damned_colonial: Early film projector, circa 1900 (vidding)
[personal profile] damned_colonial posting in [community profile] wiscon_vidparty
This is our "official info post" for the Wiscon Vid Party, as of August 2010. It outlines our plans and ideas for next year's party, and hopefully will give you some idea of what the party is, how it runs, and how to get involved. Please let us know if you have any questions/comments/ideas! We will post more information on various topics between now and Wiscon, and also post a revised info post closer to the event. To stay informed, please subscribe to [community profile] wiscon_vidparty.


About Wiscon in general and the vid party in particular

Wiscon is an annual feminist science fiction conference held in late May each year (on Memorial Day weekend) in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

From the Wiscon website:

This is the world's leading feminist science fiction convention. WisCon encourages discussion and debate of ideas relating to feminism, gender, race and class. WisCon welcomes writers, editors and artists whose work explores these themes as well as their many fans. We have panel discussions, academic presentations, and readings as well as many other uncategorizable events.


Although Wiscon describes itself as "primarily a book oriented convention", a strong contingent of "media" and/or "transformative" fans attend. Programming is on a mix of subjects, from literary SF and writing, to pop culture, to politics, to sexuality. The programming is based on attendee suggestions and volunteer panelists, so if you want a certain topic to be covered, you can suggest it and get it on the schedule without too much difficulty.

Wiscon is held in a hotel called the Concourse, and there are approximately 1000 attendees, who fill the hotel and overflow into another one nearby. Sessions are held all day and into the evenings, but each night the 6th floor of the Concourse turns into the party space, with different groups hosting parties in the hospitality suites.

At Wiscon in 2010, we held the first ever vid party in one of these hospitality suites on the Saturday night, from 9pm to 3am. That's six hours of vid programming! It was mostly unthemed, other than "here are some amazing vids!" Check out our playlist if you want to see what we played. The general vibe of the party was loud, a little bit raucous, and pretty informal. We had a mixture of sofas and armchairs, stackable seating, and standing room. People came and went at will. We put a sign on the door asking people to keep conversations to a minimum, and it worked pretty well to keep chatter down while still allowing people to relax and have a good time. It was pretty much like a really big living room.

Next year, we're hoping to make the Vid Party bigger and better. We will request a more spacious room, and we have lots of great ideas for vid programming. We go into some of our programming ideas below. Our general idea next year is to make it a bit more structured, with more "shows" of known lengths, so we can publicise a schedule and people can come and go for the bits they're most interested in.



Introductory session: Vids with something to say

Last time we ran an "intro to vidding" at the start of the party, to bring people up to speed on what vidding is and how to watch a fanvid. This was important because Wiscon doesn't have a long history of having vidshows, and we wanted to introduce people to the idea.

We'd like to do something similar again in 2011, but don't want to repeat ourselves. So we thought we'd make a theme for our introductory session, and that theme will be "Vids with something to say". We'll be showing examples of vids that tell a story or send a message, and talking about how the vidder achieves that, and how vid watchers can read the messages the vidder's sending. We'll also try and schedule a follow-up panel later in the con for more discussion of the subject.

If you know any vids with messages that might be good for this purpose, you can drop us a note to let us know about it. We're looking for a range of messages -- political, fannish, personal, whatever.



Premieres show

We'll be inviting vidders to submit vids to premiere at Wiscon. We'd like to encourage premieres that are in keeping with Wiscon's overall theme as a feminist SF convention, though all subjects will be welcome. We think this is a great opportunity for Wiscon. If you're a vidder you're probably aware that there is a style or aesthetic of vid associated with many of the major vidding premiere venues, and we think that having a premieres show associated with Wiscon may, in time, lead to a "Wiscon vidding aesthetic", which, if it shares anything with the sorts of discussions and ideas that are found at that con, will be amazing.

We really want to make it easy to premiere vids at Wiscon, and encourage newbies to submit premieres. Here are some of our thoughts on that:

* We'll accept vids in any format (we'll make some general suggestions, but we won't require the kind of DVD-compatible export that other cons mostly have). Vidders can simply upload a vid to their hosting site of choice, and send us the URL.
* We won't be making a DVD, but will ask vidders to post their premiering vids online within 1 week of the vid party, and we will link to them from a master post. This is both easier for vidders and for us as organisers, and makes the vids more available to those who couldn't be there in person.
* we'll make posts where people can offer coaching/mentoring/betaing to newer vidders, and provide links to helpful resources. (We loved the vidding workshop that [personal profile] such_heights ran for [community profile] camelot_fleet, so something along those lines might be good.)

More information about Premieres.



Singalong session

Last time we had so much fun singing along raucously to vids that we want to do it again. This time, however, we'll put all the singalong vids together. We'll also work with vidders to arrange subtitles, for ease of singing-along, and also so that we can advertise that session as being more accessible for those with hearing/auditory issues.

On a side note on the subject of subtitles: we hope that having a vid show with subtitles will help people learn how to make subtitles and provide them for more vids in future. [personal profile] laurashapiro has a great tutorial on how to add subtitles to your vid, which will be a good starting point for all of us.



Vid Party!
As the evening wears on and after we've lost our voices from singing, we'll again showcase vids from a range of fandoms and vidding styles and approaches. The only thing different this year is that we'll prioritise vids which are new since last year's party (i.e. those that were first posted or premiered after June 1st 2010). Again, we welcome your recs.



Accessibility and warnings

Wiscon is known for its high level of attention to accessibility. Our vid party will follow Wiscon's general guidelines for disability access, including marked out areas for wheelchairs/scooters and taped off chairs near the door, reserved seating for anyone who needs it, etc. Please contact us if you have access questions about our event--we will do our best to accommodate everyone who would like to attend.

We consider trigger warnings to be an accessibility issue. We will work with vidders to come up with appropriate warnings for their vids, for all major trauma and epilepsy/migraine triggers, and will make this information available online and as a handout at the party.

All, or very nearly all, vids that we show will be available for download and/or streaming. We'll post our playlists the day after the vid party, so that those who were unable to attend for whatever reason, or who find it easier to watch vids in quiet and privacy, are able to view them at their convenience.

As noted above, we will be providing subtitles for part of the programming, and welcome subtitled vids in any other part of the programming (we'll let vidders know about this when we contact them to ask permission to use their vids, and give them the opportunity to provide subtitles if they like.)



Other miscellaneous notes

Speaking of permission, our general policy is to attempt to contact vidders for permission before showing their vid. However, if we are unable to contact a vidder or don't hear back from them, and their vids are publicly available, we will assume that permission is implied.

Wiscon includes under-18 attendees, and our vid party will be open to them. Teens were among our most enthusiastic attendees in 2010, and we want them to come back! Of course some vids will contain mature content, so we'll try to make it clear to parents that they should supervise younger kids.

No alcohol will be served at our party; however, other parties nearby will have alcohol. People will be free to bring drinks into our space.

The party is informal, with people coming and going and a certain amount of vocal appreciation of the vids (laughter, applause, singing along). We don't expect people to stay as silent as they would in a theatre, but we do ask that you remember the party exists to let people watch and enjoy vids; if you want to have a conversation, take it outside.

The vid party doesn't cost us very much to run, but it's not free either. Last time we passed the hat around after each hour of vids, and covered most of our costs. We'll do something similar again this time.


We'd love to find volunteers to help out with a bunch of vid party related stuff, ranging from spreadsheet wrangling, to subtitling, to helping us arrange furniture before the party. You can volunteer even if you're not attending, since so much of the prep work happens online beforehand. If you'd like to help out, just join [community profile] wiscon_vidparty and watch for calls for volunteers, or email us at wiscon.vidparty@gmail.com.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-11 08:20 pm (UTC)
avendya: blue-green picture of a woman's face (Default)
From: [personal profile] avendya
Just to check: we can premiere a vid at Wiscon even if we are unable to actually attend Wiscon, correct? And count me in for volunteer work. (Wiscon is in the middle of term for me, so I don't see any way I can attend.)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-11 08:22 pm (UTC)
were_duck: Ellen Ripley from Alien looking pensively to the right in her space helmet (Adam smilin)
From: [personal profile] were_duck
Yes, that's correct! You don't have to be attending in order to Premiere. And we'll keep you in mind as we organize ourselves for figuring out where our volunteer needs are! Thank you so much for offering <3

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-11 09:31 pm (UTC)
maevele: (aaaadaaaam)
From: [personal profile] maevele
It'd be kinda awesome if there were a few more breaks between vids for if people need to chatter about the vids, or a more chatter friendly space near the back or something?

(no subject)

Date: 2011-04-18 07:07 pm (UTC)
dancingsinging: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dancingsinging
Do you know about when you'll be starting? I'll be hosting the FOGcon party opposite the vid party, so I can't be at as much of it as I'd like, but I'm hoping to get other concom members to do shifts so I can come to at least the introductory section or the singalong section! When you've got the schedule up, would you let me know so that I can wrangle my breaks accordingly?

(no subject)

Date: 2011-04-19 05:36 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] alexbayleaf
We'll be starting at 9pm. The introductory session will run for approximately the first hour. We're still working out the schedule specifics, but I think maybe the singalong section will be at midnight.

We'll post the schedule here on this comm (and link it from the wiscon comm) when we have more detail!

ETA: Schedule posted.
Edited Date: 2011-04-20 01:20 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-04-20 08:24 pm (UTC)
dancingsinging: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dancingsinging
Sweet! Thanks.

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