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.

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