Visual Art: Music Videos

Batman: The Animated Series - Things Batman Doesn't Like

 

I posted this for my 37th birthday (i.e. September 2, 2017), because that was the year I discovered my love of Batman. For some notes on the creation of the video, see this and this Productivity Log.

Rurouni Kenshin (2012) - Unbreakable Heart

I made this video in May of 2013. It was the first time I'd worked with live action footage rather than animated, and it was a distinctly different experience. In some ways it was more difficult, but in others it was actually much easier. I'm extremely pleased with the finished product, in any case! I look forward to doing more live action stuff in future, though at the moment I have no particular ideas.

As far as the lyrics go, this song is much less how I think of Kenshin than how I think Kaoru might think of Kenshin. And I'm afraid she'll find, come Jinchuu, that he isn't quite as unbreakable as she believes. But anyway, I think the song fits pretty well.

Gundam Wing - Life Starts Now

Obviously I love Heero and Duo together, so here's me in December of 2010 contriving to erase all other characters from various scenes and shove them together to showcase their deep, forever love :D

Gundam Wing: Friendship Is Magic

People kept making these, the major draw being the assignment of traits (Elements of Harmony) to characters in whatever new series you had in mind. Nobody had done it for Gundam Wing, so in January of 2012 I figured I would. It makes me laugh pretty hard in spots, particularly Heero watching MLP:FiM and then later sending Treize a picture of himself and the other characters in his gundam.

Rurouni Kenshin - My Favorite Guys

Many years ago, when I used to post stuff on fanfiction.net, I made a tradition of putting up a new Rurouni Kenshin-related song "parody" along with every chapter or story. Most of them were very stupid, but there were a couple of diamonds in that rough (if I do say so myself) -- and one such was My Favorite Guys. Years later, in 2010, it occurred to me that it wouldn't be too difficult to dig up those old lyrics and make a music video out of them, so I did. In other words, yes, that is me you hear singing, and I apologize profusely for it.

The instrumentation comes from a karaoke CD called Just Tracks: Sing The Hits Of Rodgers and Hammerstein. It's really a dreadful track; it has all this background noise like whoever made it recorded it off of something else by putting an actual microphone up against the speaker it was playing out of. I would definitely not recommend buying this CD, or probably anything bearing a similar title.

Many thanks go out to my mother (not that she sees this stuff) for her sound-related assistance. She couldn't make me or the awful karaoke track sound any better, but without her I couldn't have recorded this thing at all. She is awesome.

Lastly, the lyrics:

Psychos with glasses and kanji-marked brawlers...
Weapon collectors and gay sickle-haulers...
Deadpans who never show any surprise...
These are a few of my favorite guys.

Paisley bandannas and big crimson collars...
Dark puppet-masters and kenjutsu scholars...
Warriors who fight with their bangs in their eyes...
These are a few of my favorite guys.

Red-haired assassins and wolves that are taller...
Prodigal smilers and cruel girlfriend-maulers...
Masters of moves in just one or two tries...
These are a few of my favorite guys.

When the real world’s jerks and losers start to make me mad,
I simply remember my favorite guys,
And then I don’t feel so bad.

GetBackers - Never Too Late

I made this video in September of 2008. It was difficult not to make it entirely about Akabane.

Rurouni Kenshin - Du Hast (Enishi Remix)

Rammstein is one of my favorite bands, and when it originally crossed my mind in 2004 to make Du Hast into a music video about Enishi, Kenshin, and Tomoe, my first thought was, What a shame Jinchuu was never animated. But despite the obvious lack of animated footage, the idea wouldn't go away and wouldn't go away, until finally I decided to experiment with manga frames just to see what I could come up with. The result is, at the very least, interesting.

As with my previous video, my impatience shows quite a bit here; there are several spots that make me wince because I was just too lazy to go fix whatever the problem was. Also, the quality deteriorated on conversion much more than that of the previous video, probably because of the manga frames. I did hack bits out of the song, BTW. You can only put footage to "Du / Du hast / Du hast mich" so many times before you go completely crazy.

Here's an unnecessarily lengthy explanation of why these lyrics are so fitting:

Du / Du hast / Du hast mich - Until he actually finishes this phrase, it sounds like he's saying "Du hasst mich," which means "You hate me." This seems to me appropriate for both Enishi and Tomoe in relation to Kenshin because Enishi's hatred is based on incomplete knowledge of the situation and of Tomoe's heart, while Tomoe's hatred is changed or eradicated when she gains better knowledge of Kenshin's character -- so their hatred, like one's initial assumption that Till is saying "You hate me," arises from not having all the facts. Yet Enishi assumed for years that Tomoe wanted revenge, Tomoe herself sought revenge at first, and one hears "You hate me" whether or not that's what the line actually says -- so the hatred does exist.

Du hast mich gefragt und ich hab' Nichts gesagt - So the complete phrase actually means, "You asked me and I said nothing." I found this a very fitting expression of Kenshin's inability, for quite some time, to come up with an "answer" for Enishi on the subject of the crimes he'd committed as a hitokiri, specifically killing Tomoe. And during his time in Rakuninmura searching for that answer, several people asked (and told) Kenshin things and he said nothing. Even after Kenshin had found his "answer," Enishi could not accept it -- so it was still as if he'd said nothing in response to what Enishi had "asked."

Willst du bis der Tod euch scheide' treu ihr sein für alle Tage? - This is a typical wedding-vow phrase -- "Will you be true to her for all your days, until death separates you?" -- after which we hear the feminine voice answer faintly in the affirmative and the masculine voice or narrator iterate loudly, "Nein!!" making the song, or at least this particular part of it, a sort of cry out against marriage or an expression of the breaking of wedding vows. And I have to think that killing one's wife is a fairly decent way to break one's wedding vows!

But there's more to it than that. Once again, just listening to the line provides a couple of very different possible meanings -- because it sounds like he says, "Willst du bis der Tod der Scheide treu ihr sein für alle Tage?" which would mean, "Will you be true to her for all your days, until the death of the vagina?" It's a typical Rammstein trick to use a play on words to turn something like getting married, showing charity, or taking turns into something purely sexual -- but in this context it fits surprisingly well: the slang term for vagina used here, "der Scheide," literally means "the sheath." And what was Tomoe supposed to be for the ungovernable rage of her hitokiri husband? I think it was this phrase that first reminded me of the Kenshin/Tomoe/Enishi situation and gave me the initial idea for the music video.

The last thing I wish to note, unrelated to the song lyrics, is that I think Seisou Hen is utter bullshit. There is at least one spot in the video that seems to imply that I agree with some of the nonsense that happened in that OAV, but I really don't. Simply put, I could not resist using some of that footage since an animated Enishi was too good to pass up for this project.

Rurouni Kenshin - I Hate Everything About You

So I heard this song on the radio one day in early 2004 and just flipped out; it reminded me so much of Saitou and Sano that I had to go buy the Three Days Grace CD as soon as possible and try to figure out what to do with the song. The problem with it was that the lyrics weren't coherent enough to make a songfic out of, and I didn't know how to make music videos. Well, as you can see, I figured it out (to a certain extent); the song was just too perfect to leave alone.

The fact that I'm self-taught is painfully evident. There are some choppy moments that I was too impatient to smooth out, and the lip sync at the end of the verse is soOoOo corny (I couldn't resist seeing if I could do it; I really should have). It looks like there's supposed to be lip sync during the first chorus (Sano's mouth flaps a lot), but that was unintentional. It would have been a much better lip sync sequence than the one I did on purpose, though; I should have thought about it more.

The song, in case you're not familiar with it, has been shortened a little; I chopped out the "second verse," which is exactly the same as the first verse, to avoid boring repetition as well as to give myself a lighter workload.

I planned for years, after I became a little better at this hobby, to remake this video... but first someone else, obviously unaware mine existed, made their own Saitou & Sano MV to this same song; and then Watsuki turned out to be evil. So this remains as it is as a relic of a past age.

Only one day left until I turn 33

In a few hours we will drive away to go to Santa Fe! Have I mentioned how FREAKING EXCITED I am about this?? And because I will be away for my entire birthday, I have decided to post things I’m posting today rather than tomorrow.

I had that trying-to-shave-the-backs-of-my-thighs experience again yesterday, since I anticipate a swimming pool in New Mexico this evening. The shaving process was easier this time, but we’ll see if any swimming actually happens. If not, the tags will probably remain on my swimwear until next summer XD

So the other day there was a final exam, and after we’d taken it a classmate of mine commented, “I had the hardest time remembering the lay term for canine parturition… I kept thinking ‘bitching,’ but I knew that wasn’t right.” This tickled the hell out of me, and from now on I will consider that any dog having puppies is “bitching.”

On the same day, at work, a fun thing happened. Someone ordered two dozen chocolate strawberry roses, but requested that we not deliver them until she brought in some stuff that she wanted delivered along with the order. And what she brought in turned out to be a FOUR-FOOT-TALL TEDDY BEAR on which she’d put a backpack stuffed with candy. There were also about a million balloons, one of which was, like, three feet in diameter.

Excess often amuses me hugely, and I was filled with giggles in relation to all of this. I was also very pleased with the vibe I was getting that this extravagant offering was a sign of lesbian affection. Unfortunately, though, the purchaser evaded my subtle questions along those lines. It was still pretty awesome, though; the driver reported that the recipient was almost in shock when he appeared with all this crap.

I was thinking of reporting on my concert experience, but my feelings are so mixed I don’t know if I can do them justice. Seeing Three Days Grace three days before my thirty-third birthday was not only awesome but also terribly numerically appropriate… but I was not aware until I was actually at the concert that Adam Gontier has left the band. (Yes, I am very bad at paying attention to things.) This is literally enough to make me cry, but I don’t want to undervalue the concert experience even without him. So I think I will say no more on that topic. Still, there’s this:

SO EXCITED

THREE DAYS ’til my birthday, pipols! Wot about three days! WOT ABOUT THREE DAYS GRACE.

I am seriously excited right now. Tonight brother is picking me up from work and we’re heading straight to A THREE DAYS GRACE CONCERT. We’re going to be out way late and I’m sure to be dreadfully exhausted by the time we get home, but THREE DAYS GRACE. THREE DAYS GRACE THREE DAYS ‘TIL MY BIRTHDAY. Finally I will see my favorite band in person! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

And then tomorrow there are two football games, and on Sunday we go to Santa Fe!!!!!!

I am at work right now, counting down the minutes until I get to leave. What a useless work day this will be XD

Actually I’ve been super excited all week, and on Monday and Tuesday I kept thinking it was Thursday. So many amazing things will happen! What an awesome weekend!

OK, a couple of dreams and then I guess I’ll make an arrangement. First, I and Regina were joining Emma going to Neverland to rescue Henry. There was sexual tension among the three of us, but at the same time I didn’t fully trust Regina.

When we got there, the Henry-related story seemed to have been forgotten. Also, Neverland was also kinda forgotten. The place we’d reached was a rustic settlement (well, rustic except for the cathedral) whose people immediately accepted Emma as the prophesied pope figure they’d been waiting for. Go figure.

Emma didn’t have any magical powers in this dream, but Regina, of course, did, and so did I. So Regina and I kept using magic to make it look like Emma had magic to impress the peoples. It was frustrating to all three of us, because Regina and I were doing a lot of work without getting any credit, and the adoring public wouldn’t leave Emma alone for three minutes.

Then at one point Emma was going to go off somewhere to do something, and she reached into a box to grab a thing she needed to take with her. But she pulled her hand back covered in blood from a sudden long, deep cut. With the type of badass special effects you get in dreams, I started lifting the blood away and stitching up the wound telekinetically. I gathered the blood into a ball much like Upfish’s beloved blood-ball except that the containing outer layer was squishy instead of glass. Like a completely transparent water balloon filled with blood.

I turned to Regina and said, “Did you want some of Emma’s blood?” She said she didn’t, and I pressed, “Are you sure? Because that seems like something you would want.” But she still said no. This was a sign of the mistrust I still felt toward her, since apparently having some of Emma’s blood would make it easier for Regina to double-cross Emma later, but it also apparently partook of the sexual tension.

We noticed that the object Emma had supposedly cut herself on didn’t seem like it would have created the type of cut she had. So we dug around in the box and discovered a much sharper and more dangerous item that we agreed had definitely been planted there; someone was out to get Emma.

At the same time, though, I also observed that she had lost a lot of blood and wasn’t reacting at all as if she had. This occasioned a flash of knowledge offered to my dreaming self that Emma had, in fact, been replaced by a robot by some enemy or other. But I never found out why, because that was the end of the dream.

In another dream, I was somewhere when I saw a little dog (I think it was a lhasa) run away from its person. I got into my little car (I think it was a Kia) and gave chase, and came upon a flowery mountain glen where the little dog played happily with three or four other dogs. I called the owner and told her where to come to retrieve her dog.

When she arrived, she and I started walking across the meadow toward the dogs, discussing runaway dogs and other related topics. Halfway across, though, we came upon another lady having her picture painted, and my companion realized she knew this lady.

“I almost didn’t recognize you!” said the dog owner. “I haven’t seen you since you had your sex reassignment surgery!”

There was a happy but brief reunion of these two friends before the painter of the portrait got annoyed at our interruption of her work and shooed us away. I wanted to congratulate the lady on having gotten sex reassignment surgery, but not only was I not supposed to talk to her while she was having her picture painted, I didn’t know whether or not it would be awkward when I wasn’t actually acquainted with her at all.

So those were my dreams.

If you can’t stand the way this place is, take yourself to higher places

Twenty-five days ’til my birthday! I’m hoping EA will be closed that day. I already have it off school, but if I’m free of work as well I shall drag any family member that’s home to Bishop Castle. My parents have never been there, and I consider castles and hilarious insanity extremely appropriate things for birthdays.

At that very work I have already mentioned, the other closer is quitting, and my cool manager has been kind enough to hire my brother. He’s been in with me the last couple of days for training purposes, but not a lot of that has been accomplished yet on account of MADNESS. I may end up putting in severa extra hours before brother is ready to close the store on his own, which is always nice for money but may wear me right out. Still, it’s awesome that he has this job.

So once upon a time, Three Days Grace released an album called Life Starts Now. Since I have a sort of compulsion to make TDG music videos, I started mulling over which song from that album and which show’s footage I would use. Of course I eventually went with the title track and a focus on Heero and Duo and their eternal love… but another song from that album and the eternal love of Quatre and Trowa was a very close second. And lately I’ve been thinking that (having, after all, so very much free time) I should really make that video too.

I’d dismissed the idea before and gone instead with Life Starts Now (which I just typoed as “Life Starts Ow,” an incredibly appropriate title for that particular video) because I feared this other idea might be difficult to find relevant footage for… but today, listening to the song, I’m kinda changing my mind about that. Besides, I have another GW video project I started forever ago and kinda stopped working on because seeking footage is so tedious; if I were looking for footage for two projects at once, it might be less dull. In any case, I think I’ll set up my folders and see whether or not this takes off.

Recently, Plastic at ff.n has reached the revelation of how the curse is to be broken, and a few commenters have essentially suggested, “Oh, this should be easy; Heero can just put Duo inside a bag and carry that around with him.” And though logistically this is a rational idea, it also makes me wince SO HARD. I mean, the pocket thing does happen a few times for brief periods, but do you really want to put someone already suffering severe sensory deprivation into a bag for half of every day for a month? Heero wasn’t kidding when he remarked on how easy it is to objectify Duo when Duo is, in fact, an object.

Speaking of Plastic on ff.n… it sure is easy to tell which pairing’s fans have been drawn to the story there and which one’s haven’t. The silence in response to any part about Quatre and Trowa is overwhelming XD

At school we have started experimenting with a system wherein the teacher lectures on video rather than in class, and we’re expected to watch the lectures at home. I think none of us have really decided whether or not we like this. It creates a lot more lab time, something that has historically been at a premium, but that is, of course, at the expense of time at home that many of us simply do not have. If I end up working every day next week, I’ll probably fail this class because I won’t have time for the damn lectures… but we do need the lab time. So I guess we’ll see how this turns out.

I dreamed that I ran into a version of myself from an alternate universe. Of course I asked her various questions, and, though I didn’t always like the answers, that was interesting. This self had gone into musical theater, which I think must have made her life extremely difficult because no version of mysef has those natural talents. This was taking place, by the way, in the same dungeon/cave-ish environment my earlier Dragon Age II LARP dream did. Because why not?

In another dream, I was at Disneyland. It was the usual three- or four-day trip, and this time we hadn’t even been into the park during the first two days. The same question as ever arises: what does my subconscious think my family is doing for two days on a Disneyland trip that is so entertaining it puts off riding Disneyland rides?

Anyway, I was excited because on the third day we were going to meet Mostle and Jakebii and all go into the park together and ride the rides! Yay! But the hotel my brother and I were staying at (while our parents were at a different hotel, apparently) required guests to clean their own rooms before they were allowed to check out. So there was some mopping nonsense and I forget what else. This hotel room had multiple levels and a staircase, which was pretty badass.

In a different dream, I was at Disneyland, and properly inside the park this time. While walking along, I found someone’s smartphone on the ground. Everything on the phone seemed to be in Chinese. Evidently just turning the lost phone in to a park employee wasn’t a viable option, because I was fretting about how to get it back to its proper owner.

I entered a shop, and noted that the employees there were all Asian. I asked if any of them could, by any chance, interpret information from the phone that might give me a clue as to who owned it. One lady was able to read it with no problem, but about halfway through it shifted to Japanese and I started to comprehend some of it myself.

Somebody was sending messages to the phone that were news articles about Sano (2012 movie version), and this made me even more excited to understand what was on the phone and to locate its obviously super-cool owner. Though the dream ended at that point, I like to think this owner would have turned out to be a single lesbian that happened to be a huge fan of Saitou & Sano.

In another dream, I was back working at the dry cleaner, and some woman was harassing me about a piece that I couldn’t find and that might be damaged. I was trying to get her to go away and come back or call when the manager, who knew what was going on with this piece, was there, but she wouldn’t. I was about to call the police to try to make her leave the premises when I woke up.

That’s all the dreams I can remember right now. I’m waiting for my mom to be finished with her dental appointment, and then we will go get some lunch. It’s funny how Thursdays always go: I’m like, “I’m going to start in on all the stuff I need to get done, specifically homework, right away when I get home from school at 12:30. I’ll have, like, eight hours to work on everything, and I’ll be able to do something fun in addition to school stuff!” Only then I get delayed in starting until about 16:00. Like clockwork. Probably no something fun today.

Confrérie plan is still in place, by the way. So, twenty-five days to that too!

Hoo, I am so hungry right now

So I’m trying to figure out why a lot of the time when I edit a post on here, that edited post then appears on the feed reader… especially since I still have plenty of editing to do. Sorry to anyone watching me that way X/

The other day we had a dead cat at school, which allowed us to practice subcutaneous injections on actual flesh without continually sticking a needle into a living creature. That was pretty awesome, though dead cat face was a little disturbing.

Yesterday I cleaned the bathroom so efficiently ^__^ Have I mentioned my sympathy with the Auditors? I’m always so pleased with myself when I clean something up so well, but then my work is always undone so quickly and I just don’t feel like doing it again for far longer than I should really wait. But anyway. The bathroom looks really nice for now.

A tarot project has been eating my brain for the last few days, so not a lot of fiction-writing has taken place. I’ve worked mostly on that today, alternated with recording, and felt productive despite not writing much story.

Oh! I got my PSY CD, of course, and it was just as good as I expected. I’ve listened to it about a billion times since then. You know, I never did mention my thoughts on the new Three Days Grace album. Well, it’s good. You have no idea how excited I was at the Michael Jackson cover, though I honestly don’t think Adam sounds very good on that piece. Actually, his usual vocal perfection seems to have suffered a bit, and I really hope it’s temporary… like maybe he got sick or something. Anyway, it’s a decent album; now I have to think about which song to vidify.

Have I mentioned how much of my hero is Willis McGahee? I found a shirt that I will buy with his name on. I’d really like a ladies’ style shirt, but they only seem to make those in Manning style. MC GAHEE.

OK, I’m done.

Photo meme day 8, yesterday’s productivity, music video, today’s interview

8. A photo of your favorite band/musician.

You can tell how much I care about how my favorite band looks by the fact that I had to go Google up an image of thems. Well, I mean, it’s nice when your favorite musicians are also hotties, but that’s not exactly the point… (That’s Three Days Grace, BTW.)

Yesterday was the best day. I put away all my laundry and cleaned my room, made wonderful progress on Plastic (which has now hit 100 pages), finished my music video, and even worked a little on the next one. What a fabulous day!! I am pleased ^__^

OK, so, for this video I actually sang the song, and that was what took so long to get the thing finished; I had all the video editing done, like, two months ago or something, but I kept not getting around to doing the vocals for it. But finally I did yesterday. I sound like shit, of course, but what can you do? It had to be done.

Anyway, then I discovered that somehow during the recording process, the song had sped up. My mom assures me this can’t happen, but it did. It was three seconds shorter and had a longer silence at the beginning. I had to go back through the video and cut a bunch of frames to re-sync everything, and there are a few spots that don’t work as well as they did before but that I’m too lazy to entirely redo (which is what would be required if I wanted to fix them properly).

Then I literally wasted an hour of time I could have been sleeping trying to upload the damn thing. It kept failing for unknown reasons; stupid YouTube. Not having to use services like YouTube was definitely one upside of having my own webspace. Eventually I just had to go to bed and leave it for today, because I needed to get to bed.

Today I have done an interview at an office in Castle Rock. I thought it went pretty well, but I’m not likely to hear from them for a couple of weeks. Mou. I have discovered that between here and Castle Rock, the left lane is for people that want to go ten MPH over the speed limit, and the right lane is for people that want to go ten MPH under the speed limit. I WILL MAKE MY OWN LANE for people that want to go exactly the speed limit. YAA.

Haiku meme!!

Write all your entries
In haiku — five-seven-five —
For today only

Transferring pictures
Is half boring and half fun.
I am almost done.

Lately I have played
Or at least thought about lots
Of video games.

Adam Gontier sings
Some oddly-pronounced diphthongs
At the ends of words.

(I’m just assuming
That the name “Gontier” only
Has two syllables.)

Totally forgot
To mention that I read the
New Amelia.

This happened last week.
Definitely not the best
Book in the series.

OK, I am now
Finally done with pictures.
Time to do elsewhat.

Harry Potter quiz / The last time I took it I / Got Remus Lupin

Bitching about being sick and some memely items

I should be working on story or otherwise being productive, but instead I’m doing memes. My stupid ears are plugged up and it’s driving me crazy. Normally my ears don’t plug up when I’m sick, so I’m not used to it. It is seriously bothering me telve million. But it will not stop me from doing this music item.

1. List your top five favorite musical artists.
2. List your top five favorite songs from each artist.
3. Tag five people to do the same.
Except I never tag people.

I suppose this would be a good moment to announce officially that Three Days Grace has somehow overtaken Rammstein and become my favorite band. Wis only two CD’s and a handful of singles vs. Rammstein’s impressive lineup. It’s probably because TDG has so many songs that remind me of Saitou/Sano. And harmony. *eats them*

Anyway, I can’t list five favorite groups/artists. The first four are pretty easy, though after TDG they’re not in any particular order… but then about six different groups/artists are tied for fifth. So I’ll just choose one of those at random for the fifth entry. Item