allowed to randomly offer accidental insight. (sweetestdrain) wrote,
allowed to randomly offer accidental insight.

The Making of "On the Prowl"

I'm taking lots of vitamins and trying to catch up on sleep to stave off con crud (though omg, best VividCon ever!) but some people have been asking about the sources that [personal profile] sisabet and I used in On the Prowl, so I thought I'd go ahead and write up a little 'behind the scenes' post. We had a lot of fun making this vid, strange as that may be to say, and it was so hard to keep it secret and NOT TALK ABOUT IT. Read if you're interested! Or you can click the cut to go straight to the source list.

Also, thank you to everyone who's been posting such varied and interesting perspectives on Prowl. [personal profile] sisabet and I probably won't be weighing in much on the discussions -- we figure the vid kind of stands on its own -- but it's really flattering to see the vid talked about, and we're glad our self-portrait made people think.

It all started a few months ago at 2AM on a deserted stretch of I-64. Although I first heard "On the Prowl" sometime in 2007, and began mapping out the vid idea in my head shortly after that, lack of source and general lack of time meant I put the project off indefinitely. But it was on I-64, as [personal profile] sisabet and I were returning from visiting friends, that I wound up playing her my vidsong and bemoaning the fact that although it fit the newest VividCon challenge theme perfectly, I would never be able to put the vid together in time.

She listened to the song intently. "I can see it," she said. "Play it again." And after the second repetition of the song: "I'll vid it with you!"

And thus was born our self-portrait. We spent a few weeks making lists of the source we would need, and keeping an eye out for anything new that might help enrich our vid --

[personal profile] greensilver: omg intestines
[personal profile] greensilver: this dude was graphically disemboweled [on an episode of NCIS]
[personal profile] sweetestdrain: was he hot?

(and none of our friends thought these sorts of questions were out of character for us.)

-- but we both had other projects going on, so we didn't meet to start on the vid until maybe a week and a half before the deadline -- and I was going to be out of town during most of that time. [personal profile] sisabet was convinced we could do it, and so she picked me up at my house and we drove to the nearest video rental place. We proceeded to work our way through dozens of movies and terrify the other customers with our running commentary -- "Oh, this movie has a great chainsaw scene. I couldn't sleep for weeks." "Awesome, get it! Hey, which X-Files episodes have Mulder getting tortured?" -- until finally we staggered up to the counter, laden with stacks of DVD boxes, only to be told that the rental limit was six per person. We made some tough choices and persevered, and between renting, borrowing, and *ahem*ing various sources, we were left with more footage than we could ever possibly use. A good place to start!

Oh, and I'd like to mention that the general criteria we used for the sources/fandoms in the vid were that they be either formative or meaningful for one or both of us, be really important to the vid, or simply manage to make us go "Oooh" for a moment. (For instance, neither of us has really seen The Covenant, but we scanned through it looking for sweaty boys in shower scenes and omg now we really want to see the whole thing cause that shit looks AMAZING.) There isn't a single source used in the vid that doesn't come from a "this really gets/got to me" place for either or both of us. It's a self-portrait for sure, and we found a surprising amount of overlap in the things that made us go "...yeah, that's going in the vid," even if one of us wasn't previously familiar with the clips in question.

Because it was vital that we get our project file up and running and some of the timeline filled before I had to head out of town, I basically lived on [personal profile] sisabet's couch for a day and a half as we clipped factory-style: first ripping and making clips on our laptops, then moving them over to [personal profile] sisabet's main vidding computer via flash drive. [profile] cappylicious was dubbed our vid minion, and [personal profile] sisabet frequently sent her from the apartment with directions to bring back pad thai, alcohol, and various other films we had forgotten to include in our first haul. In some Very Important Moments of Vidding Preparation, [personal profile] sisabet showed me the "good parts" version of Point Break and we watched some episodes of The Lair. (Amazing show.) Then [profile] cappylicious told us that watching The Lair didn't actually count as vidding, and so we started finally laying down clips.

Structurally, we set a few rules for ourselves.

a) No dead bodies. We decided that was too much of a line even for us. (We also didn't castrate anyone! But that was more incidental.)
b) No blood spilt before a certain point in the vid (1:08) -- everything before that can bruise but not break the skin.
c) Must hold off on the full-on torture until 2/3rds of the way through the vid.

We only broke c), and that was due to me getting a little overenthusiastic when it was my turn at the timeline. I'm also to blame for daring [personal profile] sisabet to "put in an extreme skydiving section! It'd be awesome!" and then neither of us getting around to putting something else there before the vid was finished and uploaded. Shh, it's a metaphor!

Finally, we had a rough draft/outline that contained some clips here and there and title cards that we'd inserted to map out the rest of the structure. (Some of these included "Fucking Beatdowns," "Where is your god now??", "Hearts and Minds torture (also regular)," and "Dean WInchester is tongue [sic]".) I went on vacation and [personal profile] sisabet continued the timeline work without me, though she regularly sent me drafts and then I would email her saying things like "omg I just watched this episode of Starsky and Hutch in which Hutch is kidnapped and tied up and is forcibly addicted to drugs, can we use it??" and she would make it happen. When I returned, we had one day until deadline and so we settled in to make last-minute changes and additions.

[personal profile] sisabet: Is that enough of a black space? People won't worry that Marion is about to rip Indy's face off? Though if she did that, we'd already have it in the vid.
[personal profile] sweetestdrain: Ooh, do we need faces being ripped off? Cause there's some of that in Spartacus.

And at around 1AM, the mental faculties started to go:

[personal profile] sisabet: Do I want to keep Bruce Willis in the shower? Or -- what's his name. Mulder.

But by 3AM, the vid was almost complete. We'd survived [personal profile] greensilver's beta, tightened up our timing, and found some last-minute clip replacements. It was time to export our sixteenth draft of Prowl. Little did we know, however...


The majority of the vid was fine, but the last ten seconds of the vid's audio had become corrupted. Every time Jared Leto's mangled face from Fight Club popped up on the screen, the music would skip and warp. Someone was speaking through the music, directly to us! Because we are reasonable adults, we immediately came to the conclusion that not only was our vid haunted, but Jared Leto's face would come after us and eat us if we left the vidding computer to go to the bathroom -- and after consuming mass quantities of Diet Mountain Dew, we REALLY HAD TO GO.

Most of that night is a haze, but we tried everything we could to get rid of the distortion, then exported again -- and then again -- but it was still there. Finally, at our wits' and bladders' end, we ripped the audio from an earlier export and used that instead. It was the most terrifying vidding experience I've ever had, and words can't really do it justice.

But we survived, and we got the vid uploaded on time, and we somehow managed not to blab the secret before the challenge show was over! We're both really proud of this vid, and we hope you've enjoyed it -- or thought about it -- or found it interesting -- or found your own line -- or whatnot.

A few final notes:

The woman in the last clip of the vid is Marion Ravenwood, from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. We both wanted to be her when we grew up.

The first clip in the vid (on "young boys") is Jacob from the Twilight franchise. At the time of filming, the actor was only sixteen or seventeen. We put him there originally as a laugh and then realized no, he kind of had to stay where he was. So it was kind of an auspicious beginning.

[personal profile] sisabet clipped the fingernail-pulling scene from Supernatural, but [personal profile] sweetestdrain was the one who had to actually time it to the music because [personal profile] sisabet couldn't look at it. We found one of our lines!!

We deeply appreciate the unaging face of Keanu Reeves and used multiple clips of him from two different sources -- Point Break and Matrix Revolutions.

And lastly, we'd like to thank [personal profile] greensilver, [profile] cappylicious, [personal profile] absolutedestiny, and [profile] sockkpuppet for their support at various points throughout the making of this totally sekrit vid.

And now:

Sources used, in order of first appearance:

New Moon
I, Robot
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
The Saltan Sea
Starsky & Hutch
Quantum Leap
American Psycho
Doctor Who
The Outsiders
Point Break
Man on Fire
The Matrix: Revolutions
Say Anything
The Boondock Saints
Burn Notice
Casino Royale
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Lethal Weapon
The X-Files
Fight Club
Sherlock Holmes
Life on Mars
12 Monkeys
Terminator: Salvation
The Covenant
The Crow
Star Trek: Reboot
Due South
Spartacus: Blood and Sand
The Vampire Diaries
Legend of the Seeker
True Blood
Angel: The Series
The Empire Strikes Back
The Davinci Code
Wise Guy
Die Hard
The Princess Bride
Criminal Minds
Stargate: Atlantis
Near Dark
China Beach
Star Trek: Next Generation
Invisible Man
Wolverine: Origins
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

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Tags: vids, vids_vidding

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    I've been sadly neglectful of my Dreamwidth account -- if you want to keep up with my vidding output, AO3 or Youtube are probably the most…

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