- Member: jhfong
- Studio: Ingress Productions
- Title: Better By Far
- Premiered: 2002-04-27
- Meat Loaf Wasted Youth/Everything Louder Than Everything Else
(Reprinted from :)
I first thought Meat Loaf's "Everything Louder Than Everything Else" would make a good anime music video several years ago... it was one of the earliest AMV ideas I had. Originally, I wanted to do it to Gundam Wing -- it would have emphasized the youth of the Gundam pilots and the way they defeated the existing social order. But after I saw the first volume of Kacho Oji/The Legend of Black Heaven at a club screening, I realized this song is a perfect match for the character of Oji Tanaka, and this was the result.
At the screening for the Sakura Con 2002 AMV contest, this was one of the few videos in the "Emotional" category to get some real laughs from the audience. Although I tried to work in some puns on the lyrics where I could, I wouldn't categorize this as a comedy video because it isn't, on the whole, inherently funny. As a matter of fact, since I'd already won an award for a comedy video ("'Cause I'm a Blonde") the previous year, I made it a point not to enter any comedy videos this time around. I could have saved "Girl Fight Tonight" until the competition, but I deliberately decided I should release it beforehand. Although I didn't win any awards this year, I appreciate the big cheer I got from the audience after this video was screened. Thanks, everyone.
The original version of this song is eight minutes long, but this was my first video where I edited down the music to a manageable size. The lyric sheet available on my site at shows which lines I cut out. All the audio editing was done in Premiere itself. At each splice, I used the rubber bands to fade out the end of one clip over five or six frames or so, while I faded in the beginning of the next clip at the same time, so they overlap each other. As long as I made sure the rhythm was intact, the transition was pretty much seamless. In the end, by cutting out the entire second verse and most of the repetitions, I got the song down to four and a half minutes. I hope, unless you're really familiar with the song, that you can't tell it's been edited at all. Of course, when there's only one verse and the "wasted youth" segment from the middle of the song going straight into the ending fadeout, there's a certain patched-together quality in the structure of the song now... like it's a medley.
Editing on this piece is very simple, just straightforward cuts. There are only a few uses of cross dissolves, and the only effects are the additive dissolves to white on the "better by far" lines. Oddly enough, though, I captured more footage for this video than in any other project, mostly because I'd get 30-second long scenes of Oji playing the guitar when I wouldn't know where I'd use them. I wanted to make sure I also got every instance of those weird op-art backgrounds and rotoscoped live action footage that occur on the anime in the guitar sequences. Most of the various styles used in the show are represented in the video.
From a thematic standpoint, the subject of this song matches up so well with Oji's character that it's very easy to imagine him singing it. In this video I've covered Oji's unhappiness over living a responsible life and how he dwells in the years of his "wasted youth", his conflicts with authority (his boss and Fomalhaut) and the importance of his music to him. I don't think Gabriel Tanaka of Black Heaven would really appreciate being compared to Meat Loaf, though. Also, when I started making this video I hadn't seen the ending to the series, and when I did I came off with a lot of sympathy for Oji's wife, Yoshiko. He really was treating her pretty badly, and I think it's pretty understandable that she'd try to leave him. On some levels, I was a little offended by the way the anime tried to portray Oji and Layla as meant for each other, when he's married and she's engaged. You'd think they'd know better... but this, I suppose, is characteristic of people who haven't yet learned to put their wasted youths behind them.
And I did have something of a personal connection to the message of this song and this anime, because let's face it -- I know I'm wasting *my* youth making these music videos, but see if I care.