bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
My promotion actually went through at work! I have a modified title and a tiny raise. My supervisor had coached me to brace myself for nothing, given looming budget cuts across the whole organization, so even a little bit is a nice surprise; and while it's taken three and a half years to claw back up to what I was making at my last job, I still don't regret the move. Best of all, the upgrade doesn't involve doing much more than I'm doing now.

This news was especially welcome on the heels of a weekend where I learned that revisiting season one of BtVS + reading some BtVS fics + washing my hair for the first time since the temporary straightening and discovering that it looked like the worst perm I'd ever gotten back in high school = broody, self-recriminating fugue. Fascinating how a couple of days of rekindling a yearning to be Willow and to have an intense core friend group and mentor and whatnot could send me right back to a college-era headspace like that.

But it faded with a little socializing and a return to the work week. I went to an annual St. Patrick's Day concert with a couple of coworkers. This year's theme involved wandering back and forth through time, from the 1600s to contemporary pieces, tracing some of the threads of the evolution of Celtic music, song and dance. A wonderful local-ish musician, Keith Murphy, led a reinterpretation of the shape-note song Clamanda that I'd grown to love when Ann Leckie mentioned it in a discussion of the music she'd included in Ancillary Justice.

(And my hair is fine now. It just took two showers to get back to normal.)

*

And now today, a vidding zine that Lim has been working on for months has gone live! It's got essays on various aspects of vidding, close readings of vids, ruminations on vidding history, vidder profiles and interviews, stories about copyright appeals, and more, from 16 international contributors.

VIDELICET

*warning: the landing page is a still graphic, but when you click through to the article index pages you will get some animated gifs. details below

Lim asked me to write about the Mashup exhibit, so I expanded my Dreamwidth report from last year to include new stuff about, for example, wrestling with legal questions before accepting the invitation to have "Starships!" included, deciding whether to use my RL or fannish name, brief reflections one year on, and some graphics that tried to capture my general feeling of "OMG" from the months leading up to the gallery opening. The article also features write-ins from Kandy Fong, Lim and [personal profile] heresluck. You can check it out here.

I'm at a local conference this weekend and don't expect to be online much, but what I've seen so far has been fantastic -- dynamic design customized to each article, beyond the compelling subject matter -- and I'm looking forward to reading/watching the rest.

*The All Articles index has animated gifs, although the mobile version doesn't seem to. You can avoid them if you go to the About page, and the Contributors page links to the articles by author. At a glance, the Glitter and Gold essay had a flashy gif (and the History of Vidding essay had a subtler one) that the gif-sensitive might want to be warned about.

My piece was given an auto-playing background video in the "Screening Room" section, and there's a non-flashy gif in the slide show embedded in the "Sh*t Gets Real" section. Also FYI, the section headers font and a few pix are styled with deconstructed red and blue like you would see in 3D materials before you put the glasses on.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Doing

Working a lot at work. Consequently, doing not a lot at home. My proposed promotion is still moving forward, although not approved yet. But I'm sad about feeling vaguely unwell so often. (No advice needed; docs have been consulted.) On the tail end of one of these periodic weeks of poor sleep, I had a gross dream about a manager in the office and had trouble looking at him yesterday. Then today my laptop died! Only I looked up the "symptoms" on my phone and fixed it via a method that indicated it was only an issue of built-up static charge, whew. We had an Arctic front sweep through last night; the same dry air made my lip split when I went to the library this afternoon.

Last weekend featured Boston fan brunch, always good, followed by fangirl movie night at [personal profile] thedeadparrot's, in this case Dune, for which [twitter.com profile] serenadestrong made a spectacular sand worm spice bread. On the downside, a friend moved away to NYC, and the whole weekend felt vaguely unreal because my ear was plugged for uninteresting reasons, so until these drops from CVS cleared it up I was half deaf and felt slightly feverish, maybe because I associate plugged-up ears with being sick.

...This is the kind of post people used to make fun of when they talked about the banality of blogging. I will stop complaining.


Vidding

No, wait, I will complain about one more thing, because it is upsetting me: Last Saturday YouTube blocked the Ancillary Justice trailer in the U.S. and Canada because of the DhakaBrakha audio snippets (although it's still up on Vimeo), and then last night Vimeo took down Starships! because of the Nicki Minaj song (although it's still up on YouTube) -- no warning, just down, with an email explanation of the copyright claim.

Things I have done:
- Emailed the OTW's legal team to see if they have experience helping vidders contest copyright claims for music rather than video clips
- Emailed the Vimeo support team to gripe about the sudden takedown and to request screen shots of the comments and last known view counts
- Asked vidding friends on Twitter for advice
- Added the YouTube link for Starships! to the biggest Tumblr post that's been circulating, although who knows if people will see it
- Begun preparing points to make in the appeals

I believe the book trailer has a better shot of being reinstated because it only uses a small portion of the full song and isn't competing with the original. Starships! I'm not super hopeful about, in the same way I haven't been hopeful about previous copyright matches for vids that got denied upon initial upload, and that sucks, because vids are clearly transformative works and I wish I could articulate how video clips transform the audio (rather than vice versa), or form a gestalt with it that the song wouldn't have done alone.

Meanwhile, I requested a song for Club Vivid and it got approved, although I'm not sure I can make it in time because of the scope of one of my Fandom Trumps Hate auction vids, which I am going to post about soon because I could use your help.


Reading

Those SF/F compendia. Also Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor. I liked Binti a lot and was pleased to learn of the sequel, which was also good, except for how it's a CLIFFHANGER, sigh.

Next up, The Dream-quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson, because the Nebula nominees were announced and some of the novellas looked interesting.


Watching

This week I got to see a performance of Tennessee Williams' Night of the Iguana featuring Amanda Plummer and James Earl Jones! More on that later, I think. We do not often get New York-caliber dramas in Boston, so that was a treat.

Also a bunch of random movies that I will not list exhaustively but that included 13th, just as powerful as advertised; some movies my sister and I used to watch all the time as kids but that I hadn't seen since then (Annie [1982] and The Neverending Story); Cloud Atlas, which was terrible in different ways from the book (the racebending makeup was creepy and wrongsighted); and Child 44, an action film that was utterly unremarkable except for its cast: Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Charles Dance, Noomi Rapace, Vincent Cassel and Fares Fares. It took place in Stalin-era Moscow and Volsk so of course they cast Brits, a Frenchman, a Swede and a Lebanese Swede and made them speak in "Russian" accents.

Want to see Get Out and Logan. My sister will be visiting next weekend and we plan to take care of at least one of those.


Listening

Stephen Thompson at NPR released this year's Austin 100, a batch of songs by artists he recommends ahead of SXSW. I usually find a handful of vid songs in these -- among the 2016 recs I found this year's Club Vivid song, the song I used for the Chris Hadfield vid, and the song I'm going to use for the Mary Sue vampire vid -- and am looking forward to this new collection.


Writing

Posts and emails, mostly. Did I mention that over Presidents' weekend I added some pages to some very old Mary Sue fics? It felt good to get words out and to extend those stories a little, even with the inevitable self-criticism over things like "Why did it take you all day to write two pages?" and "Why are you still thinking about teenage fantasies?"


Off to [livejournal.com profile] disgruntledowl's for dinner/movie. I made brownies. Before that, I made some mashed cauliflower. The apartment smells very confused.

Hope you are having good weekends.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
I previewed some pix on Twitter, but posting about Friday's visit to the opening of the Vancouver Art Gallery's giant multimedia exhibition on 20th-21st century mashups felt daunting until I realized I don't actually have to write an essay on that history and the place of vidding within it, nor an analysis of the objects the curators chose for inclusion and the way they organized the collection. Because I am interested in and have thoughts about those things, but don't currently have the wherewithal to explicate.

Suffice to say that it was satisfying to see the curators acknowledge fan vidding as a notable form of remixing with artistic merit worthy of being placed alongside household names like Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Brian Eno. Fanfiction and especially the annual Remix Redux would have had a home as well. Starting on the fourth floor and working down provided a more or less chronological tour through the many ways people have appropriated existing media materials and subverted, built on or otherwise transformed them into something new and wonderful. I nodded at familiar examples of fan practice's cousins (e.g. Jamaican dub, William S. Burroughs' cut-ups, T.S. Eliot's dense intertextuality, Quentin Tarantino's metacommentary on film history) and ancestors (e.g. Victorian photo collage, by women, fittingly*) and learned a lot about other fascinating members of the family tree both close and distant. I was particularly entranced by a sound poem written and recited by Kurt Schwitters presented alongside a song version composed by Brian Eno, Kurt's Rejoinder. Little change through time of the kinds of critique, censorship, copyright battles and celebration their -- our -- works have engendered.

*I'd been worried about how male-centric the exhibit would be, based on the promo materials and early exhibit descriptions, so I was glad to see that it pays homage to the critical contributions of women from the very beginning. The introductory curator's card on the top floor begins with Georges Braque and Picasso, but then in the second paragraph, there are the women collage-makers. Cuttin' up ur magazines, shakin' up ur art. "These collages were often enclosed in personal albums, made more for the amusement of small social circles than for wider public exhibition and appreciation" -- sound familiar? While gender wasn't balanced overall, many women were nevertheless featured on each floor. [ETA: More on that from straight.com.] Heavy on Western work, though.

And now I will switch over to glee at seeing Starships! and six other vids by five other vidders on the walls of the museum! My original announcement here if you have no idea what I'm talking about. Also a more recent one from [personal profile] heresluck.

About the opening reception, how people interacted with the vids, and some pictures & video clips! )

More about the rest of the trip at some point. So much good fish, two excellent plays, contagious vowels, and a lot of beautiful First Nations art.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Starships! is going to be in a museum exhibit next month!

The Vancouver Art Gallery is doing a four-floor exhibition on the recent history of mashups, and Starships! will be one of seven vids by six vidders included in a section on vidding curated by Francesca Coppa.

It's been in the works for a while, but it finally feels real now that the gallery has put up its web page for the exhibit. It's hard to convey how excited I am to think of a screen playing Starships! hanging on a gallery wall. And to have created something that someone thought worth including in this collection. And for the vid to be considered on a level with works by Kandy Fong and obsessive24 and here's luck and Lim and Shadow Songs. And, OMG, to see my screen name and theirs listed among global big-name artists, architects, musicians, choreographers—I'm dying a little inside with joy and disbelief. (Check it out at the bottom of the page at the link above, then do a tiny happy dance with me!)

*

I thought that would be that, but a happy confluence of finances means I will be able to go see the exhibit in person when it opens in mid-February. Hopefully others I know will too. (???)

I didn't have a chance to see Cut Up when it showed at the Museum of the Moving Image a few years ago (the only other mashup- and remix-related exhibit I've heard of that includes vids), so this will be doubly pleasurable. Besides the personal connection, the collection and the story it promises to tell look fascinating.

None of you live in Vancouver, do you? For hangout purposes while I'm in town.

ETA Feb.: Write-up after visiting the exhibit
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
(It is raining.)

Doing: Just returned from a five-day trip to my grandparents' in Florida, with my dad. Some ups, some downs, as happens when one's family is dealing with age-related health issues and dwindling ability to remain independent. Or codependent, as the case may be. In any event, it was good to see them, they appreciated the visit, and my dad and I did make it to the beach one beautiful morning. Two hours of swimming and of resting in the shade of an umbrella: divine.

Watching: A collection of Turner Classic Movies with the grandparents: Bringing Up Baby, With Six You Get Eggroll, Anna and the King of Siam (with Rex Harrison, not Yul Brynner), and 15 minutes of The Man Who Would Be King before I quit in distaste. Oh, and we caught the last 20 minutes or so of Transcendence, because apparently Paul Bettany movies now follow me wherever I go.

On my own, beginning of season three of Gilmore Girls, with the occasional ep thrown in of season three of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. Haven't yet started the new series of Doctor Who.

Have also been getting together once every couple of weeks with [personal profile] thedeadparrot to alternately heckle and admire Project Runway, which is great fun.

Reading: Re-read of Ancillary Justice complete; Ancillary Sword half complete. Still wonderful. The series works for me on every level: concept behind the main character, basic plot, worldbuilding, personally and societally relevant themes (schisms in identity, class conflict, racism, suppression/absorption of minorities, social justice, police brutality, white male privilege, love and grief and revenge), favorite sci fi tropes (artificial intelligences, alien contact, awakening after centuries in cryo freeze), subtle and indirect emotions that sneak up on you, use of "she" as gender-neutral pronoun so that the universe feels filled with women. Not least, I relate to and envy the main character in numerous ways. Today's delight: remembering how Translator Dlique sounded a touch like Luna Lovegood as well as Delirium of the Endless. Can't wait for Ancillary Mercy next week.

Ummmm also I mentioned this on Twitter but I discovered last week that Ann Leckie recced Starships! in August and I retweeted her and then she replied to me and I may have died a little.

Before that, read Saga vol 5--excellent--then finished The Book of Three and barely started The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander, in the Chronicles of Prydain series, for book club. Eh. So far it is template fantasy; I found myself playing Spot the Comparison to things like Lord of the Rings, The Once & Future King, Earthsea and the Fionavar Tapestry. Young Eilonwy is a hoot and the prince whose name I've forgotten is written to be nice and sexy in a kids' book sort of way--in fact, young male protagonist Taran reads as though he's in love with him without really realizing it--but the books have not grabbed me so far. Gwydion. Will try a little more and see how it goes. Favorite line so far: "She is the only oracular pig in Prydain."

Vidding: Submitted my most favorite source ideas to [community profile] festivids (who will make me a book trailer for Ancillary Justice???) and am trying to think of whether there are any more. Glanced really quickly through the list of nominations and spotted something that soon after generated an idea, woo.

Also we will see if a vid gets generated for Halloween, my most successful vidding holiday to date. Have a bunch of source already ripped for one potential project. Unfortunately, have a bunch of RL stuff in October, too.

Writing: Not a lot outside of work. Adding some words here and there to that Marius/Mary Sue story. Speaking of posts that met with crickets.

Meeting: Got to hang for a couple of hours with [personal profile] such_heights and [personal profile] happydork last weekend when they stopped by Boston Fannish Brunch on their way across the country for their honeymoon; that was a treat.

Eating: Culinary highlights of September included a lobster roll from James Hook & Co., which lived up to its reputation of understanding that mayo and bun should take a backseat to the lobster meat, and a scoop of Noodle Kugel ice cream from JP Licks, which was cinnamon-spiked vanilla ice cream studded with cooked-then-frozen egg noodles. Because how can you pass up a specialty Rosh Hashanah ice cream flavor?

ETA: Wait, I forgot the other two excellent foods. First, following some nutrition advice, I tried broiled mackerel from the local Japanese restaurant and it was fantastic. Savory and salty and firm with a crisp skin. Will attempt to make something like it at home one of these days and see if the resulting oily-fish smell is worth the meals it produces. Second, I discovered the cayenne-mango flavored almonds from Q's Nuts in Somerville and cannot get over the perfect blend of spicy and sweet. Nom nom afternoon snacks.

Dreaming: of autumn. It's still 80+ degrees out, and nearly October. Come on.

Also I had a dream the first night in Florida that Chief O'Brien showed up to try to save me at the end of a godawful tennis match and I was disappointed (but also relieved) that Bashir wasn't there. And then that I had to explain to Tony Stark how I was feeling after a traumatic event, so I phrased it in relation to his life: "imagine if the Iron Man suits were all destroyed, and Pepper was hurt, and Rhodey'd been killed..."

Whew. Okay, let's return after this to normal-sized, focused posts.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
statistics page from youtube showing a sudden spike from around zero to 3,000 views

A cluster of comments came in on Starships! this weekend. Industrious Googling tracked down the likely culprit: a nice post at Moviepilot.com.* Given that it appeared alongside posts about Guardians of the Galaxy and Blade 4, that seems cool.

Some responses were lovely. At least as many were the usual collection of "Why no [insert unrepresented source here]?" Sigh. I'm still not sure whether to be more bothered by the rudeness/entitlement or by the refusal to read the notes right there in the video description explaining the project constraints. I mean, it shouldn't be bothersome at all, like the way the potshots at the song choice slide right off me, but it does bother me that I couldn't include everything more, it does occur to me that I could do an expanded, remastered version but choose not to, and the stream of gripes just niggles all the more. ETA: And it bothers me that a vid of "sources I like best" (for the most part) isn't good enough.

*Nor does it help when a reccer makes promises the vid does not deliver, such as, "If you're a fan of any starship and crew at all, you're almost certain to find them in this video." Not to be ungrateful; just that commenters direct their dissatisfaction as often to (or about) the vidder as to the reccer.

And then I wonder whether I am the one who needs to keep the ego in check, because a comment is a comment and that means a total stranger not only wanted to watch a vid I made but also cared enough to say something about it. And I understand the feeling of watching or reading a compilation that doesn't include a personal favorite.

Even so: The positive responses outweigh the disappointed, complainy and dismissive ones. It makes me happy that this vid, and the shows and movies of my heart that it contains, make many other people happy.

Starships! went live two years ago this coming weekend. It just broke 150,000 views if you combine YouTube & Vimeo hits. That is nothing on a scale of 1 to YouTube, but it's head and shoulders above anything else I've posted. I am really proud of it.


ETA: Oh! And it seems a segment of the vid showed during an OTW panel at Comic-Con this year? Heidi Tandy contacted me while I was on vacation and I gave the OK, but am not sure in what context it was chosen or how the panel went. Was anyone there?
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
1. Yikes. I picked the best(/worst, if you like staycations with unknown retroactive pay status) time to leave federal service. My thoughts are with you, friends who're caught in the furloughs or suffering from cut services.

2. In less important, happier news, Starships! was linked from the Amazing Stories Magazine website. As they say in emoticons: *_*

3. I attended the last of the required orientations for work yesterday. Knowing I was going to be very early, I brought that newly acquired Vampire Romance book along. Left it face-down on the table as other earlybirds who recognized me from previous orientations trickled in and sat at my table.

I should have known that there was nothing to be embarrassed about in front of four other young women, even at Prestigious University. The one next to me caught sight of the spine and said she's been a fan of the genre too since reading Anne Rice; she mentioned Linda Lael Miller, the Sookie Stackhouse novels and something I've forgotten that wasn't Anita Blake but was similar. The young woman across the table returned from the coffee/breakfast table to say she'd heard the start of the conversation and wanted to know what recommendations were shared; confessed she also loved Anne Rice back in the day. Table-wide discussion ensued of True Blood books compared to TV show, etc.



(I'm quite enjoying the anthology. The writing could be better--lots of adverbs and euphemisms, that sort of thing--but the series of short stories of seduction is working well for me. I guess it was just the ticket in this time of change and potential loneliness, in a city where I once rekindled my love of the Vampire Chronicles and wrote thousands of words of fic for it.)

The news

Aug. 26th, 2013 07:25 pm
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Life takes a turn for the exciting, on both RL and fannish fronts.

RL news - Moving to Boston!

You guys, I applied for what is basically the 9-to-5 of my dreams, and (several interviews and tests and negotiations later) they gave it to me. Then I went up to apartment hunt in the best/worst real estate season of the year there. I was so stressed out I got off the plane shaking, yet somehow I was incredibly lucky and landed my first choice. I am thrilled, even though it, like everything else in the city, is $.

Which means in less than a month I will be living in a beautiful 1 BR instead of a studio, giving the work I have been wanting to do for years a try, at a Prestigious University that I didn't expect to have a chance to be affiliated with.

Is this my life? I'm not sure this is my life. Something is bound to go wrong. Right?

(The downsides: becoming yet another person leaving my office, leaving some coworkers I like and sticking them with a lot of work; and, more important, leaving friends behind. [livejournal.com profile] deelaundry, [livejournal.com profile] cincodemaygirl, [livejournal.com profile] alpheratz, [livejournal.com profile] ellen_fremedon, [livejournal.com profile] recrudescence and [livejournal.com profile] v_greyson whom I've hardly been able to see, etc. etc., and of course [livejournal.com profile] synn, although we have already weathered three or four interstate separations. :( :( :(

It will be nice, though, in exchange, to see more of the Boston-area fanpeople - Ny and parrot and thirdmouse and kass, maybe get in touch with [livejournal.com profile] bathsweaver if she's still there, whom I barely got to know before I moved away last time - plus some grad school classmates who stuck around and also my college friend S., the fellow Trekkie I've mentioned here a few times over the years.

Whom else do I know or should I meet up there??)


Fannish news - Starships remix is live!

I have been remiss in not pointing you to [livejournal.com profile] jetpack_monkey's remix of Starships, along with a source list and a side-by-side comparison that will knock your astrosocks off. He used all black and white footage, all pre-moon landing air dates, aglow with hope and joy and silliness and the sort of string-and-matchsticks special effects that hold a special place in so many of our hearts.

As if the effort he put into securing and cleaning up the footage over the better part of a year weren't enough -- seriously, be sure to read the vid notes -- he scoured it all thoroughly enough and worked the speeds well enough to achieve pretty much a shot for shot homage to Starships. Cigarette smoking, salutes, bubble helmets, launches and crashes, little flying pellets, you name it. Chess for poker. Astro Boy for WALL-E, holding up the sky. The Lost in Space robot for Data the android, embodying the way technology and the sources themselves have evolved over the decades. A flying submarine for the flying Winnebago, because ridiculousness endures though it may change shapes. Billy Mumy for Nog, the boy wonders. And the TARDIS, stretching across eras. So many brilliant choices. So many I have yet to fully appreciate because I don't know all the source material.

It's an absolute thrill to see [livejournal.com profile] jetpack_monkey's vid come to fruition and receive the accolades he and it deserve. It's a humbling tribute to what I rushed to put together last year, and it absolutely stands on its own as a love letter to the sci fi shows and movies of yore.

What are you waiting for? Go watch it. (Or, you know, go watch it again.)

(I've been able to watch some other Vividcon vids and need to do a recs list. One of these days, in between packing boxes and getting paperwork settled.)
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
"Starships!" made it onto io9 today! Thank you to [personal profile] were_duck for the tip.

The thrill of having the vid featured there outweighs what I'm about to say by far, but following on our recent conversation about citing creators and, more important to me personally, including or linking to vid context when posting a rec, it stood out to me that the short post by Annalee Newitz included the YouTube embed without title or attribution, a link to Nicki Minaj's official video, a link to Vividcon's website, and my excerpted source list, but only referred to "this fan video" and "the filmmakers." The result was a flurry of the "No Babylon 5/Red Dwarf/Cowboy Bebop?!"-type comments that I am now expecting and resigned to in the absence of my notes about deadlines and access to source -- they continue to stream in on the Tumblr post as well -- along with the "Ew, Nicki Minaj" comments (which don't bother me). And, not to sound ungrateful, a nice handful of happy viewers. The frustration is just that I (and others) keep trying to explain why the vid includes only what it includes, but because of the nature of certain sharing platforms and because of common reccing practices, it doesn't stick.

What also resulted, however, was that someone named eregyrn, who came to my defense on the MarySue.com post a few weeks ago, and later someone named telepresence, quickly stepped in in the comments section to provide that very context, along with links and a [livejournal.com profile] greensilver/[livejournal.com profile] anatsuno-style call for vidder credit. There ensued a confusing thread in which Annalee said she'd already linked to the YouTube page (she hasn't; there's only the embed, which means people have to know and want to click on the video and then click on the little YouTube icon to view over there; but to be fair, some people are doing that, because a bunch of comments have been coming in on YouTube this afternoon) and that my name wasn't on the vid (which eregyrn pointed out is incorrect, and also, the video title on YouTube says "by bironic" and the LJ link is in the description right above the source list she quoted, so even though it's easy to miss the opening vid credits, it isn't hard to track down who made it). But she kindly amended the post to include my name, which now links to the LJ master post. So that is cool. I need to find and thank eregyrn somehow.

In conclusion: io9! Whee! And this lovely blog post by Doctor Science on Tuesday, which expands on a comment she made to Masters of War about vids being like bouillon cubes.

.

I think I've settled on a new vid to work on, finally. Not sure what it'll be for -- maybe Kink Bingo -- but after four months of lying fallow it'll be nice to get back into practice.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
One year ago tomorrow (or yesterday, depending on how you count it), I dove into making Starships!. As if to celebrate the occasion, this just happened:

statistics chart showing a peak hit count after starting out near zero

I haven't been able to piece together a timeline of what led to what, but for some reason Starships! had a huge resurgence in popularity last week. By which I mean the Vimeo video went from 9,000 views (Aug.-Mar. total) to 34,800 35,300, and the YouTube version has garnered 2,700 views and 180 likes in its first week and a half. Together that makes it my most viewed vid ever. Measuring by hit count, the next most popular is, of all things, the SGA tentacles vid, at 27,500, and even that has 20,000 more than the third-most viewed (Satisfaction). LJ comments for Starships! also passed the 500 mark, which is about 350 more than any other of my fanworks has received as far as I can recall. o_o

Metrics, Google searches and tips from friends tell me that a tumblr post that had been around since August exploded, shooting up to 5,000 likes/reblogs (375 of which are comments, wow), including from the OTW and at least a couple of accounts that must be widely read (like albinwonderland?). The tumblr post got featured on TheMarySue.com last Wednesday, which led to other posts on individual blogs like this one. The vid also showed up on a Finnish TV site (second highest play count after tumblr and before TheMarySue), something called SourceFedNews, a French blog, and Facebook and Reddit, among other places.

It's awesome, although I'm still baffled as to what set it off. The vid had been up on YouTube for several days already, and the YouTube version isn't the one that's been making the rounds for the most part; ditto for the lyrics-to-clips chart timing; and Swancon and Muskrat Jamboree happened a couple of weeks earlier. *shrug* Not that it matters, in the end. I don't know how those kinds of numbers compare to other people's vids, but it's a thrill from where I'm sitting.

.

Interesting things that occurred along the way:
  • Thanks to the third-party platforms, received objective feedback from strangers who may or may not have expected the vid creator to see what they said. Common criticisms: "This vid is invalid because Babylon 5/Red Dwarf/Andromeda/Lexx/anything anime/something else isn't in it." (I added a note to the Vimeo & YT posts saying that I agree but it was made under deadline, for what that might be worth.) "I hate the song, but this vid is still okay." "I hate the song, so you should play ___ instead while you watch the vid." It's been excellent to see that side of people's reactions, even when there's an itch to engage; and it's been excellent as well when others have replied to comments here and there with rebuttals or with background about the deadline etc.

  • On the subject of fellow fans stepping in to support the creator: this tumblr post from [livejournal.com profile] greensilver about credit etiquette re: the original tumblr post, echoed in [livejournal.com profile] anatsuno's comment to TheMarySue post. Interesting stuff. Personally I want things to be credited, because credit is all we have here in non-monetary fandom. However, I hadn't thought beyond that to whether a label on an embedded video is enough or whether more attention should be given to attribution in the rec, other than that doing it in text makes it easier to ego-search, heh, and therefore to see comments from people who don't make it back to the original post.

  • Learned a little about how tumblr works. Not enough to feel comfortable navigating it, but something, anyway.

  • Discovered that at least three people linked George Takei to the vid on Facebook. ! My life would have been fulfilled if he'd reposted it, but having evidence that he might have watched it is plenty exciting.

The other super awesome thing that is not related to the above other than in how it ramped up my excitement is that [livejournal.com profile] jetpack_monkey is making a remix of Starships! using all black and white SF source. (!) No one has ever remixed a vid of mine before, unless you count the bizarre spambot thing that slapped effects on Masters of War, changed the song, and produced a long, head-scratchy YouTube description. Anyway. [livejournal.com profile] jetpack_monkey's legitimate remix is almost done, it's a ton of fun, and it's going to premiere at Vividcon in August, at which point you can join me in urging him to do some kind of commentary about it. Full circle in one year.

.

(And hopefully that all comes across as wanting to share the happy news instead of as bragging.)
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
cinco mentioned last night that a few people would indeed like a way to find out where all the clips in Starships came from because so many of them go by so quickly and/or because some of them are from less popular sources. Since it would be just as hard to ID everything at speed in a caption track, below is a reference to all the clips alongside the lyrics. I hope the table format is not too hard to parse.

(Also, I just took the plunge and posted the vid to YouTube. Have been afraid of takedown notices, but nothing bad has happened so far on Vimeo, so. We'll see what happens beyond the automated "content match/blocked in some countries/you may see ads" notice that's already come in.)

Lyrics & clip IDs matched up )

Yup—that's ~257 clips, twice as many as my Jurassic Park vid of the same length (134 clips). Whew!

bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Am experiencing that unfortunate blogging state where you don't post for a while and then there are too many things to talk about, so you don't talk about any of them, repeat until something gives. Let us try to overcome the blockage through the magic of a "five things" format:

1. I am reading the Twilight series. No, really. )

2. I watched seasons one and two of Girls. )

3. synn and I accidentally made The Challah That Ate Pennsylvania. )

4. Went to an excellent Sigur Ros concert. )

5. Five things, five things, hm. Starships and Home showed at Muskrat Jamboree and apparently were well received, yay. Many thanks to those of you who texted or emailed or dropped comments to report on how the vidshow went. Starships'll be showing at VidUKon soon, which is also awesome. Meanwhile, someone is doing a really cool project that involves one of my vids; I got to see a draft today, and it's going to be exciting to talk about when it's out in the world.

Looking forward to the time, ever closer, when my brain decides to be productively creative again. Mayhap it will involve one of the "gift basket" mini cards at Kink Bingo. Or not, since work is busy and my mom will be visiting next week.

Either way, for now, it's National Poetry Month once again, which means it's... time to read more poetry. Reading poetry means reading slowly, means appreciating the aesthetics of language, the exquisite ways artists find of expressing the simplest, most ordinary experiences, or of articulating what had seemed to be ineffable. Means slowing down the brain. Taking time. Thinking. So different from the skimming and attention dividing that tends to dominate my days. I didn't used to be like that, when I was a teenager. (Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny in the metaphorical sense that my personal [d]evolution from measured, thoughtful and introspective to fragmented, rushed, digital- and social network-immersed reflects our culture's shift over the past couple of decades?) Poetry Months—and Septembers, when I remember the beginnings of school years—always make me wonder whether and how you can restore yourself.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
One excellent weekend at Vividcon, another out on the Delmarva peninsula with my visiting mom (hadn't seen her in 13 months, whoops), and now it's back to work work work.

+ Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] rubynye for the heads up—Teresa Nielsen Hayden recced Thirteen Ways of Looking at Rodney (AO3 version) alongside many other interesting-looking literary and/or crossover-type fics in a blog post over at Making Light. !! So cool. A couple of commenters also mentioned that Starships! is linked over there; I finally found it on the sidebar under the "Jim's Diffraction" links. Alexis Lothian did a whole awesome post on the vid, too. Basically: Eeeeee!

+/- I do feel like I should add a note over in the vid intro about how it wasn't intended to represent a history of spaceship media or anything, being entirely English-language and Western-centric, no anime, etc. No one has called me out on it but a few people have made celebratory remarks about how "everything" is in there and, you know, really it isn't at all. That's the major thing I'd have fixed if I'd had more time.

+ Despite lingering Vividcon-acquired germs and about 450 miles of driving, we quite enjoyed our three(ish) days out on the shore, browsing in non-chain stores in various coastal towns such as St. Michaels and Lewes, waving to the wild ponies in Chincoteague/Assateague, taking pictures of ourselves in cardboard-cutout space suits at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility visitor center, eating lots of seafood and other delicious fresh foodstuffs, playing Skeeball and dropping into ridiculous tourist shops on the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk, and even making it to the beach a couple of times between drizzles. The hotel we stayed in the second night had a glowing sink and ice bucket.

+ In one store, we found and acquired a Star Trek-themed crossword puzzle book. It's hard even for we two Trekkies and crossword aficionados (Puzzle 1, clue 1 across: "I.K.S ___-H'a, Klingon ship in 'The Chase' [TNG]"), but it's great fun nonetheless.

+/- Looked like I was going to have three weeks of evenings and weekends in which to do whatever I wanted, but then I went and acquired a volunteer job putting together a fast-turnaround newsletter. Sigh. (Those of you who knew me in grad school might remember a particular research foundation I worked with; it's for them, because I want to maintain the relationship.) So that'll be the next little while. It's cool, though. I like being "in the know" on breaking news. :)

+ Wrote 1,900 words of Mary Sue fic yesterday (the beginning of the Karin/Makor saga). *coughatwork* It's been a while.

Happy weekend to you all.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
LJ post | DW post | AO3

This premiered tonight at Club Vivid (first vid, even! after the Joxer Dance), so finally finally I get to share it with you!

Title: Starships!
Music: Nicki Minaj
Fandoms: *deep breath* 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien/Aliens, Apollo 13, Archer, Battlestar Galactica (2004-8), Cocoon, Community, Doctor Who (2005-), Dune, Farscape, The Fifth Element, Firefly/Serenity, Forbidden Planet, Futurama, Galaxy Quest, Independence Day, The Muppet Show, Odyssey 5, Planet of the Apes (1968), Spaceballs, Star Trek (TOS, Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager; movies II, IV, VII, VIII and XI/Reboot), Star Wars IV & V, Stargate: Atlantis, Stargate SG-1, Sunshine, Superman (1978), Toy Story 2, Virtuality, WALL-E.
Length: 3:36
Summary: A celebration of pilots, captains, engineers, crew members, and the spacecraft they love to fly. (And race, and crash, and fix, and play in, and fight in, and...)
Rating/Contents: PG-13 for sci fi action, swear words and makeouts. *Physical note for camera movement (shaking, spinning, tilting), flashing lights and some fast-cut sequences. I don't believe there are any other content issues, but please correct me if I'm wrong.
Spoilers: There... actually might not be any. Cool.
Acknowledgements: To cinco, deelaundry, ellen_fremedon and thingswithwings for taking the time to lend me various sources. To kassrachel for offering. To nightdog_barks, roga and others for contributing to the brainstorm. To absolutedestiny for granting permission to make this vid for the show on short notice.


Embed, download, notes )


Lyrics can be found at http://rapgenius.com/Nicki-minaj-starships-lyrics. Coming up Now posted (see link below): a list of clips/sources paired with the lyrics, for kicks and for people who've asked if there's a way to identify quick or obscure images.

Comments and concrit are always welcome as I try to improve my vidding.

Okay, back to the party.

x-posted to vidding (LJ) and vidding (DW)



UPDATES:

8/25/12: A note about how the vid does not contain "everything"

4/6/13: List of clips/sources matched to the lyrics

4/18/13: Traffic spike and follow-up, with discussion of platform limitations and community attribution habits

8/19/13: [livejournal.com profile] jetpack_monkey's Starships! (Monochromatic Remix), source list, and remarkable side-by-side comparison

8/21/13: Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] morgandawn, Starships (as well as the remix) now has a Fanlore page!

8/5/14: Two-year anniversary; traffic spike; haters gonna hate

1/8/16: Exciting news: Vancouver Art Gallery exhibit

2/24/16: Vids inna museum (Vancouver visit)

This vid has since shown at: Connotations 2012, Swancon 2013, Muskrat Jamboree 2013, Vidukon 2013 (space vid show), Wiscon 37 (Ad Astra Per Aspera vid show and singalong vid show), Continuum 9, Nine Worlds, Vividcon 2013 (Out of this World vidshow), Bitchin' Party/Pacificon 2014, WisCon 38 (Sing Along With Me vid show), ComicCon 2014 (OTW panel), Vividcon 2014 (Club Vivid), Worldcon/Loncon-3, sinpOZium 2014, Vidukon 2015 (Tropes vid show), Wiscon 39 (Singalong: The Voyage Home vid show), Wiscon 40 (Singalong: The Comeback vid show)

It will be included in "MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture" at the Vancouver Art Gallery, February-June 2016 (!)

And it has been featured at: TheMarySue.com, io9 (!), AmazingStoriesMag.com, Queer Geek Theory (Alexis Lothian's blog), Obsidian Wings (Doctor Science's blog), SourceFed News, Riemurasia.net, Giant Freakin Robot, MoviePilot.com, and some other sites, and has been kicking around Tumblr and Twitter. So cool.

(These and all other related posts now organized under the vid: starships tag)
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
40 space-themed movies and TV shows. 9 evenings and 2 Sundays of effort, consecutive. 3 minutes and 36 seconds of Club Vivid vid: COMPLETE. 4 hours before deadline, even. \o/

I have done nothing but go to work, vid, and sleep for the last week and a half. Now it is done, and I like it, and if all goes well people will dance to it at Vividcon, and now I can have my life back. ...And worry about the likelihood that someone else will make a similar vid before it premieres because the song is a new chart-topper and the concept is not a stretch from the lyrics, so by August it's not unlikely people will be tired of it. Whatever! At least it's not by Ke$ha, right?

I can't think of another fan project I've worked on with that length of sustained intensity. The one that comes close is probably A Princeton Odyssey, the 300-whatever lines of heroic couplets; and even that I only had about a week to do. I'm proud that I powered through on this despite source-acquiring challenges and a stressful couple of weeks at the office. I'm proud of my computer, too, for handling all the ripping, importing and editing with minimal errors; my last computer would have died five times over. This one deserves a hug. Or at least a break.

And so do I. :) Hello, celebratory scoop of ice cream and not sitting in the vidding chair anymore.

(At some point, dishes, food shopping [no more subsisting on takeout!], contacting family to confirm I'm still alive, catching up on TV shows, and putting away and/or returning to various loaners the explosion of DVDs across the apartment.)



Thank you, thank you, thank you to those of you who went out of your way to help, either with ideas or with footage: [livejournal.com profile] cincodemaygirl, [livejournal.com profile] ellen_fremedon, [livejournal.com profile] deelaundry, [personal profile] thingswithwings, [livejournal.com profile] nightdog_barks, [livejournal.com profile] synn. Did I get everyone? You are in the vid credits ... as you will see in a few months. Wow, it will be weird to wait.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Someone asked how the vid is going. It is going! It is and will continue to be eating up every minute of my time outside business hours, but by Jove I am determined to get it done by the deadline on Sunday. At this point I have ripped and clipped about 30 sources, with help from several of you, plus a few more on the way from the library or Netflix, and am about to seriously tackle laying stuff down on the tracks. And yes, I've had to resort to a spreadsheet to keep everything straight:

photographic evidence )

Have had some technical hiccups along the way but nothing has stopped the project yet. Full speed ahead, as it were. Just hoping it continues to be enjoyable for the duration...
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Greenlighted for starships vid!! I'm going to do it!

Please, someone tell me you know where I can find good electronic files of Battlestar Galactica that are not streaming? I've asked everyone local, including people at work, and am empty-handed.

Planned list of sources: )

See you April 30 when I come up for air.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Supposing a person were crazy and just came up with a multifandom space show/movie Club Vivid vid idea set to Nicki Minaj's "Starships," heard on the radio for the first time this week. Supposing this person wanted to compile a list of canons to put in this theoretical vid, choose key scenes from said canons, and find a few friends who own certain DVDs or know where to get downloads, all with the goal of finishing the vid by the April 29 deadline (gulp). Would you, the flist of this person, be willing to brainstorm ideas and/or suggest where to find missing source material?

Shows/movies I have thought of )

To include: Engineers fixing stuff; space battles!; pilots being crazy and having fun; people getting thrown around bridges; making out/having sex during the part without much of a beat; come and get it; beautiful space shots; bursting out of water/atmosphere/nebula/whatever; soaring; captains/crew looking awed in drydock, caressing ships on deck; warping off into the sunset…

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