- Member: atchang
- Title: What it Means to Be Young
- Premiered: 2004-04-29
- Fire, Inc Tonight is What it Means to be Young
Finalist: Otakon 2004 AMV Contest- Romantic /Sentimental
Runner- Up: Otakon 2004 AMV Contest - Romantic /Sentimental
Participant - AWA 10 AMV Expo
I submitted this video to Otakon 2004..Then released it for download not long after the submission becuase I was certain (despite my own liking for the video or is it just the song) it wouldn't make the finals. But...It made the finals (to my shock and surprise and maybe a little bit of horror)..Not sure about the category (Romantic???. ok.. maybe sentimental..). The song is more anthem than ballad. The category was decided by the Contest organizers).. But hey.. Its their contest... And the video did better than I'd hoped.. Didn't win. but took Runner -Up.. which is better than I thought it would do when I released it.
An interesting thing I've noticed in the comments from other creators (particularly the ones who saw it at its Otakon premiere) . A good many of them who have shared their opinions about the video with me have pointed out that .. "They didn't like the video when the first saw it, but it really grew on them"... So.. If you didn't like it at first... Might I suggest giving it a second chance later.. It might grow on you too.. and beware the song (the song alone is quite addicting)
** Spoiler Warning**
This video is chock full of spoilers.. from not one but both games.. It has footage from the end of FFX and the good perfect ending for FFX-2. Not that I truly believe any of the footage spoils anyone's experience for the games.. but in case you are.. You have been warned..
Now as for the video itself .
I admit it .. I have weaknesses and obsessions.. I have a weakness for music and movies from the 80's.. I can't help it..I was a teen during the 80's and as such I have a soft spot for some of it. One such soft spot was Walter Hill's "Streets of Fire" It was a guilty pleasure in my Laserdisc (Yep. old enough own one of those too) and DVD collection. Which is where I became familiar with the song. The credit Fire, Inc is for one of a couple of groups assembled to record the soundtrack. The songwriter is actually Jim Steinman.. If you're not familiar with who that is.. look at the cover of Meatloaf's "Bat out of Hell" albums, he wrote them ... The song has some of the trademarks of the stuff he did with Meatloaf. The song is ridiculously big, ridiculously long and the lyrics can be incredibly cheesey (and near the end.. some of it is just downright awful. ) The version used in the video is edited down to about 5:33 from the somewhat ridiculous 6:56 on the CD. the last 30 seconds (which I edited out) have a repeating vocal lyric that is so awful words do not do its hideousness justice. So given all this..
Why did I even bother.. Well funny enough.. its the combination of visuals to this music that affects my memory. Was it the sight of a gorgeous Diane Lane (As hot then as she is now) in a very revealing thigh high slit dress. The fairy aggressive editing of the concert scenes or the curiously high energy of the song.. It would have to be the combination of the three.. Somehow the combination works. So this video is my poor attempt to recreate that same energy level.
As for the previously mentioned obsession.. I've got an obsession with concert videos. meaning.. I've been obsessed with creating a video that creates the illusion of a character(s) singing in concert. I've made numerous attempts and most of them remain as test samples on my growing collection of harddrives. Granted my original singing concepts were for Love Hina and I was really hoping to use a Dusty Springfield song. I just love the "torch songy-ness" of her stuff. This song I've had in the back of my mind was a possible Escaflowne video.. But that video evolved to become "shaken". So when that developed the video went back to Love Hina.. which couldn't work with the song.. Then I saw the FFX-2 concert footage.. And so it began..
There is a problem with Steinman songs.. like this one and "Paradise by the Dashboard Light". The song is written with starts and stops.. It takes off for a while and then slows down.. and speeds up again.. and then after the climax takes its dear sweet time moving to the end. So this is a pacing nightmare and I'm certain I haven't found the right solution to it.. My only hope is to keep the viewer's attention from wandering too far until the buildup to the climax which seems to be about halfway thru the video.. and let the viewer down not too fast.
This video is mostly an exercise in combining action sync,lip sync and some frenetic editing. Of course there are some slow spots as well. Problem with this kind of video is the balance between lip sync and action sync.. I've never found it easy.. and sometimes I find myself letting stuff slide or else start modifying the footage directly.. (not what I wanted to do for this video, I chose effect free. The thought of working through the vast amount of existing smoke and lighting effects already in the footage was too daunting.) When given priorities.. I placed action sync over lip sync.. Ultimately The goal is to create the feeling of immediacy that the song implies..
Anyway.. I'm sure I just needed to get this out of my system
HP zt1290 Notebook (P4 1.8Ghz)
Portable Firewire HD (w/5400 rpm drive)
Ulead Media Studio Pro 7
The footage is cropped a little strangely.. but thats because the FF-X footage appears to be set so that is sits just inside the title safe area whereas the FFX-2 footage seems to go past it.. For consistency.. the FFX-2 Footage is cropped to match.. Some early versions of the video were actually cropped to something like widescreen dimensions.. Which I really liked.. But it also required changing the onscreen focus to get a decent image. Unfortunately the combination of the image being moved around and cropping proved too much for the quality of the image.. so I returned to the full screen version.. Also there is one critical scene in the video.. that just won't fit on a widescreen image.
This is the first video I've released that is strictly digital. The footage is all from the source disks. And converted first to HuffUV via DVD2AVI and then for my convience DV Type-1. Editing was done using Ulead Media Studio 7 on my 1.8Ghz P4 Laptop. Obviously many notebook HD's have slow rpm disks and thus have trouble keeping up with the high bitrates demanded of DV footage.. so all source was kept on a portable Firewire Drive working at 5400 rpm.
I think its pretty evident that the inspiration is "Live Action" Music videos.. like the ones they used to show on MTV.. Specifically the ones with singing footage intercut with a very light/loose storyline.
I had originally wanted to have Yuna sining during the initial Tidus footage during the "prologue" but after experimenting with the footage I found no way to make it work. All that remains is the last "Boy will be the next best thing" with only works as Yuna is panned off the screen..
It only occurs to me after the fact that some of the emotional thematics and visual thematics have stemmed across the past 3 videos 'still', 'shaken' and this video.. The presentation of dream states. Images of tears, feathers, flying and falling.. Again.. Hopefully.. I've gotten these things out of my system..
more info to come.. as I think of it...