jmtorres: Faith tortures Wesley. Text; Pretty when you bleed. (blood)
jmtorres ([personal profile] jmtorres) wrote2009-08-15 02:55 pm

Vid Announcement: Dollhouse, She Walks

Vid: She Walks
Fandom: Dollhouse
Song: She Walks Over Me by Hole
Vidder: [personal profile] jmtorres
Download link (please right-click or ctrl-click to save): (23MB)

My Dollhouse vid is an angry vid.

So I made this vid for the Bechdel show, for a variety of reasons. I initially wanted to make a vid that passed Bechdel as an auction vid, but since I've done auction before I was turned down in favor of new blood. So I pitched the concept as a show instead, which flew, but the thing is, I still very much wanted to make a Bechdel vid myself.

I wanted to make a vid that talked about Adelle, because I read fannish meta that talked about the empowerment of the woman in charge and then I read other fannish meta that talked about how she wasn't really in charge of anything, she had some presumptively male bosses on the phone. I found both of these ideas to be problematic and this is my rebuttal: Adelle has claimed real power by working within a broken system (you can call the Dollhouse a broken system; you can call Hollywood media a broken system; you can call American society a broken system for that matter*), and because of the system Adelle has chosen to work within, she is perpetuating institutional prejudice and rape culture. (You could say the same thing about the producers of the show working within the network television sandbox and putting objectifying images onscreen in order to talk about television making objects of women still perpetuating the objectification of women.** See, Joss, mine is meta too.)

I wanted to make a vid about Dollhouse, and I wanted to make a goddamn angry vid about Dollhouse. Dollhouse pisses me off so much, and a lot of the people who have liked enough to hang around and keep watching it instead of being so pissed off they turned it off, most of those people piss me off too. I'm kind of afraid this vid would be best understood by the people who stopped watching because they couldn't take it, except that now they have no context for it. Are there people who watched the whole thing and stayed pissed off? I'm curious. I don't know of hardly any. Making this vid was rather a purgative experience though: six weeks after making the vid, most of my emotional attachment to it is gone. I watch it and I can't remember what episodes, what plots most of those clips are from; I recognize pieces of it after they show but I wasn't anticipating them, I had more or less forgotten how the vid went; what I remember most about making it when I watch it are the technical effects.

Arguably, this is not so much a vid about Dollhouse or sexism or my anger as much as it is a vid about technical effects. (I once worked on a theatre production which we laughingly said was all about scene changes, because they were many, and thoroughly choreographed, with exciting gobos and musical interludes. The show was also about sexism and violence against women and anger at a system so broken that the solution to being stalked is not catch and lock up the goddamn stalker--because so many of his gestures were dismissed by the police as not enough under the law, until it was too late and he knew to get out--but to change your name and move to another city so he can't find you. But it was also a show about scene changes, because they were mood-setters and we worked the hardest on them of any aspect of the production.) This vid has about two or three untouched clips. Almost everything is sped up to varying degrees which I can tell you frame rates on; a few things are slowed down. There's crop here and there. There are clips where I boosted the lighting so you have half a chance of telling what's in the frame in the short period the clip's onscreen. These things I can tell you; this work, I remember, though my involvement with the themes that work was in support of has lessened with the distance of time.

*I usually talk about this in terms of fannish source material but yes, I fucking believe our system is broken. It's also so pervasive that you pretty much have to be a hermit in a hut to avoid it. This is a conundrum I haven't solved: how to work within the system enough to be heard so that you can dismantle the system entirely.

**I don't entirely buy the theory that Dollhouse's contracts, agencies and roles are intended to skewer how bad television is, but Dushku has said:
But the show is sort of, Joss has said, biographical in the sense that it has so many parallels and identifications with my own life. And as we sat there talking about my career, my life as an actress, life in this business, life in this society today, and people having the Internet, and having so much control and wants and needs and sexuality and desires, the show sort of came up from him looking at my life and going, "You know, you really do wear so many different masks on a day-to-day basis."
ide_cyan: (Default)

[personal profile] ide_cyan 2009-08-16 03:00 am (UTC)(link)
I wish I could be watching your vids right now. Will definitely have to get back to them when I'm not impeded by technical difficulties.
giandujakiss: (Default)

[personal profile] giandujakiss 2009-08-16 03:11 am (UTC)(link)
That was amazing. I loved the way you designed this - the speeding up makes it really look like they're cogs in this oppressive system, and Adelle-as-collaborator comes through so fantastically clearly.

(And I hear you on the worry that the vid would only appeal to people who stopped watching the show - that's kinda how I felt when I vidded Dollhouse too! I'm still watching ... still angry.)
syrenslure: (Default)

[personal profile] syrenslure 2009-08-16 05:03 pm (UTC)(link)
I watch the show. I like the show, but I am not blind to the inherent problems in its design and execution. I also wanted you to know that you did a fantastic job telling this story and I love the vid.
serrico: (profitcrazy)

[personal profile] serrico 2009-08-17 02:16 am (UTC)(link)
Your DH vid *is* angry. And very well-done anger it is!

That probably reads as flippant; it's not meant to be. Your view of Adelle and her position in the world of the show is absolutely spot on, and the vid does a fantastic job of illustrating that.

Very good vid.
sqbr: A cartoon cat saying Ham! (ham!)

[personal profile] sqbr 2009-08-18 11:35 am (UTC)(link)
Are there people who watched the whole thing and stayed pissed off?

Yes. And as such I liked your vid :)