Video Information


  • Member: Otohiko
  • Title: She Was
  • Premiered: 2007-09-29
  • Categories:
  • Song:
    • David Sylvian The Only Daughter
  • Anime:
  • Comments: File encoded with x264 codec. If you have trouble with playback, I suggest using the VLC player -


    Good evening hippies

    In brief: A minimalist soundscape/poetry video about separation, with an unusual editing approach focused on mood and texture. Bleak ambient (and slightly distorted) soundtrack with half-sung poetry read over it set to naturally beautiful visuals with subtle, fuzzy effects.

    This is a kind of video I always wanted to do; the absence of rhythm or melody and rather vague lyrics made a pretty interesting editing challenge but I think this also resulted in a very natural (if different enough) take on 5cm per Second. I didn't exactly stick to the source thematically, in fact I pretty much ignored the story sequence here and instead focused on structuring it around the mood I wanted.
    Quite a lot of David Sylvian's music strikes me for having a rather unique quality: vivid bleakness. In many ways I think this describes 5cm per Second. To me, besides separation, this video has another major theme: a dulling of emotions that many people experience at certain points or stages in their lives. Rather than the drama and pathos of love and breakdown, neat stories with beginnings, ends, highs and lows, confusion and resolution - feelings and memories become a string of half-broken but nevertheless colourful and detailed images.
    So, with "vivid bleakness" as a theme, you can't expect anything resembling a drama/romance/sentimental video too closely here. In many ways it was consciously an anti-drama/romance/sentimental video.

    It also a development of some visual and thematic ideas from a number of my previous videos - namely, Damage and Tori being closest since they revolved around similar themes and used very similar sources to this (David Sylvian's music in Damage, Shinkai's "Beyond the Clouds" in Tori) - albeit with very different editing solutions; The Plot Thickens in terms of using scenery and editing minimalism (if I were pretentious, I'd call that "visual poetry"); and Conet where I learned a lot about editing videos to unusual/noisy/bleak audio sources appropriately.

    NOTE - Before anyone asks, everything that looks like a video encoding error or bad audio in this video is 100% intentional. Goes with the minimalist territory, I guess.

    Thanks for watching.

    (more notes below)

    (note - only the words clearly heard in the video are included, the full original song has more lyrics)

    David Sylvian - The Only Daughter

    She was, she was
    A friend of mine

    Do us a favour,
    Your one and only warning -
    Please be gone by morning

    She was, she was
    A friend of mine

    Words on paper
    The tracks still warm -

    I came to hate her

    Smitten no longer -
    Me, the only daughter

    Render the vow -
    It's my home now

    This your one and only warning
    Please be gone by morning

    And now the ending is clear
    (She won't even see it)

    The pen is dropped,
    The room's in order
    I masked the spot

    Me, the only daughter



    5cm per Second is Makoto Shinkai's (Beyond the Clouds: A Place Promised in Our Early Days, Voices of a Distant Star). Visually it's similar to all his work, only prettier. Sad, thought-inspiring little movie.
    I won't say anything else about it. Go watch it.

    From :
    "Blemish is David Sylvian's first solo album since 1999ís Dead Bees on a Cake. It is experimental in its use of electronics and sound. It features Derek Bailey, an avant-garde guitarist and Fennesz, a guitarist and electronic music musician . It was released in 2003 and is a bold departure in its starkness and vulnerability."
    David Sylvian is one of my favorite musicians/poets/lyricist, and certainly has my favorite voice - he doesn't even have to sing to make words sound beautiful. I highly recommend his work, but only to the adventurous and mature ears.



    The video is from a (supposedly) HD source, downscaled to 848x480 for reasons of keeping sanity when editing.

    I've only used default Premiere filters, which I think worked sufficiently well. Keyframed blurs are present throughout; a key distortion filter is various types of wind; I used a highly desaturated version of Color Offset; the "glow" effect around the edges is a weird use of keyframed Channel Blur set to alpha channel only with frame edges treated as alpha.

    The film noise was added to the video post-export via VirtualDub using MSU OldCinema Filter 2.0 at minimal settings. Pretty nifty:

    The final version was encoded with ZarxGui at Quantizer=18 - mostly because I thought that at the default 20, the compression losses due to the constant subtle noise in the video were too much.

    Editing time: ~30 hours


    Temple of Isis Mk. I
    AMD64 Dual-Core 2400MHz
    2048Mb DDR2 RAM
    80GB HD + 120GB External
    XFX GeForce 8600GTS 256Mb
    Adobe Premiere 6.5



    godix, Orwell - thorough editing feedback on two versions of the video
    aesling, Malificus - general beta feedback
    jasper-isis - general beta feedback, title picture

    Thanks for watching!

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