Please vidder, break my heart.
If you spend some time exploring fan videos on YouTube, or if you dip your toes into the waters of “vidding” for yourself, you’ll find that there is a video for every possible interpretation, coupling or aspect of a show. Want to see a video of your favorite male character pining for a goat? Odds are you’re a weirdo, but you’re not the only weirdo out there and you’ll find the fanvid of your dreams.
Okay, so the wacky aren’t the most common variety of fan videos. Romance, Recaps, Drama, Humor are all popular genres of music videos. If fans can think it, they can spin it. But where fan videos really excel, is expanding on the theme of unrequited love; the underdog character who yearns for something they can’t or at least don’t yet have. After all, what is vidding without a tiny bit of emotional masochism?
Take 5 clips of a character longing, throw in dash of beautiful music and a pinch of lighting, text, voice over or effects and you’ll have a powerful music video to watch on repeat that will hopefully sustain your need for that sweet sweet pain until the end of hiatus (or better known as “hellatus”.)
One of the most surprising and fabulous characters to emerge on the small screens in 2013 is the latest incarnation of Lucy Westenra in NBC’s “Dracula”. In this version of the classic we discover that Lucy is in fact, in love with her best friend Mina. Tragically, Lucy is trapped in the social properness of the Victorian era and by fear of rejection by Mina.
In this video titled “Lucy + Mina | Angels” by YouMadeMeSeeIt, the vidder encapsulates Lucy’s hidden passion.
By beginning the music video with a black screen and moving text to match the echo-filled voice overs, the vidder brings the dialogue into deeper focus, setting the story up for the rest of the video to come. The gentle notes of the music sets the tone for Lucy’s sad perspective.
The vidder does a wonderful job of working with her chosen music sample by correlating the lyrics to her clip choices such as at :23 to :25 with “You move through the room” as well as the closing clips of Lucy’s crestfallen expressions in :48-:52.
By why does this video encapsulate the underdog? While this is a “vidlet” (meaning a fan video that is not the full length version of the selected music and totaling less than one minute), the vidder tells a complete story. Lucy’s point of view is perfectly described through voice-over, not only telling of her feelings for Mina, but WHY she has those feelings for Mina.
Ah. So good in that wonderfully painful way.
When shows just aren’t delivering enough of your angsty needs, you can always count on a show based on a comic series to deliver the goods. On Arrow, Oliver Queen’s chemistry sizzles with sidekick/friend Felicity Smoak, and though the comic canon dictates he’ll end up with Laurel Lance, fans have taken “Olicity” by storm (rightly so, I must say since Laurel has all the personality of an ironing board.)
In “If I Lose Myself“, xostelenaforeverox uses beautiful typography and lighting effects and excellent beat use to create a clean, clear and concise story.
Another reason to love this video is that canonically, neither character has openly stated feelings for the other. It’s all read between-the-lines comments, looks or touches which the vidder captures very well. I’m very fond of the line: “You can feel the light start to tremble, Washing what you know out to sea” at :40-:46 while Oliver & Felicity work side-by-side setting up the heartbreak that we love. She bookends the video with quotes from Oliver that lend themselves to proving his unrequited emotions and fills in-between with unspoken expressions of unreciprocated love from Felicity. It’s a two-for-one, people, all with that “I’m the fan, so I’m making this the way I want it to be” awesomeness.
Not wiping away any tears yet? Okay, let’s add the possible death of a sweet and vulnerable character. One vidder took an episode from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. where we find the endearing Jemma Simmons’ life is at stake after contracting an unknown disease and in her moments of distress subtley lets it show that she loves her lab co-worker/partner-in-crime/best friend, Leo Fitz (sidenote: FitzSimmons. It’s a pre-made shipper name, gentle viewers!)
The video “When Everything Is Wrong, You Make It Right” by adrianmarcano122 stays within one episode, nearly one scene actually, and captures the character’s turmoil quite well playing along with lyrics of “I feel so helpless here, watch my eyes all filled with fear” and then at :36 you witness the impact of Jemma’s non-verbal tell on Leo while the singer croons “Tell me do you feel the same?”. It’s a shipper’s set-up and it works.
Convinced yet that underdogs with unrequited love are the best thing ever to hit YouTube? Start watching and building your playlists to get you through the barren days of TV holidays. Come back here and tell us what your favorite unrequited love fan videos are.