Video Information


  • Member: Davis 51
  • Studio: Under The Box Productions
  • Title: Cloud Anime
  • Premiered: 2013-08-09
  • Categories:
  • Song:
    • Cloud Atlas Cloud Atlas Trailer Audio
  • Anime:
  • Participation:
  • Comments: About the video:
    Cloud Anime...this idea was bouncing in my head the second I saw Cloud Atlas. Something about the idea of six different stories, with completely different artistic styles, drawn by a common thread. I wanted to explore the commonly seen storytelling tropes split among many of my different favorite shows. In the film, the ideas and themes of eternal recurrence span different stories and genres. I think, could they not also span different animation styles?

    Ultimately, the thread pulling characters together is the fundamental human ideal of caring about someone other than yourself. To me, that transcends almost every other emotion, floating above it all to the point where you forget you are switching between 2D and 3D animation, between Yoshifumi Kondō and Tetsurō Araki, between Matrix future and Goodfellas past. Humanity and its boundless supply for caring essentially guarantees that the same dilemmas, scenarios, and tropes, are bound to repeat themselves in our reality and our storytelling. Our destiny is not predisposed by fate, or reincarnation, but rather predisposed by our nature. And it will happen again and again and again. I wanted to capture that raw feeling.

    To hammer this home, there were many shots that were match cuts. But after I had them in, a handful of them I decided to separate by space. In doing so, there created a cognitive distance which tries to force you to think about the parallels you just saw. I'd like to think I succeeded. When I got into Anime USA this year, being the only trailer to receive an ovation was a super proud moment of mine. I am so thankful that the audience enjoyed my work (Hopefully not just for the little bit of implied yaoi... XD)! It makes the hobby worth it to me.

    About the editing process:

    So far in my editing career, this was my most ambitious work. I try never to cut out any of the original song as a general rule. Unfortunately, this trailer was like 6 mother trucking minutes.

    Believe it or not, picking the sources was the easy part! Once I accepted the self-imposed restriction that each source would be from a different artistic style/different directorial vision, it was no trouble to find stories which could be manipulated into serving my purpose. The hard part was making the characters match up with their live action counterparts, not just scene for scene, but interaction for interaction. That's a lot of juggling! I can only pick out two bits of dialog where I did not actually match the anime to the source. Necessary evil to make everything work.

    Some of my earlier cuts looked and felt a lot slower, with the last shot being just a shot of Cloud Strife staring out offscreen (much how the real trailer ends with Tom Hanks staring offscreen), and because I tend to over-sync background details, a drop of water would have bounced in and out of the frame with the beat. Ultimately that didn't quite feel right and I ended up ramping up the action in the last several ending shots. I have a few shots I would change up if I could (and I did change up one or two between conventions, very lightly...), but in the end, there are less shots that I would change than there are in other videos I've done, so I can live with it.

    The title card was an adventure to edit. I can't draw a straight line for the life of me, so I had to carefully put together the parody title in Paint.NET (Iz too broke for photoshop) line by line. I spent more time on that title card than I did editing about a third of the video. I loved the final result though...worth it! Consequently, the final card with the wall of text was just kind of thrown in there at the last second.

    I did have some other effect work, brightening and darkening some scenes, some strange speed ramping, etc. I literally day for night-ed a section of death note so the color scheme matched the previous shots of Ghost in the Shell, and turned an underwater scene glowing.

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