Since the internet, DVD box sets and i-tunes hit the scene, many people love using these to pay homage to their favorite television shows or characters by making fan videos.
But what exactly makes a fan video stand out above all the rest? How can I make an outstanding video to commemorate your favorite show?
Here are a few tips to help you make an excellent fan video.
Getting The Clips
Have you ever been on youtube.com trying to watch videos and found that the picture was so bad that your eyes crossed trying to make out the figures?
There are some who will take clips from any place they can find on the internet, not paying attention to how high quality these clips may be.
That is the first mistake that many new fan film directors seem to make.
No matter how great an idea you may have for your video, no one will stick around to watch it as long as the picture or audio of the video is messed up.
And while there are a few sites where people who love the same television show as yourself will exchange video clips, these are few and far between.
The best way to get clips is to buy the DVDs of your favorite television show. Not only will you benefit by being able to enjoy these episodes any time you want without the fear of having them taken off your computer, but the quality clips from these will greatly enhance your video.
There are lots of free programs out there that will allow you to rip episodes from your DVD onto your computer, turning them into wmv files, mp4 files or DivX files. Personally, I use DeFab DeCrypter, which is a wonderful, free program that is very simple to use.
Choosing The Right Song And Clips
When making a music video of your favorite television show or character, never try to force a song to work.
What does this mean?
Just because you might love a certain song doesn't mean that it will work with your favorite character or the video you have pictured in your mind.
For instance, if you were making an action video about the characters of NCIS, you would not want to use asong like, "Moon River". You would want a song that is fast paced and up tempo.
The same rules that apply to the song also applies to the clips. Lots of vidders make the mistake of just throwing all their favorite clips together and putting them in the video along with the song, never taking into consideration what the song is actually saying.
While some of these fan videos may earn applause, most watchers will question what the video is about.
The best fan videos on Youtube.com are the ones that tell a story, whether it is one that was told by the writers of the show or whether it was a story the vidder made up in their head.
Also, the fan videos that have clips that go along with the words to the song are very highly rated as well.
If you want to be a successful fan vidder, keep this in mind. It may take you a few weeks, even months, to find the perfect clips to go along with a song you have picked out but stick with it.
You will be highly rewarded in the end when you make a fan video that everyone is praising. There are sites for almost any fan base where you can compete with other fan vidders for best video, best pairing, best character portrayal and other different categories.
These are always fun to enter and nothing is more exciting than winning a virtual award to post on your site alongside your fan video. It gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment and makes you want to make more fan videos.
I have won several fan video awards, and all of them are just as exciting as the very first one won.
Making Sure The Clips End At The Appropriate Place
When making your music video, you need to keep going over and over it to make sure that the clips flow freely. In doing this, you need to make sure that each clip ends at a good point so that when paired with the next one, it doesn't look weird or choppy.
I have made this mistake myself with some of my first videos. The clips looked all right at first, but when paired with the next clip, it looks strange. For instance, the character may be turning at the end of one clip and be talking facing forwards in the next.
This is too quick of a transition and will leave your video looking silly unless you use some type of transition.
When To Use Transitions And Effects
Transitions, like fading from one clip to the other, is a nice technique that will help your music video flow. But using too many of them will make your clips so short that watchers of your fan video will not be able to see one before another begins.
The same thing can be said about effects. Too many flashes, pages flips or any other type of effects, can turn a great video into one that will make someone sick watching it. While transitions and effects are great things for any vidder to use, too much of a good thing can spoil one.
Only use as many as you think you will need, or will look good and save the others for another music video later on.
If you keep these things in mind and use your imagination, you will become a great music video maker in no time at all. Just remember to give credit to anyone that has anything to do with a television show or song at the end of the music video.
Make sure that you emphasize that you are only making the music videos for fun and that you don't want to make any money for them.
While this may not always work, there are many television shows that do not seem to mind fan videos as long as they are not copies of the actual show itself. In other words, you haven't just posted the entire episode. You have only used certain clips of different episodes.
In fact, if the writers, companies or big wigs of these television shows really think about it, they would see that fan videos are a tribute to their works and that by watching these, there are many people that start watching the television show simply because they enjoyed a fan video about it.
Or, on the flip side, they may feel violated and want the fan video taken down. If that happens, a vidder must respect their wishes. The same thing can be said about the songs that are used.
Putting all of this aside, fan music videos are a great way to give tribute to your favorite television show or character. It is a wonderful way to use your imagination and have some fun.
Give it a try. You might find that you really, really enjoy it and that you are good at it.
As a fan music video maker myself, I want to bring attention to the marvelous work of some of my favorite vidders or music videos.
I will be writing more articles, pointing the way to my favorite fan videos on Youtube.com. These will be from television shows that I loyally watch each and every week, or ones that I have spent hours watching on DVD long after they have gone off the air.
This will be my way to praise the imagination of these vidders and to thank them for entertaining me.
The television shows will be NCIS, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel and Supernatural. Some articles will highlight the shows themselves, while others will highlight certain characters that are favorites of mine. Stay tuned!