Video Information


  • Member: Otohiko
  • Title: Tori (鳥)
  • Premiered: 2007-05-19
  • Categories:
  • Songs:
    • ПилОт Меня Среди Них Нет
    • ПилОт Чёрные Крылья
    • Pilot Black Wings
    • Pilot I Am Not Among Them
  • Anime:
  • Comments: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    File encoded with x264 codec. If you have trouble with playback, I suggest using the VLC player -

    For those who would like subtitles for this video -
    Make sure the subs have the same filename (with .srt extension) and are in the same folder as the .mp4 video file! Your player should load them automatically. Otherwise, refer below for lyrics.
    Thanks to shaister for providing the original sub file for this!

    NB – “Tori” means “Bird(s)” in Japanese

    Yohanga, hippies.

    To be brief, this is a fairly nominal Beyond the Clouds video to an acoustic (soft-)rock song in Russian. As ever, I guarantee nothing and certainly you might enjoy this one or have nothing to say about it at all. I can only hope for understanding, I suppose!

    This is a fairly personal video. The first time I watched Beyond the Clouds, I think it struck off a lot of personal and nostalgic notes, and I said to myself “I want to make a video to this and about this”. Very soon I realized that I wouldn’t be able to make a video with this movie to a song in any other language but my native Russian – since, as a professor of mine once rightly said, “you think in English but you feel in Russian”.

    The video is very much inspired by the work of the singer whose music is used in the video, Ilya Chort, including his short novel “Tori” which I had read while editing this AMV. I think Ilya’s words from the introduction to that novel will do a better job of leading into my own feelings about this video than anything I could say:

    “Hello friends and those less so!
    I wrote this little book in hopes of finally reaching you, because I understood that I just can't get through with normal conversations. This is a book about my dream, the dream of my whole life. It tells of that other person, who lives inside all of us, and whom you too have felt many times. And if even for a moment you stop everything you're doing and look up to the sky, then listening carefully, you will certainly hear that caged bird that rests within you, as though inside its cage.
    I dedicate this novel to those who have managed to preserve their Tori and carry it through their entire life, carefully guarding it from our pointless and completely unneccesary reality.
    I believe - fortune awaits you!


    (Ilya Knabenhoff, "Tori", p.2)

    This is also by far the hardest and most careful editing job I did so far. A lot of credit goes to jasper-isis and Orwell who provided extensive feedback during editing and more or less forced me to push a personal video to become at least a very adequate video.

    Two interesting things about the video editing process -

    1) I was originally planning to use another song, "Black Wings", and make the video more of a Hiroki profile. I wasn't very happy with the way it was working out, however, in part because the song had no rhythm section and some of the vocals were a little too raw. I found "I am not among them", which worked far better, but kept an intro section using "Black Wings" from my original idea.

    2) Contrary to common practice in video editing, instead of editing down the song/audio track, I actually lengthened it instead. Besides the "Black Wings" intro being inserted, I also doubled the length of the outro by doubling the repeating section. You won't notice it while watching, but that was a trick on my part...

    (translated from Russian)

    PilOt - I am not among them

    0:51 Trampled the earth under a boot
    0:58 did not feel sorry
    1:06 Scorched through the city with flames
    1:14 already
    1:20 Leaving the world to die alone
    1:27 in glowing ashes
    1:35 Forgot to cover eyes by hand
    1:43 went blind

    1:51 In grey coats
    1:54 Growing before my eyes
    1:58 Like childhood fears...

    2:01 I am not among them


    2:20 From a faucet, water dripped
    2:26 somewhere near me
    2:35 In empty halls, the spring was crying
    2:42 she deserved it
    2:49 But if tomorrow she should sleep
    2:56 who will notice?
    3:04 But someone will still wait
    3:12 and meet her

    3:20 The white dawn
    3:23 Will break what's forbidden
    3:26 By people in newspapers...

    3:30 I am not among them




    I won’t say much about Makoto Shinkai’s movie, since I think it’s just plain old requisite viewing and chances are, if you’re watching this AMV, you’ve already seen it.
    I really, really liked the movie, that’s all there’s to it. Though I think parts of it were, to some extent, overwrought, even on the visual level it’s just amazing.


    There was once a band in St. Petersburg underground scene called Military Jane, and they played grunge in underground clubs with their other underground friends like Jan Coo (whose music I used in my previous AMV) and had their share of crazy times. Military Jane, led by Ilya “Chort” Knabenhoff, performed songs strictly in broken English and didn’t seem to give a damn about popularity.
    Then, in 1997, the patriarch of Russian Rock, my hero Yuri Shevchuk, organized a huge rock festival in St. Petersburg in order to help the struggling Russian rock scene. Many largely unknown bands were invited to perform, including Korol’ i Shut (today Russia’s premiere thrash/punk band whose lyrics are comprised of folk-style storytelling) and of course Military Jane.
    However, there was a condition: to perform at the festival, a band had to have at least some songs in Russian. So, Ilya and co. wrote a pair of songs and played them to much success at the big arena. Somehow, the band suddenly realized they really liked doing it in Russian. So, after some thinking, the members of Military Jane reinvented themselves with a new Russian repertoire and a band name they picked specifically because it was “the stupidest and most ordinary name, in hopes that it wouldn’t ever get noticed with it and we would stay underground”: PilOt.
    With Ilya’s intelligent, philosophically-inspired lyrics, and an acoustic accompaniment, they released their first album “War” with quite some success, which was followed by touring with more energetic, punk-like songs. PilOt was gaining momentum; they never lost it and have been reinventing themselves both to the pleasure and dismay of their ever-growing fanbase. From the gentle and somber sound of “War”, to punky live performances that followed, to thoughtful but heavy “Our Sky”, to a very unusual, electronic-sounding “Gioconda”, and then to their latest heavy-handed punk-industrial sound with “Fish, Mole and Pig” and “B/W”, PilOt always maintained a pop-rock approach built around conventional songs with intelligent lyrics. They’ve gained many, many young fans and are now one of the most popular rock bands in Russia.

    Besides the ordinary love songs and urban portraits, PilOt’s lyrics also deal with spirituality, the beauty of nature and the greatness of the world, the meaninglessness of everyday life, the corruption of society and the quest to ascend above it, find truth, and become the ‘pilot’ of ones own destiny in order to (in keeping with Ilya Chort’s Buddhist beliefs) break the cycle of reincarnation and become one with the world forever.

    Many of the latter themes are emphasized throughout PilOt’s work, but most obviously on their concept album “The Tale of the Jumper and the Slider”, released in 2001.


    This concept album was created by PilOt as an expression of Ilya’s philosophical/spiritual/mystical ideas. On two CDs, it alternates between two elements: one being a fantasy story about a transdimensional creature called The Jumper; and the other being acoustic songs characteristic of the band’s early work.

    The story, narrated partially by Yuri Shevchuk, goes as follows: the Jumper, a small creature that’s located in some other strange dimension, is about to be thrust into “the game”, and is being instructed by a wise Chimera on the rules of “the game” and other six kinds of creatures that the Jumper will meet while in “the game”.

    The object of the game is for Jumper to, first of all, find his “other half” in the game, and then to find the other six creatures who have already found their “other halves”. When they come together, they will become a creature called The Slider, which unlike any of them separately will be able to “slide” through “the game” without ever becoming attached to anything. Only the Slider can leave “the game”, thereby winning it. The other creatures, by themselves, will never leave “the game” – and they cannot lose it, because they will simply be returned to “the game” again and again. They all have their strengths in their abilities to move through the game, but due to their weaknesses and incompleteness, they will inevitably become attached to something in “the game” and never be able to move past it by themselves without the help of another of the creatures.

    Thus, the Chimera wishes all seven creatures luck, they recite the rules of “the game” once more together, and with their consciousness erased, the Jumper and other creatures are launched into “the game”.

    I hope I don’t have to interpret the above :roll:

    The songs, meanwhile, are quite conventional and quite fit under the characteristics of PilOt’s work that I described earlier. “I am not among them” (Menya Sredi Nih Net) is the 28th track on the album, and comes after part 14 (of 17) of the story.

    For those of you who understand Russian or have any interest in it, you can download the entire album from PilOt’s official site here:
    (you can click on the “mp3” links to download)


    Since the above story certainly suggests an odd kind of literary talent on behalf of Ilya Chort, I should not have been surprised that, while editing this video, I suddenly discovered that he had published two short novels, and much like a lot of his other work – made them available for download on PilOt’s website.

    So, I immediately sat down to read one of them, “Tori” and was really struck by it – in terms of how well it resonated with me, and oddly enough, in terms of how it also resonated with things I wanted to do with the video and even to some extent “Beyond the Clouds”. The two stories feel similar, even if their philosophical directions are rather different.

    If you can read Russian, then skip everything I write about it below and treat yourself to this well-written work here:

    (“Tori” means “Bird(s)” in Japanese)

    The book tells the story of a certain Ronnie Jurgensen. Ronnie’s wife dies while giving birth to their son; struck by grief, Ronnie realizes that he must go on and raise the child himself. While still at the hospital, Ronnie passes by a family grieving the loss of a loved one named “Tori” – so, he simply names his son Tori.
    From a young age, Tori turns out to be far from a normal child. Soon Ronnie realizes that Tori will never be able to speak; however it also becomes apparent that Tori is not only mentally unaffected by this impairment, but actually has some amazing abilities. As the boy grows, these abilities develop thanks to Ronnie’s care. Ronnie soon finds ways of understanding and communicating with Tori that the lack of speech becomes no obstacle, and the boy learns at a rapid pace.

    For example, Tori masters mathematics and biology at a very early age; he becomes very knowledgeable about nature and seems to have a special connection to animals and wildlife. Though there are some interesting contradictions in his development; for example while Tori can effortlessly manage the most complex philosophical questions in his mind, he often cannot understand simple issues and everyday problems. Further, he seems to see the world in a very strange way; his perception of colors makes no sense to doctors – it is not color-blindness, but it is though he simply does not see the same colors from one moment to the next.

    More bizzarely, and seemingly somehow associated with the strange shifts in the way he sees colors, Tori can disappear. On several occasions, Ronnie witnesses Tori simply vanishing into thin air, only to reappear some moments later.

    When Ronnie is visited by FBI agents, he finally decides that he simply cannot expose Tori to any further risk. They pack up and leave immediately to a seaside house in the wilderness that once belonged to Ronnie’s late wife (and Tori’s mother). There, with the help of an old friend and neighbour named Tom, he continues to raise Tori safely from any danger.

    The book revels in its descriptions of beauty and mystery of nature. A love for animals is also apparent, with some attention devoted to the adventures of Tori’s pet hedgehog and various outdoor games with Tom, who claims to be an old pirate, living off the sea and knowing much about everything from local legends to using explosives.

    As it turns out, within Tori lives another, feminine soul of a being from a parallel world, referred to as the “5th rider” (the ‘normal’ world is referred to as the 3rd). The 5th rider is populated by the so-called birds – large steel-winged creatures of great intellect. They are capable of traveling between several of these “riders”, however they are frequently led by their queen – who has no limits in her ability to travel between “riders” - to worlds far beyond their own. Every year the birds migrate from the 5th rider where the winter climate of the steppes where they live becomes unsuitable to them. With their queen, they travel to higher worlds; however without her, they descend to the 2nd rider, briefly passing through the 3rd, which is likewise uninhabitable to them. Their queen, meanwhile, is a creature with a finite life cycle, but one that returns to them each time she dies after being re-born in another “rider”.

    As Ronnie, Tori and Tom discover, the place where they live is frequently visited by mostly invisible creatures from other worlds, whose presence can be detected with careful observation. Contrary to their fears, these creatures appear to have little if any interest in humans, Tori, or anything ordinarily associated with life on earth for that matter. Although they are capable of harming people, they have no interest in doing so, and will carry on their own strange cycles of behaviour.

    The three also search for a phenomenon called “Road to Heaven”, a pillar of light that occurs twice every year during large storms in the area. They do witness it, and while observing it, Tori briefly comes into contact with The Birds. As it turns out the “Road to Heaven” is the passageway that The Birds use during their yearly migration between the 5th and 2nd riders.

    At the end of the book, Ronnie and Tori finally manage to approach the “Road to Heaven”, leaving Tom behind. Together with the birds, they are brought to the 5th rider, where Tori turns to his true form (a young girl), gaining the ability to finally speak, as the Birds gather to hail the return of their queen.


    The video took approximately 50 hours of editing to produce, really a very tough effort but, in the end, I think worthwhile. The editing style is unusual and, I’m not afraid to admit, a bit unnatural for me, but I let it develop as it would. There are no complex effects or substantial overlays of any sort used; the main editing ‘fanciness’ here is a rather extensive amount of hand-tweaked blurs.

    Mushroom House Mk. Invisible
    PIV 3.06Mhz
    2048Mb DDR RAM
    80GB HD + 120GB External
    BFG GeForce 7800GS 256Mb
    Adobe Premiere 6.5

    Once again, I owe massive thanks jasper-isis and Orwell. Though their input was often tough to work with because of how much work it entailed, in the end it’s only thanks to them that I got the video to the stage where it became something more or less releasable.

    And thanks for watching, to those who thought it worth the time!

Opinions (6)

  • Orig
  • Visual
  • Sound
  • Synch
  • Lip
  • Effects
  • Effort
  • Re-View
  • Overall
  • 7.50
  • 8.50
  • 8.75
  • 7.75
  • 8.50
  • 6.25
  • 7.75