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Flows of Reading

Engaging with Texts

Erin Reilly, Ritesh Mehta, Henry Jenkins, Authors

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4.10 "Vidding" as Fan Response to Silences and Gaps

As we continue with the theme of silence reflected or broken through juxtaposition, we now introduce how fans create new continuities through the practice of “vidding”.

Fan vidders (vidder originates from song vid; vid is short for video) create fan-made music videos derived from television shows or movies. If you’ve ever created slideshows set to music, you are part of the precursor to fan vidding. Fan vidding has a rich history of vids, aesthetics, and technologies and is the earliest music video remix culture, having been in existence since 1975. It was established by Kandy Fong who created a remix with Star Trek slide images set to Leonard Nimoy’s song, “Both Sides Now”.

Most notably, this genre is primarily practiced by women, an important point since video making has been associated as a male-dominated movement. This is a misconception we need to squelch in order to ensure equality in participation. Statistically, there is no gender difference in teens remixing and creating online (Pew Internet and American Life, 2005).

Today, vidders edit clips of their favorite television show or movie and transform them into a music video. Television shows such as “Heroes,” “Supernatural,” or “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” or movies such as "Star Trek" or "Twilight" inspire us to participate in telling more of the story or redefining it to share with others. Fan-vidding is our visual poetry, an interpretation of the television shows and movies that vidders love. Viewers will understand the vid better if they are familiar or have seen the television show or movie being represented. With this knowledge, viewers can move beyond the storyline to see the nuances a vid represents in the story and in the technical remix.

The best vids have a fully thought-out concept with layers of meaning; but the song choice must fit the tone of the story and still be entertaining. "Point of view is vital to a successful video remix and vidders must consider the role of the characters and the message projected through them." (Chapter 7, “Remix Culture: Digital Music and Video Remix, Opportunities for Creative Production,” in Teaching Tech-Savvy Kids)

Note: Check out all videos on The Vidding Community Path.
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