frayadjacent: Lao Ma (from Xena) staring intently (Xena: Lao Ma)
[personal profile] beccatoria asked: Point to a section from one of your favorite vids you've made and explain why you're proud of it.

I'm gonna be a big ole bragger (we vidders don't get enough opportunities to boast) and pick four.

1. The third verse in Tightrope, from 2:06-2:27, where I put in a lot of effort to get the blocking and motion to match up between clips and kept the energy high all in the service of a strong narrative focus on Buffy challenging authority figures and taking an egalitarian approach instead of an authoritarian one. I'm especially proud of how I worked in Quentin Travers around 2:15, stutter cutting across 4 seasons and matching the blocking with Buffy's horrible test in Checkpoint. And the final clip of this section, where she walks away from Wesley, is possibly my favorite in the vid, both because of the lyrical matching and what I did with speed changes and freeze frames.

2. The bridge in Everywhere, from 1:49-2:06. The first verse is Xena's pov, the second Gabrielle's, so part of the task of the bridge was to move to a dual pov. Relatedly, this section of the vid was all about them coming together as a team/couple. So I started with how they are different, by juxtaposing Gabrielle dancing with clips of Xena fighting. And because this silly show has a Footloose episode and two musical episodes, I was able to gradually bring them together by showing Xena go from trying to stop Gabrielle dancing to joining in, and by showing Gabrielle's dancing look more and more militaristic, until at the end of the section they are dancing and fighting side by side.

I also love the montage of OTP feels in the last chorus, around 2:47-3:23. This part wasn't particularly difficult to make, it more felt like the payoff for harder work I did in earlier sections of the vid.

3. The section of Become You where Lao Ma is watching Xena, around 0:42. Also a bit later in the vid I ran a clip of Lao Ma stepping backwards and looking serene in reverse, so she is stepping forward with an expression of desire, at 0:58-1:01. I wanted to show her agency and desire for Xena and those sections are particularly successful at doing that.

Also in that vid, the section paralleling Lao Ma's execution with Xena's near execution, at 2:22-2:38. This almost feels unfair because the source did so much of the work in terms of visual parallels, and for some reason the clips of Xena fighting blended beautifully with the execution scenes so the whole thing is just pretty.

More than any recent vid of mine, this one has sections I love and sections I'm deeply unsatisfied with. I suppose that's not surprising since it is the most ambitious vid I've made yet in terms of argument. Anyway it was nice to share a bit of the former with you all, since I've been fairly focused on the latter since I published the vid.

4. I'm really proud of the ending of Starkville, from about 3:49 on. Again, the show provided me with easy visual parallels and metaphors, I just had to put them there and play with blending modes a bit. The most complicated thing I did there, besides the fire overlay, was to put a reddish gradient overlay on that entire final section and faded it out a little more slowly than I did the last clip, which makes her bloody and brutal facial expression fade to red before it fades to black. I was quite happy with that.
frayadjacent: Close up of Gabrielle looking straight into camera, determined, blood on her face (Xena: Gab determined)
I'm doing that vidding meme! And am happy to take more requests.

[personal profile] violace asked: Is there a genre or style you wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole?

I don't know that I'd call it a genre or style, but anything with a lot of graphic violence -- or, more accurately, certain specific types of graphic violence. I can't even stand to watch that stuff, much less vid it. I also probably wouldn't do much with explicit sex/porn, but I won't say never. Actually the more I think about it the more it appeals to me as a challenge -- some day.

I suppose there is a style of vid to cheesy love ballads (e.g. Celine Dion) and whatnot that I can't really imagine making because I can't stand the music. I do genuinely appreciate the earnestness of such vids though. And I had to talk myself out of including Power of Two as a candidate vidsong for Xena Vid Series From Hell, so even that boundary is apparently squishy.

[personal profile] thirdblindmouse asked: Is there a section of canon above all others that inspires you just a little bit more?

So, since TBM asked, I'm going to talk about Xena canon here, because it's a shared interest and because that's the fandom where this question is easiest to answer. Because as much as I enjoy the camp and the slash and the fun of Xena, there is basically one thing that has inspired my intense fannishness for the Xena/Gab pairing and for the show overall, and that is Xena and Gabrielle's ongoing debate about How to Fight the Good Fight*.

For me, the two parter "The Debt" from Season 3 and Gabrielle's pacifism arc which is a focus of season 4 (but resonates throughout the series) are the center of this debate. In the early seasons of the show, Gabrielle is generally shown to be -- and believed by the characters to be -- the one with a more developed moral compass.  "The Debt" tears this apart by showing Gabrielle how much more complex the world is, and that a knee-jerk "killing is wrong" position can cause more harm than not. It is forever to my dismay that the S3 Rift Arc focuses so much on Hope and leaves Gabrielle's betrayal of Xena in "The Debt" as background, but I choose to read it differently, and that is an important part of both my XVSFH vids so far ("Become You" and "Starkville").

As Gabrielle spends more time with Xena and her worldview grows more complex, she finds that her love of Xena and her wish to not commit violence are irreconcilable. For a while she tries to practice non-violence while accepting that this is not an option for Xena, and tries to make it work. But it doesn't. It can't. So ultimately she chooses Xena, and I think breaks a little bit of her heart doing so.

I continue to be blown away by this arc, because I so often find the presentation of pacifism on shows to be obnoxious, heavy-handed, or dismissive. Xena takes pacifism seriously, and it also takes the violence of the world the characters live in seriously, and it integrates those themes into the characters' relationship -- it makes it deeply personal. And that is why I love it.

(OK, the other main reason I love Xena/Gab is because those two are always telling each other how much they love each other. That kind of open, honest communication is my relationship catnip, see also my love of Friday Night Lights.)

*This is also like 80% of my love for Angel the Series, and Gunn's character arc in particular, the other 20% being Lorne.

frayadjacent: Close up of Gabrielle looking straight into camera, determined, blood on her face (Xena: Gab determined)
Title: Starkville
Song: "Starkville" by the Indigo Girls
Source: Xena: Warrior Princess
Characters: Gabrielle, Xena (Gabrielle character study)
Content notes: Bright flashes. Institutional and relationship violence (as depicted on the show). Spoilers throughout the series.
Summary: "I chose the way of friendship"
Captions are available on the youtube and vimeo streams. They are also included in the downloadable zip file. If you don't want captions, just delete the .srt file.

As always, please feel free to contact me if you want more specific information about warnings/content notes.

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