- Member: WalterScott
- Studio: Graven Image
- Title: HildaSong
- Premiered: 2003-09-21
- Howard Shore Gollum's Song
Won Best Drama in the Professional Contest at AWA9.
The source video is also known as Little Norse Prince in the Anime Encyclopedia. Here is some more information about it:
I strongly encourage anyone who enjoyed this music video to check out the source. Unfortunately at this time there is no official version in English or even with English subtitles!
This video was in gestation for a long time. When I first saw a fansub of Hols a few years ago, I knew I wanted to make a music video from the viewpoint of Hilda, who is a primordial Miyazaki female antagonist. [I had already done a video centered on Monsley from Future Boy Conan.] However, I had two problems: (1) no high quality source, and (2) no appropriate song.
(1) was resolved when the R2 DVD came out. (2) presented more difficulty. Most of the songs with a female vocal and the right emotional tenor were centered on jealousy or other adult relationship issues, which wouldn't work for Hilda who is a child. For example Isobel by Bjork with "a creature called lust"... not. Finally as I was free associating from Bjork I came upon Emiliana Torrini and remembered Gollum's Song.
The lyrics written by Fran Walsh the LotR screenwriter are awkward but they undeniably fit Hilda's character and story arc like a glove. Furthermore, the ambience of Howard Shore's soundtrack music dovetailed with Hols which is itself a modern construction of a Norse myth, so you have snow capped peaks, rustic villagers, giant birds, mammoths, etc. I was almost tempted to start with some of the Rohan theme backed by some of the Takahata trademarked Workers Paradise scenes with the fish kill, etc. but the video would then have been eight minutes long.
As it was, coming up with an ending was quite difficult because Gollum's Song doesn't really have an ending, it just leads into the fellowship theme over the end credits which didn't work for me. So I instead used music from the charge of the Rohirrim to show part of Hilda's sacrifice and redemption.
[An explanation for those who haven't seen Hols: Hilda is the sole survivor of a village that is wiped out by the frost demon Grunwald. Her life is spared on condition that she act as Grunwald's agent to destroy other villages. She believes that the magic amulet that he gives her is the only thing keeping her alive. She also now considers herself to be Grunwald's sister (or bride?). What makes her character so mythically effective, in my opinion, is that it makes sense even if all the magical elements are removed. You could view her simply as a person haunted by death and furious at other people's happiness, such as when she sends the rats to attack the wedding party.]
[My daughter wants everyone to know that the bride is Not Eaten By Rats, but only suffers a broken leg, and that I am "evil" for not showing this in the video!]
The R2 DVD seems to be taken from a somewhat deterioriated print as there is a lot of dirt, noise and even frame drop out. I did what I could with spatial and temporal smoothing, but really the whole movie is crying out for digital restoration.
There is just a small amount of lip sync, some of which required pixel by pixel editing, due to a critical scene in which there is a transition in the original source, plus Hilda's head is turning and the shot is panning out. Ugh!
After I submitted this to AWA Pro I realized to my dismay that I had been working in the wrong aspect ratio. (Hmm, isn't the sun supposed to be ROUND...?) Hols is actually in 2.25 aspect ratio, the DVD has black bars AND it's anamorphic. Whoops! I have resized for the downloadable version which is a 512 x 232 divx.