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mattoco

Voices of the Lifestream Music Videos

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After becoming involved in this competition, I found I could not just stop at making one video for one track. Naturally this lands me in quite the dilemma as there can only be one submission per category, and since I do not possess any anime footage and am not much of an artist myself, one category is what I limit myself to.

Therefore I submit these music videos here to the community so that they may be enjoyed, judged, scrutinized, and so on until I feel there is one particular submission worthy of being submitted for the contest. I may or may not add more videos to this list, for there certainly is no shortage of FFVII footage to work with here (only a shortage of time). Among those future videos I am still mulling around are a redone version of Full Frontal Assault that incorporates footage from more than just Advent Children, and a Black Wing Metamorphosis video. So without further ado:

Every Story Begins with a Name, v4

Full Frontal Assault, v2

Nomura Limit, v2

Older versions:

Every Story Begins with a Name

Every Story Begins with a Name, v2

Every Story Begins with a Name, v3

Nomura Limit

Full Frontal Assault

Let me know what you think, what could be changed, or what might be missing. Emotion is as important as analysis. One change that any of these will see before being submitted is the removal of the video description in the opening seconds. Google was not being particularly friendly in providing these, but with a few reloads/refreshes/retries the videos should display.

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First of all, thanks for posting these -- they are definitely worth the time it takes to watch them, and others are missing out.

In any case, in my opinion the best of them by far is "Every Story Begins with a Name." This is mainly because I feel that it does two things better than the others: first, the cuts in the music fit the cuts in the video better. Especially with "Nomura Limit", there are times where the video doesn't match the music as well as it could (the time starting when Vincent first rolls around on the girder to when the moment Bahamut grabs Cloud's sword with his teeth is especially noticeable).

Second, I like it when the videos have a certain amount of closure -- this may be my own personal preference getting in the way of things, but I like a video that tells a complete story. "Full Frontal Assault" ends right before the Sephrioth fight begins, but if you're not going to include it, then it works as a stopping point. Again, I really only took issue with "Nomura Limit" -- the way the song winds down makes things difficult, but the last few seconds of fighting didn't seem like they belonged. Is there enough footage to just watch Bahamut fall?

In any case, I think you're definitely on the right track. Keep us updated, and thanks for posting your stuff!

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Thanks for the comments and the insight behind them. I will admit that "Every Story Begins with a Name" was the piece that I put the most work into (i.e. more than a few hours), as it was a slower track that in my mind demanded a more precise melding between the video and the music, whereas the quick and cut "Full Frontal Assault" ("FFA") made it easy to switch between scenes; just a blessing and bane of the sources one works with.

I agree with your comments on Nomura Limit: there were elements of it that lined up, but the latter part of the middle section just would not work; I would get one part synced right only to desync another. I'm either going to have to completely rethink the footage for that video (possibly expanding it until the final end, though that part of the footage is very slow and may not fit) or, failing that, pick new footage to use with the music.

While on the topic of footage, I did deliberately leave out all mention of Sephiroth (save for in the intro) in "FFA" for the purposes of reserving that footage for my later work on Black Wing Metamorphosis. I will however be including some of that footage in the redone version of "FFA", which should hopefully provide more of the closure/completeness element you mentioned and less of the strung together slugfest (as I put it) that it currently is.

As with many things, it can only get better (I hope) with time; so far it appears the 3 have been narrowed to 2. We'll see how my redone "FFA" fares against the current popular vote, and whether I can cook up something with Sephiroth. I'll probably have the time to work on it more closer to the weekend.

And as a point of discussion (since we are our own worst critics), my current gripes about "Every Story Begins with a Name" are that I get the feeling that it is lingering on too long in the later half when there could be something else there (though I really do not have any footage to expand on that), there are some minor desync issues (i.e. the end of the breakdown where Cloud receives the Buster sword could be worked to coincide with the end of that particular flashback), I could not get the title logo to flash in like I wanted (a lens flare just won't cut it), and I am not particularly happy with the transitions between flashbacks. The blur out for the first flashback worked out (probably due to it being combined with a sliding transition), but the final blur out does not sit well with me; probably since the source is a light background and the destination is darker. I've tried flashes and fades as well to no agreeable effect. Perhaps a combination blur/darken to meld the two, or maybe use a combination blur and sliding transition as I did in the beginning; needless to say there are some things to work on here.

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I watched a few minutes of Every Story, v2...

Hate to be harsh, but I stopped watching because there's minimal editing here. These are mostly just long segments from the original CG scenes. There's no sense of narrative/storytelling, no real emotion evoked. And we're not even getting into effects, transitions, anything...

Narrative basics: Think about what you're trying to convey. Imagine you're telling a story, or describing an emotion or idea in detail, etc. Take the footage you have and cut it around interesting elements: a smile, a hand reaching to the sky, etc. Order those into a new story following the music. Think of it like a collage.

Technical basics: http://desktopvideo.about.com/od/desktopediting/tp/editrules.htm

Hope this helps.

I gotta get back to working on my entry. :D

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The footage for that video remains largely uncut due to the fact that if I were to cut it in such a fashion, it could not possibly fit inside of the length of the music (due to the lack of footage for that particular setting); but I see what you're getting at, it's somewhat like how I commented earlier on the lingering aspects of it. There is a bit of footage to work with there, so I might try to implement some of it as b-roll, but I would think doing so would detract from the given scene.

I think of it in comparison to what I have seen; breaking up a long sequence with something completely unrelated just doesn't happen; and for the particular source used in that video, there is not much related footage to work with. Thanks for the comment and the link, I'll take another look at it and see how I can implement it.

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Wow, I'm glad to hear it went over well. BGC, I'll see what I can do about tweaking the syncing; there's a part of it that does not settle well with me either, but I haven't had the time to go over the footage again.

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Now that the submission deadline has passed, and in the interim before the winning submissions are selected, I know I am one of many that are curious to see what the rest of the community has created. So if you feel like sharing, post a link to your submission.

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Here's my video for the Voices of the Lifestream AMV competition. It's to Rellik's piece, "Chasing the Storm". I think it turned out very well myself and it's exactly what I was hoping it would be. I'll give you the story I have for after the link incase you would prefer to see if you can determine what the story is.

http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=pmxFtSW1atU

I like to tell stories in my AMVs that aren't the same as the videos original story. In this AMV it's of Kadaj calling up Cloud and Tifa to tell them his intents to kidnap the Denzel, Marlene and Rufus, and that they're already to late, and it goes from there. I tried to devote each different segment of the song, Chasing the Storm, to a subsequent part of the story. I did my best to have each scene fit the mood of the music. So yeah, I hope all those things came across to you as you were watching or about to watch.

Also, mattoco, I started to watch you're first video, but the second it got to footage of Zack and Cloud from Crisis Core I closed the window. Did that simply because I'm keeping myself from watching any Crisis Core footage before actually playing the game.

Just so I know, with that in mind, which videos are safe for me to watch?

EDIT: Sorry Sansana and RyuDeathstrike, I skipped yours too once I saw the CC footage.

EDIT: Mindeffects, you're video is top notch, I enjoyed it a lot. The visuals and story flowed very well together with the cuts. I was engaged while watching, nice work.

EDIT: Zethzen, hey, think you have the original category in the bag, good thing I didn't enter there, heh. Um, some cuts were a bit harsh timing wise, but I could probably count them on 1 hand. First play through I didn't think the music and visuals reflected each other that much, but I must have been in a daze because the second and third times they did well, and some of the detail helps this a lot. Although it felt like just a montage of fun times in the life of a Wolf it didn't feel like that means it's lacking somehow. Although a lot of transitions worked with the music some seem to ignore it although the transition used draws the eye and feels like it means something more and I'm just always missing something or not understanding it. Those nitty gritties don't stand out in my mind much when watching though, what I feel the strongest is the person who produced it cared about the final product, and it shows.

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EDIT: Zethzen, hey, think you have the original category in the bag, good thing I didn't enter there, heh. Um, some cuts were a bit harsh timing wise, but I could probably count them on 1 hand. First play through I didn't think the music and visuals reflected each other that much, but I must have been in a daze because the second and third times they did well, and some of the detail helps this a lot. Although it felt like just a montage of fun times in the life of a Wolf it didn't feel like that means it's lacking somehow. Although a lot of transitions worked with the music some seem to ignore it although the transition used draws the eye and feels like it means something more and I'm just always missing something or not understanding it. Those nitty gritties don't stand out in my mind much when watching though, what I feel the strongest is the person who produced it cared about the final product, and it shows.

Hey, thanks for the great write up, that's a lot to think about. My original idea was to take Red XIII and try and apply that to real life, as strange as that sounds. So I drew upon Native American and tribal art as inspiration for some of the animation that is used in the video. Anything else I took straight from the character himself, looking at offical sketches/in game cinematics. I tried to give a general feeling to the video basically, I hope that came through. BTW I left some comments for your video on the youtube page.

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EDIT: Sorry Sansana and RyuDeathstrike, I skipped yours too once I saw the CC footage.

It's all good... I wasn't even thinking about spoilers when I first made the movie, but more of a 'should I make it? or not?' kind of mentality... but from what I've seen, it contains no "important" spoilers... just a battle. You can decide for yourself of course.8-)

Btw, your vid is pretty sweet! Video is very well transitioned with the Music!

Also, All the videos I've seen(on here) have been just awesomeness!

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phantasmagoriat, that is really well done. Only gripe I've got is I didn't understand that much was was going on, not a major problem though. The cuts were really well done throughout the whole video, and I love how you capture such a frantic feel that matched the music so well during those crazy moments. May I ask roughly how many cuts you have in the video that you had done yourself? My was 50-60 or so.

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Um, I've never counted cuts for any of my videos I've made ^^, but here:

SweetestEmbraceTimeline.jpg

when I ctrl+a, and dragged and dropped my timeline, there were 333 objects, spanning the 2:19 minutes. PS. I hope I'm allowed to post pictures :/

note that the HQ.mp4 version is available free here:

http://www.animemusicvideos.org/user/phantasmagoriat

[so you can better see what's going on >.>] You can find all my other AMVs there too ;)

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