Friday, December 3, 2010

All The Gorram Videos, Seriously

Now that the catalog repost is done, this post is up as an index of every SH and INSO and otherwise video (that actually got published; SH034 and SH090 are obviously still absent). Like other things that there are too many of to really make sense of by straight count, they are arranged by 'era' below for easier browsing. This post will continue to be updated as new videos are completed and posted.

If a link is dead, comment on the post and I'll put it back up EVENTUALLY, I'm no longer editing actively and the new blogger settings make it hard to catch comment notifications.

Shin Hatsubai

Old MPEG1 Stuff
SH001 -- SH002 -- SH003 -- SH004
SH005 -- SH006 -- SH007 -- SH008
SH009 -- SH010 -- SH011 -- SH012
SH013 -- SH014 -- SH015 -- SH016

(Yes, SH011 wasn't technically built this way, but yes, it's still in this section.)

WTF Is This MPEG2 Stuff
SH017 -- SH018 -- SH019 -- SH020
SH021 -- SH022 -- SH023 -- SH024
SH025 -- SH026 -- SH027

I Have Basically No Classes And No Filter
SH028 -- SH029 -- SH030 -- SH031
SH032 -- SH033 -- SH035 -- SH036
SH037 -- SH038 -- SH039 -- SH040
SH041 -- SH042

Unsuccessfully Coping With The Natural Beauty of .org-Driven Inadequacy
SH043 -- SH044 -- SH045 -- SH046
SH047 -- SH048 -- SH049 -- SH050
SH051 -- SH052 -- SH053 -- SH054
SH055 -- SH056 -- SH057 -- SH058
SH059 -- SH060 -- SH061 -- SH062

The Capture Card's Second, Better, Lease On Life
SH064 -- SH065 -- SH066 -- SH067
SH068 -- SH069 -- SH070 -- SH071
SH072 -- SH073 -- SH074 -- SH075
SH076 -- SH077 -- SH078 -- SH079
SH080 -- SH081 -- SH082 -- SH083

Shit Gets Weird
SH084 -- SH085 -- SH086 -- SH087
SH088 -- SH089 -- SH091 -- SH092

Finally, A Real NLE
SH093 -- SH094 -- SH095 -- SH096
SH097 -- SH098 -- SH099 -- SH100
SH101 -- SH102 -- SH103 -- SH104
SH105 -- SH106 -- SH107 -- SH108

Dead And Well Satisfied
SH110 -- SH111 -- SH112 -- SH113
SH114 -- SH115 -- SH116 -- SH117
SH118 -- SH119 -- SH120 -- SH121

A Cold Wind Through The Graves
SH122 -- SH123 -- SH124 -- SH125
SH126 -- SH127 -- SH128 -- SH129


BAS Demo intros/outros
BAS01 -- BAS05 -- BAS06 -- BAS11
BAS12 -- BAS17

Insomni-Ack Non-AMVs
INSO00 -- INSO01 -- INSO02 -- INSO03
INSO04 -- INSO05 -- INSO06 -- INSO07
INSO09 -- INSO10 -- INSO11 -- INSO12
INSO13 -- INSO14 -- INSO15 -- INSO16
INSO17 -- INSO18 -- INSO19

SH114 - six signs the circle

video: Otogi Zoshi
music: Kreator - "Lucretia (My Reflection)" (cover)
link: depositfiles [30.5 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: February 2010

Though this video has a lot more in common with SH094 than with SH064, it didn't get into Anime Boston while the video sent as an afterthought did. Seven years' distance, same weird behavior. Sure, this video may be a little impenetrable if you're not paying attention, and hard to classify regardless, but that's not quite a reason for the contest to self-trollinate by putting Parasitic on the big screen.

SH113 - fryste

video: Beyond The Clouds
music: The Mountain Goats - "Maybe Sprout Wings"
link: depositfiles [18.1 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: December 2009

The preview image is supposed to look that fuzzy, if not fuzzier; the point of the effects design in this video was to simulate a cheap camera lens freezing over whenever I could squeeze it in. Maybe at long last this "taste" thing is burrowing into the SH ethos; maybe so, maybe not.

SH112 - Knee Deep In Disease

video: Moyashimon
music: Parasitic Extirpation - "Stabwound Symmetry"
link: depositfiles [49.1 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: December 2009

This was the first SH HD video. I screwed up a lot of stuff in the preproduction end that made doing Causality a lot easier once it got fixed, so this had a useful development purpose, and also introduced the AMV world to Parasitic Extirpation. Now go buy their stuff, you leech, Casketless is awesome.

SH111 - weiß nix wie ich sagn soll

video: Umi Ga Kikoeru, Only Yesterday
music: Fettes Brot - "Yasmin"
link: depositfiles [50.3 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: October 2009

This video is probably more complex than it needs to be, or than the song can really support, but one way or another kind of works. I feel sorry for people who don't rate the effects design here as especially difficult or intense; this was some pretty heavy lifting, and doing stuff that is substantially harder and more time-consuming is no way to make videos.

SH110 - peloton

video: Nasu: Summer In Andalusia
music: Mad Fret - "Sunflower" (instrumental, edited)
link: depositfiles [40.3 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: November 2008

The huge gulf between SH109 and this is for several reasons. At the time I did SH109, the idea that was slotted into that catalog number the day before -- which got pushed to a notional SH110 -- was a challenging one involving a lot of animation and original footage that proved ultimately too difficult to get off the ground. Also, work was hard and intense in 2007, covering not only the Korea trip where I got the sources for this, but several other outings to various places in the United States; Maine twice including immediately before Korea, once to Dallas in March, and twice to Austin. 5/6 of 2007 was blocked up going here, there and everywhere....and then I got laid off in November and spent the last two months getting a new job and getting my feet under me.

I did do my Conet stuff in '07, but that was under heavy pressure from the admins, and as noted, early in the year. The rest of 2007, and most of 2008 as I adjusted to the new culture and new environment, were no-gos for video and substantially for most of my other hobbies. How things go; as it was, I'll take the tradeoff in order to have been out of work for only six weeks in this recession.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fucking Ideas, How Do They Work?

As part of the continuing delusion that I make AMVs any more, I've completed the first shakeout of my to-do list in almost three years, with some probably uninteresting results.

If everything on the current list gets made and nothing that isn't, I'll finish up with SH130. This is probably going to be about accurate, because though there are four ideas on the list that I have no real idea of the viability of, there are a lot of long cuts on the list that difficulty and plain old inertia will push the finishing of all those ideas out for at least five years in the most likely case, and new ideas are probably going to come in inside that span.

Slightly more interesting is the vintage of the ideas concerned; this breaks out as follows:
2000 - 1
2001 -0
2002 - 1
2003 - 0
2004 - 2
2005 - 1
2006 - 1
2007 - 0
2008 - 1
2009 - 1
2010 - 7

I've been keeping a to-do list since 2000, before I even started making these things, and while most of the current ideas are actually current, there are a few that have been carried along from the very start. This has major implications for the anticipated delay of finishing up: ten of the fifteen ideas on the drawing board, and six of the eight that have been around for more than a year, involve cutting at least 20 episodes or episode-equivalents. Several are a lot longer than that.

This is a graph of current ideas of year X vintage versus videos produced that year. Most of what I've done is based on relatively new ideas; SH110 in 2008 was a 2007 idea, SH111 was a 2008 in 2009, SH112 and 113 were 2009 ideas in '09, SH114 had been around as an idea since '06, and SH115 was a '10 idea and production. If a video idea is doable quickly, it tends to get done quickly; the hard ideas stick around as newer projects get promoted past them, and the crap ideas, like those four that I haven't actually done any checking on may turn out to be, die off and fall out of the list unproduced. This is the hard part of crushing out the ideas that are left and winding up the studio: by taking the path of least resistance, I end up saving the hardest part for last.

The other way of looking at that, though, is that these ideas are, like SH070, not coming into being before their time: that now, at the end of the road, I either have the skills to pull them off correctly or the composure to toss them out as unworkable. At the very least, the future is looking bright musically: those fifteen ideas break out into ten metal, two hardcore, one punk, and only two songs outside that bailiwick. The more I enjoy working with this stuff, the more likely it is that it all gets done.

SH109 - Riot of Violence

video: Muteki Kanban Musume (aka Ramen Fighter Miki)
music: Municipal Waste - "Sweet Attack"
link: depositfiles [22.2 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: November 2006

After this video, Shin Hatsubai effectively ceased to be an active studio. Debatably, the mark-out point was even earlier; this was put together in the space of a couple hours because Con Ja Nai was short on videos for their contest. As can be seen elsewhere, starting in August and more seriously as fall 2006 went on, I was going to a lot of shows, at least one a week, and that was really taking over in terms of time and attention. At the time, this was a decent way to go out.

SH108 - moji

video: Black Heaven
music: Knorkator - "[Buchstabe]" (the actual title is a glyph not recognized by Unicode)
link: depositfiles [42.3 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: September 2006

This is the result of a very simple and very stupid idea: to remake, as close to frame-for-frame or at least shot-for-shot as possible, Knorkator's brilliant official video for this song. This was a lot of work, mostly because matching footage frame for frame is hard, and partly because Black Heaven is poorly animated and has a lot of bad cinematography. I still got most of what I needed and did not much reuse footage more than the band reused setups in the original video.

I'm not putting out a side-by-side due to copyright concerns (and laziness). Do it your own damn self. Or, after you give up because it is a stupid idea with no payoff, watch more Knorkator.

SH107 - lass mich

video: Spirited Away
music: In Extremo - "Die Gier"
link: depositfiles [33.8 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: July 2006

This video is the start of a six-video sequence spanning almost three and a half years in which only one has an intelligible English soundtrack, and half of them are in German. (This one, SH108, and SH111; SH110 is an instrumental and SH112 is in deathsperanto.) It is a decent video, if a little bound by its source and limited by the fact that I'm not very good at masking, and not nearly as pretentious as the .org entry for it, which I keep meaning to rewrite and never do, would imply.

SH106 - As Charged

video: Maria-sama ni wa Naisho
music: Municipal Waste - "Guilty of Being Tight"
link: depositfiles [24.6 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: May 2006

This is the 'good-mix' version of INSO10, using the SD omake because I cut it first to do the bridge in the song and ended up having enough to do the whole thing. The intro is in the song originally as a drop-in; the ultimate source of it is of course Phantasm.

SH105 - a declaration

video: Initial D
music: Bruce Springsteen - "Independence Day"
link: depositfiles [45.1 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: February 2006

The production date on this is not strictly accurate. I started work on this video in October of 2005, making it the first of a troubling trend of large projects that take way too fucking long. The cut was a nightmare due to how much cleaning I had to do to the source, and then after that editing in itself was tough. I was dealing with weird hours, a tough commute, and increased time demands from other stuff; pretty much how my life has gone since, which is why it feels so familiar: five years later, I'm working on a long cut from a bad Tokyopop print that started in October and won't turn into a video until well into the next year.

This is also the video in which I officially turned old. When you have a young person make a video with Bruce and a show about street racing, it doesn't turn out like this.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

SH104 - Fucking Rat

video: Pokemon
music: Crazy Frog - "Axel F"
link: depositfiles [33.4 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: September 2005

In Germany you can make AMVs at the grocery store. All source for this video was picked up for less than 30 euros total at the Streisen Kaufland store. This was only part of the motivation for this abortion; the rest of it is based on personal history.

SH103 - still waters fall frozen

video: Lunar Legend Tsukihime
music: Iron Horse - "Unforgiven" (cover, duh)
link: depositfiles [58.2 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: September 2005

There were various things going on when this video was released that made the .org writeup of it sound pretty fucking bleak. I don't think it's that bleak, looking back, but the bleak elements are there definitely as much as the deliberately-inserted multi-level black-humor bits.

Between SH102 and this one I did the AMV Hell bits that were eventually collected into INSO08. However, that one didn't get published here when I was doing the INSO writeups, and it's not going to get published now. That the link on its .org entry is dead is probably for the best; I'm not going to go soliciting requests and will only upload that if someone takes the effort to contact me on their own hook.

While watching this show initially, and again when cutting for this video, I took various stabs at writing a fandub script for something working-titled "Potential Incest Legend Unspellable", in the tradition of Studio Sokodei's works. This is probably never going to turn into anything real or releasable; if anyone wants the ~55-65%-completed script, including a bunch of suggested music and incomprehensible injokes, give me a holler, I've got it lying around somewhere.

SH102 - Sundown in Caesarea - eatdrinkbleedvomit

video: Requiem From The Darkness
music: Morbid Angel - "Where The Slime Live"
link: depositfiles [69.9 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: June 2005

This was mostly an attempt to do an AMV version of the official video, which is super wicked awesome. There are several cuts in this directly inspired/influenced by that videography, though I'm pretty sure they're not in the same places. The bad/weird voice acting at the start and end over the Burzum samples is my own; this was recorded in the Dresden field office wicked late at night because it was only there that I could be sure of a silent environment. My apartment was normally ok, but you don't want to be put in the position of apologizing for dings.

SH101 - hammerpoch

video: Requiem From The Darkness
music: Geinoh Yamashirogumi - "Kaneda"
link: depositfiles [33.1 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: June 2005

Like SH001, this video is built all out of a single episode (#9 in this series if I recall correctly), and pretty much ends on a gunshot. That's about as far as the similarities go. Doing this as one-ep was not only a constraint on this video, but as it turned out, on SH102; despite using the same title, I didn't want to recut stuff that I cut for this video, or use second-run source that didn't get into this one, so in some kind of weird way these two videos could be regarded as two parts of the same whole. It certainly didn't work that way while I was cutting it, though.

SH100 - Looking Back, Looking Suspicious

video: various (SH001 to SH099) + Dogtato-kun
music: Dropkick Murphys - "Amazing Grace"
link: depositfiles [26.5 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: May 2005

This video includes one cut, in sequence, from each video from SH001 to SH099. When you hit a ridiculous milestone like this, you can get away with a retrospective.....or at least, having done so, I'm not going to begrudge anyone else doing it.

Since this one, like SH099 through SH105, was done while I was in Germany, all the source here is the distro versions rather than the masters of those videos. Since there's not that much that remastering could really do about that, you can see what the SH catalog used to look like before the 2008 remasters that are getting posted here.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

SH099 - woher kommst du nach spa$%@##!?&%^^^^x

video: Argent Soma
music: The Mountain Goats - "Family Happiness"
link: depositfiles [29.4 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: May 2005

Despite the remastering, the video is still supposed to look like that. This was the first time that I'd done something like this deliberately; there are projects in the pipeline that will really push the line of deliberate lo-fi in AMV, should I ever get around to them.

SH098 - Sing Loud Sing Proud For Your Scene!

video: Cromartie High School
music: Dropkick Murphys - "For Boston"
link: depositfiles [15.9 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: April 2005

The introduction to this video basically sets it up: people in black clothing doing stupid things to loud music, an animated version of being drunk on the sidewalk during a set change. I don't cover nearly all the bands I could have in the blur at the end -- even as I was in 2005 -- but then again, the animation doesn't cover dudes throwing an inflatable fish into traffic or "magically" turning an abandoned wallet into arm candy. We'll just have to live with that.

Those wanting more reality (and more 4chan) in their view of Boston DIY are advised to check out RTTP. For the exceptionally dense or bad-at-reading-sidebars, my further drunken sidewalk badinage is over that way.

SH097 - swords cross enn Midgarth

video: X/1999
music: Hypocrisy - "Adjusting The Sun"
link: depositfiles [47.1 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: April 2005

This is a remake of SH005, but as noted on there, materially different in a lot of ways, which led to it becoming its own video, about four years after the original. There are parts of it that are improved, and other parts that don't match up to the original -- whether because of closure closing differently or just pure nostalgia, I can't say, but the difference is there regardless.


video: various
music: Slayer - "Disciple" (original remix/edit)
link: depositfiles [23.8 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: April 2005

Don't let the otaku lead you down the garden path, there are some absolutely fucking vomitous, cut-your-own-throat-worthy shows out there. Most of the time, you can avoid them, but sometimes, when you do staff for cons, you have to sit there and refrain from killing yourself for an hour and a half to make sure that the AV system doesn't commit suicide in protest over what it's being asked to show.

This happened to me. I survived, but carrying a bowl of wrath that eventually had to get poured out sometime. Modern Slayer has its debits to be sure, but also its strengths, and pouring out bowls of wrath is one of those.

SH095 - Sakigake!! Takino Tomo!

video: Azumanga Daioh
music: HammerFall - "I Want Out" (cover)
link: depositfiles [38.8 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: March 2005

Fundamentally, this video is an idea hijack that is better documented in its .org entry, since I wrote that up already. It was at its time part of a deluge of AzuDai videos that, with the passage of years, is no longer a mark against it.

You can see the same sort of exuberance in being able to do effects easily here as you can in some parts of SH093; this is something I still struggle with, coming out of a place where every effect had to be part of the effects design to somewhere where no design is necessary, and imposing one is difficult. Here, like before and maybe not on subsequent videos, the randomness I think works in the video's favor. This is a splashy source with a splashy song that has been screwed around with to move even faster, so the introduction of random shiny objects goes less amiss.

There's also crap interlace-removal throughout this video, and indeed everything before like SH103. This is due to the 'learn by doing' stuff again; do all the interlace removal Magix allows you, and don't for the love of Christ build a MPEG2 master. You don't need to do that any more, you don't even work in that goddamned codec.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

SH094 - Thunder Road

video: Galaxy Express 999 movies
music: Metallica - "Turn The Page" (cover)
link: depositfiles [58.9 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: February 2005

This was the first video that I hit Magix's internal 'wall' on. I don't know what this is, even to this day, but it is some combination of length and complexity of video that overloads the editor, a "you shall not pass", that whenever it hits, leaves you no alternative but to go back, blow out the last clip or couple clips placed, render what ya got, thunk out the large raw onto the timeline, uncheck the interlacing options, and pick up where you left off, a wearisome 10- to 30-minute process that strikes about once a minute to once every three minutes in terms of edited video. At the time I didn't know what it was, nor how to handle it; over the three wall hits in this video, I learned, and learned how to anticipate it. Much like the stupid kludge that I had to get through to get my older environment to work, it became something to deal with, not something to change environments over. It's been joined in that caption by interlacing on speed change and the environment's inability to do two filters at the same time, but this was the first and most aggravating.

SH093 - ded-kat-in-a-sak blooz

video: Cat Soup
music: Bix Beiderbecke - "Singin' The Blues"
link: depositfiles [31.4 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: January 2005

INSO4 was a shakedown for Magix, after I'd gotten everything together on Battlefreak, which six years and a bunch of hardware and software upgrades later is still somehow viable as an edit station. This was the first SH AMV under the new system, and there are still some bugs evident in the process. Actually, there are a lot of bugs, but the weirdness of the video makes them a little more difficult to notice. It wasn't for another six months that I really got a hold on how and what to do with regards output and stuff in Magix. Learn by doing, learn by doing.

SH092 - 0x0075 0x2ec4 [[ch]ILL] 0x59b8

video: GANTZ, Wind - a breath of heart - (TV)
music: Meridian - "Abraham Timecode"
link: depositfiles [30.3 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: October 2004

This was the last video I did in Dazzle, and the last video I did as a student. It is probably the most SH SH video that exists, taking on brutal subjects with unorthodox as well as orthodox inputs and featuring both black metal and heavy picture damage. Most of the damage was done by thresholding the input (with a heavy blur to smooth out the edges, a technique that pretty much originated for my purposes on SH069), but after that was done, I reprocessed the source files to layer a static pattern -- which shows up in a couple places unmodified in the video, because what's the point, overlaying static with static -- over it. The intent was to get the video to look like an over-photocopied DIY flyer that's been stapled to a telephone pole and gotten rained on several times in the last few weeks. I think it succeeded, but even at this, I fell short of what I was actually trying to do.

The original effects design on this was supposed to used something referred to as 'punchcarding', a term that came up as a descriptor for a defect in the way WMP (if I recall correctly, it's frickin six years ago now) was presenting videos at one point in time, on one dude's laptop, at the Animania table following some showing or another. Little black boxes, like chads out of a punchcard, popping up here and there at random on the video. A ghost pattern, something we couldn't replicate, but which looked ceaselessly cool. I tried to write an AviSynth script to replicate it on this video in a post build, but apparently it went into an infinite recursion and hung the system. No dice. Maybe I'll try again at some point in the future.

Regardless, both the "rained-on flyer" design here and the "etchasketch hit with a baseball bat" effects design used in INSO13/14 are attempts to do punchcarding. I haven't let it go even yet, and it will not be surprising if another video gets mutilated towards this goal sometime down the line.

SH091 - Zero Zero J-Gei Shakedown

video: various (mostly H) games (ok, and some anime)
music: Cales - "Days of Emptiness"
link: depositfiles [ MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: September 2004

SH090 doesn't appear between this entry and the last one for reasons that will become clear sometime in the next two weeks from the date of this posting. A list of all the titles in this video, which were mostly sourced from Canned Dogs and Distribution in a variety of weird and initially useless formats, can be found on the .org video entry.

Despite the sourcing, this is a non-H video, suitable for all audiences (ok, all audiences over the age of about 13 if you want to get all MPAA about an exhortation to "turn that fucking TV off"). There's a lot of generic eroge girls, but there is also come 3d-CGed horseracing, which is probably the first and last time such has gotten dropped into an AMV.

SH089 - Reflections

video: Prince of Tennis
music: Nightingale - "The Glory Days"
link: depositfiles [44.2 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: July 2004

This video had a lot of technical problems in the assembly process and even more at mixdown. This was getting to be typical, because my editing station was on its last legs, and the kludge-based process that was allowing me to keep going, plus the fact that the last four videos in that environment were built out of often severely damaged source, was showing the edges of its limitations.

It's worth looking back at that environment; originally built in 1998 and substantially rebuilt in 2001, at this point Keystone was somewhere between four and six years old, still using an OS that most people would barely trust to run their filesystem correctly, let alone make AMVs in, and souped up with parts acquired from random, often sketchy sources. Somehow, it all held together, dependent on hardware assists and a particular crazy-quilt processing chain, and produced, in the end, 101 AMVs and re-edited-video-things-that-are-not-AMVs. There's some nostalgia for it, but I really suspect this is chiefly because the box in question doesn't boot up any more, and I can't touch the tools again and remember how stupid and difficult everything was.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

SH088 - -- (rubicons)

video: Munto OAV
music: In Flames - interstitial track, Soundtrack To Your Escape
link: depositfiles [12.8 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar, Virtual Dub
production date: May 2004

The .org entry for this video lists the music as "Touch of Red". As explained in the entry over there, this is not exactly correct. The music is stored in track 4 on the CD, but it's not really part of the actual song. Instead, it's an undescribed interstitial coming in between that song and "Like You Better Dead". On the excessively remote chance that someone who knows the band ever comes across this, before you tell me to gtfo and take the link down, fill me in on what they call this thing on their rehearsal tapes or whatever.

I did not steal pre-cel pencils for this anime or something in order to make the video. Not only do those not exist because the show was digitally animated, cel painting inherently destroys pencil work and even if such pencils did exist it would have been way too much fucking work for zero return. Instead, animation paint was stripped out the simple and easy way with Lags/Ben Greenwood's difference filter, which is or should be the centerpiece of every filter chain that needs to quickly and efficiently turn a colored-in image back into lines. The point was to turn the video back into pencils, so I didn't throw in a threshold like I did on INSO13.

SH087 - if I only close my eyes ()

video: Stratos 4
music: Subway Mirror - "Forever Young"
link: depositfiles [21.6 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: April 2004

This video to a pretty large extent explains itself, and is a decently quick enough download to do so in expedited fashion. The broader issue is why I did it with a local band from Sweden; that answer, alas, isn't available any more.

In late 2003, Dan Swano decided to do up as a personal website, since no one else was using it for anything. (It's still unregistered now, which helps explain why.) This was a good idea, and he'd probably have it yet if he didn't have the bright idea to convert nearly everything he'd ever recorded with bands that never made it onto a label to mp3 and put it up there. It was a beautiful site, and tremendously informative in its insights into his development as a musician and a producer, but in bandwidth terms it was an utter underestimation of the fanatic attraction of prog metal geeks the world over to music that is weird, kvlt, free, and easily available. The site died hard and fast. I probably helped kill it, but if I hadn't, I wouldn't have a lot of weird, awesome Swano stuff today, and I wouldn't be able to republish it in forms like this video. Your tragedy of the commons in action, ladies and gentlemen.

SH086 - the Wolverine Blues

video: various
music: The Gathering - "Broken Glass"
link: depositfiles [60 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar, SSMM
production date: March 2004

This video comes with a nice cautionary tale about doing proper stress tests before going live. I did this as a demo for Animania and handed it off, in DVD-quality MPEG2 form (the master used to make the XVID linked above) to the dude running the showing to show over intermission, not thinking too much of it. During intermission, as I'm selling raffle tickets and generally scuttlebutting with other staffers, the head (the dude mocked by SH085) comes running out of the showing room to chew out the guy who was running the projector -- this video'd crashed it. There was a big kickup, but I did have a knocked-down version on hand to show, and that didn't have an utterly annihilating data rate in certain sections.

If you download the video, you can skip to about 4:10 to see what done it. There's a lot of manga panes in this video, and they are running at 30 fps. Nice and sharp and almost 100% turnover frame to frame -- and it runs over the entirety of the trem solo basically from that mark to the end of the video. I didn't have any problems with the MPEG2, despite my old editing station at the time, probably because I had a capture card in it, and the MPEG2 processing was getting routed through the chip on there. The showing PC, not having any such convenience, HCF'd. The moral's simple; test, test test, and on systems that resemble your production infrastructure as closely as possible.

SH085 - Ryoma-sama e love Ian

video: Prince of Tennis
music: Richard Marx - "Right Here Waiting" (remix)
link: depositfiles [20.6 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar, Acid
production date: December 2003

At the time that I did this video (as a tail-twist on the president of Animania at the time) I was on a bit of a techno kick, listening to relatively more Terror Organ, GMO, modern Ulver, and Teargas & Plateglass than I have before or since (see also SH086), and the soundtrack to this one, a remix completely original to this video, shows the influence. The oskulumObszenum material I was composing at about the same time is probably never going to get released; I have about an EP's worth of stuff for the proposed Attack Semantics record, but it needs about 15 more minutes on 2-3 songs to really justify its own existence, and I don't even have enough time these days to write and record Coelem stuff, a project I actually care about, let alone finish a bad techno record that can't decide whether it wants to be darkwave or happy hardcore.

SH084 - Gunwomen of the Apocalypse

video: Early Reins
music: Seatbelts - "Go Go Cactus Man"
link: depositfiles [26.5 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: November 2003

After Project Haibane and the three non-explicitly-related Excel Saga videos in sequence, it was becoming clear that long cuts and other large-scope project elements were essentially incompatible with being in grad school. Fifteen hours of class, fifteen to thirty hours of labwork/homework, twenty hours at work, and about 25 hours a week hiking to class and work and such chopped sharply into the time available for editing. Thus the overwhelming bias in this period, as seen in this one and on the next couple entries, for weird videos on a smaller source pool. This is also, I think, a reaction to the emerging heyday of AMVs and the fact that I was falling further off the pace technologically; there was a greater pressure towards what would become a core idea, to make the AMV that will not exist otherwise, in order to avoid duplicating effort under an environment where every second was precious.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

INSO02 - Howl From The Soul

video: Excel Saga
music: Death - "Voice Of The Soul"
link: depositfiles [37.1 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar, well, as such
production date: October 2003

The reason this wasn't posted up here between INSO01 and INSO03 is that unlike those videos, and for that matter every other INSO video except INSO08 (which isn't getting republished here for other reasons), it has a .org catalog entry and thus tends to get treated as part of the 'main sequence' of SH videos. The reason it has that catalog entry is that I got convinced, about a year after actually making it, that it was worth publishing, as an AMV that is not immediately obvious as non-edited. All cuts in this one are cut in the source, with no effort expended in reassembling; I cut in at the right in-point, out when the music was over, and faded up and down. Honest; check it for yourself if you've got the DVD or know where to steal this episode from.

In a way, this is a remote and indirect ancestor to SH115; the synch in this one is partially there and partially closure, but the idea that the meaning in the original animation is tracking the movement in this song, but only in this particular section that is neither the start nor the end of the portion of the episode it comes from, is pure closure. Well, that, or some outstanding luck, but we all know which way Occam's razor is slicing this one.

SH083 - Don't Watch This Video

video: Excel Saga
music: Metallica - "So What" (ok, ok, cover)
link: depositfiles normal [32.6 MB], chipmunk mix [17.1 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: October 2003

It was a real struggle to come up with a non-obscene picture that would represent this video accurately. The above one pretty much encapsulates exactly the level of subtlety that should be expected from this video, as well as the subject matter and maturity level. The title is there for a reason.

The chipmunk mix is a result of a 100% acceleration and 50% decimation in Virtual Dub, but despite the simple change is still funnier than the regular version of the video.

SH082 - We've Come For Your Cheez Balls

video: Excel Saga
music: Hypocrisy - "Evil Invaders" (cover)
link: depositfiles [41 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: October 2003

This is an action video that keeps getting classed as comedy because of a) the source and b) the fact that it's funny, even just as funny-stupid. Overcompartmentalization sucks and will kill action AMVs more surely than all the noob edits in the world, and more people need to watch The Long Good Friday.

The "cover" note is here and not on the few other videos that it applies to because if I didn't put it in, these dudes would whine ceaselessly.

SH081 - lost in days of blood

video: Blood Reign - Curse of the Yoma
music: Sentenced - "Dead Moon Rising"
link: depositfiles [47 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: September 2003

This was the eighth and so far last Sentenced video from SH. Long strange trip indeed. There are a couple more ideas in, including one of the first ideas I ever put together as a planned AMV back in October 2000, but for one reason or another I haven't actually done a Sentenced video in the last seven years.

SH080 - Under Control

video: You're Under Arrest mini-specials
music: C.W. McCall - "Lewis and Clark"
link: depositfiles [24.2 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: August 2003

This is probably the most un-SH SH video, showing clearly the pernicious influence of the .org, but that's not the reason why it came out the way it did. The main reason it looks like it does is that the ideas for this one were very clearly overrunning the limitations of what I was able to do in Dazzle. You cannot make a lipsynch video in this, or pretty much any other linear editor, and doing so is harder still when you don't have frame-accurate playback. Trying to hack out a clunky comedy video that runs solely on lipsynch in such an editor is not the most adaptive idea in the world. However, there's a reason that I haven't done anything like this since moving to a real NLE. This, too, is ok; I'm comfortable with my growth arc of developing my own ideas in isolation, confronting and struggling with conventional wisdom, then moving beyond that, influenced by it nonetheless, to do what I want to do in the way that results in the final product most closely resembling the initial idea.

Griping about influences aside, this was also sharply constrained by the source. There is not a whole lot of good animation in this title, so even for super YUA fans, this is pushing the edge of being a ripoff.

Friday, October 29, 2010

SH079 - Into The Lungs Of Hell

video: Kujaku-oh
music: Gamma Ray - "Fire Below" (edit)
link: depositfiles [34.5 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: July 2003

This video was done as a test of zero-cost-of-access AMVing, the idea being to make a video that doesn't require any prior knowledge of the sources going in to appreciate. This is a giant problem in AMVs; on the one hand, people talk down mindless action and insist that story is king, and on the other they go build semantic content into their videos, often without realizing it, that requires prior knowledge of the source in order to parse out the "story." I fucking hate that shit, and ultimately, it's counterproductive.

I got into anime in substantial measure due to AMVs (the rest was an absolutely nontrivial amount of luck in which episode of Marmalade Boy Jo-chan had up on a now-certainly-extinct website in the second week of October 2000), and that would not have been possible if the videos I was watching required prior knowledge. If you haven't watched a show and sit down to watch a video from it and find yourself asking "who the fuck are these people? in what world do these transitions make sense? why should I care?", then the editor has failed, badly, by failing at ZCoA. I'm not going to pretend that my works are in any way perfect in this regard, but I at least try to make what I do independent of the source material, and this one, using a source that I'm pretty sure zero people in the modern AMV audience are remotely familiar with, was the acid test of that. It's not a complicated video, but it's functional and should be intelligible regardless of how much or how little the viewer takes into it.

Of course, I did another experiment seven years later that essentially invalidates this one -- the point of Causality is that due to narrative closure, story is an emergent property of anything cut out of a scripted source just as much as perceptual closure makes synch an emergent property of any juxtaposition of music and video. Even when the editor requires, consciously or unconsciously, that information from the source be taken in, the fact of scripted material being used will result in the naive viewer imposing their own understanding of narrative on the video they're watching. When we assume intent, we try to figure out that intent, at least to create something that seems internally consistent from our vantage point. It may be weird and incorrect, but it'll be there. All ZCoA does is attempt to reduce the error bars on that internal narrative.

Project Haibane - SH075 through SH078

This post contains four videos that are part of a larger project, the only one I've done thus far. They can be viewed in sequence (as initially intended) or separately; to make it easier for those who want to view them in series, this is being done as one post. Comments appear for each video and there are some more on the whole project at the bottom.


SH075 - worn soule

video: Haibane Renmei
music: Bill O'Brien - "Old Shoes"
link: depositfiles [38.3 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: June 2003

This was the first idea that I got, which was the germ of the project...which actually didn't get going until I got the idea for SH078 and realized that it was going to take several videos to say what I wanted to about this title. This is hence one of the few cases of anime-first editing in this catalog...but then again, Haibane is worth going into anime-first. Seriously, watch this show if you haven't, or even if you're just here for the music.

The artist isn't linked here not because Bill's politically controversial (he isn't, especially for Massachusetts, where he lives now, or Madison, WI, where this song was written and recorded), but because there is literally zero information on the guy on the internet. The CDDB entries for Cool At The Union are lifted from the comp I made of it and the Willis Reed EP off my folks' vinyl. No information, no point in linking to dead ends. The best article is probably here, but that really only gets into the title track of the record. Request it in the comments if you like the music, I'll get the package I made of those recordings up somewhere if so desired.

SH076 - ...and even this shall pass away...

video: Haibane Renmei
music: Gamma Ray - "A While In Dreamland"
link: depositfiles [45.5 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: June 2003

From another perspective, this one might be the video that made this into the Project (note capitalization) that it became; it's a pretty basic survey video on the series, but the idea came in after I already had the ideas for SH075 and SH078. It became readily apparent at that point that there were going to be more videos on this title than I'd ever done with another single source; to streamline the process, I was going to end up cutting for everything all at once, which meant all videos going in sequence, which accordingly meant, at least to my own sense, that they were going to have to hang together conceptually. Hence, Project, rather than four superficially related projects.

SH077 - Vivimus | Vivamus

video: Haibane Renmei
music: Gamma Ray - "Farewell"
link: depositfiles [51.1 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: June 2003

If there's an argument that this Project overran its endpoints, this video is it. In the hard light of day this is a third-run idea (SH075 and SH078 the first-run, and SH076 the second run), too long for the relative lack of the material it's trying to base itself on, and in some ways here because the Project needed a fourth video to justify its own Project-ness. On the other hand, it's still a decent video (it wouldn't be getting republished if it wasn't), and the .org scores have it essentially within the margin of error relative to the first two videos in this Project. Bandwidth's cheap as long as you aren't reading this on your phone or something, dl it yourself and draw your own conclusions.

SH078 - on black canvas blacker stars...

video: Haibane Renmei
music: Borknagar - "The View of Everlast"
link: depositfiles [45.2 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: June 2003

Like SH075, this was one of the founding ideas of this Project, and like that video, I really feel that it did hit its marks as intended, more than maybe the middle two videos did. There may be a correlation -- I definitely couldn't live with myself if I put out a Borknagar video that was underrealized or otherwise broken.


Putting this project together took most of two months. There was a lot of other stuff going on in my life at the time, but I recall being frustrated that I was already cutting before AniBo in April, and I wasn't editing until well into June. Of course, because the prework was all done, all the videos finished before the end of the month, but managing the huge source volume I was generating by cutting for four videos, while having said life stuff spinning furiously alongside, was extremely burdensome; it's likely a major factor why I haven't done something similar since.

More of a reason, likely, though, is that there hasn't been a source I've run across as solid as to allow four videos to be cut out of it. This project is a historical anomaly; since, as before, it's mostly been one video per video source, occasionally two, and recently I've been doing a better job of cutting second ideas that don't work as well off at the roots, in order to be sure that I'm spending my scarce edit time exclusively on good projects I want to finish. That was and is the rule -- four videos good enough to finish is and will remain the exception.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

SH074 - kiitos (- o wa ri -)

video: Rurouni Kenshin Seisouhen
music: Sentenced - "Aika Multaa Muistot (Everything Is Nothing)"
link: depositfiles [45.2 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: April 2003

With this video, I completed three Sentenced videos with the three major artstyles of animated Rurouni Kenshin (first OVA style on SH029, TV/movie style on SH065, and then second OVA style here). I came pretty close to covering every property as well; I was kicking around an idea using the movie and "New Age Messiah", but that would have meant buying said movie and postponing other projects mostly in order to be able to make a weird and relatively meaningless claim, so that ended up falling by the wayside, and I remain "stuck" on 3/4.


video: Maryuu Senki
music: Possessed - "Death Metal"
link: depositfiles [52.8 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: April 2003

The above picture is from a cut in the video that I'd named, in the production process, as 'goretex'. For fairly obvious reasons -- as shown, the dominant feature of the animation cut is a swirling vortex of gore, hence the portmanteau. And when you get something as ridiculously over-the-top, Dan-Seagrave-cover death metal as this, it tends to stick in your mind even seven and eight years later.

As alluded to on SH071, this is the culmination of a very bizarre sequence of videos. All three, at the time I entered them on the .org, represented the first use of both the anime and the musical artist in the video in the catalog. I don't know of anyone else who has a similar "triple-double"; even to pull this one off, I had to be fast with Colorful, find something interesting to do with the first couple eps of the skullcrushingly boring Piano, actually own a copy of this show, and then use racist music, a politically controversial band from the Ukraine, and then the last relatively-big thrash metal band that any otaku might be expected to pick up. I wasn't striving for it at the time, and it's not worth trying to do going forward; empty as well as nearly impossible, this is sort of an AMV anti-achievement.

SH072 - Darkness of Christ

video: Piano
music: Nokturnal Mortum - "Barbarian Dreams"
link: depositfiles [29 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: March 2003

This was done partly as a demo for Anime Boston '03 (I was, for the first and last time, on a panel, despite having very little to contribute) to show what could be done with some relatively simple effects design, but mostly because it could be turned around very quickly from weird idea into weird final video. The title is a Slayer reference that has absolutely nothing to do with the video beyond the source being colorized to dark purple on the pre end.

What I really should have done, for demo purposes, was to make the video, tracking the cuts, then go back and recut the source without the colorization, lay the same cuts in in the same order, and side-by-side the video streams to show how badly this would have come out without the effects in pre. Of course, I didn't, because I wasn't thinking as deeply about production processes at that point as I do now -- but that's not an excuse, because I had the example of SH020 right in my fucking catalog even at the time. I should have used that video if I wanted to say something about making edit decisions based on the color palette, but I didn't think of it, and the dislocation of doing something in a non-natural film color (SH023 and SH045 are grayscaled, and SH060 is sepiatoned, which are at least approximations of film behavior) was too strong a hook to ignore at the time. So it goes.

SH071 - say oi!

video: Colorful
music: Skrewdriver - "Voice of Britain"
link: depositfiles [26.5 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: March 2003

No link for the band here; I was uncertain even to publish it again at all. However, this video does exist, the music isn't even all that racist, the videography is done almost exclusively to blow that up, and if this one isn't included, the sequence from here to SH073 kind of breaks down. Just say O.K.

SH070 - ~

video: Patlabor 2
music: KAWASHIMA Mirai - "Untitled 3"
link: depositfiles [45.7 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: March 2003

This video is strongly a product of its time, originally idea-generated in early 2002 and finally assembled in early 2003. Anyone who doesn't get what this video is about, or is trying to get at (and amazingly, there have been several), either was not paying attention to current events in that time period, or just wasn't thinking critically about them.

I'm not going to ref Zeitgeist here, because that movie is dryer fluff for your brain. Watch The Power of Nightmares instead.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

SH069 - i brought you fires

video: SaiKano
music: Dark Tranquillity - "Hours Passed In Exile"
link: depositfiles [48.1 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: February 2003

Almost everything in this video that can reasonably be described as "synch" is the result of accident and closure. A side effect of doing effects in post in the TMPEG->AVS/VDub->TMPEG chain that the source had to pass through for this is that frames occasionally got lost; there are a lot of effects in this video, and the resulting output got fucked up something fierce between effect and correction for such. I really didn't like it when I saw the first final builds, but I like it more now, mainly due to forgetting what the original edit decisions were supposed to look like. This isn't a great video, but it was important, at least for me, in pulling back the veil on what AMV really is.

The natural point of comparison for this video is SH054; similar vintage anime, songs off the same record. I like that one better, the .org prefers this one.

It would have been an easy source of lulz to keep the lid on and pretend this finished before SH068 in order to flip the catalog numbers, but that's not the way the actual production queue worked out. Honesty before all, even when it doesn't count, and is seen by exactly nobody.

SH068 - no taste at all

video: Jungle de Ikou!
music: Ludacris - "Ho"
link: depositfiles [29.4 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: February 2003

This is Youtube's favorite SH video. Seriously, people steal the fuck out of it over there. I wonder why.