- Member: Vlad G Pohnert
- Title: Transcending Love
- Premiered: 2002-07-26
- Sarah Brightman Only an Ocean away
I have always wanted to do something a bit different with a dramatic video and push the bounds of digital editing. This concept has been somewhat explored in mainly comedy, but never in Drama.
I also wanted to polish my skills and use After Effects to it's limits. Sometime last year I came up with an idea to do an Alternate reality video (as apposed to a crossover), thus the idea for Transcending Love was born. From the start, I wanted to use three characters from different animes and decided on Spike from Cowboy Bebop and Myung from Macross Plus since both seemed to have very similar animation styles. I then spent months trying to come up with a third character that would fit in and finally after going though a whole pile of titles, I decided on Ryo from City Hunter. I wanted to portray the characters not from any of the three universes, but as an alternate universe where they co-exist with each other, but lead entirely different lives. I wanted the story to be told on an emotional and dramatic level and so I devised a tragic story that would be told by flashbacks of the characters and ultimately lead to a final climax.
The technical aspect:
This video took me to the limits of my endurance and about 350+ hours to complete (lost count sonewhere). I spent countless weekends and days of every spare minute I had to complete this project. Only about 20% or less of the clips used in the video have not been altered in some way. About 80% of the video was done using After Effects and Photoshop. After Effects was used to mask the characters and compose them together with many different backgrounds. Quite a few background such as the introduction with Spike walking and the final gun battle were scratch built using elements from all three animes as well as skies, trees and other details I painted in photoshop to provide a somewhat original world in key places. A lot of time was also spent in making sure all the backgrounds matched to the different camera views so that everything looked as natural as possible. Some of the backgrounds had so many elements that they ended up with 20 or more layers just for a clip a few seconds or less long. I also wanted to have convincing interaction between the characters as well as contact with in some cases with not just a static background. I ended up using multiple animated elements in After effects up to 10 layers deep for some of the compositions. Another challenge was to match up the character's skin tone and lighting so that they appeared to be in the same scene. This provided to be the most difficult challenge and probably the hardest to accomplish in some scenes. Also, the limited amount of footage the could be used to show interaction between the characters also provided to be challenging. A section of the song (the last chorus) was eliminated since I did not have anymore usable footage and it would of ended up making the video too long and going beyond what I wanted to originally show.
I wanted to convey several emotional and meaningful things in the story. The first is how both Spike and Ryo had missed Myung and how they tortured themselves over not being able to protect her. In the video, it is unclear what kind of relationship each had with Myung, but suffice to say that through a chance meeting, work, etc they meet and had a wonderful time together. My thoughts are that I wanted to portray that both Spike and Ryo cared deeply about Myung to the point of being in love with here. I showed Myung leaving in Ryo's flashback to indicate that she had to leave or move on and eventually met Spike and they had their time together. For the final flashback of the gunfight, we see that Myung for a reason not disclosed in the video (perhaps for something she saw, heard or knew) was hunted by three gunmen assassins and had no one left to turn to except for Spike and Ryo. Thus they both rushed to here side and that setup the final sequence of events. The fact that they both left the pictures on the grave site I wanted to use to symbolize that they had final accepted what happened and were ready to move on with their lives, but would never forget their times with Myung.
On a final note, I kept several aspects of the story open for interpretation. For example, I did not show anywhere in the video where or during what time the sequence of events happen (even the dates on the tomb stone are covered up by the pictures, although a set of real dates do exists behind the picture, but I leave that up to the viewer to try to decide)....
- Best Romantic/Sentimental video
AWA 8 Pro Contest
- Best Various
Animemusicvideos.org's Viewers Chose Awards 2003
- Best Artistic
- Best Original Concept