Vicky_Rex was a roller coaster. I wanted to explore a historical persona in depth and learn what made her tick; I wanted to understand her in the context of my modern life. I think I accomplished that. I had not originally planned to study such an important historical figure, but Queen Victoria worked for the project, especially as so much about her later life is generally known. The early influences that we explored through the videos with the contextualization provided by the associated WordPress blog show clearly how she was shaped. In her later life, Victoria was famous for not permitting the Prince of Wales to participate in any business of state; a point of view that’s much more understandable – however much one may agree with it or not – when one understand how those nearest to her spent her entire youth and adolescence trying to take her power away from her both directly through regency and indirectly through marriage and manipulation. Though I had no affection for her prior to this project, I have developed a lot of respect for Queen Victoria.
I am quite pleased with how the videos turned out. I had no experience in film or editing before – just a lot of theater experience. I learned to use a lot of different editing platforms and how to correct for the poor microphone as I was filming on the camera that came attached to my laptop. I do wish I’d been able to turn off the brightness auto-correct, but this affected the final product less than the low recording volume. In addition, since Vicky would not have had experience with these technical aspects, my own learning curve would likely have matched hers. I think the costuming and scene decisions I made worked well for the project. Likewise the specific language choices worked well to create the impression of someone out of sync with her peer group.
The key frustration was the lack of feedback. I had hoped that my early viewers would provide comments so that I had an idea of how to develop the project as it went forward. Also, I would have liked to incorporate more comments, to develop a back and forth communication with people watching. One of my viewers did mention that she was afraid to comment on the videos themselves because she didn’t want to make all her details available on YouTube, but she asked me several questions expanding from the videos on exactly the way I’d hoped.
All in all, I’m really pleased with the effort and the results and I hope to be able to come back to Vicky as she matures. I think it would be especially interesting to cover the first few years of her reign from the coronation through the birth of the Prince of Wales, which would cover the scandals of the years before she married, the struggle to form a partnership with the Prince Consort, and her reconciliation with her mother following the birth of the Princess Royal.