This is a summary of my hour long presentation for WriterConUK this year.
We were given some prompts this year which I think was a really good idea - having this title got me thinking about how composition really influences how we feel about images and artwork. Once I'd started planning I also realised that fanvids are very reliant on the same kind of rules regarding composition/theme and mood as a static artwork, so this year half my presentation was taken over with (what I consider) really good fanvids.
Under the cut I've summarised my presentation with lots of links to the artwork and fanvids. Please feel free in comments to add your own recommendations for artwork/fanvids as I tend to be limited to the fandoms I'm more familiar with for my examples.
I hope it all makes sense - but do comment if you'd like anything expanded on if you weren't there (and do think about coming next year because it's a really interesting and fun weekend!!).
Art - Composition, Theme and Mood
Art is (of course) subjective. What I like, you might hate - and this goes for the subject, the arrangement of the images and even the colours I prefer.
someone else prefers this:
Images that make me smile:
or go "aaah":
May not do the same for you.
Other images may make have different feelings (I had a LOT of these images, so do add your own in your head at this point.....!)
Composition can be roughly defined as "selecting the appropriate images and arranging them" in a way that pleases the artist/viewer and/or conveys feelings/emotions connected with the subject.
This might be done in a realistic way - for example when people use manips to make their 'own' storyart. Or it might be done to convey a particular mood (for example how a character is feeling in an episode) or to capture a moment in time (for example a summary of an entire season, or just one episode, or part of an episode).
Composition is often linked to shapes we 'see' unconsciously in an image which draw the eye to the elements the artist wants you to focus on. For example a triangle is used extensively in art to bring your attention to an area.
This might be very obvious:
or more subtle:
In the example above we also see how light (or a lighter area) has also been used to draw your eye to the subject. This helps create focus.
This is also shown in this example, where the light draws your eye to Harry, but also triangles are creating perspective and you are aware of the other characters as the light reflecting off them helps you to identify them, but doesn't make them dominant in the composition:
We also have to consider that there are iconic images which are often not linked to a character at all, but are still instantly recognisable. These come about after a fandom is established - for example this image has no text to identify the character, but we all know who it is:
The same came be said for other fandoms (Harry Potter has a wand, or the forehead scar or his glasses), which is why in an icon the image can be cropped to show just an element of a face, but if it's your fandom you'll recognise instantly who it is and what it represents (e.g. Spike's eyebrow Scar from BtVS, or someone's eyes, or profile).
At this point in my presentation I used a series of wallpapers to illustrate the principles I've outlined so far as these were easier to display via the projector. I won't list them here, but if you want to check out the artists I featured, I suggest you follow the following links.
uglybusiness (a.k.a. Zugma) has wonderful examples of how to compose fanart. She has a website (currently down unfortunately), but do friend her Lj as you won't be disappointed with the art she posts there. She has a wide range of fandoms she is part of including Buffy, Angel, Supernatural, White Collar, Harry Potter and tags everything so it's easy to find what you like. In fact, as sueworld2003 pointed out, her work is so good it's very often stolen, so do drop her a line if you snag anything as I'm sure she'd appreciate your interest and support.
incanta_art is another example I used. She is involved in Doctor Who, Torchwood, Supernatural, Bones, True Blood, Leverage, The Vampire Diaries, Merlin, Lost and many more! She also uses tags which is very helpful! Most of her work is unlocked but don't forget to comment if you like it!
Fanvids. When we're talking about composition, theme and mood I felt that I couldn't leave out fanvids as it's just as important in a video to get right! Of course we have the added element of music - which can make or break a video in my opinion and once again is very subjective. What you love, I may hate!
To illustrate this I considered that there are four categories that fanvids tend to fall into:
- Whole series (often created at the end of a season, or at the end of a show)
- Character driven (again, very subjective and you'd only really watch if you like the character)
- Epic (which include fan 'trailers' and those vids you watch and say 'WOW' at the end!)
- Fun/Funky/Humorous (those that make you smile)
The examples I've used are from fandoms I'm interested in - no apologies ;) (clickable links take you to YouTube. If possible, do click the HD links for the full experience):
Being Human - Perfect Day by perfectsecrets. This is just such an appropriate song for the end of the first series of Being Human and cut together so well. The visual quality isn't so good at the beginning, but gets better.
Beyond the Scars by MokuzoJame. This Harry Potter summary of the series so far picks out the perfect moments for me.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Final Hour by Narvinek is another good example of how to use relevant clips and dialogue to sum up a whole series.
Doctor Who - Dhoom Again by DWaDDLJ. I love the music and the way the rhythm is used in conjunction with the visual images. Superb.
Harry Potter - The Gift of a Friend by sweetxxfreak. A really appropriate song to illustrate the friendship between Harry, Hermione and Ron which some great clips. Weren't they sweet when they were little? :)
Black Black Heart Dualbunny's character vid of Spike. Nice editing in this one.
Don't Slow Down by Seduff. A character study of the Doctor Who companion Donna Noble. I love the way words have been used to supplement the dialogue and how the whole relationship is so well shown.
Lord of the Rings I, II, III by hunsal23. You can't get much more epic that this - music/images mesh perfectly. Do remember to click the HD version!
His Name is the Doctor by Seduff. A tribute to both Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant's Doctor. Watch in HD if you can - it's worth it.
A Supernatural fanvid by Ash4897. This just makes me smile....
Sin City/Angel by Zeronephilim.
They're Taking the Hobbits to Isengard This is the correct version by Erwin Beekveld. So silly.....
I would recommend you check out any of the vidders work listed above. Also if you use Firefox - Download Helper (which can be found here) is well worth investigating ;)