- Member: WalterScott
- Studio: Graven Image
- Title: Versailles Paradise
- Premiered: 2004-05-07
- Stevie Wonder Pastime Paradise
Winner, Judges Best Overall Video and Best Dramatic Video at Anime Evolution 2004 AMV Contest.
Winner, Best Drama, AWA 2004 Exposition Contest
Also, shown at the Otakon 2004 AMV Contest (finalist in Drama category).
Non competing entry to Onna!fest 2005
Rose of Versailles is a wonderful classic anime series. (40 episodes) Although the animation is simple by today's standards, the characters and storyline are a masterful blend of historical fact and Ryoko Ikeda's invention. It's a crime that neither the manga nor the anime are licensed, although with shoujo becoming so popular, I can only hope that it's just a matter of time.
I was listening to Songs in the Key of Life a few years ago, and thinking about amv ideas. I especially liked the track Pastime Paradise, which has this great baroque string sound, and first I thought of Utena. Then I thought, no, it really belongs with Rose of Versailles. I hadn't ever seen the anime, but I knew about the manga and the Takarazuka stage show Lady Oscar. So I resolved to make a RoV music video.
Unfortunately a digital source was nowhere to be found for quite some time, until I hunted down a set of (expen$ive) R2 DVDs and finally last fall watched the whole thing with a script in hand the way I used to do with Ghibli releases (this was before the current digisub was available).
I probably put in a good 60-80 hours on this video , including looking through the 40 episodes for footage. As a kind of warm up exercise I used some footage from eps 36-38 for my track (#120) in the AniMix project. Part of the time was spent learning After Effects, which I used for different parts of the video that would have been too onerous or just impossible in Premiere. I am finding AE a lot more pleasant to work in than Premiere overall, mostly because I can see what the $&@! I'm doing!
The idea of the video is pretty obvious - introduce the setting and characters of the show, focusing on the extremes of rich and poor. I found myself mostly working with the story arcs of a few of the characters to make things simple. If you don't know the series here is a cheat sheet:
- Lady Oscar is the proto-Utena, she's usually in uniform. You first see her dancing with her employer...
- Marie Antoinette, queen of France. The story arcs cover 24 years so her appearance changes a bit. Mostly in the beginning of the anime I show her as a young queen, then later in her 30's, and finally just before her execution when her hair turns white.
- Rosalie is the Paris girl trying to defend the little boy in the beginning. Then later you see her caring for her mother and also being super crushed out on Oscar, who adopts her for part of the series. Finally I show here as an attendant of Antoinette in prison (which is taken from history).
- Jeanne Valois is the perpetrator of the historical Affair of the Necklace, which there was a (apparently pretty bad) movie of a few years ago. She is eventually convicted of several crimes against the royals and is branded 'V' for voleur (thief). You first see her chugging some wine, then seducing..
- Cardinal Rohan who is also first seen chugging some wine, and later pawing over a blind prostitute who Jeanne has disguised as Antoinette (also taken from history!)
- Robespierre leader of the Revolution and legend in his own mind. If you see a guy in black with his lips flapping, making a speech, that's him. I didn't edit out his lip flaps because it would be out of character in this show for Robespierre not to be talking.
Other major characters I don't show much of in this video are Andre, Oscar's servant/sidekick/drinking buddy/true love, and Fersen, briefly seen as Antoinette's lover.
My hope is that people watching the video will become more interested in Rose of Versailles, and get ahold of either the digisub or DVDs (there are now Korean and French DVDs out).
Oh, and if you enjoy the video that's also nice. :)
Note: I made a reasonably small (35MB) MPEG1 for the local version which doesn't quite do justice to the quality of the DVD.