See, this is the first day of vidvent, which is a really cool concept - giving vid feedback for the holidays, basically. (To learn more about it, go to this post. You can do as much or as little as you like; it’s a very low-key challenge.) I’m going to make my own attempt to do this, although, given how much I suck at coloring inside the lines, odds are good that I’ll make an honest effort, sure, but what will really happen is that I’ll send 24 pieces of vid feedback on the same day next March or something. Still, I’m going to try. (Shut up, Yoda.)
And it would be cool if some of you did, too. Doesn’t have to be for vids, either. You could do it for stories, too, because - well, I sometimes wonder if feedback doesn’t decline a bit around the holidays. I know that for me December is basically one long streak of Yuletide angst followed by a totally obscene, off-the-charts FF binge. I’m not sure what happens, precisely. I come out of my binge sometime in the middle of January, all covered in fragments of text and with only the vaguest memories of what I did. I just have to hope I didn’t, you know, get naked with someone’s Scrooge/Cratchit story or whatever. My point is that during December I am even worse than usual about leaving feedback. (I suspect that for much of the month I don’t actually meet all the statutory requirements for being alive, never mind actually communicating on any subject whatsoever.)
But this year, I plan to try. Wish me luck. My next conversation with you may be a slurred, “Augggh what did I do last month and oh my god is that a jingle bell piercing?” sometime in January, but the effort will be there.
And, to celebrate the first day of vidvent, here’s some vid recs!
The One with the Eye-Fuckingest Cowboys I Ever Did See. Big Country, by gwyn_r. Magnificent Seven, Chris/Vin.
You so don't need to know the fandom to love this vid, and I am the living proof, because I love it - it makes me deeply, deeply happy - and I will be the first to admit that I do not know from this fandom. I gather that it's about cowboys. I gather that there are horses. I gather that there are these two guys who ride on horses a lot and are so totally doing it. Also, one of them quite clearly has both Trauma and Issues. Needless to say, I gathered all that from this vid. There could be lions and tigers and naked slave boys in the parts of the canon that Gwyn didn't use, and I would never know it.
Except I almost did know it, because this vid damn near made me snuffle around looking for Magnificent 7 recs; it is a bundle of pimpery in a very pretty package. (Shush. I meant the gorgeous camera work and the, well, big country. Country, people. No actual packages, big or otherwise, are showcased during the course of this vid.) This is pretty amazing, given that it is, going by the vid, a Dreaded Hat Fandom. (See, I have a hard time telling people apart, and most TV shows are cast with people who look exactly the same. I know, I know, it's terribly speciesist of me to say "all you humans look alike," but you mostly do, at least when it comes to your faces. So I have to look for identifying details that I can easily pick out in close-up shots. Like hair. Hair is key. Unfortunately, in some fandoms, hair is covered by a hat, and I spiral into hopeless confusion. So until somebody kindly creates a TV show in which every single character is a different color, and I mean like green or purple, or wears his name on his shirt in large block letters, I basically have to wince away from Dreaded Hat Fandoms. But, wow, this one almost got me, hats and all.)
Because, oh, it is so gorgeous. And slashy. I have no idea which one is Chris and which one is Vin, so I think of them as Issues Boy (he has the trauma) and Country Boy (Gwyn, at any rate, links him to the earth and the sky a lot). (No one should start singing "thank god I'm a country boy" here. No, really not.) And I tell you this: judging by this vid, Issues Boy's issues are obviously going to be resolved through some time in rugged terrain with Country Boy, and I do mean with Country Boy.
Seriously. Watch this vid, and the fan fiction will write itself in your head. Gwyn titled her announcement post "cowboys in love," and I just can't put it any better than that.
The One That Asks, "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Gregory House? I Mean, Without Killing Him or Turning into Him?" Bukowski, by Shalott, aka astolat. House.
I just - let me just quote from the song here: "God, who'd wanna be such an asshole?" Now. If you know anything about House - and what I know could be written on two sides of a quarter, but I don't let that hold me back from the sweeping authoritative statements - you know that this is perhaps the most perfect song choice in existence. (And apparently we have tzikeh to thank for that, so thank you, tzikeh.)
And, wow. I think maybe House is a tough show to vid; I get the sense that its appeal comes a lot more from dialog and a lot less from pure visuals. (But, hey, I could be wrong. I'm basing this entirely on what I've gathered from vids.)
But this one? This totally works, probably because of the magical combination of perfect song choice, fabulous editing, and House's remarkable, um, clarity of character. (Seriously. Has the actor won an award yet? He should have. He has the best damn body language I have ever seen on a TV character.) For me, this vid pretty much sums up why, in another time and place, House would be one of my main fandoms: House is a character I'd love despite myself, a character I'd love even though he was anything but lovable.
And this vid captures that character perfectly.
Plus, come on. It's set to a song about Charles Bukowski. Can there be a better reason to download it?
Is It Hot in Here, or Is It Just This Vid? Boom Boom Ba, by charmax. Xena, Xena/Gabrielle.
I mentioned this a while back as a vid everyone must see, but I realized just today that I'd never written a proper recommendation for it. So here it is, the proper recommendation:
This is the sexiest vid you will ever see.
Oh, I have other stuff I could say - the use of color in this is jaw-dropping and the movement, my god, I could write a fucking essay on the way Charmax uses movement to create mood and the illusion of continuity and direct the viewer's eye and match the music. But that essay would only distract you from the central point, here, which is that this vid is sex. And dancing. And the dancing is also sex. So, basically, this vid is pure sex.
Download it, and you will not be sorry. I don't care if you haven't a clue who these people are. (Xena is the dark-haired one. I think she's maybe a god, and I also think she used to be bad but she isn't anymore. Gabrielle is the blonde. She's not a god. She writes scrolls. That's what I know, and it's more than enough to get this vid.) My only regret is that I missed the super-high-quality version Charmax had uploaded for a while, but trust me, the 50 MB one is just fine.
So, so much more than fine. Also, did I mention the sexiness?
The One I Watch When I Think a Day in My Life Has Been Hard. I Mean, It Could Always Be Worse: I Could Be Psychic. A Day in the Life, by Shalott, aka astolat, and Speranza, aka cesperanza. Dead Zone.
When I re-watched this so I could write up the summary for it, my first thought was: "Oh, I need to warn people this is canon-dependent." And then I remembered that when I first watched this vid, I hadn't seen any Dead Zone. And, sure, I missed some nuances, but I got the gist of it just fine. (The gist: it's hard to be Johnny Smith.)
This is another vid I'd commend for song choice, but doubly so, because - seriously, I wouldn't have imagined there was a way to make "A Day in the Life" (by the Beatles) into a coherent single-fandom vid. Switches in mood and - um, can I say narrative about a song? Well, I'm going to, and if it's wrong, someone tell me what I should have said instead - narrative are critical to vids, yes, but this song kind of takes that to extremes.
But then, Johnny Smith's life is not exactly without its switches and sharp 180s, you know? So, as it turns out, he fits with this song really damn well. (All together now: “Poor Johnny.”)
Actually, this vid was one of the things that finally convinced me to watch some Dead Zone; any single canon that contains all of the stuff in here had to be worth seeing, you know? (For the record: it is. At least, the parts I’ve seen are.) And the same goes for the vid; there’s a lot of stuff packed into it, and it is both dense and rich. And, okay, that made it sound kind of like the fruitcake of the vidding world, but here's the thing: you'll actually like this.
(No offense to fruitcake-lovers, of course; I honor and respect your culinary perversity.)
The One That Allows Masks to Take Their Rightful Place Beside Clowns, Mimes, and Puppets in the Pantheon of Massively Creepy Things. Meds, by Destiny, aka dcallingchaos. Nip/Tuck, gen. (The vid’s at the bottom of the page.)
I feel kind of like I should warn for disturbing content here, except, well, the disturbing content is the vid. And, see, I have no idea what the vid’s narrative is exactly; I think you’d have to know more about the fandom to be sure. What I know about Nip/Tuck is that, going by the YouTube snippets misspamela posts from time to time, there are two guys on this show, and they are the gayest two straight guys ever.
But the gay is not quite so evident in this vid, which is, as far as I can tell, about a serial - um, not killer, since he doesn’t kill. Cutter? A serial cutter of other people’s faces. Who is crazy, and maybe his crazy is kind of contagious. And, yes, that's creepy.
The vid makes it much, much creepier, though. It is quite effects-intensive, and those effects combine to create this kind of insane, jerky, god-what’s-even-true-anymore atmosphere, with lots of twitchiness and tension. And the thing is, what you see on-screen isn’t even that disturbing. (It’s not fluffy bunnies, either, mind you. Did I mention the serial cutter?) But the vid itself kind of magnifies the disturbingness, and what you get is - well, a vid that puts you slightly on edge. A bit more on edge if you re-watch it late late at night while you’re writing the rec for it, actually. Um. Yeah, I’m looking over my shoulder from time to time, here.
So it's an impressive use of effects, plus the equivalent of an entire suspense movie in three minutes. You want to see this vid.
(Side note: me being able to rec this at all is a total triumph of fannish networking over my own disorganization, by the way. I apparently originally got this vid on a rec from cupidsbow and then immediately forgot that. So when it came time to rec it, I didn’t know the fandom and couldn’t figure out who did it. I wandered over to vidfinders, where three separate people figured out what the fandom was and who the vidder was and basically did everything but tie my shoes for me. The moral of this story: lost vids can be found, folks. So if you’ve been avoiding sending feedback on something because you have no idea who to send feedback to, fandom is here to help.)