Video Information


  • Member: LenWidleheyt
  • Title: Jerk It Out: An Electric Love Story
  • Premiered: 2005-06-14
  • Categories:
  • Song:
    • Caesars Palace Jerk it out
  • Anime:
  • Participation:
  • Comments: Making this video has taken blood, sweat, tears and about three months from start to finish. The actual time spent on it is somewhere between 100 and 200 hours. It is my second video project to date. It is very effects-heavy, rhythmic, and fast-paced. As the experienced editor might notice, I did not use After Effects to make it; it was all done in Premiere 6.5, with the aid of Paint Shop Pro. Before I started this project, I didn't know how to use any effects at all. All I had done before was what I used in my first video, which was three kinds of transitions (cross dissolve, additive dissolve and iris), lip-synching with alpha-channels straight from the guides, and one regular effect; horizontal flip. I didn't even know how to change the speed of clips in Premiere. So this has been an effect making experiment and as such a great learning experience. For some more info on this video (if you feel that what's on this page isn't enough...), please have a look at my journal, starting on the 21st of March, 2005, and going on to the premiere date.

    What other people said

    "As a big FLCL fan, I can say that this kicked tremendous amounts of ass!"
    --Lone Wolf

    "Much serious skillage. Two horns up."

    "THIS IS AWESOME!! Allmost made me wanna JER.....>_>"

    The Song

    The Swedish band now known as Caesars used to be called Caesar's Palace. As far as I know, they had to change it because the casino in Las Vegas bearing the same name did not approve. Anyway, my sister introduced me to their music about a year ago, and I've been in love with them ever since. On May 13th this year, I got to see them perform live at my university. Great stuff. Jerk It Out is probably my favorite song by them. The organ riff is tighter than a monkey's ass, and nothing short of genious. I can never resist hitting something in beat with the music whenever I hear that song. My love for it (as well as its inherent creative genious) is probably proved by the fact that I still enjoy listening to it after having made this video. (I've never even once listened to "How Bizarre" after I finished "Excel's Middle Name".) Jerk It Out is part of the 2002 album "Love for the streets", which I really recommend checking out. I have AMV ideas for two more songs on that album; "Over fore it started", and "She don't mind". The second one is really great AMV material; listen to it and think Love Hina, and you might see what I mean.

    The Anime

    We've all heard the story a hundred times before; boy meets girl. Girl meets boy. Girl hits boy over the head with bass guitar. Boy's forehead sprouts horn that turns into extra-terrestrial robot. Even if you haven't seen the show, you can probably guess the rest by now, right?

    In a way, FLCL is all about three things: ROCK AND ROLL. And in another way, FLCL is all about something completely different (or maybe not so different?): a young boy of twelve, utterly confused as to how to handle the emotions stirred in him by the older females around him. These themes are like yin and yang, i.e. apparantly opposites, but really one and the same. I kept this tension in mind all through the editing work and tried to have it shine through as much as possible. Hence the title "Electric Love Story."

    Here's the best way I've come up with to explain why I love this show so much: even though no-one really know what FLCL is, after you've seen it you're left with the certainty that in all the six episodes there is not one second that is not one-hundred per cent FLCL.

    The Idea

    My love for the song combined with my love for the anime is what sparked the idea for this video. The basic idea was that with the wonderfully tight rhythm and awesome electric organ sound of the song, the video was going to need fast-moving images and lots of effects to keep up. Also, I felt that FLCL was the perfect anime to use for it; the lyrics seem to describe Naota's insecurity and problems with the opposite sex and challenge him to not shy away and keep at it ("It's easy, once you know how it's done..."). And the title itself is, of course, pure FLCL... On the whole, the song seems to match the FLCL theme of becoming adult in some way.

    I did not plan this video out before I made it (like I had resolved to do); my image of what it would look like was very hazy, but my feeling about the idea was very strong, and I so I set out editing it with only a couple of short, specific scenes in mind, plus a whole lotta soul... This is not always a good idea, I think, but in this case, I believe it worked.

    The Video

    The video - as it actually turned out - indeed uses a lot of effects and is quite fast-paced most of the time, which was the idea. The theme of Naota and his relationships to Haruko and Mamimi is there, Although it might not be all that obvious. I am very happy with how it turned out; I think I managed to achieve what I was aiming for, and also raising my own expectations for the video as I went along. I really hope I have made the song and the anime justice.

    I would way that this is probably a "love it or hate it" video, as is usually the case with effects-heavy videos.

    The making of the video

    It has taken me almost three months from start to finish to make this vid. I couldn't say how many hours I've spent on it, but it's at least well over a hundred. When I started, I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to pull it off because of all the heavy effects I knew I was going to need for it. As stated above, I didn't know how to use many Premiere effects, so in the beginning it was all just experimenting to see what the different effects could do. I can't begin to tell you how much fun I've had making this vid, or how much I've learned doing it.

    Special Thanks

    To all my friends who have so far endured my enthusiasm for this project.
    To AbsoluteDestiny and ErMaC for their great AMV guides; they were just as helpful the second time around.
    To Gainax for creating FLCL.

    Other Videos

    These are some videos I watched a lot during the making of this one. They are all great, and very much recommended:

    -FLCL vids
    Noch Ein Mal by Pokich
    Everything That's Wrong by Jebadia
    Shameless Rock Video by AbsoluteDestiny
    Haruko the Superfreak by Scintilla

    -Non-FLCL vids
    Azumanga or DIE-oh! by dwchang
    Die Another Day by VicBond007

    The Song Lyrics

    Wind me up
    Put me down
    Start me off and watch me go
    I'll be running circles around you sooner than you know
    A little off center
    And I'm out of tune
    Just kicking this can along the avenue
    But I'm alright

    Coz it's easy once you know how it's done
    You can't stop now
    It's already begun
    You feel it
    Running through your bones
    And you jerk it out

    And you jerk it out

    Shut up
    Hush your mouth
    Can't you hear you talk too loud
    No I can't hear nothing cause I got my head up in the clouds
    I bite off anything that I can chew
    I'm chasing cars up and down the avenue
    But that's ok



    And you jerk it out
    And you jerk it out
    And you jerk it out, oh baby don't you know you really gotta jerk it out
    When you jerk it out, oh baby don't you know you really gotta jerk it out
    When you jerk it out, oh baby don't you know you really gotta jerk it out

    Tech Stuff


    Since this was a video effect study, here's a rundown of some of the more interesting uses of effects throughout the vid.

    0:16-0:20 The static effects used throughout the video was an idea that came to me early; at first I only meant to use it for the very first bar with the images of Naota and Haruko, but then it turned out to fit extremely well into a few different scenes as well, and grew into becoming part of the main theme of the video. I like the fact that it did, because to me the effect is really the visual equivalent of the electric organ used as the main theme of the song. I experimented with a lot of different effects to get the right kind of static: Noise, Wind, Wave, Roll, Horizontal Hold, Vertical Hold and Black And White, to mention the main ones. In the end, I ended up just using Noise and sometimes wind. Oh, and Roll in the ending scene and credits. I figured less is more.

    0:20-0:24 I loved this idea when I got it. This image of Haruko is shown for something like five frames during the ending sequence. For the clips used as reflections, I've used Black And White and Tint to get the color, and Lens Distortion to make them bulge. The background came as an afterthought, but turned out to be very suitable.

    0:24-0:27 Same as above, but easier to make. This idea looked better inside my head...

    0:41-0:49 Here, the Clip effect is used on the center clip with a completely green background color (0,255,0), so that using a Non-red transparancy yields the right part of the clip. If the transparant areas of the clip had never changed over time, I could have done it in an easier way, but as it is now, the areas change towards the end of this scene. The top and bottom parts of this scene is a clip taken from episode 5 (when Naota gets hit by the truck) with the Tint effect. It's also been mirrored around a vertical center line to get rid of the top of the truck, which was showing at the top of the image before. You can see this if you look closely at the middle of the top slice.

    0:49-0:52 It took a long time to get this right. The black lines themselves are photoshop images moving together with the clips. The trickiest part was actually deciding what kind of clips to use for the vertical bars. At the start, they were moving action clips with the effects B&W, Extract and Tint used on them to make them look like comics printed on colored paper. This turned out very messy and ugly, so I decided to to something different with it. The same idea turned out much nicer later on in the vid...

    0:52-0:59 Not very interesting really. I used the Crop effect to get rid of the ugly edges of the smaller clips. To see what it would have look like otherwise, take a look at Scintilla's awesome video Haruko the Superfreak at 1:59.

    1:07-1:12 This is the "Additive Dissolve" transition, with the same opacity throughout the scene.

    1:12-1:14 The most noise-heavy part of the video. Here, I've used two instances of the noise effect, increasing in strength from 0% to 100% each.

    1:28-1:35 Same as 0:41-0:49.

    1:35-1:39 Let me just say that going frame-by-frame through FLCL can be very entertaining... I really recommend trying it. In particular, have a close look at the scene in episode 4, where Naota and Mamimi are sitting on the grass near the bridge and Haruko stops on her vespa and picks up Mamimi. Go frame by frame just as Mamimi gets up and runs away from Naota.

    1:53-2:08 These clips were added to the timeline very early on in the process, but the coloring was among the very last touches I made. The clips from episode 6 are greyer than the ones from episode 1, so I used Color Balance to make them whiter. As you slide the three bars from (100%,100%,100%) to (130%,130%,130%) you of course go past some other combinations which give the the clips different color schemes. This is how the idea was born. It is also an example of how experimenting pays off in the form of random discoveries.

    2:11-2:15 The effects Noise and Lens Distortion.

    2:50-2:52 The Extract effect plus transparancy.

    2:58-3:16 In the beginning, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how masks work. I was disappointed to find out that when you use the transparancy mode "image matte" to mask out part of a clip, the mask does not move with the clip; it stays exactly the same in the same place no matter in how many ways you move, transform or distort the video clip. Hence, masking moving scenes would be a problem. This ended up not being a very big problem, but it still shows in the video in these scenes; the foreground masks were meant to move slightly sideways, just like in the earlier masked scenes with Naota and Haruko, but with the reflections in their glasses, I just couldn't find a way to do it. With some hacking, I might have managed Canti and Amarao, but the image in Kamon's glasses is just too close to the edge of the mask.

    -The encode
    If you look closely at the parts of the video with a lot of static in them, particularly the ending sequence, you will notice that it looks very blocky in those areas. The reason for this is the following. Noisy video is extremely hard to compress, so when I used the same, recommended XviD settings for the whole video, those parts with a lot of static got a ridiculously high bitrate. So high, in fact, that it would not play smoothly on my computer. I made 6 different 1st-pass encodes and 8 different 2nd-pass encodes before I managed to solve this issue. The key to solving it was using zones to manually lower the bitrate of the affected frames. By allowing those scenes to have only 20% of the bitrate they would normally get, I got a smoothly running video at the expense of losing a lot of quality in those scenes. The manga scenes during the drum solo also suffered a little from this problem, and were set to get 50% of their normal bitrate.

Opinions (23)

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  • 9.32
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  • 9.53