- Member: Scott A Melzer
- Studio: NoN.D.E.
- Title: Two Thousand Years
- Premiered: 1999-07-03
- Billy Joel Two Thousand Years
- Otakon, Otakon (1999-07-02)
My first colaboration with Lukas Chen. While this was STILL a two VCR insert-edit deal, thanks to my old insert VCR dying (during the making of "Master & Servant), this video was put together in glorious S-VHS! Yay! Of course, the original footage was VHS, so it's not all THAT exciting... ;)
Lukas came up to me with the song and THOUGHT he had an idea for Giant Robo. He had some shots for individual lines, but that was about it. And it was all about Von Folger. The original idea was a very literal interpretation of each line of the song and therefore it didn't make any sense. So we sat down to examine the song and came up with the idea that it was actually in three parts: Past, present, future. We set to work on sorting out what we could use and quickly figured that the video should be about Genya and his relationship with his sisters.
I also had the idea that maybe this video should ALSO be a video without Giant Robots. We ALMOST made it. There are about three clips with giant robots in it. Oh well. We were going for drama, not action. I also thought it very appropriately timed, since the year 2000 was in a few months. It was the best time to use the song and make the video.
The video itself, like the song, is about history tragically repeating itself. Given that, we dramatically changed the story of the anime (especially at the end). We had a lot of fun doing it over the two months that it took. The video was entirely done after school (Lukas was in High School at the time) at my store. Dozens of customers got to see the random mess that was us arguing over what should go next. We even storyboarded parts, as we were stuck having to do the video linearly. It was during this video that we came up with the idea of calling ourselves "Not Digital Editing Studios" as we were extremely saddened by our lame technology while watching much better videos obviously done on computer.
Tons of jokes were thought up while working on this. The "Eye of Go" which was a giant ball of mecha destruction and had one eye, but it was always a closed slit. "Crush them now, Giant Homer!" "D'oh!" Um, it was funny at the time. Also, when you're doing insert editing, it's a good idea to lay down some video before you get started, otherwise the song warbles. I had grabbed the first tape I found, which was "Magical Project S Vol 1" and recorded 6 minutes of it. We added the song, then recorded the video over top of MPS. This was fine, but it meant that Pretty Sammy always popped up after the last clip we'd added. This led to the "I've got no idea what to do next! How about Pretty Sammy?" line from me. About 10 times per day. This always caused Lukas to either scream or lower his eyes and threaten me. This joke would later come up in my next video, "Big Time."
I always try to do something new with each video. The new thing that we did this time was having cuts during the silent parts at the end of the video. I think that it was very dramatic. Usually I'll do cuts at a beat in the song and have the action within the clip mirror the sound. As there was nothing but silence, this was a cool experiment.
All in all, I'm pretty happy with the video. It didn't do very well at the Otakon screening, but it's a subtle drama, and those never get many votes. I think we got 3rd or 4th place, which isn't bad. The frustrating thing about the showing was that Lukas and I had managed to score front row center seats (we got there REALLY early). The room was absolutely PACKED with well over 1,000 otaku. Everything looked great, and the first couple videos went by. Then the fire alarm (one of about a dozen that year) went off and we had to leave. Lukas was SO angry and upset. At least it wasn't our video that the alarm went off in. As we were the last ones out, we would be the last ones in. When we finally did get back in, though, it turned out that friends of ours had somehow managed to grab front row seats. They turned over the front row seats, then went to the back of the crowded room, where there were virtually no seats left. Now THAT was a wonderful thing to do! Thanks guys.