How can we take vids seriously as works in their own right? The introduction chapter of Fanvids covers a brief history of media fandom, which I understand as the productive home media audiences who adopt domestic technology as tools for remix and recombination to create interventions into their own media landscape. This chapter contains an overview of the structure and aims of the monograph. This chapter also describes the different genres and categorizations of vids, each of which illuminate a different facet of a vid's argument or the kinds of transformation enacted in the vid.
Keywords: fanvids, television, fan studies, vidding genres
What is a vid? Also known as a fanvid, it has its origins in videotape-related practices of media fandom and was known as a fan music video or songtape. Today, vids are one variety of fan-made short videos made from the segmentation and re-editing of existing audio-visual sources with a popular song as soundtrack. There is a developing consensus among scholars about the definition of a vid. Francesca Coppa characterizes it as ‘a visual essay’ (2008: 1.1) designed ‘to make an argument or tell a story’ (2009: 108) or, as Kristina Busse and Karen Hellekson describe it, ‘to analyze a particular character’ (2006: 12). Anne Kustritz calls it ‘a form of remix video collage’ (2014: 225), one that according to Tisha Turk ‘integrat[es] repurposed media images with repurposed music’ (2011: 84). Turk goes on to note that ‘one of the most interesting things about vidding is that it involves both interpreting commercial texts and producing new texts for an audience of fellow fans’ (2015: 164, emphasis in original). A vid is typically (though not exclusively) made of film and television but is not film or television itself, though it intersects with histories of media circulation and spectatorship practices. Accordingly, this book's chapters are organized around themes of collecting and archiving media, of the visual pleasures of film and television as presented through the vid, and of the adaptation and transformation of narrative within the vid. Vids are a textual expression of fannish interpretation, and their production has been enabled by the development of home media technologies from the VCR through to the personal computer.