- Member: Kusoyaro
- Studio: Kusoyaro Productions
- Title: Sappy Self-Indulgence
- Premiered: 2002-09-25
- Moulin Rouge Elephant Love Medley
- Moulin Rouge Soundtrack Elephant Love Medley
- AWA Exposition Contest, AWA Exposition Contest (2002-09-27)
- Katsucon, Katsucon (2003-02-14)
Ever since I saw Moulin Rouge last year, I knew I wanted to do SOME sort of video involving its music. When it came out on DVD, I watched it again and prayed that the soundtrack included the medley from the scene on the elephant. When I finally got the soundtrack and found the song on it, I listened to it incessantly and sent it to my friends to ask for their opinion. Most of them were were like, "Uh.....I dunno, it sounds like it could be really silly and stupid." I agreed, but I was determined to make the video anyway. I knew from the outset that it had the potential to be the most embarassing thing I'd ever made, but I also thought there was a small chance it could turn out great. I thought the title of the song was funny, so I called it the "Beastiality Porn Video," which I eventually just shortened to "The BP Project." As I began work on it, I realized how disgustingly sappy and self-indulgent it was, which is how it got its final title.
The "song" is essentially a conversation between Christian and Satine, played by Ewan MacGregor and Nicole Kidman. Christian is serenading Satine, who resists the idea of love. The song starts out silly, then becomes more serious as Christian pours his heart out. Near the end, Satine finally comes around, and by the very end, the two are in love.
Christian and Satine sing several "songs" throughout the track, and because each "song" has a different mood and melody, I wanted to use a different anime for each part. Before starting the video I planned out which anime I would use for each part, but a lot of it ended up changing as I got into the editing. For the sillier songs in the beginning I use shows like Hand Maid May (okay, so May and PURPLE GUY aren't really a couple, but there were some perfect scenes) and Goldenboy. The second half of the video uses more heavily romantic animes such as Escaflowne and Ah! My Goddess.
I knew from the very beginning that the video would jump around a lot, from character to character, scene to scene. It sort of breaks the illusion of one continuous conversation between two characters, but I felt capturing the emotions and relationships of the characters was more important than linear continuity.
I really wanted to try something different with this video. Not from a technical standpoint, but more in terms of editing technique. Because the audio is more of a dialogue than a song, I tried to edit it a bit differently than I normally do. Instead of hitting just the musical cues, I tried to incorporate edits during natural breaks in the "conversation," or, when appropriate, I used reaction shots. Often, a character will be talking, and it will suddenly cut to a shot of the character they are speaking to -- I wanted it to have the feeling of a dialogue in a film, where edits follow the rhythm of the conversation.
There is also, of course, a massive amount of lip syncing. I used a variety of techniques for this, depending on which specific scene I was working with. I used image masks, repeated frames, frame-by-frame Photoshopping, drawing in my own mouths, you name it. And it was a massive pain in the ass. The syncing was direly important to me, so I was extremely anal about it. When I was editing, I started by lip syncing NOTHING, and just laid down lip-flapping scenes where they belonged. So after an initial pass, the video theoretically had all the scenes laid out in the right sequence, and if you watched it, it would look like a complete video with horrendous lip syncing. Then I went back and tweaked every scene on a frame-by-frame basis to get the mouth movements right. I guess that makes it sound like the editing process was a pretty quick and simple process, but it was actually one of the hardest editing jobs I've done.
The "climax" of the video, starting with "We could be heroes," and ending with "Iiiiii will always love you" was painful to do. I originally envisioned very dramatic, complex overlays, with the vocal line passing from character to character, and a mix of romantic and visually rich scenes flowing in and out in layers. For instance -- in the very lowest layer I had the entire sequence from Escaflowne in which Van returns to Earth for Hitomi, fading in and out of various levels of transparency while other scenes played in the foreground. Well, it ended up looking WAY too confusing and cluttered, so as an experiment, I took out everything BUT the Escaflowne. It looked fantastic.
So I was reluctantly forced to simplify the whole sequence a LOT, though I cut the Escaflowne content down significantly to make room for footage from the other sources. I tried to catch every series in the final sequence, but Goldenboy and Eva didn't make it. Goldenboy just didn't have any appropriate scenes, and I admit that the only reason Eva is in the video at all is for the line about drinking ^^;;
The very end of the video was the first part I did. I knew from the very beginning that the video would end with Ifurita falling into Makoto's arms and singing "How wonderful life is, now you're in the world." I also added in the scene where Tamahome finally finds Miaka. It felt perfect in every way. I cut off a bit of the song at the end because I didn't feel it added anything -- and I couldn't think of any footage that would fit there without ruining the flow of the video.
All in all, I think the video came out so-so. It started out wildly ambitious, and the version that I initially envisioned in my head was the best video I had ever made. Unfortunately, that version contained a lot of scenes that never existed. I thought they did, but I actually just imagined them ^_^;; Or rather, I assumed that, say, in a 26-episode series, there would be at least one scene of Van speaking emphatically, with one hand on Hitomi's shoulder ("We could be heroes!!"). Well, if there was one, I either missed it while capturing, or the angle wasn't right or something.
Special thanks to Patrick Bohnet, William Milberry, and Ian Roberts for help on some of the finer technical points of lip syncing and imaging masking, and to Kwasek for helping me create some mouth animations for lip syncing.
Awarded VAT talent awards at AWA 8:
Patrick Bohnet's "Happiness" Award
Lee Thompson's "VAT Talent" Award
Winner at Katsucon 9:
Uploaded new XviD copy of video. Enjoy!