franzeska: (Default)
franzeska ([personal profile] franzeska) wrote2014-01-12 05:27 am
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Festivids reveals post

I was feeling supremely apathetic this year anyway, but I also made the dubious choice of offering Relic Hunter, a tv series I've never seen all of and haven't seen any of in ages. I thought I'd revisit it, fall in love, and finally watch the whole thing. It's a little old and cheesy, but it has the best sort of OTP ever: Laura Croft-y badass/pretty, nerdy guy.

Sadly, my terrible copies (from before there were DVDs out) were uninspiring, the show starts more slowly than I remembered, and I just wasn't getting far on my rewatch. I finally had to give up on making anything for it. So then I switched fandoms a couple of days before the deadline and made a vid in four hours. Is it tacky to admit that about a gift? Oops. What, like I'm ever not tacky.

But, really, the important takeaway message here is that LAURA CROFT-Y BADASS/PRETTY, NERDY GUY 4EVA! Because, surprise surprise, the sort of person who asks for or offers Relic Hunter also likes the awesome cheese that is the Librarian movies. I adored the first one; the only reason I hadn't switched earlier was that the request was for a vid featuring the women, and I've only seen the first movie. When I found out they'd replaced the female lead, I was annoyed enough that I never bothered to see the other two. (Now that I've seen Burn Notice and Castle, though, I'm kind of curious since I like both of those other actresses.) So an all the ladies vid was not happening, but a first movie shippy vid, that was no problem. Except for the song. A couple of days to the deadline, and I had only just started thinking about this fandom and what to use. Oops.

So I ran around screaming a lot with my large list of 80s pop on shuffle. (I have changed genres of music in my iTunes from "pop" and "rock" to "cheesy 80s & dance" and "arena rock". Yes, I know other pop and rock exists. I just don't own any of it.) I was looking for the perfect song. Perfect as in easy to vid really fast with no betaing. La la la. Eventually, I resorted, as usual, to trawling Youtube compilation videos for "greatest love songs of the 80s" and suchlike. And there it was! A song utterly perfect in its brevity and pace. A song utterly perfect in its iconic 80stasticness. A song with... oh god... an equally iconic music video everyone on the planet has seen and remembers well.

(If by some strange twist of fate—you being a tiny infant, for example—you have not seen the official video for Take On Me, go look it up on Youtube. It's awesome. If by some less strange twist of fate, you've forgotten which iconic 80s video this is, it's the one with the black and white sketchy drawings and rotoscoping and people popping in and out of a comic book.)

I toyed with finding other songs for a while, but nothing really grabbed me. I also did not remotely have time to play with special effects like in the original music video. But, rewatching the movie, it did strike me that it ends with them being chased by time traveling ninjas on motorcycles. And there are all those times she grabs his arm and they take off running. Visual parallels were anything but hard to come by. So I sat down and vidded it.

Nicole/Flynn 4EVA!

TakeMyLibrarian from Franzeska Dickson on Vimeo.


password = festivids

Having finally finished my assignment, I thought I'd try to make some treats. I had a lot of trouble getting excited about the requests this year. Some of it was me; a lot of it was what people asked for or requests with no details. However, as I scrolled through the list, one thing did catch my eye, a movie where Bette Middler falls off a cliff and breaks her nail. It was totally hilarious. Or the last 15 minutes of it that I saw on tv one time were anyway. I looked up the plot and... wait... holy shit, that's what it was about? I'm not sure I even registered that it starred Shelly Long or much of anything else about it at the time, but having found out that it's a female buddy movie that turns into a Cold War spy caper, I had to see it. Once I saw it, I had to vid it. The song was self-evident. I'd already been searching for country songs, and this is one that kept popping up on the Youtube sidebar while I was looking for unrelated things. What I really wanted was to do a femslash vid of these two ridiculous heroines and use that line of Bette Middler's about how she's never going to have sex with a man again because it's not worth the trouble, but I also wanted to showcase the cracktastic plot, so it ended up just friendshippy.

Nine Years of Ballet, ASSHOLE! from Franzeska Dickson on Vimeo.


password = festivids

And then there was my second treat... This holiday exchange season has been filled with stress for me, and I have been feeling apathetic and out of love with most fandoms. But I made a critical error: I tried out a canon I'd been meaning to for a while that I thought there was a good chance I would like... but only after Festivids and Yuletide signups were over. I thought I would enjoy said canon. I did not realize that OTP 4EVA, BEST CHARACTER OF ALL TIME, YOU WILL ALL BE CONVERTED TO MY NEW PRECIOUS! IT WILL HAVE A FANDOM IF I HAVE TO BUILD IT WITH THESE TWO HANDS!

Err, anyway, I may have mentioned this fandom a few times a second to offline friends, but I attempted to keep my online comments to a dull roar until Festivids reveals were over. I am forever grateful that at least one person in both Yuletide and Festivids understood that HENRY IS THE BEST FOREVER, thereby saving me from having to inflict Walt/Henry on anyone who actually wanted gen about Katee Sackhoff's character.

So, yes, that canon is Longmire. And since Longmire appears to be flying under the fannish radar for the most part, and since the people I do see talking about it are Starbuck fans, not people who would care about my pairing, I decided that what it really needed was an ultra-classic, oldschool slash recruiter vid. For those of you who like the classic m/m buddy pairings with the tons of h/c and broccoli and all that, allow me to introduce you to your new fandom:

I'll Be There from Franzeska Dickson on Vimeo.


password = festivids

I knew for the entire Festivids period that I wanted to vid this and approximately what I wanted the vid to look like. A suitable song, however, proved elusive. Searching for "really super gay Country" produced lots of lists of parody songs and things with overtly political lyrics. Searching Country hits produced a lot of embarrassing duets with a man and a woman, breakup songs, and many, many, many songs suitable for couples who meet as adults. Country songs about old friends who are dead are easy to find too. Country songs about people whose lives do not currently suck... well... I had a very specific vibe in mind: people who have been friends or in love since childhood and who still have a good relationship as middle-aged adults with a minimum of gendered lyrics. I was convinced that such a song existed. It was merely my lack of knowledge of Country that was hiding it from me.

So I did what I always do and googled lyrics. "How can you google lyrics to a song you don't know?" you ask, but, dude, come on: It's Country! I googled "I'll be there for you", "country", and "lyrics". It was as simple as that.

But then—oh then—I found that not only is Ray Price's song one of those Country staples that has been recorded by absolutely everyone ever... but he recorded it as a duet with Willie Nelson! My squealing could be heard from space.

For the record, I would like to state that the rest of that album, Old Age and Treachery, and a bunch of Jim Boyd songs also fit the bill if someone else is looking for Country to vid middle aged crafty characters to.

So, you do like middle-aged broccoli test guys, yes? Oh good. Let me tell you more about your new fandom.

Longmire is a series of brilliant mystery novels by Craig Johnson. They're distinguished by the quality of the prose (very literary fiction-ish without losing the good mystery plots and genre aspects), the awesome indian characters, and the lack of nice guy-ism. Yes, the ladies shoot and punch along with everybody else, and if anyone wants the womenfolk to stay home for protection, it's character development, not the narrative endorsing that bullshit.

But if there is one thing that stands out about the books more than anything else it is that they are the h/c smarm olympics. Oh yes, the physical hurt-comfort is strong in this series. Shot, drowned, hypothermic, left to die in the snow, or on fire (or all of the above at once): the books give oldschool zinefic a run for its money. All of the characters come in for this, but especially Walt, the protagonist, Henry, his best friend, and Vic, his deputy and love interest.

There is a large rotating cast of other characters who pop in and out of the books in a way that makes the setting feel alive. Today's rescued victim is tomorrow's bakery owner selling somebody snacks on the way to more important parts of the plot. I have very un-fond feelings about a lot of fiction set in rural locations or small towns, but Longmire pushes none of my buttons. The location feels like a real town I can imagine wanting to live in. The wilderness (which they adjourn to at least once a book so someone can be left to die in the snow) is gorgeously described. Heavy issues of sexism and racism and sexual violence and fundamentalist religion come up, but never in ways that piss me off. (Read: none of the white guys we're supposed to like have stupid conservative views.) And the main characters... They're all fantastic and would keep me coming back even if the mystery plots weren't great (which they are).

Walt Longmire: Walt is the protagonist and narrator. He has a dry sense of humor and is clearly in awe of his cooler, hotter, more cultured and awesome best friend, Henry. (Yes, this means the first person narration tells us how hot and amazing Henry is all the time. Yes, it's exactly as slashy as it sounds.) Walt is also in awe of his deputy who is too young for him, too hot for him, and probably too armed and dangerous for him as well. He's grooming her to take over as sheriff, an event he plans to cram down the throats of the locals by canny political maneuvering. Walt does start the series with a dead wife, and he does take every failure to heart. He is saved from terminal manpain-i-ness by his self-deprecating sense of humor, and his self-awareness that his relationship with his wife was not only not the pinnacle of romantic love but was, in fact, not that great.

Henry Standing Bear: Henry is cool. Henry is a badass. Everyone loves Henry: Every single women he and Walt have ever met, random strangers, everyone. In book 1, he spends his time dragging Walt out of bed at the crack of dawn to force him to go jogging because Walt is an out-of-shape sad sack undeserving of a woman, and Henry's not going to fix him up without self improvement. In reality, this jogging mostly leads to them pushing each other into the mud like annoying grade schoolers and then running away. Henry also turns up unannounced to cook for Walt, fix parts of his house, and nag him about his bad habits. Oh, and he's also Walt's backup on every single case, especially any time they're doing something really dangerous. (Yes, Walt has plenty of deputies and friends in other branches of law enforcement. Why do you ask?) If the author were not so skilled, the fact that Henry is a literature-quoting, gourmet chef, ex-black ops super ninja with hair down to his ass, an awesome black leather duster, and a classic baby blue thunderbird convertible might come off as Gary Stu-ish. In practice, the books move back and forth between making you love Henry with the same dopey adoration Walt does and making you hurt yourself laughing at his and Walt's antics.

Victoria Moretti: Vic is also a badass. None of that "women can be strong in their own way" shit. There are other women in the narrative for that. Vic is strong in the shooting you fifty times in the head before you can draw your weapon way. She also swears like a sailor, has no particularly tragic backstory, is single by the end of book 1, and finds Walt's vapors over the inappropriateness of their potential relationship annoying. All of this makes me a-okay with her as the love interest despite the obvious middle-aged guy wish fulfillment aspects. Vic is also Walt's backup every time he does something dangerous and stupid. Yay, Vic! The books do a great job of balancing Walt's relationship with Vic with his friendship with Henry. Vic is there when someone needs to swear a lot or punch a sexist guy in the face. Henry is there when Walt needs to plan his daughter's wedding. (What? No, really, this is a thing that happens. For like a whole book. It's hilarious.)

The other deputies: There are several other deputies. I love them all, especially Saizarbitoria and Double Tough.

The indians: When he's not at Henry's bar, Walt is usually hanging out on the reservation with Henry. There are a shitload of recurring characters, many of them Henry's friends and relations who are either involved in cases or provide comic relief. I've been very pleasantly surprised by the lack of anything embarrassing and facepalm-y with the indian characters. I am unsurprised to see the author's notes credit whomever it is the author spends his time hanging out with in real life. The books mention spirituality and cultural practices pretty frequently.

The magical realism: Okay, I should probably not call this magical realism. I should probably call it "Walt is a psychic in denial". But if this is a feature for you in mystery novels rather than a bug (I know it is for me), be aware that there's some definite supernatural stuff going on in this series. Walt tends to laugh it off as a hallucination brought on by hypothermia and that kind of thing, but I think it's clear by this point in the series that spirits are real in the world of Longmire and Walt just doesn't like to admit it.

"Uh, isn't this a tv series?" you say. Indeed it is, but I personally think the books are much better. However, the show is wonderful too in its own way. The big differences are these: Walt is much more manpain-y with a dead wife who fulfills all of the classic dead wife tropes in annoying ways. The best of the deputies from the books are gone, replaced by much inferior characters, one of whom is an obnoxious pretty white guy who gets too much screen time and one of whom is my least favorite variety of pudgy Nice Guy carrying the torch inappropriately. Ugh. DNW. In exchange for these princes getting screen time, Henry gets much less than in the books, a fact that angers me greatly now that I've read them. Vic has a ~tragic victim backstory and acts all vulnerable at Walt, making any UST between them extremely gross and unappealing to me.

On the other hand, Vic is played by Katee Sackhoff, who is an awesome badass in the role and would be even more of an awesome badass if they let her have HBO levels of swearing and shoot even more people. (Hear that, show?!) Walt's daughter lives nearby, unlike in the books, and she's a great character too, played by Cassidy Freeman, of late season Smallville fame.

The indians are also replaced, but here I have zero issues because I love all of the show characters just as much as the book ones. Jacob Nighthorse (A Martinez), machiavellian tribal leader and businessman behind the casino deal, is a delight. Much as Branch (the aforementioned pretty white guy gratuitously pasted onto this canon) annoys me, Branch being menaced by Jacob is the best thing ever, and you should all watch the show just to see that and then write me dirtybadwrong porn. Matthias, the cranky chief of the reservation police is also delightful. I would be sorry to miss out on Mathias even though I love the book characters. He's played by Zahn McClarnon, who is awesome. Guest stars have so far included Eric Schweig, Gary Farmer, Irene Bedard, Raoul Trujillo, Jay Tavare, and Q'orianka Kilcher, among other unsurprising people.

Henry... okay, so he doesn't have a tenth the screen time he should, but Lou Diamond Philips steals every scene he's in, as Henry should. And while I think TV Walt could stand to lighten up and be a bit funnier, like book Walt, Walt and Henry are still adorable on the screen together. Watch the show for the hot people and the scenery porn. Read the books for the h/c olympics and more Henry. Either way, Longmire is amazing and you don't want to miss out!
lilly_the_kid: (Default)

[personal profile] lilly_the_kid 2014-02-09 01:54 pm (UTC)(link)
THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so so much for my wonderful amazing Outrageous Fortune vid :D The title and the friendship and the everything!!! That's the second awesome vid you made for me, thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!
valika: (Default)

THANK YOU AGAIN!

[personal profile] valika 2014-02-09 09:10 pm (UTC)(link)
I adore the gift video you made me, I'm in love with this lovely and funny Librarian video! Now I'm in awe after reading that you made it within such a short time! How did you do that?

Thank you so much for making this for me! This is really the gift I wished. Perfect. And you are awesome.:)
purpleyin: Walter Bishop and Gene the cow with caption "Party til the cows come home"" (party)

[personal profile] purpleyin 2014-03-12 06:02 pm (UTC)(link)
So fun to see a vid for The Librarian

[personal profile] treonb 2014-07-08 12:15 pm (UTC)(link)
The Outrageous Fortune vid is excellent! I happened across the movie a few months ago, and boy, as you say, it's cracktastic.