Discussion: What’s so special about PMV’s?

harmonic3

In 2012, I received a message on YouTube.

It was short and concise, and I very nearly skimmed over it. It took me a few readings for the true meaning to sink in. Back then, I had a few hundred people subscribed to me. I can only remember some fragments of the comments. But the message that I received… it felt different. It felt special. On the fast paced nature of the internet, it can be hard to capture a stranger’s attention. Even more so with only five words. But this message has stuck with me, clear as crystal.

“Your PMV saved a life.”

So many things ran through my head. Shock, disbelief, curiosity… I quickly messaged back asking how that was the case. How could a montage of My Little Pony clips set to S Club 7 save someone’s life? It felt like a stretch, to say the least.

“My friend is suicidal. He was on the verge but I sent him that out of last minute desperation. I think he’s reconsidering.”

Those words struck deep. I never spoke to that person again – they went their own way and so did I. But I never forgot about it.

My old PMV’s are almost sickening in nature. They’re oversaturated with happiness and positivity. For all the war, poverty and famine surrounding our planet, sometimes that can be a curse. We’re happily distracting ourselves with cartoons about friendship, which can blind us from an age where things need to be taken seriously. But at the same time, maybe it’s what we truly need.
On the scale of humanity, this fandom’s contribution to the world is worth nothing. It’ll blow away with the wind. But as an editor, a creative, a storyteller, you just want to make people feel emotion. Often knowing that at least one person finds value in what you do is enough. Popularity shouldn’t define your motivation to create. You’ve got to get something out of it yourself.

I found a certain passion in editing music videos. Since 2007, I’ve always had this attachment to the audiovisual medium. Pulling together two different sources to create a stronger meaning. Yeah, those are fancy words to mask the fact I made Shadow The Hedgehog/Linkin Park AMV’s. But ultimately, I was really enjoying it. As a child, I felt that art was my true calling, and even though some things have changed that still holds true. I’ve always felt something special about editing. As if it can sweep me away, my desire to create blocking out the rest of the world. I love it to bits.

When MLP came around, I sensed something special there too. A show that touches so many people’s hearts. It ignites the spark inside us, the warm fuzzy feeling of happiness. From my perspective, I only wanted to build upon foundations that were sealed in diamond. I wanted to celebrate and emphasize the messages of the show. From a technical standpoint, there’s far too many amateur mistakes and editing mishaps to count. It was like trying to draw the Mona Lisa with a teabag, and so often the love that goes into these videos can be lost.

But sometimes, the emotion gets through to someone. And that – that right there – is why PMV’s are so special to me. The anonymous stranger who I gave hope to. The soft-spoken old woman who thanked me at the contest for inspiring her. The best friend who expressed his heartfelt gratitude and brought me to tears. It’s no doubt that other forms of art will resonate more with others. The surface level can be deceivingly simple. But for what it’s worth, this one is beautiful in it’s own right.

What do PMV’s mean to you? Let me know in the comment section. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Comments

NameGoes
Reply

(I’m assuming writers can take part in these discussions) Well, it sounds kinda bad when I say it, but I don’t get that kind of, vibe from PMV’s, well I do, just not as intense, only with very moving ones, PMV’s to me are more a form of self-expression than anything, which I suppose ties into your viewpoint of it, but to me its just a way to express yourself and your feelings on something, or just to make it because it looked cool, I don’t know, never really stopped to think about it until now I suppose…

MrDeLoop
Reply

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I have to wonder if being a creator myself influences my feelings towards the subject. PMV’s are very much a form of entertainment, and on a surface level their existence is shallow and can be merely for show. But it’s the “very moving” ones I’m latching onto, the ones that you can tell had their heart and soul poured into. Not every PMV has to be a goldmine of emotion, but the ones that are make the medium special to me.

Bronies & Mash
Reply

Well, while I can’t say I’ve ever changed anyone’s life with my videos (or at least not to the extent you have), I do believe that PMVs can be a powerful in bringing us together. MLP has given people all over the world a common language, something that we can talk about, even if there’s nothing else we can agree on. Before, I wasn’t really the best at making friends, but the show has taught me so much (by the way, kids show or not, you’re never too old to learn to be a good person) and now I feel like I’ve gotten a lot better at being more friendly. PMVs I feel are the same way in many respects. Specifically, it opens your mind and soul to new visual styles, new music, and new personal experiences you might not have had a chance to feel on your own. Thanks for sharing your story, also. I love reading positive tales like that to validate what I’ve chosen to do as well; I hope I can have an impact like that some day.

Anyway, as for me specifically, I got into MLP because of mashups, the genre of music I use in a lot of my videos, and I feel they are similar in the way they can bridge social gaps. MLP is special because no matter who you are and no matter what things you like, you can find something in it to enjoy. I also like it because of its ability to defy social norms; the action, the drama, the over-arching plotlines, it’s a kids show that doesn’t feel like a kids show. And I feel like mashups have that same power. They break down barriers and defy preconceived societal definitions. ‘You can’t like Metallica AND Lady Gaga.’ ‘You can’t like Britney Spears AND Nine Inch Nails.’ ‘You can’t like football, hockey AND My Little Pony.’

THAT’S where I feel ponies and mashups are the same; they give people a way to experience things they may not have given a second thought to if not for something to ease them into it. I hear from people all the time that my videos have introduced them to styles of music they would not have ever listened to on their own, songs they’d never heard before, and I am glad that I can facilitate such a change in a person’s personal taste, however small it might be.

I mean, other artists may have their own reasoning behind their own creations, but that’s what my PMVs mean to me.

mrdeloop
Reply

Very interesting thoughts. I agree that the PMV’s and the community has a whole can introduce you to new and exciting things. And the take on mashups is something I hadn’t quite thought of before. I can definitely name a lot of new content I’ve been introduced to through these videos alone. Thanks for sharing!

chocalicorn
Reply

PMVs to me are a form of escapism. I go out into the world and I’m a nobody. People IRL don’t care how many YouTube subscribers you have or how well you can edit videos of pastel-coloured horses. Nobody’s ever gonna stop me on the street and say “Hey, are you chocalicorn? I love your stuff!” But then I go home and hop on the computer, and I have friends I can go to. I know that I can come on here and do what I want and express myself. I’ve been part of communities on the internet before, but this fandom has been one of the most accepting ones I’ve seen. I’m truly grateful.

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