Review - The Epic Of Griffith - Reggie Smalls

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Review - The Epic Of Griffith - Reggie Smalls

Postby Fall_Child42 » Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:28 am

The story of these threads goes like this.

People are currently discussing what the mods are going to do for us to 'fix' the org. The mods and admins are very powerful people indeed but the rest of us are not newborn babes flailing around on the floor trying to choke ourselves with batteries. We as users can do something ourselves.

During one of these many discussion godIX mentioned perhaps one of the finest things I have ever heard him say, and as a bonus it was not filled with Cuss words and obscene sexual references.

What godIX said was that, being more involved in the community could be as simple as "if you see a neat video, tell other people about it" The "tell people about it" was combined with the idea that people might like to discuss with each other about the video and not simply give a :up: and be on their way.

From there we discussed having a blog somewhat similar to the AMVNews.ru homepage, but decided that threads right here on the org would be alot more convenient and simpler for people to find.

These threads will have one main purpose, to pick a neat video and encourage discourse between many members as to what they thought, what they liked, what they didn't like, and what the video meant to them. Also this will serve as a depository of several "highlighted videos" so people can read what was written and decide if they themselves want to check it out.

There will be a core group of people looking after these threads, but the threads are open for anyone to participate in, and anyone who wants should create a thread as long as if follows 4 simple rules.

1.)The video will not be posted by the creator (we have announcement forums for that)
2.)The video will not have a currently active announcement thread.
3.)The thread creator should post their thoughts on the video to initiate discussion.
4.)The thread will start with a copy and paste of these 4 rules.

For the very first thread of this series I have selected is a unique yet ambitious video by novice editor ReggieSmalls.



This video uses a spoken word retelling of the epic of Gilgamesh and casts Griffith from Berserk as Gilgamesh.
Now this video does not take the term "epic" as lightly as we on the internet tend to do now a days. An epic is something "large in scale or breadth" and at a whopping 10:11 this is a large video. However I can honestly say that I have seen a videos half the run-time seem about 4 times as long. I attribute this to the audio, but also the very good pacing and scene selection. I think the scene selection is what makes this video, it's like watching an animated story book everything fits so well.

What did you think of it? Just an interesting experiment or a classic well put together AMV?

I look forward to seeing what others think.
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Re: Review - The Epic Of Griffith - Reggie Smalls

Postby CastielTheFallen » Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:31 am

Classic well put together AMV. I've been pullin' for Reggie for rookie of the year pretty much since I first met him, he has a natural talent for amvs, he really does.
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Re: Review - The Epic Of Griffith - Reggie Smalls

Postby macchinainterna » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:37 am

What I like the most about The Epic of Griffith is that it doesn't rely on any effects or additional sources to tell it's story. Also, the audio is spoken, not sung, which makes all the more engaging for me. What makes this video work so well is the skillful editing Reggie put into it. It's clean, it's coherent, it's well paced with the dialogue, and the visuals are especially fitting to this retelling of Gilgamesh. The editing MAKES THIS VIDEO.

By far one of Reggie's very best works. Very highly recommended :up: :up:
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Re: Review - The Epic Of Griffith - Reggie Smalls

Postby CodeZTM » Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:09 pm

When watching this video, I can't help but first think "unique". The style in this AMV isn't really anything I've seen yet before. The audio isn't typical, the anime isn't typical, and the editing/storytelling isn't typical. This is something that more AMV's need to experiment with. Not this style, per se, but rather trying new and unique things, rather than the typical AMV's that we see on a daily basis.

In terms of quality control, the AMV is as pretty as anyone can really expect it to be.

In terms of editing, I thought the scene selection was the best aspect of it. Having seen Berserk, I can definitely say that it was probably a painstakingly long time to find perfectly scenery to match up with the storytelling that the audio was portraying. Best of all, I really thought that the scenes did a great job of adding to the audio, creating the story that the audio's creator was originally intending to tell. The straight cuts did a great job of keeping with the fast pace of the talking, and hitting just the right amount of time for each scene, and keeping the story/pace interesting. Heck, it's a 10 minute AMV and I didn't realize it until I was done watching it. That in and of itself is a great accomplishment to make 10 minutes entertaining when I usually have issues keeping track of 4 minute AMV's.

It goes without saying that the storytelling was fantastic, and it was well executed in a manner that was both entertaining and interesting.

What can I criticize about the AMV?

Honestly, there wasn't anything that just stood out as "bad" or "distractingly annoying", but something I did notice is that there was a lot of scenery changes that were somewhat radical. Like a scene at night fast forwarding to the next evening, with both characters being dressed/armored/weaponed radically different. There were also instances where the setting changed radically. Like when Guts moved into the shepards area, and it seemed to have 3 different areas that seems to be the shepards area. A cottage, a large tented area and several other places.

Most of that is just nitpicking, and wasn't a detractor from the AMV.

Overall: It was a well executed and entertaining story that was a nice history lesson.
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Re: Review - The Epic Of Griffith - Reggie Smalls

Postby godix » Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:45 pm

First, a meta thing on the concept of this. Reviews have been done on this site before, in several different forms, and they always fell apart because one person was in charge and eventually they got bored with it. To, perhaps, combat that this is intentionally designed to be simple and with no single person in charge. Just because FC and I discussed this and decided to do it does not mean we're the only ones who could do it. If anyone else wants to start a thread like this, I highly encourage you to do so. However, if someone wants to see a video covered but doesn't want to step up and do it, you could PM FC or I to do it. Won't promise we actually will, but we'll at least think about doing it.

Also, while I didn't curse in the exact sentence FC quoted me on, I did curse in the sentences leading up to it. Gotta protect my rep ya know. However, I'll refrain from flaming in these threads.

As for the video, the good is that is was novel. Few vids try spoken word. For the most part, the closest are trailers and those are very different than this was. Given the length, the scene selection was rather good. There were some spots where the video and audio seemed very unrelated, especially at the start, but overall a good job at lyric syncing (well, not lyrics, but you know what I mean). While a 10 minute long video is kinda intimidating in a 'Do I want to watch this shit for 10 minutes' sort of way, it actually went by quickly. This kept my attention the whole time, something that many videos far shorter fail to do.

The bad is that often the background changed between scenes, as Code mentioned, and that a lot of scenes just didn't mesh well together. Which kinda ruined the flow for me. The video portion just doesn't hold up well. I suppose the simplest way to put it is that with trailers, or anime for that matter, you can generally tell there's a story without the audio. Even if you don't get the story because audio is muted, you can tell there is one. With this video, if I muted the audio I wouldn't have even guessed there was a story going on by the video alone.

Overall, I liked the attempt to use spoken word more than I liked the results. This isn't a bad video, but it's not a great one either. Some attempt to unify scenes more would have helped a lot in my opinion. Although it would have made the already difficult problem of selecting scenes for a 10 minute video even worse, or required heavy (but subtle) effect work which would take a shitton of effort. So it was a nice try and enjoyable to watch, but there's plenty of room for improvement if someone tries a similar idea in the future.
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Re: Review - The Epic Of Griffith - Reggie Smalls

Postby MycathatesyouAMV » Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:23 pm

I really enjoyed it and think it has a good case so far for VCA AMV of the Year. The scene choice was all perfect, and I was amazed how he put it all together.
Talk to me on skypes and stuffs: Mycathatesyou0000
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Re: Review - The Epic Of Griffith - Reggie Smalls

Postby Fall_Child42 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:56 pm

godix wrote:I suppose the simplest way to put it is that with trailers, or anime for that matter, you can generally tell there's a story without the audio.


I can see what you and code mean about the massive disparity between some of the scene changes, so I agree when big background changes and costumechanges happen without reason it does kind of throw the viewer off a little, but I must disagree with your method of determining a story.

True often times with trailers, anime, or movies you can tell what is going on without the audio but that is only beacuse these things often are extremely simplistic.

This is true with trailers especially

Establishment shot
Protagonist
Problem
Antagonist
Explosions
Name of movie.

Hell with trailers I don't even need video or audio to know what's going on.

but I think if we were to expand your method to something with a more complex story, like Lain, or Trapeze, Or a shakspere play I would find it very difficult to know what is going on with out the audio. So I don't think that if you can't tell what the story is without audio doesn't automatically make it bad.
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Re: Review - The Epic Of Griffith - Reggie Smalls

Postby godix » Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:38 pm

Dr.Dinosaur wrote:but I think if we were to expand your method to something with a more complex story, like Lain, or Trapeze, Or a shakspere play I would find it very difficult to know what is going on with out the audio. So I don't think that if you can't tell what the story is without audio doesn't automatically make it bad.

Note, I did *NOT* say I could always follow the story without audio (hell, Lain's hard enough to follow even with audio), I said I could tell there was a story. My issue is that the 'massive disparity between some of the scene changes' made it look like random scenes strung together. Clothes, background, the prominent color scheme, and occasionally even night and day would change in an instant, then change back the very next instant. With the audio, I could follow the story so it was ok, but it was a weakness of the visual part of the vid and would have been better if scene selection/effects were used to flow together better. But that would take a hell of a lot of effects work effort and/or be even harder to find scenes than it must have already been, so I know why it wasn't done.
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Re: Review - The Epic Of Griffith - Reggie Smalls

Postby CayenneFashionista » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:30 pm

I kind of figured all the scene changes between night and day and costumes, etc. just contributed to the idea that it was a very long story to tell, and encompassed a great amount of time. So then, it was being summarized and abbreviated somewhat in the telling of the story.

For me, that aspect just added to fact that this was, in fact, an epic.
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Re: Review - The Epic Of Griffith - Reggie Smalls

Postby CrackTheSky » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:11 pm

I groaned when I saw what FC had posted. Spoken word? Ten minutes? Berserk? Ugh.

But holy crap, that ended up being the best video I've probably seen in the last year or so. I loved the scene selection - some of the best storytelling I've come across in any video ever, although to be fair it was pretty much forced considering the audio choice. But what impressed me was simply how fricking well almost EVERY scene seemed to fit the story perfectly (although admittedly, the first minute of the video was pretty dry). I've never seen Berserk, but if I didn't know better, I'd have thought that the anime itself was a retelling of the Gilgamesh epic.

The editing is also worth noting, since there are no (that I noticed) crossfades. All hard cuts. Major props for that, and I think it really helped with the video's flow. I also really like the fact that there were no effects, and that I was able to sit riveted through a ten-minute video without even once thinking that the editor should have used some.

I also like this video for the simple fact that it's ballsy. Not many people would put all the time it probably took to make this into any kind of ten-minute video, much less a spoken word one. While I don't think this is the kind of video that signals any sort of AMV trend, I cannot articulate how awesome I think it is that I just saw something that was completely new and proportionally entertaining. This is outside-the-box thinking, and in a time when there's so little innovation and it's getting almost impossible to point to any AMV and say, "I haven't seen THAT before", I consider that high praise.
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