol S. - Scotland the Brave (The Flash Girls) - Highlander. Very funny, very silly. Competently made, I think, but people will love something like this even if it's not; I was laughing too hard to really notice vidding technique or lack thereof.
  • Carol S. & Jackie K. - Your Horoscope for Today (Weird Al Yankovic) - Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel. Also extremely funny, but unlike "Scotland the Brave" (which was the finale of the Friday night show, except for the reprise of "Dante's Prayer"), this was considerably more than a one-joke vid. The song is very fast and the editing matches it, with some extremely well-chosen clips. ("Kill them." Yow.)
  • Lynn - In Your Eyes (OysterBand) - Stargate SG1. I didn't understand this vid. People whose itelligence and taste I respect adore it (and presumably Lynn, whose intelligence, taste, and other vids I also respect, thinks it isn't bad either), but I just couldn't figure out what it was saying. Maybe I haven't seen enough Stargate? I look forward to watching it with someone who can educate me, because clearly I'm missing something. As with "Come To My Window," I had absolutely no sense that this was a *bad* vid, in fact it seemed like it was probably a pretty good vid, but it's like listening to someone singing in a language I don't know; I can tell she's singing well, but I have no clue what she's saying.
  • Morgan Dawn & Justine Bennett - Testify (Melissa Etheridge) - Starsky & Hutch. This vid confused me a little; it started out by placing Starsky and Hutch in the social context we tend to forget they were in, amongst all that polyester and wide ties: social change and racial prejudice and violence. (Not that those aren't still around, damn it.) I was fascinated by this, and by the vidders' intercutting of documentary, non-S&H footage. But that footage dropped out, and although that in itself wouldn't necessarily have meant a loss or change of focus, the vid's attention seemed to shift to Starsky and Hutch themselves, as a couple (sexual/romantic or otherwise). It occurs to me now, reading this and remembering what I wrote about "het" and "slash" vids, above, that perhaps this was a slash vid that would have been better if it hadn't tried to focus on the slash relationship? I don't know. I'd like to watch it again and see whether the focus did shift or drift, or whether I just didn't follow it through a perfectly reasonable narrowing or instantiation: here's the social situation, here's the guys and how they deal with it.
  • Melina - Sand & Water (Beth Neilsen Chapman) - Highlander. I really liked this vid. Excellent use of sweeping panoramic shots that can so easily have no character or emotional import at all; afterward I compared her use of Scottish scenery, aerial shots of castles, etc., with the use of shots of the Bab5 station in space in Waldo's vid "The World We Live In." In the B5 vid, I found that those shots yanked me right out of the human (well, sentient) context, out of any emotion I'd built up; here, because of the relationship Duncan has with the land of his birth (also shown in the clips Melina used, as well as something I knew about going into the vid) and because the shots *are* sweeping rather than having almost no motion within the frame, they carry an emotional impact.
  • Stacey D - For the First Time (Kenny Loggins) - West Wing. I didn't like this. I'm marginally willing to believe a Josh/Sam pairing, but absolutely unwilling to believe Jed/Leo while Jed's in office -- and in any case, both relationships need a hell of a lot of motivation and backstory before I'll come close to buying them. The vid didn't give me any; it showed the two pairs of men together, and I felt as though I was expected to agree that they were already lovers, rather than being shown the emotion or connection that could begin to convince me they're lovers, or even would ever want to be. And I'm not willing to *dis*believe Jed/Abby; she's so emotionally important that she'd be a big part of any Jed/Leo relationship even if the J/L story were set after her death.
  • Gwyneth - Kryptonite (3 Doors Down) - Now & Again.
  • Gwyneth - Half the World (Belinda Carlisle) - Now & Again. I know the premise of this show, but never watched it. These vids made me wish I had. Maybe when I have more time . . . (if my boss knew I was writing these comments up instead of doing the work I'm way behind on -- yikes.)
  • Jill, Lynn, & Kay - When I'm Up (OysterBand) - Once a Thief. I'd been shown this vid by the vidders some months before, and instantly went out and got tapes for the complete show. Probably the best recruiter vid I've ever seen; certainly the best one I can remember right now! Tight cuts that complement the fast pace of the song, enough literalism to be funny but not enough to drag the vid down to a ploddingly literal or awkwardly self-parodic level (e.g. "get my feet back on the ground" as feet dangle helplessly above the floor -- okay, in context it's an *electrified* floor and they don't *want* to touch it, but it still works). Some really nice juxtaposition of clips: the sequence where the sledding down the hill cut to the clinging to the roof of a swerving car cut to something else I can't recall maintained the sense of careening motion through changes of scene and vehicle. And okay, so it's not hard to find clips of Mac and Vic way deep in each other's personal space, but they were used really well.
  • Jill, Lynn, & Kay - She's Moved On (OysterBand) - Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Okay, it's not like this is a hard sell to me in the first place; I love the show, I love Willow, Tara, and Oz, and I love Willow's relationship with each of the others. But I honestly don't think I'm being blinded by my fandom when I say this was a great vid. It reflected the pain in Oz's heart on realizing that it's not a matter of being left for someone else, or of one relationship being right and the other wrong; they were both right, and one is over. I think I heard someone complain that the POV was unclear because the vid used shots for which Oz wasn't present and which he couldn't know about, but I agree with what someone (Sandy?) said at the vid review, that that was a very good thing; Willow has moved on, past Oz and away from him, and we have too, as viewers, following Willow. In watching the vid I just figured that those scenes of private time between Willow and Tara represented what Oz was thinking of, imagining, maybe had heard about.
  • Laura Shapiro - Tell Me (Billie Myers) - Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Loved this one too, and was glad to see it in better quality than the bitty little frame on my monitor with compression glitches. Merryish said, "The premise - that Buffy and Faith were trying to "be" each other - was fairly obvious from the show itself, and so this one didn't really say anything to me that the show didn't." I thought it did, by emphasizing Faith's rage and pain; it didn't reveal anything surprising, but it offered a window into something we don't often see so well. Like "She's Moved On," this was an *excellent* choice of song. I don't remember much specific about the vid's technical quality, but I do remember thinking it was pretty well made. I also thought that trying to show this to anyone who wasn't a Buffy fan and didn't know that the characters switched bodies would be hopeless, because they wouldn't be able to follow the vid, but I might be wrong about that. And there's nothing wrong with a vid's only being suitable for knowledgable fans, even if I'm right.
  • Jo & Christy - Love (Jack Jones) - Oz. God, I laughed my ass off. One of the comment forms for this vid said, "You are my idol, you sick twisted fuck," and I only wish I had written that. Fan fiction writers have always carried on conversations though their fiction, offering views of characters and situations and refuting or commenting on other people's; this vid was a response to the feeling expressed by a couple of people last year that vids that might upset or offend someone should come with warnings. (This year, someone announced at the beginning of each evening that "some of these vids may contain things you'd rather not see." That's all the warning I feel is appropriate at the Escapade vid show, myself.) This vid pairs cloying saccharine goop -- the *Love Boat Theme*! the LOVE BOAT THEME! -- with Oz footage, which is of course brutal and bloody, and does it with wit and elan. Merryish mentioned the fact that "the inmates [were] throwing stuff over the railing at the same moment that, in The Love Boat, the folks on the boat would be throwing confetti over the railing of the ship," and I'm glad she did, because I would never have caught that parallel; but I did see a wonderful visual pun against the line about "an open smile." Like I said about "When I'm Up": just literal enough to be funny!
  • Basement Annex - Opportunities (Pet Shop Boys) - Highlander. "Meanwhile, in an alternate universe, our heroes turn to a life of crime." The ability to easily make subtitles when doing vids on computers may encourage vidders to do more constructed-reality vids like this, since they won't have to get the basic point across with the footage and editing alone (as, for instance, does a vid whose title and vidder I can't remember, that postulates that Doyle died, I think, or rejected Bodie, and Bodie went back to merc work; the vid uses footage from the various military movies Lewis Collins made). Will it be a good thing that vidders can rely on titles, or will it make them less likely to put the work in to make the vid itself bear the weight? This vid could probably have borne the weight without the titles. Clever and funny.
  • Basement Annex - In Your Eyes (OysterBand) - Highlander. I didn't understand this vid, but I liked it. Which is very unusual for me; I'm a pretty literal and intellectual thinker sometimes, and if I have no idea what something means, I rarely enjoy it. Doesn't mean I *dis*like it (I certainly didn't dislike the Stargate vid that used this song), but I just don't get it. For some reason, I liked this vid without knowing why or what it was saying. Then at the vid review, elynross said (like it was something everyone knew, and maybe it was, except for me) that Methos looks into Duncan's eyes in the first clip and sees there everything that will happen to them both, all the pain and rage and betrayal and trust and friendship and everything, and accepts it. (I'm expanding on what she said.) *Oh!*, I thought. Is that it? Now I want to see it again and see if that makes sense to me. On reflection, however, I agree with the people at the vid review panel who said that the ultrafast cuts in the bridge are too much; they exhaust the viewer.
  • Central Consortium - I Need You (Back Street Boys) - Oz. I deeply disliked this vid. A sweet romantic song -- for OZ? It was so wrong. (A comment form I saw said, more or less, "Gee, I must have missed the fluffy-bunny story arc.") Where "Love" was wickedly (not to say twistedly) parodic, this seemed to expect me to take it at face value, and there's just no way.
  • Central Consortium - Brass in Pocket (The Pretenders) - A-Team, Battlestar Galactica. Watching the vid, I had absolutely no idea why these two shows were paired. Afterward, someone explained that the same actor appeared in both of them. That wasn't enough to save the vid. The clips seemed incoherently put together, and I took away no larger story, no theme, no emotion, no point.
  • Central Consortium - The Boy Is Mine (Brandy & Monica) - Stargate. This vid told a coherent story, and the technique wasn't bad, but like "I Need You" and "For the First Time" it didn't make sense to me. You want me to believe what? You must be kidding.
  • Jo - Showdown at Big Sky (Robbie Robertson) - Magnificent 7. This made little impression on me at the show; I was distracted by having no idea who the characters were and not being able to follow the vid. Like several others I've mentioned, it left me feeling that it was probably pretty good, but I just couldn't tell. Then I saw the opening sequence at the vid review. And the opening sequence is fucking amazing. Brilliant use of tight close-ups intercut with long shots, an absence of human figures that becomes almost chilling as the music mounts (because we are seeing, in those tight close-ups, bits of people: disembodied hands on rifle stocks, a rider's thigh; the fragmentation of the body combined with the overt violence of the weaponry conveys a sense of threat), and then, just as the introductory music crests, so do the people, in a shot that is both a blessed relief for actually having *people* in it and that makes the threat of violence, of something uncontrollable mounting, overt rather than covert. I want to watch all of M7 and really be able to appreciate this vid! This just goes to show that some vids (or some vid watchers) benefit from a large audience and no chance to rewatch, and some don't.
  • Killa - Steam (Peter Gabriel) - Highlander. Another one that people I respect loved and I just didn't get. It didn't help that I dislike the song, so on top of not following the vid I wanted the music to be over. I want one of my friends who did like the vid to take me through it and help me with it.
  • Killa - Prince Charming Comes (The Flash Girls) - Highlander. I loved this vid, but I keep wondering if other people are interpreting it the way I do. It's Methos's reflections on Duncan -- "Into my hour of darkness my own Prince Charming comes," sure, but it's much, much darker than that really. The figure "on his bony horse called Death" at the end is *Duncan*, not Methos. Duncan is charming, and Methos is tremendously attracted to him, but he knows that Duncan brings with him a threat he doesn't even realize he brings. But I'm pretty sure I heard people talking as though it were Methos who rode in on/as Death. Me, I *really* like the dark tinge this vid gives to their relationship, and the vid is well done.
  • Killa - Alasdair Mhic Colla Ghasda (Capercallie) - Highlander. Liked it, even though (like nearly everyone else, I bet) I don't speak Gaelic and have no idea what the song means. I've already said how odd that is for me. Somehow it carried an emotional weight. And I can't even remember what it was, only that I liked the vid.
  • Chris M- Should I Stay or Should I Go (The Clash) - Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Poor Spike. I want to see this again.
  • Katharine Scarritt - Stand By Your Man (Patsy Cline) - Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And the ending vid of the show: a hilarious send-up of romantic cliches. As I said in the vid review (I think), it had a great beginning, that assured the viewer that her trust would be rewarded; well-timed and well-chosen clips throughout, and laugh-out-loud funny.
Phew. That's quite enough.

Vid Show Agenting Controversy

Note: Originally, copies of Escapade vid shows were mastered, duplicated, and mailed directly to convention attendees on behalf of the concom by staff member Kandy Fong. At one point, she supplied some of these high-quality tapes to Mysti Frank to sell at cons Kandy herself wasn't attending, but after learning that Mysti had inflated the prices and kept the profits, Kandy rescinded any permission for Mysti to copy, distribute, sell, or in any way be associated with Escapade con tapes.

In April 2014, it was discovered that Mysti had been making and selling lower-quality tape copies without the concom's or vidders' knowledge or permission, and also without including any of the vidder credits that Kandy had originally provided. Concom member Charlotte Hill then contacted Mysti and asked her to stop distributing tapes in order to protect the quality and reputation of both the vidders and the vid show.

The original information added to this page offering tapes for sale via Mysti's website is below:

The vid show was released on a songvid VHS tape and sold by Agent With Style. From the description: "The wonderful song vids shown at the Escapade convention in Santa Barbara, CA, each year are collected and presented here for your enjoyment through the auspices of Kandy Fong. Capturing every fandom you could think of -- and many you couldn't! -- these tapes are amazing and not to be missed! Available only in VHS tape."

Convention Reports

Gallery

References