- Member: Scott A Melzer
- Studio: NoN.D.E.
- Title: This Is DBZ Life
- Premiered: 2001-08-10
- Dust Brothers This is Your Life
- Otakon 2001, Otakon 2001 (2001-08-10)
This video was an exercise in insanity.
This was the second video that I'd done with my Mac G4. I haven't decided yet if I love my Mac for being able to make these crazy things, or if I hate it because it's destroyed my sanity. Probably the former.
The video was done at the same time that I worked on our huge fan parody project, "This Is Otakudom." The parody and music video were started in January. The music video was finished in June. I'd say, "I'll never do a parody and music video at the same time again," but I've learned that I never listen to my oaths so I just won't bother.
The idea for the video is kind of hard to trace. I'd made a short parody/movie trailer for Otakon's "Mystery Anime 3000" the year before using Pokemon footage and the audio from a "Fight Club" TV Spot. I'd just loved the movie and had to buy the soundtrack. The soundtrack is comprised of completely instrumental songs, except for the last one. For reasons completely unknown to me, I put that song on repeat and listened to it over and over again in the car for about two weeks. I'm always listening to songs and thinking about doing videos to them. I was still shaken by the thought of cute little Pikachu mouthing Brad Pitt's lines and saying, "Welcome to Fight Club." Here was a song that had TONS of Brad Pitt's lines. The thought of another anime character mouthing Pitt was just... too good. Or evil, depending.
I'm not exactly sure where I came up with the idea for using DBZ, but I absolutely came up with the idea of Vegita doing Brad's lines. After listening to the song one or two more times, a very evil smile came over me and...
I knew that doing a DBZ video was close to artistic suicide. I know I've just probably pissed off a ton of people and sounded like some sort of pompas ass there. Sorry, that's not quite what I meant. For contests, DBZ videos never do well. Um, okay, so my DBZ video in 1998 won the action category. Um... Okay, I'm not doing so good with the making of the sense here. Nevermind. I'll start over...
The Otakon contest was getting harder and harder to get into. They don't just accept every video any more. They can't. There are too many of them. In 2000, there were about 78 entries, and only room for 36 of them in the contest. So, choosing to do a DBZ video was...
Damn. This isn't working.
Okay. The video was originally going to have NO fighting in it. I thought that if I was going to make a DBZ video, it should be totally weird and different. I wanted to parody the song and the Fight Club movie. Follow through suburbia, and maybe have the characters lining up to fight at the end, but they never do. The video would have been more like the "You are not your Grande Latte" and the "Car you drive" bits. Unfortunately, we just couldn't make it INTERESTING. So, we caved and went with the fighting.
I don't want to get into too much of an analysis of the video. It's about Vegita/Pitt watching the losers get their asses kicked. He gives them advice. They kick the bad guys's asses. Okay, I get little for originality here! So, I needed a hook. Humor. Lots of humor. DARK humor, like in Fight Club. And I decided to go completely nuts and have a cut at EVERY bass beat. Hundreds of cuts. It was madness. I realized that if I had a cut to a different clip at each beat that it would be a pile of incomprehensible garbage. The actual video for "This Is Your Life" uses that jittery jumping aroud cutting thing so, I figured that I'd spoof that, too. However, anime moves completely different than the cinematography in Fight Club. There simply weren't any long sweeping, circular shots. Oddly enough, most things seem to move in two dimentions... ;) So, I decided to just screw it and use the jittery bits throughout the whole video. I knew that I'd hate myself, but the few clips that I started with looked pretty good. It was an experiment. The whole thing would either look like crap and give people siezures, or it'd be cool. At the very least it wouldn't look like it was just one long cut!
There are a couple of easter eggs hidden in it. The best one (IMHO)is a one-frame shot that's actually a joke from the Fight Club movie. See if you can find it. ;)
We worked hard on the parody for months, and I went back and forth to the video when I could. It was about 2/3 done by the last week before the deadline. I told everyone that we couldn't work on the parody until I got the video finished. Lukas (my companion in video making crime since 1999) had come back from school and basically moved in for the week. Friday was the deadline. Thursday night I got a call from Matt Pyson (Otakon's AMV contest organizer). He INFORMED me that I had an extension, as long as I got sleep that night. I did. But I didn't sleep all Friday, Saturday, & Sunday. Lukas and I finished the video at 11:00am Sunday morning (we really hated the ending. It didn't make the sense we wanted to, but we were BEYOND out of time), and I got to work at 3:30pm (I was supposed to be there at 10:00am). This video had almost completely destroyed me. It couldn't have been worth the effort, especially with the TERRIBLE ending.
The reaction at Otakon was amazing. I was floored. It received the biggest applause up to that point (Tim Park's "Right Now" I think got more, but it defiantely deserved it!). I was so excited that I ran up a dozen rows or so and hugged Lukas. I took it all back. It was worth it.
Thank you all very much for each and every person who clapped, told me that they liked it, or simply enjoyed it without telling me. It's been said that appreciation is an artist's food and drink. All that applause came at a time in my life when I was extremely depressed and confused.