Kill A Man

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Vid
Title: Kill A Man
Creator: zimshan
Date: May 12, 2010
Format: digital vid
Length: 3:35 minutes
Music: ‘How I Could Just Kill A Man’ by Charlotte Sometimes
Genre: metavid
Fandom: Supernatural
Footage: Supernatural, screenshots of fanart and lj posts
URL: LJ post with vidder's notes & post with the art and quote credits
screencap of the post by Killa that was part of the inspiration for the vid: "Sam and Dean are ours, now."

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Kill A Man is a meta Supernatural vid by the vidder zimshan.

Vid summary: "And you can't understand, how I could just kill a man" Kripke might have created Sam and Dean, but it's fandom that knows how to play with them [Otherwise known as Fandom Power, FTW!]

The vid attempts to provide an overview of Supernatural fandom and our relationship with the screenwriters and show creators by reclaiming the show and reshaping it to meet our desires and needs. The inspiration from the vid came from a statement by Killabeez in 2009: "Sam and Dean are ours, now. The show can go wherever TV-land takes it, and they are still ours." Killa was, in turn, quoting Syn Ferguson talking about fandom's relationship to Star Trek decades earlier: ""Gene Roddenberry invented the Universe and Characters of Star Trek. Paramount/Viacom currently has the right to make money off of them. The rest of us have the right of love. We hold the katra of Star Trek now. We Remember.""[1]

Like many meta vids, Kill A Man uses images of women from the show to represent fandom/fen. In this case, most of the visuals on the show are taken out of context and the women selected range from canonical fans of the Supernatural book fans (Becky) to female demons and other female characters. Halfway through the vid you see the women reacting in horror to the direction of the show (Sam and Dean's love for one another fracturing, Dean tossing away the amulet given to him by Sam as he lost hope). This is then followed by scenes of fandom regaining control of the show's narrative by creating their own art, fiction and storylines.

One way in which Kill A Man is unusual, even as a meta vid, is in its heavy use of other fanworks as source material and as additional layer of commentary. In many ways, the vid is similar to counteragent's vid Still Alive. This may not be surprising, since the vidder was won by counteragent as part of the help_haiti charity auction. Over 50 LJ posts, fan comments, stories, and arwtwork are used in the vid and are credited here.[2]

Reactions/Reviews

  • "This is AMAZING. Such a brilliant idea and wonderful celebration of Show, of fandom, and a fascinating exploration of creative commons and ownership and repurposing and meta. Just... *flail* loved it. :)"[3]
  • "From someone who usually ends up more disappointed in the fandom than the show, this reminded me why I stay put. Despite the arguments and the wank, this fandom is full of beautiful, talented, inspiring, incredibly dedicated people who were all drawn to the show for the same reasons we were. And on those occasions when the show rips my heart out, shreds it up and shoves it back down my throat, I can trust the fandom to be doing it's best to fix Sam and Dean (and me) by writing, vidding or just calling Kripke many bad names at the top of their lungs. This was a beautiful piece of work. Becky's reactions were awesome. " [4]
  • "Wonderful vid!! This leaves me with a HUGE grin on my face. Extremely well-paced and mischievously thoughtful. It's like a love letter to both the show and fandom, with a sharp-toothed bite. Although I loved, loved, loved the STOP-OMG-NO! reactions to the amulet dropping, I think my favorite part was after that, when fangirls take the story for ourselves. The looks you caught on the various women's characters (our) faces - determined, snarky and really, really smart - just make me smile." [5]
  • "I know many of you will wish to leave SPN fandom-- and that's natural. Most are brokenhearted over the events (or rather non-events). And worse, horror of horrors-- you may even feel you've lost the will to create fanfics, fanart, vids, etc., that canonical douchebaggery has killed any fannish creativity you might've had left for fandom...To that purpose, I'm linking zimshan's fanvid Kill A Man, saluting the spirit of SPN fandom and fans, a potent reminder that fannish disappointment can be a mighty slavedriver to fannish creation...Watch, and remember in the midst of your fury and disappointment, as you're swearing up and down you're quitting fandom on the spot and cussing out the writers for trashing our beloved Show; why we are here, we ficcers and artists, podficcers, vidders, meta writers, plain fen who love our fandom, and what WE can do-- we are not bound to the circles of canon! Canon may twist and turn and lose its plot, but fandom remains. WE remember what was, what 'is', and in our works we look to what might or could be arising from the 'what is'. The 'what might be' and the 'what should've been'-- the speculation and the fixit have always been the essence of fandom's creations. Why should now be any different? The fannish tales we tell with these characters are ours, and canon cannot take that satisfaction from us. Sam and Dean and Cas's copyrights may not belong to us-- but in the creative spirit our individual visions, so often very different from canon belong to us and us only, and we share these visions with others of like mind and gain pleasure from doing so."[6]
  • "'Kill a Man' is more explicitly about fannish rage at a show, I think, to the extent that even I can follow its narrative pretty easily. And yet, the female characters are quite literally spectators in almost this entire vid, for the there only to react to what Sam and Dean are doing until they are there to make them do different things, in a way that makes me really squirm, especially knowing that those characters are (I'm pretty sure) characters in an episode of the show, whose stories this vid uses to react to the story about the boys. I do see why it’s a good vid about “fangirl power” and why its message is an empowering one to many of its viewers, but it makes me personally a bit uncomfortable that the fandom that’s almost famous by this point for its appropriative and creative fandom is also the show that's practically equally famous for its misogyny. Let's use some fangirl power to reclaim a show, yay. And yet, what’s worth reclaiming? The relationship between the young, hot, white brothers. My somewhat unfair takeaway from this pair of vids is that we'll deservedly rage at the show for its treatment of women, but in the end, we'll watch your show and create copious numbers of fanworks about it anyway. (Another quote from ghost_lingering: “So the very things that we critique in mainstream media — the lack of female protagonists, the lack of characters of color — we're perpetuating ourselves. And not just perpetuating, often celebrating as being revolutionary.”)"[7]

Screencap Gallery

References

  1. The vidder points out that: "while all the details are very metatextualized to the SPN fandom...its general scope truly could have applied to any long-term fandom. We come to fandom to squee and flail and get more of the best parts...Inevitably in time, canon disappoints us, and we turn to fandom to fix it. Until canon gets so unbearable you either leave, or get passed its flaws and live out your show love in fandom where the best parts of the show live on. For those of us multi-fannish types who’ve been in and out of fandoms for years, it’s a rinse, wash, repeat process." LJ post with vidder's notes dated May 12, 2011; WebCite.
  2. WebCite for source credits.
  3. comment in the original LJ post with vidder's notes.
  4. comment in the original LJ post with vidder's notes.
  5. comment in the original LJ post with vidder's notes.
  6. In need of something to get the ol' SPN mojo running again? by luminare-ardua, dated May 14, 2010; WebCite.
  7. comment in Vids about fandom: How we interact vs. what we say, an 2011 essay by chaila.
  8. Becky was intended to be a not always favorable representative of the show's 'typical' female fan. In the vid, the vidder is repurposing Becky to illustrate the power of fandom.
  9. ART: 'Earth' by a_starfish. QUOTE #4: From longsufferingly's fic, 'Your Bones Have Been My Bedframe and Your Flesh Has Been My Pillow.'
  10. QUOTE: musesfool‘s post "5.17 Ep Reaction." In her post, musefool's correctly points out that on other shows, a line like that would denote a sociopath or a serial killer.
  11. blahbaby‘s "5.16 Ep Reaction" post.
  12. Comment by animotus is superimposed over a clip showing a female demon using her powers. The vidder may have chosen to use a demon to represent fandom power due to, in part, the lack of powerful women on the show. Most female characters on Supernatural are either dead or evil.
  13. 'Episode 4.14 Happy Endings' Meme started by memphis86. Banner by ignited.
  14. Episode "5.16 'Fix It' Meme started by lazy_daze. Banner by gypsy_sunday.
  15. ART: 'Interlude' by ileliberte. FIC: ’Walls Come Tumbling‘ by destina.
  16. ART: 'Sleeping Dean, Fond Sam' by ileliberte.
  17. ART: '6AM With You' nargynargy.