franzeska: frame animation of Haven pairings ending with OT3 (haven ot3)
franzeska ([personal profile] franzeska) wrote2013-08-18 08:05 pm
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VividCon - Captain Kidd

VividCon is over except for the room parties, so it's vid posting time. I made three this year: A premiere, a challenge vid, and--finally--a Club Vivid vid. The discussions and vid critiques were great this year. I think having a panel on criticism the first day where we all vowed to be more honest was helpful. On the other hand, the premieres were very strong this year, so there weren't too many un-squee-ful things to say. I got a couple of very interesting negative comments on mine, which makes me itch to write up a lot of navel-gazing about what I ~meant~. The vid is below if you would like to watch it sans editorializing:

Captain Kidd from Franzeska Dickson on Vimeo.

password = haven

Why This Vid?

I had one primary objective in vidding Haven for premieres: to make VividCon attendees get into (or get back into) Haven. And since Duke is both my favorite and sometimes underappreciated by the fandom, that clearly meant a Duke vid. I was thinking of making something light, fluffy, and funny, so I googled for lists of songs about pirates. I found a lot that were musically dull with boring, inapt lyrics. But there, on one list, was Captain Kidd, and the first rendition of the song I found was Great Big Sea's music video. *BAM* That was it: the vid concept came to me fully-formed. Except it wasn't a fluffy recruiter vid... oops...

But still, the first duty of this vid was to showcase what the show is actually like as of the third season in a way that would make people want to watch. I keep running into fans who would love the show but who labor under hilarious misconceptions about what it's like, and while there are many wonderful Haven vids out there already, I feel like many of them don't do a lot to counteract these misconceptions. The things I wanted to highlight in this vid were humor, scantily-clad men, crying men, and the fact that Haven has magic powers in it. I was hesitant to spoil all of season 3, but I wanted to show a lot of Duke, and Duke's power is one with a clear visual sign. So once I found that perfect song, all thoughts of not spoiling went out the window.

The thing about con vidshows is that any unfamiliar song and most familiar ones get reduced to the chorus or even a few of the loudest words in the chorus and nothing else. Any lyrical complexity tends to be hard to grasp on a first viewing, stuffed in amongst many other vids. Since I was vidding something most people hadn't seen (Duke's power), I felt an anvilicious number of glowing eye shots were necessary. If most people came away with the idea that Duke has a nice chest and some kind of magic power and that they should watch the show, I am more than happy. If they came away thinking he's a pirate, that's also awesome. Yay, Duke. Yay, pirates. Yay, Haven.

My summary in the VividCon program was: "All right, then, I'll go to hell."


Yes, I confess! I confess! This is a pretentious metavid.

Here are the full lyrics to Captain Kidd:
My name is Captain Kidd as I sailed, as I sailed,
Oh my name is Captain Kidd as I sailed,
My name is Captain Kidd and God's laws I did forbid,
And most wickedly I did as I sailed.

My father taught me well to shun the gates of hell,
But against him I rebelled as I sailed.
He shoved a bible in my hand, but I left it in the sand
And I pulled away from land as I sailed.

My name is Captain Kidd as I sailed, as I sailed,
Oh my name is Captain Kidd as I sailed,
My name is Captain Kidd and God's laws I did forbid,
And most wickedly I did as I sailed.

I murdered William Moore, and I left him in his gore
Twenty leagues away from shore as I sailed.
And being crueler still, the gunner I did kill
All his precious blood did spill as I sailed.

My name is Captain Kidd as I sailed, as I sailed,
Oh my name is Captain Kidd as I sailed,
My name is Captain Kidd and God's laws I did forbid,
And most wickedly I did as I sailed.

I was sick and nigh to death, and I vowed at every breath,
Oh to walk in wisdom's path as I sailed.
But my repentance lasted not. My vows I soon forgot.
Oh damnation is my lot as I sailed.

My name is Captain Kidd as I sailed, as I sailed,
Oh my name is Captain Kidd as I sailed,
My name is Captain Kidd and God's laws I did forbid,
And most wickedly I did as I sailed.

To the execution dock. Lay my head upon the block.
Laws no more I'll mock as I sail.
So take warning here and heed to shun bad company
Or you'll wind up just like me as I sailed.

My name is Captain Kidd as I sailed, as I sailed,
Oh my name is Captain Kidd as I sailed,
My name is Captain Kidd and God's laws I did forbid,
And most wickedly I did as I sailed.
Most wickedly I did as I sailed.

Captain Kidd: The Man and the Song
Okay, so... this Captain Kidd character is a scoundrel who murders people for fun, right? If you go by the lyrics, yes. In most versions of the song, he is an unrepentant monster who is lamenting his impending execution. The Great Big Sea version, however, is remarkably peppy, even at the end of the song where he's being executed--much more so than other versions I found. This is a traditional song that dates back to Captain Kidd's own era and, as such, it is propaganda.

The real William Kidd was a privateer who committed very few acts of "piracy", profited little from them, and was railroaded in a sensationalized trial. Today, the trial is seen as a political move against Kidd's backers. He, however, refused to name names, assuming they would protect him. They didn't.

His loyalty was rewarded with execution and the broadside that popularized the image of Kidd as a willing murderer and sadist. Kidd obviously did kill people, but the trial was such a sham that it's not entirely clear what happened with William Moore, and most of his other "crimes" are pure bullshit. The song puts words into his mouth. Combine that with the cheerful Great Big Sea rendition, and I got all kinds of ideas...

What the hell does this have to do with Duke?

I'm glad you're still reading asked. Haven gives me a lot of feelings. A lot of them. ALL OF THEM. Duke is presented with this horrific ability, destiny, and duty. Not only has he been living his life as a looking-out-for-number-one kind of guy (okay, a guy who rescues kittens and puppies and pretends to be cynical and self-centered), so duty and a lack of free will are not really his thing, but he has also managed to make friends with exactly the people he's supposed to be murdering. AWK-ward!

Granted, Duke's initial reaction is: "My father sucked. I'm not doing that." But that's not the end of the issue. Nathan spends season 3 acting like Duke will turn into a serial killer at any moment, and Duke himself goes through some soul searching and self-flagellating over his powers. Suicide-by-Lady-Justice is not normally Duke's style, but he's just that messed up over killing Harry Nix.

I may have been stretching the point a bit since Duke remains firm in being on Audrey's side, but--at least in the eyes of other characters--he's supposed to be facing a conflict between duty and feelings. In the eyes of his father, his family, and the Rev, Duke is turning traitor and going to the side of "sinfulness" (Rev-speak for "Troubled").

Clip choice in boring detail

For your edification--by which I mean for me once I've forgotten and am wondering what I was thinking when I made this vid--here is a blow-by-blow account of why I chose these clips for these lyrics.

Chorus 1: Duke has a boat, makes goofy faces, and takes off his clothes. He also ends up artistically bloodied. Also, OT3! OT3! Here little fangirl: the first taste is free. Basically, this is just showcasing some random fun moments to hook people. Defying "God's laws" evidently involves wearing no pants. Duke's wickedness is more like amusing naughtiness. (How can anyone resist that wink? I ask you!)

Verse 1: Both the Rev and Simon are fathers, in a sense, and they both have the same message: siding with Audrey is a sin. (Hence the unsubtle placement of Audrey's face on "hell".) The shot of the Rev over the beginning of this verse is when he first attempts to get his hooks into Duke and it looks to the audience and to Audrey and Nathan like it may have worked. The scene I used on "I rebelled" is when Duke goes to Audrey, who is angry and doesn't want to talk to him. He tells her that she can trust him after all.

The bible is, of course, Simon's book with its exhortation to kill Audrey. It even looks like a freakin' bible. Literalism ftw. I chose to be less literal for the rest of the line: Duke is pulling away from his supposed destiny (the box of weapons) and from the temptation represented by his father's lecture. Simon tells him a story about a time that him murdering an innocent man would have saved a lot of kids. Duke rejects this. Correctly, I think: Simon is probably telling the truth, but he's trying to win Duke over to the side of thinking that using his power as the default is a righteous path. We know Duke uses his power later, but not all that willingly and not preemptively. Simon is the status quo here; Duke is sailing off into the unknown of siding with the Troubled instead of accepting his family's legacy. (And, for the other purpose of my vid, Duke walking through ghost!Simon is a clear visual reminder that Haven has magical stuff.)

Chorus 2: We're back to explaining just who Duke is. Simon and the Rev are upholding "God's laws" (the Crocker duty to murder); Duke is rejecting his duty and asserting his right to define his own identity. But he is also confused in this scene, both in canon and in my vid. Audrey and Nathan are glowering at him. Audrey's asking him what he's doing. He may have thrown down the knife, but he's still there with the Rev's followers. I couldn't decide which way I wanted this "wickedly" to be read, and I hope it can be read multiple ways: Duke is wicked in the eyes of the Rev for rejecting his duty. Duke feels wicked when he sees the condemnation in his friends' eyes.

Verse 2: Duke murders Kyle Hopkins. Well... Duke feels like he's a murderer anyway. He didn't pick up the knife, and he didn't choose to stab Kyle, but I think it's very clear in canon that Duke is completely freaked out by Kyle's death. With Nathan and Audrey looking suspicious, I'm sure he feels even worse. After the ambiguity of that last "wickedly", I've now shifted, so the status quo and safety Duke is pulling away from are Nathan and Audrey. I actually don't interpret Nathan's reaction to Duke's eyes and to the death as the kind of crazy suspicion he displays in season 3, but I have the impression Duke does. (Also, this is a good time to show the blood absorbing into his skin and his eyes shifting color one way and then the other. Both effects are fairly subtle without their original context and sound, so I wanted to give the con audience many chances to notice what was going on.)

Having now murdered once, Duke does it again. Yeah, yeah, extenuating circumstances, but we know from canon that Duke does not see it that way. It's not until Audrey calls him a "good man" and defends him against Lady Justice that he seems to be able to accept what he has done. Once again, I have "I sailed" as a metaphor for Duke moving through the plot. (And more blood and eyes, for maximum anviliciousness.)

Chorus 3: And we're back to showing who Duke is. He's assisting Nathan and Audrey again and trying to save someone. THAT IS WHO HE REALLY IS, OKAY? (By the way, you should ship my pairing.) This is also an excuse to show more funny stuff (the fish) and more obviously magical stuff (the entire water-car-fish situation) to remind the unfamiliar audience of my more general messages about Haven.

This time, "God's laws" that Duke is defying are the natural order of things: Duke should have died, but Audrey saved him. I don't feel that this "wickedly" shows up well in the vid, but that shot of the leads looking at the map is when Duke implies that they should just kill Daphne. It's what makes Nathan try to shoot him at the cliff. (Yes, this means that 'wickedness' has switched from being Audrey and the Troubles to being the Crocker legacy. I also like to switch POV in my vids. Sue me.)

Bridge: I knew I wanted the whole Daphne storyline in here because it both shows Duke being awesome and heroic and has some of the freakiest glowing eye effects in the series, complete with "Oh Shit" reaction shots from Nathan and Audrey. (More anvils!) The bridge allowed me to put all this in without getting too hung up on how this maps onto the lyrics. Thematically, it also needed to follow Harry Nix's death directly.

Verse 3: This one's a reach and also out of order relative to the canon timeline. I wanted to show Duke being all teary-eyed because men crying is catnip to fans, so that's the shallow motivation. The meta one is that this is where Duke rejects Audrey. I feel like Duke is a bit conflicted at this point in the series: Is "wisdom's path" refusing to use his powers? Is "wisdom's path" rejecting Audrey's path like his family would want? He's not running off to join the Rev's men by any means (and he is, in fact, mad at Audrey because she made him use his powers), but this is an unusual level of hostility from Duke to Audrey. He's normally on her side 100% 24/7, and suddenly, that's not true anymore. Sort of. For ten seconds. Oh, look, he went to Colorado with her and now they're making out. "Repentance lasted not" indeed! I guess Duke's damned to be on Audrey's side after all. (Like we had any doubt.)

Chorus 4: Who is Duke again? Duke is on Audrey's side always and forever, but he's also on Nathan's side. Even if it means Nathan and Audrey being together without him. Even if Nathan has been a dick all season. Even if it means letting Tommy go, collaborating with Jordan, or anything else he has to do to save Nathan. "God's laws" are, once again and much more emphatically: What's dead should stay dead. That's not a law Duke's ever going to comply with if it involves Nathan! (Also, lookee, lookee, supernatural-looking stuff that might have a prayer of being spotted in a con vidshow. Plz watch my show.)

Verse 4: Having confirmed, once again, that there's really no hope for him, Duke runs off to help Audrey fight her fate. Metaphorically, I was thinking of "lay my head upon the block" as being the point of no return for choosing sides. Yeah, yeah, Duke chose sides in the first episode of the series, but fucking around with the barn is a big deal, and he was briefly faking Arla out that he might have decided to be self interested. But, oh wait, Audrey's side again. And with affirming that commitment comes seriousness. He is going against the "laws" as established in the rest of the vid, but he's taking them seriously now.

The one lyric match I'm not happy with in the vid is "shun bad company". I think it will inevitably be interpreted as Duke speaking to Nathan. What I imagined this lyric as meaning when I planned out the vid was Duke speaking to the audience just like Captain Kidd does: if Duke had only been willing to fuck over Nathan and Audrey, he would not be suffering now. Love is pain. Don't get involved. Audrey will always go back in the barn and she will always break your heart. Nathan will always be a terrible boyfriend who will also break your heart, though for stupider reasons. (Except, whether he's speaking to the audience or not, Duke is obviously a big liar because he'd do it all again in a heartbeat.) But that's never going to come across with any of the footage available to me, so I went with the best teary face and lack of personal space. (SHIP MY PAIRING.)

Chorus 5: Who is Duke? 100% committed to Nathan and Audrey! That's who! That's what! He never wanted to be a killer, but he'd shoot anyone to protect Nathan. He's supposed to be all about self-preservation, but he'd jump into the exploding barn without a second thought if there was even the slightest chance of saving Audrey.

So why that program summary? It's the line Huckleberry Finn says when he decides he can't turn Jim in, even if it means going to hell.

Season 4 starts Friday, September 13th.

Just saying. >:D
imwalde: (Default)

[personal profile] imwalde 2013-08-19 02:57 am (UTC)(link)
Yay Duke! I really liked this, although I feel it was a missed opportunity to not work in the footage of Duke playing pirate with that little girl who can order people around. Although, for pimping reasons, him stripped to his underroos is a better bet, I grant you.

What was the feedback? Did anyone say they'd watch?
arliss: mountain (Default)

[personal profile] arliss 2013-08-22 05:43 pm (UTC)(link)
I really love this! I see what you're saying about the monotony of the melody, but it speaks to the increasing determination (and possibly dedication) of Duke to Audrey and to Nathan--at least I can posit that.

Is there any possibility of a download? Purely for my own collection, of course.
arliss: mountain (Default)

[personal profile] arliss 2013-08-23 12:38 am (UTC)(link)
Oh thanks! Mediafire seems to work well, if you can access that one.
arliss: mountain (Default)

[personal profile] arliss 2013-08-23 04:12 am (UTC)(link)
That worked perfectly.

(Hides in the vault. Plays pretty vids just for meeeee!)

Thanks so much!

[identity profile] 2013-08-22 06:24 pm (UTC)(link)
This is a lovely testemony to the more whimsical side of Haven and Duke specifically. Can I second the above post - any chance of a download, or will we have to make do with grabbing it off youtube? I like my vid collection to be in the most sparkling quality possible.

[identity profile] 2013-08-23 07:31 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you - that worked a treat!
carbonel: Farthing photo (me)

[personal profile] carbonel 2013-08-22 06:34 pm (UTC)(link)
Here via [personal profile] killabeez. I loved this vid. Also, this is the perfect vid at the perfect time for me, since a) I just finished mainlining all three seasons of Haven, and b) I'm a folkie from way back.

My canonical version of "Captain Kidd" is the one by Golden Ring, and the Great Big Sea lyrics are just slightly off from that, enough to be somewhat jarring, but the energy of the GBS version makes it a better choice, I think.

I really enjoyed reading the comments on your intent, verse by verse. I didn't catch all of them, but more than usual because of my recent familiarity with the episodes.
blueswan: (Haven another gun)

[personal profile] blueswan 2013-08-22 09:40 pm (UTC)(link)
Here via [personal profile] killabeez as well. I enjoyed your vid so much. The first time I watched Haven (3 seasons as fast as I could watch them), I went looking for Haven vids with GBS music. Their sound just seemed right for the show and yes, Duke in particular.

You've got me excited now for Sept. 13th. Thanks!
violace: (Default)

[personal profile] violace 2013-08-24 02:16 am (UTC)(link)
I *just* started watching Haven, like, yesterday. (The backstory: I'm working on a vid for which I need certain types of footage and Haven looked like it could be useful - I never would have checked it out otherwise.) I've only seen a couple episodes and I was actually looking for someone to convince me that I should keep watching, because nothing about it really grabbed my interest at this point. EXCEPT FOR DUKE. So thank you for your perfect timing. :D

I stopped reading after the lyrics because I'm scared of spoilers, but I'll come back when I've caught up on the show because I enjoyed the vid immensely, despite having no idea what's going on. Loved it!
violace: (Default)

[personal profile] violace 2013-10-06 03:15 am (UTC)(link)
HI I'M BACK AND ALL CAUGHT UP (it took me so long because I didn't want it to end) AND I FELL IN LOVE WITH THIS VID AGAIN NOW THAT I UNDERSTAND THE PLOT AND EVERYTHING. Also omg so much detail in your explanations, omg.
thirdblindmouse: The captain, wearing an upturned pitcher on his head, gazes critically into the mirror. (Default)

[personal profile] thirdblindmouse 2013-08-24 05:24 am (UTC)(link)
A week later I now recognize the entire first minute of the vid. And I know more about Captain Kidd than I ever did before. Well done!

I particularly like the bit where he sails right through his father's ghost. And the part in the underwear.
thirdblindmouse: Milagro makes her Blue Beetle and Booster Gold action figures kiss: "Mwah!" (slasher doin' her thing (DC))

[personal profile] thirdblindmouse 2013-08-28 04:42 pm (UTC)(link)
Having now watched the entire series, I follow and enjoy the meaning of your vid besides "This show is about a pirate with supernatural powers; you should watch it." But has this resulted in intelligent commentary to leave on the vid? No, this has resulted in making cooing sounds and smooshing motions at the screen.

I do have one question. At 1:55 you do that thing that the show does of showing Duke and Audrey huddled over Nathan's body in one shot and the next shot Duke is standing back. Is that Duke either trying to distance himself (and failing as always) or readying himself for action, or am I overthinking this (and WTH, show continuity editors)?
alethia: (Haven Milk and Cookie)

[personal profile] alethia 2013-08-24 05:42 am (UTC)(link)
I had one primary objective in vidding Haven for premieres: to make VividCon attendees get into (or get back into) Haven. And since Duke is both my favorite and sometimes underappreciated by the fandom, that clearly meant a Duke vid.

And for this YOU ARE AWESOME.

Because yes, Haven deserves exactly that, and I for one appreciate it.

Such a fun vid. LOVVVVVE Duke. And the show. YAY.
revolutionaryjo: A girl waving in silhouette. (Default)

[personal profile] revolutionaryjo 2013-08-24 07:15 pm (UTC)(link)
Well, guess I should be watching Haven!
echan: Friendship Dance! (Default)

[personal profile] echan 2013-09-04 08:12 am (UTC)(link)
I've never seen Haven, and I greatly enjoyed how this vid was a really enjoyable balance of pretty and goofy and plots. The pirate themed song helped too (Pirates are awesome!).
goodbyebird: Batman returns: Catwoman seen through a glass window. (Haven Duke)

[personal profile] goodbyebird 2013-10-15 09:08 pm (UTC)(link)
OH MY GOSH PERFECT DUKE VID!! I had hearts in my eyes, seriously. It very much seems like the song would make it a cracky vid? But despite many touches of humor in the vid, it's a also a great study of Duke during the entire span of the show. Wonderful stuff.