- Member: Lostboy
- Title: Dare to Be Stupid
- Premiered: 1996-06-07
- Weird Al Yankovic Dare to Be Stupid
- Project A-Kon 7, AMV Contest (1996-06-07)
THE FOLLOWING STORY IS LONG, BUT IT'S *REALLY* INTERESTING! ^_^
Okay, this is the last time I'll ever have to tell this story. From now on, I can just tell people to look here if they want to know about it.
Early in 1996, I didn't know anything about anime conventions. I made several anime music videos for my own pleasure and to show to my friends who were also anime fans. This was one of the five videos I made under those misconceptions. The other four were Ranma 1/2 videos. One of those Ranma 1/2 videos was "I Want a New Duck" by Weird Al, using footage of Mousse as a duck. I liked how the Weird Al video turned out, so I tried making this video, my first-ever video utilizing various sources. I thought it was wonderful when I was done with it.
A fe wmonths later, I found out about this thing called an "anime con" and I sent my videos to A-kon 7 to compete. I went there and, because of the infamous A-kon 7 blackout, the video screening was postponed until the power was restored. They ended up showing the music videos half an hour before the beginning of cospay, which I had to be in, because of a group I was part of. So I only saw about four videos before I had to leave the AMV contest screening.
Among the videos I saw before I had to leave was Duane Johnson's "Keep Em Seperated" Project A-ko video. When I saw that video, i knew how bad MY videos were, and I didn't expect to win anything. Indeed, I was correct. I didn't win a thing.
About a month later, I got a letter from Duane Johnson in the mail. I guess he got my address from Vulture, the A-kon video contest director. His letter said essentially this: "I really liked your Dare to be Stupid video, but I had a lot of ideas on how it could be done differently. I am writing to ask you if you would mind me remaking it with a lot of different clips than you used. If you write back and say you don't want me to make it, I won't. If you write back and say it's okay, then I will make it and send it to other conventions to compete. And if I don't hear from you, I will assume you don't mind me making it, but I will not send it to any conventions for competition."
Well, I didn't mind him making a video for his own enjoyment. After all, that's what I did before I knew about conventions. So I didn't write back. Bbut I didn't want my idea to be revised and made into a #1 award-winner at another con later that year! o_o;;;
It was about 6 months after I got the letter, I think. I was online (roleplaying at an anime MUCK site) when one of my MUCK-buddies, Stefan, said, "Hey! You know how you told me that you made a video to Dare to Be Stupid? Well I saw it at Katsucon! Congratulations on the award!" .... and I was like, "HUH??" (Actually, it might have been Otakon instead of Katsucon... not sure.) Some investigation led me to learn that Duane had remade my video--using several of the same clips I used, but replacing like 90% of them with other, better footage--and competed it at conventions! I didn't mind him making it, but taking credit for the idea--even though I had done it badly because of my lack of exposure to the AMV world when I made it--just infuriated me. It meant that I would never be able to revise my version and compete it anywhere. Duane was now known as the genius who made the Dare to Be Stupid video, and *I* would have been viewed as the copycat.
In my outrage, wrote an angry e-mail to the head of the contest at the con he won his award from, telling them all about it. I even went so far as to ask if his award could be revoked (that was, of course, much too reactionary, but I was young and, at the time, in-CRED-ibly possessive of my videos, after having my pride wounded by the humbling A-kon 7 contest). Well, eventually Stefan was able to calm me down (it took him several days though). He helped me realize that the best way to recover from this wound to my pride was to make a splash with great NEW videos. I also received an apology e-mail from Duane, who got wind of my outrage from the video contest guy I was communicating with.
Well, fired-up by my outrage, and determined to improve my work, I started a new batch of videos. The results of this period of editing were "Just One of Those Days," "Midnight Star," and "Don't Walk Away." I took them to A-kon 8 and was awarded First Place for "Midnight Star" and the People's Choice award for "Just One of Those Days." At least, I think so. They only announced it once, and I was so shocked, I didn't fully absorb the announcment. It MIGHT be that "Midnight Star" got people's Choice and the First Prize went to "Just One of Those Days." But I think it was the other way around. ^_^
Anyway, Duane was there, and took Second place. I have to tell you, immature though it might be, I was SO glad to beat him. >;) What's more, Duane shook my hand, congratulated me, and apologized again in person about the Dare to be Stupid video fiasco. I was real nice and totally forgave him. Indeed, I felt that way too. I really did forgive him right then and there, because I felt like all that had been wrong was righted by the way I turned the anger into productivity. I don't think i would have become the video editor I am today if Duane hadn't done what he did. He fired-up my resolve to become a better editor than him. I'm not saying I actually AM better than him, but I wanted to BECOME better than him, and that compelled me to aspire to improve myself... which I did!
So in a weird way, I owe Duane thanks for copying my idea. ^_-
End of story!
Now then, since this video is from my clueless 1996 period, don't expect it to be good! It's not. Duane's IS superior (but you WILL recognize several shots in my video as being identical to his... proving that several of my ideas were good enough for him to reuse). This video is simply an early work I did before I ever saw anyone else's videos. I might someday go back and revise this video heavily... but I probably won't, because--like I said--it would look like I'm copying Duane.
Plus... come on, man, it's Weird Al. That's SO five-years-ago. ^_^
(Like all of my pre-2000 videos, I made this one with a camcorder and VCR.)