frayadjacent: drawing from hyperbole and a half: cartoon girl at laptop at night, text says "vidding" (!vidding)
[personal profile] frayadjacent
2012 | 2013

Vids I Made in 2014


January
Fire Door (Friday Night Lights)

May
Become You (Xena)

June
Starkville (Xena)


November
What's Mine is Yours (Orphan Black)

Meme Questions

Favorite

I'm really happy with all my vids this year, but my favorite is Starkville. I think it's the best vid I've ever made, even though, like all my Big Vid Ideas, the execution falls somewhat short of the concept. It's exactly the kind of character study that made me want to learn to vid in the first place.

Least Favorite

I like them all! I seriously can't choose, but I can choose a "least favorite section" -- the bridge in "Become You." I knew it even as I was making it, but it just has way too much to carry. I mean, a not small amount of what Starkville takes 5 minutes to say I attempted to also convey in a 30 second bridge.

Right now What's Mine is Yours is in that awkward phase that always seems to happen when a vid of mine is more than a month old but less than three or four months old, where watching it just makes me cringe at every flaw. But I know it's a good vid and I was super proud when I posted it. It'll pass.

Most Successful

What's Mine is Yours. I think when I posted I got a few comments and I was happy enough. Then I think the vid started getting recced
and I got a flood of views and comments, at least by my standards. It was awesome.

And I got some amazing comments on Become You and Starkville that just rocked my socks, and are my go-to when I need to remember that those vids aren't just good in my head.

Most Underappreciated by the Universe

I said this last year, and it still applies:

"Seriously, none. I hear a lot about how nobody comments anymore, but I'm really pleased with the reaction I've had to every vid I've posted this year." 

Though I think some of Fire Door's appreciation is due to Festivids -- I don't know but I'm guessing a secondary character FNL vid would have gotten fewer comments if I'd made it in, say, September.

Most Fun Video

I had some great vid farr while making Become You and Starkville. That was fun! What's Mine is Yours was probably the least fun to make -- the music was hard to vid, except the guitar solo, and I found that a lot of the footage was composed in vid-unfriendly ways -- but it's pretty fun to watch!

Fire Door was really enjoyable to make. I liked reviewing FNL, I liked working with the song (which has a special place in my personal history), and it definitely had the most payoff for the effort of any of my vids this year.


Vid with the Single Sexiest Moment

I LOVE the part in Become You where Lao Ma is walking toward Xena with this super intense focus. I actually ran the footage backward; in the original source she's stepping backward and looking sort of reserved. Running it backwards so that she steps forward while staring intently at Xena made it so sexy. I really wanted to focus on Lao Ma's desire for Xena and I think that section succeeded at that.

Biggest Vid Fail

The afore-mentioned bridge in Become You. It just has way too much to do. But I don't know what I'd do differently without seriously changing the vid.

Also, I put this glow on a few clips in Starkville when I was trying to convey Gabrielle's memories, and I think I made the glow (which is on the edges of the frame) a bit too sharp. I knew it at the time but the way I was doing it (again, in After Effects) would have required me to completely re-do it rather than just fix what I'd already done. In the end laziness won out but I'm still not fond of how those look.

Hardest Video to Make

Starkville involved a lot of feathered masks in After Effects which was a bit of a learning curve, as well as a lot of playing with color. Mostly I really enjoyed that but there were moments when it got tiresome. After Effects is kind of wasted on me, tbh, because I'm too lazy to learn 99% of what it can do. Most of the time I'd happily trade all of After Effects if Premiere just had feathered masks like Final Cut Pro 7 did.

What's Mine is Yours was definitely the most difficult. I made speed changes to the vast majority of clips. Thankfully that's easier to do in Premiere than in FCP; I might have given up otherwise! Apart from the guitar solo, the music required really accurate motion matching which I found incredibly difficult. I'd shift the clip to the left by a frame, and it'd be too early. I'd shift it to the right by a frame or two and it'd be too late. I'd change speed and have no idea what even happened.

But also it was the composition of the footage that was tough. Some elements of the show are incredibly viddable, but apart from the Helena section, I mostly wasn't vidding those parts. My focus on Sarah's relationships with Felix and Siobhan meant that a fair number of shots I used were from exposition scenes. I found that those scenes tended to do a lot of over-the-shoulder closeups or very long (far away) shots. The latter are very pretty to watch but not ideal for vidding.

Basically what I'm used to working with when I want to highlight relationships between people are 1) medium shots (e.g., we see faces and torsos or maybe full-length) with both or all people on screen, preferably *doing* something together; and 2) medium shots/closeups of people giving each other meaningful looks, hugs or kisses, etc. I was surprised to found how much less Orphan Black used these kind of shots, especially the former, compared to Buffy, Xena, or even Elementary. In spite of the shiny source, Orphan Black was in some ways the most difficult source to vid yet, at least for what I was trying to do, to the kind of music I was using.

Things I've learned

I learned how to use Premiere's blending modes to do much prettier overlays! I learned to make
Xena old source slightly prettier with a Gaussian blur. I fell in love with dissolves, then challenged myself to make a vid with only straight cuts (one dissolve crept in there).

I am slooowwwly learning how to use motion in overlays. I'm still studying [livejournal.com profile] bradcpu's vids to help me with this.

This is hard to distill into a single "lesson", but I feel like I gained an intuition about vidding, where I have a stronger sense of what kind of clips to use, and how to use them, to convey what I want. How to establish characters and relationships so that I can then change them later. How much to rely on lyrics (which I still like to do) and how much to rely on music. Where it's OK to rely on viewers' contextual knowledge, where it's OK to completely divorce a clip from context and use the visual alone to make my argument.

I learned in Become You that sometimes it can work to just let go of the intellectual argument I'm trying to make and spend some time on intuitive/visual/emotional connections. It gives the vid some breathing room. Especially when the source footage just won't cooperate with the intellectual argument.

I'm learning to not be insecure about what kind of vids I want to make, and just make them. Xena Vid Series from Hell is helping. I mean, I'm making a series of Xena vids to the Indigo Girls. There is no room for insecurity in that, just 100% unironic love.

Goals for 2014

Well, here's what I said last year:

Vid more!  That was my goal this year too, but then I got RSIs and defended a PhD and moved across the world.  What'll my excuse be in 2014?  Anyway, I still really like the idea of making vids -- or vidlets -- in order to learn or practice a specific thing.  I'm most interested in developing my sense of motion and musicality, so I have a couple of vid ideas that could work on that front. 

Seriously, vid more.
Um, I made 4 vids in 2014, the exact same as the year before. But "vid more" is still my goal, because I have some vids I really want to make before the ideas go stale. So I'll make the goal more specific -- in 2015 I'll aim for 6 vids, one every two months.

On the other hand, I've abandoned this idea of making "learning" vids or vidlets. I still like the idea of making a vid that focuses more on mood or musicality above narrative, but lately my criteria for an idea is "is this a vid I *need* to make?" Like, emotionally, for myself, do I need this? And that's a much better filter for my ideas right now.

And to vid Buffy more. I can't believe I didn't vid Buffy once in 2014.

on 11/1/15 07:27 am (UTC)
goodbyebird: Buffy: Anya and Willow are mesmorized, "If you'll excuse me, I'm having a fangirl moment." (BtVS excuse me while I fangirl)
Posted by [personal profile] goodbyebird
The amount of hard work you put into What's Mine Is Yours really shows! Such fabulous amount of motion matching in it, and you really wrung all that you could out of that footage, just really good flow and dynamic. You've been very strong when it comes to narrative, but this year I think you really stepped up when it came to other parts of the editing that help vids along.

And just 100% unironic love makes for a great vidding objective jsyk ;)

on 11/1/15 12:57 pm (UTC)
purplefringe: Amelie (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] purplefringe
So, I watched What's Mine Is Yours pretty much as soon as you posted it, at some ridiculous hour of the night here in the UK. And it was SO VERY AMAZING that I didn't have the words to comment on it there and then. And I've had it open in a tab EVER SINCE, and have been feeling vaguely guilty that I haven't got around to commenting on it yet, because as I may have mentioned already it is SO VERY AMAZING that I don't really know what to say. One of these days, I will get around to it. <3

on 11/1/15 08:38 pm (UTC)
cosmic_llin: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] cosmic_llin
I actually ran the footage backward; in the original source she's stepping backward and looking sort of reserved. Running it backwards so that she steps forward while staring intently at Xena made it so sexy. I really wanted to focus on Lao Ma's desire for Xena and I think that section succeeded at that.

OMG I didn't even notice you'd done that and it's such a neat trick that works really beautifully in the vid!

on 13/1/15 02:41 am (UTC)
chaila: Diana SWORDFIGHTING in a BALLGOWN. (fnl - tyra)
Posted by [personal profile] chaila
I'm still crying over Fire Door. I just watched it like three times in a row, it makes me so haaaaaappy that it exists in all its Tyra-ness! :D

lately my criteria for an idea is "is this a vid I *need* to make?" Like, emotionally, for myself, do I need this? And that's a much better filter for my ideas right now.

Huh, that's interesting. I sort of feel like that's where my brain switched to this year too. In the past. I vidded for a lot of other reasons too, but those have kind of fallen away this year (except for festivids). I wonder if that's partly why I feel perpetually on the edge of being done with it, because I'm not invested in anything that I haven't already vidded enough to need to vid it? Hmm!

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frayadjacent: Buffy looking to the side in black and white (Default)
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