- Member: norskotaku
- Studio: OAS (OrangeAnime Studios)
- Title: Illuminations I: Reflections of a Goddess
- Premiered: 2004-09-27
- Epcot: Illuminations Reflections of Earth
More info: (since music and artist info is limited)
Reflections of Earth composed by Gavin Greenaway
Preformed by members of the London Symphony Orchestra & the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
It's hard to know just where to start with this one. ^_^ This idea started a long while back, though I cannot say exactly when I first started on it. Back when I lived in Florida, I spent a lot of time at Epcot, so I knew the music from their millennium fireworks show better than any one person should, and it just cried out for a big amv project. Actually, now I remember when I started thinking about an amv for this music. It was the day after Jacon 2003. I was lucky enough to spend the day at Epcot with some of the guests from the con that year. After enjoying the fireworks, one of the staff members was giving me a ride back to my car, and in the car was also Brad DeMoss and a couple of his friends. I asked Brad what he would do with the fireworks music for an amv. He said Speed Racer. I was thinking Escaflowne, but well over a year later, when I was ready to start working on it, I decided on the Ah! My Goddess movie.
The first thing to know about this video is that it does not explore the anime. My intent was to fully explore the music, and exploring the anime wasn't a concern of mine. I wanted to use the anime to show all the emotion of the music, and I believe I did just that. If you go into it expecting to see the story of the movie or a focus on any one aspect of it, you're not going to get that. ^_^ The music itself makes it impossible to explore just one part of the anime, so try to watch it with the music in mind and let it take you into the video.
The second thing to know about this video, it is long. (perhaps this should've come first. lol) The fireworks show at Epcot is quite a production, and the music is broken down into two tracks: nine and a half minutes of nothing but orchestra, followed by a two and a half minute song that ties everything together. This video consists of the first 9:30 before the song. The music does come to a climax and stop before the song starts (in fact, everyone watching the fireworks usually thinks it's over and starts clapping) so this can stand alone as a single video. It will, however, be followed by another video that will complete the experience, as soon as I have a chance to make that one. (this is also why there are no credits on this video, as I want people to be able to view both videos together with any credits coming only at the end.)
Some technical stuff to mention: The idea sat in my head for a long time, and I had a good majority of the video worked out ahead of time in my imagination. Preparations for my move to Houston kept me from spending any time on it until I realized that the AWA Masters deadline was fast approaching. I took a week off of work and did nothing but work on this video, completing it a few hours before the deadline after somewhere between 60 and 80 hours of work.
Everything you see in the video was done in Premiere and Photoshop, nothing from After Effects as I wouldn't have had time to try to learn the program and I didn't feel it would be necessary. The lighting effects used in the intro and a couple other times in the video were done with Photoshop, and other than one spot where I used some motion effects for all of a second or two, everything else was done with layer transparencies. Luminance and Screen are my two best friends, and they were very good to me during the making of this video. ^_^
There are a few things I wish I had not missed, a few mistakes, but I'm leaving them in, as fixing them would be almost more work than it is worth right now. If you can spot those mistakes, I'll gladly admit them. ^_^ Everyone else will just have to guess.
I did have the issue of running out of footage, since the song was so long and I only had a movie worth of source footage to work with. I only had to reuse a total of maybe 2 or 3 scenes in the end, though, and there is still a good deal of unused footage in the movie that I'm saving for the song that follows this.
I created this amv for the Masters at AWA, but that was really just the motivation that helped me get it done in one week. As far as I know, the Masters is the only competition I could send this to due to its length, so if I hadn't gone for that, the only way to release this would've been online. To anyone who saw this video at AWA, I apologize for the quality of the video shown. It suffered a LOT in the conversion from the file I sent to the file they used to show the contest, and I was embarrassed by the lack of video and audio quality I saw, not to mention the fact that it was displayed as 4:3 instead of 16:9. I promise you that the copies you can download here do not look like that.
Regarding the copies available for download, I had a hell of a time trying to encode smaller copies of this. I tried MPEG2 and couldn't get the audio quality to stay up, so I wound up sticking with my latest best friend, Xvid 1.0. The video on the local drive had to be under 100mb, so it will be the smallest resolution at 512x272. I tried keeping it up at 720x360 with more compression, but it looked better this way. I still recommend downloading a larger copy if at all possible. For now I am offering two different copies. The direct download will be a full quality Xvid 1.0 at 720x360, which is about 130mb. I had to take the second direct download offline, but if you want a copy of the full size 960x480 version, just contact me and I can provide a link through email or something.
Finally, if you enjoy the video, please let me know, either by leaving an op or dropping me an email or something. I put everything I had into this, and I doubt I'll be able to do anything quite this major for some time. I will follow this with Illuminations II: We Go On as soon as I get a chance to work on it, and I'll update this video info to include a link at that time as well.
----- added Thursday, August 25, 2005 -----
UPDATE 25.08.05: direct and indirect downloads have been removed for now. please continue to enjoy the local copy!