- Member: jhfong
- Studio: Ingress Productions
- Title: Purple Haze
- Premiered: 2002-04-27
- Character Profile
- Kronos Quartet Purple Haze
- Sakura Con 2002, Sakura Con 2002 (2002-04-26)
(Reprinted from http://www.evilnet.net/~jhfong/amv/purple-haze/index.html:)
At the Sakura Con 2002 AMV contest, this video was delayed until near the end of the screening, after some of the audience had already left and turned in their ballots. Apparently, the AVI version of the file on the disc I submitted was corrupt, and when the staff were able to convert the QuickTime file, it was shown stretched vertically into a 3:4 aspect ratio instead of the 16:9 I'd rendered it as originally. So I didn't think the contest gave me enough of a chance to show this video the way I wanted it. This is unfortunate because I put more effort into "Purple Haze" than in my other entry, "Better By Far", and I wanted this video to have the higher priority in the competition. In any case, here's where you can find it the way it was meant to be seen.
The video contest was held on April 27, 2002, the night before the funeral for Jimi Hendrix's father. This is just an interesting coincidence, since I completed this video a month before he died. I'm mentioning this because I tried to match up the visuals closely to Hendrix's lyrics, which you can see here on my site, even though you can't actually hear them in this cover by Kronos Quartet. Why didn't I just use the original recording? Mainly because I thought the idea of a string quartet playing "Purple Haze" matched up well with Utena's atmosphere of fairytale elegance, while also presenting a strange juxtaposition reminiscent of the differences between the movie and TV versions of Utena. Also, this instrumental version has a definite ending with the strings doing a remarkable imitation of guitar feedback, unlike the original which ended on a repeat-and-fade.
This video focuses on Anthy and Shiori, the two purple-haired witches who form the center around which the movie's weirdness revolves, and features Utena, Saionji, Touga and Juri, the characters they've manipulated with their powers. I knew going in that this video would be very effects-heavy in order to develop *purple* as a motif, in the hair colors and, in Shiori's case, her eyes which are more purple than her hair. The opening of the song and the instances of "purple haze" in the lyrics use zoom-ins/zoom-outs onto a field of purple using Premiere's Image Pan filter. I applied a time-dependent Radial Blur on top of the zooms in order to mask the pixellization of the image. Radial Blur is very CPU-intensive, and I pre-rendered those sequences so I wouldn't have to keep recalculating them. I tried to convey the impression of *haze* with Gradient Wipes using radial gradients overlaid with cloud patterns in Photoshop. I also employed a similar technique to pull off the visual pun in the "kiss the sky" line at 0:57, but I think it goes by a little too fast to be effective.
This was also the first time I tried overlaying clips on top of each other, but I haven't quite gotten the hang of using them yet. Fading the overlays out right before making a cut doesn't seem to be a good idea. Also, there isn't much harmony between the compositions of each layer, except for the happy accident at 1:58, with Anthy's profile superimposed over the background of stars and water, and Anthy in the dance scene standing to the side of the picture.
By the way, the picture of Shiori lying on the bed at 0:24 doesn't occur in the movie itself, but rather was scanned from the movie's artbook. There were far fewer scenes with Shiori than with Anthy in the movie, so I took whatever I could find.