Video Information

Information

  • Member: 808-buma
  • Title: Void Shaped Heart
  • Premiered: 2007-02-11
  • Categories:
    • Drama
    • Romance
  • Song:
    • Lenny Kravitz Again
  • Anime:
  • Comments: Void Shaped Heart (V-Day 2007 Multi-Editor Project segment)

    Awards
    Kawaii Kon 2007 AMV contest - 3rd place (this was really a surprise!)

    Spoiler Warning: if you are bothered by spoilers for Cowboy Bebop, I pre-warn you now.

    I always like being a part of MEP’s when time allows as I can experiment with themes, techniques, songs, etc. that I normally don’t want to try for a full-length video. With this piece, I tried a much slower song than I’m usually comfortable with as well as try a much slower ‘storytelling’ style of video using colors to define points of time and mood.

    Source Music
    Again by Lenny Kravitz
    I really was searching through my collection for something in line with the ‘vision statement’ that Jubbers had stated in the MEP announcements. I had a lot of options, but I keyed in on this song as I just started to re-watch Cowboy Bebop again and really watched the first few episodes again. The lyrics really seemed to describe the painful relationship of Spike and Julia and his undying yearning for her and how he has chosen to fill the ‘void’ of her loss.

    On the technical side of things, I edited the song to remove the first chorus out and transitioned the first and second verses together as well as relocated and truncated the ending. The former was to create a longer front-end ‘flow’ to the song as the chorus seemed to break this up. The latter edit was mostly due to the 2 minute time constraint as well as it seemed a good point to bring the video to its end.

    Source Video
    Cowboy Bebop, TV series and movie
    I had initially wanted to use something else for this MEP piece as I didn’t want CB to become my next ‘EVA’ video string as I’ve done in the past, but the song selection pretty much forced my hand into using it. That, and I already had a good chunk ripped onto my HD anyway for my Christmas MEP piece didn’t hurt, either.

    What I hadn’t planned on was the fact that Julia doesn’t really appear too often in the series, so it made finding scenes or even images of her rather difficult. With only a few flashback scenes (most of which only lasted a second or two), I really had to find some creative storytelling means to get my point of the video across (which I hope it actually did).

    Basic Ideas and Themes
    A love-lost story, plain and simple. I really didn’t want to go into the ‘gory details’ of the whole Spike-Julia-Vicious thing, but I just wanted to give hints of the underlying cause of why Julia never met Spike on that day and to show a more ‘thoughtful’ side of Spike rather than his usual devil-may-care attitude.

    One year, I will make a ‘happy’ V-day video…

    Techniques
    I really wanted to keep the effects down to a minimum for this video as I wasn’t going for any ‘flashy-flashy’ effects here. With the exception of 1 masking scene (where Spike is in the Bebop looking out over the swirling red planet and Julia’s image fades in and out (which was a lot more complicated that I originally had planned on), there wasn’t too much more than simple cut and crossfades for most of the video. I also utilized a lot of still frame images sandwiching moving pieces to get the timing and mood right for the fades. With only 1 or 2 sections that I needed to color-correct, there wasn’t much else to this video.

    Visual Effects
    The only real visual effect is the masked fade in and out of Julia. It was composed of the original still image of Spike’s profile as he looks up out over the red planet. Problem was that as soon as he does, he starts talking, so that had to be masked out as well as a new background below his chin needed to be added (as his original chin would pop in and out behind the overlaid image). Then came a masking layer for the Bebop’s window (as I wanted the image to appear outside) and then a series of masks for Julia’s head (as the only one I could find was clipped at the top and I didn’t want a straight line showing there so I softened it up a bit with another mask). Put that all together and you get what you see in the final video.

    The only other technique I used heavily on this video was the still image fade-in / out at the beginning and endings of moving scenes. This way I could make the scenes duration last as long as I needed it without having to fade across a moving scene that I needed to show, or extend a short moving scene without having to extend the clip so much so that it looked abnormally slow video-wise. And, if used right, it looks halfway decent and hard to tell that it’s a still image.

    Technical
    This video (as most of my vids are) was created on 2 machines and a portable HD
    Home computer – Athlon dual core X2 4200, 2 gigs ram
    Work computer - Pentium 4, 3.4ghz HT, 1 gig ram
    Portable HD - 200 gig USB hard drive

    Audio editor: Audacity
    Video editor: Magix Movie Edit Pro 10
    Encoder:
    AVI XVID [2nd pass] - VirtualDubMod
    MP4 [Q=30] - Zarx264gui
    note: to view the MP4 file, you will either need the CCCP codec pack installed onto your computer or use VLC Player

    Time: about 20 hours over the course of 2 weeks (which is wicked fast for me)

    Closing Thoughts
    Although it is a short video and created to be part of a MEP, I really liked the mood of this piece and can almost, almost, be an ‘actual’ AMV on its own (in my mind, I think that it should be a tad longer, but meh, I’ll put it out there for folks to see as a stand-alone piece). With some very minor adjustments, this piece is the same piece as shown in the V-Day 07 MEP - I just adjusted 1 scene that I thought didn’t seemed timed correctly in the original (which I only discovered after I submitted the finals to Jubbers) and added the bumper (which, IIDSSM) came out pretty nicely.

    I hope you enjoy this piece in its ”I’m just big enough to stand on my own” release. If you enjoy it, QC’s and/or Opinions are much appreciated.

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