Author: LantisEscudo

Beyond the Shire [Shabu Showdown 2023 Week 3]

The theme for the third round of Shabu Showdown 2023 was "Spectacular Settings," where editors were given one week to edit a video focusing on the scenery or setting of a source, rather than the plot or characters.

I immediately decided to use the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings movies, because of all the huge sweeping establishing shots in the films. The song was a lot harder to come up with, and I reached out for suggestions, and ended up getting the excellent song I ended up using from a link provided by VioletSkies.

I was also dealing with several real life things outside the event at the time, and I was worried I wouldn't be able to finish the whole song, so I edited a short version of the video that ended with the end of the first movie, just to have something to submit in case I ran out of time. I also decided once I started the second segment to focus just on Sam and Frodo's path through the films for narrative simplicity, though that did mean giving up the initial inspiration shot for the video (the epic long helicopter shot of Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli running across the landscape in pursuit of the Orc army).

In the end, it came together much better than I initially thought it would, and was given the "Epic Fantasy" coordinator's award at the end of the event.

Video - Lord of the Rings movie trilogy
Audio - Tommee Profitt x MILCK - BEYOND
Completed November 2023

YouTube Link

The Lives and Times of Dirk the Daring (Shabu Showdown 2023 Week 2)

The theme for the second round of Shabu Showdown 2023 was 20th Century Time Capsule - editors had a week to create a video with a video or audio source (and preferably both) originating between 1901 and 2000.

My original idea was really dark, with Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" to the 2000 movie Battle Royale, which I decided was a bit too much for this sort of event. I did like the idea of using the song, though, and so I started looking through my collection of discs when I remembered Dragon's Lair, which fit the song really well, and still was lighthearted enough that it felt more appropriate.

All of the footage segments were very short (usually under 60 seconds, with the deaths even shorter), so I divided them into three buckets: "successes" which I used for most of the first section of the video, "deaths" which filled most of the remainder of the video, and "skeleton bounce," which was all of the variants of the game over animation. If I remember correctly, there are 27 different versions with the same animation over different backgrounds. I ended up only using it for the final segment of the video, and synched up several of them to cut between on the beat for that final shot.

People definitely enjoyed it, and a few suggested I send it to events that accept video game and western animation videos, which I may do.

Video - Dragon's Lair
Audio - Queen - Another One Bites the Dust
Completed November 2023

YouTube Link

Visions of Disaster (Shabu Showdown 2023 Week 1)

The theme for the first round of Shabu Showdown 2023 was Owl House Covens - editors had a week to create a video illustrating one of the covens from the show Owl House. The only one that sparked an idea quickly for me was the Oracle coven, which dealt with fortune-telling, clairvoyance, divination, etc. 

I had recently been thinking about Sailor Moon, and remembered Rei (Sailor Mars) and her divinations using the sacred fire in her home temple, but it took me longer than I expected to find the footage I needed. I had forgotten how much was in the Doom Tree arc and had been looking in the S season instead. I interspersed the Sailor Moon footage with footage from a bunch of other series and movies that showed the aftermath of major natural disasters to indicate what she was seeing visions of.

For audio, I went back to my familiar well of production music and Two Steps From Hell, which worked for the video, but I decided after this round that I wouldn't use TSFH for the rest of the event, wanting to break out of that familiar rut.

Reactions to it were pretty positive, and I'm pretty happy with the result.

Video - Sailor Moon (original and R), Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, Your Name, Weathering With You, Princess Mononoke, Millennium Actress, The Wind Rises, Ponyo
Audio - Two Steps From Hell - Mercy in Darkness
Completed November 2023 Link
YouTube Link

Hypotrochoids and Epitrochoids

I was worried that I wouldn't finish Trí Scéal in time for the AWA Accolades deadline, so I had this idea hanging around in my head as a backup idea that I could put together very quickly just in case. When I actually finished with about a day to go to the deadline, I decided to try and get it done as a second entry.

I first heard Jay Foreman perform one verse of the song in a YouTube video (an episode of The Park Bench with Matt Gray where Jay subbed in for Tom Scott), and was what I intended to use before I had bought copies of Jay's album, which included a version with four verses. I thought that was probably a bit much, and cut it down to just the first and last verses for the video.

For video, I just ripped every 16:9 BluRay in my collection I could think of that might include someone writing, and scrubbed through looking for workable scenes. I decided early on that I'd only use one shot from each source, so I had to come up with quite a few. I actually spent far longer just waiting for discs to rip than I did actually assembling the video.

It wasn't until I was putting clips on the timeline that I noticed some of the writing was very frantic, and decided on the fly to have the franticness build as the video went on, which made the final video far better than my original plan of just throwing everything on the timeline and hoping it flowed.

The title is a cheap math joke, because it's the mathematical names for the two shapes that a Spirograph draws - hypotrochoids if the moving wheel is rolling around the inside the stationary wheel, epitrochoids if the moving wheel is rolling around the outside of the stationary one.

It got a good reaction from the other competitors, and was nominated as a finalist in the Trailer/Parody category (because several people thought it was from an actual commercial for Spirograph).

Video - Emma: A Victorian Romance, My Love Story!, Anthem of the Heart, Spy x Family, A Silent Voice, Garden of Words, I Want to Eat Your Pancreas, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun, The Wind Rises, Your Name, Weathering With You, Clannad, Gourmet Girl Graffiti, Chobits, Porco Rosso, Wolf Children, Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, Penguin Highway, From Up on Poppy Hill, She The Ultimate Weapon, Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, K-on!, Royal Space Force Honneamise, Wotakoi, Summer Wars, Little Witch Academia
Audio - Jay Foreman - Spirograph
Completed September 2023 Link
YouTube Link

Trí Scéal

This is another video that I heard the song for many years ago and spent a long time looking for the right source to use.

Back in early 2007, I saw a video on Twitter of the pregame ceremonies at a New Zealand-Ireland rugby match from mid-2006, specifically highlighting the New Zealand haka. I didn't recognize the song used as Ireland's anthem, so I looked it up on Wikipedia afterwards, finding that it was an alternate anthem used by some of Ireland's national sports teams that represent the island as a whole, rather than just the Republic of Ireland. At the bottom of the page was a link to an uncredited MP3 that became the definitive version in my head, despite the huge number of covers, especially after Celtic Thunder covered it with slightly different lyrics. I wasn't able to find the artist of the version I wanted until 2022, which turned out to be one of the first recorded versions released, and included the Irish National Rugby Team as the background singers.

I didn't have a good idea for what source to use until Wolfwalkers came out and the trio of Cartoon Salon films started being referred to as the "Irish Folklore Trilogy." I'd only seen Secret of Kells at that point, but picked up the box set when it was released and watched the other two immediately. I found Song of the Sea the hardest to work with of the three, mostly because the setting was so far different from the other two, but I think they all worked well together in the end.

The title is simply "Three Stories" in Irish Gaelic.

Editing-wise, I was really working more by feel than going for anything with a distinct narrative structure. It works pretty well, and got nominated as a finalist in the Best Vibes category.

Video - Cartoon Saloon Irish Folklore Trilogy (The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea, Wolfwalkers)
Audio - Andrew Strong - Ireland's Call
Completed September 2023

YouTube Link

Never Too Late

Back in 2014, I was driving through very rural northern Vermont late one evening for work, and wanted to follow the Bruins-Canadiens playoff game that was happening that same night. The only station I could find was a French-language station out of Montreal, and after the game, they went back to their usual music format. "Jamais Trop Tard," a very new release at the time, was the first song they played, and it caught my attention very strongly. I managed to use Shazam to find the actual song title, and spent the next eight years looking for a series to use for it.

A friend loaned me a copy of Emma to watch as a possible series to use after I asked for suggestions, and it fit better than I expected.

I specifically wanted to send this video to Canadian conventions, and in particular Otakuthon in Montreal, though sadly it didn't make the finals at any of the ones I sent it to. I did get several compliments from people who did see it and fans of Emma, though.

Video - Emma: A Victorian Romance
Audio - Marie-Mai feat. Jonas - Jamais Trop Tard
Completed July 2023 Link
YouTube Link

Anime Boston 2023 Contest Opening

I was running very behind on a lot of things related to the AMV Contest in 2023, so when I needed to make an opening for the year's theme of "Idols," I just reached for the first thing that came to mind: the very easy dance sequences from Pride of Orange and one of the songs from the soundtracks included with the Blu-Rays. Very simple and basic, but it worked to get the info I needed to convey out to the audience.

With future years not having a specific con-wide theme, I'm not sure what I'll be doing for openings in the future, but I'll definitely need to start planning further in advance, so I'm not rushing a slapped-together opening like this again.

Anime - Pride of Orange
Music - Smile Princess - ハレ、のちドリーミングっ!○
Completed April 2023

YouTube Link

The Power of Green

This was an idea that I know has probably been done many times, but it also just would not leave my head when I was trying to come up with ideas for RICE 2023. I've been a Weird Al fan for about 30 years, and switching to the sequel trilogy with the prophetic line "I'll be playing this part 'til I'm old and gray" was the entire payoff to the idea in my head.

The rest of the video is a bit less well executed, partly because there's a lot less footage of Yoda in Empire and Jedi than I remember, and going back to the prequel trilogy just didn't make sense with Luke being the narrator.

It didn't get any finalist nominations in the competition, but got quite a few "wait, that was yours?" reactions when the editor reveals were made.

Video - Star Wars Episodes 4-6, 8-9
Audio - "Weird Al" Yankovic - Yoda
Completed February 2023

YouTube Link

Into Infinity (Project OrgEditor 2022 Round 6)

After the previous week, I was planning to use a source I knew, but when the theme "Extraordinary Voyages" got announced, and specifically referenced Jules Verne in the challenge, my mind immediately went to another show I owned but hadn't watched yet, Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water. Thankfully, it was only 39 episodes to scrub instead of close to 200, but it still took a decent amount of time. I went back to the Two Steps From Hell well yet again (third time in six rounds) for the audio, because "Beyond the Horizon" fit the tone of epic exploration so well.

Overall, a solid effort that scored fairly well, and it definitely moved Nadia up my backlog to-watch list, so I can see the context of some of those wacky scenes I found while scrubbing.

Anime - Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water
Music - Two Steps From Hell - Beyond the Horizon
Completed December 2022 Link
YouTube Link

Life’s Natural 1’s (Project OrgEditor 2022 Round 5)

Round 5's theme for Project OrgEditor 2022 was "Roll For Initiative" and asked for videos demonstrating one of the Dungeons & Dragons character statistics. I decided that Luck would be my best bet, and decided to do a character profile of one of the unluckiest characters in anime, Ryouga Hibiki from Ranma ½.

This turned out to be a bit of a dumb move on my part, since although I'm familiar with the series, it's mostly been through the manga, and I haven't seen most of the TV series. Scrubbing 167 TV series episodes, 11 OVAs, and 3 movies for scenes of a secondary character in less than a week was definitely not the smartest move I've ever made.

For the song, while Hee Haw was a bit before my time, but my mother had frequently sung the "Gloom, Despair, and Agony On Me" song it made popular when I was young, so that musical phrase has stuck in my head for many years. I found a few different covers of it, and settled on the version by Starlings, TN to use.

The actual editing was pretty rushed because of how long scrubbing all the footage took, but overall, I like the result.

Anime - Ranma ½
Music - Starlings, TN - Gloom, Despair, and Agony on Me
Completed December 2022 Link
YouTube Link