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Hoist Our Vidding Flags! - Morgan Dawn Livejournal:The Here And Now
The Here And Now
Hoist Our Vidding Flags!


So let me talk about the state of vidding in our little corner of the fandom world.

Nine years ago, the fan vid world was standing on a beach, along with the rest of the fan universe,  looking towards the horizon. We wanted to find an awesome fan-friendly island where we could eat, drink and dance to fanworks.  The only boat we could access was an ugly commercial cargo ship that greedily agreed to let us on board, only to chain us and when they were done extracting all the value from us,  would toss us overboard to the sharks.

“Fuck that”, our little corner of the fan universe cried, and they  went off and built their own sailing ship called AO3 and set sail.

The ship solved the problem for the fan fiction passengers. The fan vidders and fan artists… well we didn’t quite fit onboard.* They did build handholds for us to hang on as the AO3 Ship ferried fans from the shore to the island. And they have life preservers to toss at us. They even have a lawyer to advise us what to do when the sharks come: “Hit it! Hit it right between the eyes. YEAH, SMACK IT HARD!  Contest that take down notice. You go girl!”

But let’s be honest…..we’re still in the water with the sharks. And there are many more of us on stuck back on the beach.

There does not seem to be many people working on building a boat for fan artists or fan vidders now. Part of the problem is that a vidding or fan art boat is going to have to be very large, made of steel, and have piston-like engines, not sails. Part of the problem is that there are millions of us, and without more visibility, we don’t really know if anyone else is working on a boat. And finally some of really don’t see the need for a boat of our own. That commercial cargo ship is just fine, and if someone else gets tossed over-board…well, it’s not their problem.  

But as I tread water, bobbing in the waves, I occasionally came across someone trying to build a raft.  This week, one of them started a fundraiser to help buy the vidding.com domain name. Some fans look at the idea of spending so much money on a domain as misplaced effort. Vidding is just a word, what matters is the community and the fanworks, not the name.  It would be like giving money to someone to buy a flag for their raft. Very pretty, fluttering in the breeze, but it won’t build the damn raft, and it sure as hell won’t get it launched.  And they’d be right …on  one level.  

Yet….I am still in the water along with the rest of the fan vidders and fan artists. Waiting.  I don’t see anyone else building any rafts. I don’t even hear much talk about patching together an inflatable inner tube.  But there is this one fan, trying to tie a few sticks together and asking for help buying a flag.  I have no idea if that raft will ever get built. I don’t even know if I will ever get to ride on the raft myself. I don’t know if I want to get on that raft with that captain when the time comes.  But I do know that a flag is a symbol and a message.  Flags raise up high and can be seen by others way down the beach. And sometimes they inspire others.  

*To be absolutely clear: this is not criticism of the OTW for not having built a boat for vidders or artists. I know they had those initial intentions and that it was hard enough to get the sails up to work for fan fiction.  If you want to argue that point, please take it up with the OTW board.  And the OTW is helping vidders: the DMCA Exemptions they obtain for fanvids every few years is a ton of work and incredibly valuable to our community.   So please volunteer and see if there is enough interest to reinstate the OTW vidding committee. Maybe even push to get an OTW fanart committee started. And if there are other vidding and fan art infrastructure projects, talk about them and support them in as wide arenas as you can. Let’s keep working to get more of us off that beach to celebrate and preserve the creations from our hearts.

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kitkatbyte From: kitkatbyte Date: November 25th, 2018 08:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes. I love AO3 as a central location for fannish works, but it is really fanfic-centered. A few small adjustments would help, such as a way to categorize a work as a vid, and have it display, say, the length of the vid instead of the number of words. It would also be nice if the site allowed embedded videos to go full screen.
...Just some thoughts I've been having on the topic. :)
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