Happy Festivids reveals, everyone! My presents turned out to be made by Jetpack Monkey and eruthros. Thanks, guys, they were awesome. (And that was suuuper subtle telling me you had that font.) And now to talk about myself!Vimeo passwords = festivids
Earlier on this Festivids, someone asked me if I was going to try to break my record from last year. The thought had not even crossed my mind... Until they said that.
Then I thought about how sad I was not to be able to make presents for random people last year. There were great prompts, but I was busy with my Project, so I just couldn't squeeze in extra vids. This year, I decided: This year! All through November and December, I had a massive spreadsheet of all of the awesome ideas I was dying to work on.
But circumstances conspired against me. I got a dream assignment for Yuletide: Wiseguy, with a Vinnie/Sonny request. A dream assignment--and a nightmare--because I was obsessed with writing something long and plotty that could be enjoyed by people not already into the show. (Come to me, my pretties. I will give this fandom LIFE! *castle thunder*
) My writing is okay once I do it; it's the doing it that's the problem. I agonized over that damn thing until the eleventh hour. It ate up every bit of my time and energy for making fandom stuff. I also had a variable combination of too many weekend social engagements and too much illness and out-of-sortsness to vid. Not to mention our abnormally cold weather. Now, this is the Bay Area, so our cold winter weather is balmy compared to lots of places... But you have never felt cold until you have been indoors
here in a 1910 house. We do not overheat our buildings like the rest of the country does. The room with my vidding computer is essentially unheated
. It wasn't just so cold I couldn't feel my fingers: it was so cold I got splitting headaches and had to go lie down. (I was also too dumb to figure this out, so I kept thinking I had the flu.)Miami Vice
And then there was my assignment. You'd think getting Miami Vice would be awesome. But I cannot think of a single MV prompt more likely
to give me vidder's block than the one I got. (Sorry, Barkley.) I like Sonny, but he's just about last
on my list of reasons for loving Vice. I like him in relation to the other characters, as a vehicle for the show's unrelenting aesthetic, as part of pairings: I don't care about him on his own. Yes, yes, I know optional details are optional, but I saw that and just froze. Did that mean pairings were okay? Which pairings? Once upon a time, this was a fandom with some pretty serious divisions in shipping. And the prompt sounded kind of dismissive of the source, a source I have a terminal case of SRS BZNS about. (Yes, really. Yes, I know what my vids look like. Shut up.) It's a show that gets misremembered as being about Don Johnson in white linen and lulzy stupidity when it was actually Michael Mann's masturbatory love letter to film noir, stuffed full of topical political messages, and at least a buddy cop show if not an ensemble piece. I HAVE FEELINGS ABOUT THIS, OKAY?! Anyway, I fretted over what to do. I considered trying to vid The Hooters; I've been meaning to for a long time, and the cries of joy or screams of rage as Philadelphians are earwormed are always fun, but I couldn't find anything I thought would work for Miami Vice. Eventually, I settled on trying for a silly tribute to Sonny's ass set to that mashup of One Direction and Journey. (Yes, this is a desecration of Journey, but I stalked barkley's journal enough to find a discussion of whether Styx or Journey is better and a blasphemous vote for Styx, so...)
This vid stalled. And stalled. And stalled.
It got to be January. I had done a little bit of work on a few treats and picked out music and concepts for a few more. I had done nothing at all on my assignment. A few days before the deadline, I realized that it was never going to happen. I needed a vid and I needed it fast. I always feel like it's kind of tacky to use an old vidbunny for an exchange, but that's what I did. This is the vid I wanted to make as my premiere for last VividCon. I'd had the idea planned out for a long time, but then, well, you know, Whitney Houston
, so talitha78 talked me out of it. "Too soon!" she said.
But after watching Daniel Jackson put on his dancing dress and Tango and Cash "boom boom" that many times, I was convinced that it was no longer too soon and that this was the vid that my recipient truly deserved
. (Whether that's 'deserved' like "Nothing but the best for my recipient!" or like "Barkley, you brought this on yourself!" I leave as an exercise to the reader. ;D)
When I went to clip fourth season, the season that features Tubbs' sexy beard and which is therefore the best season, I found the footage much less cooperative than I'd hoped. My original idea was just this song plus that season; I hadn't actually checked that I'd have what I needed. I was trying not to take too many things way out of context, so I didn't want to use the shots of Tubbs bringing Sonny takeout and consoling him about his relationship issues* as pre-marriage shots (also, they sucked more than I thought visually), and there just wasn't as much immediately pre-marriage footage as I wanted. Some of it had very short clips or film defects too. And yet, Miami Vice. Epic cheese. That fucking song from The Bodyguard. Most of this vid practically vidded itself.
Once I figured out how to use the wedding footage with its tiny amount of Tubbs, everything fell into place. I quickly realized I needed the most epic and awesome of all Miami Vice Emo Shots™: Tubbs, after Crockett has been shot, looking sorrowfully out the window into the RAIN
. Yes, this is one of only a few things in the vid that is wildly out of context, but it's visually perfect. Plus it's from a shitty clipshow episode. My only problem was finding material for the part after Sonny puts the ring on her finger. I needed big, epic shots of Crockett and Tubbs together. I wanted them from earlier in fourth season. I ended up with a shitload of driving shots, some of them from the momentous scene where Tubbs tells Crockett he doesn't want to have to speak at his funeral. This was amusing to me, and it flowed okay, but it just wasn't EPIC enough. Sadly, I never did find the footage I wanted, and the deadline loomed, so I stuck in random kitten. Look, kitty! You like kitties, right? Kitty, kitty, kitty.
As I was rewatching and putting in some final edits, I noticed that I had an unfortunate amount of quasi-lip sync in the party scene. It would have been better with more or less, but I was out of time, and it was kind of funny, so whatever. And then it hit me: the most epic and cheesetastic part of this epic and cheesetastic song is the bit every kid in grade school sang all year to the point that I was ready to bludgeon them with a chair: IIIIIIIIIIIIIII-IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII !
Oh yes. It needed the lip sync, precious. And egregiously, recognizably out of context or not, there is no scream in all of Miami Vice more epic, more dynamic, and more worthy of bad lip sync than Rico screaming out "SONNY!" at the end of the fourth season finale. I originally had far more lip sync in, but I couldn't find a match for everything, so pared it down to just the 'I' shots.How much you should have known this vid was mine:
Dude, it's a Miami Vice vid to a cheesy love song. With rampant talky face. And eight million shots of Rico. Plus, as Anoel pointed out in the guessing post, it's pretty transparently the prequel to the Miami Vice vid I did for Escapade last year. (Don't worry, anoel: they do get back together. After a fridging, some vigilante justice, amnesia, and a lot of cheese. I don't know about kittens though.)Who actually guessed this one:
Everyone in creation.
Too Soon from Franzeska Dickson on Vimeo.The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
After I had finished flailing and hating myself for not making this vid perfect, I realized I still had a bit of time to work on treats. Somewhere in here, I decided that a pinch hit was a good idea. It was, of course, not at all a good idea, but hope springs eternal, and I loved the prompt. I still had a few things half started and a few pieces of music picked out. But I had a free weekend coming up. It was the last weekend before the due date, so I knew I had to finish up anything I was going to so I'd have those evenings free for exporting, uploading, and troubleshooting. I definitely had to finish (not to mention start) my pinch hit. Did I, in fact, work on any of those vids that weekend?
Ha ha ha ha
No. I started a completely new vid. And by 'started', I mean sat down and made in like one sitting from rewatching the movie to music selection to finished product. It was a sitting that took all weekend, but it was ~*magical*~. Last year, lilly-the-kid betaed for my cranky self, and if you have betaed for me, you know that I have very Definite Opinions. (Astronauts in space can probably tell I have very Definite Opinions.) I'm not always the easiest to beta for. So when she asked me to make her a vid, I could not refuse. Yes, when she asked me. Right here in her Dear Festividder letter:"I'm especially fond of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, but any one of the series (or all of them) is/are fine with me. I love the cinematography and the beautiful yet disturbing imagery. And maybe a totally over the top, yet still completely sincere epic slash vid between Blondie, Tuco and Angel Eyes (or any combination thereof) might be pretty awesome..."
It clearly reads: "Franzi, please make me a vid." (Except for the part where she is WRONG WRONG WRONG because only Blondie and Tuco are made for each other. HDU! OTP! Boo, Angel Eyes, hissssss.) Luckily, I was able to make this at the eleventh hour because my stepfather owns the super awesome collectors' edition version of the movie. He did ask what I wanted it for though.*
It had been years since I'd seen this movie. I can't believe how much of it I didn't remember, and I don't think I'd ever seen the full three-hour version before. God damn
, it's good. It's not over-hyped at all. It's also not the slashiest Western I've seen, not by a longshot, but there was a lot more potential than I had remembered. I have so many thoughts about Tuco's feelings about his brother, the little moments of kindness they show each other in between attempted murders, and that part where Blondie sees the bloodstain and asks if Tuco is dead.
I did remember Leone's style (why show a one-second establishing shot when you can show a fifteen-minute one?), and I knew I would need a slow song. Besides, a slow song is practically a necessity for this genre of slash vid, a genre I would call: "Oh dear god, what have you done now?" (Or possibly LKBV.) Google came to my aid... But, my goodness, I did not realize quite how rich
the 1980s and retro imitators are for songs discussing breath and other relevant subject matter. Rejected candidates include Take My Breath Away by Berlin, Breathless by The Corrs, and Kim Wilde's version of You Keep Me Hangin' On (thank you, jetpackmonkey). But, no, only Show Me Heaven had the sound I wanted. It was perfect. I cackled madly to myself about hilarious quasi-literalism as I vidded. This was going to be the most outstanding piece of ridiculous crack ever. I filled the timeline and played it back.
Somewhere between cackling at pairing the Days of Thunder soundtrack with an inviolable cinema classic and finishing laying down clips, a whole lot more of my id leaked out onto the timeline than I'd expected. This was supposed to just be a laugh. Apparently, my id has a different reaction to the idea of young Clint Eastwood and breathplay...
Well, I guess I know what
fic I'm asking for next yuletide!
Man, if this isn't proof that I am 100% unable to like anything in an ironic or joking way, and anything I spend too much time writing, vidding, or thinking about is something I end up shipping! Oops. Also, Eli Wallach is totally not ugly in this movie and Tuco is the only sympathetic character. Also, why hasn't anyone written me this yet? (Except for this fic
. This fic is genius. Even if there's no breathplay.) I'm ready to write a god damn pairing manifesto and scream about my feels on Tumblr. Jesus. Maybe I'll just write that breathplay epic myself.How much you should have known this vid was mine:
Cinematic greatness defiled with 80s soundtrack? With kinky sex and lots and lots and lots of looong closeups? Admittedly, a Leone picture consists entirely of panoramic scenery and EXTREME CLOSEUP
, but still!Who actually guessed this one:
elipie and then shati. Though maybe I'd just already spilled the beans to everyone else who'd be likely to guess.
Show Me Heaven from Franzeska Dickson on Vimeo.Night Watch
So that was all very amusing, but I still hadn't
finished my pinch hit, and I'd be damned if I'd default on a pinch hit, especially at the last minute. Now, through terminal idiocy, I'd managed to not realize that I had the correct version of Night Watch all along. (Netflix sends this two-sided DVD, but both sides have multiple language tracks and whatnot, so I thought I'd gotten some dreadful dub-only version.) I finally twigged to what was going on with the DVD and started my rewatch of Night Watch and Day Watch. I have a lot of Feelings about the canon romance in this series, principally that I think Sveta is way too good for Anton, what happens to Kostya is totally obnoxious, and the idea of anybody in this universe having a destined one true, monogamous love forever is absurd. (Also, Kostya is desperate for Anton's approval, and Anton needs to fucking chill: They should have just fucked. It would have done them good.)
What drew me to the prompt was the request to replicate the awesome subtitles on the international theatrical versions of these movies. (Whether the awesome subs will be on the DVD you get is another story. Day Watch doesn't seem to have been released with them, and not all versions of Night Watch have them either.) I wanted a song with potential for interesting work with text. I generally dislike vids that just do every lyric in a hard-to-read font. If that's the aim, a .srt file or posting the lyrics with the vid would work better. If I'm going to do text, there will be more to it than just listing banal love song lyrics. So, clearly, I needed a song with interesting lyrics. But I also wanted to do this deep, multi-layered vid containing all of my fanwank about why Anton and Sveta are not
destined, and I wanted to include the bodyswap, and... and... Yeah, it was a cool idea. It was also hard as hell to find a song for, but I eventually settled on Mathematics by Little Boots. I was going to show a Fibonacci sequence in white with the '3' in red or something.
Did I mention that the Escapade vid deadline was in the middle of all this? Yeah... I had massive tech issues with my vid for this year. I also used a lot of text in it. It took much longer than I would have expected.
I gave up on my other treats in progress. There just wasn't time after my Escapade vid eating up all the time I'd intended to use for my pinch hit. I was in chat stressing and bitching at tbm privately. Something she said made me rethink my idea. I don't remember what. I guess I made a crack like: 'Oh, maybe I'll just throw that out and make something to Sex Drive.' I'd been saving that song for a multi-fandom car porn vid, but the more I thought about it, the better it seemed. I still think Mathematics would make a great Night Watch vid and also a cool text effects vid, but someone with actual time and brain would have to do that, and I had no brain left at all. Sex Drive, on the other hand, just required a little editing for length, and I had a brilliant text idea to go with it. A little editing, I say... The version of the song I have is 5:41. I had neither the time to vid that nor the material to put in it, but I couldn't just chop off half. The music editing took me a while. When I sat down to edit, I only had about five solid hours of vidding time left. So that's what I did. No text, no brain, no meta, just SWEET, SWEET sportscars and boobies and bodyswap "pain" faces and Kostya pouting all over the place and BLOOD. Eh heh heh heh. (Damnit, why doesn't this canon cater to me?
I want to know what Gessar and Olga were getting up to during the body swap. And don't tell me they wouldn't go for it! Anton totally went for it in Olga's body.)
But, believe it or not, this vid was supposed to have text and, like, depth, man. That version is... coming.How much you should have known this vid was mine:
Not much. These movies are pretty funny at points, but my vid is mostly car porn. Being obsessed with Kostya and using all the sanguivorous bits of the movies is hardly identifying in this fandom.Who actually guessed this one:
No one? I told some people about it ahead of time though.
Sex Drive from Franzeska Dickson on Vimeo.Brisco County Jr.
So that was, what, Thursday morning? I stayed home that day because I had a dentist appointment. I still couldn't work on my other vids until that evening though between the appointment and uploading my pinch hit. (Late. Oops. Sorry, mods.) I was hanging around wasting time in vidding chat, and people were talking about how many they'd made. In fact, people had been talking about this a lot all through Festivids... I'm not competitive in a winning contests and prizes kind of way. Vidding contests weird me out. But... I'd spent so much time whining, truthfully, about how little vidding I'd gotten done and had so many treat ideas I'd wasted a ton of time on, even if the timelines were still bare. Wouldn't it be funny, I thought, to finish a bunch of vids nobody knew about?
First up, as I recall, was my Brisco County Jr. vid. I had spent absolutely forever agonizing over the intertitles, both in writing and in execution. I've been wanting to vid this awesome show, but I never seem to get around to it, and lots of the requests are for Brisco/Bowler. Now, the more I rewatch, the more I wonder how I never saw that back in the day, but the fact remains that I was a craaaazy hardcore Brisco/Dixie shipper when this originally aired, and I'd hate to sideline her... Unless I happened to vid a part of the canon she wasn't in in the first place.
The vid concept sort of sprang into my mind, fully formed, with the intertitles and the gag with the music. Sadly, I fear only lilly-the-kid will appreciate this music selection. The first half of the vid is the first half of the series finale but with all of the steampunk-y bits and most of the humor taken out. I wish I'd had more time for Pete and Aaron Viva and even Whip (I thought he was totally hot back in the day, but he's not nearly as funny). The music from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is a little bit goofy, but it ends on a serious enough note and the movie has serious enough associations in people's minds* that it seemed appropriate for the rousing action and tragic ending.
And then there's the second half... I considered putting in more intertitles to clarify the story, but I thought the talky face went better with the music most of the time, and it seemed weird to have just one. However, just for the hell of it, I'll tell you that that one would have read: "Rubber bullets!"
The second piece of music is also by Ennio Morricone, but this one is the first version of the Wild Bunch's theme from My Name is Nobody, a parody Italo-Western that has vastly more in common with The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. than a normal Western does. When I heard that inexplicable Ride of the Valkyries bit, I knew it was perfect for the football huddles and play descriptions the bad guys go through in the second half. It's like Morricone's score for The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly... on crack
. The movie is pretty cracky too. I discovered it by wrangling AO3 tags and watching it on Netflix Instant before coming back to read the fic. Yes, there is fic of My Name is Nobody. Yes, it's slash. Of course. You're welcome.
To my great amusement, while I was stressing about my main assignment and coming up with ever longer lists of treats I'd like to make, I read back through lilly-the-kid's journal and what did I spy but a My Name is Nobody vid
. Which, of course, I couldn't comment on in the middle of Festivids when I was about to give her a ridiculous Italo-Western vid treat. Doh! It's a fun vid that spoils the movie like crazy. But go watch it anyway and then read her meta on the movie. In addition to being really interesting, it will make it a lot more obvious why I thought this pairing of music would be hilarious for the Brisco two-parter.How much you should have known this vid was mine:
I was thinking this was less obvious than Show Me Heaven... until elipie pointed out that my "lyrics" are obviously me. Also the intertitles, especially ending with "What?". And the long-ass clips. Also the massive, rampant, unending talky face absolutely everywhere, which echan pointed out.Who actually guessed this one:
elipie... and that's it (C'mon people, who else would fill Festivids that full of talky face on purpose?)
High Treason from Franzeska Dickson on Vimeo.City of Lost Children
That was four, and I decided why the hell not: I'd finish the other vid I'd spent a long time on already. I had maybe a third of the timeline filled; I'd gotten bogged down in obsessing over minute timing issues instead of getting a move on. Sigh. This is a vid I debated about endlessly long before I picked music or started cutting. I saw it around the time it came out, and while it's funny and gorgeous and fascinating and all that, teenage me had one primary reaction: ONE AND MIETTE! SHIPPING IT FOREVER! Trust me, this reaction has not dulled with time.
The trouble is, I was not so sure either of the people who requested the movie this year would appreciate a vid about my shipper feels. I mean... Miette's played by a nine year-old. Opposite Ron Perlman. Yeah... So I picked the letter that at least mentioned found family and tried to retell the plot. I thought the piece of music would be too long, but even after I'd cut out all of the comic relief stuff and most other scenes with the bad guys, I realized I was barely going to be able to cram the whole story in in any kind of comprehensible way. So I threw away a lot more of the explanatory parts (like the first flea attack) and added in a million percent more Miette-whatsherface catfight and cheesy tattoo and OH GOD MADE FOR EACH OTHER LET ME TELL YOU. No, but see, he's this carnival strongman who's simple... or something. And she's the overly precocious leader of the child thieves. They discuss what kind of woman he would marry. The other kids accuse her of being in love with him. That was totally a catfight! LOOK HOW UPSET HE IS WHEN SHE DROWNS, AND THEN THE REVERSE HAPPENS TO HER LATER IN THE MOVIE, YESSSSS! My id! My id! Um... (I saw this at an impressionable age, okay? What do you mean "that's all ages"?)
The music was kind of an obvious choice. Someone asked me if it's from the movie. It's not, but you can see why the musician made such an impression on the director when one of his crew happened to put his album on in the car while they were driving somewhere. Yann Tiersen fits seamlessly with Jean-Pierre Jeunet's style, as you can see from Amelie, which does
feature this piece and a whole lot of others by the same guy.
I had like zero time left to make this. I'm pretty sure I was still finishing it Friday evening. But I had a good chunk of the timeline filled, and I knew I would never finish it at all if I didn't finish it for this Festivids... So I set myself a schedule: Twenty seconds of timeline, twenty minutes from now. Each section I worked on was like that. Thirty seconds: thirty minutes. Ten seconds: ten minutes. I started with the parts of my outline I thought would be easiest and filled in from there. Whatever my first impulse was, it had to be good enough because I did not have time for revisions. I didn't even have time to rewatch much. Toward the end, I was using nothing but jump cuts in the same scene or really, really long clips because it would have been too complicated to try to fit in more scenes and make the narrative clear without a thorough beta. 2:44 (just after the woman pulls the lever) to 2:54 (where I repeated the shot of Miette screaming) is all one clip, for example. See what I mean about Yann Tiersen going with Jeunet's style!How much you should have known this vid was mine:
Not at all. I didn't expect anyone to guess this one without help, and no one did. Among other things, I removed the considerable amount of comic relief. Me: removing lulz. Whoda thunk?Who actually guessed this one:
nobody, and not for lack of trying
Miette Pour La Vie from Franzeska Dickson on Vimeo.And then it was Friday night...
It was Friday. I had uploaded and officially submitted everything, most before midnight, one just after, I think. There were other treats I had wanted to make, treats with cool prompts or with sources with a lot of nostalgia value. Nothing, however, came close to The Stuff
. This fucking movie has stalked me for years. When I was a kid, every time we went on vacation and I could gorge myself on cable, there it would be in the 3 a.m. timeslot, an inexplicable parody of 80s commercialism and diet fads, a horror movie about evil frozen yoghurt
. I couldn't even tell you how many times I've seen this movie. I remembered the title. I remembered the concept, vaguely. I even remembered this one line (only slightly incorrectly) that stuck with me for years. Back before the days of IMDB, people would be like: "Evil frozen yoghurt. Are you kidding me?" But now, thanks to the power of the internet, and the fact that Netflix Instant has the rights to every shitty movie no one has heard of or will ever pay money for again, I can rewatch in full.
...and it's every bit as cracked as I remembered. It's exactly
as I remembered. AND MY LOVE FOR THE HERO IS EXACTLY AS I REMEMBERED. There are caper movies. There are heist movies. I've rarely seen such a gleeful and unrepentant specimen of corporate spy
as a hero. From the moment I saw this movie nominated and exploded all over chat, I knew I had to vid it. I agonized
over music. I wanted the perfect piece to encapsulate my decades-long obsession with the hero and the PURE AND TRUE PERFECTION of his relationship with the heroine. Also the massive 80sness of this movie. Also its insane, over-the-top inexpicableness. IT NEEDED TO BE PERFECT.
I didn't find that song. Nothing could possibly capture a movie so majestic, so sublime
. And, also, I never found any songs about sympathetic criminals that remotely fit. So I googled "yuppie song 80s awful", and there in someone's list of the most inexcusably materialistic and stupid songs of the decade was Hip To Be Square. The list had a lot of stinkers, but the invective they'd saved for this, their #1 pick, was awe-inspiring. I decided that instead of finding lyrics that suited, I would use lyrics that clashed ironically. Sure, the hero looks
like a square, but... well... can you guess which line has stuck with me all these years?
It was midnight my time, 3 a.m. on the east coast. A few weeks before, I had edited and edited the two sections with the Stuff commercials, but the rhythm had never seemed completely right. This would have been an excellent time to go to bed.
I SPIT ON GOOD IDEAS!
I have no idea what time I finished, but it was fast and it was before reveals. If my editing for Miette Pour La Vie was free from second guessing, this was staggeringly so. I was distraught over not doing justice to this CINEMATIC MASTERPIECE, but not so distraught I wanted Festivids to miss out on killer diet dessert or those amazingly 80s commercials.How much you should have known this vid was mine:
If you were in chat when I saw the nomination, it was probably pretty obvious.Who actually guessed this one:
The real question is who even saw
this vid. It's at the end of the alphabet and for a source no one knows. But unless I'm very wrong, I'd say absolutedestiny guessed the moment he watched.
Play It Straight from Franzeska Dickson on Vimeo.
* Yes, this happens. No, not like that. You have a filthy mind.
* Yes, of course I told him. Why do you ask? He asked to see the final product too. Then he said "Oh Jesus" and laughed a lot every time there was a floofy umbrella or naked ass or something else you forget is in the movie when you haven't seen it in a while, and I rambled about the Kuleshov Effect for a while.
* Never mind that The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is also full of black humor: that's not what people remember it for.