tishaturk: (TV: Buffy)
One of the articles I'm working on right now is based on the presentation that I gave at the 2009 IP/Gender Symposium, in which I suggested some ways that narrative theory can help us think about vids as fair use of copyrighted material.

In the article, I mention Francesca Coppa's now well-known definition of a vid as "a visual essay that stages an argument." One of the advantages of this definition is that, to the extent that a given vid is an argument, it can be defended on the grounds of fair use—the same kind of fair use that allows me to quote from a novel when I write a review of it or an essay about it.

Now, I happen to think it's true that all vids are arguments, if only in the most basic sense. (For years, the textbook in my first-year composition class was Everything's An Argument.) But here's the thing: some vids are obviously arguments (vids like [personal profile] luminosity's "Vogue" and [livejournal.com profile] sisabet and [personal profile] luminosity's "Women's Work" come immediately to mind), and some vids are not so obvious. This is what Sarah Trombley's getting at in "Visions and Revisions" when she comments that "A fanvid which merely recapitulates the plot of a work or the development of a relationship between previously-existing characters is perhaps the least transformative use [of copyrighted material]" (665). And there are a lot of vids that seem to fall into this category of "mere recapitulation."

So one of the things I want to do in this article is talk about a couple of examples of vids that, although we might make a case for them as arguments, are not primarily or obviously argument-driven, and to talk about how those vids are nevertheless transformative works. The type of vid that immediately comes to mind for me is the celebratory vid, the vid that exists primarily to say "OMG MY SHOW" or "I LOVE THIS CHARACTER SO MUCH." (Celebratory vids tend to have a certain capslock quality to them.) The most recent example that comes to mind for me is [personal profile] fan_eunice's "Walking on Sunshine": I actually think that vid is making quite a few arguments about the new incarnation of the Doctor, the past and future direction of the show, etc. etc. etc., but when I watch it the overwhelming effect is, as [personal profile] fan_eunice puts it, "SQUEE in vid form."

I love celebratory vids—they make me happy, which is exactly what they're supposed to do—and so I have some possibilities in mind already. But I'm sure there are some I need to be reminded of, not to mention many that I've never seen in the first place, and I would love to expand my range of options! So please, tell me:

What are your favorite celebratory vids?

...or, really, your favorite vids that aren't primarily arguments—episodic vids, maybe, or a vid that, as Trombley says, "recapitulates the plot of a work or the development of a [canonical] relationship between previously-existing characters." Tell me about your own vids, other people's vids, whatever you want.

...now I want to watch "Walking on Sunshine" again.
tishaturk: (TV: Buffy)
Last night I spent a couple of hours watching and talking about vids with one of my senior colleagues who watches no TV and very few movies, listens to very little contemporary popular music, and generally doesn't engage much with pop culture. The goal was not to convert her to vidwatching--that was something of a non-starter, as you might imagine--but to familiarize her with what I do when I watch and write about vids; she suggested the session herself because she wants to be able to speak knowledgeably and effectively about my work when my tenure case is reviewed next year, which was an exceptionally kind overture for her to make, especially given her lack of personal interest in all things pop cultural, let alone fannish.

We watched [livejournal.com profile] sockkpuppett's "Vogue" and [livejournal.com profile] sisabet's "Ring Them Bells," since she's read my article manuscript about them, and then [livejournal.com profile] flummery's "Haunted."

Afterwards she turned to me and said "So most vids are based on movies and TV shows that are science fictional or feature lots of violence? Are there any happy vids?"

And while I could truthfully say that yes, there are happy vids and that no, not all vid source is science fictional or violent, I have to admit that I couldn't come up with a lot of examples. (In my defense, I was working off the VividCon DVDs, and the VividCon Premieres vidshows are famously heavy on the angst and light on the light-hearted.) I did show her [livejournal.com profile] tv_elf's "I Walk the Line" (because, hey, penguins!) and [livejournal.com profile] destina's "To Touch the Face of God" (because I had forgotten the explosion in the middle--oops), which are both lovely, though very different. We talked about why vidders (and fans more generally) gravitate towards the kinds of shows that we do, and also about how what vidders do is constrained by what's on TV, and how this affects, for example, the kinds of stories vidders can tell about women. I referenced [livejournal.com profile] geekturnedvamp's terrific "Relationships Between Women" vidshow... and am realizing as I type this that I should have showed my colleague [livejournal.com profile] fan_eunice's "Whatever It Takes," which I am now adding to my mental list of "intro vids for non-fans."

But now that I'm thinking about it, I would really like a better answer to the original question. So: what are your favorite vids that don't feature violence? I'll take recs of vids made from source that doesn't emphasize that kind of conflict or vids in which the vidder somehow worked around the guns and blood. 'Shipper vid recs are welcome, and in fact I could think of a fair number of 'ship vids that don't feature violence (and a fair number that do--oh, Buffy), but I find that 'ship vids tend to be fairly context dependent and also not particularly interesting to people not already invested in the relationship, so I'm primarily looking for other kinds of vids--though really, everything is fair game.

All thoughts welcome!

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Tisha Turk

November 2016

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