- Member: Vlad G Pohnert
- Title: A View to a Kill
- Premiered: 2005-09-24
- Duran Duran View to a Kill
Before you go on and think this video is not worth a look since it uses older anime like City Hunter and Sailor Moon with music from the 80s, this video is totally digitally altered. The characters from the Anime are used to represent icons found in the openings of James bond's Movies in a totally artistic manner and does not in any way portray both anime series in their true formsÖ
Still interested? Then download the video, watch it and then read on.
This is the most enjoyable video I worked on even though it was a mountain of work and extremely tedious. It is by far the most complex video project I've undertaken and the one I most proud of the results as I think it turned out better then I ever expected (only Memories Dance I would consider just as equally proud of)
I've been a hug fan of James Bond (like who isn't!) ever since I can remember and absolutely loved the "music video" like openings created by Maurice Binder. Maurice was responsible for introducing us to the cool silhouetted characters of Bond girls that would dance in the background, on guns and other interesting symbolic representations of aspects of Bond. Thus this video in some way is a tribute to Maurice Binder as he died in 1991 and his last work can be seen on "License to Kill"
I wanted to capture the artistic style and flow of the Bond openings and mix it in with the timing and music and lyric interpolation evident in many AMVs. Ryo from City Hunter captured the feel of James Bond in a lot of aspects especially the close-ups and use of his gun, as this is a major element in the opening of Bond Movies.
And no Bond opening would be complete without Bond Girls! The ideas to use Sailor Moon can last year to me and fired me up to take on this project at it works on so many levels. Sailor Moon gave the video its parody quality and unusually mix. Bond girls are shown as silhouettes (never really see the details of the face nor some other features) in the openings with hourglass figures and sexy profiles. If you think about it, Sailor Moon's girls are drawn in quite a similar manner as having hourglass figures and long sexy legs dressed in skimpy outfits. This is even more emphasized when you present them as Sihhouetts! The other parallel that is drawn in using Usagi is, by emphasizing her blond hair, she represents the typical and stereotype Bond "blond" girls that are rescued and subdued by Bond (at least in a lot of the more classic ones anyway). And lastly, why not!
Why Duran Duran? Because I love their music and think a View to a Kill is one of the best Bond songs. That and it's very dynamic, fast passed and contains a lot of beats and changes in tempo that worked perfectly in what I wanted to achieve.
With this video I also wanted to create something more artistic with the use of "effects" and digital manipulation. Today it seems a lot of technical aspects of AMVs is the use of stobing, overlays, transparencies, filters and geometric objects flashing on the screen to the every beat of the music. I wanted to use digital effects to create something very artistic and unique that does not rely on flashy stuff to be put in to signify every beat in the music (I not saying that is a bad thing as itís fun to make and what ever works for creators, but it seems to be the general trend these days).
Ironically, while working on this video over such a long periods of time, the overall feel developed and evolved over time and I had to spend even more time going back to some of my earlier finished composites and reworking them to match the this new developed feel and thus preserving continuity.
In order to create something true in sprit to a Bond opening and yet be artistic with the use of Anime, this meant that digital manipulation was need for almost every frame with the use of masks, filters, layers and everything else I hadnít yet thought off at the beginning. In short the video was going to be a nightmare and meant spending a ton of hours of insanity creating it. Hence in the fall of last year (2004) I decided to throw myself it and see it through to the end. It took well over 500 hours (I lost count) and made my "Transcending Love" video look easy.
The video was all done in After Effects with the final assembly of segments on Premiere. This video is probably one of the most complex masking projects I've ever undertaken. At first I thought Sailor Moon used cheaper animation and movements easy to mask out. I gained a new respect for Sailor Moonís transformation "Dance" sequences as they are quite complex and almost every frame was a key frame!! In the end, I think that about 60% of the video uses multiple masks which works out to something insane like almost 4000 frames of masking with some frames having multiple masks. I think only 5% or less of the original frames from both series exist without any digital manipulation. And yes, I started to hate Usagi's hair as it makes masking an even bigger nightmare.
I made the silhouetted characters blur into the actual "as presented" along the edges as it gave highlights of the character making them more 3D. In some cases, I had separate masks for Ryo's or Usagiís face, hands, clothes, etc so I could vary the highlights which greatly added to the total number of layers and time it took to do.
Since I wanted to emphasis several elements such as the gun, I left those in full detail and manipulated its color and gain levels to bring it more into focus. A lot of other sequences were created by combining background from both series and matching up characters and different elements. In order to see if all these elements worked together before spending the pile of tile completing them, I put then all into premier with a transparency and scaling level so I could see if they worked.
I think this is my best Artistic endeavor to date and definably the most technically challenging and digitally manipulated. I think it captures the true feeling of a Bond opening and at the same time is unique in it's own way. Now that it's completed, I feel that, yes, the hours of effort were worth it!
Anime Weekend Atlanta (AWA) Pro Contest
- Best Artisitic Edeavour
Manifest AMV Competition
- Best Technical AMV