- Member: atchang
- Title: Happy Boys & Girls
- Premiered: 2001-08-10
- Aqua Happy Boys & Girls
- Otakon 2001, Otakon 2001 (2001-08-10)
- Anime Weekend Atlanta 7, Anime Weekend Atlanta 7 (2001-09-21)
I was really surprised at the reaction to this video at Otakon 2001.
I'm really glad that some people seemed to like it..I was more surprised that it won in its category, Action/Upbeat at Otakon.
It also won awards at the AWA7 Expo (Best Upbeat) and won the AWA7 Dance Video Challenge.
The present version of the video is slightly different from the contest version. I just cleaned up the Kodomo no Omocha Footage (now it only looks fuzzy) and resynced the cuts to the Kero footage -(the slightly off cut was really irritating)..
PentiumII-450 CPU running Win2kPro
Sony DVMC-DA2 Media Converter
Ulead Media Studio Pro 6.02 w/ DVD plugin
Ulead Video Studio 4.0
This video, like the song, is an expression of joy..done thru song and dance with a little bit of goofiness thown in for good measure..
The project actually originated from a failed/incomplete dance video project set to "Mystery Dance" by Elvis Costello. That project was only about 1.5 minutes long and used about 25% of the footage seen in Happy Boys and Girls albeit in a different order. I learned about the Aqua song from watching the trailer to the film "Bring it On" and was astonished by how well the song worked with movement. The first experiments with the video were done via setting the DigiCharat footage to the chorus. Out of fear that I wouldn't be able to sustain the concept for very long, the first draft of the video was done to an edit of the song that was only half the length of the final product. I felt this draft was way to short and set to do the expanded version seen at otakon.. I did try to limit the number of series that I used. I also made a concious effort to try to use clips that had the same visual quality (linework, color, texture) to prevent the video from looking too inconsistent. And I tried (although not always sucessfully) to use each series at least twice. I know many think that for a "various" video that you should only use footage once from a series. I thought that doing that would actually hurt the video and make it too scattered and unfocused..I also know people will feel that the DigiCharat Chorus is overused. Its a problem with a structural decision I made. DigiCharat specifically opens and closes each chorus. It would have worked a better If I opened and closed each chorus with a different series. But its got to be the right footage. Until I find the right footage, Digi Charat Stays..Then I can put this thing to rest.
Grainy or Fuzzy Footage
The competition versions of the video (otakon/awa versions) have some problems with bad source footage. So there are a few sections mostly at the beginning of the video where the footage suffers from graininess or MPEG pixellation. This is due to some pretty rotten source for the Kodomo No Omocha 2 opening footage. My R2 for KNO2 arrived rather late for me to replace the test footage used in the video. I would still have to remove the titles from the new footage. In the end with the deadline looming I had little choice but to keep the original 1/2 size test footage. It has been enhanced with a sharpening/smoothing filter to clean it a bit. The Hand Maid May footage and Love Hina footage is also from slightly inferior source and suffers from a little bit of fuzzines.. All will probably be replaced as i fine tune the video..
Like all of my projects I seem to do the majority of my work with a looming deadline, in this case the Otakon submission deadline..This was my first attempt at working with a DV based format and it has it plusses and minuses. On the plus side.. In Media Studio Pro, DV files are never re-rendered, the frames are extracted directly from the capture file. The only footage rendered by MSP6 has some kind of Digital effect or Video Filter applied to it. If previews are made to any rendered footage, the preview footage is rendered as full size DV and saved to a preview file. This means that when generating the final video file, the majority of the elements including effects footage are already rendered and the program just needs to extract the frames from the source or the preview files. Needless to say the render times are really fast, and I like that... On the minus side. I discovered very late in the game, the negative effects of having interlaced footage. In MSP the preview window on my system is set to display at half size. Also, the test renders of the video I created to view on a TV were done by creating a video cd. Both of these tests were done at half size and I hadn't realized that missing half was the interlaced footage. The first real VHS test tape brought that problem to light very quickly. Interlaced footage created a skipping/double image problem on a wide variety of footage that had been slowed down to match the beat for dance sync. I never found a De-Interlace filter for MSP (If anyone knows where it is please let me know). My solution was to convert the affected footage to De-Interlaced Full Frame MPG2 using the TMPGEnc (I just love this product)... I not certain if I resynced the converted footage quite right.. It looks ok but has always seemed a slight bit off to me. It has never looked quite as good as the original half size VCD tests..
I have to confess.. That a lot of the lip sync in the video is really a series of happy coincidences.. I was actually more concerned with the physical movement than anything else. There were a few instances where I did try to do intentional lip sync..But I'm not telling which scenes they are..
There are relatively few digital effects in the video. Unless speed counts as a Digital effect. Very little of the footage is presented at full speed. Most of it had to be slowed down to match the song..
Almost all the cuts are straight cuts.. There are a couple of very fast crossfades used to soften some of the straight cuts.. I used virtual dub to try and clean up the Really pixellated Kodomo No Omocha footage. Its clean but a little fuzzy.. Almost forgot..one of the clips is in reverse