- Members: VegettoEX, MeriC
- Title: Alone in the World
- Premiered: 2002-09-28
- Simple Plan I'm Just a Kid
- Anime Weekend Atlanta 8: Professional Competition (Best Character Profile)
- AnimeNEXT 2002 (Best Drama)
** VIDEO NOTES **
This video is one big fluke. Why is it that every video has to have such a strange back-story to it? Anyway, 4th of July weekend during the summer of 2002 gave us a great opportunity to slap together (at least the beginnings) of a new music video we had somewhat planned out. We had the four days off from work, so we brought Meri's computer to Mike's house, plopped it in the dining room, and left it there for four straight days as we edited, talked to cats, edited, ate, edited, drank, and edited some more.
Both of us had ideas for this song / anime at the same time. Meri was considering a "Neon Genesis Evangelion" video, while Mike was pretty set on using "Trigun" for it. In the end, it was "Trigun" we went with, as it would prove to be a greater challenge (metaphorical connections are much more rewarding than literal ones, when it comes to song lyrics), and the EVA idea was too similar to something else Meri had in mind.
Four days later, the preliminary version of the video was done. A full three minute and some-odd seconds video was DONE after only FOUR DAYS. That's INSANE.
We showed the video to a few people soon after (Scott, Lukas, Rich, and Jon... the local crew). We got a few ideas from them (along with some ideas of our own), and went back to make some changes. It took us a week of random editing time, but we came back with a second version with a lot of changes. During this time, we were offered the DDR track. That's right. Two major videos at the same time?! (Yeah, by this point, the video had turned from a "side project" to a major one). We *really* needed to get started on the DDR video, but we felt we could do so much more with this one if we only had a little more time. We sent an e-mail to Scott, asking if he had any last minute suggestions for the video.
Around 2 am, we got an eight page response. It was one of the greatest and more appreciated things we've ever received in our lives. We hadn't intended on sending this video anywhere, but when we got such positive responses from people, we felt like we had something pretty special on our hands. AWA's Pro contest deadline was approaching, so it was a logical choice. Plus, it gave us a second reason to attend the con!
Within a day or so, the final product was created. Half the video was completely redone. But... it was done. And it felt good.
So what IS up with this video? Well, you're probably better off watching the video first, and then coming back to read what WE think the video is about. We pretty much spoil, in the text here, everything that we attempted to do and say with the video, and if you know it going into watching, it may not have as much of an impact. Decide for yourself!
The video also contains major spoilers for discs six and eight of the domestic release of "Trigun." If you haven't seen the entire series, you should both: a) be shot, and b) know what you're getting yourself into.
*** !!! BEGIN VIDEO SPOILERS !!! ***
Vash isn't a kid. You're right, he's not, but he is in his mind. He's an innocent in the world, going about his ways with a childish imagination and a pure heart.
We didn't want to make a "Trigun" video with all the Gung-Ho guns, with lots of action, or with lots of comedy. There's more to "Trigun" than that; there's a very deep side to the character of Vash, something that we really wanted to bring out.
The natural flow of the video shows Vash waking up, sitting around, and feeling sorry for himself. It seems like he has no friends, no-one to socialize with, and no-one wants to accept him. Vash finds himself thinking back to the "old times" up on the ship, with Rem and Knives; he's now the child he speaks of. He seems to have friends and is enjoying himself and his life... until the tragic day. Knives begins a rage of destruction, murdering his friends, and leaving him with no-one. The two grow up together, but Vash remains with no-one to turn to, no friends, no human compassion to be found.
Vash is back to present day, still sulking to himself, questioning why his life has become what it is, constantly thinking back to the times of the tragedy. Rem still hasn't left his memory completely, but she fades in and out of it, almost as if to tell him that he needs to fill the void in his life with SOMETHING, to find SOMEONE to connect with.
Images of Vash as a child and an adult (in similar positions, such as sleeping in bed) phase back and forth between one another, while images of his life flash before his eyes... it's time to wake up and DEAL with life.
Vash is now put in the position to deal with a real, physical problem. He turns around to see an ominous figure (whom fans will know as Legato), and is surrounded with dead bodies. Vash can't stand this sight, and must deal with the problem to avoid further pain. He is forced to actually take an ACTIVE role in his life, and kills Legato to end the suffering. Unfortunately for Vash, this creates a new problem: he's no longer the innocent child he was. He has witnessed the horrible truth of life (and death, again) firsthand, and now must deal with the consequences of taking another's life, himself.
In the meantime, Vash is surrounded with a new group of people; perhaps Rem is somehow guiding Vash towards filling that void? During his pain and confusion, his new friends (specifically Meryl) tell Vash to snap out of it, and literally knock some sense into him.
Vash seems to be at his lowest point, beyond help... he looks up, and sees an image before him. Is it Meryl? Or is it Rem? Is it both of them?
Vash finally realizes that he really has something in his life, now; he's helping people, he has friends, and he can share all of these feelings, thoughts, and stories with them.
A rose petal lands on Vash's eye... he opens it to see a distant figure of Rem, as if to say that she's still there and always will be, but he must move on and enjoy his life. While he sheds a tear in her memory, the image of the night sky that has been repeated throughout the video returns, but this time we see he ISN'T alone; Meryl is with him, and can help him become that innocent child with a good heart that is deep inside him.
*insert crying here*
*** !!! END VIDEO SPOILERS !!! ***
Hopefully we've gotten across a side of "Trigun" that you may not have noticed the first time around. This is what we really enjoy about anime music videos; through our own creations, we're able to tell an original story using preexisting material.
On the non-sappy technical side of matters, the video is pretty basic. There's a good amount of image masking to cover up lip-flaps, but that may very well be the most advanced technique used in the video. There is a lot of video manipulation that you will not notice unless you know specific scenes like you know the back of your hand, but those are in and out pretty quickly! The main purpose was to tell a story, and you just don't need much to be able to do it. Hopefully we've done it well.
Somehow, the video was a finalist in the "Character Profile" category in AWA 8's Pro competition. We were up against Jeff Heller and Nathan Bezner's "Trigun" / "Engel" video, Paul Quinnell's "Sailor Moon" / "Drops of Jupiter" video, and Billy Clontz's "Evangelion" / "Torn" video. All three of them were AMAZING, and we had absolutely no expectations of taking anything home in the category. Saturday evening when that "Character Profile" title screen popped up, and the first twang of the guitar in our song played, we both nearly completely fell apart. We'd really like to thank Jeff; upon going up to receive the awards, he said to us "You guys nailed character profile." That really meant a lot to us. Thankfully, him and Nathan grabbed "Best Video" overall for the pro competition.
Please check out the other three videos in the category, because they ALL deserve some recognition.
Unfortunately there were some technical difficulties during the export to Pro tapes (field orders... bad stuff), so the video on the tapes is quite jaggy and sputtery in scenes where the bottom field was used on the DVD encodings. Fortunately, an SVHS copy with no flaws was sent, and this was the version played during the award ceremonies (thanks, Quu!). If you plan on letting us know what you think about the video, please make sure you're either referring to the downloadable MPEG or the version you saw at the awards ceremony. Thanks!
This video means a lot to us, and we genuinely hope you enjoy it to its fullest extent.