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Before | After

A sort of con report

I am terrible at con reports. I can never remember what I did or who I talked to, and I don't take notes, so things get too fuzzy in my brain. So this is more impressionistic than anything else. I talk about some vids but I don't really have the energy or the thinkiness to do reviews of shows vid by vid.

First off, I have to say that I was tired through the whole weekend. I never really felt like I woke up each day, and that made it hard to want to sit through shows and almost impossible to go to panels. I think it was a lot of the stress build-up from Blues going missing and Olive having that wound -- I just never really had the time a person like me needs to get back to normal. Also, perimenopause sucks, and it decided to grace me with an early and completely unexpected almost-period which just sapped my remaining small stores of energy and gave me blinding headaches. I fucking hate my body lately.

We arrived kind of later in the day on Thursday, so killabeez and I, who were famished, decided to go to House o' Meat and were joined by melinafandom. It seems that a large portion of the con came by and asked us if we'd seen someone else. Strangely, they always asked about the only people we hadn't seen. It was comical and a little weird. We kept trying to get back to her room to watch some of the vids I was showing there, but were waylaid by everything from other congoers to registration being open. We made it to laurashapiro's room in time to see the documentary on vidding she's been working on, although it was insanely crowded and I was off to the side by the door, so I never really did see much, but it'll be online later so I will catch the visual parts then. Then I trundled off to the room so I could try to sleep before my roomie was set to join me later -- feochadn was set to arrive after 2 a.m., sadly for her.

I had a hard time dragging my ass out of bed the next morning but I finally did, with at least a little time to sit with kassrachel and morgandawn. I'm grateful for the breakfast area at the hotel, but the noise sometimes sends my sensitive ears into meltdown and I wasn't much of a conversationalist, though mostly I wanted to hear about kassrachel's recent travels, anyway.

I enjoyed the history panel that always kicks off the con, but I wish we'd skipped a few steps of S&H vids and gone forward a little faster or found some examples of uses of new tech with other fandoms. But it was great to see some of that stuff again. I didn't do a lot of shows this year, but I did go to the 2 hours of Nearly New, as always, because I so rarely do click on links and that's a great place for me to catch up with things over the past year. I also was one of the co-mods at the Collaborative Vidding panel, which honestly surprised me a bit, because I wasn't expecting anyone to show up except the ten of us on the panel! It was sometimes very funny, and it reminded me that I much prefer to collaborate with people than to vid alone (anyone want to collaborate? Seriously, I'm your girl), and that you have to be honest with each other, even if it means a hair-pulling sissyfight, because otherwise you won't get your best results. And we all also agreed that compromise is key, along with the right kind of drinks and snacks.

Club Vivid was lots of fun and I actually danced this year. Pause to reflect on that. Well, I had silver disco sandals, so I had to. I was really amazed by the outfits people came up with this year, but I was most impressed by Sandy's most impressive rack -- it's hard to explain, but she had her girls ensconced in some sort of pneumatic lifting device with a strategically placed button very low down on the front, so that, even though I'm no lesbian, I kept making grabby hands and staring at her bodacious ta-tas all night. Best boobies in show, I'm telling you! I don't even remember most of the vids, and a lot of the music was unfamiliar to me (WTF? I love dance tunes and I listen to a dance station all the time, yet at least half the music I had never heard of), but I think I enjoyed Sandy and wickedwords's Rasputin, bradcpu's Mortal Kombat, which I had had the pleasure of beta-ing beforehand, and Killa's Farewell for Hustle the most, though I also seem to remember grinning like mad at Deej's Pushing Daisies vid and Laura's Shut Up and Drive. Then I went to bed because OMG tired.

Saturday I really had a hard time getting up. As in, I came down to breakfast as they were taking the food away, because I thought it was out for longer, and the woman at least let me grab oatmeal before she took it away. merryish and Jo were still there, so I sat with them and missed the first events of the morning. I went to the Action show later, which I remember enjoying but nothing else, and then had lunch in trelkez's room again this year, for Veronica Mars lunchtime (I ended up missing most of the wonderfalls lunch last year). It was fun and oh, I felt so nostalgic for first season. And I still want to do my Lord King Bad Vid for VM -- is it wrong to want to see Weevil longing for Veronica to the tune of "She's Like the Wind"? I mean, I ask you.

After lunch was the Mac panel that I "helped" sdwolfpup out on. I use scare quotes because honestly, iMovie experience is not really that sought after, and I think most people there seemed to know more than I did anyway. SDW's knowledge of all this stuff is light-years beyond anything I will ever know, so mostly I just listened to her talk about capturing and I'm sure it's not proper panel modding etiquette, but I asked as many questions as the audience, I think. I went to Ensemble vids instead of I Suck, even though of course I suck more than anyone else who would have gone to the I Suck panel, for the cheesy and self-absorbed reason that my Buffyverse vid, Female of the Species, was showing in it and I've never had the chance to see that with more than one person, and I was interested to find out if it would go over well to an audience. Then I took a break, then went to Second Bananas, which was a lot of fun, and then went with Dorinda to her room, with klia and thevetia, to snarf on their leftover Chinese food and decompress a bit before Premieres.

I have a lot of feelings about the really big shew that I don't have the space or time or inclination yet to put down on a page. Every year I come away from the con feeling both excited to vid more and hopelessly depressed, because I just don't think there's room any more for vidders like me, and this show made me feel that very acutely. Most people feel this was the best show they've seen in years, but it left me a little cold for the most part, possibly because, gore and violence lover that I am, the entire weekend seemed like an assault of gore and violence, so much so that even I felt a bit punched in the face; or possibly just because the new vidders (kids these days!) are doing so much more than I can ever hope to do and I am an old-fashioned vidder who doesn't really know how to do much fancy stuff and I feel like I don't belong there. I don't think "I Remember," our vid last year, felt outdated, but it still leaves me depressed and feeling like I don't belong when I see so much fancy stuff.

A couple things stood out to me beyond that though. One was that people really, really need to learn to cut songs. Even a few seconds off the top or end of a song can help. I do not believe that songs should be no longer than 3 minutes, but there were some that the repeating, repeating choruses just did nothing for as they went on and on. OTOH, long vids like Climbing the Walls felt short -- there didn't feel like there was wasted space in the ones that worked so well.

Another thing that stood out for me was the people often use sped-up footage to fit a clip somewhere, and I hate that. I mean, I really hate it. It just jumps out to my eye, very badly, and it looks awkward and farcical in a way I don't think vidders would want their vids to be perceived. I know it's my own issue, but just... man, cut tighter or something, don't speed shit up. (I also have some kind of problem with my discs where a bunch of vids are having trouble, and are sped up the whole way through, which... augh.)

It didn't bother me that one song, Handlebars, was used twice. That kind of thing doesn't usually bother me, though of course, I haven't been the vidder in that situation before so it might if it was me! Even though I LOATHE the song, I thought it was an appropriate choice for both deejay's Iron Man and flummery's Dr. Who vids -- that whole boyish glee at power souring into absolute power corrupting absolutely. The one thing about the Iron Man one that I didn't like was the literalism of some of the clips, but that is my big issue, and I think if it wasn't such a big thing to me, I wouldn't have noticed. But Tony can easily turn his power into something much worse, and so I think it earns that darker buildup. And the shift from the Tenth Doctor being all cute and boyish and whatnot, turning into that unchecked force of will, was really freaking scary, and I enjoyed the hell out of that. It's nice that if you have to have two vids for the same piece, they can both be about powerful things.

I loved Melina's Capt. Jack vid, which she'd warned me we used a lot of the same clips in our vids, but I thought hers was remarkably, and wonderfully, different. That's the Jack I love and adore. I like his angst, and his lightness, and his force of natureness, and she captured that all perfectly. Jill and Kay's Peacemakers vid made me so happy, for so many reasons, not the least of which is that I love Westerns and it has such a total hoyay moment in the middle, and there is also haunting sadness and damaged characters, a pretty song, and just this gentleness that stood out among such loud and brassy vids this year.

I also loved Greensilver's Four Seasons in One Day, because... well, it's beautiful, for one thing, and it's Nathan from Heroes, for another, and uses Crowded House and I adore the Finn brothers, and it all came together for this sad, painful portrait of a guy who wants so much more and needs connections and yet doesn't always know what to do about it. Nathan's story is my favorite on Heroes, and this vid really brought home everything that's wonderful about it. And chasarumba's fantastic Dexter vid blew me away -- once again, as her Dexter vids seem to always do.

Yeah, I got sniffly too at destina's To Touch the Face of God -- space geeks, unite. I beeped "Right Stuff!" like I had just won the lottery at first, till I realized it was going to be EVEN MORE SPACE STUFF, and then I was like a little kid. And I loved barkley's Life vid because dude, it's Life, and it's cool, and Damian Lewis OMG (also, Afro Celt Sound System for the win!). I'm sure I'm not the only person who has put The Revenger's Tragedy on their Netflix queue, am I? Why did I never know about this movie before??

OK, so, then there was vid karaoke afterwards, whereupon I did SDWolfpup's You Can Call Me. Paul Gross arms! \o/ I had help from Abby, Kathy, and Jackie, which was needed, especially since I got off on the wrong key (the song is actually totally in my range) and never quite got that back. jarrow and absolutedestiny's smooch after their first karaoke number was quite the ice breaker! And definitely one of the highlights of the con.

Sunday I was totally run down. I did get to breakfast in time to eat something before the vid review panel. So that was a yay. I kind of remember the panel. Kind of. Then there was lunch with batwrangler, whom I was so excited to meet, and I hadn't realized how desperate I was for real food at that point. I went to the last half of the Hip-Hop show, which seemed pretty cool, and then End of the World, then it was time for the Challenge show, which was Fuck You this year. A LOT of vids -- twice as many as they've ever had before. Many were great, but I have to go watch them again because it's kind of a blur of heavy duty imagery and more of that assaulted feeling.

Also, I confess, I was bummed about the challenge show personally. I've done a challenge vid every year except the first time and the remix one, and I had one all planned out, but various circumstances forced me to abandon it. I wanted to do a fan's Fuck You to the TV networks -- to Joan Jett's I Hate Myself for Loving You, because they keep killing our shows and we vow never to watch and yet somehow we still do it again. I wanted to film some of my own footage -- of fans watching things, of various items used in fan campaigns for cancelled shows, of ads and stories and some network logos and promos and upfronts footage. I was going to keep it short and sweet -- the key to good satire, get in, make the joke, get out. But I still didn't have time in the end, and it made me really sad. Sigh.

The challenge discussion seemed to go on forever, so I had to run out of the room at one point. I was all, "Augh no can talk or listen no more!" But then we broke and got back together for the Auction vids, many of which were freaking adorable, and that wrapped things up after the calls from the public. At that point, I was in full INFJ mode and really needed quiet time -- let me tell you, when people are leaving the con on Sunday afternoon? Quiet time is hard because you're busy sniffling and saying goodbye to people, and it's HARD.

I didn't go to the town hall discussion on vidding visibility for a lot of reasons, but I've been waiting to see stuff about that, though I haven't yet. OTOH, maybe I don't want to know more. Sometimes it seems like the most annoying, tautological discussion you can ever have with people, and I just want to make my vids and watch my vids and not talk about larger stuff.

I switched seats with the guy sitting next to Sandy on the plane home, and she and Rache kindly let me climb back and forth repeatedly to go to the toilets even though I'm sure they were muttering curses at me under their breath. It was nice to be with people I knew, though. We actually made it back early, and it was raining, but I was so tired I didn't care. I managed to stay up till around 10:30, but then I crashed so hard until the painter guy woke me up way too early, and I realized I was really home.

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Aug. 22nd, 2008 12:35 am (UTC)
even though I'm no lesbian, I kept making grabby hands and staring at her bodacious ta-tas all night. Best boobies in show, I'm telling you!

So it wasn't just me! Ha! I wasn't making grabby hands, I just kept STARING at them like a cartoon character with its eyes doing the AAAHH-OOOOO-GAAAAA! popping out of its head thing. At one point, she and geekturnedvamp, who was also wearing something amazingly bust-emphasizing, were standing together, talking with us outside the CV room, and I just kept staring at their cleavage. It was embarrassing for someone as flat-chested as me to be in their midst.

Thank you for the kind words about our vid, too. I hope you manage to watch the rest of the eps someday.
Aug. 27th, 2008 04:47 am (UTC)
I think Sandy's boobs will go down in VVC lore along with Shalott's barely there outfit a few years ago and Cassandra's sparkly pants.

I hope for you guys that some day maybe, the show will come out on disc and you can recut it -- but even though I know the source pains you, it still looks terrific to me. Because it's about the story, and that's what counts.
Aug. 27th, 2008 05:34 pm (UTC)
Did you see lierdumoa posted a pic of her and Sandy, and she's *staring* at Sandy's boobs, too? Hee.

We keep hoping it'll come out on DVD -- maybe someday. *sigh* Thanks, though. You're right, the story is what's most important to us.
Aug. 22nd, 2008 12:36 am (UTC)
Hey, I think we went to the same con, on so many levels. :D

Another thing that stood out for me was the people often use sped-up footage to fit a clip somewhere, and I hate that. I mean, I really hate it. It just jumps out to my eye, very badly, and it looks awkward and farcical in a way I don't think vidders would want their vids to be perceived.


Best boobies in show, I'm telling you!

I no rite? o.O

anyone want to collaborate? Seriously, I'm your girl

MEEEEE. I always do so much better with another person. Please??
Aug. 27th, 2008 04:50 am (UTC)
You know, it's weird, I'm not even against sped up footage, and have used it myself, but when it's applied to talking, walking, or blinking, it looks absurd, and I noticed it continually throughout this year. It was weird!

Oh, I have so many ideas... you may regret ever offering. But hopefully I can find something we might want to do together.

Hey, I hope you got home in time to spend some time with your bro.
Aug. 22nd, 2008 01:51 pm (UTC)
I still want to do my Lord King Bad Vid for VM -- is it wrong to want to see Weevil longing for Veronica to the tune of "She's Like the Wind"? I mean, I ask you.

It is NOT WRONG. It is, in fact, SO RIGHT.


It was fabulous to see you this weekend, hon.
Aug. 27th, 2008 04:51 am (UTC)
Hey, when I finally do make this (even though the passion for LKBVs seems to have passed, I never did make one), I'll have to have you beta! It will be EPIC, I tell you. EPIIIIIIC.
Aug. 22nd, 2008 04:32 pm (UTC)
Oh, you liked 'Dance, Dance,' yays! And, as for the literalism of my 'Handlebars' vid, since I only had two hours of footage to sift through, some of the clips were ready made for obviousness, bwhahah! =P

Also, hey, I think there will always be a place for us "old timer" vidmakers. I got some feedback that a lot of the newer, shinier, effects-ridden vids left viewers pretty cold, detached, even turned off, shrug ~ so, please do carry on with plot/character-driven viddage, mah dear. (I will, too.)

P.S. Freshly brewed huckleberry tea during a tropical storm = FTW! (Tonight we're having the chili.)

*hugs you*
Aug. 27th, 2008 04:54 am (UTC)
Good point on the source!

I hope you're right... I just feel so weirdly out of place every year at the con, and especially afterward. I'm in awe of the bleeding edge, but at the same time, I want a varied palette, which I don't always see, I guess.

I'm still on the lookout for the Johnny's at a store. If I find it, I'll send it down to you. THe chips saved my life one night -- I had nothing to eat and I was so hungry. Now I think I have to send away for a case of Utz's and compare. ;-)
Aug. 29th, 2008 03:28 pm (UTC)
Oh, cool, I'll tell the nice manager lady of the local "snowbirds" store that you liked the chips. Let me know when ya want a CARE package of more of 'em, hee! =D
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