franzeska: (Default)
franzeska ([personal profile] franzeska) wrote2013-03-05 05:58 pm

Escapade Con Report Pt. 2 - The Great Pretender

As usual, I made too many festivids, and this kept me quite busy during the time I'd have liked to have been working on vids for Escapade. I did manage a premiere, which I'll be uploading once I iron out some lingering technical issues. I also sent a festivid since, while the Escapade deadline is before the festivids one, the Escapade vid show is several weeks after reveals. After all of those vidding deadlines were over, it would have been smart to take a break.

I am not that smart.

Instead, one day as I was hanging out in #vidding chat, jetpack-monkey said something about how he'd "just die" if someone made him a vid of Mario Bava's horror films. He also said he was having his birthday party at the con. Now, if someone had asked me to make a vid of fifteen movies I'd never seen, I would probably have said no or dithered for six months and not gotten it done. Faced with only two weeks and a firm statement that no one would ever, I was determined that I would. I even asked for Bava recs and chatted about watching a few of them. Sure, this could have been a give away, but I figured the sheer ludicrousness of trying to make that vid in that timeframe would obscure what I was up to.

There are other reasons this vid was a terrible idea: I had no idea who Mario Bava even was, let alone what was significant in his movies, so I couldn't come up with a concept or start looking for a song until I'd watched my source material. Said source material is a mixture of color and black and white movies, mostly available in dodgy formats with different aspect ratios. Bava's films have suffered from icky recutting, so the versions on Netflix Instant may not be the DVD version, and different DVDs may also be different. Lots of them aren't even on Netflix. I had zero time to rent anything. Much, much worse, Bava is one of jetpack-monkey's favorite directors. The possibilities for making a vid he'd hate were endless.

But then I actually watched a couple of Bava films. THERE ARE COLORS. Also, a hilarious serial killer who hacks his wife to death while wearing a wedding veil. And evil lesbians. AND MORE COLORS. YAY COLORS. Any teeny weeny remote possibility of me just watching the movies jetpack-monkey suggested I start with went out the window immediately.

I still had the problem of figuring out how to tie all of these movies together when I hadn't yet watched them all and didn't have time to rewatch or really digest them like a long-time fan would have. So, naturally, I headed over to Classic Horror to steal ideas read up on thematic links in Bava's oeuvre. Tim Lucas (who wrote the book on Bava, literally) also had some wonderful posts to crib learn from.

And then I realized: I already had a song! A while ago, I heard The Great Pretender for the first time, and I have been looking for just the right serial killer to vid it to ever since. I really wanted something where someone keeps their victim in their bed and pretends they're still alive for years, but everyone who tried to give me advice kept suggesting Dexter and other totally inappropriate serial killers who in no way resembled what I was after. I was not looking for commentary on justice: I wanted macabre lulz.

And by god if Bava doesn't deliver! Hatchet for the Honeymoon had the exact tone I'd been searching for, though the protagonist tends to use his victims for mulch, and Lisa and the Devil has the exact crazycakes dead lady in the bed thing I knew had to be out there somewhere. It turns out that all of Bava's movies together were exactly the source I'd needed. How funny is that?

Now all I had to do was watch a really phenomenal amount of footage in no time while still getting enough sleep I wasn't a wreck. I also had to get the movies. Netflix had some, but they couldn't deliver enough in time, so I went hunting. I thought perhaps Amoeba might have some used DVDs for cheap. Perhaps in the cult section... Or the horror section... Or, oh wait, the European horror section... I was envisioning having to search bin after bin while trying to remember the multiple translated titles of these movies. I should have known that would be unnecessary: I found what I needed in the permanent Bava section right next to the permanent Argento section. By the time the con rolled around, I'd watched ten and a half of the fifteen movies on my list, another Bava film that wasn't horror and didn't fit with the vid, a documentary on Bava, and a couple of the commentary tracks. I'd run out of time to make the vid itself.

And then, Friday morning, I woke up at some repulsive hour and could not go back to sleep, so onto the terrace I went to whip the vid into shape. I finished about three quarters of it before panels started for the day and was most pleased with myself... until I found out jetpack_monkey was thinking of having his party Friday night instead of Saturday after the vid show. But at that point there was NO BACKING DOWN! In a couple of the panel slots where nothing interested me, I powered through the rest of it. Did it have timing issues? Oh sure, but the parts I loved, I loved, and I was happy with almost all of the thematic connections, which were what was really important to me. That and tweaking the swing from Kill, Baby, Kill to move just a little more smoothly.

...and then I got stuck helping clean up after the Friday party, and I spent most of the party itself chatting with other friends and not drinking. When I finally stumbled upstairs to see what was going on, jetpack_monkey and roommates were all danced out and ready for bed. Doh. So the party was on Saturday after all.

Beforehand, at dinner, I told a few people what I'd made so that when I casually mentioned my "work in progress" at the party, they would ask to see it, thus allowing me to be sneaky instead of insisting everyone stop the birthday party to watch a random vid of mine. They, and by "they", I mean elipie, were feeling no pain and remembering no dinner conversations by the time this came up, so I had to wait for another lull in the conversation. Eventually, I mentioned my vid, and people did ask to see it. Someone had the brilliant idea of hooking my computer to the TV. You'd think that would have occurred to me, but my room had one of those shitty hotel TVs with zero inputs of any kind. Luckily, jetpack_monkey's room had a new TV with HDMI. Did this successfully play sound from my computer? No, it did not. Moreover, my totally new computer had almost nothing on it aside from the vid and a bunch of Bava DVD rips. I only had one piece of video I could even test with, and people kept going "Don't test with .VOB. Why don't you put on the actual vid?" I couldn't exactly explain that I didn't want even the very first frame up because I figured that would be enough for jetpack_monkey to recognize Bava's distinctive style. Eventually, one of the less drunk people at the party offered her own laptop and jetpack_monkey offered his thumb drive (Little did he know!) and we were in business.

As the first notes swelled, jetpack_monkey's hands rose towards his mouth. Someone in the room asked: "What is this movie?" jetpack_monkey began to squeak. Eyes turned. Cameras were raised. Afterwards, they still didn't know what the hell I'd made them watch, but jetpack_monkey's reaction was the most entertaining part of the entire party. I look forward to seeing it immortalized online.

Disclaimer: No jetpack_monkeys were harmed in the showing of this vid. We're pretty sure. At least, he stopped twitching and making noises eventually. ;)

And now, without further ado, the vid. Beware of: rape, necrophilia, oedipal creepiness, murder, gross special effects, impotence, black humor, and really awesome mise en scène that will make you too want to watch all of Mario Bava's films.

The Great Pretender from Franzeska Dickson on Vimeo.

Password: bava
jetpack_monkey: (Martha Jones - Is More Awesome Than You)

[personal profile] jetpack_monkey 2013-03-06 04:02 am (UTC)(link)

*clutches vid to chest* NOT YOURS! MINE!
bookshop: illustrative art of a red-headed girl helming a steampunk airship, facing the wind, eyes closed. (Default)

[personal profile] bookshop 2013-03-06 05:11 am (UTC)(link)

I LIKE THIS POST :DDDDDDDDDDDD oh man i just rewatched Black Sunday the other day, too, so your timing was perfect. (NEXT TIME ASK ME ABOUT SERIAL KILLERS, haha.)
jetpack_monkey: (Suspiria - Screaming poster)

[personal profile] jetpack_monkey 2013-03-06 06:35 am (UTC)(link)
Black Sunday is the best. In the rare moments where I've considered a tattoo, I've wanted Barbara Steele's face from this poster:

(also I need that as an icon -- I should take care of that tonight)
amalthia: (Default)

[personal profile] amalthia 2013-03-06 06:36 am (UTC)(link)
You are an awesome friend. :)
jetpack_monkey: (Default)

[personal profile] jetpack_monkey 2013-03-06 08:45 am (UTC)(link)
Franzeska is the very awesomest friend.


(Anonymous) 2013-12-19 08:59 am (UTC)(link)
By Jean Snow April 17, 2007 - 9:31 pmThey get here just a few days later. The Blister store in Shibuya sells comics on its bamsneet floor. The Manga no Mori shop in Shibuya also used to sell them, but I haven't been there in a long time, so don't know if they still do. A few years ago I used to buy them in a shop in Shinjuku, in the area near Yodobashi Camera.
amalthia: (Default)

[personal profile] amalthia 2013-03-13 06:43 am (UTC)(link)
lol, I think it may be possible I use the word "awesome" far too often. :)
elynross: (Default)

[personal profile] elynross 2013-03-06 03:40 pm (UTC)(link)
This is an absolutely crazy, adorable, WONDERFUL story! You are fabulous, and jetpack_monkey is such a lucky monkey! <3 <3 <3
jetpack_monkey: (Default)

[personal profile] jetpack_monkey 2013-03-06 09:31 pm (UTC)(link)
I am a super lucky monkey. It was one of the top moments of my entire life.
elynross: (Default)

[personal profile] elynross 2013-03-06 09:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Aw, yay! (and happy late birthday!)