- Member: Scott A Melzer
- Studio: NoN.D.E.
- Title: Lain's Dream
- Premiered: 2000-08-05
- Queensryche Silent Lucidity
- Otakon 2000, Otakon 2000 (2000-08-10)
- Otakon 2001, Otakon 2001 (2001-08-10)
I'd finally moved up to using a computer! Yes, no more whining about "This video was done using two VCRs." Okay, here's what I've been wanting to say for a LOOONG time:
"This is my first video done digitally!"
Wahooo! That was exciting. Okay, now to say something that someone might actually care about...
Good friend Duane Johnson helped me with the hardware & software (I used a Mac G4 and Adobe 5.1c). It was a dream come true. 5 years of making things where all I could to was cut had taken their toll. I was really excited about being able to fade and use effects, but I was also extremely worried about them. I've seen FAR too many videos that overuse digital effects and I was really hoping that I'd have the common sense to stay away from them. Rarely do effects help a video. To me, the most important thing is story and emotion.
That being said, this is the most personal of my videos. I worked on it virtually every night for about two and a half months. It felt like I was slashing my wrists and bleeding into the keyboard. I learned a LOT about using premier while doing it. Fortunately, I could go back and fix things that didn't look right after I learned the right way to do them.
I'd put a LOT of pressure on myself to have my first digital video be REALLY good. I'd won a bunch of awards with older, two-VCR videos (GAH! No, I said it again! Ni! Ni!) so the pressure that I put on myself was huge. I wanted the perfect song. I wanted something that would have a lot of variety, something with deep lyrics to play with, and a song that I'd loved. I went through my CD collection several times, but to no avail. I went to various record shops, but still nothing. The funny thing is that I had thought of Queensryche before. I was at Best Buys and I thought, "Hey, this is good! They've got strong guitars and great lyrics!" I flipped through and found that there were two albums of theirs that I hadn't heard. I skipped over "Empire" (the CD that "Silent Lucidity" was from) since I'd heard it before, even though I didn't own it. I bought one of the other two and listened to them for about a week, but didn't come up with anything. When I went back to the store and looked through about 100 CDs, and ended up buying the other unheard Queensryche one, STILL skipping over Empire. Listened to that one for a week. Nothing. *sigh* Then when I went back for the third time, something weird happened. When I was looking through CDs, I came up to Queensryche AGAIN and flipped through. The Empire CD was still there, but it had a sticker on it saying, "Featuring the hit 'Silent Lucidity.'" I don't know if that sticker had always been there (I can be incredibly dense), but as soon as I'd read it I smacked my head. Of course! It's got strings and guitar. The pace changes. A lot. And the lyrics are beaitufil. And it was less than 6 minutes (Otakon's contest limit). I felt like such an idiot, and I bought the CD anyway.
Since the song was about dreams, I thought about using a dream-themed anime. My first idea was UY Movie 2: Beautiful Dreamer. I've got it on DVD, so that wasn't a bad idea. But then I saw the first four episodes of Lain, and I thought that maybe I could make the video be about death, using the "Dream" motiff as a metaphor. At the time, I'd only seen the first four, so I thought the show was mostly about Chisa! I invited a bunch of friends over one saturday and we watched all 13 episodes in a row. I started to get depressed, because the show rapidly goes away from the "death" motiff I'd thought was so crucial earlier. *sigh* In the end, I decided that I still loved the song. I really wanted to play with motion during the strings, and the guitar solo in the middle was just awesome. While it wouldn't fit my earlier idea, I thought that it might still work, since the visuals in Lain are SO striking. However, I knew that the next Otakon would be called "Lain-a-con" since many of the Japanese guests worked on Lain. Even the band that did the opening song, Boa, would be there. Plus, the DVDs had just come out. It would be Suicide doing a Lain video, since there would be several. In the end, I said, "I don't care. I'll just do the best I can." I didn't think it would do well in the contest (my dramas never do), but I thought that maybe I would be happy with it.
One of the things that I do, which probably gets me in trouble, is completely write my own story in videos. This video completely changes the story. Lain is insecure and doesn't do well with her friends. Her dreams are terrible, sad things. She hides in her room. Through her exposure to the internet, she learns. During the instrumental, she learns to control her dreams. Now, she's overcome her fears, and she can be with her friends.
It doesn't make a lot of sense linearly, but I was going for moments. I thought that people could read into it. There are a lot of "Easter Eggs" hidden in the video. Some puns and such. I'll leave it to people to find them. My favourite has to do with Chisa's return.
Matt Johnson helped out again on this one. We worked hard, learning the software and going nuts with the show. One of the first things that I did was go through the entire show and capture any shot of Lain having any emotion other than blank indifference. I believe that EVERY single shot of her with any emotion is IN the video. I tried to work hard on having things move along with the music. If there was a rising string, then there was a rising motion, etc. I knew the whole time that I'd have a lot of fun with the instrumental. I wanted to completely knock people's socks off. Well, okay, at a con that's probably not a good idea. Anyway, for about 10 weeks, I did nothing else. At the end, I wasn't happy with several bits, but I was forced to just let it go. The deadline was the next day. At around 4:00am I finally got it onto tape and boxed it up with several other friends' entries.
I KNEW that the video was incredibly subtle (even though I tried to make it visually interesting) and that there would be other Lain videos at the contest. There were two drama ones (including mine) and two in the action category. The other drama was the one by Aluminum Studios. It was very, very good, and it went on before mine. I was a little saddened, because we both used a lot of the same shots, but I had expected that. I didn't get the wild applause at the end of the instrumental that I'd hoped for. I hoped that the silence was a stunned silence. I'd hoped that people just must have been thinking rather than applauding. I had wanted to really touch someone in the way that I was really touched by the end of Bobby Beaver's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" when Gally just has to let Yugo go, and the lyric is "There's nothing I can do..." I'd hoped that I'd finally achieved that, but I merely got the polite applause. Also, for some reason the sound was very low in the screening room. In the end, though, I did receive 3rd place in the category, with the other Lain video receiving 1 more vote and snagging 2nd place. I... don't want to talk about 1st place, since it's a bit of a frustration with me, and I'll just look like a jerk complaining about it.
Whew. I guess no one's still here right now. Like I said, this video is incredibly personal to me. I'm... saddened that it's never done very well, but I'll use the experience to make better videos in the future.