frayadjacent: Buffy looking to the side in black and white (Default)
[personal profile] frayadjacent
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (S1-S6)
Characters: Willow & Warren
Song: Virgin State of Mind
Artist: K's Choice
Download: 45 mb mp4

Password: burn


A Willow character vid that also emphasizes similarities between her and Warren.  As in the series, I'm using Warren as a foil for Willow, not really as a character in his own right. 

It occurs to me that this vid comes off as pretty anti-Willow.  I have mixed feelings about her character.  My first time watching the series I had SO MUCH LOVE for this girl.  When Tara came into the picture (and I realized their relationship wasn't going to just be a short-term, subtexty ratings boost) I about died of happiness.  Then Willow started acting in all sorts of appalling ways, and her characterization was so well-done, and it all flowed so naturally from what came before, that I started re-interpreting everything I'd loved or sympathized with about her before.  Suddenly her cuteness became just another way for her to hide her insecurity.  And that insecurity itself was colored by the ways she would come to manipulate people instead of just dealing with her problems.  Even the excitement of watching her grow into a powerful character was diminished by knowing how she'd use that power against her loved ones, and by reflecting on what exactly motivates her to become powerful in the first place.  I've come back around and have made peace with Willow -- there's still a lot to love -- but I'll never again adore her quite like I did at first. 

While I was excited about this vid when I started, it quickly became a side project I worked on alongside "Deeds That Have Made Me" and "Under Stars".  I'm OK with how the vid makes its point, but there is something a little, I dunno, lackluster? about it.  It comes down to song choice.  Intellectually this song is great for the point I'm trying to make, both in lyrics and music.  Whedon chose it for "Doppelgangland" for a reason.  But musically this song just doesn't push my bottons like other vid-music I've chosen, and that makes me less enthusiastic about vidding it.  I'd like to vid songs according to how well they fit the vid, not according to my personal taste, but at the same time I might have learned something about my vidding process from this experience.  I can't just intellectually know that "this song screams Willow, and not just cause Joss already said so!"  I have to feel it, too.

By the way, when I was almost finished with this vid I read some comments on vidpub that implied it was some kind of vidding no-no to use a song that's actually used in the fandom you're vidding.  I don't really get that, but I likely won't be doing this again anyway, so it doesn't matter too much.

Lyrics:
There's a chair in my head on which I used to sit
Took a pencil and I wrote the following on it

Now there's a key where my wonderful mouth used to be
Dig it up, throw it at me
Dig it up, throw it at me

Where can I run to, where can I hide
Who will I turn to now I'm in a virgin state of mind

Got a knife to disengage the voids that I can't bear
To cut out words I've got written on my chair

Like do you think I'm sexy
Do you think I really care

Can I burn the mazes I grow
Can I, I don't think so

Can I burn the mazes I grow
Can I, I don't think so

Where can I run to, where can I hide
Who will I turn to now I'm in a virgin state of mind
Virgin state of mind
Virgin state of mind
Virgin state of mind

on 23/8/13 07:25 am (UTC)
deird1: Willow as Warren, the two of them interlaid on top of each other (Willow and Warren)
Posted by [personal profile] deird1
WOW. This was rather powerful.

*applauds*
red_satin_doll: (Hush Willow/Tara)
Posted by [personal profile] red_satin_doll
I just was finishing up a rather long-ish reply and then I hit the wrong button on my 'puter and closed the screens. Crap-ity crap crap.

Fortunately I was able to watch this vid without creating a vimeo account by just clicking the black box and getting a zip file so yay!

I was thinking about what to say in response and then I read your own analysis, and I think you captured my feelings about both the video and my experience watching Willow's arc perfectly. My thoughts are yours, essentially. I also identified most strongly with Willow in the early seasons (as someone who had been picked on and terrorized all through school). And I loved W/T's relationship in S4-5 and wonder why there aren't more well-rounded lesbian characters and couples on TV ten years on. I didn't love Tara until became a character in her own right in S6 (as you know). It's weird but I really don't ship Willow with either Tara or Oz - I am more interested in all three of them as individuals. (that shot you include in Restless where Oz and Tara are whispering to each other is absolute genius.)

And on a Doylist level I actually thought it was very brave and groundbreaking for the show to depict abuse and even rape in a lesbian relationship, because these things do happen. I know the reality of this first-hand. There's a rather general stereotype in the public imagination of lesbian couples as fluffy, harmless, cute, more emotionally bonded or "understanding" of each other than het relationships (at least among some married women who are unhappy with their husbands - I have gotten the comments more than once.)

So I find both the parallel with Warren/Katrina (the more usual dynamic and stereotype of abuse in a m/f relationship) as well as with Buffy/Spike (a m/f mutually abusive relationship that also flips stereotypes upside-down) fascinating and I respect that aspect.

But my oh my - on a watsonian level is it fucking hard to watch. I think it doesn't help for me that Willow has already torn Buffy from Heaven; as with Angel making Dru into his "work of art" Buffy's return is in some ways Willow's "work of art". Not that Willow is a villain - she ONLY means to make things better and save Buffy from Hell. She honestly doesn't think she's abusing Tara (abusers almost never do see themselves as abusive). Her fear of arguing is built into the show from early on; her mom and dad don't yell at each other, "maybe they glare"; and I imagine she's seen and heard Xander's parents when she went to his house from childhood on.

And it definitely doesn't help that I can squint my eyes and see that she's sorry to either Tara or Buffy. (Why is Buffy the only one of them who apologizes to Willow for not seeing that she was "drowing" and not the other way around?) It is hard to process and be 100% "ok" with. And yet I don't hate her either. I understand domestic abuse and dysfunctional family dynamics far more than I would wish to.

OK - moving on, about the video, again agreement. (*If you're not interested in a critique feel free to stop reading here.*) The first half of it I quite like, tracing Willow's arc all the way back; I sometimes forget how crucial the spell in Becoming was, because it was so chilling and yet exciting to watch. (When she lifts her head to the ceiling, eyes wide in a CU view? Whoa.) I'm reminded that before that she was interested in magic the way she was in computers but that spell gave her power (booted-up so to speak).

But then you introduce Warren in very suddenly about halfway through and it's a little disconcerting at first - it doesn't flow from what came before in an organic way. It almost feels like two separate videos joined together rather than one. Otherwise your edits are very good and I like the pairing with the music.

I did not remember the use of that song and can't imagine WHY anyone would say you shouldn't do that. Nonsense. If anyone does remember the original use in the show (unlike me) it would only add an extra layer, while I don't lose anything by not remembering.
red_satin_doll: (Buffy & Tara)
Posted by [personal profile] red_satin_doll
Eh, hopefully now with more vids under my belt I'd figure out way to make it work. :)

Something I keep having to remind myself is that you DO NOT get better without practicing - the mistakes are how you learn. (And yet I keep NOT posting my stories. I think in school the emphasis was all about getting those good grades, getting that A - I'd be mortified if I got less than a B; my identity was so wrapped around that, I didn't learn until much later that making mistakes is how you learn. I once had an English teacher say to me in 11 or 12 grade (I had come back from a long illness and was slacking off a bit for the first time) "What happened to my A student?" and I replied I am not YOUR A student.

I remember than so clearly, but old habits are hard to break.

Ok, your vid - I think part of the thing is that Warren is not a visually dynamic character. He stands, he talks, he sits, we don't see him "in action". We learn about him mostly through dialogue so that's a challenge right there. Whereas my favorite vids that parallel Buffy, Faith and Spike? OMG so much material to work with it's insane.
red_satin_doll: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] red_satin_doll
Sometimes I think I should really just try to MAKE MORE VIDS even if I don't end up totally happy with all of them, because Practice.

YES PLEASE. I don't watch a lot of vids in proportion to the number of fanfics I read - I get very bored very quickly if a vid doesn't grab me, isn't saying something new, isn't technically good, etc etc. There's tons of songs but only so many images to work from as you know. There's only so many Spuffy vids that can be made.

I think there is a lot of room for non-shippy vids, though. Or vids that really explore 'ships in a really subversive way. Has anyone done a really good Xander/Anya vid? Or exploring the patterns of attraction and abuse re: Xander and the women in his life (Buffy, Cordy, Anya), and/or the influence of his father?

I think the same is true of fic - there is a lot of material and themes that have been under-examined/under-explored.

Though I do love the visual parallel between him with the orb-thing in his hand, putting Katrina into a trance, and Willow with the Lethe's Bramble in her hand, messing with Tara's memories.

YES! That was one of my favorite parts of the vid as a matter of fact.

Did you happen to include any shots from S5's I Was Made to Love You where we first meet Warren and Katrina btw? I suppose you could say their argument could be visually paralleled to the one Willow and Tara have in Tough Love S5, or S6's All The Way.

I've actually thought now and again ok how could this be improved? and realize I need to let it go *lol*

red_satin_doll: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] red_satin_doll
These are excellent ideas and I hope someone makes them.

*hint hint*

[personal profile] clockwork_hart1 just wrote a Buffy and Tara friendship fic based on my prompt, so I'm thinking I need to start making more requests - it's so much fun when people fill them!
http://clockwork-hart1.livejournal.com/11852.html?thread=80972

Actually, the video "Bachelorette" does have shots from Hell's Bell's so Xander and Anya are part of the mix - maybe I need to search and see if anyone has done a video on that subject. When I get a thousand or so other things out of the way.

But it's useful to think about how it could be improved. :D

Yeah, the thing about that video is it's very good overall - the visuals, the editing rhythms are amazing. There's just this one flaw, and if the video was mediocre or had lots of flaws, I wouldn't notice. Sort of like a flaw in a diamond rather than another crushed can in the junk pile. (And there's your weird metaphor of the day. You're welcome.)

I think your two Buffy videos are amazing so you've clearly learned something, and of course love for the character (and LOTS of source material) helps. That last bit is really important I should imagine -the makers of the video "Origins" (the fetishization of Nikki's coat as a prize for Spike and the emphasis on the stories of the male perpetrators over that of the female victims in the 'verse) spoke of that in their own meta; they wanted to tell a particular story but there was a lack of material - very few visuals of Nikki and other Slayers to work with. So if I didn't know what the creators were trying to say, I might have misinterpreted their intentions entirely.

on 16/1/14 05:41 am (UTC)
dragonyphoenix: Katchoo from Strangers in Paradise (katchoo)
Posted by [personal profile] dragonyphoenix
I thought this was amazing until Warren came into the picture, and then I mostly felt confused because I didn't get why he was there. I'm guesstimating that doing both a Willow character vid and also adding a comparison of Willow to Warren dissipated the focus of the vid. I think you probably would have been better off doing one or the other.

Having said that, now that I know to expect Warren, I'm enjoying the vid overall. I think the song is perfect. It's haunting music goes quite well with the darker Willow arc.

I don't do vids myself so I didn't know it was off limits to use songs from the show. That doesn't really make any sense to me.

on 22/1/14 03:05 am (UTC)
dragonyphoenix: Blackadder looking at scraps of paper, saying "It could use a beta" (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] dragonyphoenix
When I said "one or the other" I meant it should either have been about Willow's arc - since it starts long before Warren shows up - OR it should have been about the similarities between Willow and Warren. It seems to be that you were trying to do both her arc and the similarities between the two.
Edited on 22/1/14 03:06 am (UTC)

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