Francine - harvest
I Blame the Dutch mpoetess
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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...


flaming_muse

2003-12-24 06:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

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

Or all of that Spike/Xander footage that was left on the cutting room floor...

Vidding non-canon relationships seems extremely difficult to me, except in cases where there's strong subtext, like Angel/Wes. As you say, you're stuck with what was shown, not what was underneath the surface.

xanphibian

2003-12-24 06:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

I feel your pain. My problem is that I want that scene that never actually happened ... Spike sitting at Xander's hospital bedside, for example, looking worried and kind and feeling guilty. I know it happened, dammit, but it just didn't get filmed.

Also there's that scene where Xander just got pissed off entirely at Spike's shit, and kissed him just to shut him up, out of frustration, and they ended up crawling all over each other on the floor of Xander's parents' basement and they came in their jeans and then got up and never spoke of it again. Yeah.

Ahem. You know what I mean.

I don't like it when a scene is used in a vid for another purpose, because it totally throws me off. I've never seen an AU vid that I actually bought in to. And this sucks.


flaming_muse

2003-12-24 06:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

Wait... those didn't happen?

Damn it.

xanphibian

2003-12-24 07:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

No, the point is, they DID happen. Just not onscreen. ;)

flaming_muse

2003-12-24 07:05 pm (UTC) (Link)

Oh, good, 'cause I remember them happening, too. Just couldn't say which episode. :)

lumenara

2003-12-24 07:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

Love you both.

sockkpuppett

2003-12-24 07:35 pm (UTC) (Link)

If you want to vid it, it's possible. One of the secrets I've learned in vidding slash (or other noncanonical relationships) is to take *every clip* out of context. This forces the viewer to create her own context, and if you do it right, you just *lead* them to your conclusions.

The perfect song is also paramount. With the perfect song and clips -- all clips -- taken totally out of context, you can do anything.

happy holidays!

mpoetess

2003-12-29 07:55 am (UTC) (Link)

This is possibly the most intriguing piece of vidding advice I've received -- I think because it's seriously clicking in my brain as "that's right, that's right, that's exactly right, you must go clip everything ever, now, for the purposes of trying to put this into practice."

*cough* Luckily my lack of current access to "everything ever" is at least slowing me down on that one. Seriously, though, thank you -- that's been percolating in my brain for days now.

sockkpuppett

2003-12-29 02:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

Actually, the best way that I've found to locate slashy clips is to get out of the audio/left brain thing. Watch the eps, skim through them, with the sound down. You'd be *amazed* at the body language. Another thing that this reminds me of is the time that one of my friends was trying to persuade someone that there was Mega-slash subtext in Highlander. Her advice: Turn the TV on its side. :)

lumenara

2003-12-24 07:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

Okay, I want to vid Spike/Xander, also, only I have none of the equipment necessary.

I've no idea what song you're planning to use, but maybe if you started with all the moments of interaction available-- because there are more, and they start in season two, dammit-- then you can rearrange them, and then find the song.... That's probably no help at all.

robintcj

2003-12-24 08:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

Heh. I agree. With the wanting to vid SeX. Er, I mean Spander. ;) I HAVE the program available to me.

It's just...at school. Where I don't have the clips. Or...particularly want to do the vid.

mpoetess

2003-12-29 08:00 am (UTC) (Link)

Oh, I know there are more moments of interaction; I was specifically bitching about things that would show that they care about each other. Which actually isn't even what's needed for an S/X vid; just something that someone who doesn't get the pairing said recently, that kept nagging at my memory.

Ironically, there are only two S/X interactions in S2 -- Xander watching Buffy fight Spike in School Hard, and the Sngel/Spike/Xander scene. Everything else is fodder for fanfic -- like Xander seeing Spike when he sneaks in to rescue Giles during Becoming, etc -- but it didn't actually happen onscreen.

But there's other choices for shots that don't involve actual interactions, too. Depends on the song (you know, the one I don't have yet!)

minitrog

2003-12-24 08:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

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.

Xander showed sympathy when Spike was mullered by Glory, although they weren't onscreen together at the time, and he gave Spike a light when his hands were all cut up by the IdiotKnights.

But I agree, it's not what was onscreen, it's what *could* have been. Mmmm pretty.

mpoetess

2003-12-29 08:01 am (UTC) (Link)

Yeah -- the lighter scene is one that definitely has all the stuuf ight there onscreen. Also, pretty. !