purplefringe: Amelie (Default)
[personal profile] purplefringe
I'm working on a vid at the moment, and thanks to my lovely betas it's going v well. I will probably post it tomorrow. (For those of you who did read my Hamilton post - it happened! I got (most of) my brain back! I can DO THINGS again! I can THINK again! It's so exciting). ANWAY like I said I've been working on a vid and it's going well BUT a few weeks ago (pre-Hamilton) I had a sudden horrifying realisation: I have made this vid before.

Like, not this *actual vid*, obviously. But basically the SAME vid, except about a different character in a different fandom. I raged about this via text to [personal profile] such_heights, who was on her honeymoon at this point and I think mostly laughed at me in a fond sort of way.

A couple of hours later, I was struck by ANOTHER horrifying realisation: I have made this vid TWICE before. No, wait, make that THREE times. THREE. TIMES.

This all led to a bit of a vid-sistential crisis. And because I am me and I like Order and Clarity and Completeness, I made a List. This got abandoned and left to languish forlornly in a googledoc whilst I then proceeded to have a total meltdown over a certain musical (yayhamlet!) but now that I'm back in the real world I thought I'd resurrect it. I love hearing about other people's creative processes, which is why I always write such rambling accompanying notes when I post my own vids - I assume I can't be the only person who enjoys that sort of background info.

So this, for any of you who similarly enjoy this sort of thing, is Five Ways To Tell If You Are Watching A Purplefringe Vid:

1) Faces - something I have realised about my vids, is that I mostly vid faces. I mean, obviously everyone does this. Humans respond to faces. But unlike some vidders I've noticed, I always struggle to put in longer action shots, distance shots, full body shots, interestingly-angled shots, scenery shots, etc. (I basically ONLY use scenery shots during the musical intro, or in a couple of cases, during a musical bridge.) Given a choice between two clips, one of which is a longer shot which includes some scenery and most of the character's body, and the other of which is a close up of their face, nine times out of ten I will go for the face shot. Particularly if the character is laughing. I think people look so beautiful when they laugh, and I'm fundamentally unable to resist putting in clips of my favourite characters laughing. Kissing too. At least 6 of my vids end with a kissing (/hugging/general sex) montage. Anyway, this means that my vids feature a *lot* of "people reacting to stuff with their faces", "montages of people gazing at each other" and "people turning their heads/moving their eyes/putting their face in their hands/etc", and not always a lot of "people actually *doing* stuff". I also don't tend to show clips of the thing they are reacting to. Eg. I will show the Doctor looking afraid, but not show what he is afraid of. Combined with the almost total lack of visible background in most close-up shots, this does rather cut off clips from their context. Which is a bit paradoxical really, because I am OBSESSED with context. (It's why I'm so bad at literally any form of multiple choice quiz, from the Myers Briggs test right down to the Pottermore sorting quiz, which I've taken 3 times and got different results every time. If I don't have a precise context for a scenario, I can't answer the question. but I digress) CONTEXT. I *have* to know what is going on in a clip before I put it in a vid, and if the context isn't right, even if the clip is really very shiny, I don't like putting it in. But then I go and completely divorce said clips from their context, by removing any markers as to what might be going on (background scenery, clothing, other characters, surrounding shots, etc). The only way to tell what is happening is if (a) it's a Really Iconic Shot that anyone familiar with the fandom would recognise, or if (b) the character happens to have very distinctive hair at that moment or the scene has very particular lighting that makes it memorable. I don't know if this makes my vids harder or easier to understand, for people not in the fandom.

2) Hands - the other body part I vid a lot is hands. Almost every vid I have made (32, including the WIP) features at least one 'hands montage'. Many feature several. Hands touching hands, hands touching bare skin, hands doing competent things like typing or writing or pressing buttons. IDK. I just think hands are really very attractive ok. They are so pretty and so expressive and sensual and can be used to symbolise so much. Possibly as a subset of this, a vast number of my vids feature shots - sometimes even whole montages - of characters *handing* each other things. I use this as a shortcut way of showing a relationship - exchange of physical objects representing an exchange of friendship. Wherever possible, I also like to show characters *throwing* each other things (and catching them), as this denotes a whole extra layer of trust/characters being on the same level. (Also characters dropping things - objects falling, particularly falling from someone's hands, crop up in a *lot* of my vids, usually representing some sort of catastrophe or ending...) A subset of the "Hands Montage" is the "Flaily Hands Montage", which crops up in several of my vids, usually in during a musical bridge. This tends to be a rapidly-cut sequence of somebody doing a series of ridiculous gestures with their hands, which I use as a shortcut way to say OMG LOOK WHAT A DORK THEY ARE. (Looking at you, John Sheppard, Ichabod Crane, young Peter Capaldi, etc).

3) Parallels - God I *love* parallels. Vids, for me, are usually a way of picking out the best visual and/or thematic parallels, and displaying them clearly. Which is probably why so many of my vids look the same - they are all, essentially, lists of parallels set to music. "Every Time This Character Did X: A Vid". At this point, I'm not sure I know how to do anything else, though I would love to learn. I particularly like using parallels to show the development of a relationship - if I can show Character A doing a thing, and then Character B doing the same thing, that establishes a connection between them. Another type of parallel - and this is not quite the same thing but I'm going to put it in here anyway - is characters moving in parallel. All my vids about relationships feature moments - again, often whole sections - of characters moving in sync. Characters looking up together, turning around at the same time, making the same gesture, etc. Like the throwing/catching thing, this is a way of showing that they are on the same page, emotionally. (See earlier point about building up to the kissing/hugging/sex montage. Other vidders might split those moments up, disperse them throughout a vid. I apparently just lump them all together.) Another subset of the parallels thing is in the way I use flashbacks. I didn't notice this until I recently rewatched a bunch of my own vids, but apparently I really like using flashbacks, where the character's actions in the flashback visually parallel their actions in the present, and I cut rapidly between the two. It comes up as early as my third vid, and is a thing I am doing in the one I'm currently making, and a whole load in between. I mostly use it as a way to show a character's ~inner demons~. (I really like vidding inner demons, apparently.) Using flashbacks (or sometimes just to mix it up, dream sequences) where the past visually parallels the present is the way I show how a character is haunted by their demons, or how their past is still influencing their actions.

4) Motion - I love me some internal motion. This is still v much a thing I am learning and working on improving, but internal motion is SUPER FUN and I try to maximise it in my vids. My favourite thing - which again started out pretty early on and is still in many of my vids - is making objects/characters change from one thing to another across a clip. Eg. The Doctor throws an umbrella to Victorian!Clara, and Present Day Clara catches it. Or Rory Pond thrusts a broom, which becomes a sword in the next shot. Or Milady drops a bloody knife which becomes a locket as it hits the ground. Etc. I'm particularly pleased with a tiny moment in my current WIP in which the character somersaults from one clip into the next. I also really love things HAPPENING on the beat - which, obviously, is something almost all vidders try to do. But it really bothers me more than it ought to when explosions/lights coming on/even characters blinking DON'T happen on the beat. So I try to make that happen as much as possible. However, all this, combined with my need to cram in AS MANY CLIPS AS POSSIBLE, can sometimes lead to a bit of a frenetic pace. Sometimes I try to put in too much motion and too many clips that I lose some of the emotion, I think. I am working on finding that balance.

5) Characters - perhaps unsurprisingly, almost all my vids are relationship studies for couples. More or less equally weighted between canon (het) couples and non-canon (slash/femslash) couples. Most of them are happy-in-the-end (I think just my Sherlock ones aren't, and the Moulin Rouge festivid). There's one vid about a platonic pair of friends (or two if you see the Romana one as being about Four as well.). There's a smattering of individual character studies, almost all of which focussed on the aforementioned ~inner demons~ and specifically on characters growing to like themselves, and learning to form connections with others. Plus there's a small selection of Doctor Who meta vids, and a little collection of comedy vids about dorky dudes with ridiculous faces and flaily hands (it's like I have a type or something). I have maybe five that could reasonably be termed 'ensemble' vids, and two of those were made with [personal profile] such_heights. Two of the others are about Groups Of People Who Love Each Other, and the other is the Doctor/TARDIS vid which IDEK how to classify. I really struggle to vid multiple characters, in much the same way that I struggle to put in scenery clips. I think this is partly because I (a) really hate clipping, and yet (b) still feel the need to make ALL THE CLIPS for every vid. (What if I miss something?!?!) Which means it's much easier to make a vid that's focussed very tightly on one or at most two characters, because then at least I don't need to clip *every* scene in the film/show, and at some point I get to stop clipping and go to sleep. I don't vid plot. Again, due to the lack of context-establishing shots, the dearth of "people *doing* stuff" clips, and the way in which all my relationship studies strip out every character not involved in the relationship - the characters involved could be almost anywhere. There is no detective work in my Sherlock or Elementary vids, no dead-waking in my Pushing Daisies vid, no doing crime in my Firefly vids. I would like to work on this. And I would like to try making some different types of vids - I have LOTS of grand ideas for constructed reality vids, and multifandom vids, but have yet to attempt either. Maybe soon!

So...that's it. For now. I may think of more things later. But in the meantime, I'd be really very interested to hear about other people's thoughts on their own vidding tropes? Does everyone else find themselves making the same three vids over and over?

Date: 2015-11-06 08:30 pm (UTC)
raven: Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, wearing green and red and looking up (Default)
From: [personal profile] raven
I really enjoyed this post! But especially point 2, I have all of those same feelings about hands.

Date: 2015-11-06 09:18 pm (UTC)
raven: Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, wearing green and red and looking up (Default)
From: [personal profile] raven
YES. They are glorious! They appear in my vids and stories disproportionately often but ah yes so expressive! And often when faces aren't, I mean, I love all those shots/scenes where someone looks perfectly calm but a pencil is going tap-tap-tap. Also I think you should make another vid that's all about hands even if Amy has already made one because yes.

(you too, phoebeface - I'm so grateful, I'm about to go dive headfirst into strawberry-scented bubble bath)

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