arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
I was home sick Thursday - not sick enough to want to stay in bed, just kinda draggy and bleah, and taking advantage of a lull at work. So I decided to watch some old vids, and popped in my home-burned DVD of the VVC 2002 tape. I haven't watched most of these in ages, and I'm having a lot of fun.

Wildly generalized things I have discovered during this:

* Cutting-edge vids from 2002 are generally very comfortably paced to my eyes. Like, I relax right into them. Which is kind of cracking me up, because -- of course they are, that's the era when I learned to vid! I imprinted on that general pacing. At the time, mind you, I thought they were fast, and now they're mostly not -- but they're comfortable. There's time to take in each scene during the vid (which could be more than one clip), connect it to the lyrics or music, place it in the context of the vid, and move on -- maybe ~2-3 seconds? They seemed more likely to use internal motion to drive things, rather than cutting boom-boom-boom.

By comparison, I'd also watched some of the Media Cannibals Tape 3 the night before, and while that has a lot of my favorite vids on it, the late-90s vids overall feel pretty slow to me now. (Not all! But a lot.)

* I think 2002 was one of the only years with a real mix of VCR vids and computer vids in Premieres, and in some cases the VCR vids looked better - because people were still figuring out how to export computer vids for cons. Back then, you uploaded a small version to the web (both reduced frame size -- usually half, sometimes even one-third the original frame size -- and highly compressed), because most people were on dialup and had 800x600 resolution monitors. So that's what "a computer vid" looked like, and that's what some people submitted to the con. There are several vids here that are just tiny squares in the middle of my screen, because they were exported at something like 360x240.

It's the exact opposite of now, when you'd see a smaller square and think, ah, made off old SD analog tv source instead of shiny HD digital source. (There are also plenty of computer vids at full screen on this, of course! But it's really noticeable when a computer vidder hadn't figured it out yet, and this was while VVC was still working out the standards for electronic submission to cons, which had never been done before - people were winging it as best they could.)

* That said, everyone was using analog source, no matter how they were editing it, which made me blink for a minute when I realized it, until I put it all back in context in my head. DVDs weren't common at all (and were incredibly expensive, and if they were put out it was years after a given season ended -- none of this "last season on DVD before next season starts" business, never mind instant high-quality downloads), and everyone had a VCR or three, and knew how to use them. Again, that started changing within a year. None of us had any idea what a watershed period 2002/2003 was.

It actually makes for a fun vidshow, when every vid takes up the whole screen (assuming a 4:3 screen, that is). There's no letterboxing at all on this tape.

* Digital isn't always better. Way back when when people were warning that home-burned discs had a 5-10-year lifespan, they weren't kidding. :( There are black spots throughout this home-burned disc of mine, where the video has just dropped out. But hey, part of the reason I recorded it was so my tape would stay as pristine as possible, so I can re-do it if need be. If I can find my tape. (Analog may be fuzzier, but you also don't lose the entire image if something drops out. It just gets fuzzier and fuzzier, but still watchable for a remarkably long time. As long as you don't pause, or keep watching the same vid over and over...)

Things change so fast, though; last time I backed up this tape, I recorded it using a set-top DVD recorder (which I used to record SO MANY THINGS. Not only old tapes, but also straight off my tivo, using the old "record to tape" function. Which I'm suddenly nostalgic for, for no reason.). I didn't have the ability to capture the tape into my computer -- no pass-through device, no space on the harddrive, not enough processor or RAM to even attempt it. Now? The dvd recorder is long gone, and I can't remember the last time I recorded something off my tv. But I do have a computer that can handle both downloads and capturing, with plenty of space and RAM, and I have my trusty Canopus to hook it up to a VCR. <3 (The DVD recorder I recycled, as I'd used it so much it was burning out. The VCRs I cling to. Don't die, little VCRs!!! I have tapes I can never replace!!)

* Wow, the fandoms on this disc are like a snapshot of my corner of fandom in 2002: Farscape, Smallville, Stargate SG-1, Witchblade, X-Files, Buffy, Invisible Man, Forever Knight, Brimstone, Angel, Due South, OZ, The Sentinel, Starsky & Hutch, Xena, The Matrix, Highlander, and one lone American Embassy, which I've never seen. All the rest though; even if I wasn't in the fandom, I knew enough about it to mostly follow the vids.

More specifically, I'm fascinated by how some of my reactions to some of the vids from VVC 2002 have changed, and how some haven't.

The most surprising difference to me was watching the Starsky & Hutch vid 'Help Me Understand' by Recycled Media Station )

The other audio-experiment vid, 'Unforgiven II' by DigiRay (Farscape), hasn't changed for me as much )

The other seriously experimental vid, 'Hero' by T4 Productions (Xena), is also interesting to watch in the wake of my own expanded horizons since I first saw it. )

Other, less detailed stuff I'm noticing:

Man, some of my favorite vids ever are on this tape. Like Solsbury Hill, by [personal profile] astolat. <3 <3 The con was just a few months after S5 of Stargate SG-1, when we'd lost Daniel to ascension and had no idea if he'd ever be back. It was a pretty fraught time to be an SG fan, especially a Jack/Daniel fan, and it was all I could do to watch this vid at VVC that year. But I love this, how it follows Daniel's journey from Abydos to SG-1 to ascension, and all the different people who bring him to his new homes. It made ascension really feel like the next step on his journey, rather than a loss. *happy sigh*

And then the flip side of that, [ profile] barkley's Never Die Young, where Jack is left behind over and over again, and finally as Daniel ascends, and my heart just breaks and breaks. I must have watched this at the con way back when, but man, I don't know how I made it through.

... Apparently I am not over Stargate SG-1.

Weirdly, two other favs of mine are for a show I never really watched, other than an episode or two to be fannishly literate at the time: Witchblade. The first few years of VVC tried hard to make me change my mind about this show, starting with these two vids: [personal profile] killa's "Comin' Up From Behind" and [personal profile] bonibaru's "Go" (neither of them online, alas).

Comin' Up From Behind is just a kickass, boot-stompy vid of awesome Sara Pezzini, and the song's been in my walking playlist rotation ever since I saw this. It's sort of a day-in-the-life character study, starting with her getting ready in the morning (jeans! boots! gun! motorcycle helmet!) and then riding her motorcycle out into the dawn, where she very competently deals with all the shit that comes her way, from ordinary stuff to very not-ordinary stuff, including creepy white-haired guy and his creepy dark-haired, ponytailed lackey (the cut to him on "small fry" makes me grin every time, until finally she saves the world by doing a reset on the entire globe, and ends her day by riding away into the evening on her motorcycle.

Go is just as kickass, but starts from the mystical side of Sara's life, her connection to the Witchblade throughout history, rather than the modern-day cop side. ("Grandma was a suffragette" is *perfect*) She comes to grips with this new knowledge and being part of a world she never knew existed, until it's a seamless part of her helping her to do her job. The whole thing is action and motion and woo, with some fantastic mystical stuff going on everywhere.

The two vids are the opposite sides of the show's coin, and combined are an amazing intro to the series. (Spoilery. But amazing.)

Watching them again, man, it's a pity this aired just long enough ago to have fallen off fandom's radar. I think it might have been a bigger fandom if it had aired in the last few years.

I have been writing this post forever already, so won't go into many more vids, except to mention that I was startled to discover that this vid tape included Remi d'Brebant's Sentinel vid, "Possession". This vid made a huge splash in 2002 because it did some very different things -- it used a lot of still shots, particularly on the choruses. But it didn't premiere at VVC; it premiered at Escapade earlier that year, and showed at VVC in the Experimental show, I think. *checks database* Yes, Experimental.

It was incredibly hard to get hold of; Remi never put it up online that I know of, and I didn't think it had made it onto any tape collections. I had completely forgotten it was on this one. \o/ It aired a couple more times at VVC, but it hasn't been shown since 2004.

Fanlore has some of Snady's comments about Possession from when it was being discussed on Vidder after Escapade. IIRC, the still shots weren't just artistic choice (although they worked well that way), but also limits of the source and technology. I can't remember where I saw that being discussed, though (so probably shouldn't say it, but hopefully someone else has a better memory than I).

It's 1:30 am ET heading into a weekend, and if I post this now, almost no one will see it. But if I don't post it now, I'll save it as a draft and then decide it's not good enough to post, like I do with most of what I write. So here, have a post, whoever is up at this hour!

October 2017

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