- Member: WalterScott
- Studio: Graven Image
- Title: The Dispossessed
- Premiered: 2003-09-14
- Tracy Chapman Mountains O' Things
Ummm... this video won Best of Show at Anime USA 2003. I'm still kind of in shock over this.
It kind of makes sense that it got a general award because the video doesn't fit well into any category. It's kind of artistic (I hope) mostly based on lyric sync and character. It's mostly serious but with a certain small amount of comic relief. I sent it to Expo at AWA and then to Anime USA, arbitrarily putting it in drama.
The concept started percolating in my head after I heard Prof. Susan Napier give a talk about Spirited Away at Otakon, and also because I like the Kaonashi character so much. There's something very familiar about him.... difficulty making friends... substitution of eating and material gratification for loneliness... so I wanted to do a character profile on him but couldn't figure out the music. Then this Tracy Chapman song that I love but hadn't listened to in maybe ten years came back to me late at night.
The lyrics fit in very nicely to Miyazaki's themes of greed and desire for material things that kind of infects everyone in the bathhouse. As I planned it out though I found that the themes resonated with several of the characters and not just Kaonashi. I had to get Bou in there, and Haku, and even the sootballs. In fact most everybody shows up except there's ironically not much of Chihiro herself in the video.
I'm pleased with how I ended the video. Chapman's songs tend to be relentlessly downbeat and the way the song ends doesn't really point to any kind of learning or growth, so I tried to twist that around by using closing scenes from the film that are more redemptive.
I'm a comparative novice on the technical side but I tried using a few effects in Premiere for composition or emphasis. At one point there were some more effects, namely little random bits of food and toys and junk that would fly onto the screen. However I lost those stills in a hard drive crash and when I reconstructed the video from the project file I found that I liked the video better without them although it does lose some of the comic effect.
The title references the book by Ursula LeGuin to some extent. At one level everyone in the bath house has lost their home, name etc. but it also alludes to the state of non attachment in which one is no longer possessed by possessions.
The local download version of this video is a fairly fat (65MB) DivX/xvid because the MPEG-1 widescreen just made me cry.
Hope you enjoy it!