- Members: VegettoEX, MeriC
- Title: The Professional
- Premiered: 2002-05-22
- The Professional Movie Trailer
** PRODUCTION NOTES **
Meri and Mike had been thinking long and hard about a new trailer to do. It had been a full year since the weekend-creation of the "X-Men" / DBZ trailer. Dozens of ideas had been passed back and forth, but none seemed to have the "uumph" that they should.
Until one day when Mike and his roommate, Andrew "Deluxe," were simply talking about movies, and "Leon (The Professional)" came up. It was perfect. "Cowboy Bebop" would precisely fit the idea of this trailer. It took three days to remember to have Meri bring home the DVD to rip the trailer, but eventually, it was done.
Work began at Meri's house one evening, with the basic plopping of a few scenes into the first few seconds of the trailer. It seemed that it was going pretty slowly, but was looking rather decent to us. We were pleased with how it was proceeding, and took a break for the night.
The next day, the technique would be to bring Meri's computer to Mike's house, set up her computer with his monitor in his dining room, and just spend hours and hours a day going back and forth with ideas and editing on the project. Several days progressed this way, with many hours being put in.
The assigning of characters was pretty obvious to us, despite there seeming to be several disadvantages. For one, Leon and Mathilda (in the actual movie) spend a lot of time together; Spike and Ed simply do not. It would prove to be a challenge to make it appear that Spike and Ed were closer than they actually were. Vicious fell neatly into the role of Norman (the "bad" cop). Jet also very neatly fell in as Tony, Leon's / Spike's friend.
At the beginning of the trailer, we see Leon going about his hitman business, with an assignment of just another kill. He has no worries, no concerns, no business with others. The "villain" from episode one fit in as this kill pretty easily (he's got a mug shot to use, he literally does come into town, etc). We were looking for a slightly amusing introduction to Leon, which is why we showed him being interrupted in his meal.
Leon's introduction of qualities was a fun part to do. Using a plethora of scenes from "Toys in the Attic," it appears that Spike really is all geared-up as a professional hitman. Leon being "the master" was intended to be another amusing shot, which is why a rather unflattering close-up was chosen.
The "Somebody's coming up.. somebody serious" scene was a ridiculous pain. The elevator was easy enough. However, finding a shot of an obvious bad guy talking with another person in a creepy, dark place, obviously looking concerned about the immediate future.. that was tough. The scene that we used was our first choice, but did not work right from the start. The talker moves his arms far too much to have been able to lip-sync without flailing all over the place. An image mask was used to cover the area below his head so that we *could* sync up his lip movements without looking horrible.
"He never got caught.." was originally intended as a joke until we could find a "better" scene, but ends up in the final version. Why? It's funny by itself, and it's even funnier if you remember the context of the situation Spike is actually in at the end of "Mushroom Samba."
"And above all else.." brings the first change of mood in the trailer. In the original trailer to "The Professional," we're given a long pan-up of Mathilda. We wanted a similar type scene. A long shot of Ed's silhouette was the decision. This way, the viewer is able to tell that a new character is entering the story, but we weren't quite ready to tell her back-story, yet. At the same time, we see Leon going about his business, unaware of the trouble he's about to fall into... thus, he walks a dog.
Vicious' introduction is actually one of the first scenes put into the project file. Mike was stubbornly fixed upon using that shot, and so it is. It's pretty sexy looking, too.
Mathilda's story begins its telling of a family shot, bringing us our orphan hero girl (played by Ed). She is shown narrating her story from what is intended to be her home after being trashed by the officers who had shot her family.
The picture... oh, the picture. It looks so wrong. But so funny. Apparently Ed got sick and lost a lot of weight after her family was killed.
We cracked ourselves up for a good hour during the editing of the "doorbell ring" scene. Ed's pressing a button to open a door to the bathroom, and Spike's opening the door to a refrigerator with a mutated animal. Somehow, it fits together to make it look like Ed is trying to make her way into Spike's home (in the original trailer, we see Mathilda walk past her own door, because the officers are still there looking for her; she pretends she lives at Leon's and the door is locked). She pleads to be let in.. if not, she'll die for sure.
Ed and Spike begin their introductions to each other as Leon and Mathilda. She's an "innocent girl" meeting a "cleaner." The shot of Spike used for his "cleaner" line is meant to be comical; while he infers that he's a hitman, he says "cleaner," and looks like he's just about to go wash a bathroom for someone.
The mood changes once more as Ed asks Spike to help her in her quest for vengeance against the individuals who had killed her family (she was closest to her brother). Spike has a talk with Tony (played again by Jet) who warns him that he may be getting into more than he can handle. Vicious then begins his own major insanity, demanding that everyone involved be brought to him to deal with.
There's only one real scene of Vicious yelling; so we used it! He looks crazy, just as Gary Oldman played "Norman" in the actual movie.
And so begins the "music video" section of the trailer. The first part is meant to show Ed and Spike going about their routines, not quite being tied down by their responsibilities (Ed with nail polish, Spike washing his plane). Soon, however, Ed's request to go after the men responsible for her family's death comes into play, and the two of them prepare for the upcoming battle. Vicious, himself, is simply crazy and we show him as such, escaping from custody, also preparing for his fight.
The next part shows Ed and Spike "training," per se, and making their way out of hiding and into the real world, where Vicious waits for them. We see Spike enter the building on Ed's behalf. The toughest part here was to make it appear as if Ed is actually helping Spike in some way, rather than just being left behind. We used shots of her at the computer to suggest she is helping out "behind the scenes."
Spike fights Vicious on Ed's behalf, wounding himself several times in the process. Throughout the entire video, we strayed away from using so-called "money shots" (that is, of course, the most overused scenes in "Cowboy Bebop" you see in every god damned video :D). However.. we had to use it. It just fit so perfectly. BOOM goes the church window. If you don't know what we're talking about, you will once you watch the video :).
And so the video ends with the defeat of Vicious at Spike's hands... to.. avenge Ed. Yeah.
Mike and Meri (we) both worked on nearly every part of the video. Meri probably did a bit more of the lip-synching and ol' fashioned image editing, where-as Mike did a lot of editing stuff and insisting that it looked like shit and needed to be redone.. a lot. Usually for reasons that couldn't be expressed in a spoken language.
** RANDOM FUN FACTS (concerning the creation process) **
- Mike wandered off many times to talk to his cats.. who were sleeping at the time
- So much soda was consumed.. so much..
- Meri needed to wear gloves while editing one night because she's a cold pansy
- Mike's dad actually watched it through without complaining
- Some subtle special effects were used for the first time!
- We ended up calling Melzarbon for help (or simply Scott) at work.. and ended up not doing what we called for help on
- What day is it, again?
- Meri's house was overrun by luscious teenage girls, so the computer was moved to Mike's dining room for efficiency's sake (.. god dammit.....)
- Approximately 20 hours total work
- Apparently that's it
** CLOSING WORDS **
We hope you enjoy this trailer. It's been a year since the last one, and hopefully our growth as video creators can be seen. We had fun making it. Please feel free to leave an opinion and let us know what you think.
** EQUIPMENT USED **
- "Cowboy Bebop" DVDs 1-6 (eps. 1-6, 8-14, 16-17, 19-20, 22-26)
- "Leon / The Professional" DVD (International Version)
- HP Pavillion
- 1.5 GHz, 128 MB Ram, ATI All-in-Wonder Video Card
- DVD Decrypter, DVD2AVI, Notepad
- Adobe Premiere 5.1, Adobe PhotoShop 5.5
** TECHNICAL INFORMATION **
- Master AVI file encoded HuffyUV, 720x480, 48 kHz stereo sound
- MPEG encoded 352x240, 2-pass variable bitrate (3000 max, 2000 ave, 300 min), 48 kHz 192 kbps stereo sound (TMPGEnc); 34.3 MB, 2 minutes 28 seconds (02:28.00)
** REMINDER NOTE **
Two people worked on this. Unfortunately, there is no system in the database for entering collaboration videos (more than one creator). Due to this, the same video is listed under two accounts ("VegettoEX" and "MeriC"). If you plan on leaving an opinion, please leave identical opinions on both entries.