- Member: jhfong
- Studio: Ingress Productions
- Title: Pulp Bebop
- Premiered: 2001-04-28
- Dick Dale Misirlou
- Sakura Con 2001, Sakura Con 2001 (2001-04-27)
(Commentary reprinted from ):
When I first saw Cowboy Bebop, the thought occurred to me that this is the kind of anime Quentin Tarantino would make, if Quentin Tarantino made anime: a gritty film-noir atmosphere with retro music and pop-culture references. So for months I had the idea of doing a Cowboy Bebop video to this piece of music, which underscored the first part of the opening sequence in Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. That was the association I wanted to form in the viewer's mind, but it's just rotten luck that right before I started working on this video, Domino's Pizza began using "Misirlou" in their TV commercials. Oh well.
This was the first video I've ever done to a completely instrumental piece, so instead of using a lyric sheet to plan the video, I opened up a MIDI version of this song I'd downloaded a while back in MIDIGraphy , a useful shareware MIDI sequencing program for Macs. My main interest in looking at the MIDI file with the program's interface is the bar numbers running along the top of the player-piano scroll. This allows me to identify where in the song I'm putting my clips and label every clip with the number of the bar and beat, the same way I normally do with lyrics.
The underlying concept in this video is the idea of associating each character with a different instrument (so I've got this "Peter and the Wolf" kinda thing going on here.) I didn't think about using little snippets from Cowboy Bebop's OP sequence to introduce each character until just after I started working on it, but I think it works pretty well. I'm especially pleased about the way I connected the piano riff (at 1:41 into the video) to Ed's typing. It wasn't until later that I realized this is particularly appropriate, because Ed's personality is based on that of composer Yoko Kanno.
A lot of Cowboy Bebop videos use footage from the John Woo-inspired gunfight in the cathedral from episode 5. (You know, if you put all five of the episodes about Spike and Vicious together, you'd get a better John Woo movie than most of John Woo's recent movies.) I wanted to make sure I captured scenes from as many different episodes as possible, and I made a point of confining my use of the cathedral battle to the guitar solo beginning at 1:21, and matching up the guys getting shot to the band yelling during the solo.
I was surprised how easy it was to match up Spike's fight scenes to the percussion in his section of this piece, but it was harder to do anything comparable with the other characters, since Spike's the only big martial artist on this show. I had a hard time finding very many good shots of Jet, so much of his section is padded out with scenes of his ship, the Hammerhead. On the other hand, I think I might have gone overboard with using shots of Faye's Red Tail in her section as opposed to showing more of Faye herself. I suppose you can tell the Red Tail is my favorite ship design in the entire show.
Initially, I wasn't sure how I was going to handle the fadeout at the end of the song, but as I was putting the video together I came upon the solution of dissolving between shots of the three ships receding away from the camera, which matches up well the guitar melody starting at 2:14. In the final shot of the video, I liked the idea of juxtaposing a scene from the first episode (the POV shot flying through hyperspace) with an additive dissolve into a scene from the last episode (the zoom into Spike's eye).
This video was screened at the Sakura Con 2001 Music Video Contest, where it received a fairly good response from the audience.