Teaching With Fan Video

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Related terms: vidding, syllabi, acafan
See also: "24/7"_DIY_Video_Summit
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This is a resource page for people teaching using fan video, particularly vids in the classroom. It came out of a workshop at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies aka SCMS called "Teaching With Fan Video: Pedagogies and Classroom Strategies" on March 26, 2017 and featuring presentations by Kristina Busse. Francesca Coppa, Anne Kustritz and Tisha Turk as well as commentary and suggestions from an informed audience of fans and acafans including Paul Booth, Louisa Stein, Katie Morrissey and others. However anyone who has useful resources or links to materials for teaching fan video or vidding is invited to contribute to this page; in that way, this is a companion page to acafannish pages like the one listing syllabi and the one hosting the bibliography hosted by Transformative Works and Cultures. The panel was sponsored by the Fan and Audience Studies scholarly interest group.

Overview of Presentations

Kristina Busse, "Multivids and the Shared Media Experience" Teaching Vidding (link goes to Prezi)

Discussed criteria for selecting vids to teach: the three big criteria (which conflict, by necessity!) are: Quality/Exceptionality (in editing or aesthetics), Representativeness/ Popularity (slash, shipping, character vids), and Accessibility (comprehensibility to outsiders). Finding vids that do all of these things can be difficult!

Francesca Coppa, "Visual Poetry: Teaching Transmedia with Fanvids"

Discussed three different classroom contexts for vids: a remix course, a TV and Fan Cultures course, and transmedia course focused on specific texts. For teaching remix, a vid like Beethoven's Fifth Gold Digger allows students to engage in multiple ways: it's a vid of Gone With The Wind set to a mashup of Saturday Night Fever's A Fifth of Beethoven (disco Beethoven) and Kanye's remix of Ray Charles's Golddigger. That's a lot of remixed culture and intersection points for students to come into the vid. This video served as a model: students were then asked to choose and analyze a video for themselves, and collectively they put on an online exhibition in the model of In Media Res. For teaching television and Fan Cultures courses, it's useful to give students a survey at the start to see what they know: media and cinema studies students might well have seen more "highbrow" TV (HBO stuff, The Wire, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, etc.) than fannish texts like Stargate or Sherlock. In a survey at the University of Pennsylvania, more students knew House than knew Sherlock, Elementary, or the Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes films; the vid to teach was therefore Bukowski by astolat; once they know the source, you can teach them the formal poetic rhetoric of vidding. Lastly, in transmedia courses dealing with particular texts, you have the liberty of teaching a variety of vids and knowing that students will be familiar enough with canon to make judgments between and among them. Here the problem is sometimes that they know the source so well they don't see the formal structure of the vid.

Anne Kustritz, "When an Essay is a Mashup: Teaching Vids as Rhetoric and Experience-Based Learning"

[Notes coming! Does anyone have a link to her presentation/powerpoint?]

Tisha Turk, "Teaching Vidding as a Composing Process."

1) What do you want them to learn? Close Reading? An understanding of the technical work involved in making a vid (and its difficulty)? If the first, you might not need to have students make a vid. If the second, you might well want them to at least try to make a vid, where they will learn both to troubleshoot and to discover the serendipity involved in video editing.

2) Focus on the rhetoric and not the technical stuff. A typing class is not a writing class; what is the rhetorical work that the vid is doing? Does the vid: celebrate or critique? advance a particular reading? focus on musicality? Most vids are made to communicate with an affinity group or interpretive community; vidders make choices based on what they think will be understood by that community.

3) Think about how to scaffold your assignments. Consider building up to partial vid-making through smaller, ungraded assignments: choose a song, plan a vid, choose significant moments from sources. Consider providing them with three movies to use (pre-ripped or give them clips). Keep in mind that you can't control for Mac or PC. Instead, emphasize that vidders use whatever works, and focus on getting students to think about how they might find help when they need it.

4) Assess what you are asking them to do: the goal is not necessarily to make a good vid. A good pedagogical experience might produce a bad vid.

Additional ideas/assignments

  • Consider exercises that impose formal constraints, such as pick ten six second clips, or vid 1-1/2 minutes and use three title cards. (Melanie)
  • Have students create a named folder on googledrive, have them keep everything in that folder: tech and source.
  • A plan for scaffolding assignments: 1) choose a song, 2) choose some clips, 2) export the first ten seconds
  • Another plan for scaffolding teaches how to use software and work with media: for homework, make screen caps; for homework, make a clip; for homework, rip a DVD; for homework, download from YouTube (Katie Morrissey)
  • Another exercise: reverse image sourcing: that is, give students an image from a vid and make them figure out what it is (find it in the original source) and contextualize it; why is it there?
  • Non-fannish students have few sources in common: animation (AMVs or Disney) tend to be more widely shared though.


List of Suggested Vids For Teaching; that is, Vids That Have Been Taught With Some Success

Note that some of these vids work well with a newbie/nonfannish audience; they work well with an audience who is either unfamiliar with vidding or with source. Other vids analogous to the old living room vids in that they require context and often a more sophisticated vidding literacy; they may also require multiple rematches. Consider who your audience is and what they're likely to know.

List of Resources

Katie Morrissey's list of teaching resources on how to teach vidding: [1]

Cinema Journal's Teaching Dossier on how to teach a video essay: [2]

Jason Mittell's essay that outlines individual exercises to learn and teach vidding: [3]

In Media Res's vidding pieces: [4]