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REMASTERED: In The End (2003/2013) Performed by Linkin Park Theme: Terminator 3's John Connor Runner Up, Best Video, Special Theme Round 46, Driver Picks
My Rating: Four stars. My first successful effort with faster action clips, way back in 2003. Background: This vid is set in the final moments of the film, as John stands on the precipice of the war and reflects on his onscreen realisation that his struggle had been to prevent the war, when it was supposed to be to survive it. Geeky Things To Note: Nothing too geeky of note here - little layering, very little in the way of time manipulation, and no colour manipulation at all. Blu-Ray footage is extremely satisfying to work with, and the multi-track audio makes stripping out clean voiceovers a breeze. No need for micro-edits to manage mood music! Programs Used: Adobe Premiere Pro CS5. Sources: Terminator 2, Terminator 3. Download Links:FLV, HQ, 92MB or FLV, LQ, 26MB. FLVs play on VLC Player and others. Also available as an MP4 (44MB) (iPod/iPad friendly).
Bed of Lies (2011) Performed by Rob Thomas Theme: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Sarah/Derek) Runner Up, Best Alternative Vid, Round 47, Driver Picks
My Rating: Four stars. Background: An interesting montage of the lies that stand in our favourite dysfunctional couple's way, arising from a manipulated discussion between the two of them at some unknown point in the future (assume Adam Raised A Cain didn't happen). Be sure to watch right to the end. Geeky Things To Note: There's a lot of manipulation here - careful cropping, colour manipulation, masks and mattes are all over the place. The phone with Sarah's name on it is faked, the shot from Impact Point showed Brian Austin Green kissing a blonde before I masked and coloured the actress' hair black, the shot with Sarah in bed is from Imagine Me And You so I had to mask out Lena's tattoo, and more! The faked bookending scene has a number of sub-elements including stock audio of street traffic, while the faked phone call at the end has manipulated mouth positions to match the audio. The faked scenes aren't absolutely perfect, but they're pretty good. Programs Used: Adobe Premiere Pro CS5. Sources: TSCC, Smallville, Impact Point, 300, Imagine Me And You. Download Links:HQ FLV (80MB) or LQ FLV (25MB). FLVs play on VLC Player and others. Also available as an MP4 (38MB) (iPod/iPad friendly).
Carry You Home (2011) Performed by James Blunt Theme: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (John/Riley) Runner Up, Best Angst Vid, Round 48, Driver Picks
My Rating: Three stars. Background: A nice Riley memorial vid - not a lot that's special in the way of techniques and tricks, but does what it was trying to do well enough. Geeky Things To Note: The storyline to this one is that John is contemplating Riley's death, and what he's figured out about Jesse. That means there's three points in time - the past while Riley was alive (represented by luma curves), the present while viewing Riley's body (represented by heightened blue tones and some grainy noise), and how he intends to handle Jesse (heightened red-browns plus luma curves plus grainy noise). I was annoyed to find that a few random frames kept showing up after processing no matter what I did. I learned much later that I needed to switch off Frame Blending. Programs Used: Adobe Premiere Pro CS5. Sources: TSCC. Download Links:HQ FLV (52MB) or LQ FLV (22MB). FLVs play on VLC Player and others. Also available as an MP4 (33MB) (iPod/iPad friendly).
Where Did You Sleep (2010) Performed by Texas Theme: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Sarah/Derek/Jesse triangle) Winner, Best Storyteller Vid, Round 45, Driver Picks Runner Up, Best Drama Vid, Round 45, Driver Picks
My Rating: Four stars. Background: This one kind of tickles my fancy. It was basically an experiment in constructing a reality that wasn't really there. I have in the past manipulated footage to make, say, UST couples appear to have consummated their relationship (eg, my manipulations of Sarah/Derek footage) or to make couples appear to be together earlier than they were (eg, my work with young Krycek and Marita using non-X Files footage). However, this one goes a bit further - it tells an entire story that didn't happen. That story is that Sarah was not only in love with Derek, and aware that there was someone else (which is plausible although not established canon), but was actively following him and knew specifically about Jesse. This is, of course, virtually impossible, because she would have known that Jesse wasn't the "school counsellor" in This Is The Day Part I, not to mention the small fact that she would have confronted Derek and probably ripped off part of his anatomy rather than suffer in silence. However, I had a grand old time shamelessly manipulating footage to work this theme. Among others, we have matching footage of Sarah watching the Kaliba warehouse through her binoculars and Derek and Jesse seen through a mocked up binocular view in a similar vehicle, colour matched footage of Sarah upset in the night fog and Derek and Jesse in the night fog, and matching footage of Sarah and Derek and Jesse with shipping containers and fence wire in the background. I didn't view this as a terribly serious vid when I was making it, but I did do some fairly clever things technically to achieve it. Strangely enough, despite its frankly artificial nature, it manages to carry emotional impact. Geeky Things To Note: The dream sequence of Sarah in a pink nightdress in bed was really useful, but it didn't work aesthetically. There was a shiny, sallow look to her skin (I suspect this was a reference to the fact that the real character was sick at the time of the dream, or possibly just bad lighting). After experimenting with conventional colour correction, I treated this by using the channel blur tool, blurring the green hues to take the edge off them. I won't say I'm 100% happy with the outcome, but it's better. It looks like the glow might come from the window. Another trick was the binocular view - this was done as a separate sequence, using the binocular view in Earthlings Welcome Here. I used the Threshold tool to make it black and white, then used Luma Matte (reversed) to mask the white, and blurred and antialiased the edges. Another interesting challenge was the sequence where Sarah runs to the warehouse, and then we see Jesse and Derek inside with Sarah overlaid, then Sarah leaving, hurt. Originally Sarah in the warehouse was a separate cut. However, that clip is from a separate episode from the other Sarah shots - it's from the warehouse after Derek's death in Adam Raised A Cain. In that shot, she's dressed differently, with a jacket up to her neck. So I overlaid her to distract attention from the inconsistency. However, then her face was over the harsh lines of a shipping container. So I cropped Derek and Jesse's scene so she was over Jesse, and Jesse's form gave a base for Sarah's face. The effect worked quite well. Programs Used: Adobe Premiere Pro CS5. Sources: TSCC. Download Links:HQ FLV (48MB) or LQ FLV (17MB). FLVs play on VLC Player and others. Also available as an MP4 (25MB) (iPod/iPad friendly).
Ordinary Girl (2010) Performed by Alison Moyet Theme: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Charley and Sarah)
My Rating: Three stars. Background: Like Sorrento Moon, this is technically not as sophisticated as recent works such as Heavy In Your Arms and This Is How A Heart Breaks. However, it captures Charley's confusion about Sarah's crazy world, and that was the aim. Geeky Things To Note: Nothing much new here in the way of techniques. Programs Used: Adobe Premiere Pro CS5. Sources: TSCC. Download Links:HQ FLV (30MB) or LQ FLV (10MB). FLVs play on VLC Player and others. Also available as an MP4 (15MB) (iPod/iPad friendly).
This Is How A Heart Breaks (2010) Performed by Rob Thomas Theme: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Derek Reese Character Study)
My Rating: Five stars! There are a few really fast cuts in the original timeline that just won't export precisely enough in the conversion, but it's still a developmental step forward. I'm ecstatic! Background: This is what I was really trying to achieve with Nation (below), which I was happy with as a piece but not necessarily as having done what I originally had in mind. As mentioned above, I did find that some of the microsecond cuts didn't export faithfully no matter what I did - I don't know if it was a problem with the quality of my source vids or something else I haven't thought of. Geeky Things To Note: This is my second vid in Premiere CS5 and finding good export settings has been a real exercise in trial and error - the presets are a lot more pixelled than in CS4, so I've had to go old school and customise, which I'm not used to anymore - I don't necessarily know my codecs inside and out anymore. This is less pixelled than Nation, and I really like the FLV version used in the player. Programs Used: Adobe Premiere Pro CS5. Sources: TSCC. Download Links:HQ FLV (45MB) or LQ FLV (16MB). FLVs play on VLC Player and others. Also available as an MP4 (24MB) (iPod/iPad friendly).
Nation (2010) Performed by Big Pig Theme: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Action/Ensemble)
My Rating: Two-and-a-half stars. It's got some good thematic linkages, but it's uneven. Background: This was an experiment with action vids. Some parts work and some don't. It's a great song, and it's grown on me, but I probably didn't quite do it justice. Geeky Things To Note: Nothing really. Just faster cuts and faster music than I'm used to. Programs Used: Adobe Premiere Pro CS5. Sources: TSCC. Download Links:HQ FLV (35MB) or LQ FLV (12MB). FLVs play on VLC Player and others. Also available as an MP4 (18MB) (iPod/iPad friendly).
Heavy In Your Arms (2010) Performed by Florence And The Machine Theme: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Sarah/Derek)
My Rating: Five stars! Background: I love this one - it really hits all the right notes emotionally. It's got technical aspects that were challenging but they aren't the point. Geeky Things To Note: As with Year Of The Cat, I've played with manipulated kisses, which requires use of mattes. For those who don't know, mattes don't work properly with still images in CS4. However, I persevered and found a fairly clunky workaround. This was only my second vid since returning to the vidding world, and CS4 was clunky, and I didn't know my codecs or have very good quality source. So the only thing that lets it down is my inability to make it process at a larger resolution and keep the quality. Programs Used: Adobe Premiere Pro CS4. Sources: TSCC, Imagine Me and You, 300. Download Links:FLV (27MB). FLVs play on VLC Player and others. Also available as an MP4 (15MB) (iPod/iPad friendly).
Year of the Cat (Acoustic) (2010) Performed by Al Stewart Theme: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Sarah/Derek)
My Rating: Three stars. A good solid vid with a bit of whimsy. Background: This was my first vid back after years away, and I don't know how well I went with converting the thematic links in my head to the screen, but this version of Year Of The Cat had been nagging at me for a while in connection to Sarah and Derek (who I actually didn't really ship at the time). Geeky Things To Note: There is a manipulated Sarah/Derek kiss that I like a lot - that involved a lot of transitions, motion, lighting, and masking to match Derek (with Jesse) and Lena Headey in Imagine Me And You. Programs Used: Adobe Premiere Pro CS4. Sources: TSCC, Imagine Me And You. Download Links:HQ FLV (31MB) or LQ FLV (7MB). FLVs play on VLC Player and others. Also available as an MP4 (10MB) (iPod/iPad friendly).