Thinking about the descendants of vidding, since I was quoted in this recent article on fan edits, “Why Do Fan-Made Trailers Rule the Internet?” by Cat Zhang. The edits of the article, like the fanvids of old, are scenes from television shows and movies set to music. But while these edits are typically much shorter and more feels-focused than vids, they seem to me clearly a descendant of the form. In my book, Vidding: A History (2018), I talk about the ways in which YouTube and the algorithms of the internet were already affecting the aesthetics of vids back in the 2010s (spoiler alert: they’ve became shorter & more intense) and we can clearly see this trend in the 2020s now that fans are firmly on short-form platforms like Insta and Tiktok. The edits in Zhang’s article are all about the feels, and a sub-class of edits, corecore (as explained in this Mashable article by Chance Townsend, “Explaining corecore: How TikTok’s newest trend may be a genuine Gen-Z art form”) is often used to express chaotic or overwhelmed feels. Townsend says that what makes corecore so interesting is that “one’s feelings that couldn’t be expressed through words are instead presented through images. Whether that emotion is happiness, a fear of the future, or the excitement of falling in love, corecore edits, through the use of multimedia, speak to our common experience.” The idea of expressing emotion by the artistic act of combining disparate clips with music–well, it sounds like vidding, but at the same time it seems a long way away, too. That said, a work like this hip-hop based edit of The Bear, made by an artist at the X/Twitter account “black boy cinematic universe,” seems to be doing the kind of reparative fannish media work vis a vis race that older vids did for gender and sexuality. Zhang quotes the artist as saying: “There’s an energy to the show where it’s being carried by the people of color. So in my edit, I want to make sure there’s a song that represents that.” That’s a very similar (and familiar) vibe: that urge to make the thing that will Get. It. Right.
Vidding’s Grandchildren? Edits, corecore, and other video feels