seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
Title: Warning: Might Lead to Mixed Dancing
Responsible for the lack of consistent title block from vid to vid: seekingferret
Vidder: seekingferret
Song: "Et Rekod" by Yakov Shwekey
Fandom: Um... all of them? Or at least 104 of them.
Content Notes: Warning: Might Lead to Mixed Dancing
Length: 4:16
Summary: All the Jews! All the Feelz!. The Jewish dance vid of my heart.
Premiered at: Club Vivid 2017
Thanks to: Oh, man, the list. First and foremost, thanks to [personal profile] sanguinity and [personal profile] ghost_lingering for so much support and helpful feedback. Thanks to [personal profile] kass for positive feedback when it was desperately needed. Thanks to J,L,L,T, and B for giving me the opportunity to watch people respond to the vid in person and see what was landing. Thanks to a different J and L for offering a round of specifically Jewish feedback. Thanks to [personal profile] thirdblindmouse for canon suggestions and source provision. Thanks to anyone who has listened to me babble about Jewish movies in the past year, which is most of the people I know, even if they didn't necessarily know the reason I was watching a particular movie or show.

(Download available through the Critical Commons website. Note that you have to get a free account.)

(also posted to youtube)

I have so much to say about the making of this vid and my feelings about all the characters and fandoms in it that it's honestly a little paralyzing. I've written thousands of words of reveal notes and I still have thousands of words to go, but here is the vid! I worked on this vid from October to May and I poured all my heart and all my soul and all my might into this vid. It feels so amazing to finally share it with the world. It was so amazing to dance to it at Vividcon, wearing my Soulless Golem T-shirt.

Song lyrics )

List of all fandoms, not quite in order )
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
Title: Feasting and Dancing (The Disney Princesses Remix
Fandom: Star Wars
Vidder: seekingferret
Song: "This Year" by the Mountain Goats
Content Notes: Canonical Major Character Death, Violence, Child Abuse
Length: 3:39
Responsible for the lack of consistent title block from vid to vid: seekingferret
Summary The Leia version of this vid
Created For: [personal profile] niyalune
Thanks to: [personal profile] echan for betaing!
Originally posted: Here to AO3

seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
The [community profile] wiscon_vidparty vidshow had 19 premieres this year, which is amazing, and a lot of them are just incredible vids. I wanted to highlight some of my favorites:

Stamina (women's sports) by [personal profile] runawaynun

SO GREAT! I love the way it revels in the wonders of female physicality but also deals with the political and historical struggles that had to be fought to allow these women to become the athletes they did.

I Am The One Who Will Remember Everything (Harry Potter) by [personal profile] chaila

The most amazing McGonagall vid. It has so much going on, so many narrative throughlines, all of McGonagall's students and all of the ways in which she shapes them and they shape her. I actually reread Sorcerer's Stone today in its wake and all of McGonagall's scenes read SO DIFFERENTLY now.

Field Work (Imperial March) (Indiana Jones) by [personal profile] eruthros

So slyly ironic at first, so devastatingly incisive as it ramps up.
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
I submitted my vid for Club Vivid last night!!!

Looking through emails, I conceived the idea for this vid at the start of October, started collecting clips on 10/15, had the first draft on 11/28. I have put so much work into this vid over what is for me a very long time to work on a fanwork. I definitely think this is the fannish project I've put the most of myself into.

It feels very funny to be done with this thing that's consumed so much of my attention for months. I celebrated the completion by doing a shot of slivovitz, as felt appropriate. I subsequently felt a little dizzy, but I'm not sure if that's because of the liquor or the feeling of loss.

August seems a long way away. Funny to have to sit on a fanwork for so long before sharing it. I'm used to the instant gratification of finishing something, posting it, and getting comments more or less right away. I widened the circle of people I asked to beta in the last week, so I did get to see some new people reacting to seeing it for the first time, including the first set of people I actually literally was in the same room with and watched them react to it. They responded as I'd hoped and it was awesome.

I can't wait to dance to my vid at Vividcon.
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
Title: Science Fiction Double Feature
Fandom: Star Wars A New Hope/ Star Wars The Force Awakens (geddit? It's a double feature!)
Vidder: seekingferret
Song: "Science Fiction Double Feature" by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
Content Notes: Canonical Major Character Death, Violence
Length: 2:29
Responsible for the lack of consistent title block from vid to vid: seekingferret
Summary 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: [personal profile] niyalune [community profile] equinox_exchange Spring 2017
Acknowledgements: thanks for [personal profile] 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 [personal profile] 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.
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
Title: Feasting and Dancing
Fandom: Star Wars Original Trilogy
Vidder: seekingferret
Song: "This Year" by the Mountain Goats
Content Notes: Canonical Major Character Death, Violence, Child Abuse
Length: 3:40
Responsible for the lack of consistent title block from vid to vid: seekingferret
Summary Ready for the bad things to come.
Created For: [personal profile] niyalune [community profile] equinox_exchange Spring 2017
Originally posted: Here to AO3

I was looking to do something with Skywalker family angst, per [personal profile] niyalune's request. It was kind of a tossup between the song I ended up choosing, "This Year" by the Mountain goats, and fun.'s "Carry On"- both songs about just putting your shoulder to the wheel and enduring pain and loss and sadness to hopefully get to the good stuff you're not entirely certain is around the corner. Ultimately the evil stepfather stuff in "This Year" carried the day- I was talking to [ profile] allandaros and he commented on how, of all the fictional characters with daddy issues, Luke and Leia's daddy issues are perhaps the most legit- their daddy is actually a genocidal maniac. If anyone deserves the right to bitch about his daddy issues, it's Luke Skywalker. And yet... "This Year" is a brutal song, but it's also a self-mocking song. The narrator, looking back on his teenage years, knows to some level that the abuse was not his fault, but he also knows that as a teenager he was a stupid teenager. The absurdity of "I am going to make it through this year if it kills me" anchors the song, and then Darnielle piles on ironies like "I was seventeen years young" and "twin high maintenance machines" (I reversed the polarity of that one back to literal for double irony points by making the Falcon and Luke's X-Wing the high maintenance machines ferrying around their high maintenance pilots). This is a vid about how Luke is a ridiculous child who turns into a hero in spite of having a hell of a lot stacked against him.

This vid was harder to figure out than "Science Fiction Double Feature"- the lyric matches less obvious, the narrative trickier. I had to do the opening thirty seconds four times, over the course of two weeks, before I had it down. At first I had a much longer whomping Luke section at the start where I played out, over the instrumental prelude, each of a series of terrible things happening to Luke- the dianoga attack, the wampa attack, crashing his airspeeder, etc... It didn't work- the whole thing was too slow and repetitive and the story I was telling didn't really start way for too long, so I had to cut back the instrumental prelude, trim back all the whomping of Luke into a much more economical narrative, and get into "I broke free on a Saturday morning" and Luke's actual agency much quicker and the section started to gel. Then I stalled out for a month, before finishing the remaining two minutes in about a week. I think I needed to stew on the vid to decide how to pace it, when Vader would reappear and which moments told the story. I also considered for a while whether Leia's daddy issues belonged- ultimately I decided that the song didn't have the narrative density to support those dual narratives, but that's a question that to some degree still lingers for me as a what-if. There are a couple of places in the song that seem like natural places to introduce a new perspective, but I am less certain that there are natural places to conclude the second narrative. I could see introducing the torture droid scene from ANH, I could see Leia running full-steam ahead, blaster locked and loaded, in the mid sections, but I couldn't see how the ending of the Leia narrative looked. She never gets to confront her father the way Luke does.

I hit "there will be dancing and feasting in Jerusalem next year" and really struggled with what to do after that. It's an obvious lyrical match for the end of RotJ- Luke triumphant, having escaped/surmounted his father's shadow. But if I do that jump, how does the vid continue? How do I work my way back to the final chorus, and then to the thirty seconds of instrumental coda that follow the last chorus? I jokingly told [personal profile] sanguinity I was thinking of just stopping there- Luke celebrates with his new family over the final chorus, then thirty seconds of credits. But it was an unsatisfying solution, so what I ended up doing was switching mid-chorus from the RotJ celebration to Luke's final battle, as if to say that the celebration still lies in the future, he's still fighting for his soul and his father's soul, and the abuse is something he'll carry even after the celebration. Even though it was forced by the song and not my original plan, I think it worked out better than if I'd ended the song with Luke's pure, unambiguous triumph. There is an integrity as a vidder in trusting the song you've committed to- if it truly is the right song, it will teach you how to vid to it, nudge you into new understandings of the characters. And if it's the wrong song, well, then you add it to the ever-growing scrap heap of failed vid ideas.
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
I made three or four vids for Festivids this year depending on how you count.

My assignment was for [personal profile] skygiants, who requested a Blazing Saddles vid. She requested "a really wacky vid that embraces the genre satire; I also think you could do some really neat stuff going in the exact opposite direction and digging into sharp edges of what the film is actually about. " I didn't do either of those things, exactly. Rather, I think what I did is take the film's narrative beats nearly totally seriously. Blazing Saddles is a scathing satire of the Western genre which rigorously hits every single narrative trope of the genre it can find and rigorously checks off every required plot point of the standard Western plot. And each time it hits a required point, it informs you that it is doing it. The result is that even though it often doesn't feel like it because you're too busy laughing, Blazing Saddles is sketching out the epic saga of Sheriff Bart and his victory over the forces of evil. I tried to bring that into focus without forsaking the important themes that arise from the satire, of the erasure of minorities from the 19th century West, of white supremacy and the importance of alliances and teamwork to defeat it.

Two Against One

The song I chose to vid "Two Against One" by Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi, is incredibly apt for this balancing act. It's the work of a biracial musician reinterpreting the classic Western soundtracks of Ennio Morricone, a complicated marriage of blues and folk and spaghetti Western. I think the lyrics are actually about self-sabotage- read closely enough the 'two' opponents Jack White is faced up against are his own tendency to betray himself- and himself in a mirror! The lyrics, though, are vague enough that you need to listen closely to understand this, so I read nearly all the lyrics against their actual meanings. The 'two' is usually used for the good guys, against the one being the bad guy, as I was emphasizing the teamwork theme. The thrust of the vid is: Bart shows up in town alone, the classic Western loner, hated by everyone both for Western trope reasons of the feared outsider and because of basic racism. He forms an alliance with Jim, becoming for the first time Two against One, then enlists the the poor townfolk, women and children too, in the fight against the evil white males with institutional power.

Then I saw [personal profile] yinetime was out for pinchhit and they requested the Darren Aronofsky Noah movie. Some of you may know I've been working on a vid for this film for the past two years. It's a six minute long vid and I've laid a good timeline for about three and a half minutes of it. So I wasn't about to finish that in two weeks for Festivids, but I knew the source really damned well, so I asked myself "Do you think you can make a vid for this in two weeks?" I decided, before claiming the pinch hit, to spend a few minutes testing out ideas to make sure I could pull it off. I usually do this when claiming pinch hits for fic. In this case, I sat down and an hour later I had a full timeline for a two and a half minute long vid. And I mostly really liked the timeline! So I claimed the pinch hit.

Brings the Flood

"Brings the Flood" is set to Neko Case's ambiguous fairy tale of faith "Fox Confessor Brings the Flood". My vid centers Naamah, Noah's wife, and the ways in which Noah betrays her. He is the 'fox' of Case's song: handsome, spiritual, dangerously cunning, and for all that he loves her, not always acting in her best interests. But Naamah is cunning, too. In the end, Noah stands over Ila, preparing to kill Shem's daughters in order to annihilate the human race, and he looks at Ila and he sees his wife in her, and he overcomes the snake for her sake. And all through it, Naamah endures, endures the pains and betrayals that come of trying to live a moral and fulfilled life in a world that doesn't explain what moral means. And then the rainbow comes and tells both Noah and Naamah that forgiveness has come, even though it cannot quite wipe away the flood of tears.

And then I recalled another song I'd noticed when scanning my music library for songs about floods and oceans and water: "Theme from Flood" by They Might Be Giants, the goofy radio-jingle of a theme song for the TMBG album of the same time. And I said two things. First "Wouldn't a Noah vid to this be hilarious?" and Second: "I told [personal profile] sanguinity that I just made a treat in an hour, to try to throw her off the scent of guessing I made the Noah pinch hit. But she's still going to know that I made the Noah vid, because of course I made the Noah vid. But if I made a TMBG Noah vidlet that will clearly only take a few minutes of work, she might think this is the Noah vid I was talking about, and somebody else made "Brings the Flood". Except she's still going to know I made "Brings the Flood", because of course I made the Noah vid." So I made "They Might Be Nephilim", this overly obvious Ferretvid, because it made me laugh and because it might decoy [personal profile] sanguinity, though probably not. And then [personal profile] thirdblindmouse made "Chess: The Musical", which is basically the exact same joke. I'm awed by how similar they are.

They Might Be Nephilim

That's three vids. What's the fourth? I made a third Noah vid, but I didn't post it because it's a little messy and also because if I'd posted three Noah vids, there wouldn't have been any question in the world that I made all three, especially since I reuse a lot of clips in complementary ways from vid to vid. The third vid is a Tubal-Cain POV vid about his relationship with Noah. It's set to Arcade Fire's "Ocean of Noise", off an album dismissively but for these purposes appropriately titled "Neon Bible". "Noah" is very much a film, I know I've written, about the way that it can feel that if the Creator has a plan, it's never communicated very well to the actors carrying it out. Noah is prophetically warned of the flood, but that doesn't tell him how to respond to it, doesn't give him certainty about what redemption may or may not come. And Tubal-Cain is given even less than Noah. All he can see is that the power to rule has been placed in front of him by the Creator and he sees that as his own sort of prophecy, an obligation to act in the Creator's image by creating a civilization of great strength and achievement.'s annotator sees "Ocean of Noise" as a struggle for primacy between absent father and rebellious son, but I don't find that perfectly obvious. More clearly, it's a song about an opposition that may appear rational, but if examined decays into an ocean of noise. In the end, Noah and Tubal Cain are both just fighting for the survival of themselves and the people that matter to them.

Ocean of Noise
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
My Vids for 2016

Ex Libris (Storylords)
Joker (Battlestar Galactica)
Circles (Ma'Agalim) (West Wing)
Blonde Redhead (Fringe)
Getting Ready to Get Down (Moses und Aron)

I'm pretty fond of them all. Part of me wants to say "Joker", even though it is a total shitvid, because I executes its single idea perfectly, and as a person more inclined to the glorious failure, I admire its precision. But I think "Getting Ready to Get Down" is the best combination of effort and result and art. I think it's the vid I made this year that does the most things and I'm really proud of it. And it's a fandom really dear to my heart that I'm glad I got to celebrate.

Least Favorite
"Blonde Redhead"... I wish that vid were so much more than it is, I wish I could have really finished it rather than just dumped it out to the world part-finished, but really I just hit the end of the road with that timeline.

Most Successful
Dunno, I don't think any of my vids this year were particularly successful in terms of getting attention. I guess by default "Circles" had the biggest audience since it played for the whole Vividcon crowd. That was a really awesome experience, in general, for the first time seeing people at a con respond to my vid as it aired.

Most Underappreciated by the Universe
"Ex Libris". For some reason, not a lot of people are into 1980s Wisconsin educational TV shows. For that matter, I am not really one of them, but I'm proud of the vid anyway for making clever use of the source material and actually telling an effective story.

Most Fun to Make
"Joker". So many giggles as I put that together.

Hardest Vid to Make
"Getting Ready to Get Down". I needed to figure out a whole new vidding vocabulary somewhere halfway between a live action vid and a comics vid, in order to deal with how static the source material is. I think a lot of the choices I made work.

The Things I Learned This Year
How to deal with lots and lots of technical nonsense, as I endured a lot of encoding issues. Vidding is the worst hobby. Other than that, I mostly have been trying to teach myself how to cut faster, with some occasional moderate success.

Planning for Next Year

Well, I have made a festivid, and maybe I will try to make a treat. Probably not- the next few weeks shaping up to be crazy.

Mostly, though, I have been working on a massively multifandom vid that has been filling me with joy for the past couple months. And I will be continuing to work on it for a few months more, but it's started coming together and that makes me very happy.

I should also mention the Neoconservative Tony Stark vid and the Big Bang Theory/Heather Dale vid I mentioned in last year's "Planning for Next Year" section as things that sometime in the future I would still like to make.

Apparently I made five vids in 2015, and five in 2016, so it'd be nice to make five in 2017.
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)


Make no mistake I don't do anything for free

I keep my enemies closer than my mirror ever gets to me

And if you think that there is shelter in this attitude

Wait till you feel the warmth of my gratitude


I get the feeling that it's two against one

I'm already fighting me, so what's another one?

The mirror is a trigger and your mouth's a gun

Lucky for me I'm not the only one

And if it looks to me like you and your reflection

Plan to add your own fight to this dimension

Then tell it that this ain't no free-for-all to see

There's only three

It's just you and me against me


I get the feeling that it's two against one

I'm already fighting me so what's another one?

The mirror is a trigger and your mouth's a gun

Lucky for me I'm not the only one

Lucky for me I'm not the only one

And if your foot soldiers, sycophants, and yes men

Plan to break into the middle of this little plan

Then they should plan to hear me say

That I won't play around the way

Anyway, I plan to plan around them


I get the feeling that it's two against one

I'm already fighting me so what's another one?

The mirror is a trigger and your mouth's a gun

Lucky for me I'm not the only one

Lucky for me I'm not the only one
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)


In an ocean of noise
I first heard your voice
Ringing like a bell
As if I had a choice
Oh well!

Left in the morning
While you were fast asleep
Into an ocean of violence
A world of empty streets

You've got your reasons
And me, I've got mine
But all the reasons I gave
Were just lies to buy myself some time

In an ocean of noise
I first heard your voice
Now who here among us
Still believes in choice?
Not I!

No way of knowing
What any man will do
An ocean of violence
Between me and you

I'm going to work it out
Cause time won’t work it out
I'm going to work it out
Cause time won’t work it out for you
I'm going to work it on out
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)


Why is the world in love again?
Why are we marching hand in hand?
Why are the ocean levels rising up?
It's a brand new record for 1990.
They Might be Giants' brand new album:
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)


Driving home I see those flooded fields

How can people not know what beauty this is?

I've taken it for granted my whole life

Since the day I was born

Clouds hang on these curves like me

And I kneel to the wheel

Of the fox confessor on splendid heels

And he shames me from my seat

And on my guilty feet I follow him

In retreat

What purpose in these deeds?

Oh fox confessor please...

Who married me to these orphaned blues?

"It's not for you to know, but for you to weep and wonder

When the death of your civilization precedes you."

Will I ever see you again?

Will there be no one above me to put my faith in?

I flooded my sleeves as I drove home again

New Vid

Oct. 15th, 2016 08:15 pm
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
Title: Gettin' Ready to Get Down: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Calf
Fandom: Moses und Aron (Straub-Huillet production)
Vidder: seekingferret
Song: "Getting Ready to Get Down" by Josh Ritter
Content Notes: TW: Suicide, Heresy
Length: 2:40
Responsible for the lack of consistent title block from vid to vid: seekingferret
Summary Take that, Schoenberg!
Acknowledgements Thanks to [personal profile] ghost_lingering and [personal profile] raspberryhunter for betaing: The former as my knows-vidding-but-doesn't-know-the-opera beta, the latter as my knows-opera-but-not-vidding beta, together they were a great team.

This vid exists because United cancelled my flight to Vividcon. 90% of the timeline was laid in Newark Airport, at least the original draft. It's taken a lot of finetuning since then, but I'm really proud of the final result.

This is definitely yet again a vid for a fandom nobody's seen, but whatever, I've been rabidly fannish about this movie for a decade and I'm so pleased to celebrate it and share it with the greater world.

Moses und Aron is an early 20th century atonal opera by Arnold Schoenberg, which presents an extremely idiosyncratic take on the story of the Exodus, filtered through the thinking of Freud and Buber and other important early 20th Century German-Jewish philosophers, as well as through Schoenberg's own twisted and difficult relationship with his Jewish faith. It was filmed in the mid 70s by a team of French experimental filmmakers whose film treats the Sinai desert as another character in the film, filling it with stark, vast desert shots that dwarf the characters and make everyone seem small compared to the vastness of God. Straub and Huillet's film is beautiful but harrowing, and it is so static and irregular that it proved a great challenge to vid.

In Schoenberg's presentation, Moses and Aaron are oppositional forces. Moses is the champion of an unknowable, ineffable God, while Aaron believes that metaphor and imagery must be used to bring God's message to the People, who together comprise a third character sitting in between the dialectic fraternal struggle. In the unfinished third act, Moses triumphs far more than in the original text of Exodus, exiling his brother from the nation for trying to introduce the idolatrous worship of the calf.

This is a very different story than the Jewish Exodus, and I sought in this vid to rehabilitate Aaron, to show why physical enjoyment and visual beauty has to have a place in Jewish worship of the divine.

Vid Amnesty

Sep. 3rd, 2016 10:17 pm
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
[personal profile] kerithwyn says I should post this, so I guess I will. I feel awkward about it, though.

Blonde Redhead from ronarfelq on Vimeo.

password: fringe

The story of this vid is that DNA is a fake band started in the late 70s by three visual artists/performance artists who didn't know how to play instruments. Because it was the late 70s, they got gigs all over the Lower East Side anyway and developed a cult following for their raucous and enthusiastic bad songs. It was something called "no wave" that I remain baffled by now, but I kind of love their music because even on the recordings you can hear how passionate they are about BEING A FUCKING BAND. Ikue Mori, the band's drummer, eventually learned a little bit about electronic music and I learned of DNA by attending some of Mori's mid-2000s electronic music concerts on the Lower East Side.

DNA's 'hit', if you can call it that, is a 'song' called 'Blonde Redhead' with urgently hissed or sometimes blurrily drawled lyrics over dissonant guitar playing and a mostly steady, occasionally wobbly drumbeat. I once described it to [personal profile] sanguinity as 'DNA's songiest song'.

Because most of my vids start as puns, I decided to try to vid "Blonde Redhead" to the story of Olivia and Altlivia, the two versions of Fringe's Olivia Dunham who live in alternate universes and who are only different at first glance becauce Altlivia has red hair and Olivia has blonde hair. There is much more to the differences than that, ultimately- Altlivia walks more confidently, cracks jokes more easily, smiles more quickly... Anna Torv's two performances are a study in subtle acting. But at first glance, Blonde/Redhead is the fundamental contrast.

I put together a timeline, and I liked good chunks of it, but there were parts that were always intended as placeholders, so I could have something in the vid to explain when I sent it to betas asking for suggestions. Most notably is my one attempt at a significant visual effect, where I try to parallel the show's image of Olivia in Tankworld by using blurs and lighting effects to synthesize Altlivia in Tankworld. The result is a disaster. There are a number of other, less obviously terrible problems with the vid, and I uploaded it to Dropbox to share with a few people I trusted for advice.

Then my laptop was stolen and I lost my timeline. Since then, I've shared the draft I had saved in my email with a few Fringe fan friends I trusted, to show them where I got and what could have been, but I've been too demoralized by the loss of all that work to try to remake it and finish it. But to hell with it, here's the vid draft. It sucks in places, but in other places it's pretty fucking rad. But I'm never going to finish it, so what the hell, feel free to watch it, knowing I'm unsatisfied with it.
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
Title: Circles (Ma'agalim)
Vidder: seekingferret
Fandom: The West Wing
Song: "Ma'agalim (Circles)" by Idan Raichel
Content Notes: Club Vivid Premiere 2016. The posted vid is ripped from the con DVD because I seem to have already lost the original file. Will try to find that.
Length: 3:18
Responsible for the lack of consistent title block from vid to vid: seekingferret
Summary Remix of LauraShapiro's West Wing fanvid "Circles", focusing on Toby Ziegler
Acknowledgements Thanks to [personal profile] ghost_lingering for betaing, the tech glitches are not her fault. Thanks for [personal profile] laurashapiro for inspiration.


lyrics )

As often happens when Idan Raichel releases a new album, I listened to "At the Edge of the Beginning" an awful lot when it first came out in January. The album's standout is "Ma'agalim (Circles)", a really great dance tune with thoughtful lyrics. I wanted to vid it before I knew what to vid it to.

The song is also a designed pun: As a song called "Circles", it is intended to be danced as an Israeli circle dance. There's something awfully attractive to me about pun songs. As I listened to the song on repeat, I thought about what I could vid it to, and the punnishness of the title called to me to respond with my own pun. In viddish circles, "Circles" is the name of a well-known West Wing vid premiered about ten years ago at Vividcon by [personal profile] laurashapiro. It tells the story of the West Wing crew bobbing and weaving through the White House to Tommy Schlamme's lyrical camera movement,, the famous 'walk-and-talks' sending the whole West Wing spinning in literal circles as Jed and Leo and Josh and CJ and Toby struggle with the various scandals of the Bartlett administration. It's one of my favorite vids, because it captures characters I love so much, so well. And it's a quintessential vid, one that takes the visual elements of a show and reuses them in a way that completely reinterprets them. So I started to get stuck on the idea of somehow mashing up "Circles" the West Wing vid and "Circles" the Israeli dance song. Especially as a Club Vivid vid it seemed to work- dancing along to this song seems essential to what it says as a vid.

Because "Ma'agalim" is Hebrew and Idan Raichel as a poet and musician often draws inspiration from his Judaism, Toby Ziegler was the natural focal point for this vid, as the locus of Jewish identity on the West Wing. Also because I have ridiculous amounts of Toby Feelz. All the feelz. I don't think this vid says anything really specific about Toby, it just testifies to the way he keeps cycling again and again through the vicissitudes of life, always rolling with the punches, the way he suffers and loses and just carries it inside him and works as hard as he can to serve others, because he believes in America's promise. And how in spite of his surliness he builds family and love all around him, love he's uncertain if he deserves but which ultimately carries him when he needs to be carried. This was for me an intricate vid, with some faster cuts than I typically use, and a quite long list of episode sources, but it also sort of straightforwardly followed from its premise. I knew what images needed to be where with very little rethinking required. I feel like I know Toby very well.

Sadly my laptop broke shortly after submitting this vid, and recovering files from it is a little hit or miss. So I ripped the vid from the con DVD set in order to get it posted quickly. I will try to dig up the cleaner better prettier version of this vid and post that when I can figure out how.

Round 2

Feb. 15th, 2016 10:40 pm
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
Seekingferret and Ghost-Lingering Have a Crackvid War, Round One:
A Quick Summary

Game On!

Challenge Accepted: A Brief History of Cities

Round Two

Title: Joker!
Vidder: seekingferret
Fandom: Battlestar Galactica
Responsible for the lack of consistent title block from vid to vid: seekingferret
Song: "All Along the Watchtower" by Bob Dylan Bear McCreary John Corigliano
Content Notes: Terrible quality warning
Length: 3:20
Summary This is what the final scene of Season 3 of Battlestar would have been, if it had been scored by John Corigliano. The scary thing is that it almost works.

The Joker from ronarfelq on Vimeo.

Password: joker
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
My Vids for 2015

This Be the Verse (Adam West Batman)
Holy Dance Vid, Batman! (Adam West Batman)
Joy to the City (Fringe)
Cassavetes (Iron Man)
Game On (Voynich Manuscript)

"Joy to the City", I think. It's a story I've wanted to tell for several years and it's a story I've not seen anyone else talking about in the same way, and I think I did a good job of telling it. And it's a song I love and it was a pleasure to vid, and it got a good response, and everything about it makes me happy.

Least Favorite
Uh... "Game On"? I mean, not just because it is probably not really a vid, but because every time I look at it it reminds me that I originally had an idea for something incredibly ambitious and I made this instead. For what it is, "Game On" is fine, and I'm still looking forward to seeing [personal profile] ghost_lingering's response, but it's certainly the least substantial and interesting thing I made this year.

Most Successful
One of the Batman vids, I'd say "Holy Dance Vid, Batman." Which is funny because I made that so much quicker and with so much less thought than "This Be the Verse", but on the other hand, it's accessible and bangs hard on nostalgia buttons, so that makes sense.

Most Underappreciated by the Universe
"Cassavetes"! My first vid shown at a con, and I got some nice feedback from people who were at the con, and then the actual posting online got very little response. I don't understand why. It's a megafandom, it's a great song, and it says something I think is interesting about how we fan. You'd think it would get more attention than it did.

Most Fun to Make
"Joy to the City". Well, except for the hunting tediously through all of Season 5 for Resist! posters part, that was a pain. But the rest was just a wallow in beautiful source and beautiful music and Etta feelings.

Hardest Vid to Make
Torn between saying "Cassavetes" and "This Be the Verse". "Cassavetes" in general wasn't hard formally, but I could. not. get. the. opening. right. I'm not even really sure why, but the timing was impossible. I'd think I had it right, then I'd go back to it a couple days later and it would be all wrong again. It was maddening.

"This Be the Verse" went through a lot of iterations because it required a lot of precision in the messaging, because more than my other vids this year it was arguing against the source material. I originally tried to position Alfred as "your mum", but betas rejected that as confusing, so I moved toward Bruce as both "your mum and dad" and things started to work better. There were a lot of things like that, where my first intuition about how to deliver the message was wrong. Also, the crossover stuff required a lot of massaging. First the aspect ratio stuff, but that was mostly straightforward to figure out, none of the shots in Gotham I needed had important stuff in the composition outside of the 4:3 cropping box. But the color was a big problem. Adam West Batman is oversaturated with color and to try to make the Gotham footage feel reasonably compatible took a lot of time and color adjustment of each clip individually. (I considered throwing in the towel and just making the Gotham stuff be Black and White, but that didn't work either.)

The Things I Learned This Year
I dunno? I guess I learned that I can pull off a multifandom vid. I learned that I can actually make an anon vid that [personal profile] sanguinity won't sniff out. I don't feel like any of my vids this year are particularly impressive or technically pushed myself all that much, so maybe I learned that if I want to make vids that satisfy me I need to learn more and push myself more outside of the limited toolkit of vidding techniques I have.

Planning for Next Year
I'm sitting on my response to [personal profile] ghost_lingering"s presumptive crackvid salvo. I'm really excited to share it with the world... if she doesn't post hers soon, I may crack and post it anyway.

I've also been working on a neonconservative Tony Stark vid that makes me really excited because of the way it argues against everything fandom thinks about Tony. And a little further down the line there's a Big Bang Theory vid that I'm hoping to get to, not because I like Big Bang Theory but because I want to vid this particular filksong and BBT seems like the best match for the ideas I want to develop.

Game On!

Oct. 11th, 2015 12:08 pm
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
[personal profile] ghost_lingering:
Someday we do some kind of high concept crack vid off for vids that are both hilarious and pretentious.

[personal profile] seekingferret:
Game On!

Title: Game On!
Vidder: seekingferret
Fandom: The Voynich Manuscript
Song: Untitled 4 by Sigur Ros
Responsible for the lack of consistent title block from vid to vid: seekingferret
Content Notes: Terrible quality warning
Length: 1:09

Game on from ronarfelq on Vimeo.

Password: voynich
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
I want to talk about one of the other [community profile] wiscon_vidparty premieres, [personal profile] brainwane's "Pipeline". I was privileged to beta the vid, so I've been excited and wanting to talk about it for several weeks.

At my engineering school, the mechanical engineering class of my year had about twenty five students, and five of them were female. It doesn't take a genius to recognize the pressure this placed on my female classmates, especially when your professors are making flip misogynistic remarks in the classroom. The problems women in tech face are substantial and solving them is really, really important to me. And the problem with these problems is that sometimes problems that were less obvious or weren't actually problems suddenly become problems once you've addressed the more obvious problems.

"Pipeline" is about the fact that now that there's been a concerted and to some degree effective effort to get more women into technology than there was a decade ago (though [personal profile] brainwane uses a graph to nod to the fact that there was a greater proportion of women in computer science 50 yeas ago, and in general I love how much "Pipeline" aspires to tell all sides of the story complexly rather than selling a single narrative), we confront problems that weren't as evident when there weren't as many women working visibly in tech. Pay disparities, promotion disparities, sexual harassment, double standards in expectations... the more women enter the field, the more we are confronted with the fact that it's not enough to just get them into the field. It's just as critical to give them the support to stay in the field, to create technology jobs they would want to stay in by addressing the problems that go beyond the ones keeping them out to begin with.

And at the same time that [personal profile] brainwane is talking about these problems, she's also talking about the seduction itself... Because just as Swift's "Blank Space" is both a seduction and a warning, "Pipeline" warns about the dangers women entering the tech field face, but it also talks about how damned cool technology can be, and how the tech world is a place that women should want to work in, and should be able to succeed in.

Also, this is the first vid I've ever seen that uses the Julia Stiles is a Hacker clip from Ghostwriter. For that alone, I would love it.


seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)

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