frayadjacent: Lao Ma (from Xena) staring intently (Xena: Lao Ma)
[personal profile] beccatoria asked: Point to a section from one of your favorite vids you've made and explain why you're proud of it.

I'm gonna be a big ole bragger (we vidders don't get enough opportunities to boast) and pick four.

1. The third verse in Tightrope, from 2:06-2:27, where I put in a lot of effort to get the blocking and motion to match up between clips and kept the energy high all in the service of a strong narrative focus on Buffy challenging authority figures and taking an egalitarian approach instead of an authoritarian one. I'm especially proud of how I worked in Quentin Travers around 2:15, stutter cutting across 4 seasons and matching the blocking with Buffy's horrible test in Checkpoint. And the final clip of this section, where she walks away from Wesley, is possibly my favorite in the vid, both because of the lyrical matching and what I did with speed changes and freeze frames.

2. The bridge in Everywhere, from 1:49-2:06. The first verse is Xena's pov, the second Gabrielle's, so part of the task of the bridge was to move to a dual pov. Relatedly, this section of the vid was all about them coming together as a team/couple. So I started with how they are different, by juxtaposing Gabrielle dancing with clips of Xena fighting. And because this silly show has a Footloose episode and two musical episodes, I was able to gradually bring them together by showing Xena go from trying to stop Gabrielle dancing to joining in, and by showing Gabrielle's dancing look more and more militaristic, until at the end of the section they are dancing and fighting side by side.

I also love the montage of OTP feels in the last chorus, around 2:47-3:23. This part wasn't particularly difficult to make, it more felt like the payoff for harder work I did in earlier sections of the vid.

3. The section of Become You where Lao Ma is watching Xena, around 0:42. Also a bit later in the vid I ran a clip of Lao Ma stepping backwards and looking serene in reverse, so she is stepping forward with an expression of desire, at 0:58-1:01. I wanted to show her agency and desire for Xena and those sections are particularly successful at doing that.

Also in that vid, the section paralleling Lao Ma's execution with Xena's near execution, at 2:22-2:38. This almost feels unfair because the source did so much of the work in terms of visual parallels, and for some reason the clips of Xena fighting blended beautifully with the execution scenes so the whole thing is just pretty.

More than any recent vid of mine, this one has sections I love and sections I'm deeply unsatisfied with. I suppose that's not surprising since it is the most ambitious vid I've made yet in terms of argument. Anyway it was nice to share a bit of the former with you all, since I've been fairly focused on the latter since I published the vid.

4. I'm really proud of the ending of Starkville, from about 3:49 on. Again, the show provided me with easy visual parallels and metaphors, I just had to put them there and play with blending modes a bit. The most complicated thing I did there, besides the fire overlay, was to put a reddish gradient overlay on that entire final section and faded it out a little more slowly than I did the last clip, which makes her bloody and brutal facial expression fade to red before it fades to black. I was quite happy with that.
frayadjacent: drawing from hyperbole and a half: cartoon girl at laptop at night, text says "vidding" (!vidding)
 2012 meme

My vids in 2013:

January
Sons and Daughters (Whale Rider ensemble, made for Festivids.)

April
Tightrope (BtVS Buffy & Scoobies, premiered in August for Club Vivid)

August
A Thousand Miles (Elementary, Joan & Sherlock)

November
Everywhere (Xena, Xena/Gabrielle)


Meme Questions )
frayadjacent: Buffy smirking over Giles with quarterstaff (BtVS: Buffy smirking)
Day 30: Do you have a favorite vid you've made? What makes it your favorite? And don't forget to give us a link!

My two favorite vids that I've made are "Tightrope" and "Everywhere".  I don't think it's a coincidence that one is an ode to my all-time favorite character set to dance music, and the other is an ode to my all-time favorite pairing, also set to dance music.  :D

But I'll go with "Tightrope", because I'm pretty happy with all the fun jump cuts and time toggling and things like that that I put in there.  And it's not just an ode to Buffy's kick-assery, but also a vid about how she handles all the different pressures and tensions in her life, about how sometimes she fails at that but mostly she just does it.  And about how the Scoobies help her.  I secretly kind of love that Buffy's ships take up about 20 seconds of the vid, in a segment I called "Boy Trouble"

I'm not entirely happy with the ending of that vid though.  The idea was that, at least on a broad thematic level and ignoring the comics, once Willow does the empowerment spell then Buffy no longer has to walk that tightrope, at least not like she did before.  But I don't think that really came through.  I mean, it just looks like I lazily ended the vid with the last clip from the show. 

Still, it was awfully fun to make everyone dance.  :D

30 Questions )
frayadjacent: Xena and Gab walking/riding away together, text says "Journeys" (Xena: Journey)
A birthday present for [tumblr.com profile] lakedesire!

Title: Everywhere
Source: Xena: Warrior Princess
Song: "Everywhere (Paul Devro remix)" by Fleetwood Mac
Characters: Xena, Gabrielle
Relationship: Xena/Gabrielle
Summary: I want to be with you all through it.

Download | Youtube | Vimeo




I think this might be the most fun I've ever had making a vid.  Which doesn't mean it's my favorite vid I've made, but I sure enjoyed making it.  I think in part because making the vid coincided with feeling pretty enthusiastically fannish about this show, and about this pairing specifically. 

Lyrics )

frayadjacent: Buffy looking to the side in black and white (vidding!)
I swear, every vid I make I remember halfway through that I don't have to clip everything before I start editing.  And each time it is a goddamn revelation.  This time around, I'd been clipping for months, and I wasn't hating it, but I sure wasn't loving it.  Then I realized, hey, I have a lot of clips here.  I could throw those things on a timeline and have a lot more fun than I am right now.  Maybe even learn a thing or two about my new vidding software while I'm at it.

And it goes both ways -- editing gives me the motivation to keep clipping, but clipping gives me ideas for the vid.  It's a good back and forth.  I lose a little time by editing stuff that I end up replacing later once I discover better clips, but I bet I make that time up just by having more vid farr.  Plus it makes the experience overall more fun, which might have something to do with why I'm doing this in the first place?

So in the last two days I've filled up about 2/3 of the timeline for Sekrit Vid.  It's been a lot of fun!  I've been toying around with it a lot, moving between different parts of the vid, trying stuff out in one section till I get tired of it, tightening edits in another until I'm happy enough with it, for now anyway.  I'm still not sure what exactly I'm going to do with the other third, but hey, that's what clipping is for.  And that's my next task, as I've nearly exhausted the clips I have. 

And I'm doing it all in a spiffy new program -- Premiere Pro CS6, which came with my new laptop that came with my new job.  Mostly it's a lot like FCP 7, but prettier to look at.  I LOVE (really, really, a lot) that I can scrub through a preview of clips with the icon view -- it saves me soooo much time.  There's still a few kinks.  When I double click on a clip in the timeline to open it in the viewer (or whatever Premiere calls the monitor on the left), I keep expecting the viewer playhead to be on the same frame as the sequence playhead was.  I've found this is only the case maybe half the time?  I'm sure there's a reason for the discrepancy, but I don't know it yet.  It sounds like a small thing but it does slow down my fine-editing process -- I guess I need to adjust that part of how I work.  

I checked out Adobe's official "Classroom in a Book" for Premiere, and so I'm also learning some things I aught to know by now -- like what alpha channels and chroma keys are -- and I'm excited to use them.  Eventually.  Same with After Effects and all that.  Fancy titles and whatnot are exciting, but I bet I'll get the most use out of AE's de-noising effects, stuck as I am on shows that started in the 90s.
frayadjacent: Buffy looking to the side in black and white (BtVS: Buffy Grr)
 Two weeks of no internet just became "we'll let you know within ten days when you'll get your internet".  Ten days on top of the two weeks, mind you.  And it's not "you'll get your internet within ten days."  It's "you'll find out when you get your internet within 10 days".

I'm trying to keep some perspective here: I have my smartphone, I have internet at work (though setting up a fully functional computer account is taking quite a while as well), and there's wifi at cafes and other places.  Of all the basic things that could have been significantly delayed in this move, home internet is probably the lowest impact.

But actually this is sort of aggravating me, and more importantly I'm wondering if it's a sign of shitty service to come, as I'm starting to get the sense that my ISP-to-be, Optus, is generally considered worse than at least one other provider.  Fellow residents of Australia -- should I try to get out of my contract?  

I've had enough with waiting and am going to try to get last week's Breaking Bad and Elementary episodes from iTunes at a cafe or something.  I'm not sure if that wifi will support large downloads though -- we'll see.  I was mostly worried about not getting to watch Breaking Bad, but now watching Person of Interest has got me missing Elementary.  It didn't help that I rewatched my vid a few days ago.  Instead of scratching my Elementary-itch, it had me longing to see those two again, bantering and solving problems and hanging out with Clyde and making me so so happy.

On the other hand, clipping for Sekrit Vid is going well!  I have a long way to go before my self-imposed deadline, though.  Not having internet does admittedly help.

Speaking of vidding, when I set my new desk up to start vidding again, I had to decide whether to focus on Sekrit Vid or my Hunger Games vid idea.  I wanted to finish the latter before Catching Fire is released, which means I need to get working on it now.  I am not a make-a-vid-in-a-day -- or a week -- sort of vidder, even for a film.  But I realized that I just didn't have the motivation.  I'm much more excited for my HG vid ideas that will require more of the films than I was for this one, even though it was a decent idea.  So I decided to abandon it, which is always at least as much of a relief as it is sad.  Especially for vids I've only thought about but not yet put any work into.

I've been thinking a lot about how to increase my vidding productivity, not only because I think about it a lot but also because [personal profile] heresluck and [personal profile] jetpack_monkey have been posting about it as well.  For me, of course, the number one thing is to have an arrangement where vidding does minimal damage to my wrists.  I have that now -- a much better setup than I had in Seattle, where I never wanted to splurge on a real desk since I was planning to move.  So now it's about staying focused and motivated.  The thing that distracts me the most from vidding is not so much television, but internet.  I can easily surf the web for ages when I was planning to vid.  So, like I said before, not having internet right now has a silver lining -- maybe it'll help me establish better habits in my new environment. 

Also, for work I sometimes use the productivity apps Anti-Social or Freedom.  The latter prevents access to social networking sites (an any other of your choosing) for a specified time, while Freedom blocks the whole internet.  And they both require you to reboot if you want to turn them off ahead of time.  I've resorted to using these for vidding a few times in the past and I might start making it a semi-regular part of my computer use.  Once we have internet, anyway....
frayadjacent: Adaped from the hyperbole & a half comic, stick figure girl is very excitedly shouting "vid all the things!!!" (Vid all the things!!!)
I was inspired by [personal profile] settiai to take stock of my vid WIPs.  I love vidding and I have so many ideas, but sometimes I get a little lazy, a little undisciplined.  So, if nothing else, I can use this to keep myself on top of my goals and how well I'm meeting them?

Maybe if I use Cinelerra and don't have to clip I can make these? Maybe???? )

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frayadjacent: Buffy looking to the side in black and white (Default)
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