Vidding

April 26, 2011

V is for…

I tried my hand at ‘vidding’, or fanvidding, a long time ago – it looks like the fall of 2002 through January of 2003. If you don’t know, vidding is the process of editing different clips of a TV show or movie along with other sources of video or audio to come up with your own montage or sequence, like making a ‘music video’ featuring the characters of your favorite fandom.

I’d bought some Roswell episodes in video file format on burned CDs, desperate for a better rerun fix than my old home VHS tapes, which weren’t holding up so well. The quality of the video files wasn’t astounding, but having them there did mean that I could play around with them using Windows Movie Maker, and I came up with my first two fanvids using those source files – a Max/Liz tribute to Faith Hill’s song ‘One,’ and a really angsty Michael/Maria third season montage to go with Roch Voisine’s “With these eyes.” I guess I thought of that latter connection because of the lyric at the end of the chorus, “‘Cause a sad song doesn’t care whose heart it breaks,” and Michael was always talking about how he didn’t want to hurt Maria ifhe had to leave her, but in mid Season 3 she’s the one who walks away and he’s the one who ends up shattered.

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Roswell

April 21, 2011

R is for…

Long-time readers of this blog will have probably heard me mention the television show ‘Roswell’, especially in connection with the fanfic and fanart I’ve created based on the show. It’s a bit of an interesting story how I got so involved in Roswell fandom. It’s not really one of the best shows that have been on television, but I think that possibly its flaws are just big enough to give fans room to slip through and play on their own.

I tuned into the show in the fall of 1999, after it had been on the air for a few months – mostly because I wanted to see what Julie Benz was up to since leaving Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Ironically, the first episode I saw was the end of Julie’s recurring arc on the show – she returned for one more episode later in the season, and I caught most of her other episodes in reruns, but that was all for Julie.

But I started following the show – the teenage leads had some charisma working for them, the writing was witty and engaging, (Jason Katims knows his stuff, and so does most of the writing team he put together,) and most of the plot holes that crept up were easy to gloss over.

Around this same time I was participating in a crazy crossover RPG on egroups, and later yahoo groups – Roswell wasn’t part of the canon for the RPG, just Buffy, Angel, Charmed, and the movie ‘Sleepy Hollow.’ It was a lot of fun, and the moderator of the game was also a big fan of Roswell. She ended up pointing me to a few fan sites, and gave me my first taste of Roswell shipper controversy.

To explain this part fairly briefly, over most of the first season of the show, there were roughly parallel romantic arcs between three couples in the show’s teenage cast – Max Evans with Liz Parker, Michael Guerin with Maria DeLuca, Isabel Evans with Alex Whitman. Each of these pairs was one alien character, (Max, Michael, Isabel) and one human, (Liz, Maria, Alex.) There was also another teenage regular human, Kyle Valenti, Liz’s ex-boyfriend, but he was more of a foil for Max than anything else at this point.

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‘My Alien Wife’ – and Critiquing Crusaders!

April 15, 2011

M is for…

Before I get to part 13 of the A-Z challenge… (halfway through, whoo-hoo!) I’d like to share a little crusader thing. It occured to me last weekend, that there are probably a lot of crusaders who’d like to form writer’s groups or do critique exchanges, and so I’m stepping up to volunteer as a facilitator/organizer, if anybody trusts me with something like that. Head over here to sign up if you have any interest.

Now… ‘My Alien Wife’ is one of my favorite Roswell fan fiction stories that I’ve ever written. It was inspired by a challenge from the Roswell Fanatics forum – ‘They did WHAT in Vegas? Pick one of the canon couples and write a story where they wake up and find out that they’ve gotten married in a Vegas wedding chapel.’

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Fanart flashbacks #11: The art of arranging

February 1, 2011

Fanart flashbacks index

I know I mentioned two weeks ago that in my next Fanart flashback, I’d be wrapping the series up with some of my earliest wallpapers, but then I decided to extend it one week, and wrap up with #12. This time, I’ll share a bunch of fanfiction banners, and talk about the different ways of actually arranging different video capture elements onto the banner canvas, since I kind of glossed over that before, and I was thinking about it as I struggled over my latest banner last weekend.

There’s no one pattern of arrangement that will work for every banner; it depends on what size and shape banner you want to end up with, (which depends on where you want to show it,) and what you want to include from the video captures.

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Fanart 8: Two Ensemble/focus banners from December 2009

January 4, 2011

Fanart series index.

I did a few different story banners in December of 2009, and the first one was for another ‘concept crossover,’ Roswell Calling. This time, I took the concept of the Eliza Dushku tv series “Tru Calling”, and wished it upon a minor character from the Roswell tv series, Deputy turned Sheriff Hanson, so that he could use it to save Alex’s life. I also ended up coming with a different back-story behind Alex’s accident, since saving him from Tess on the last day of his life was something that I’d covered years before in a previous story, “Tapping Fingers.”

I actually asked if somebody at Fanatics could make a banner for this story, and wasn’t really impressed with the sample I could, but couldn’t put my finger on why. So I didn’t reply back, and left the story without a banner until I started messing around with a concept of my own, which ended up looking like this:

I’m really pleased with the way that came out, especially the shots of Alex and Hanson in the middle, and the really tiny shots running across the top and bottom of the banner.

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Fanart 6: AU/Crossover banner for ‘The Wizards of Roswell.’

December 22, 2010

Fanart series index.

Moving forward again into August 2009, I wanted to spotlight a little banner I made for an unusual AU/Crossover fanfic.

Sidetrack: I often find I enjoy playing around with the raggedy edge of crossovers rather than the traditional ‘A meet B’ formula, especially taking a concept from fandom B and transplanting it to fandom A, or re-imagining the characters from fandom A entirely within fandom B. ‘Wizards of Roswell’ was an example of the latter; I took the rules and setup from Diane Duane’s excellent “Young wizards/Feline wizards” series, but not any of the familiar characters like Nita Callahan or Kit Rodriguez. Instead, Max and Isabel Evans and their friend Michael Guerin were teenage wizards in Roswell, and Max saved Liz Parker’s life with magic after she got shot. And then I introduce the vampires.

Getting back to the banner, the pictures are fairly simple. I went with screencaps from the Roswell series pilot, since the fanfic covers some of the same material and would probably fit into more or less the same time period, allowing for the differences between universes. One shot of Michael and Max reacting to the shooting seemed too good to pass up, and I included Liz in the science lab, and a more or less random shot of Katherine Heigl as Isabel, because she’s also an important character. Maria and Alex didn’t make the cut this time.

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Time to break out of the word count slump.

December 17, 2010

I haven’t written many new words since Nanowrimo ended. For a while there, I didn’t feel like I really could – writing seventy thousand words in thirty days is a bit draining on that creative faculty, so I needed time to recharge, and I’ve been working on other facets of my writing like critiquing other people’s stuff and proofreading.

But I put down 16,000 words as my December total on Stringing Words, and my grand total so far is fifteen hundred and fifteen – from the two Star Patrol blogisodes I’ve already posted. Nine and a half percent of my target, with fifty three percent of the month gone. Time to get moving a bit.

Hopefully, it shouldn’t be that hard to get the words to start flowing. 14.5k in two weeks isn’t that much for a Nano-er, after all. I picked the word count goal based on how much I’d figure to do four blogisodes, and write chapter updates for two of my Roswell crossovers.

So time to stop blogging and actually WRITE, if you know what I mean!


Fanart 5: Max/Liz banners for ‘Not Written Yet’ and ‘Las Cruces Rendezvous…’

December 14, 2010

Fanart series index.

I thought I’d spotlight two different fanfiction banners for this week – I did them both during July of 2009, and they’re both centering on ‘Dreamer’ pairing stories. First, ‘Not Written Yet’, which I wrote and finished many years ago, in the winter and spring of 2005, an alternate version of the episode ‘End of the world.’

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Fanart 4: Crossover Roswell/Doctor Who banner for ‘Children of the Molecule’

December 7, 2010

Fanart series index.

Okay, so this banner is from the same series as the last one I showed you before Nanowrimo started, the Kyle/Tess shipper one. It’s for my ongoing Roswell/Doctor Who crossover epic, “Children of the Molecule”, and that introduced a little hiccup in my usual process in that I don’t actually own Doctor Who DVDs – I saw the Billie Piper seasons on rental from zip.ca, which meant waiting in line with lots of other Canadians also waiting to see it.

So, I needed a picture of Tennant and Piper to fit into the finished artwork, and I ended up just google searching for a promo pic, which I think worked reasonably well:

Step 4 in the fanart process is taking resized images from Photo Editor and pasting them into my ‘canvas’ on Paint. This is where Photo Editor really shines, actually – Microsoft Picture Manager can resize and crop nearly as well as Photo Editor, but it doesn’t let you select a region and copy just that to another program – a sort of crop-and-copy in one step that is actually really useful.


Fanart 3: Kyle/Tess banner, ‘My Alien Wife.’

October 20, 2010

Fanart series index.

I have another Roswell fanfic banner to share with you this week, one of a series that I did in the summer of 2009 in an attempt to stretch my artistic skills. 😉

The storyline was one that was inspired by a challenge on the Roswell Fanatics forum, about any couple but Max and Liz getting married in Vegas, I think. I picked Kyle Valenti and Tess Harding.

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