- Member: iserlohn
- Studio: Iserlohn Productions
- Title: ...are some answers
- Premiered: 2003-08-10
- Alanis Morissette All I Really Want
I'll get these formatter later, just want to get the darn thing online...
Title - ...are some answers
Anime - Kodomo no Omocha
Song - All I Really Want
Artist - Alanis Morissette
Completed - May 14, 2003
Participation - Otakon 2003, Connicchi 2003
Notes Written for: Otakon 2003 Submission/CD, animemusicvideos.org profile
Making the Video:
This is perhaps a first for me - I started writing these notes before I finished working on the video, with the hope that doing so would help clear my head for how to work the final revisions. Believe it or not, this video has taken over a year to complete, from the day I laid the first test clips to the day I finished it. The idea itself came to me before I went to Europe in Spring 2003, when I was still working on Haru to Ashura, and I'd laid some test clips for fun. After I got back, I started hunting down source footage and editing, taking a break only when footage issues came up, and that time was used to put together the hell that is Bravo Drano.
To a degree, this video made itself - I could visualize quite a bit of it in my head before I started working things out. The biggest problem came from acquiring source materials - I couldn't afford the R2 DVD's, and couldn't find anybody else with a copy of them to run me tapes. Eventually I found a savior in the form of a visitor to TAS who showed up for about two months and passed off raw VHS of episodes 5-8 and 13-51 to me straight from the laserdiscs. Unfortunately, I have not seen him since to return his tapes. This worked out well, though, since I was pulling footage even as late as May. The missing episodes proved to be critical, and after finally tracking down three people with the import DVDs, all attempts to get a copy (including AbsoluteDestiny proving that Royal Mail sucks) failed. I eventually caved in and picked up the HK bootlegs, ripped the episodes I needed, and resold them to RYS at cost. This video would not be near what it is without help from Legionair, Rob P., Ashyukun, Nightowl, Richard, and Aluminum for looking at rough cuts and Rozard for listening to me bitch and moan all the time.
A quick factoid on footage: The edit footage for this video (not including Premiere’s preview files or the DVD rips also taking up space on my hard drive) came to 11.7GB in 14 Premiere bins. All files are PicVideo MJPEG 640x480 4:2:2 Quality 20 no audio (Fuck AVISynth!).
From a technical perspective, this video is quite bland. Except for cleanup work on rips and captures (captures were done on an ATI TV Wonder at 640x240 and then bicubically resized to 640x480, rips were resized, deinterlaced, blurred, and desaturated to closer match the tapes, and the whole thing was noise filtered in TMPGEnc at the end), there's nothing special here. The only instance of photoshopping came from swiping the logo from the opening credits, the removal of Babbit (see later). Otherwise, everything is just cuts and fades and speed tweaks, and not even as many of those as you may think.
Audio-wise, though, this is a different story. I've owned the Jagged Little Pill CD since eighth grade, and it is still one of my favorite albums, holding quite a bit of sentimental value for me. That said, I ripped this song to shreds. The version used in the video has been sped up approximately 2% while maintaining pitch (thank you SoundForge for not making that clear without reading the help...), and I then started trimming. Originally, I thought about using the song's bridge as a link, perhaps using it to expand the world of the video a bit, but as ideas of how to actually do that ran dry, it got axed, first down to a short instrumental (about 10 sec), and then completely. This is why "Why are you so petrified..." comes in on the beat but the instruments magically disappear. The added bonus of all these edits, of course, is that doing so helped to get the video safely under four minutes, aka the attention span point of AMV viewers, judges, and pop music fans.
Overall, I've made almost no structural changes to the video track from the original rough cut, which is either a testament to the strength of the concept and idea planning, or the final proof of my laziness. The cut list contains 360 objects, a personal record, but a pretty empty one.
What's this video about?
For me, this video made itself because it was a solid idea: In this song, Alanis is singing about her lack of all the things that traditionally bring happiness to people (religion, love, the patience to get through a tough day), like an angsty musical livejournal. What I realized by listening to this song is that every time she changed singing styles or started a new stanza, it was as if another person was singing the song. I used this theory to make the song a cast profile for Kodomo no Omocha. The first characters that came into my head were Sana (Do I wear you out/My sweater's on backwards and inside out/And you say "how appropriate") and Hayama (You must wonder why I'm relentless and all strung out/I'm consumed by the chill of solitary). From there, it became easy to bridge out into the other characters, and by the time I started editing I had between 2/3 and 3/4 of the characters planned. The only hard parts were whenever Alanis wasn't singing for more than a full rest...
After I started laying clips and playing around, I came up with a couple of ground rules: All characters MUST be shown with Sana or Hayama (or at least be implied to be with them, the only exception is the very last character) in their first or second clip, and this video would have NO BABBIT. The first rule was easy to follow, footage was abundant and some creative positioning could make it happen. The latter was a more serious issue: most of the principle characters wear little Babbit pins, which, thankfully, aren't really important. When all is said and done, Babbit only shows up once in the video - the original kickoff, which is in tribute to the traditional beep played on Japanese television at the start of programs (Babbit always showed up to cover the beep so that the real theme song and opening animation would begin afterwards. There is no beep on the LD or DVD releases, of course).
As it happens, the song actually begins with silence before the harmonica (which I used as the beep), and Babbit could have worked there as well...but why bother. There was a second scene with Babbit, but thanks to Mr. Poofydog, it's not there anymore. The idea to use the eyecatch on the mid-song silence came from paranoia that some people are just too damned stupid to think that something might follow a blackout. As a result, the idea to use text on the line "Here can you handle this?" stemmed from a discussion with Nightowl about how to exploit that scene, and my frustrations with not being able to find anything better after nine months of editing. Additionally, that line is perhaps the hardest one to understand in the song. As a result of projecting the lyrics, the blackout now makes sense.
For the record, there are fourteen characters profiled in this video (in order of appearance): Sana, Tsuyoshi, Hayama, Obana (the manga-ka for Kodocha, thanks Richard for the idea), Naozumi, Aya, Mama, Rei-kun, Hayama’s Father, Tsuyoshi’s Father, Zenjirou, Hayama’s Sister, and the weird old teacher whose name I can't remember. She’s a nasty old bitch, though so I titled the files with her "Nasty Bitch-sensei ." Other characters that appear include Sana's classmates, Principal Naru-Naru, Asako-san, the delivery boy, Mama's ex, and Sana's grandmother.
Commentary and Notes:
I got lucky to an extent while working on this video, and was able to show a rough cut in late April, read the crowd reaction (or the lack thereof), and come back to work on the video before the deadline.While it helped, I still hit many walls. Except for perhaps Daicon V or Haru to Ashura, I don't think I've ever had so much angst about a video as this one, and I doubt if it could ever be perfect.That said, I don't think that fancy effects, character matting, or any other fancy tech would help any.
There are enough episodes of Kodocha that it's possible to find a clip of any two characters together if you watch for them and have the entire series available. While this is supposed to be the part where I gush about achievements and all that, I can't help but feel disappointed. While I may never write a great historical work, I can sympathize with those who do. This video is going to be misunderstood until Kodocha is licensed and gets popular, and even then, it may very well continue to languish. Even if some of my pacing/planning issues or off, it comes down to whether or not people appreciate someone’s editing style. I wonder if I’ll ever like mine…
I will say this, though: The video I made is extremely close to the video that was in my head when I started conceptualizing the details. Most of what I changed character wise was due to bad planning or lack of useful footage (I wanted a different character to be the "spiritual man"). But if this video is how I planned it, why am I unhappy with the final result?
Do I stress you out?
My sweater is on backwards and inside out,
And you say how appropriate.
I don't want to dissect everything today,
I don't mean to pick you apart you see
But I can't help it.
There I go jumping before the gunshot has gone off,
Slap me with a splintered ruler.
And it would knock me to the floor if I wasn't there already,
If only I could hunt the hunter.
And all I really want is some patience,
A way to calm the angry voice.
And all I really want is deliverance on high.
Do I wear you out?
You must wonder why I'm relentless and all strung out,
I'm consumed by the chill of solitary.
I'm like Estella,
I like to reel it in and then spit it out,
I'm frustrated by your apathy.
And I am frightened by the corrupted ways of this land,
If only I could meet the Maker.
And I am fascinated by the spiritual man,
I am humbled by his humble nature.
What I wouldn't give to find a soulmate,
Someone else to catch this drift...
And what I wouldn't give to meet a kindred on high...
Why are you so petrified of silence?
Here can you handle this?
Did you think about your bills, your ex, your deadlines,
Or when you think you're gonna die?
Or did you long for the next distraction?
And all I need now is intellectual intercourse,
A soul to dig the hole much deeper.
And I have no concept of time other than it is flying,
If only I could kill the killer.
All I really want is some peace man,
A place to find a common ground.
And all I really want is a wavelength on high...
All I really want is some comfort,
A way to get my hands untied.
And all I really want is some justice, on high...