Science Fiction Double FeatureFandom:
Star Wars A New Hope/ Star Wars The Force Awakens (geddit? It's a double feature!)Vidder:
"Science Fiction Double Feature" by Me First and the Gimme GimmesContent Notes:
Canonical Major Character Death, ViolenceLength:
2:29Responsible for the lack of consistent title block from vid to vid:
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, God said let there be lips. And there were, and they were good. Created For: niyalune equinox_exchange
thanks for thirdblindmouse
for betaing!Originally posted: here on AO3
My primary vid for Equinox was "Science Fiction Double Feature", a Star Wars fanvid to the Me First and the Gimme Gimmes punk cover of the opening song from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. I'm really pleased with how it turned out, how it's informed both by the Star Wars fandom meta side and by the Rocky Horror fandom meta side as it tells a story about the cyclical nature of media franchises and scifi as a genre in general- the literal 'double feature' in my vid is A New Hope and The Force Awakens, the iconic original film that is itself a transparent remix of things like the classic Flash Gordon serials, and the awesome new remix of the original film.
So... my relationship with Rocky Horror is complex. I was first introduced to it at nerd camp, where a costumed performance of "Sweet Transvestite" was a Second Saturday ritual and where quite a few of the campers knew the callbacks by heart. Because of its association with nerd camp, and because my friends enjoyed it, I watched it with nerd camp friends several times in the years after we left nerd camp- it was a habitual part of our reunions.
My opinion on RHPS, as a film, is simple: I think it's terrible and I think once you get to the Floor Show it becomes unwatchably terrible. That said, it can be fun to watch the earlier parts with good friends, and some of the callbacks are amusing. And for a movie that I dislike, it has a lot of good memories attached to it.
And I do resonate with the opening song and with the movie's idea of looking back nostalgically at early 20th century B movie SF. Which, not coincidentally, is what Star Wars, released only 2 years after Rocky Horror, is also doing- though they're tonally completely different, they're nostalgic about the exact same movies! I make a lot of vids where I find some inexplicable and surprising connection between two disparate fandoms/memes/themes, but that's not what this is. This is a vid about the very real nostalgia that drove the creation of both Star Wars and Rocky Horror. And how that cycle of nostalgia has looped around to the point where, cashing in on nostalgia for Star Wars, JJ Abrams created The Force Awakens as a coherent, recognizable remix of Star Wars.
I'm super pleased with so many of the lyric matches- Han and Chewie as Fay Wray and King Kong, Obi Wan as the Invisible Man, BB-88 as the Tarantula, Threepio as Anne Francis in both verses, Peter Cushing's Tarkin as Dr. X (he was, of course, cast as Tarkin because he spent so many decades playing various creature builders in various B SF films), Vader and Kylo as the Androids Fighting, and wrapping up each verse with the cantina crew as Rocky Horror fandom itself, which is to say Star Wars fandom, a crew of wonderful weirdos united by our shared obsession with skiffy. The song maps to Star Wars incredibly easily, really.
At the end I threw in a joke based on one of the Rocky Horror callbacks, because it felt necessary to acknowledge that part of the fannish experience of Rocky Horror- a twist on the Fuck the Back Row/ Fuck the Front Row/ Fuck All the Rows! callback that ends instead "Fuck Kylo Ren!" Which I figure is something everyone in Star Wars fandom ought to be able to agree about.
The opening callback in the standard Rocky script begins "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away." There is, again, in the fandom a significant connection between Star Wars and Rocky Horror. In different ways they speak to the same things. To be honest as I was vidding and listening to the song over and over I kept hearing the callbacks in my head... I'm not sure there are any other conscious references to callbacks in the vid, beyond the Fuck the Back Row joke, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were subconscious ones, places where my lyric matches are informed as much by the fannish subtext of Rocky Horror as by the actual text of the song. Certainly I had great pause about how to vid the "Brad and Janet" lines not because of who Brad and Janet represent in the film, but because of what they represent in the fannish consciousness. Anyone I tagged as Janet would carry the 'slut' moniker with her, and, for example, I definitely did not want that anywhere near Princess Leia. But I also was hesitant about tagging a male character as Janet the slut because that kind of joke is at least potentially transphobic. So certainly the fannish consciousness of Rocky Horror shaped how I approached the vid.
I made the vid before niyalune
posted their letter, and really before looking very closely at their journal, so I was relieved when I poked at their work to find their awesome Brooklyn 9-9 vid to The Time Warp, which signaled to me that I was in the right territory. In other meta thoughts, I was amused as hell when I opened my present and found that for the second exchange in a row, I both received and gave a vid with music by the same band- in Festivids it was They Might Be Giants, this time it was Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. Both are, I think, really vid-friendly bands. TMBG because they sing songs about specific things, which can provide better grounding for vidders than songs that are just about vague romantic feelings. And Me First because their uptempo covers can give a foothold to vidders who find the slower paced originals require too much support from the images.