Feb. 1st, 2016

starlady: Mako's face in the jaeger, in profile (mako mori is awesome)
source: Europa Report (2013)
audio: The Knife, "Epochs"
length: 4:48
stream: on Critical Commons
download: 217MB mp4 on mediafire
summary: Compared to the breadth of knowledge yet to be known...what does your life actually matter?

My Festivids 2015 assignment, for [personal profile] niyalune.

Original Festivids post

This is, hands-down hands-up no-holds-barred, the weirdest vid I have ever made. Europa Report is of course a fantastic little indie sci-five movie about the first human mission to Europa, one of the Jovian moons; I loved it since I first saw it and I routinely show it to friends to try to convert them to fans of the movie. (I have a pretty good track record.) This vid is the vid I wanted to make, but I won't pretend that when I decided that this track from The Knife's soundtrack to an experimental synth opera about Charles Darwin (all the lyrics on the album, as well as the title of this vid, come from his writings) was the one for the vid I didn't have some misgivings about whether the finished product would even be watchable. For me, there is for me a resonance between what these astronauts do and how and why they make their decisions and Darwin's work; in the end, they subordinate their own short lives to the goal of pushing human knowledge forward, and what happens is nobody's fault, because the humans and the native life of Europa simply can't relate to each other in any shared frame of reference: they are both driven by curiosity, but their curiosities aren't compatible. The Europa One mission is a success, though more of a failed success than a successful failure. Ad astra per aspera. One of the things I said about the movie when I first saw it is that it's the movie that Prometheus wanted to be, and in a way, this vid is founded on that interpretation. There's little more terrifying than the inhuman timescale of the cosmos, and of evolution, from a certain point of view.

Vidding-wise, this was a challenge; one problem I had was that the clips were so large that I frequently crashed Premiere while trying to watch the footage I'd laid down in the timeline. Oops. I cut the audio, but I did it using Premiere rather than Audacity, which was a frustrating mistake that I won't repeat in future. Trying to decide where to cut things and how to impose a narrative took a lot of thought and trial and error, as well as some truly hard-core non-linear editing; I actually built the vid out from the start of the vocals. To keep the momentum going I violated all precedent and did the credits in the middle of the process; whatever it took. I am, though, proud of the result, and I'm floored and very pleased that people have liked it. Last but not least, thanks to [tumblr.com profile] mrquadcopter, who beta watched it and told me not to change anything, so I didn't.

Lyrics )

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