On Vidder (a
mailing list for people who make and enjoy songvids), we've discussed whether vids have a grammar or not; a set of rules that people
agree on to make communication easier. Whoo-boy! Not an easy question, and one that
evokes a rather emotional response.After some conversation, we agreed that there
aren't a lot of rules that make sense in vidding. But we were able to
compile a list of techniques that in serious vids, tend to be misused
more often than not.
So, vidding techniques to use
sparingly, or think seriously before using:
Blooper reel clips in serious vids
But, it can work if it isn't an obviously
or it is the perfect clip
or the serious song has a more humorous section.
Can work if the show itself has a fairly
or if you use three or four in a row...
Use of credits
But here's some counter-examples:
I don't know if any of you have had a chance to see the UK vid ... I *think*
it's called "So Long". It's a vid that says goodbye to the characters of Kes
from Voyager and Ivanova from B5 that uses the credits to establish the actors/characters
- both clips say "Charcter as Actor's Name" and then we get a shot of the
character disappearing and then we get credit shots of Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine and
Tracy Scoggins as Captain Lochley... introducing the replacement characters. I thought
this was an excellent use of credits.
The Chicago Loop showed a Buffy video recently that used the Buffy
credits in an interesting way -- I guess it can be done!
Songs with illegible lyrics
But there are some beautiful vids to
instrumentals with no lyrics at all...
Maybe this one should just say, "if your lyrics can't/don't carry
the narrative, you'll have to work harder to make sure the clips do.
Black, or fade to black, within the body
of the vid
But black can add drama, and fading to
black can end a verse or a chorus, or even change POV if it's done very carefully
Single cuts longer than 8 seconds
Except that once in a while a really long
clip is just what you need; what the whole vid has been leading up to.
Clips (with internal cuts) longer than
Again, there are rare times when
letting the scene run (especially if the camera work in the scene is really well shot) can
Unusual versions of well-known songs
Many fans will hate a new version
of a song, at least until they've heard it a few times; on the other hand, the new version
may give you the gender change you need, or speed up the song enough to be useful, or have
much clearer lyrics than the better-known version of the song.
They can be very powerful -- especially when
you're making some sort of compare and contrast of two characters' situation, or their feelings for each other.
But, done sloppily or casually, they utterly confuse your audience.
(Personally, I don't think you can
change POV in all songs -- you need either a song that has a mood change, or a bridge or in the middle, *or* a song
with some strong "I" statements right after the place you want to change, to reorient your audience. Even more personally, I think
you only get to change POV once -- or maybe twice, if the music *really* supported you, perhaps in a duet --
and after that, there's almost no chance that the audience will understand what you're trying to say.
There are vidders with twice my experience and skill that disagree with me on this one, though.)
These are harder to defend -- can someone
find examples of these that work?
last one isn't really negotiable:
Many cuts in a row all the same
(i.e., vary your clip length)
Many cuts in a row all of head shots
(i.e., vary your
Doing a whole vid to one show, but including just one clip of the actor from a different
Speeding up the clip
NEVER, EVER, leave
any patches of lost signal or gunk between the clips. To quote Methos, 'Cut clean.'