The Fanvid Phenomenon

I wrote some time ago about the phenomenon of fan fiction , where fans make up their own stories set in particular fictional universes. Although publishers and copyright guardians are uneasy about the phenomenon (especially because many of the stories are sexy), I feel that the creators of these fictional worlds should feel highly complimented. Writing really good fan fiction requires a tremendous amount of knowledge and sympathy for someone else’s creation – it’s a sign of truly dedicated fandom, and a very sincere form of flattery.

Technology has now enabled fans to take things one step further: fan music videos. Fans take clips from a beloved TV series or film, and weave them together using a favorite song as a soundtrack. Some are funny, some poignant, some epic. Vids can explore single characters, or relationships among pairs of characters – relationships obvious in the original material, or imagined by the video creator (vidder). Yes, there are slash vids, too – it’s amazing the spin you can put on material by clever editing.

It’s a lot of work to make these vids. The vidder must get the source material into a format she can work with, often by copying and converting clips from DVD. Then she must trim it down to the scenes she needs, and edit it all together to fit with the music. The professionalism of the editing is often astounding, considering that most vidders probably don’t edit video for a living, and they don’t earn anything for all this hard work. Though it might be great practice for a film editing career. I’ve been tempted to make a vid myself, but so far have not found the right combination of tools (and time!).

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