The exploded popularity of video-sharing websites make a number of audiovisual materials accessible and even ‘unruly’ everyday. In this blog, I would like to discuss something called ‘fan-made music videos’ that are basically produced by ‘grassroots’ and being shared online. When Carol Vernallis talks about music videos on Youtube, she mentions that ‘individuals as much as record companies post music video clips, and many prosumers have no hope of selling anything’ (Vernallis, 2013, p,219). This statement indicates how diversified music video clips could be: not only musicians’ and director’ exclusive works and songs, but also user-driven content range from 30 seconds clips to 1-hour micro-film forms. Various ‘canons’ could be presented through the copresence of music, sound and images. MMD is one of them, and let’s have a look:
MikuMikuDance (MMD) is a freeware program for users to produce 3D animation moving images. It was first released in 2008 originally for a Vocaloid (a singing voice synthesiser) character called Hatsune Miku, and then upgraded several times since its release. Users are able to produce their preferred animated models and make them ‘alive’ by assigning movements with music. It could be seen from the above clips that MMD emphasise presenting visuals in harmony with different songs, lyrics, and atmosphere of the whole song. The singing is always ‘synthesised’, making it sound like electronic music. Other than other fan-made music videos, MMD requires more technical operation and could be deemed as ‘derivative works’ of existing anime characters. However, to some extent, it is also full of ‘originality’ for every piece of work is not replicated. Recently, a MMD clip filmed in real-life spots sparks great attention:
Its pursuing of ‘authenticity’ makes it work much like an audio-visual experimentation, and actually renders MMD MV genre with the characteristics of complexity and hybridity. In the wake of the implantation of digital technologies, MMD represents a creative, technical and transformed music video context in contemporary era. If you are interested in MMD and would like to create your own music video, check the below link for further information and tutorials!
Written by Bingjie Zhai (Lee)
Vernallis, C., 2013. Unruly Media, Oxford University Press: New York.