God Says Nothing Back

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Vid
Title: God Says Nothing Back
Creator: Morgan Dawn
Date: 15 August 2006
Format: digital vid
Length: 2:59 mins
Music: God Says Nothing Back by The Wallflowers
Genre: gen. Or maybe slash. Or maybe het. Depends on the beholder, really?[1]
Fandom: Supernatural
Footage: Supernatural season 1, external source[2], including from the movie Stigmata[3]
URL: streaming link at AO3; vid announcement post on DW

Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

God Says Nothing Back is a Supernatural vid that focuses on Sam's journey through the first season of the show. While some fans see it as supporting a slash relationship between Sam and Dean, others maintain it has wider focus on all the important people in Sam's life.

The vidder, Morgan Dawn, says the vid is a character study and is intended to focus "on the spiritual/emotional" journey. She offers more in depth commentary here[4], and somewhat tongue-in-cheek vidder's notes in the vid announcement post.[5]

God Says Nothing Back was one of the first Supernatural vids shown at Vividcon 2006.

Brief Reviews

This is the most heartbreakingly beautiful SPN vid I have seen so far. I have watched it over and over again, struggling with my tears. Sam-focused, but with a good grasp of the other Winchesters as well." [6]

More reviews are archived

here "I mainly want to talk about the lyrical interpretation though, and what it all means to me."
here "There's just so much sorrow in this vid, and the clips used where Sam appears happy or content (this would be in the "God bless the void of my daydreams" part of the song) underscores it".
here "This vid is in Sam's point of view, and it tells the story of how the 4 main people in Sam's life are taken from him or put in danger. When Sam asks God, time, love and death why these things happen he is given no answers. A beautiful vid and understated vid that utilizes outside source to great effect. This is the vid that got me interested in the fandom in the first place, and is a must have in my book.'"
"This is probably the most unique vid I've seen, using some absolutely stunning visual imagery. But it took me a couple of rewatches to appreciation the narrative on Sam's character progression of the season. Watch, read her notes, and then watch several times more. I swear, the more I watch it, the more I love it."[7]
"I adore this video. The song and a lot of the images stayed with me when I saw it the first time, before I'd seen the show, and now that I know what's going on, I can see much more clearly the context and what you're saying. And that song. Wow. I love it. Great use of the big drumbeats, too, especially that first one to kick the vid off."[8]
["God Says Nothing Back" (Supernatural)]: "This is the most heartbreakingly beautiful SPN vid I have seen so far. I have watched it over and over again, struggling with my tears. Sam-focused, but with a good grasp of the other Winchesters as well."[9]
"Damn you crazy vidders. I had stopped spending money on music and then I got into vids - and now I need this song! And it will always make me think of poor woobie Winchesters. ♥, Morgan. This is gorgeous; I have trouble with a lot of Supernatural vids because the source material is so damn dark, and the gray/green light that the producers use to distinguish the show doesn't work as well in vids. The sepiatoning you do here helps warm it up for me, and lets the scenes mesh a little better, though they're still dark, argh. Nice vid, though, my favorite for Supernatural so far."[10]
"Everytime I watch this I see something new that I missed before. The song is perfect,the editing is beautiful!"[11]
"I absolutely love this video. Bits of it replay in my mind since I first saw it. Such a great song choice and the editing to the beats is fantastic."[12]
Four and a half minutes of everything Sam Winchester wishes he didn't know, but does. ...
Your "God Says Nothing Back" may have been the first or second SPN vid I ever saw, and it remains one of my favorites, ever. It sparked an awe and admiration for vidders and vidding that has lasted ever since.[13]

In Depth Reviews

In 2007, Killa posted an in depth review of the vid to her journal. It is reposted here with permission.

I helped to beta this vid, so I'm not entirely objective, although the truth is that she had a really strong vision of what she was doing with it and I didn't have all that much influence on the final piece.

From the start, this vid had a lot of things going for it in my eyes, not least of which that Sam's story and all the things he learns in the first season is a huge part of why I'm watching. I thought this was a great song choice for telling that particular story, and seemed really appropriate for the spiritual elements of the show and the isolation of the main characters. That isolation is also a big fictional turn on for me, so it's not much surprise that I was really interested in this particular narrative. I thought her choices were really solid in terms of who she chose to represent God, Time, Love, and Death, and that her interpretation of the lyrics felt effortless for the most part, as if this song were written for Sam. That's always satisfying.

In terms of making the music work for her, I really like the ghosting effects in this, particularly in the intro, where she's used them to highlight pivotal moments, pivotal people in Sam's life. There's also like a kettle drum sound in this song, and I thought she found some great clips to highlight it, making it feel like a heartbeat that recurrs in the vid, like that funky speeded-up shot where Mary turns away from Sam. It's also a complex, metaphorical narrative, and I thought she did a lovely job of structuring Sam's story to fit that narrative.

Favorite bits:

  • jump cut on Mary running up the steps at the beginning. I complained a bit about what I perceive as the overuse of jump cuts lately, but this one really put my heart in my throat in a way that matched that terrifying moment in the show. I thought this moment, and the second clip of Sam literally knocked off his feet, did a wonderful job of making me feel off balance, which put me in Sam's emotional headspace.
  • the vidder-created clips like the ghosted car around 1:37, the black-and-white effect on John (where only his blood is in color) and the drop of Dean's blood that falls into the water (which looks like it was in the show, but wasn't). I love the dreamlike, contemplative quality these give the whole vid.
  • angel wings! Squee!!! Heh.

In Depth Reviews

In 2007, Killa posted an in depth review of the vid to her journal. It is reposted here with permission.

I helped to beta this vid, so I'm not entirely objective, although the truth is that she had a really strong vision of what she was doing with it and I didn't have all that much influence on the final piece.

From the start, this vid had a lot of things going for it in my eyes, not least of which that Sam's story and all the things he learns in the first season is a huge part of why I'm watching. I thought this was a great song choice for telling that particular story, and seemed really appropriate for the spiritual elements of the show and the isolation of the main characters. That isolation is also a big fictional turn on for me, so it's not much surprise that I was really interested in this particular narrative. I thought her choices were really solid in terms of who she chose to represent God, Time, Love, and Death, and that her interpretation of the lyrics felt effortless for the most part, as if this song were written for Sam. That's always satisfying.

In terms of making the music work for her, I really like the ghosting effects in this, particularly in the intro, where she's used them to highlight pivotal moments, pivotal people in Sam's life. There's also like a kettle drum sound in this song, and I thought she found some great clips to highlight it, making it feel like a heartbeat that recurrs in the vid, like that funky speeded-up shot where Mary turns away from Sam. It's also a complex, metaphorical narrative, and I thought she did a lovely job of structuring Sam's story to fit that narrative.

Favorite bits:

  • jump cut on Mary running up the steps at the beginning. I complained a bit about what I perceive as the overuse of jump cuts lately, but this one really put my heart in my throat in a way that matched that terrifying moment in the show. I thought this moment, and the second clip of Sam literally knocked off his feet, did a wonderful job of making me feel off balance, which put me in Sam's emotional headspace.
  • the vidder-created clips like the ghosted car around 1:37, the black-and-white effect on John (where only his blood is in color) and the drop of Dean's blood that falls into the water (which looks like it was in the show, but wasn't). I love the dreamlike, contemplative quality these give the whole vid.
  • angel wings! Squee!!! Heh.
Four and a half minutes of everything Sam Winchester wishes he didn't know, but does.

There's just so much sorrow in this vid, and the clips used where Sam appears happy or content (this would be in the "God bless the void of my daydreams" part of the song) underscores it. I love the whole void section. For me, it evokes a strong feeling of nostalgia and the awareness that you can't go home again, can't reclaim your innocence or childhood once it's gone. On today's, umm, tenth or eleventh rewatch (look, there was heavy traffic, and I had my laptop with me on the bus), I really noticed how, in many of the clips outside of that section, you see Sam alone, where in the Void section, he's connecting.

Though Sam's the one who is able to pass for normal, who can on some level blend in in a regular life, it's something he managed by keeping himself apart, by keeping secrets, and by breaking off contact with his old life. His protective isolation is different than Dean's. He knows as well as any Winchester that there's evil out there, but after the pilot, he knows there's something different about him, and he's afraid that everything and everyone he loves will die because of him. Which sounds a lot like something I'd say about Dean, but the difference is that Dean's fear is that he'll fail to save or be enough to save his loved ones, where Sam fears he's (with the aid of external forces beyond his control) going to be the cause of it.

One of the many things I like about this vid is the way it uses the monsters and victims of the week as mirrors. Dead families, Andrea watching, unable to stop it as the ghosts of her family's past are dragging her future (in the form of her son) under.

I love it. I love that I can watch this vid and *feel* Sam. It's the kind of vid where you feel after watching it like the character's motivations have been presented to you on a silver platter to devour and get. I wish words could do it justice.[14] in 2008

minim-calibre in 2008:

Four and a half minutes of everything Sam Winchester wishes he didn't know, but does.

There's just so much sorrow in this vid, and the clips used where Sam appears happy or content (this would be in the "God bless the void of my daydreams" part of the song) underscores it. I love the whole void section. For me, it evokes a strong feeling of nostalgia and the awareness that you can't go home again, can't reclaim your innocence or childhood once it's gone. On today's, umm, tenth or eleventh rewatch (look, there was heavy traffic, and I had my laptop with me on the bus), I really noticed how, in many of the clips outside of that section, you see Sam alone, where in the Void section, he's connecting.

Though Sam's the one who is able to pass for normal, who can on some level blend in in a regular life, it's something he managed by keeping himself apart, by keeping secrets, and by breaking off contact with his old life. His protective isolation is different than Dean's. He knows as well as any Winchester that there's evil out there, but after the pilot, he knows there's something different about him, and he's afraid that everything and everyone he loves will die because of him. Which sounds a lot like something I'd say about Dean, but the difference is that Dean's fear is that he'll fail to save or be enough to save his loved ones, where Sam fears he's (with the aid of external forces beyond his control) going to be the cause of it.

One of the many things I like about this vid is the way it uses the monsters and victims of the week as mirrors. Dead families, Andrea watching, unable to stop it as the ghosts of her family's past are dragging her future (in the form of her son) under.

I love it. I love that I can watch this vid and *feel* Sam. It's the kind of vid where you feel after watching it like the character's motivations have been presented to you on a silver platter to devour and get. I wish words could do it justice.[15]

References

  1. ^ Comments at Label That Vid (God Says Nothing Back) post by MorganDawn, 8 May 2007. (Accessed 28 Nov 2011).
  2. ^ In her 15 Aug 2006 vid announcement post, MorganDawn thanks Lierdumoa "for coming up with suggestions for bloody and supernatural external source." (Accessed 28 Nov 2011)
  3. ^ Information about external source footage used in comment thread at vid announcement post, 14 Dec 2006. (Accessed 28 Nov 2011)
  4. ^ From Label That Vid (God Says Nothing Back) - the Coda post by MorganDawn, 9 May 2007. (Accessed 28 Nov 2011)
  5. ^ vid announcement post, transferred from locked LiveJournal post at http://morgandawn.livejournal.com/403757.html, originally posted 15 Aug 2006. (Accessed 28 Nov 2011)
  6. ^ Katta's FanVid Recs, accessed March 21, 2011.
  7. ^ zimshan's Supernatural Vid Recs dated Jan 31, 1007.
  8. ^ sdwolfpup's 2007 post at iMeem (offline).
  9. ^ ~ Katta's FanVid Recs, accessed March 21, 2011. More indepth reviews are archived here and here
  10. ^ makesmewannadie's 2007 post at iMeem (offline).
  11. ^ deadflowerss' 2007 post at iMeem (offline).
  12. ^ Rusalka Blue's 2007 post at iMeem (offline).
  13. ^ fufaraw on July 5, 2020, Archived version
  14. ^ minim-calibre 2009
  15. ^ minim-calibre 2009