- Member: Ashyukun
- Studio: Electric Leech Productions
- Title: Bubblegum Crisis: Streets of Fire
- Premiered: 2004-10-29
- Trailer 'Streets of Fire' Theatrical Trailer
- Anime USA's AMV Contest, Anime USA's AMV Contest (2004-10-29)
Another Time ..... Another Place
Every video has a story behind it... and I'm generally wont to ramble on about the stories behind mine more than I am going into the details of the video itself. :P
The story for this video starts at Otakon this year (2004), and with one of the videos in the AMV contest- A.T.Chang's Tonight is What it Means to be Young Final Fantasy video. The first time I saw this video, I wasn't too impressed with it- but the song was kind of catchy I though. When I saw it again at the main contest showing, I actually paid closer attention to it, and realized what he had been trying to do (and largely succeeded in) with the video- and the song really stuck. I highly recommend grabbing his video- it really is quite good, and I generally don't like most Final Fantasy videos at all. I woke up the next morning with the song from the video stuck in my head, and it persisted on and off until I got back home and tracked down an MP3 of the song, as well as doing some looking into the origins of the song- many of us had very quickly assessed that if it hadn't been written by Jim Steinmann it was obviously written in by someone channeling him (Steinmann, for those wondering "Who is this guy?", wrote most if not all of the songs on Meat Loaf's Bat out of Hell albums, for starters). Tonight is What it Means to be Young was indeed Steinmann's handywork. Given how totally addictive the song was, I decided that it was well worth buying the album the song was on. It is, to my knowledge, only on one album- the soundtrack to the movie Streets of Fire- and so it was this soundtrack that I ordered. After the soundtrack arrived (and I fell in love with the other Steinmann track on the disc, Nowhere Fast), I got kind of curious about the movie that had spawned this music... and tossed Streets of Fire onto my Greencine queue, about halfway down.. Much to my surprise, it came up fairly quickly and I soon found myself holding the DVD.
Streets of Fire is a movie that I can't really describe well. It's very 80's, full of cliches, bad acting, over-the-top action, riotously stupid dialog, and a couple of incredibly good songs (as well as overall a quite good soundtrack). In short- it's so bad that you have to love it and laugh your ass off watching it. Or at least that was my reaction to it. I mean, come on. The 'big climax' fight at the end is a sledgehammer duel. Yes, I typed that right. And no, I'm not referring to a duel with really big pistols, Sledgehammer style (You Might Be A Child of the 80's if...)- it's a fight between the hero and the villian using sledgehammers. But, given my love of the AMV Trailer 'genre', what was best about the disc for me was they had included the trailer for the movie on the disc- and it was classic 80's trailer gold. I didn't have anything in particular in mind for it- but I grabbed it off the disc before sending it back anyway, and archived it for future use.
About a month went by, and I finally finished up my DDR Project track and started to try and work on the trailer that I had thought up to submit to AnimeUSA. And I just couldn't get into it. I'd open up Premiere to work on it- and get bored after a few minutes of scrubbing through the footage. Nothing I came up with was working- despite having a grandiouse concept in my head, I just couldn't muster the enthusiasm about that particular project to make it really go anywhere. I finally decided I needed to do something that I could actually get fired up about (no pun intended)- and that was when I remembered the Streets of Fire trailer, and finally came up with an idea with where to go with it.
Streets of Fire focusses heavily on the music- there is somewhere near if not over 10 minutes of concert footage in the movie that's an integral part of it, and the songs are also rather integral. And the trailer makes heavy use of that footage, so my choices for what I could really use well were rather limited. Thankfully, I had thought up something that I figured would be a near perfect fit- the original Bubblegum Crisis OAVs.
BGC in many ways has a lot of the same trappings as Streets of Fire. The 'lead' female is a singer, and the male 'lead' is a bit of a rogue. Sure, Priss is about 20 times more macho and butch than Ellen Aim, and Leon is a cop instead of an ex-Army mercenary, but still. And Music plays a major part in the BGC episodes as well. It also rather helps that both shows hail from the 80's, and the style just works between the two of them. The rest of my (explicit) characterizations were just a bit off, too. Rick Moranis' character isn't the flippantly gay ADPolice officer that Daley Wong is, he's by all rights a money-grubbing asshole. And the girl I cast Nene as is a tough ex-Army motorpool mechanic with a foul mouth and an attitude (and the guns) to match- a far cry from the cake-loving hacker who contributes to the Knight Sabers with her 'incredible brains and stunning good looks' instead of being much use in a fight (most of the time). I had to laugh somewhat in that half the scenes in the trailer of Nene are from the few times she actually wields a gun and tries to do something useful in a fight. Willem DaFoe's character (who, much to my amusement, isn't actually credited in the trailer...), the biker-gang leader who is the primary villain, isn't too bad of a fit for Largo. Though Largo is far smarter (and stronger). It was hard finding some of the scenes of Largo, because it seemed like half the shots of DaFoe (a 20 years younger Willem DaFoe than battled Spider Man) were of him with a completely idiotic look on his face- and Largo jsut doesn't do that look.
But, what really made the trailer work (in my obviously not so humble opinion) was the concert footage. It just worked out that there were just the right scenes that I needed to make a decent match up with the concert footage from the original trailer in the footage of Priss's 'Konya Wa Hurricane' concert at the beginning of the first OAV (with 1 scene thrown in from 'Ase e Touchdown'). The concert footage just makes it all work. It was the first thing I laid down- and sitting back and watching it, I knew I could make the rest of it work.
That's not to say that there weren't some difficulties in 'the rest' of it. My biggest problem with the scene selection for the non-concert segments was the fact that Priss and Leon, in the original BGC OAV series, rarely so much as touch, much less kiss like the main characters in SoF are shown doing on three different occasions in the original trailer. So, I had to improvise a bit. But that's what makes trailers fun, to a decent extent... finding scenes that keep the intent of the original scenes but that aren't exactly the same. Another example of this- early in the original trailer, there are a few external shots of a subway/commuter rain train and then a shot of the main character (Tom Cody) inside the train. Now- there are shots of a similar nature in BGC- in ep. 7, Linna follows Reika (Vision) to Irene's grave, getting there via a train that is the Megatokyo equivalent of the subway trains. Of course, Leon isn't riding it- and the best scenes to use of Leon looking tough and cool were of him cruising in his ADPolice cruiser. I tried the scenes of the monorail leading up to the scene of him in the car- but they just didn't work. Ultimately I went with the more fluid lead-in of the ADP truck with the police cruiser behind it. I also tried, as much as possible, to avoid using any footage of the Knight Sabers. It was inevitable that a few shots of Priss and Nene in their suits would creep in, but I think I managed to keep the shots of the others (and always in a group) to a few quick-cut scenes.
Finally- I did slack off a bit on this one. I love working with text and text effects- most people who know me I believe are familiar with this. As such, I love the challenge of recreating text effects in trailers- even if I'm doing it for a video someone else is making. But I caved in with the title effects for this one. I know how to do the effect they used- unfortunately, it requires the stock footage of the 'flowing' fire, which I don't have any of. So I just worked with what I had and added in the 'Bubblegum Crisis' to the title (using their own fire footage from the title), using the 'flowing fire' from another part of the original logo where there wasn't any text (and having to slow it down a bit). Couldn't match the font exactly either- but I'm quite pleased with the font that I ended up with and the overall effect of the modified title.
And yes- I did have my usual fun in hiding a certain thing in the video. :)