- Member: dwchang
- Studio: Ninja Gaijin
- Title: Waiting For You
- Premiered: 2004-07-30
- Richard Marx Right Here Waiting
Yup, I made another Sappy Romance video to
80's cheesean 80's song. I can hear the groans already -_-;;. Apparently it is possible to make a video (10x) more sappy than Glory of Love *gasp* :O. Oh well, whatever...
The underlying theme of this video is that of hope. Many people seem to misunderstand and think the video is just sad, but that is only partially true. Yes, the video revolves around a sad event, but ultimately the theme I wanted to communicate is that of hope. I figured the last text sequence would communicate that clearly, but perhaps I am wrong.
Anyway, the video is told in sort of a story mentality in that Keichi is remembering "good old times," dealing with the present (and tragic) events that are transpiring and ultimately waiting with hope. Most of this is accomplished through basic lyric sync and wasn't too bad since the song is quite beautiful from that standpoint.
On the editing front, I also wanted to challenge myself by taking a well-known love-story (within our fandom) and significantly changing it (i.e having Belldandy leaving Keichi). This is an idea I've had for some time and although not too technically challenging (more on this later), I think it's still a difficult concept to undertake since anyone who has seen "Ah! My Goddess" (a lot of you) knows that this is not how the story ends.
Yes, the viewer knows how it really ends, but could I get people to sympathize with Keichi and feel the emotion with this fictional situation regardless? On top of that, could I convince people who haven't seen the show that this is how it really ends? Perhaps it's not technically astounding, but I find such challenges interesting.
Lastly, before going on, I'd like to acknowledge (before anyone accuses me) that my video has many similarities with silver_moon's excellent video In My Arms Again. However one noteable difference is that her video is told in a traditional story-sense (somewhat in order) and as I said above, I tried to veer away a bit and focus on something else. At the same time, I won't deny the similarities since I did watch her video a number of times for inspiration sake. Thanks!
Comments on particular scenes:
-Perhaps it is uncreative of me to use these scenes at the beginning of my video since others have done the same, but oh well. It made sense to have these scenes since it is prior to Belldandy and Keichi meeting and it would fit in nicely with the next thing I had in mind.
On the technical front, you'll notice a "feathery" (or dreamy) white mask here. I use (abuse) this mask throughout the video and it is generally used to represent "the past" (yeah I know I'm a creative genius :P). I also used a “glow” effect to emphasize the last note of each sequence. It seemed to fit with the flow of the music.
Piano Puzzle Pieces:
-This is the part of the video that I'm pretty sure most people will dislike and groan at, so please read. First off, I can understand why people would groan since this is extremely cheesy (even for me). However, it is exactly what I wanted. The puzzle pieces basically represent Belldandy entering Keichi's life. It made sense to me to symbolize this "piece-by-piece." Some think I'm "making fun of myself," but this effect was intentional and symbolizes something.
I'd also thank Kwasek for encouraging me to keep this and giving me the idea of "bookends." This meaning, I'd have the effect at the end to truly emphasize it. More on this near the end.
Continued Piano Intro:
-I continue along the aspect of Belldandy entering Keichi's life and their happiness together immediately afterwards.
Oceans apart, day after day. And I slowly go insane:
-Fairly obvious lyric-sync with fade to blacks. Fade-to-blacks generally add a lot to drama/romance videos in terms of flow and mood (imo). You'll notice I (overly) use them quite a bit in this video.
Wherever you go, whatever you do:
-These are fairly obvious lyric syncs, but I tried my best to "flow" with how the chorus is sung. For example, you'll notice I have Belldandy run out on "go" and have her fall down on "do."
I will be right here waiting for you:
-This is obviously the key lyric (and feeling) in the video. You'll notice that I have three syncs within this one line and that is intentional. I think it flows well as such (instead of one long sync) and really emphasizes the feelings he has for Belldandy (even though she is leaving). Also note the over-usage of the extremely slow fade-to-black.
Whatever it takes or how my heart breaks:
-Like the above chorus lines, I timed the "takes" to the explosion. I debated doing a (cheesy) 'shatter' filter on "breaks," but (thankfully) came to my senses. Hopefully you as the viewer can see the consistency in my sync points throughout the video. This is something I like doing in my videos.
I took for granted all the times that I thought would last somehow:
-You'll notice that these scenes have the white "feather" mask again and as I said above, I wanted to make it fairly obvious that he was remembering the past. In this case, he's remembering the good times.
Another subtle thing I have is having the second (red) firework exploding on "times" since I think that's how it "sounds."
I hear the laughter, I taste the tears:
-This scene uses a very simple mask/image matte, but I think it really adds a lot. I exported the original scene of just Keichi and determined the appropriate location of the white gradient and the opacity setting. I then added the Belldandy scenes that would complement the lyrics. Lastly, I added a final (tear) overlay on the final piano note. As I said above, I find it strange that something fairly simple really adds a lot of "feeling" to my video.
But I can't get near you now:
-I guess this lyric sync is a bit too literal since I used the scenes where Keichi can't get near Belldandy (since their interaction causes those portals to open). Yeah…lyrical genius -_-;;.
You've got me going crazy:
-Yeah another too literal lyric sync. Oops.
Wherever you go, whatever you do I will be right here waiting for you
-More of the same. Of note, Belldandy runs out on "go" again and I once again use three sync points for the key chorus line.
I will be right here waiting for you (4):
-I wanted this particular scene to sorta show Keichi telling Belldandy this line. Yeah their mouths aren't moving (on purpose), but he is obviously trying to comfort her when he puts his hand on hers and it seemed to fit what I wanted to communicate.
Instrumental section and then 'But in the end if I'm with you:'
-This is where I start to show the actual (sad) event starting to take place (i.e. Belldandy returning to Heaven).
I'll take the chance:
-Here I have Keichi reaching out towards Belldandy in hopes of giving her a ring...a promise. I tried my best to sync his hand getting closer to Richard Marx holding that last word "chance." Hopefully it flows well.
Lastly, on the final note I have Keichi get knocked back. I don't know if this is clear, but I fade-to-black and once again introduce the "feather" mask because I wanted to show that he was unconscious.
Last Instrumental Sequence:
-This is Keichi remembering their good times on the beach together. He is knocked out and given the gravity of the situation, it makes sense he would remember such nice events.
On the last high note, I have Belldandy kiss Keichi and also applied a light glow for emphasis.
Wherever you go, whatever you do I will be right here waiting for you.
-Of note, I have Belldandy finally leaving on "go" (GENIUS) and bring more emphasis on Keichi's promise (the ring) to her.
Whatever it takes or how my heart breaks:
-This is his final chance to try and give her the ring and I have him reaching out on "takes." For the "breaks" line, I ultimately (and sadly) have him failing to reach her.
I will be right here waiting for you (6):
-The first sync has Keichi looking up and for the second I wanted to try and communicate the entire concept of this video (waiting/hope) with the look on his face. Perhaps that is a lofty goal, but his face looks sad yet ultimately resolved and hopeful.
Attention here: One thing that most people won't realize is that on the last word (you), I have my most difficult effect. I'm sure most of you are thinking" WTF" or "STFU" right about now.
If you've seen the show, you know that Belldandy doesn't go to heaven or disappear. Then how did I get such source? I FREAKIN' MADE IT! I basically masked Belldandy out (80% of the screen) and then recreated the background underneath her. This would allow me to fade her out and give the impression that she left. Actually scratch that. I made a background, but Rozard thought it looked bad and offered to give it a shot. I can't thank you enough Brian. This scene is crucial to my video and you saved it!
Anyway, as I said above, this scene was essential to my video. It's actually one of the first scenes I envisioned when I came up with this idea and it was imperative that I made it appear like it was part of the show. As I said at the beginning, I wanted to try and convince the audience that this was the true ending of the show. You can't do that with something that obviously doesn't belong or an obvious effect. I hope I succeeded here since it's effectively the event my entire video focuses on.
Second to Last Piano Sequence:
-I revisit the "puzzle key" effect, but this time do it in reverse. I take away the pieces. This is to symbolize Belldandy *leaving* Keichi's life. This is what I meant by "bookends." I think it really drives in the effect and the symbolism behind the effect. Hopefully enough that you don't hate it :/. And yes, I realize I don't take *all* of them away, but hopefully it's enough to get the message across.
Last Piano Sequence:
-Make note that in this last scene with Keichi he is smiling. As I said at the beginning, the whole focus of this video is that of hope. He is looking upwards towards the heavens with that hope that Belldandy willl one day return to him.
I further this concept (because I thought it was too subtle) by
hammering the viewer on the headfading in a message to Belldandy from Keichi. The words are overly sappy, but they ultimately communicate his feelings and devotion.
On the personal front, this is probably my most personal video. The people who need to know, already do and so I won't bore you with the details or put someone on the spot and more importantly...it's personal. However, know that everything in this video is intentional. I know of at least one or two things that will irk people (namely puzzle pieces), but I don't really care. Everything in it is there for a reason or to symbolize something and lastly, it is my video :).
Also, this may come across incorrectly or insensitive, but the video is not 100% for somebody or something like that. I've had this idea for a while, but it just so happen to coincide with a certain point (and event) in my life and thus it was very therapeutic for me to put my energies and emotions into that past idea.
Lastly, it's strange that this video is probably my most personal and yet it's not my favorite. I'd be lying if I said that I thought this video was without problems and that it was my best work. I strangely still think Glory of Love is my best video and it's still my favorite. Even stranger is the fact that video has absolutely no personal ties. But don't get me wrong, I still like this video a lot. I just find it strange.
In any case, I imagine 99% of you didn't read this, but to the 1% who did read and watch, thanks and enjoy!
Hours Spent: Way too many.
Equipment and Software used:
-My Dual 2 Ghz Athlon Computer
-Adobe Premiere 6.5
-Adobe After Effects 5.0
-Adobe Photoshop 6.0
-Rozard - Help with final mask sequence and a Beta-testing whore.
-Kusoyaro - Beta-testing whore and source of much discouragement.
-Kwasek - Encouraging me to keep an overly cheesy yet symbolic effect.
-kolinahr - Help with making higher quality puzzle pieces.
-Hitomi2U - For always being my muse, supporting and caring for me as a friend and just being yourself.