New Recommended AMVs Topic: Narrative

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New Recommended AMVs Topic: Narrative

Postby pink haze » Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:19 am

I would like to see a section in the Recommended AMVs thread that showcases videos that specifically tell stories. The thread exists as a "record of what people consider to be truly great videos," and there seems to be a number of videos that are great primarily because of their narrative elements. The classic example is "Tainted Doughnuts." It's story is easy to follow and convincing: Spike hunts Vash for a bounty.
I have listed more narrative videos at the end of this post.

This type of video may be a specific facet of the "drama" genre, depending on how that is defined on this site. I am not sure if a drama video must tell a story or if it must simply be "dramatic," that is, particularly striking or moving. I suspect that many people would accept either meaning. However it is arranged, I would define the Narrative category as follows:

The main focus of a music video in this class should be to tell a story by showing an incident or series of connected events that form a coherent plot. The plot may be simple or complex, presented chronologically or riddled with flashbacks, but it shouldn't just be a collection of scenes linked by a common theme. A story must report something that happened.

It may be a good idea to restrict this category to only the "Original Narrative," such that the story should be for the most part the creation of the music video maker. In this case it would not suffice to merely recount the plot of the anime from which the footage is taken. That story would not be the creator's work, which is what the Original Narrative thread should exhibit. It would be acceptable for a video to tell a story from an anime as long as it is largely original, either because it has been somewhat changed or shown in a new light.
I should probably clarify on this last point. The story needn't actually be the creator's own work, as long as it was not first shown in that anime. For example, a music video that tells the story of Cinderella with Sailormoon characters would be considered an Original Narrative video.

Either way, the Narrative is a worthy category for the AMV Recommendations thread.

[vidid=86946]
Here the characters remain virtually as they are personality-wise, but they perform actions that never happened in the anime.

[vidid=76905]
A more surreal approach to storytelling, taking place in Squall's dream.

[vidid=155825]
Liner story almost from beginning to end, plus one flashback.

[vidid=5967]
An example of 2nd person and non-linear storytelling.

[vidid=144490]
A completely new situation is created with virtually no connection to the plot of the anime. Closest thing I could find to an allegory.

[vidid=90650]
And that's when Sasuke chidoried Hinata.

Thank you for considering my recommendation.
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Postby Emotive » Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:44 am

The existance of a specific storyline, if any at all, in a video is a very relative thing..

You might see a full and complete storyline in a video while even the creator didn't intend it, or you might see a video as "just scenes linked to a theme without a certain storyline" while there's a complete storyline hidden behind it or one you just couldn't get for any reason.

For example, someone may want to describe an LSD trip, showing someone being attacked by walls, communicating with trees and flowers, experiencing lots of things and in the end managing to fall asleep. Now, does it have a storyline or does it not? Whether you say it does or it doesn't, someone will contradict you.. Because this can be the story of someone who took LSD and then he was attacked by walls and then he went and communicated with the nature and then he heard a mosquito passing by and acted weird e.t.c. until, in the end, he fell asleep, BUT it could also be interpreted as various scenes surrounding the given theme (the various effects the drug had on the character) in no specific order, with no real continuation of the events shown..
So as much as you insist those events were in a random order and the video had no storyline the creator might insist that these scenes were in the exact order that it all happened and thus the video had a storyline.
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Postby JaddziaDax » Tue Jul 08, 2008 11:04 am

[vidid=143924]

this has a specific storyline
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Postby pink haze » Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:11 pm

In response to Cast to Stone's post:

If the creator intended for a music video to have a storyline but they made it in such a way that it is nigh unrecognizable by the audience, then the creator failed in their attempt to communicate their story. Such a music video would not make it on the best Narrative video list, naturally.

Now, if someone were to successfully execute a story about a person who takes LSD, hallucinates that they are attacked by walls, communicates with nature, hears a mosquito passing by, acts weird, etc. until they fall asleep in the end, that would be quite a music video. Keeping the LSD trip as disorganized and mind-blowing as it should be while still giving the audience enough clues as to what is really going on that they can get it would require a lot of good directing.
That is, in fact, the case with most storylines in music videos. People often have to find just the perfect clips, synch with complicated lyrics, and use a lot of complex effects to make their story recognizable. That takes a lot of work when it's done right. Such ambitious efforts should be recognized and applauded.

Thank you for your attention and posts, everyone.
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Postby DriftRoot » Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:41 am

I suppose the thing to ask is why there needs to be a separate thread for storyline - is it impossible/illogical to recommend a particular AMV because a category currently doesn't exist to accommodate it? There are series threads, genre threads and technical threads - two of those easily encompass narrative excellence. Besides, it's easy enough (and a good idea) to state why you're recommending a video in the post. If you're recommending it because it's got a great storyline, then say so.
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Postby JaddziaDax » Wed Jul 09, 2008 2:58 pm

might be a good idea for a rec thread on the forum, but i donno... perhaps good for search function?

but i don't really see it being too useful for when VCAs come around or the top 10%
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Postby pink haze » Wed Jul 09, 2008 3:11 pm

In response to DriftRoot's post:

I take it you are questioning why, if one finds an AMV with an excellent storyline and wants to recommend it, one should not do the following: instead of create a new thread in the Recommended AMVs area, find a category among the existing series, genre, or technical threads that a specific video with Narrative excellence would fit in, and add it there.

The flaw in this argument stems from the fact that it only considers the point of view of one who wishes to advertise good AMVs. Advertising requires an audience or it is useless. By nature the Recommended AMVs thread exists just as much (if not more so) for those who use it to find good videos as it does for those who want to spread the word about good videos they have found. Many of the good narrative videos listed above could be (and indeed are) listed in the Recommended AMVs thread under other categories where their narrative qualities might be mentioned, but they would not all be listed together.
I got the idea for this post in the first place not because I have a list of music videos I want other people to see, but because narrative videos happen to be my favorite. I want to see more myself, so a new category in the Recommended AMVs thread would be ideal. But my personal preferences are unimportant--what matters is, does the Narrative genre merit its own category? I believe it does, and I have stated why.

Oh, and lastly:
Besides, it's easy enough (and a good idea) to state why you're recommending a video in the post.

I may as well correct this for anyone who doesn't know. It is not only "easy enough (and a good idea)," it is also required, as stated in the rules for the forum.
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Postby DriftRoot » Thu Jul 10, 2008 11:48 am

pink haze wrote:In response to DriftRoot's post:

I take it you are questioning why, if one finds an AMV with an excellent storyline and wants to recommend it, one should not do the following: instead of create a new thread in the Recommended AMVs area, find a category among the existing series, genre, or technical threads that a specific video with Narrative excellence would fit in, and add it there.


I'm not questioning why, precisely, I'm questioning how "narrative excellence" fits into the current range of video types. Right now one can argue over whether a video deserves to be recommended as the best in its field, but it's much harder to argue over whether it deserves to be in the category it's placed in. You throw something like a "narrative excellence" category in there, which can be a highly subjective term, and suddenly that opens debate about what is narrative excellence on TOP of whether a video deserves to be recommended for it. As such, "narrative excellence" doesn't really seem to fit amongst the other categories - it's not a certain KIND of video..

Don't get me wrong, if a category like that was added I would be interested in what was there. I just wonder what kind of slippery slope that starts for OTHER new categories of videos.

pink haze wrote:Oh, and lastly:
Besides, it's easy enough (and a good idea) to state why you're recommending a video in the post.

I may as well correct this for anyone who doesn't know. It is not only "easy enough (and a good idea)," it is also required, as stated in the rules for the forum.


Yes, but that doesn't always happen, and it's easy for a video with a good storyline to be described in glowing terms without any reference TO storyline.
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Postby LivingFlame » Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:03 pm

But if I'm looking specifically for an AMV with a good narrative in it, why should I be relegated to skimming every other suggestion thread, praying to God that I'll find someone that was specific enough to say, "this video has a good story in it," instead of just clicking on the bright blue topic link that lets me know, up front, that the videos suggested within will have storylines, or some semblance thereof?



Holy beef taco, Batman; that's a long sentence, and probably not 100% grammatically sound...
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Postby pink haze » Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:26 pm

In response to DriftRoot's post:
This is going to be a long one. Bear with me.

If I am correct, then you have made the following arguments:
1) A Narrative video is not really a "kind" of video, so the Narrative category does not fit in with the other categories in the Rec Forum.
2) The Narrative category is too subjective.

In response to argument 1:
From the Rules for the Rec Forum:
If you feel that there is a genre, style or popular show that would be good to have a list of recommended videos then please tell us by posting in the Site Feedback fourm.

(the spelling error exists within the original text.) Clearly, the Narrative category would not go under "popular show." That leaves "genre" and "style."

Webster defines "genre" as follows:
1: kind, sort
2: a category of artistic, musical, or literary composition characterized by a particular style, form, or content

The Dance/Upbeat category of music videos (artistic compositions) is "fun and upbeat - perhaps about dancing or good times." "Fun and upbeat" is a style; "dancing or good times" is content.
The Special Effects category of music videos is characterized by its inclusion of "masking, rotoscoping, colour manipulations, 2D and 3D original animation, image distorting, warping, morphing, transitions and so on" (content).
The Narrative category of music videos is characterized by its recognizable storyline or plot (content or form).

So a Narrative video is a legitimate genre, or a "kind" of video, and as such it would fit in with the other categories.

In response to argument 2:

Argument 2 was, I repeat, that the Narrative category is too subjective. Firstly, I will point out that some categories are subjective by nature, such as "sentimental."
From the Sentimental Videos thread in the Rec forum:
amvs that contain sentimental themes - i.e. ones that are not quite dramatic and not quite romantic. These can be sympathetic or uplifting depending on the video.

So basically you figure out whether or not a video is sentimental by how it makes you feel (or if you're lucky the creator checked "sentimental" when they uploaded it), and you determine how good a sentimental video it is by how strongly it moves you. You can't get much more subjective than that.

But this may be a moot point, for I have been attempting to define the Narrative video objectively from the beginning. In short, it is a video that was created to communicate to its audience a story, and that does so successfully (if the audience can't find a storyline, it wasn't a success).
We all watch movies--we know a plot when we see it. Whether we do it objectively or subjectively doesn't really matter as long as most of us can tell at the end of the day. Besides, usually when people intend for there to be a story in their video, they include something about it in their comments. That makes it even easier.

This is a side note, so I'll stick it at the end:
Right now one can argue over whether a video deserves to be recommended as the best in its field, but it's much harder to argue over whether it deserves to be in the category it's placed in.

To the contrary, logically it should be nigh impossible to convincingly argue that a video is the best in its field if one cannot convincingly argue that it belongs in that field at all.
Also, the category definitions at the beginning of each section of the Rec Forum help people determine what category a video falls into, if the video is not already labeled by its creator or if it is not intuitively obvious. Deciding which video you think is the best and coming up with proof requires more thought and effort.

I hope I have not misunderstood you, DriftRoot, and that I do not sound argumentative.
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Postby DriftRoot » Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:34 pm

I hope I have not misunderstood you, DriftRoot, and that I do not sound argumentative.

You kind of understood me very well, we’re actually agreeing on several points. We just disagree on their ramifications. hehe

Argumentative is one thing, discussing a topic for the sake of discussing a topic is another. I’m doing the latter. I don‘t like to argue with people, it gives me the uncomfortable feeling that there‘s going to be a “winner“ and a “loser“ at some point and if that’s going to happen, I’d rather not say anything at all. I’m a Libra, we love harmony and balance and stuff…however, we also love to be overly analytical:

pink haze wrote:Clearly, the Narrative category would not go under "popular show." That leaves "genre" and "style."


What do you mean it wouldn't go under "popular show?" A great Princess Tutu video can't have a great storyline? I would argue that it's those kinds of videos that stand out from the crowd when considering notable AMVs from specific series.

Webster defines "genre" as follows:
1: kind, sort
2: a category of artistic, musical, or literary composition characterized by a particular style, form, or content

The Narrative category of music videos is characterized by its recognizable storyline or plot (content or form).


Discussion about what kinds of AMVs warrant their own categories has been ongoing for quite some time. You start making the case for too many things which can already be described by existing genres and things get really messy, really fast. Justifying a category because it's a "kind" or "sort" (two very short words) isn't good enough. Is a category for satirical videos appropriate? War-themed videos? AMV Hell videos? (Now there's one that's been suggested and that I personally would like to see implemented.) The general argument has been that if the proposed category can already be accommodated under one (or more) of the others, then there's no need for it. The recommended forum is a little different case - it splits some existing categories into further ones - but hopefully you see what I'm getting at.

Argument 2 was, I repeat, that the Narrative category is too subjective. Firstly, I will point out that some categories are subjective by nature, such as "sentimental."

But this may be a moot point, for I have been attempting to define the Narrative video objectively from the beginning. In short, it is a video that was created to communicate to its audience a story, and that does so successfully (if the audience can't find a storyline, it wasn't a success).”
We all watch movies--we know a plot when we see it. Whether we do it objectively or subjectively doesn't really matter as long as most of us can tell at the end of the day. Besides, usually when people intend for there to be a story in their video, they include something about it in their comments. That makes it even easier.


You just sort of proved my point about not introducing a category which can inherently be argued over. :)

Firstly, you can fail to move someone emotionally with your video and have agreement that it was intended to be a sentimental video. Same thing with horror - just because you weren’t scared doesn’t mean it wasn’t a horror video. Watched an effects video? Hard to argue about whether it has effects. But storyline? Just because YOU say it has a storyline doesn’t mean the next person thinks it does. Succeed or fail, a drama/action/romance/horror/etc. video can usually be identified as such. For instances where that can’t be determined, we have the “other” category.

Secondly, a narrative video (which certainly DO exist) is dependent upon the creator’s skill at bringing a story forward, not to mention the viewer’s ability to comprehend a storyline. To say a category for narrative videos should exist is to say that a category should exist which pre-supposes success. The other categories do NOT presuppose success to be valid as categories. You seem to agree with this.

From the Sentimental Videos thread in the Rec forum:
amvs that contain sentimental themes - i.e. ones that are not quite dramatic and not quite romantic. These can be sympathetic or uplifting depending on the video.


According to what you quoted, the “sentimental” category exists because there are videos wouldn’t fit well into either the dramatic or romantic categories I’d like to see the narrative video that experiences a similar problem.

This is a side note, so I'll stick it at the end:
Right now one can argue over whether a video deserves to be recommended as the best in its field, but it's much harder to argue over whether it deserves to be in the category it's placed in.

To the contrary, logically it should be nigh impossible to convincingly argue that a video is the best in its field if one cannot convincingly argue that it belongs in that field at all.
Also, the category definitions at the beginning of each section of the Rec Forum help people determine what category a video falls into, if the video is not already labeled by its creator or if it is not intuitively obvious. Deciding which video you think is the best and coming up with proof requires more thought and effort.


Hopefully I’m not misunderstanding you, but that’s it exactly. Again, the definition of narrative success CAN be argued over. One person can recommend a video because they feel it has a great storyline and another person can watch it and see no storyline worth noting. “Storyline” runs the gamut from in-your-face, play-by-play types to those that have very subtle, but excellent, presentation. Which kind of "narrative" are you talking about saying is "narrative"? Is one not more valid than the other as a strong narrative? Is a subtle narrative inherently inferior to a knock-you-over-the-head-with-a-brick narrative? Would someone watch an AMV with a subtle narrative and completely fail to see any narrative at all? So many questions.

Compare this to a video which is chock full of lip synching - if it’s recommended as a lip-synched video then you know darn well it’s going to have lip synching. It’s going to be unmistakable. There is going to be NO question as to what that video is doing in that category. Yeah, it could be bad lip-synching, but it’s still recognizable as lip-synching and the burden of proof, as it were, falls on the individual to defend why they nominated it, NOT why it belongs in that category.

In any case, you posted a thread suggesting a "Narrative" category in the Recommended forum. Now we just have to wait to see what happens. Debating the matter until we're blue in the face isn't really going to do either of us much good, because it's out of our hands. It doesn't make a lot of difference to me, one way or another, I'd just be curious as to the rational behind it (one way or another). ^_^
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Postby BasharOfTheAges » Thu Jul 10, 2008 11:26 pm

I hardly think people not using it correctly is a reason to say no to the recommendation - subjectivity is what allows users to recommend complete crap in any thread already.

To think of it on a more basic level, we already have action, dance, and effects videos recommendations, why not have the element that is widely mis-attributed to be the antithesis of those things (videos with an actual story)? :wink:

Also, it's not like getting a thread in that forum is a big to-do, they offer threads for specific series for christ's sake. Anything more defined than that should be put up - it's not going to be used that much anyways, and it'll end up like every other rec thread - half full of fanboys with no taste spouting crap about vids that have already been on the list 4 times already and friends jerking each other off.
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Postby JaddziaDax » Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:34 am

what about the fangirls?
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Postby DriftRoot » Fri Jul 11, 2008 11:32 am

BasharOfTheAges wrote:I hardly think people not using it correctly is a reason to say no to the recommendation - subjectivity is what allows users to recommend complete crap in any thread already.


It just seems to me that the current categories are pretty clear-cut for a reason. If if the reason is that no one's ever bothered suggesting dozens of other recommended categories not already covered by the current ones, then ok - fine. Let's recommend tons of other categories and see what happens. One reason I really like that forum is because it IS so structured; it's not a thread spam-fest. I tend to assume the powers that be keep control over what new threads can be posted because they don't want that forum devolving into a big mess full of people's ideas about what constitutes a type of video.

To think of it on a more basic level, we already have action, dance, and effects videos recommendations, why not have the element that is widely mis-attributed to be the antithesis of those things (videos with an actual story)? :wink:


That element can be found in those types of videos, which is - I'd say - what would move them into a cross-category genre. For instance, an intense action video with a strong storyline also counts as a drama video. In this case, finding an action video in the drama thread would likely mean it has some kind of storyline.

Also, it's not like getting a thread in that forum is a big to-do, they offer threads for specific series for christ's sake. Anything more defined than that should be put up - it's not going to be used that much anyways, and it'll end up like every other rec thread - half full of fanboys with no taste spouting crap about vids that have already been on the list 4 times already and friends jerking each other off.


So you went from saying a narrative category should be implemented because it is really worthwhile and important to saying it should be implemented because it's worthless and pointless anyways? :?

I think I covered all the reasons I feel a narrative category doesn't really fit with the existing format of that forum...if those reasons are inaccurate, then it would be helpful if someone who knows why categories like that aren't in the Rec. Forum says so, because this is all just conjecture. I'm not trying to dictate how the forum should be set up, I'm just analyzing what's currently there and stating what I see. If a "narrative" category were there, then that would alter the equation and my conclusion probably would be that someone asked for a narrative category and the admins decided it wasn't against the format of that forum and let it in. To me, this would advertise that they're open to categorizing videos in ways that aren't currently defined anywhere else on this site.
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Postby BasharOfTheAges » Fri Jul 11, 2008 4:19 pm

DriftRoot wrote:
Also, it's not like getting a thread in that forum is a big to-do, they offer threads for specific series for christ's sake. Anything more defined than that should be put up - it's not going to be used that much anyways, and it'll end up like every other rec thread - half full of fanboys with no taste spouting crap about vids that have already been on the list 4 times already and friends jerking each other off.


So you went from saying a narrative category should be implemented because it is really worthwhile and important to saying it should be implemented because it's worthless and pointless anyways? :?
My pointless/worthless comments were about the way things are in the rec forum in general and my agreement that the thread would be a good idea is partly split between it being a good idea and the fact that getting a thread on there isn't something even worthy of debate. It's not the sacred cow you're making it out to be.
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