starlady: Mako's face in the jaeger, in profile (mako mori is awesome)
As you can now see from the Equinox collection on AO3, I made the Star Trek Beyond vid We Are Who We Are for [personal profile] shinyjenni.

My vidders, both for Deep Space Nine, were [personal profile] kuwdora, with Pundits and Poets, and [personal profile] such_heights, with I Lived. ♥

On a personal note, I am at 2/3 for guesses, and I feel vindicated.

starlady: Peggy in her hat with her back turned under the SSR logo (agent carter)
Blatantly using this meme as motivation to get back to the Festivids mines.

The Vids

February
Relations of Life (Europa Report)
Galaxyrise (space exploration)
Automatic Joy (Ex Machina)

May
Tesseract (Interstellar)

August
Out Alive (Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation)

November
Don't Stop Believing remaster (Star Trek 2009)


The Questions

Favorite

This is hard! I liked all the vids I made last year and I was proud of all of them. It's probably actually Galaxyrise (the first vid I've made that I showed to my dad, who liked it), although if I were making it now I would not include the clips of Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

Least Favorite
Automatic Joy, probably, not because I don't like the vid but because the limitations of the source (which were what I was trying to make the argument in the vid about) limited the vid itself.

Most Successful
Galaxyrise by a country mile. People loved it, it's been shown at cons, I was compared to some real heavy-hitters of vidding during the anon period, and I made it with a spreadsheet on a lark.

Most Underappreciated by the Universe
I got fewer comments on the Don't Stop Believing remaster than I thought I might, though I also posted it two days after the election, so.

Most Fun to Make
Galaxyrise, because I had most of it clipped already and I knew just what I wanted for most of the vid and also spreadsheet. Out Alive, because I love Kesha and that dumb action movie about friendship.

Hardest Vid to Make
Relations of Life, possibly? I picked the weirdest possible song and felt like I had no idea what I was doing the entire time I was editing, during which I was also convinced that my recipient would hate it. Honorable mention goes to the color flare on the nebula at the end of the Don't Stop Believing remaster, which saw me googling every single effects preset in AE in turn and then failing to save the AE project file, so there will be no changing that half-assed fake color flare that I finally managed to produce, ever.

The Things I Learned This Year
I have a thing for Tom Cruise and his face, despite, well, everything about Tom Cruise. Also, premaking premieres is a good thing (fun fact: I made Tesseract in November 2015 and didn't touch it again until I exported it to send to WisCon in April 2016). Also, when in doubt, edit the song to be shorter.

Planning for Next Year
I have an ambitious vidding schedule planned for 2017, including Festivids, multiple planned premieres and participating in [community profile] equinox_exchange both times. I'll be surprised if I completely achieve this schedule, but I'm excited to try.


And on that note, back to vidding.
starlady: Mako's face in the jaeger, in profile (mako mori is awesome)
The Vids

February
All You Need Is Kill (Edge of Tomorrow)
The Call (MST3K 8x20, Space Mutiny)
Tonari no Gamera (Showa Gamera series)

May
Just A Dream Away (Star Trek: The Animated Series)

June
The One You Won't Forget (Agent Carter)

December
Are You Out There? remaster (Contact)


The Questions )
starlady: Mako's face in the jaeger, in profile (mako mori is awesome)
[personal profile] thuviaptarth is hosting a vidding love meme: vidders can add themselves and get some love and feedback from people. I've put my name in.

Sometimes I forget that I made twice as many AMVs as I have vids. So far.
starlady: Peggy in her hat with her back turned under the SSR logo (agent carter)
source: Agent Carter
audio: Scott Bradlee & Postmodern Jukebox, "Timber"
length: 03:39
stream: on Critical Commons
download: 84MB mp4 on mediafire
summary: Peggy Carter will be the one you won't forget. Or, Peggy saves the day, punches a lot of dudes, and gets the girl.
notes: Premiered today at Vidukon 2015. And many thanks to [personal profile] metatxt for beta watching!

AO3 page | tumblr post


password: peggy

I actually picked this song out for this vid before the show even aired--I knew I wanted to make a Peggy vid, and I knew I wanted something that sounded period-ish but had a modern sensibility, which basically meant that Scott Bradlee & Postmodern Jukebox were the first and only artist whose catalog I ransacked. Technically it's a 50s-style big band jazz cover of the female solo version (Ke$ha forever!), but then, the show itself doesn't necessarily have a strong sense of its own historical setting either. Luckily the show lived up to the lyrics, and provided me with the footage needed to make a vid about Peggy punching dudes and being a badass action hero. Punch some more dudes, Peggy!

lyrics: 

It's going down, I'm yelling timber
You better move, you better dance
Let's make a night, you won't remember
I'll be the one, you won't forget

The bigger they are, the harder they fall
This biggity boy's a diggity dog
I have 'em like Miley Cyrus, clothes off
Twerking in their bras and thongs, timber
Face down, booty up, timber
That's the way we like the what, timber
I'm slicker than an oil spill
She say she won't, but I bet she will, timber

Swing your partner round and round
End of the night, it's going down
One more shot, another round
End of the night, it's going down
Swing your partner round and round
End of the night, it's going down
One more shot, another round
End of the night, it's going down

It's going down, I'm yelling timber
You better move, you better dance
Let's make a night, you won't remember
I'll be the one, you won't forget

It's going down, I'm yelling timber
You better move, you better dance
Let's make a night, you won't remember
I'll be the one, you won't forget

Look up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane
Nah, it's just me, ain't a damn thing changed
Live in hotels, swing on plane
Blessed to say, money ain't a thing
Club jumping like Lebron, now, Voli
Order me another round, homie
We about to climb, wild, 'cause it's about to go down

Swing your partner round and round
End of the night, it's going down
One more shot, another round
End of the night, it's going down
Swing your partner round and round
End of the night, it's going down
One more shot, another round
End of the night, it's going down

It's going down, I'm yelling timber
You better move, you better dance
Let's make a night, you won't remember
I'll be the one, you won't forget

It's going down, I'm yelling timber
You better move, you better dance
Let's make a night, you won't remember
I'll be the one, you won't forget

starlady: Raven on a MacBook (Default)
Sadly not answered by the recent survey on tools and tech in [community profile] vidding: what are the cool kids using to get rid of logos in clips these days? Any recommendations? I suspect the logos in some of my clips are too blatant for correction, but others should probably be fixable.

If the answer is "mask every clip in AE" I'm going to cry a lot.

starlady: "They don't play by the rules, why should we?" (dumbledore's army)
I suppose I'll have more to say about this after Festivids reveals, but I realized the other day that I've been making fan videos of one sort or another for a decade now. Ten years ago I spent a month in Greece and for that entire month obsessively planned the AMV that became Yuna's Vertigo, though I didn't start editing until I got back to the States in February and I didn't actually upload the video to animemusicvideos.org until March.

For obvious reasons, I don't think amvs.org gets half the credit it deserves in the fannish circles I tend to move in now, but it sure deserves a hell of a lot of credit. Aside from the great Evanescence debacle of--2007? ish?--they have never caved to Big Content companies in terms of take-downs, and the site is still entirely user-supported. As a consequence, every single one of the AMVs I've uploaded there, all 17 of them over five years, is still up and freely available.

You know what else was created in February 2005? A certain video-sharing service that you may have heard of called YouTube, which is now a Google platform that has successively strangled everything that once made the site fun and now has its sights set on the currently thriving indie-music scene. Cory Doctorow says it all with his headline, Google strong-arms indie musicians into accepting brutal, crowdfunding-killing deal for streaming service, but you should go read the whole article. If you're starting to suspect that this streaming service's grossly abusive terms are (among other things) a backdoor through which what's left of the major music labels are trying to choke the thriving indie music scene, take 10 points for Ravenclaw. The great indie cello musician Zoë Keating has posted a verbatim transcript of her conversation with her YouTube rep about the service's terms after Google's PR team called her a liar.

I fucking love Zoë Keating five million times more than I did now, and I loved her a lot before this, let me tell you.

As a result of this latest travesty I've come to the conclusion that I can no longer in good conscience continue to post my vids to YouTube--assuming they'd even let them be uploaded, given the content-matching algorithms that are now in place. Indie music matters a great deal to me, as do the principles of fair use and transformative works, and YouTube and Google are against all of them. I'm voting with my content and taking it somewhere that the owners aren't opposed to my creativity while attempting to profit off others' unfairly.

Unfortunately, it's a hard world out there for vidders who don't have their own hosting (I have this image of us like something out of Mad Max or Nippon no Apachezoku, roaming through an apocalyptic landscape on motorbikes in search of mirage-like refuges), and it shouldn't be the case that we need to have our own hosting to engage in an activity which is demonstrably protected within U.S. copyright law and which should be legally protected worldwide. After reading this discussion hosted by [personal profile] shati, I've come to the conclusion that Critical Commons is our best (last?) hope in terms of hosting for vids. From other people's remarks, it seems fairly easy to sign up for an advanced account, which allows video uploading.

I invite you all to join me.
starlady: David 8 holding the holographic Earth in wonderment. (when there is nothing in the desert)
[personal profile] intothespin asked, Do you work mostly from start to finish, or do you vid sections out of order?

I mostly work linearly, partly because it's only with my last vid that I've switched to a fully non-linear video editor (Adobe Premiere). You could kind of make iMovie pretend it was non-linear, as long as you kept detailed notes about the length of the black clips it inserted, which I realized when I made "Quantum of Darkness." That was really the only time I worked non-linearly to date, because I was looking for clips in the anime that I could match to the soundtrack of the trailer. ("What do I have that could plausibly look like the sound of a window exploding? Ooh, falling into ice!") It was an opposite kind of way to go about things, but a lot of fun because of that, and I think that it's a much stronger AMV than it would have been if I'd tried to prioritize the visuals.

The other reason I tend to work linearly is that I tend to be thinking of my vids in terms of a narrative, and I find it easier to build the narrative by working from start to finish. While editing I obsessively rewatch the previous ten, twenty, thirty seconds to make sure whatever I've just put down flows from what came before. That said, I usually do the intro and exit titles last, though that's starting to change as I get better at integrating the titles into the vids. And I usually have a few parts where I have specific clips plotted to use at specific points before I start.

Do you use any tools, like clip notes or storyboards?

I always have a scratchpad at hand so I can note things like clip timings and lengths (though this is much less necessary with Premiere than with iMovie), and though I don't storyboard per se, I definitely do outline, partly so I can look at the outline when I wonder what the hell I'm supposed to be doing next. I'm not good at making detailed outlines in general, but I suspect I'm going to have to get more detailed for a few of the vid ideas I have planned. Some of them may even need diagrams, oh lord. I haven't tended to do line-by-line lyric outlines, but I think, given the success I had with a more general outline in my last vid (in which I was not actually trying to match the lyrics to the visuals), that I might try making a more specific one for the next few vids to see how that goes. I also always go through and put in timeline markers before I vid the next section of the song, so that I can be sure I'm laying clips down on the beats I want to hit--though I'll usually mark at least three of the kinds of beats (drums, background, vocals, etc) and then hit whichever of them I feel like depending on the clip I decide to use at that point.
starlady: David 8 holding the holographic Earth in wonderment. (when there is nothing in the desert)
[personal profile] juniperphoenix asked, Which vid was the hardest to make?

Part of me wants to answer, "The last one," but realistically…I've had a pretty easy time of it in general, and none of them stand out to me as especially difficult. Most of the AMVs I made were technically pretty easy, partly because a) I was using Windows Movie Maker and b) I had no idea what I was doing. I got slightly better when I switched to iMovie, but I had no idea what I was doing still, which is why so many of them are teeny tiny file and picture size, because I was using the files I'd converted to play on my iPod because they converted to mp4. Oh, self.

In some ways one of the hardest to make was actually my very first one, "Yuna's Vertigo," which I am still very proud of, partly because it was the first time I'd done it and partly because I was working with FMV clips that I'd downloaded from web sites after they'd been ripped by other people. This was back in the dark ages when getting cut scenes off a PS2 involved black magic and about $100 worth of cables and only a few people actually did it (so if you did, your AMV automatically stood out). One of the unique clips I downloaded had some kind of progressive file corruption in it where it froze at the point I tried to cut it, and kept freezing no matter where I cut it. I wound up solving it with a diamond transition, which worked pretty well if I do say so myself. In many ways that AMV is the epitome of beginner's luck; I still like it a lot.

"Starman" was also kind of a pain in the ass, partly because that was when I started using After Effects for the titles, and After Effects is its own kind of special hell (I spent five hours trying to make an effects preset work before googling and finding out that preset didn't work for anyone), and also because the vid fell pretty far short of what I wanted. It was my first time working with cam rips, and I kind of wish I'd waited, but also, irony is kind of hard to get across in a vid unless it's pretty heavy-handed. I was trying for eviscerating sarcasm, and I didn't get there. If I did it over again, I'd definitely go for longer/more obvious intro titles, not to mention recutting the whole second half of the vid. Oh well.

Getting source for my last vid nearly did drive me to tears over trying to demux an MKV Blue-Ray rip that allegedly didn't have hardcoded subtitles. I wound up cutting my losses and just using the DVD rip, partly because I'd wasted nearly a month downloading the Blue Ray rip and then trying to demux it for clipping. MKVs are Satan's file type of choice, IJS.
starlady: Galadriel in Caras Galadhon, with an ornate letter "G" (galadriel is a G)
[personal profile] chaila asked, Is there a genre or style you've yet to try your hand at, but really want to?

Hmm. I think most of the vids/AMVs I've made are either narrative or character/relationship studies. I'm not sure how I'd categorize "Too Big to Fail"--I guess it's a study. I did make an early attempt at a meta/multisource vid with the "FF Revolution" AMV, but it was kind of terrible. (Or rather, I can see how many ways it could be improved now.) I have a few meta and multi-source vids in the works, though, so I'm going to get to those genres pretty soon, hopefully!

I also haven't tended to do many vids that work against the text, or try to (notable exception: "Starman"), but there are some ideas that I'd like to do in that department at well. The other kind of vid I haven't done is a constructed source vid, but I'm mulling doing one of those too. I think that one would require up to a year of source-gathering, but that's not a bad thing. 


How many vid ideas are you nurturing right now? Care to share one of them?

I just made a spreadsheet, and I have no less than 46 vid ideas. Of those, about 20 are "active," and some of those are more active than others, partly based on promises I've made to other people. I definitely can only work on one vid at a time, realistically, and my method relies heavily on obsessiveness, so I don't do well trying to stop one vid partway to start another.
  • An Agent Carter vid with a song choice that I am very proud of. Yes, I have the song picked out before the show has even premiered.
  • A Wiscon premiere that I've been telling myself I'm going to make for the past three years. 2015 will be the year, since the vid will go there instead of me.
  • A Hannibal vid that I've already talked to a few people about at Wiscon. I ripped my sister's DVDs of S1 in preparation for that this week. I need to start outlining when I get back to California.
  • A movie critiquing the Nolan Batmanverse, which will perforce be very, very against the text. I am going to have to put a lot of thought into this one, but I really want to do it.
  • I've been planning an RDJ Holmes vid forever, with a really ridiculously obvious song, but the song is only obvious to me because of my weird take on the movies. Hence the vid.
  • I am very tempted to make a Snowpiercer vid. I have a great song picked out for it.
  • There's a vid I want to make for the December solar festival that I've been wanting to make forever. I thought I had the source on DVD, but apparently I don't. I need to fix that.
  • I found a great song for Orphan Black. I should finish watching Orphan Black, shouldn't I?
  • I want to make a Club Vivid vid, though I doubt it'll actually get into Club Vivid because VVC. Whatever, making a dance vid will be fun. Right?
  • I really do want to make that one constructed source book vid. 2015 would be the year to premiere it, for various reasons, so I need to get on that.
  • I may have also found a decent Indiana Jones vid song? For whatever reason, I haven't liked any of the Indiana Jones vids I've seen, and I want to make one of my own.
  • Also some due South vids. I even went so far as to download the mix stems for the song I have in mind and make my own mix of the song for the vid. Yes, obsessive.

Okay, that's probably enough. More info available upon questioning. :D

P.S. Kimono jackets etc for sale!
starlady: a barcode with my DW username & user ID (barcode)
Is it Festivids yet? I want it to be Festivids. I am going to participate this year! Vidddsssss

In the meantime…stealing it from [personal profile] thuviaptarth, and also everyone.

Give me a number -- or a few! -- and I'll answer in a separate post.

1. Describe your comfort zone—a typical you-vid.
2. Is there a genre or style you've yet to try your hand at, but really want to?
3. Is there a genre or style you wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole?
4. How many vid ideas are you nurturing right now? Care to share one of them?
5. Share one of your strengths.
6. Share one of your weaknesses.
7. Point to a section from one of your favorite vids you've made and explain why you're proud of it.
8. Which vid was the hardest to make?
9. Which vid was the easiest to make?
10. Is vidding your passion or just a fun hobby?
11. Is there a section of canon above all others that inspires you just a little bit more?
12. What's the best vidding advice you've ever come across?
13. What's the worst vidding advice you've ever come across?
14. If you only could vid one show/movie for the rest of your life, which show/movie would it be?
15. Do you work mostly from start to finish, or do you vid sections out of order?
16. Do you use any tools, like clip notes or storyboards?
17. Stephen King once said that his muse is a man who lives in the basement. Do you have a muse?
18. Describe your perfect vidding conditions.
19. How many times do you usually revise your vid before posting?
20. Choose a section from one of your earlier vids and talk about whether and how you'd do it differently now. (Person sending the ask is free to make suggestions).
21. If you were to revise one of your older vids from start to finish, which would it be and why?
22. Have you ever deleted one of your published vids?
23. What do you look for in a beta?
24. Do you beta yourself? If so, what kind of beta are you?
25. How do you feel about collaborations?
26. Share three of your favorite vidders and why you like them so much.
27. Do you accept prompts?
28. Do you take liberties with canon or are you very strict about your vids being canon compliant?
29. How do you feel about smut?
30. How do you feel about crack?
31. Which is your favorite site for posting vids?
32. Talk about your current vids in progress.
33. Talk about a comment or review that made your day.
34. Do you ever get rude reviews and how do you deal with them?

starlady: (justice)
I'm rather proud of the fact that I managed to find the brain power to submit a vid playlist to this year's [community profile] wiscon_vidparty"A Revolution Without Dancing Is Not a Revolution Worth Having."

You can follow the links above to the entire vid party playlist; here's my portion again: 

In Our Bedroom After the War (Goodbye, Lenin!) by such_heights
Suffrage (Iron-Jawed Angels) by e_transitions
Black Steel (Born in Flames) by Lila Futuransky
Slow Down Gandhi (Battlestar Galactica) by obsessive24
Too Big to Fail (Occupy Wall Street) by starlady
Citizens of the World (The Blues Brother movies) by Trutgras


The vid party organizers kindly gave those of us curators who were present the chance to say a few words, and I wanted to say them again here: I felt really self conscious about the fact that the playlist is so light on SFF, but then I realized that that's on science fiction, not me. I combed through all of Festivids and the entire Vividcon database, as well as some YouTube searching, and couldn't find hardly any vids that were both from a science fictional source and also depicted revolutions as I think they are: collective actions inspired by (radical) ideas. Get it together, science fiction! The lone hero is not actually a solution to systemic problems, etc, etc.

The core of this playlist was actually the last vid, which I watched at laurashapiro's Festivids party and, when it ended, I said, "That is why oppressive governments forbid people gathering in large groups!" Dancing in the street is a revolutionary act, or it can be, which is where I got the title of the playlist--it's a line apocryphally attributed to the great feminist anarchist Emma Goldman, and a line I like quite a lot. (It gets play in V for Vendetta too, a movie I really wanted to include, but I couldn't find any vids that either critiqued its simplistic, naive 1980s take on the dystopian future, or that showcased the people taking to the streets at the end.) The others I thought of for various reasons--they fit the theme of WisCon, they were spec fic-ish, I liked them (mine), etc. I also deliberately ended on an up note, because you gotta give 'em hope, and at least one person thanked me for that. (I also had a few people tell me that they found my Occupy vid to be really sad; I can see why, but I don't, because I think that Occupy will matter more in its ideas than anything else, and that it has mattered. The vid makes me angry, in a good way; I made it because I was angry.) Several people also told me they really liked the playlist, which made me really glad; I'm glad that what I wanted to say seems to have gotten across.

See you next year, I hope!
starlady: (firefox/disbelief)
If any vidders out there have any advice for the following situation, you would have my undying gratitude.

So I have a Blu-Ray MKV file of a movie with an English subtitles track, and mpeg streamclip being the wonderful application that it is, there's no way to disable the subtitles prior to clipping that I'm aware of--please correct me if I'm wrong. (I'm running Mac OS 10.8 with the new beta version of mpeg streamclip that can handle mkvs, although not well.) I downloaded mkvtools and tried to extract the video track only, which seemed like it would work…except that mkvtools only extracts/converts to h264 streams, which are completely useless for any human purpose as far as I can tell.

Is there a way to make mkvtools actually convert to a different file format? Is there something I can download to convert the h264 file to something (anything) that mpeg streamclip can handle? Is there a way to disable the subtitles on mpeg streamclip? (Note: they're not hard-coded in, as I can disable them when I play the file in VLC.) Is there a Santa Claus?

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starlady: Raven on a MacBook (Default)
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