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3 Women Who Keep Me Thinking.

1. Jessica Hagy of the infographic blog, Indexed.

2.

A little too heavy on ‘life’ but a great resource.

3.

Francesca Coppa, Director of Film Studies and Associate Professor of English at Muhlenberg College and Member of the Board of Directors at Organization for Transformative Works (organizing the largest female coding project, Archive of Our Own, to preserve fan vid and remix works) has been a mentor and friend for 4 years.

Here she talks about characters and the audience’s power to expand and recreate back story to fill in the gaps where creators couldn’t or wouldn’t go, focusing mainly on the female dominated subculture of vidding. FC begins at the 13:47 mark and then again at 36:14, 48:55, 59:12, and finally 1:28:00.

Anyone interested in female fan communities or participatory storytelling should check out vidding. Here’s one of the best descriptions I’ve found of the practice.

Since the 1970s, an underground subculture has been making and privately screening short films. The artists are fans—and critics—of cult TV shows, from Star Trek to Homicide: Life on the Street. Their movies are music videos, edited from pieces of those programs and other sources into something new: a story, an essay, a mood piece, a love note.

These vidders, as they call themselves, weren’t the first filmmakers to re-edit existing footage into new works, but they may have been the first to do it as a self-conscious community, training one another in the art and craft of vidding. They also did it invisibly, shying from the spotlight both to avoid copyright infringement lawsuits and simply to keep the work away from viewers not likely to appreciate the form.

Today, of course, YouTube is filled with remixed videos, from “Machinima” movies set in video game worlds to sharp and/or crude political satires. As such activities become more mainstream, the older vidding culture is emerging from the underground and tentatively allowing some of its clips to find a larger audience.

Sometimes those clips find a larger audience accidentally. In mid-2006, for example, Salon, bOING bOING, and other popular websites discovered an unusual video—Closer, by the vidding duo t. jonesy and killa—that recut scenes from Star Trek to a Nine Inch Nails song to suggest a violent sexual encounter between James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock. A skillful but disquieting reinterpretation of the source text, Closer was widely circulated but also widely misunderstood, with many viewers taking it either as a joke or as a creepy piece of porn. Other vidders have deliberately exposed their work to the world. By the end of 2007, New York magazine was profiling an auteur called Luminosity, praising the way she “samples video in order to remix and reinterpret it, bending source material to her own purposes.” Vidders might not be famous yet, but they are increasingly recognized as trailblazers in the booming remix culture.

 

 

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