Mary Van Deusen

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Name: Mary Van Deusen, Mary S. Van Deusen
Type: vidder
Fandoms: multimedia
Communities: Final Frontier Media
URL: Mary Van Deusen's website for downloads, Mary Van Deusen's YouTube, Mary Van Deusen's livejournal
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Mary Van Deusen was an influential vidder in the 1980s and 1990s. She has vidded in a wide variety of fandoms and is still creating vids today. She has a long history of mentoring new vidders.

Role In Vidding History

During the 1980s, Mary was one of the few fans with access to semi-professional video editing equipment, moving from RCA VCRs to Sony pre-roll Beta I HB. She taught a great number of vidders not just how to vid, but also how to approach visual narrative, how to use songs and clips. In turn, those vidders went on to teach others. Mary Van Deusen's aesthetic focuses heavily on character and narrative. Telling a story was key to this aesthetic, it was also known for very strict cutting with edits being made strictly to the beat. More info can be found in the Genealogy of Vidding. One of her vids - Temper of Revenge (Miami Vice) made with Caren Parnes was showcased in the 2008 "24/7" DIY Video Summit.

Also see My Background in Making Song Videos, written about her early years in vidding] (which included BetaMax VCRs!!) and What Are Literary Music Videos? (an article about what Mary she calls "literary music videos," (their history, some how-to...). She credits Pam Perry with inspiring her to make music videos in 1985.

In 1986, Mary made a tribute video to many of the friends she has made in fandom over the years, including Patricia Frazer Lamb, Linda Sax, Crystal Ann Taylor, Camille Bacon-Smith, Gayle F and her husband Richard, Mickey Dupree, Caren Parnes, Linda Ploetz, Jessica Daigenault, Bev Lorenstein, Flora Poste and her brother, she and her husband, Lyn Bates, Judith Gran, and others of the Philadelphia Crew.

A copy of the video tribute can be found here.

Samples of Mary's vids can be found here. You can also find examples of her more influential vidding work across multiple fandoms here.


Songtape Collections

By the time Mary attended 4-Play in Phoenix in the 1980s, she had completed over 3 hours of songvids. By the end of 1991, Mary she released over 8 songtape collections, releasing new versions incrementally. She would also release custom songtapes upon request,combining all of the vids in a specific fandom made to date. Most of the songtape collections contained no playlists or videocassette covers or labels.

Remastered Vids

In November 2010, Mary began remastering many of her older vids, as well as experimenting with a 16:9 aspect ratio in order to achieve better quality on wide-screen televisions and computer monitors. [1] These new and remastered vids were posted to her site, as well as being announced on her livejournal and the main lj vidding community, vidding. Final Frontier Media archived both the original and enhanced versions, though most of their links are dead now.

YouTube Vids

In March 2017, Mary Van Deusen put many of her videos up on YouTube. They are organized into playlists by fandoms. There are currently more than 550 of her videos on YouTube.



Mary Van Deusen began posting fanvids of the Trumps on Youtube starting in August 2017. They were later uploaded to her website in March 2018. [2] The most recent one on Youtube to date was posted in June 2018. While the Trump videos are part of a poltical themed Youtube playlist, subscribers to her video channel receive notification of all vids. The Trump vids are also grouped alongside he media fandom vids on her website. This came as an unpleasant surprise to a number of vidders in fandom, though her website has long shown her support for conservative politicians. [3] [4] [5] [citation needed][for fandom reaction]


About her involvement in fandom Mary has to say this:

"I got into Star Trek because my mother died and the show often showed Kirk or Spock being thought dead, then being found. It let me grieve for mother just enough to keep the teakettle from boiling over. One day at work I suddenly saw mother's death in terms of Kirk and Spock and wrote my first story in 3 hours. I brought it with me to an IDICCon (a slash convention) and the first person I showed it to broke out crying. From then on, I always knew where the story was in the room by who was crying. I never looked back.

Early on I created music video sets for Creation Cons (commercially run conventions). It was terribly exciting. That's how I created the distinction between living room videos (living room vids) and auditorium videos (or con vids). I would stand in the back of the room and watch people react, and realized that they could only handle the top layer of complexity. So I built videos for those crowd scenes, and different kinds of videos that we'd analyze together in my living room.

Other than vids and stories and teaching workshops in vidding, I got deeply into vampires and ran the video room for a Forever Knight convention. Also made a whole set of "things" to sell - like wreaths of black roses which were symbolic of characters and relationships in Forever Knight.

For a year I ran a 1/2 TV showing of my videos on local cable TV. Part of the fun was designing ads that I put up in the local stores. There were people collecting the ads, as well as the videos.

Flyer for Mary's cable TV show

At one point, one of the gentlemen from the studio began leaving me notes on used french fry containers, commenting about my videos."

I'd also like to hat tip to Pam Perry, whose wonderful Starsky and Hutch videos are what got me into vidding. I bought the same machine she did, and fell into a bottomless pit of music from which I still haven't dug out.

Fandom is more than just a hobby. It also became for me a profession. Because of vidding, I talked an IBM VP into moving me out of computer language design and into video editing/multimedia. Later I had my own small company for making industrial videos about computers."

The fan writing led to my actually writing, though never selling, movie and TV scripts. I had a 2 year contract with John Grisham's NYC book agent and was subcontracted out to Writers&Artists in Hollywood for my vampire script, and my script about a baby werewolf. Talk about living in interesting times! One agent I turned down had me write TV episode summaries because he was sure he could sell my vampire script to Fox. But he wanted to turn my funny family into something dark. Another agent I turned down got permission from the NYC agent to try to sell a TV script to Forever Knight. That agent mailed the script on Tuesday and the producer called on Thursday asking my credits. I had none. He also wanted a Canadian writer. Terrifying and stressful, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

And all of that came directly from fandom!"[6]

Visual Representation of Changes In Vidding Technology

Vidding With VCRS
Vidding With IBM 1 inch Tape Deck Reels
Digital Vidding On Computers Today

Fan Comments Regarding Songvids

[L] & I were going though a bunch of songtapes before the last Seattle SlashBash, and found one that was unlabeled. I think it had a video for every single song Tom Lehrer ever wrote, one right after the other. Do you know how boring this can get? Especially since most of the songs seemed to be only vaguely related to whatever fandom was being shown? I still love a few of them -- The Hunting Song (Pros) is my favorite -- but feel many of them needed a little work to be 'just right'. (For example, Masochism Tango for Avon & Servalan). [7]

I also have some lovely older (like, 1985-1988, maybe?) Classic Trek songtapes. There is one good McCoy one done to the filk, McCoy's song; there's a beautiful trio-songvid to "Through the Years"--I kid you not; and there's a Spock/McCoy to "Photographs and Memories," which is really sweet. These are interspersed with probably a good hour of other ST songvids, many of which I really enjoyed. [8]

Perhaps one of the reasons early vids aren't circulated much is that many of them haven't held up well. The vids of yore tend to be very slow-paced and static compared to the current ones. The clips tended to be very long, and often not very interesting visually. MTV really has changed the look of TV.

I remember watching some of MVD's newish DS vids, and a bunch of her ancient TOS ones at a con a couple of years ago. There were some people new to vids there, and they couldn't believe they'd all been made by the same person. They were very disappointed by the TOS ones. Perhaps part of the difference was that Mary had become a more skilled vidder, but I think most of it was that the style of video had changed. Today's vids are much faster-paced than they were in the early '80s. Moreover, the TOS source material is just not as visually interesting as that for post-MTV TV series. Trek Classic has a very static look, with a lot of talking heads shots. They didn't even pan or zoom much.

Kind of makes you wonder how today's vids will be viewed in 20 years. <g> [9]


  1. ^ Mary Van Deusen, New Videos up on site Posted November 14, 2010. Last accessed November 30, 2010.
  2. ^ Mary Van Deusen, Currently Available Literary Song Videos Last accessed July 5, 2018.
  3. ^ Mary Van Deusen, Election 2008 Articles Last accessed July 5, 2018.
  4. ^ Mary Van Deusen, Politics Last accessed July 5, 2018.
  5. ^ Mary Van Deusen, President George Walker Bush Last accessed July 5, 2018.
  6. ^ Material quoted on Fanlore at Mary Van Deusen's request, November 30, 2009.
  7. ^ comments from Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (April 13, 1994 )
  8. ^ comments by Michelle Christian at Virgule-L, quoted with permission (April 26, 1994)
  9. ^ comments on Vidder Mailing List, quoted anonymously (April 19, 2000)