If you have any interest in fanfiction, Tumblr or fan activity, you’ve probably run across a fanvid on YouTube or elsewhere. For those of you who haven’t, a fanvid is kind of the video version of fanfiction, where fans take clips from a show or movie and put them to music, usually to one of the vidder’s favorite songs.
Fanvids have been around for a long time. One of the first I remember was made in 2001, and is considered a classic: Dante’s Prayer by Killashandra.
Even though, as you’ll see in a minute, fan vidding has come a long way, that one is still amazing. Killa also did a couple of Highlander vids, which I can’t find anymore, but they introduced me to Oysterband, who are great, and whom I still listen to.
I personally went through a dry spell on watching fanvids until I discovered Dragonball Z and Linkin Park at the same time through this video:
Linkin Park, by the way, is one of the more popular bands to use in vids. In the End, while now a pretty old song as such things go these days, is still used frequently. I even found one from seven months ago for Avengers: Age of Ultron. Not bad for a movie which hadn’t been released yet. (The vidder cheated a bit and used clips from other Marvel movies to fill it out.)
I admire the creativity which goes into both vidding and the ideas for vids. Book trailers for authors have become all the rage, so fanfic writers use them too. Here’s a trailer for Redemption Road from the Supernatural fandom. (One of the best fanfics I’ve ever read, by the way.) While a good vid, you really appreciate it once you’ve read the story and can see how well they chose the scenes for the vid. Of course, Supernatural is notorious for having the perfect clip for anything…
By the way, at the Supernatural convention I attended last year, actor Misha Collins made a reference to “Angel With a Shotgun,” making it likely he has seen, or at least knows about, this vid. (There are many Supernatural vids to this song, but I think this one is the original, and the best.)
Allow me to digress for a moment from vids and talk about copyright. Fan vidding is one of the reasons I think overly restrictive copyright is a bad idea. With the exception of the Redemption Road vid, I own all the songs featured in the vids in this article. I discovered every one of the songs through vids, and, yes, I’m one of those dinosaurs who actually purchases music. While arguably, the vids are fair use, the songs used probably aren’t, which is why it’s not uncommon to see vids where the orignal music used has been changed. I doubt I’m the only one who uses fan vids as music discovery, and, at least in my case, I often purchase entire albums, not individual songs. One of my current favorite bands, 30 Seconds to Mars, was discovered through the following:
Damn. I think I need to watch me some Firefly now. I’ll be in my bunk…
Ahem. Anyway, vidders have gotten more sophisticated, and some vids are actually fanfics in video form. Even AU (Alternate Universe) fanfics. Here’s one I particularly admire (and not just for Chris Evans’ sweet smile). The vidder used clips from other movies to fill in the gaps for her AU Iron Man vid. I particularly like the way she splices scenes together to give the appearance that Steve and Tony are talking to each other.
I went through some effort for this article to avoid too many shipper vids, but as I’m sure you noticed, I wasn’t terribly successful. About half the vids here are shipper vids to some degree or another. Yes, lots of the better vids are shipper vids, and a high percentage of those are slash, which reflects the fanfiction community in general. You can avoid them, though, if you work at it.
I wanted to save the best for last. If I haven’t convinced you yet to try watching (or creating vids), this one should do it. It is a Wholock vid (crossover of Doctor Who and Sherlock), and it’s one of the most amazing things I’ve seen. The vidder used some pretty sophisticated video editing to get Doctor Who and Sherlock into the scenes together…
I’ve watched it enough times now that I can see the flaws, but it’s still very good. Want to see how it’s done? The vidder kindly created a behind the scenes video.
Now go watch some vids. Feel free to share your favorites in the comments. I’m a sucker for good vids and good music. But please, no Thousand Years vids. I made the mistake of watching one and buying the song. My son will never let me live it down.