Anime – Seikai series (Crest/Banner of the Stars)
Song – Trans-Siberian Orchestra – A Final Dream
Completed December 2005
Premiered February 26, 2006 Link
YouTube Link

This video grew out of an utterly failed attempt at a Crest of the Stars video to “If We Hold On Together” from The Land Before Time in 2003.

The goal was a Jinto/Lafiel romance video, but the concept died an ugly death from lack of ideas on how to assemble it and the time pressures of graduating from college. By the time I was able to get back to the video, it was long stale in my head and I ended up scrapping it.

The idea got resurrected by two near-simultaneous happenings: I picked up a copy of Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Beethoven’s Last Night and Banner of the Stars III got released. Banner III had Jinto and Lafiel much closer together than previous series, and “A Final Dream” was screaming for a “looking towards tomorrow” romance video in my head.

So, armed with nearly three times the source material I had for my original video (Banner I and II in addition to III, rather than just Crest) to fit a song half as long, I sat down and watched the entirety of the Seikai anime in about three days, taking notes on what scenes I might want to use. The actual editing of the video came together in about another four days, assisted by the fact that no digital effects were used, save crossfades and a few speed changes to fit a lyric.

The only major decision I had to make footage-wise was whether to edit fullscreen, cropping Banner II and III horizontally, or widescreen, cropping Crest, Birth, and Banner I vertically. I quickly decided to go widescreen, as I wanted the full span of several scenes from the widescreen series, and I lost very little of the fullscreen footage’s scenes’ impact by cropping them. Interestingly, unlike the other two times I’ve cropped fullscreen footage to fit a widescreen project, I didn’t need to shift any of the fullscreen scenes up or down to keep the important part in the frame. For some reason, the Seikai series kept the action and focus in the middle of the frame, which worked out admirably for me.

This was the second AMV that I editing using Final Cut Pro on my PowerBook laptop, and has seriously hooked me on FCP over my old standard MediaStudio Pro, especially as the latest version of MSP (which I tried the demo of) was very, very disappointing.

The footage was ripped, filtered, and cut into lots of uncompressed AVIs on my desktop PC (as AVISynth is an absolutely wonderful tool for that), transferred to the laptop over the LAN, and edited on the laptop. The final export was transferred back to the PC for distribution encoding (XviD for the Org, MPEG-2 for cons).

Convention History:
Llamacon 2006 – Finalist
Animethon 13 – Finalist
Anime Evolution 2006 – Finalist

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