FanWorks Con 2021’s Vidding Tips & Tricks

FanWorks Con 2021

Last weekend’s virtual FanWorks Con 2021 featured multiple vid shows and panels providing insight into the creation of fanvids.

FanWorks Con (official website), a small fan convention created to discuss and celebrate fan works, was held virtually this past weekend. While many types of fan works were spotlighted during the weekend, including art and podfic, vidding was the most prevalent medium of fan work featured throughout. The convention had multiple vid shows that streamed alongside panels throughout the weekend, highlighted by the Saturday evening showcase of premieres. Vidding was also prevalent in the panels, as four different panels highlighted different aspects of vidding. There was a lot of helpful advice sprinkled throughout the weekend from fellow fans who have had experience editing multiple fanvids over the years.

The first panel, “Creative Vidsong Finding,” provided some tricks on how to find the perfect song for a fanvid. The process demonstrated was to start with a character, fandom, or ship that the vidder wants to edit and identify the theme and tone that the vidder wants the finished product to portray. Upon identifying the tone, the vidder can use tools, particularly the “Song Radio” feature provided by Spotify and similar music streaming sites in order to find songs and artists that are similar to the intended tone and expands potential options. Using these tools coupled with vidder discretion helps to make the daunting process of finding the perfect song easier.

Later in the day, “The Scenic Route” discussed the impact of scenery in a fanvid. Using examples from previously published vids, the panel analyzed how the addition of shots that don’t feature characters can help add to the mood of a vid. Examples showed how the addition of scenery can both set the world of the media and heighten the emotions of the fanvid’s audience. While the majority of examples took clips of scenery directly from the source, a couple of examples pulled extra footage from external sources, such as nature footage, to convey the intended tone with the vid.

“Elements of Musicality in Vidding” covered the importance of cutting footage to the music. Like in the previous vidding panel, examples were used to show how cutting to both the beat and rhythm of music helps to enhance the effectiveness of the vid. There were also some vidders who suggested that cutting footage to the lyrics of the song could also be effective based on the type of music and the type of vid. The main takeaway was that while there are some rules of vidding, there is some flexibility in the rules.

The final vidding panel, “Structure of a Vidshow,” discussed the challenge of putting together the curated vid shows that were streamed alongside panels. Panelists shared the challenges of both having to find vids in order to fit a theme and how they differed from having to piece a cohesive show out of vids provided by submission. Regardless of method, the panelists provided helpful tips on how to pick the starting and ending vids of a show and stressed the importance of having the vids link together tonally and/or thematically in order to avoid audience emotional whiplash.

Whether you’ve never vidded before or have vidded multiple vids in the past, the vidding panels at FanWorks Con 2021 were insightful and enjoyable. While much of the advice was suited to fans who didn’t have much experience with video editing, the experience of hearing perspectives from fans whose vids were featured in vid shows throughout the weekend added much to the panels. While there is some flexibility in approaching vidding, learning some new tips from experienced vidders should prove to be helpful for anyone who loves vidding or is interested in learning.

Author: Jessica Wolff

Jessica Wolff is a graduate of Drexel University with a BS in Film/Video. She has a passion for entertainment and representation in entertainment. She currently resides outside of Washington, DC.


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