Have you heard of vidding?
Buy the DVDs of your favorite TV show or movie. Get a kickass piece of music. Load up some software. And put together diverse images and brief clips to make a music video. Chart your love for a character or relationship, explore a theme or arc. Express your connection to the show.
Tell your own story about the story that you love. To music that you love. How cool is that?
We have the technology these days to allow pretty much anyone with a computer to respond to art if they choose — by blogging, creating fan websites and community, mashing up, posting fan fiction, costuming, vidding. I love this. What joy, to be able to respond to what moves us.
Although I’m a writer, I don’t find my kicks in fan fiction even when it involves characters or stories that I love. My heart belongs to mashups and vidding, and when I think of responding to someone else’s art, it almost always involves music. I think I love these forms so much because they give me indirect access to something I yearn to do directly, but cannot. I can play music well enough, but I’m not a musician. I’m not an artist. But if I cannot create my own music, I can still choose to create something original and meaningful (to me) with someone else’s music.
Some feel that using images and music in this way is stealing. And technically, in fact, it is. But although I am a hedgehog (very prickly) about many aspects of nicking someone else’s art (see this, for example), in the case of using art to respond to art, well, I’m all for it. Nicola talked recently about fan fiction, and I agree with her — we should all be free to play. We should all be free to show our joy. We shouldn’t steal unpublished work, and we shouldn’t steal the financial benefits of published work. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. Any artist who believes they can maintain total control over every comma or pixel or note of their work is dreaming — and so why would anyone start that fight over a three-minute music video that does nothing but show love?
This is the best vid I know of, made by y-fish. It uses clips from Firefly and Serenity, and the song “Defying Gravity” from the Broadway show Wicked. I think it’s great. If you like it, let her know.
(And if you visit y-fish’s LiveJournal, be sure to note that the first comment on this vid is from Joss Whedon, the creator (along with Tim Minear) of Firefly and Serenity, who is totally non-grumpy about this use of his work. About this love.)
I wish there were a way to respond like this to a novel or short story. Imagine. Wow. If someone did something like this in response to my work, I would cry like a baby and count myself blessed.