I Blame the Dutch (mpoetess) wrote,
I Blame the Dutch

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très frustrant

I want to vid Spike/Xander. I do. Hell, I want to make an m/m slash vid period, that I can take to ConneXions. But I really want to vid S/X.

And you can't, can you? Not without it being humor or AU, or both. Closest I've seen is sisabet's Laid, and that's got elements of both, though it could be taken as a strictly canon story of obsession and repression, at one level.

It's different with fanfic. Something that I don't know how to explain to every person I've ever seen say "Show me one moment onscreen where Spike and Xander honestly cared whether the other lived or died." I don't have to do that, to make a story work. All I have to do is show you a moment in pretty words where they do, with enough of their character intact that you can see how they got there. Even if I don't show you how they physically got there, frankly.

I get that some people are never going to be interested in fanfic pairings they can't see muy subtext for onscreen, but it's truly not a requirement of the story medium that it be built on any subtext beyond the absence of things onscreen that would make a future relationship impossible. Slashers have by necessity used visible subtext between characters to defend their writing choices to people who don't get slash, for so long that it seems like it's an unspoken requirement for "good" slash, and I don't think it is. They don't have to have eyefucked, or even met onscreen; I just have to present a convincing situation where they would. If it doesn't convince, my problem. If the reader isn't ever willing to be convinced unless they can see it onscreen, their problem. Either way, a problem that solves itself, as long as nobody's writing diatribes about it instead of just not reading it.

But vidding... All you *have* is the visual. You don't get to convince with Spike's speech-patterns, with Xander's thoughts, with new situations in which a pairing would work. You don't get to write a scene late at night where Xander sits alone in the rain at the edge of a crater, realizing just how much of his life is gone forever, and somebody walks up behind him and says boo, in a voice he thought he'd never hear again, or want to. Well, you could write it, and you'd dearly love the guys to fly in and film it for you, but they won't, and their agents have started transferring your calls directly to the LAPD, and you're stuck with the stuff that actually aired.

And see, in my head? They work because they're each what the other needs, and maybe even deserves, good or bad. On the screen... On the screen I've got Xander pulling Spike out of a collapsing library, and Spike carrying a one-eyed, broken Xander out of a winery, as proof that either one cared if the other lived or died. And that's about it.

Or I've got any number of scenes that, taken out of context, could tell a new story. And that's my temptation and my frustration, because the trend in vidding reviews tends to be "If it's serious, it had better be showing me something new and layered about the way the show really went. Don't show me a scene that I know is really Spike looking at Buffy, and try to tell me it's Xander; the associations are too strong."

And I get that, too. To an extent, at least. Though Blondie's Dangerous vid felt to me like what could be done with rearranging film to tell a whole new narrative -- and I had my frustrations there, with viewers who couldn't get away from knowing when the hand we don't see is actually Harmony's, not Angel's -- or what the subtexty reasons might be for turning an Angel/Wes moment into an Angel/Spike moment. Sometimes there aren't subtexty reasons based in the original text, for using a clip. Sometimes it's about the subtext you're trying to build in the new story, via the picture on the screen. That doesn't make it shallower, less layered -- at least not for me, if it's done well. But I fear that's exactly how many vidfans feel about it -- that the building blocks of a songvid will forever be chained to their original context, and using them elsewise is cheating.

So for slash vids in BtVS/Angel fandom... it's canon or nothin', baby. And I got nothin'.

Or it could be that I just haven't found that mythical perfect song, yet...

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