The Quickening - Videos

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Re: The Quickening - Videos

Postby irriadin » Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:54 pm

pacotacoshell wrote:Holy balls, Ileia's video was amazing. 2:17 was probably the best thing ever.

x2. I have to finish watching Utena...

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Re: The Quickening - Videos

Postby Aeirata » Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:37 pm

Great job you two. I liked both of them, but lleia's was just amazing. Anybody know the anime source for Mally's?

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Re: The Quickening - Videos

Postby Ileia » Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:08 pm

Aeirata wrote:Anybody know the anime source for Mally's?

Senki Zesshou Symphogear :o

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Re: The Quickening - Videos

Postby Kinematics » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:15 am

First, congratulations to the winners of the finals.

I ended up for various reasons not getting around to writing up a review before the conclusion. Still, it's nice to be able to read so many other people's comments as well. There were only a handful of other serious posts looking into the videos in earlier rounds, and it felt a bit like I lost out in not getting much of a chance to learn as much, myself. The couple reviews I did see were quite helpful to me, in allowing me to see things I otherwise would have missed.

Still, I'd feel remiss if I failed to at least make the attempt on everything up to the end. From the judging it's already clear that these are all top quality videos, so differences are largely going to be attributable to my own preferences.

[Ileia] Stabbin' Fever

Strong intro. Good sync and scene coherency all the way through. Absolutely no complaints about the technical quality of the editing.

This was the only one of the group to use the full song length. I think it would have been perfect, however, if it ended at about the 2 minute mark like the others (assuming one could find a decent editing point). The stuff that came after felt a bit more like it was tacked on (and had to deal with the awful interlude), rather than integral to the core video -- as if it were two videos spliced together. Unfortunately, scene-wise that cutoff point was about 1:45-1:50 (or maybe up to ~2:08, but that cuts off at an awkward point), which would have left it short of the requirements for the contest.

[LopezAMV] Endgame

The imagery of the intro was good, but the energy was lacking. Felt rather bland. Improved over time, but... A lot of the first half of the video felt like it was too indebted to the lyrics, and just didn't feel smooth or natural (eg: awkward cuts such as the expression change at ~0:22).

Color was all over the place. Lots of scenes had a general color overlay, but switched between that and other shots without a lot of coherency. In general, an indicator of the weakness of the scene selections as a whole.

The last 20 seconds or so (admittedly, part of the sucky bridge segment) was a bit too much random giant robot stuff.

[Mally] - LimeLight

Good intro. Good imagery and solid energy.

Sync seemed slightly off when the vocals started, but problem didn't resurface.

Probably the best, thematically, of the 4. Holds together throughout the video.

Bizarre out-of-place imagery: opening a bag of chips. Every single time I watch it, that little clip bugs me.

Closing was excellent at capturing a sense of frenetic insanity. Nice audio cut to get rid of the bridge.

[riccardocasu]Unlimited Blood Works

Nice start, but the timing started to get slightly off shortly after.

Thematically weaker. In this case, the lyrics just seem out of place compared to the imagery. There's a tenuous link, but not enough to pull it away from the feel that it's more random fight scenes than a solid story.

Editing was pretty solid. No real complaints on the technical side.

Top picks:
[Ileia] Stabbin' Fever
[Mally] - LimeLight

Interestingly, I end up with exactly the same picks as the overall judging. Usually my choices are at least a little bit different. However, -because- I read the judging before writing my reviews, I'm trying hard to avoid simply repeating the points made, and it's not always easy.

Championship vid reviews shortly..

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Re: The Quickening - Videos

Postby Kinematics » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:33 am


[Ileia] Thorns and Roses

Am surprised I didn't think of Utena as a source when I was considering what I'd hoped would show up, especially since the box set for it is like an arms-length away from my desk.

As for the video itself... Not sure what I can say. Was beautiful.

Love the windowed cuts at the start.

I mentioned the lack of emotional impact in your Tiger & Bunny video, of it being 'too clean'. That wasn't the case here; the emotional energy grabbed on from the first notes and didn't let go. A very few scenes felt like they were somewhat weaker selections, but I could understand that if you restricted choices to exclude most of the secondary characters. Also, one or two of the angry-face Utena scenes didn't seem to quite match the mood of the lyrics at the time they appeared (though they were not out of place in general).

Most importantly, it never lost its momementum. Every scene flowed from the last and to the next. There was no jarring discontinuity in direction, color or flow.

About the only scene that felt out of place was the running at ~0:40-0:42; it just didn't seem to contribute anything to the video. It kept the energy of the motion going, but just didn't feel like it was there to -do- anything.

[Mally] Wielding Grief

Initial intro was ok, but failed on the transition to the heavy bass. The music gets stronger while the video gets weaker.

Weak link between lyrics and video -- essentially, weak scene selection. They just didn't feel like they went well together.

The cross of the video imagery of sometimes dancer/idols, and sometimes armored alien fighters, just didn't work. It didn't blend well together, and no effort was made to keep the transitions between the two seamless.

0:42 - Errant lip flap

0:45 - Lyrics for "no one else around", immediately moving into a concert scene; felt wrong.

Felt too much like it was pulling scenes that happened to match the lyric tone in the source, but not spending enough time crafting the feel for that tone into the amv itself.

1:34+ - Increase in energy in the song, no matching increase in video.

Final chorus - expecting some sort of resolution relative to the lyrics of the song, but just falls into generic fight scenes instead.

Well, should be pretty clear what my preference on this one is. Ileia's video was outstanding.

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Re: The Quickening - Videos

Postby Kinematics » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:36 am

Personal notes:

In the past I've focused almost exclusively on technical flaws, as that's what I feel I'm best suited to analyze. Towards the second round and up, I was finding myself struggling quite often with videos where technical issues were minor at best, and instead trying to work out how to approach a critique on a thematic or contextual basis.

Since my focus has been more on technical, that also guides the approach I use in writing things up. I set a bar that I consider 'flawless' (or close enough that it starts getting incredibly nitpicky to move beyond it), then find the gaps that divide the actuality from the ideal. That ends up with my reviews being written almost entirely in the negative, even for videos that I really do like a lot, and I hope people didn't find my writing overly critical.

On the other hand, at the higher end where technical issues are a lesser concern, I find myself floundering in trying to shape what I write. There is no 'ideal' marker for me to judge against, and I don't want to say "You're wrong" to someone who merely has a different creative vision than my own. This is the part where I really wish there had been more people writing reviews, to give some sort of balance and context to my own view of the videos.

In addition, I feel like I'm lacking the vocabulary to properly express my views, and that that limits what I'm able to say (there's posts on the forums with various general terms, but not much with specific technical minutia). This leads to not being able to easily pinpoint specific scenes and time frames during a critique, and makes it feel like I'm doing a disservice to the creator in not being able to point to specific bits for them to examine and work on.

I feel like I should also be putting more into what I consider was done right in each video. With the technical review, what's "right" is, "Don't make these mistakes." It's not nearly that clear on the creative side, though. I tried to add a bit of that in Ileia's notes, but it's just a minimal start. Hopefully I can find ways to improve over time.

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