Vividcon 2002 Premiere Show (Sandy Herrold review)

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Title: Vividcon 2002 Premiere Show (Sandy Herrold review)
Creator: Sandy Herrold
Date(s): August 20, 2002
Fandom: Vidding
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On August 20, 2002 Sandy Herrold offered extensive commentary on one of the Vividcon 2002 Premiere vid show. She posted the commentary to the Vidder mailing list. It is reprinted here with permission.

Begin Commentary:
The premier show was wonderful – two plus hours, roughly 30 wonderful vids. On the other hand, it didn't start until after 9pm, on Saturday, so my brain was already full of images, and I was already sleep deprived – add salt, etc. These are the vids (for the most part) that will be on the con tape – unlike all of the 100+ other vids that played in the other shows throughout the weekend.
All I can say is – get the con tape.
Polka Party (MM). Vidder: Waldo. Hilarious; great con vid; good opening for the show. Played to her strengths: timing, and literalism, with a ongoing theme (channel surfing) that propelled the viewer through the vid. The transitions between fannish sections incorporated non-fannish source in a very cool way.
London Rain (American Embassy). Vidder: Still Reeling. Good song for the clips, fine vid. Know nothing about the show, but now I'm rather curious; not a bad recruiter.
Solsbury Hill (SG). Vidder: shalott. As a SG fan, I thought it was a wonderful story idea that built steadily, until the end pieces snapped in with a sense of inevitable perfection. Great movement, amazingly cheerful, loved the jump cuts on `go go go' (done one way the first two verses, changed the third time, but in a way that broke your expectations in a good way); watched it tensely all the way through, but was left cheered, even raised up at the end.
One step closer (Brimstone). Vidder: Sockii. Amazing example of what you can do with two VCRs. Kicked my ass. Stone got a chance to show some of his fire, and not just be `suffering guy'. Satan was, as ever, awesome – wonderful use of the effects of the show to create something new. I want to see this one again many many times.
Strange Disease (Buffy/Angel). Vidder: crazygrrl. I loved the beginning clip, and the entire first verse. Great cutting, especially on "my libido's gone berserk"! At the chorus, I had a small problem with the premise (which I took to mean that B/A had been happy, then Buffy gave Angel a disease that made him evil), which I'm willing to believe I'm over-thinking <g>. Some hilarious Angelus clips, great use of the movement within clips; nice contrast between the happy Buf/Angel moments, and the crazy Angelus moments – and a hilarious last clip. Very nice!
Stranded – Gwyn_r and my vid, so I'm not going to comment.
Hero (Xena and Gabrielle). Vidder: T (of T4 Productions). I loved and hated this vid. The song was about `reluctant' Heroes, which fit both Gabriele and Xena, so good choice. By using two screens, back and forth, the vidder was able to contrast and compare and illustrate the parallels between them very quickly and effectively, also very cool. And there was so much energy to the whole thing, I couldn't help getting picked and moved by it. Unfortunately, it was eventually so frenetic that it was hard to keep up with. I thought it was very cool when one screen would calm down a little, leaving one side dominant for a while, but when they were both equally active, I couldn't keep up. The vid also used more effects than I felt comfortable with (most notably a beautiful bird shape that I loved, but felt was over used), and too much speeding up of the source. Very interesting and different, but I would love to see this vid again, calmed down a little.
Nothing else matters (OZ). Vidder: Bunniqula. Lovely tense retelling of OZ's own Luke n' Laura relationship, beginning to end. We know most of these clips by now, but some less used clips, a cool song choice, and a decision to have the inherent violence be implied, rather than overt, made this stand out.
Johnny are you Queer? (SG), Vidder: Carol S. Definitely a crowd video. The real strength of this vid was the expressions, and reaction shots of the different characters.
Black Cat (TS). Vidders: Seah & Margie. A wonderful JimFest. By doing a Jim character study (with Blair as just part of his life), instead of a more romantic couple vid, the vidder was able to incorporate a lot of lesser known clips – made the vid seem very fresh. Frequently funny, nice decision to make the Black Cat not quite literal, but rather, a physical representation of his powers and abilities.
Glorious #1 (Buffy). Vidder: here's luck. Spuffy, angry, fun, Spike's pov – I can't find my notes on this, and I need to see this again.
Help Me Understand (SH). Vidder: Barbara Phillips. Another one with lots of audio overlay from the episode – based solely in the ep Starsky vs. Hutch. I loved the idea of the audio overlays, but there were too many lines taken from each scene, and the music wasn't low enough when the words were being spoken. Vid was a return to an earlier viding style, but not in a bad way.
Love Potion #9 (Farscape). Vidders: Chris and Christina. Silly but adorable vid about John and Grandma on Farscape. Bouncy, sharply cut, great interlude between more serious vids, and short, like a comedy should be.
Go (Witchblade). Vidder: bonibaru. Solid song choice, and I liked the repeated actions on "Go". Not my favorite of the new Witchblade vids, but it had lot of nice action. Unfortunately, much of it seemed to be speeded up for no reason, and to me, the entire vid was undercut by the final `happy/silly' cut.
Children of Eve (SG). Vidders: Apocalypse West. I'm not a huge fan of vids of minor characters; I'm not a fan of children at all, and yet, this vid really works. Strangely beautiful, lyrical song really meshed with the long sweeping movements in the clips, the colors were perfectly chosen to create a place were nightmares are made flesh, and there really are dragons in the universe.
Go, Speed Racer (Invisible Man - Bobby). Vidder: Margie. Hobbeserific! Wonderful movement and energy, harnessed to make Bobby Hobbes adorable, in a perfect childlike way. Great ending – the slow mo of the van, and the height compared with all the low frenetic movement.
Elevation (SV). Vidders: Clucking Belles: Sandy and Rache. Our vid – just glad we got done in time for the con.
Sandman (Xena). Vidder: T (of T4 Productions). Hard sell for me, because I didn't like the song. As far as I could tell, the story was about the dark side of Xena, but I couldn't tell if we were celebrating it, or wondering if she'd fall back into it, or what? Some very nice repeating effects, some great movement, but I didn't understand their point – was the night calling her? Was she fighting it, or giving in? A lot of the source was either slowed way down or speeded way up (some of which worked, some of which didn't seem to). Nice repeated type of kill at the beginning of each verse. Then Gabrielle shows up at the near end of the whole thing for two clips, then goes away, and I never understood why. Perhaps if the lyrics had been clearer, I would understand more.
Kung fu Fighting (Lone Gunmen). Vidders: Lady Kate and Katharine. Awesome opening clip title. I liked that kung fu had two working meanings: either fun silly fighting, or computer hacking (based on a line from an episode). The "Big boss" clip was hilarious, not to mention the Langley Flashdance moment, or Bryers Saturday Night Fever moves. Awesome timing. I did feel a couple of clips were too long, or didn't have interesting internal beats, but in all, I thought it was hilarious; one of the best comedy vids of the weekend.
Hero (SG - Meridian). Vidders: Central Consortium. They started in the middle of the song, and it was a little abrupt. Setting the entire vid in a single episode rarely works for me, though it was nice to see more of the clips from Daniel in Meridian. (Seems most of us have already just shortened it to the crash through the glass…) Ends well, but with a clip that's already a cliché for a Daniel vid. (and I can say that, since I did it too.)
Southwest voodoo– (Buffy actually Dark Willow). Vidders: Shimmer Twins. Huh. Rap. That's rare in vid shows. Again, I couldn't understand most of the words (though "This voodoo shit's for real" cracked me up). I'm tempted to say the vid didn't add anything to my understanding of the Dark Willow arc. But I was probably looking for a story in a vid that wasn't trying to be narrative. Technically, it was very cool; lots of things happening on screen all at once, marrying the multilayers of the song. Another vid with a cool repeating effect (a water ripple effect) that worked to reinforce the magic on screen and in the song. Despite the pretty, I thought it was a little long. It got major cheers though, so I'm probably just an old fogy.
Understand -- John and Aeryn (Farscape). Vidder: ? Another vid with a fair amount of audio from the source overlayed on the vid. Again, I didn't love the song, and couldn't understand a lot of the lyrics. (Just call me deaf as a post). Even more than the Starsky and Hutch vid, it seemed that the vidders didn't trust the song and the clips to carry their story – the words had to summarize all of the high points. That's probably a different aesthetic again. Also, at the very end of the vid after the song was over, there was a still frame of them completely unconnected to any of the clips from the vid that I didn't understand. Good song for Aeryn.
Comin' Up from Behind (Witchblade). Vidder: Killa. Pez is da Man! Awesome action – great movement, good framing of clips that are already becoming well known. Kept the entire vid telling the story of first season, which I thought gave it a nice focus; thematically grouped by her enemies, rather than chronologically, which I liked a lot. The song seemed a little lighter than the vid as a whole did, but not in a bad way – and god knows, the show is not overburdened with humor. Loved it, want to see again.
One of Us (Matrix). Vidder: Jackie K. Interesting POV decisions. As far as I could tell, God started out as the good guys, then God became one of the bad guys, then back to the good. Some very cool clips – especially "The saints and all the prophets." I never would have chosen such a warm, kinda earth-woman style of song for a modern, hard edged world like The Matrix. Even with the POV question and song quibbles, though, I liked it a lot.
Hunter (Forever Knight – Janette & Nick). Vidder: absinthe. I spent the first half of the vid wondering, when she asks "Let me go" is she talking to Nick or LaCroix? The theme seems to be, she wants to live the world as a Hunter, a free woman alone, asking to be let go. Hmm. Kind of cool, and it's great to see a Janette vid again, but it doesn't fit my construction of her relationship with Nick. I think if the vidder's used La Croix I would liked it better. (Or possibly, if she'd left out LaCroix entirely it would have worked better for me, but by having him there a little, I'm reminded of all of the constraints he put on her; different constraints than Nick, but arguably more of a straitjacket.) By the end of the vid, I've allowed myself to just accept their reality – maybe I need more convincing at the beginning? I want to see this vid again. And beyond these quibbles, the vid is completely reminding why I loved Janette. Nice song choice for the darkness and vampirism and longing…
Masochism (John and Aeryn, Farscape). Vidder: KOBA-TV. Great song for them, that didn't quite live up to its promise. Fun, fast, with lots of good clips, but considering all of the pain that John really is feeling right now, I think this vid would have been cooler if it had a kept a serious undertone along with the humor. For example, perhaps all of the repeated line "Dance to the Masochism tango" parts should have been from the fake wedding bit – better meta comment. Still, funny, and I'd be happy to see it again.
Mad World (Buffy). Vidder: Lum. I need to see this again. Lost sounding vocalist, which is perfect for the clips of William, changing to Spike, changing to being in love with a Slayer, and completely changing his life again. Some perfect lines: "kind of funny, kind of sad; the dreams in which I'm dying, are the best I've ever had." It's sort of a "poor little Spike" vid, but it's not a whitewash -- it includes the bathroom scene, and other evidence that he's created his own mess… Beautiful colors and movement, and surprises throughout.
Rook (XF). Vidder: Laura Shapiro. Gorgeous song, with interesting, almost eery harmonics that seemed perfect for the X-Files, and reminded me of when I loved that show. Very consistent color and darkness for the first part. This is one of the three or four vids that I liked much more on second viewing – on first viewing, it appealed to my head a little more than to my eyes or heart.
Mine (HL). Vidder: Diana Williams. One of the many vids with interestingly different credits – though they put the HL logo up, and then included "a HL vid" in the credit sequence, leading me to think "Pick one or the other".) I remember this vid mostly for some cool lines ("take away my dignity " can't you see I'm standing naked" (both of them for after the fight at the subbase), and for the "Twist in time" effect where they flipped the image on the screen around a couple slow revolutions. I remember a lot of controversy about the effect, but I liked it. The revolutions were slow enough that there was a moment where the clip was reversed on screen next to the original version, which was cool. Used the effect three times per chorus – more would have been overdone. And I noticed that some of the revolutions `snap' in cleanly, some don't, and wondered why – does it depend on whether there's too much action happening in the source, or if the source has changed too much from the beginning of the effect to the end? I have so many questions about so many interesting effects…it would be so cool if people would be willing to post their (enormous, I know) project files, so we could look through them and think, "huh, *that*'s how they did that!)
Place in the heart (SG). Vidders: Carol S and Destina. Beautiful song and lyrics won me over in seconds. Daniel vid, and I'd say it was gen, though with the implication that Jack is closer to him than the others (though I could be argued out of that). Some perfect lines: "Could be right before your very eyes." Aw… "when I'm sure I finally found it, I'm gonna wrap these arms around it." And "sometimes you can look too hard." Good use of some more minor characters (Rothman!). I liked that his `place' isn't just Jack, it's the whole SGC. Perfect end clip fits the song, and circles back around to the beginning clip. Lovely vid, wonderful emotional end to the show.
Wonderful show – moved quickly, sound was good almost the entire show, people I was with in the main room had a great time – Maygra and Jenn told me that it was at least as fun in the overflow room.