We're at the end of our discussion of Rainbow Noise, the first (and only) vidding letterzine. Published in 1993, we have been only able to find two issues. If you have any copies, drop me an email or comment.
The last section in the letterzine focuses on two topics: “how much to charge for your fanvids on videotape” and “wouldn’t it be awesome to have a fanvid library where we could borrow vids on tape?”
The issue of whether to charge - and how much to charge - for fanworks is that one fanzine publishers, fan artists, and fan vidders have wrestled with since media fandom flowered in the 1960s. Today, the prevailing view is that it is wrong, wrong and WRONG to ask for any money for your fanworks. Fanworks are gift of love. And everything should be free on the Internet, right?
But in those olden days, the days before the Internet, the only way to share a story was to physically imprint it on paper (such as a mimeograph machine that inked letters onto drums that rotated and spun and made you high with their fumes), seal it in an envelope and send it via post. Few fans had printers in their homes and before the 1990s computer ownership was not common among fans (although fandom with their geeky ways were early adopters of computer technology). Fan vids had to be made on VCRs using videotape. In fact you needed two VCRs to make a fanvid -- at a time when most homes could only afford one VCR. And, like fanzines you had to ship the videotapes through sleet and snow and hail. Fan artists - well the print reproduction process was limited. And who would ship their originals to a convention hundreds or thousands of miles away just so someone could see your art? Submitting your fanart to fanzines in exchange for a contributor’s copy was the only way to “be seen.” Which led straight back to fanzines and how much to charge for them.
But back to the song video library. If a vidder did climb that logistical mountain to make copies of her “songtapes" to send out to the world….. well the quantities were limited. Since there was no Internet, the only place to see fanvids was to travel to a convention (very expensive) or to find someone local who had a copy and was willing to open their living rooms to you. And for fan vidders who wanted to see other vidder's work - well everyone was in the same boat. Forget about discussions of fan vids, or feedback or concrit.... if 100 people ever saw your vid, you were lucky. If 500 people saw your vid, you might as well call yourself Vincent and gogh home and paint more sunflowers.
So you can imagine how a song video lending library would have been an awesome idea.
Sadly, the technical logistics and the small circulation of the Rainbow Noise meant that the songvid library never took off.
So now, aren’t you glad that the Internet was invented just so you can watch and share fanvids? And art? And fic? And podfic? And gifsets?
On to the proposal in issue #2 of Rainbow Noise:
"Opinion Time: Like a story sitting in a drawer, a video that no one sees is wasted. Years ago I became frustrated because I would see a video once at a con and never again. Or, even worse, hear about it second hand. Or, the very worst, have only multiple gen or ripped-off copies floating around. That's why, back in the Calicon days, I started making "contest tapes" for the convention members. There has been wonderful encouragement and support from concoms (like Candy P. who even makes special lists on her
computer) and the video makers who allow me to copy their songs. I want to publicly thank everyone for their help. But, I'm still a little frustrated. I keep hearing about videos, videomakers that I've missed (I was told 2 years ago about a funny video with different fandoms bowling—but have yet to see it!)
I am also disturbed by reports that pseudo fans are duping off multiple gen copies of music videos and selling these for big bucks. If anyone wants more than $5.00 for any con, or compiled (ie. from multiple video makers) tape—this is a rip-off. Please spread the word and let's try to shut them down.
A second means of attack and a way to relieve my frustration with missing videos came to mind while talking with several video makers. I propose setting up a music video library. Video makers would send me tapes of their work and I could dupe for fans (at cost) on my industrial quality VHS, Beta and PAL machines. Creators would have a wider audience, the best possible copies would be available, and creators would miss the hassle of running bunches of copies. This arrangement has worked out well for people like Mary Van Deusen and Cybel. However, if a maker, such as Dee Jay, prefers to make her own copies, I'd be willing to pass along flyers, or info. So, I invite all video makers to contact me.
I am also willing (eager) to put together and distribute copies of con video contest tapes for cons that1 do not attend. I would like to invite any concom to contact me."