Ode to the FAHns Series: fahnvids
Updated: Feb 20, 2021
An In-depth Interview with Twix, a FAH fahnvidder
Note (Update): Some of the videos mentioned in this interview have since been taken down by Twix. This was her decision as the owner of her own creations. As well, several of the links to the artist's own sites do not work or have since been removed by the artist herself. The interview is still interesting and relevant to the creative work that all fahns do in our community so I have decided to leave the entire interview intact and as is, despite these issues.
Original Article and Interview
Being a part of a community is very important these days, especially with Covid, lockdowns, the intense worry of the world, and the stresses of life in general, which can get us all down and be pretty draining. I feel grateful to be part of a dynamic, creative group of people devoted to the Irish sketch comedy group, Foil Arms and Hog. Well, if you're reading this, you can see that this website is devoted to a lot (but not all) of things FAH. Many, many fahns (as we're known) recently participated in the FAHnartchallenge organized by Pauline (fah_sketched) and Ilona (itjes_drawings) for the month of October on Instagram; there was an enormous amount of encouragement, and togetherness that came out of this very fun month. I took a lot of inspiration from these two amazing people and I wanted to continue to support fahns and their work.
So I have decided to start a monthly blog post and to invite fahns along to showcase their FAH work on my website. This is also a collaboration between fahns because part of what I want to do is set up a way for fahns also to get to know one another and to learn about how their FAH work is created. These blog posts will give readers an opportunity to learn about the creator, how they approach, design, and think about their creations, and read about any inside information artists care to share about how they come up with their art. The structure of these posts will be presented as in-depth interviews. The work here in the post is chosen by the creator themselves and their voices will be privileged over mine. I will not be analyzing their work, like I do with FAH's work, but will instead be giving them an opportunity to discuss their own projects.
Welcome to my "Ode to the Fahns" series. Twix, who runs a wonderful YouTube channel under the same name is devoted to fahnvidding about Foil Arms and Hog. She has agreed to be the first artist to present her work in this new series and I'm very grateful to her for being willing to collaborate with me on this brand new project. Twix and I first connected over my FAH mystery novel (FAH and the Case of Warehouse 1) when she reached out over Facebook to discuss the ins and outs of the plot. I was so appreciative of her comments and she really helped me think more about the FAH characters that I was writing ; she probably doesn't know this, but will find out now, that she helped shape how I wrote about FAH, especially Foil, and that made all the difference in how I characterized him in the story. It was great to have someone care so much about the work to reach out and discuss it. And that started up our friendship! Yeah! And now here we are working together on this first blog post.
I first saw Twix's fahnvid, "Who is Anne Flanagan" (August 14, 2020) and then she was on my fahnvidder radar! But it was her recent creation, "Foil's First Interrogation" (October 19, 2020) that convinced me that I had to get her involved with this series! This is a beautifully done, gorgeous video with lovely visual balance and excellent clips of FAH's brilliant sketch, "Killing a House Plant (January 11, 2018). It is one of those fahnvids that just stayed with me and I've gone back to watch it over and over again. I've posted it here below so that everyone gets a chance to watch his amazing piece of art! She's chosen four of her favorite fahnvids to represent her work here, but of course she has many more on her YouTube channel. Make sure that you subscribe so that you can stay up to date on her creations.
This interview occurred through email communications . Read on to learn all about Twix and how she creates her marvelous fahnvids!
When did you start making fahnvids?
I started making Fahnvids in June 2020, and posted [my first one] on the 28th! I had never made fahnvids before, only gifs and memes.
When you say that you only made gifs or memes, were these FAH related or other kinds?
They were FAH related, and I uploaded them to my Tumblr account under the username @fahfahnnn. I took inspiration from Looney, @boilarseandbog on Twitter and Nadine Day. My memes are mostly posted to my Twitter account but I am slowly trying to move them over to my Instagram page, where I am also @fahfahnnn.
What was the reason for your decision to start making fahnvids?
It was mostly because of a discussion on a Discord server with friends, but I think I also just really wanted to do something fun and fahnvidding is fun!
Had you done video work in the past before you started working on FAH fahnvids?
No, not very much, no. When I was younger, I used to run a food blog but I never got far with it. I [created] 1 little video about a cake I made for said blog but [the video] was poorly made. I'm happy to say my editing skills got better over time, haha.
Why did you choose the four fahnvids that you did to put up on the website for this blog post?
Because I feel these are significant in my journey of fahnvidding! My first fahnvid was great but full of amateur mistakes, whereas now I feel have grown in my editing skills.
What is it about these four fahnvid’s that you like or are proud of?
I like that they not only bring out [FAH’s] adorable sides, such as the laughing compilations, but as one of my latest fahnvids shows, 'Hog's Minecraft World', [FAH] are real people with interests that they are willing to show us! I'm proud of the fact that I've not managed to run out of ideas yet, haha. There are weeks when I'm stumped for ideas, but I'm proud that when I get an idea, I try my best to go through with it. I wouldn't class myself as a creative person and I've managed to keep being creative for so long, so I'm proud of myself for it.
Do these four represent your craft in some way in particular? Your best editing? Or the content is something that you particularly like?
I do feel these 4 represent my craft in some ways. 'Who is Anne Flanagan?' is one of my first fahnvids that I feel was more difficult to make. The way the lads edited together the original Anne Flanagan chronicles was pretty fast paced so it was difficult to chop up and edit the iconic clips together. The “Chipper vs Chippy: the True Story of the Discord St debate” was a milestone because it was the first time I collaborated with other fahns. We had such fun making this fahnvid and I wish we could make more! “Live Adaptation of Hotel Fort,” that I released recently is the first one where the majority of the footage used isn't actually FAH, but Monty Python!
Foil commented about this fahnvid: "SO much fun to see myself dubbed onto something I love so much!!!”
Chipper vs Chippy (FAH Parody): July 3, 2020
What was your first fahnvid?
My first fahnvid was a Foil Arms and Hog Laughing Compilation. It turned out to be a 3-part series on my YouTube channel. I have a part 4 in the making!
Why did you choose this subject or focus of the first fahnvid?
I was having a lively discussion on a Discord server about the lads, chatting about how much they giggle in their sketch outros. Hearing them laugh is such a serotonin booster. So, I decided to make a compilation!
Where do people mostly see your fahnvids?
Whenever I release a new fahnvid I usually announce it on Twitter, but recently, I have found that my videos are reaching more people through WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, even email! I mean, in the last month just from those avenues alone I have gained over 320 hours of watch time, which is crazy to think about.
Do you find that on different social media sites, people react differently to your work?
I have found that although Tumblr is usually a great way to reach people, my Tumblr followers are fonder of my Foil Arms and Hog gifs than my fahnvids. I usually get a lovely response on my Twitter account from my fahn friends, which is nice and appreciated greatly. Facebook, I didn't get much of a response so Twitter is the place to be, haha.
What is the general response so far to your fahnvids?
The majority I think enjoy them! I have had some comments with criticism and they were a little bit rude but I do appreciate criticism. In fact, I welcome it as it helps you become a better person and your creations can improve. It is nice though and warms my heart when I look through the comments of fahnart I have worked hard on and see that people do in fact love it just as much as I do.
I struggle with my self-confidence and self-esteem, so sometimes I'll post it and think "I actually don't feel it is any good" or "I'll post it but set it to private later". It is so encouraging when other fahns you admire comment on the video and [this] can really boost you [up].
Where do you get your ideas from for your video creations?
I will be honest, most times [the ideas] just pop into my head. I have FAH on my brain 70% of the time so sometimes ideas will just come to me. Other times, [an idea] will spawn from a conversation with another fahn. For example, I bought a shirt similar to the one Foil wore dressed as Saturday in the sketch "A Party with the Days of the Week.” Then a couple of months later, I bought a coat that is the spitting image of Hog's signature favorite coat [see outro]. I then had the idea to make a sort of cosplay fahnvid. That all spawned from someone posting a photo of Foil's shirt on Twitter. So, it just shows [how] ideas come from all sorts of places.
Who is Anne Flanagan?: August 14, 2020
Can you speak further to how you develop and execute your ideas for the fahnvids, maybe how you came up with one that you chose to post on the blog?
So, I noticed that there weren’t really very many compilations of Anne Flanagan saying all of our favorite catchphrases so I started compiling them. At the time it was a little difficult to make because I was on holiday in Wales in the UK. So, I had no wifi and I was camping where there was no signal. Therefore, I had to gather all the clips I needed before we left the house and signal. So, if I was missing a clip or something I wanted to add in last minute, it was tough and I had to make do with what I had. Uploading it to YouTube when I had finished was even harder! I ended up using my father’s unlimited mobile data for wifi and uploaded it while lying on a beach in the sun! Fun times though, haha.
Live Adaptation of 'Hotel Fort': October 24, 2020
How long does a fahnvid usually take?
A fahnvid, depending on subject and length, can take up to a day or 7 days. My Laughing compilation mentioned before, if I can remember correctly, took me a week to gather all of the different clips together. But one of my recent fahnvids only took 4 hours, and I was filming myself for that one!
Do you create only for FAH?
I do create with FAH in mind but I do not create for just them. I would like to say though that I wouldn't ever want to create something that would intentionally put them in a bad light. I like to keep it respectful, and wouldn't include personal/private information about the lads, neither would I disclose it in the comments.
Are you thinking about your larger audience at all when you create?
I try to make my videos accessible to as many [people] as possible and easy to watch. I made a good FAHn friend who watched my videos. They are hard of hearing and have sensory needs so have to rely on the subtitles. It made me realize that if Foil Arms and Hog's sketches had subtitles, then why shouldn't a fahnvid about them have subtitles too! I want to thank that friend for making me come to that realization. I'm always super grateful for their input and I hope they know that.
If you’re just working on one of the lads for a fahnvid and not all three, what is it that you’re interested in focusing on?
I like to try to pick on the bits people love about them. So far, I have made 2 Fahnvids focusing on Hog, 1 on Arms and I collaborated on one for Foil. Each of the fahnvids had a different purpose. For example, one of the fahnvids titled "Hog's True Identity" played on the fact he plays quite a few as*holes in their sketches. I used the audio from FAH's “Honest Personality” sketch as an overdub. So, the audio was nothing new, it was just merged with my fahnvid. It currently has just under 2.5k views. Hog's other dedicated fahnvid was to show off how awesome he is! Which leads perfectly onto the next question…
Can you say a bit more about how you choose images/sketches when you’re working on an individual lad’s fahnvid? You do talk about “Hog’s True Identity” but what about the ones you did for Arms or Foil? Could you say just a little bit more about these?
So, when I was looking to make Arms's fahnvid, "Arms Appreciation," I wanted to bring focus to some of the fahns’ favorite roles that he had played. For example, his part as Evil Gran, she is a well-loved character in the fahndom, so I obviously wanted her to make an appearance. Plus, I also wanted to put together some of the funnier lines that he says, such as in the "Luas Tannoy" sketch Arms says "for shits and giggles". I'm not a massive fan of putting swear words or blasphemy in my fahnvids, but this is a line that always cracks me up.
Foil Arms and Hog are Unstoppable: September 28, 2020
Can you take us through a little bit of your creative process with your favorite fahnvid? How do you approach starting?
I think actually starting a fahnvid is one of the hardest steps of the process. So, for example, "Foil Arms and Hog are Unstoppable" is unique from the rest of my videos because I started it with the song instead of the clips. I liked the song immediately when I heard it because it made me feel powerful and confident, and I knew that it would reflect well in a fahnvid. I then study the song, look at the lyrics, what they mean, and how they make me and others feel.
What do you look for in FAH sketches, clips, or interview material and why?
In the video I've chosen to discuss [“Foil Arms and Hog are Unstopple”], I looked for clips where each of the FAH members were confident or encouraging one another. For example, there is a clip included in slow motion where Hog encouragingly puts his hand on Foil's back as they get ready for something. Now, originally this clip is from a comedy promotional video where all 3 are playing video games, [and] it ends in disaster. But I wanted to include [this moment] slowed down because it is a rather touching moment.
Another clip is from a Patreon live stream. It lasts probably 4-5 seconds but this clip meant a lot to me. I made all 3 of the lads laugh with a comment that I made in the live chat, and it made me so happy to know that I made 3 comedy geniuses laugh. I wanted to include it because I wanted that little personal touch in there, even if I was the only one who knew why they were laughing.
How do you decide on the music to use for your videos?
This is a difficult one to answer because you can choose a song for your video, be halfway through the creative process, and then decide that your feelings towards the music have changed and suddenly you no longer like it. Or it can go the opposite, where you really love it, and then you show it to a trusted friend and they help you realize that actually the piece of music doesn't fit at all. Finding that balance can be difficult as I have often found out the hard way!
How do you decide what you want to include in a fahnvid?
It can be difficult sometimes because if you include too much in a fahnvid and there are too many short clips, it can be a bit of visual overload and if there is audio involved, viewers can lose a sense of what the video is about. Plus, from experience, I know that too many different sounds at once can be confusing, so I try to choose shots that either don't need sound or don't have sound in the first place. This makes those shots that do have sound way more worth it and they stand out.
I do not get it right 100% all of the time, it can seem in my eyes that there is nothing wrong with how I've have made it. That's the difficult part because you could be really happy with how you have made it, but if someone comes along and shows you how it could be better, trying to swallow that pride and have humility is hard.
Have FAH ever reacted to your fahnvids?
They have indeed! I sent the "Hog, the Legend" fahnvid straight to Hog and, although I can't say too much as he replied privately, he liked it! Foil loved the "Foil the Tachemaster" collaboration fahnvid; it made him want to wear another tache in a live show.
Earlier in the year in July, I collaborated with a group of my friends on a video about the difference of language in Ireland and England, focusing mainly on the names 'Chipper' and 'Chippy'. It was an awful lot of fun and the lads were actually involved in this in some small way! Hog and Arms in a Twitch stream and Foil in a Patreon message. You'll have to watch the video on my channel to find out their thoughts on the matter.
You’ve explained that you make these fahnvids on your phone, can you say what kind of phone you’re using and what sort of App you are using for these creations?
I use a Samsung A50 that is roughly 3 years old. I think making fahnvids on my phone definitely has aged it a little, and doesn't do wonders for my storage capacity or battery. At one time I had over 150 FAH sketch clips on my phone, ranging from 3 seconds to 3mins. Now, I have to prioritize what I keep and what I get rid of.
I use premier versions of 3 different apps and use all 3 to make one fahnvid. So [I’m] constantly going back and forth between apps called YouCut, MotionNinja and then SuperSound for audio.
What is it that you like about these apps?
I like how easy the apps are to use, and a lot of other video editing apps either don’t have enough tools to use or aren't easy to navigate. These apps, although simple, have enough tools and I find them easy to work. I used them even before fahnvidding, when I made little videos for the family and they still serve me well.
What does each App do?
YouCut is a regular video editor that I use for the base video. Now, what I mean about base video is that if it is just a case of putting clips together, along with a soundtrack and transitions. If I'm going to add other things to it, I'll use Motion Ninja. Motion Ninja is a little bit more confusing to use, but it enables me to put other videos on top of my base video. For an example of that, check out my Foil Arms and Hog Look book.
Did you experiment with different Apps before you settled on the three that you currently use?
I did, but found that none of them worked for me as well as [YouCut and MotionNinja] which I had already been using so I decided to stick with them!
Can you give any tips to potential fahnvidders about how to approach the process of making a fahnvid?4
I asked Foil for any tips when I started video editing, and it makes me giggle how true his words were. He said "you need so much patience" and you need "all of the shortcuts hardwired into your brain". It is true though! It does get easier after a while; you get used to it and you get faster and faster and it doesn't feel like such a drag!
Well, that wraps up my very first installment in the Ode to the FAHns series. A big "thank you!" to Twix for agreeing to be the first phenomenal contributor. It's been so interesting learning about how she makes her beautiful fahnvids. She has incredible skills and such creative ideas and I know that she will be making more exciting pieces of video art now and in the new year. Don't forget to subscribe to her YouTube channel or follow Twix on Twitter. Stay tuned for more Ode to the FAHns installments coming up in December!