With every new social media come bizarre social media trends. Tumblr spawned the GIF, Twitter gave us the #hashtag. But, the most bizarre social media trend by far is the fan video. Creators of these videos may be referred to as “vidders” and come in a variety of forms.
I first discovered fan videos when I was looking for a trailer for the first Twilight movie (no, I’m not proud of this). I was searching before casting had happened, and I kept coming across all these videos called “Twilight Trailer!” or “The best Edward!” What I noticed, though, was that the videos had clips of different actors…in shows or films they had already been in. I kept seeing Ian Somerhalder, Henry Cavill, and Emily Browning popping up in shots from different movies I had seen them in, and all I could think was “Why aren’t they ever in scenes together?!”
And then I realized. It was fan video.
What the heck is a fan video?
From what I can see, fan videos range from compilations of favorite parts of movies to fake trailers for upcoming films, video games, or television shows. I’ve seen entire ten-minute videos dedicated to one person throughout many different films. There are fan videos that are simply slideshows of pictures of certain actors, usually set to alternative, edgy music.
For example, the most recent one I stumbled across was called “Fifty Shades of Grey Teaser Trailer 2013.” Sounds so promising right? Wrong. Set to Snow Patrol (which honestly makes anything more awesome), this four-minute video even had the glowing earth Universal Studios opening, which made it seem SO LEGIT. There were shots of Matt Bomer (of White Collar fame) walking slowly through white rooms with sharp suits, slamming papers onto desks, answer and hanging up phones, and getting in and out of cars. There is this bit where he holds an apple and winks at someone off screen. And then there are even shots of some man putting a woman in handcuffs (you don’t see their faces), bare torsos, red lips, that apple again. It frustratingly never shows the face of the famous Anastasia Steele, but at the end, pans out with the words, “Who will be the one who gives him more? Could it be you?”
At this point I started laughing hysterically. An entire four-minute video with countless clips of Matt Bomer from all different episodes of White Collar set to this music and timed out to look like a real trailer, and it wasn’t even real.
If you are looking for another equally entertaining fake Fifty Shades of Grey trailer, see this one. If you make it to the end of the video, when they start listing the actors, you are in for a treat.
The type of person you are if you make fan videos:
The Casting Connoisseur
You probably have a lot of spare time on your hands, either because you forgo social interactions to hole up in your room cutting clips from your favorite shows, or because you are unemployed/on school break/live in your parent’s basement. You know all of the potential cast-lists of the biggest up and coming movies, and you have your own opinion on who should be the next Christian Grey. Movies are often not as sweet for you because they never cast who you want, and you spend the entire time fantasizing about the people you knew should have those roles.
The Lazy Gamer
As one who loves video games myself, not only is YouTube my source for hilarious cat videos, but also for the trailers for new, upcoming games. It was through this search I discovered that if you don’t actually care about gameplay, but would rather see the cutscenes and storyline of the more role-play games, all you need to do is search “cutscene (game name)” and voila! No button-mashing.
If you are a maker of one of these videos, you either played the whole game through and decided there were certain scenes you wanted to see again, or you have some secret ability to take only the cutscenes from the game (how do you do this, Lazy Gamer? I used to start multiple files of the same game so I could watch a scene more than once, or die on purpose to replay that scene before YouTube existed). The game is not about the actual gameplay for you, it’s all about the brilliantly crafted Japanese anime-created characters, with their badly timed voiceovers and absolutely implausible story-lines. You probably have a Fanfiction.net account and a DeviantArt.com account dedicated to your fan work, and you spend the year anticipating various cosplay conventions. You also have a lot of fake weapons lying around your house.
What? Philanthropist vidder? Yes, the philanthropist vidder is the wonderful person whose obsession with an actor manifests itself in videos showcasing said person’s greatest and sexiest moments. I applaud you, Philanthropist, for committing your time to provide the rest of us shameless hours of celeb-gawking. You know exactly the time in The Notebook when Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams smooch in the rain, you’ve made an art form of capturing Taylor Lautner removing his shirt, and you know more about the evolution of Andrew Garfield’s six-pack better than Spidey does. From all females everywhere, thank you for all your work, Philanthropist, thank you. Behold.
Vidders everywhere, I don’t understand you, but at the same time, you make my YouTube experience that much more entertaining.