A Man After SO’s Heart

It’s amazing what you can still get for five bucks. I don’t even need to ask SO what he thinks. He would probably love this guy, and I wonder if Richard Armitage might not feel a little fondness as well. :D

Wish I had thought about being paid to bitch. I would be rich several times over.

In the meantime, you can go here to get your personal rant.

The Vidding Empire

This post gets the public service tag. :D

If you’ve read this blog for more than a few pieces, you know how rabid I am about fan videos, which I’m defining as videos set to music and starring the object of a fan’s attention — someone or something. They got me started on Richard Armitage, and my love for them has become so intense that I’m wondering when these things will gain much more notoriety than they currently enjoy. For now they are not really acknowledged much by the mainstream media, and a good part of the reason is the history of their illicit nature. In my search on the web, I found one piece from a mainstream media source discussing the significance of fan videos, and that was from 2007. Maybe there are a few more, but the key word would be few. However, at some point soon I think fan videos will have more formal recognition. So far for most people who don’t peruse videos sites and are over the age of 25, there has been no awareness these things exist, but that’s changing as more and more people (even your grandmother) are starting to surf YouTube.

Heck, SO’s almost 80 year old parents get on YouTube regularly, and my mother, who by the way, is considerably younger :D, also gets on YouTube. So if you’re 60 and you don’t ever get on YouTube? What planet are you on? ;-)

Actually, I’m assuming most reading this are the choir. So why did I even say that? Maybe there is one out there among you who has not ventured onto a video site for fear it’s just stuff like this:

and you got your fill of this kind of thing on “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” Oh, you’ve never seen that show? LUCKY YOU. Really wrestling here with the temptation to go on a rant about why I hated that show when it was on, but one rant a week is enough. The show is still on?! God help us.

Of course this is a cute video, and it’s understandable why it’s in the top ten all-time watched videos on YouTube, but c’mon, after you’ve watched it 300 times, you would think it would get old. FYI: a few weeks ago this video passed its four year anniversary, and I can see its lasting effect with the eventual publication of How to Pay For College: The Advantages of Being a Mischievous Teether in the Digital Age by Charles Davies-Carr. ;-)

Okay, where was I? Oh, yeah, fan videos. Well, if you’re new to them, and I’m assuming you’re a Richard Armitage fan since you’re reading this blog, there is only one place to go, and my friends, it’s not YouTube. No, it’s a little place on the web hosted by one of the most intriguing fans, Elvira Sweeney. Here are some things I know about Elvira. She is artistic, prolific, a bit perfectionistic, and definitely industrious. Oh, and she likes RA. :D He was the inspiration for what I now think of as the RA Fan Video Empire, or just The Empire. So what is this place? It’s called RAfanvids, and if you have never been there, oh my are you in for a treat. Now the only proviso I will give you is that you must prep the storage on your computer so you can download to your heart’s content when you get there. You’re not sure about this downloading? No, you’ve got to change that notion. You can’t really enjoy some of these videos without watching a download. YouTube, Vimeo, et al will not give you the quality of a 1080 vid. You can only get the real impact of it by downloading and watching on your system or possibly your tv monitor.

Take this video for example:

You can watch it and love the music and the clips, but you can’t get the full effect of this unless you download and watch. It’s the eyes. You almost fall into them. Can’t get that from watching on YouTube — even in full screen mode. Oh, it’s better than the little window, but not nearly as good as watching your own copy.

Or consider this one:

Want to really feel like that leather is within arm’s reach, download! And of course the eyes are also compelling. By the way this video was done as part of Elvira’s “Vidding on the Cheap” series for all those people who think making videos with an old Mac isn’t possible. Guess again.

This is one of my favorite montage videos, and for good reason. I really feel I’m in the room with RA and he’s looking at me when I watch the download:

This was the video that convinced me I needed to watch everything I could from a download copy. Once I got this one on my computer and started watching, I realized that I had missed so much on YouTube, and if a video is not in a large format, putting the player in full screen doesn’t really cut it either. So I downloaded this one and was blown away. I also realized something about Elvira. She can read people. Anyone who puts as much emphasis on people’s eyes and expressions is focused on reading them. I would love to know what she really thinks of RA other than just liking him so damn much. LOL!

And the next two you haven’t really seen unless you’ve watched a download and especially in 1080. You watch these like that, and you will never be satisified with them on YouTube again.

If you still don’t want to download, you can just watch the videos on that site, and there are quite a few that are not on YouTube. So check it out.

One more thing. If you go over to RAfanvids, you may notice something is absent. But no worries, ’cause Elvira’s got it covered over here. :D (note: the link is an archive page and not all pages linked within it are available).

Candid shot from, uh, I’m not sayin’.

They Won’t Know What Hit ‘em

The recent news that Richard Armitage is cast in ‘The Hobbit’ has some speculating about his abilities, and for some he comes up wanting. As a former skeptic of Mr. Armitage, I don’t care what they think. Once they actually watch him in action, all that negative talk will be a thing of the past. Oh, I’m sure there will be a few naysayers. Aren’t there always? But those aside, most will be pleased with his performance. The guy can pull off just about anything. I have yet to see him in drag, but somehow I feel sure he could pull that off too. LOL!

Now where was I?

Oh, yeah, RA was cast in a big budget movie!!! Someone slap me ’cause I think I’m dreaming. But really it makes sense. He’s just that good. Am I biased? Damned right, but it’s my gut that dictates it, and rarely is it wrong. Sounds arrogant I know, but it’s true. You can ask SO, but then I’m keeping SO to myself, and he doesn’t get to read this blog and interact with any of you here. I just get to talk about him. Along with talking about Richard Armitage.

For anyone new who has landed here out of curiosity about Richard’s work, you can see several different clips on my “Who’s Richard Armitage?” page or at RichardArmitageNet.Com, aka the mother lode, or if you’re in a hurry, you can watch a showreel of his work:

Showreels courtesy of Elvira Sweeney and uploaded here with express permission.

By Popular Demand

Okay, so I don’t know who all loves a certain video, but a few do if my email is any indication, and I think I’ve made it clear how much I love it. :D I will say again that its name fits — “Guy-Supermassive….”

Oh, and the shot above is from one of the best parts of the video — when the song’s bridge is playing. LOVE IT! Perfect clip!

I’m excited Elvira, per Joana’s enthusiastic consent, has now put it up on her site RAfanvids, and in several formats. If you’ve had trouble viewing from your phone, perhaps this will help. Check it out.

Enjoy!

edit:

Thanks to Elvira I’ve uploaded a better copy of the video to YouTube and disabled the older copy.

How Did I Miss This?

A few days ago I stumbled on a web page that I cannot believe I’ve never seen! It’s on one of Elvira’s sites, and as much as I’ve combed over read her sites, somehow I never saw this, and I would have remembered it! It’s really good, and actually, I’m glad I didn’t see it before I started this blog or I might not have started this blog, and you wouldn’t have had the pleasure of reading my musings, rantings and just general bs*. Wait. Let me rephrase that. “I” would not have had the pleasure of musing, ranting and just generally putting out a bunch of bs. Sadly, most of us look down on bs, but sometimes it feels good. Just sayin’. ;-)

Okay, so here’s what I’m talking about, and just to make it crystal, HCMO=Handsome Cotton Mill Owner:

Red Queen, a treasured member of C19, wrote these whimsical diary entries, which follow her struggles as a North and South addict. Originally posted on C19, republished here with permission.

Diary of an Addict by Red Queen

13 January 2005 12:32

0700: Alarm goes off. First thought of the day definitely not about a handsome cotton mill owner nor what it might be like to kiss said HCMO awake. No indeed: chez Red Queen there is a highly disciplined regime of breakfast eating, teeth cleaning and general getting ready for work.

0830-0930: Journey to work on train. Unfavourable comparisons made between train journeys taken by highly fortunate young women named Margaret and train journeys taken by self. When alighting from train, have a quick peek around platform in case there are any HCMOs lurking. There aren’t. Complete journey to work on foot wondering if investing in frisbee style hat might improve chances of meeting HCMO. Decide not.

0930-1300: oh God – work is here. Spend morning exuding calm efficiency and effortless concentration. Thoughts of HCMO do not break concentration nor do visits to a messageboard cause strange squeaks of delight and/or laughter which have to be concealed from increasingly bemused colleagues.

1300-1400: lunch with friend. Actually manage not to think about HCMO for a while. Although when friend asks why she’s been having difficulty reaching me by telephone in the evening, feign ignorance. Cannot face dear friend’s look of incredulity when she hears scale of problem.

Read the rest here and then click the image again to enlarge.

I don’t know Red Queen, but all I can say is great minds think alike.

Uh, maybe her mind is a little better than mine. LOL!

By the way, Red Queen also wrote a a conversation between Darcy and Thornton, which I love too and had seen a long time ago on someone’ s Facebook page but didn’t realize she wrote it. Clever, clever Red Queen! Yeah, her mind is definitely better than mine. :D

*For those not familiar with the term, bs=nonsense. Yeah, that’s what it means or something like that.

edit: the site FoolishPassion.com no longer exists, so the links have been updated to direct to a cached copy of the pages at Archive.Org. If those links rot as well, I also have screencaps for future use. Also, please note that the page may take a moment to load.

Top Ten Fanvids

Okay, I should say these are MY top ten fanvids.

For anyone who’s been following this blog, you already know I lamented the difficulty of making this post and mainly because there are so many RA videos out there. But I had such a good time trying to watch as many as I could to be fair. These things are almost like my children. I didn’t realize I had it in me to love so many. All the more to make it difficult to highlight only ten. But what a great problem to have! And I scrapped my in-depth criteria. The post would have been too long, and it may be already! Quite simply the ones selected are the videos I find myself going back to again and again.

I put them in an order, but hey, this order could change tomorrow or maybe later today. LOL!

I’ve embedded all of them below which shouldn’t be a problem, but if enough people experience problems, I may change how I’ve configured this post.

#10 — the ethereal quality of the song and the editing make me accept this AU (Alternate Universe) story as canon! Very soothing on a lot of levels. LOL!

#9 — considering it’s Thornton’s longing we mostly see in North and South, I love this take on Margaret pining.

edit: this video is no longer on YouTube, so the creator of the video, ATFrancis, has given me permission to upload here, and if you would like your own copy, you can download at FoolishPassion, one of Elvira’s sites.

#8 — this was one of my first Guy videos, and it captures his angst over Marian perfectly. At one point it disappeared from YouTube, but then it came back. Yea! I’ve never gotten tired of watching it. I love the editing, and it was my introduction to Shinedown.

#7 — too much to write about why I love this one; maybe it should move up. No, I’ve got to stop somewhere. Thank you, DB for editing MJ’s song. It was way too long. Your timing is perfect.

#6 — this is a masterpiece and probably should be #1. It’s the shortest video on the list, but the impact of it is enormous. I’ll stop there or this post will be so long it won’t load.

#5 — the quality of this video is stunning. Please, please, please if you like it, download it in the 1080 format. It’s RA like you’ve never seen him. Oh, and it’s Shinedown again. Love it!

#4 — whatever “it” is, Nat has it. I’ll sum up this video in a word: brilliant. Also, great thanks to Heather for her wonderful inspiration!

#3 — this is one slick video. DB just gets better and better and she’s already great. Oh, I would love to go back and completely rewrite the post I did on this one!

#2 — it’s scary how many times I’ve watched this and not just at the normal speed but slowed down as well. I notice something new every time, so I can’t seem to stop analyzing it. The video is a feast.

#1 This video may be a 10.

Most of these are available for download. Check their YouTube descriptions to find out how.

This is Hard

What was I saying about not wanting to wait to get at the writing? Well, I hit a bit of a wall. Not a huge one, but enough to slow me down and say to myself, “Hmmm, maybe that storage room downstairs really does need a thorough cleaning.” I’m staying on the job for all of you. See how good I am to you? Remember it’s my nutty behavior that makes a lot of the rest of you look sane. You know in case RA or any of “his people” happen to see our little enclaves of discussion, they can conclude, “Thank God most of those people aren’t like that RAFrenzy nut.” So again, this is really a public service. ;-)

All of that aside, I’m trying to draft this post about my top ten videos. Is it too late to make it my top 20 or 50? Phew! I had no idea this was going to be so difficult or that I would actually feel pressure. Yes, I read the notes from those of you who want me to post my list. Most of these posts I write by the seat of my pants, as it were of course, but this time I couldn’t. Ironically, I figured this would be nothing but fun since I love the videos, and for the most part it is fun. But as SO reminds me sometimes, I tend to make things much harder than they should be. I’m really trying not to do that.

One thing that’s made it so hard is trying to find out how many RA vids there are on YouTube or getting a pretty good idea and then watching the ones I’d missed or trying to watch as many as I could. Oh my gosh! Forget it. There are too many. Can I just tell you that there are loads of them? That you probably will never run out of something to watch? Yes, this is a good problem unless you have an anal streak. Suffice to say I’ve watched quite a few the last couple of weeks that have been on YT for a while, but I had never seen them. This is coming from someone who watches lots of videos. Should I admit I’m that addicted? I’ve already admitted this RA addiction, what’s another one?

As if the sheer number is not daunting enough, I’ve come up with a criteria to explain my selections, which I had never thought about let alone articulated since I just go with my gut most of the time. However, articulating a criteria is a must in the pursuit of not looking like I play favorites and not hurting anyone’s feelings. But hey, I’m not going to get around that anyway. What makes that laughable is who am I to hurt anyone’s feelings with my choices? I’m just one person, and for all anyone knows, I have really lousy taste. In fact, for those vidders I don’t acknowledge, please consider me to have lousy taste. It will not hurt my feelings. Wow. Who knew there was this much passion about fan videos?

So why this post before the post? I guess I really want to be understood. This whole blog is a big digression into being understood even if you and I will never meet. I’ve got a fixation on being understood. Oh yeah, it’s a blessing and a curse, and it bores the dog out of me but hopefully, it won’t bore you. At least not today.

Yes, I really do have a post on the videos. I’m just not ready to post it but felt like I had to post something, and I guess I need to remember that tired old adage (maybe it’s not really tired) that if it’s worth doing, it’s probably going to be hard (or something to that effect). So you hear that, Elvira, I realize that videos take some work to be done right, i.e., at the very least be willing to read a tutorial, and for the rest of you, writing about them takes some work too — if it’s to be done right.

I’m not only going to throw in a gratuitous pic but a video as well. This was a video I had never seen. Shocked me I tell you. That I had never seen it I mean, and yes, I like it or it wouldn’t be embedded here. See what I mean about being understood. Why do you think I haven’t written much until now — I can’t stop. LOL!

Love the expressions Elvira captured.

And the pic:

Screencap courtesy of RichardArmitageNet.com

Top ten post hopefully coming up next week. Then after that I’ll get my top ten fan fics posted. Already started on it. LOL!