- Member: dokool
- Studio: Third Lens Open Productions
- Title: This Could Be...
- Premiered: 2007-04-20
- Acceptance So Contagious
FINALIST - Romance @ Anime Boston 2007
FINALIST - Drama @ Anime Next 2007
WINNER(?) - Drama/Romance @ Connecticon 2007
THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR NOT YOUTUBING MY AMVS
My 12th full video, and getting pretty close to my 5th full year of editing. Man, how time flies. I'm copying and pasting a lot of this from my Anime Boston concept statement with a few changes here and there.
Warning: this is very long and somewhat pretentious.
It was, by all accounts, a dark and stormy night. I was driving home from a concert in New York City and, as usual, had a playlist full of AMV-able songs on full tilt. I'd been at AWA 3 weeks prior and after hanging out with so many of my fellow editors, I was inspired to create something. What that something was, at the time, I did not know.
I'd been listening to 'So Contagious' by Acceptance a lot - particularly the opening guitar work, because it seemed like it would lend itself so well to editing. Suddenly, an idea came to me - the idea of something coming into focus, in time with each strum. I realized that what I had in mind would be similar to a phoropter (that big machine you look through at the optometrist's when you're getting glasses). When I got home (well, the next day, since I was wiped out), I loaded up a JPG into Motion and attempted to create what I wanted. Within an hour or two I had my proof of concept for the effect, and within another hour it was perfected to the point where all I had to do was copy my keyframes.
Oh, yes, I mentioned Motion. I should point out that about a month ago, I'd purchased a MacBook Pro for the purpose of learning Final Cut Pro, so as to (hopefully) get paid to do this sort of thing. I decided that this video would be my 'training' for Final Cut Pro, as well as Motion. Little did I know what I was in for.
I spent the next month or so thinking about what else I wanted to do with the video and preparing for it, mostly by collecting source images (which ranged from raw tankubon scans to fan art to high-resolution images from 4chan and elsewhere). The prototype of the final shot of the video was first created at Bakuretsucon 2006, and through various online tutorials and hacks of my own creation, arrived at its present state. My ambition grew quite quickly - I had plans for MAD-style editing during the choruses, a la VicBond's work in Believe. A discussion with a friend quickly gave way to an authentic voice-acted intro, in Japanese with English subtitles. The last scene would be pretty much created entirely from scratch. It was to be my opus.
Editing first began in November of 2006, and was juggled along with preparations for my move to Japan. One of the early challenges I found was simply preparing my footage - for a Premiere video, one only needs to rip the needed chapters (via DVD Decrypter), DGMPGDec the files, load the AVS script with whatever filters were needed, and you're off to the races. Unfortunately, OSX has none of these tools available, so after frustrating myself for a good day or three I eventually gave up and did the footage preparation on my Windows laptop, transferring the files over to my MacBook via the network. I should note that editor JCD assisted me in footage preparation, as he provided me with some incredibly helpful AVISynth filters.
The first segment I edited was, naturally, the opening - it was simple in that all I had to do was repeat the same effect over and over again, but complicated in the sense that it had to cascade properly. After that, editing proceeded apace, and by late December I had about 36 seconds on the timeline...
...at which point I up and moved to Japan. Editing was paused for a good... oh, month or so, the delay caused by school, the whole 'moving into an apartment for the first time' thing, mitigating factors (drinking with friends, World of Warcraft, etc), and so on. During this time, I would listen to the song constantly and think of where I wanted to go with the video. At one point, in early February, I was so frustrated with the lack of progress that I even considered shelving the video, submitting two others to AB in its place.
Then, one night, I opened up the timeline, and within hours 30 seconds appeared where once there were none. The next day, 15 more. The next day, 20 more. I was on a roll.
I decided to scale down the overly technical MAD-style portions of the video, and instead tried to focus on getting the most of what I could from my footage and keeping my cuts and syncs clean. Unfortunately, while there's a wealth of Negima/Nodoka scenes in the manga, the anime is somewhat lacking. I was forced to be incredibly creative with my footage at times, but all in all it seemed to work out pretty well. The ending fireworks sequence was also scaled down quite a bit, but I managed to come up with a final shot that looked decent and got the point across.
In the end, I was up against the constraints that most editors are faced with - not enough footage. I ended up having to work with what I could, and in the end it turned out well. Again, not exactly the perfect model of my original vision, however this video accomplished what I wanted it to accomplish: it was a Negima video that A) didn't suck, and B) taught me the ins and outs of using Final Cut Pro. While I don't think I'll be using FCP as my main AMV editing software in the near future again, it was a helpful learning experienced and one I'm thankful I partook in.
About the Video
This is my second romance video, focusing on Negima and Nodoka from Mahou Sensei Negima. Nodoka has long been my favorite character in the series, not just in her design but in her personality. While the pairing has lots of canon to support it in the manga, the anime is... somewhat lacking in some crucial scenes that I needed. I made do, but if the anime was anywhere close to as good as the manga is this video would have been closer to the epic work I'd envisioned. It was very frustrating but very fun to see this video through to the end, and I'm happy with how it came out.
Editing Time: ~70 hours (including proof of concept tests and pre-processing)
Software Used: DVD Decrypter, DgMPGDec, VirtualDubMod, BeSweet, Motion, Final Cut Pro, Photoshop CS2, Photoshop CS3 Beta
BasharoftheAges, kiarrens, Songbird21, Alberto Gonzalez, JCD, Rozard, Shazzy, ninevrise, LantisEscudo, Guyv, JaddziaDax, Kalium, Scintilla, Otohiko (in bold b/c I forgot to write him in the first time), and everyone else mentioned in the bumper.