5 Years of Friendship is Magic [A PMV Retrospective]
Today (October 10th 2015) marks the 5th anniversary of the premiere of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, the fourth generation of the My Little Pony franchise. Spearheaded by Lauren Faust, this latest incarnation drew in many fans, including some that were, at the time, unexpected. You have heard this story plenty of times now, but what came after defined the show’s legacy. Some of these unexpected fans, dubbed “bronies”, created their own fan works to show off to the world, including music, art, and video. The video portion of the fandom was headed by a certain type of creation: the PMV, or Pony Music Video.
The origins of PMV’s can be traced back to another form of fan-made video, the AMV (Anime Music Video). AMV’s have been around for many years now, with some AMV’s originating from the days before YouTube. When the brony fandom took shape and became more widespread, the concept of AMV’s soon found their way towards the brony community, and soon, people were making their own fan videos, mixing in clips from the show to their favourite music.
The above video is, arguably, one of the more prominent PMV’s to come out of this fandom. While it is, by today’s standards, incredibly simple, this PMV firmly established the concept that music videos can work with pony. As more people joined the fandom, with it came a wave of video editors who wished to make their own creations set to pony. In time, more and more PMV’s were created, including the following, which stood out for various factors, including story-telling and creative effects:
Traditional styles of editing ruled the roost early on in the brony fandom. Most editors would stick with the tried and tested “appropriate show clips set to music” formula, although some others took time to build their own scenes and use more complex effects.
And then along came Feedsy.
Feedsy took the concept of a PMV, and incorporated motion graphics into the mix. The result was an incredibly fancy PMV that wowed many. This started a change within the PMV community, with some existing editors embracing the ideas of motion graphics within their videos. Others chose to stick with the more traditional style of editing. Thus, the PMV community became a community of two sides, although a mixture of both can be seen in some videos.
Lately, the PMV community has been somewhat looked over, mainly due to the rise of fan-made animations and SFM (Source Filmmaker) videos. These types of videos utilised unique stories and animation to impress viewers. Although a few animators have dabbled in making PMV’s, most animations do revolve around story-telling or short set-pieces. This created a new style of video, one which a lot of the audience have jumped on to.
PMV’s are far from being a dead medium though. There are still quite a few editors around who embrace the ideals of PMV’s, be it traditional or motion graphic. The rise of several collaboration groups, including The Collaboratory, have proven that the PMV community is still very much alive and kicking.
PMV’s have come a long way since the beginning of the show/fandom. What started as a way to share favourite moments from the show, set to fitting music, has become quite the art form, with many editing styles being introduced and embraced within the community. Many unique and wonderful stories have been told through the video medium, and it is clear that there is still great things to come.
I shall leave you with a few videos that were uploaded recently to celebrate 5 years of Friendship is Magic. Feel free to discuss your favourite videos in the comment section. Here’s to another 5 years of creating visual magic. <3