icepixie: ([B5] Ivanova new beginnings)
I started a vid tonight. It's been--oh god--almost two years since I vidded. I've forgotten how I did this.

(On the other hand, vidding! Creative output! Surely fic cannot be far behind...especially since I still haven't started my Yuletide fic. *hands*)

ETA: So El Capitan (newish Mac OS) broke Handbrake, because of course it did. But Google to the rescue, after I gave myself some permissions I apparently didn't have, I was able to copy the little library file over into the usr/local/lib folder, crossing my fingers all the while that I wouldn't break anything. Seems okay so far. Now let's just see if reimporting this episode fixes the problem in iMovie, which is probably also due to things updating while I haven't used it in two years...

ETA 2: Reimporting didn't fix the problem. :( (When I import new video I've ripped, or even ripped long ago and saved, it turns solid green. Everything I imported in 2015 and before is fine.) The Oracle of Google has no answers either, and playing around with preferences, file format of the video I'm trying to import, even running the damn thing through MPEG Streamclip first doesn't work.

ETA 3: The clip imports into iMovie 10. Which I loathe. Ugh. Do I try and work with this stupid program or do I give up...
icepixie: ([China Beach] McMurphy stock)
1. You could not plan a more perfect match between image and lyric in this one spot.* It is the most perfect thing ever. It is also just a bit too cheesy and obvious for a vid that's pretty much a black comedy with a heart of srs bznz (much like the source).

2. "Oh my god, how long IS this song?" The song is only three minutes. (Note to self: Never do another vid where much of it is fast cuts and clips of less than a second.)

3. "@#$%&! ANOTHER GODDAMN CHORUS? What is this, some kind of...chorus?" (Second note to self: Especially don't do vids where most of the fast cuts and extremely short clips are in the chorus.)

4. "Well, that was unexpected but brilliant. Let's redo this whole verse to accommodate that clip."


* For those who will understand: The song is Dar Williams's "Are You Out There," and the lyric in question is "I will write this down / and then I will not be alone again." The clips are McMurphy spray painting the names of dead soldiers on the outside of the hospital at China Beach, and then the entire cast at the Vietnam Wall in DC twenty years later.
icepixie: ([B5] Ivanova facepalm)
GREAT GOOGLY MOOGLY, what did Apple do to iMovie when I wasn't looking? How do you make a video in this thing? How do you even SEE THINGS unless you have a quadzillion-inch monitor?

Luckily, 9.0.8 is still living in my applications folder. I'm going to use that and forget I ever had this horrible experience. And possibly buy myself a slightly more professional video-editing program for my birthday next month.
icepixie: ([Farscape] Crichton in space)
I didn't do a fannish year in review last year because I hadn't produced very much. That's still the case this year, especially for fic, but I'm on vacation and have time, so I thought I would ramble a bit about my vids over the past two years.

Ramble ramble )


As far as real life goes, I don't think I need a year in review because the biggest things in my life this year have been the subject of most of my LJ entries over the past several months. In brief, though:

1. Took up skating in May, made it through ISI Gamma by December. I would have tested through Delta were it not for my wretched inside three turns. *sigh* I've at least attempted, if not mastered, everything in Freestyle 1, which includes jumps and spins. I performed in a show! I got to know fellow skaters!

2. Wrote 80,000 words of not!drawerfic. If I'm lucky, I'm 30K from the end!

3. Lost a bit more weight early this year, then took up skating and stopped changing the numbers on the scale, but kept going down in measurements as fat transmuted into muscle. Feel way fitter than this time last year.
icepixie: ([Farscape] Crichton in space)
One more link from my ongoing Suzanne Vega renaissance: "Marlene on the Wall" (re-recorded version). I was never a huge fan of the original--it was catchy, and it would get caught in my head, but not because I really liked it. But this one makes it like a whole new, much better song, for some reason. (*cough* Possibly that reason is that I finally got it explained to me that the "Marlene on the wall" is a poster of Marlene Dietrich that was hanging on her wall when she wrote the song.)

I have yet to figure out exactly what's going on it, though. My current theory is that it's from the perspective of someone who would very much like to be in casual relationships and/or be a femme fatale a la Dietrich, but can't help having FEELINGS explode in her face. It's vague enough that it could be entirely the opposite, though.

However, the one that is still getting the most play in my iTunes is "Undertow," which I just love to bits, haunting as it is. There appear to be competing theories as to its meaning:

1.) Vega herself says that she meant it to be from the perspective of a real undertow, as in the ocean current. The internet at large laughs at this.

2.) The internet at large thinks it's about anorexia, and they have a very compelling case I tend to believe, especially given all the sharp/thin imagery in the verses.

3.) I'm still kind of attached to the idea that it's from the perspective of a serial killer and/or cannibal.

4.) A case could be made for it being about writing metaphorically consuming an author as they reveal their innermost selves, which is perhaps the most cheerful interpretation.

I desperately want to vid this song, but I can't think of a dark enough canon to do it with. Maybe BSG, but I can't face the idea of rewatching that whole show. It could possibly be an Americans vid about spies losing themselves in their cover identities, but I dunno, I'm not really feeling it. Perhaps something could be made about becoming a role onstage in Slings & Arrows, but...eh, not sure.

On the other hand, the first disc of Orphan Black came today from Netflix, so depending on how dark that is, it might work! (I know nothing about it besides "clones" and "people whose taste I trust are hooked on it.")
icepixie: ([B5] Ivanova facepalm)
Googling confirmed what I suspected: my skating-induced knee pain is in fact a reoccurrence of the condition I had nine years ago (which was apparently induced by walking around Europe or, according to the doctor I saw, the fact that women's hips aren't directly over our knees). On the upside, at least I know exactly what exercises I need to do, and I know that they start helping almost instantly. Plus the linked PDF gives me some different ones I can do. On the downside: c'mon, body! I try to do right by you with exercise, and this is how you repay me?

Bah.

While I'm here, have some a link to this free 65-song mixtape (you may have to "like" NoiseTrade on Facebook to access the link, sorry).

I'm particularly fond of the offerings by Steve Moakler ("Today"), Kate Tucker ("Hangover"), Rachel Yamagata ("Saturday Morning"), and Matt Wertz ("Get To You"). I don't know if Yamagata is actually reminiscent of Joni Mitchell or if it's just that all of my Pandora stations used to play a song by her called "1963" incessantly, but that's the association I have.

I think the Matt Wertz song might make an interesting The Americans vid, if only because it's a song produced in 2013 that's doing its absolute best to sound like it came straight from 1986, and on a meta level that amuses me. Lyrically, it doesn't fit anyone in the show, although isolated phrases may lend themselves to certain shots. I guess it could be twisted pretty easily to be about spy missions, though. I'll have to give it some thought once I finish watching this season...
icepixie: "All the Queen's Horses." Lyrics misquoted from The Innocence Mission. ([DS] Fraser/Thatcher train joy)
This week! This week has been awesome!

Awesome Item the First: For work I volunteered to do a video project on women's health for a big report my department releases every two years. I spent Monday-Wednesday interviewing basically anyone I could get who happened to be female about their favorite exercise, what they think a healthy diet is, what it means to be healthy, etc., and then yesterday I worked from home (...working from home is awesome and I need to figure out how to do that more often) to edit said video. SKILLS BUILT THROUGH FANNISH VIDDING LED TO ACTUAL MONEY. THIS IS GREAT.

Awesome Item the Second: One of the grad students I hang out with a bit at work and I are going hiking/photographing next weekend at a park I've been wanting to revisit for a year or so now.

Awesome Item the Third: Tomorrow, since I have to go downtown to get myself yet another lens cap*, I'm going to take myself to a public skating session in preparation for starting my lessons next month.

Awesome Item the Fourth: SEATTLE IN TWO WEEKS, OMG.

Awesome Item the Fifth: I got a vid idea on the way home from work today. It should be entertaining.

Awesome Item the Sixth: This video. Seriously cool. Apparently it's in real time, which is frankly amazing.


* I lost my current one while rescuing a baby duck. Well, okay, I lost it while I was leaning over a pond to investigate what was wrong with a baby duck (it had a bread tie/twisty tie wrapped around its neck several times and was miserably trying to pluck it off with its beak), and since I couldn't get to said duck without going for a swim, I ended up calling the park service to rescue it, but it's all in how you elide things, yes?
icepixie: ([Movies] Fred and Ginger heart)
At ten o'clock this morning, I had a blank timeline and a dream. Nine hours later, I have a vid! Well, the first draft of one, anyway. All three and a half minutes of the song are accounted for, and I think there only needs to be a minor amount of tweaking. I love it when these things come easy!

Halp?

Feb. 3rd, 2013 02:20 pm
icepixie: ([Fringe] Vulcan)
Anyone up for betaing a short Walter&Peter-centric Fringe vid? I can't seem to see the forest for the trees in it.
icepixie: ([Fringe] Vulcan)
I'm thiiiiiis close to finishing my Fringe vid (gen, everybody, wackiness). However, it has some issues. (Like, "Hahaha, what the hell is supposed to be happening during the bridge?") Beta, anyone? Pretty please? *doe eyes*

*

I'm really thinking about doing Yuletide this year. Mostly because I am desperate for any Northern Exposure fic (that I haven't written), Shall We Dance fic (ditto), Corner Gas (yep) and/or Robson Arms fic (at all!). Anyone have an idea what the timeline might be this year? And does the horsetrading about nominations happen in the recent brainstorming post, or is there another post specifically for that?

*

Google's doodle today is hilarious and way interactive. Poor li'l redshirt e. ;)
icepixie: ([Fringe] Vulcan)
Number of doctors visited when I couldn't take the pain anymore and also started running a fever: 1

Number of sinus infections diagnosed: 1

Number of times it feels like my face has been punched by a very angry boxer: ELEVENTY

Amount better I feel after 30 hours of antibiotics: Not very, hope this changes soon

Number of vids completed: About .5 (I went with the "wacky Fringe" one due to overwhelming popular support. Heh.)

Amount better at ripping source and optimizing clips in iMovie my new laptop is compared to my old: INDESCRIBABLY*

Weird things the OS 10.8 version of iMovie '11 does compared to the older version of iMovie '11: Several, but most strange is that now you can choose a framerate for your projects (maybe you always could I just never knew), but when I chose 24 fps, like most--but not all, which is another bafflement--of my clips from Fringe episodes are, it looked like hell, but 30 fps looks beautiful. WTF?


* Example: In Handbrake, my old computer could rip footage at around 20-25 frames per second if I was using it, and maybe 30 fps if I quit out of every other program and just left it alone. Now the average is anywhere from 145 to 170 fps, depending on what else I have open. I'm almost afraid to try it with every other program shut down. Basically, it used to take me more than hour to rip a standard US TV episode; it now takes less than ten minutes.
icepixie: ([B5] Ivanova facepalm)
Hmmm. Well, I had planned to spend the long weekend vidding, but I've slowly realized over the past few days that my current idea, a gen Farscape vid to Karine Polwart's cover of "Rags to Riches," is going to look an awful lot like my other Farscape vid, just with more focus on the other characters and less on John. I think I might need a few more months away from that first vid before I tackle this one.

Which leaves me with an abundance of choices, and thus, a poll!

DW People, see the LJ version of this entry for the poll.
icepixie: ([Farscape] Crichton in space)
Anyone up for betaing a Farscape vid? It's John-centric, kinda gen but also kinda John/Aeryn. I should have it ready to ship out by Saturday Wednesday morning at the latest. A turnaround time of two or three days would be ideal, as for once I would like to premiere a vid during a summer week that is not during or immediately after VividCon. *facepalm*

Comment or PM me with your e-mail address if you're interested. Thank you! :)
icepixie: ([Farscape] Zhaan touch stars)
I seem to have actually made some progress on my space pilots revisions in the past week. Amazing! I might actually get a second draft of this thing ready by the end of the month. We'll see.

I have also been watching, um. A lot of Farscape. Finished with S1! I haven't watched but one or two episodes since it ended in 2003, so it's been a weird mixture of not remembering anything about some episodes, and yet being able to recite some scenes word for word along with the characters. (You all know which those are, I bet.) So many memories of high school are being dredged up by association. Plus the shipperlist! You guys, remember how we worshiped at the altar of Justin Monjo? And how much we all hated Chiana when she first showed up, called her a refugee from Cats, all that? I never thought I'd grow to like her, but I did, and now I get to like her even in the early episodes.

It's held up surprisingly well. I was worried it would feel dated and cheesy, but with a few exceptions, it doesn't. It is a little Nineties Sci-Fi at times in the early episodes, and the motleyness of the characters isn't as unique as it was at the time, but it definitely still feels fresh, even without the vast infusions of crack that happened in later seasons. And the effects are still amazing. I would be impressed with them if they showed up in a series airing today, and they're phenomenal for 1999. And of course the puppets are still awesome. And I can't remember if they won makeup awards every year they were on, but if they didn't, they should've.

Aeryn was my favorite when this was still airing, but now I think Zhaan intrigues me more. (Though Aeryn is a really close second.) D'Argo is still a bit Worf Lite at this point, but he's gotten noticeably more interesting over the past twenty-two episodes. John is...you know, I love John. John's awesome. He's confused, and even though he was smart on Earth he's bad at everything in his new environment, and I always love a fish out of water, especially one who treats it as an opportunity for wonder as well as anger/sadness. (Looking at you, Joel Fleischman. Oh, if only you could sit down with John for an hour.) And I still love that he's a Southerner but not a walking stereotype. LOVE IT. But I've seen people complain about John kind of taking over even though he's the least qualified to do so, and I do get it. He's awfully in charge from the very beginning. Sure, it's because he's our POV character, but it probably would've been more graceful to not grant him Decision-Maker status in so many situations.

John and Aeryn are obviously the designated canon couple from the moment they meet onscreen (and she beats him up), but they were pushing D'Argo/Zhaan pretty hard there for a while too. That would've been...interesting. I'm pretty sure I would've liked it better than the whole Chiana/D'Argo,/Jothee...thing that happened in the later seasons. (Between that, the Endless Two Johns Arc and the John Goes Crazy For Reals Arc in S3 and S4, respectively, I have to admit I'm...well, let's just say I'm going to savor S2 before I get there. Though S3 does redeem itself with "Revenging Angel," which is my favorite episode.)

There seems to be commentary for almost every episode. I don't usually watch commentaries, but if there's an especially good one, sometimes I do. Are any of them good? The title for the one for "Jeremiah Crichton" does suggest much mockery goes on, and that's certainly the only way I'm ever watching that episode again (well, that an an alcohol substitute I still haven't found yet).... Wish I'd made that decision for "Thank God It's Friday, Again," because really, was there any reason for that episode to exist? I think not.

Two questions for the class:

1. After "A Human Reaction" (which might be my other favorite episode. Oh, man, you remember when...Cristin, was it you who recorded the morning after scene that was deleted for US airings but aired in Canada and showed it at ScaperCon? That was awesome), I am jonesing for some fic of the John and Aeryn go to Earth and stay variety. I started one once, but the logistics of it got away from me and I never finished it. Anyone got recs along these lines?

2. I just remembered that the aspect ratio changes in S3. AAAAAAHHHHH! That's going to frell up my vid, isn't it? Vidders, halp! I've never had to deal with this before! What do you do?

(I'm going to have to do a lot of cropping, aren't I? Arrrrgh.)
icepixie: ([Movies] Nick Nora cheek kiss)
Finished my Nick and Nora vid after a long hiatus. It feels rather blah and aimless at the moment, though, so I could use another set of eyes on it to help give it...I dunno, purpose, maybe? Better pacing? Comment if you're interested!
icepixie: ([B5] Ivanova and Garibaldi being cute)
1. Begin reading Joshua Zeitz's Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern. I got it from the library because my novel/screenplay/musical/whatever it is today is set in early 1932, so I figured background from the 20s would be helpful. It's good; I would prefer something slightly more academic, but it's definitely readable and informative. I like the attention to mundane(ish) detail like the types of fabric used in clothing and different styles of makeup, and the inclusion of anecdotes and quotations from both people like the Fitzgeralds and reasonably regular folks is very nice. Again, I wish there were a similar volume for the 30s; maybe there is and I just haven't found it.

2. Decide that period music would be a fun addition to the book. Visit Grooveshark. While I'm on this step, some interesting pieces I ran across:

Waiting for Katie - Benny Goodman

Dixie Stomp and Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You - Brian Carpenter's Ghost Train Orchestra

Crazy Rhythm - Apparently this was covered by a zillion people during the decade, but this is a version by the Roger Wolfe Khan Orchestra

It's Time to Say Goodnight - Henry Hall and His Orchestra. This is actually from the 30s. I also found this lovely waltz demonstration to it, though I have no idea where the video comes from.

3. Wander a little too far into the 30s, come across "Two Sleepy People," and get blindsided by a desire to make a Nick and Nora Charles (or perhaps an everything-Myrna-Loy-and-William-Powell-were-in-together) vid to it. Well, more accurately, it might be to this version, if I can get past Seth MacFarlane's voice constantly reminding me of Brian from The Family Guy.

Rats.

I'm not sure it's going to work out for me; the tempo and dynamics are really regular, which I've found leads to uninteresting vids when I'm the one doing the vidding. But the lyrics and the general mood of the song evokes the gentle, alcohol-soaked adoration Nick and Nora had for each other so well that I can't resist.
icepixie: ([Fringe] Vulcan)
It's Fringe Friday! In honor of that, have some vid recs:

Follow the Cops Back Home, by [livejournal.com profile] obsessive24 - The title is taken from the chorus, and the end of that line is "and rob their houses." It's an Ourlivia/Peter/Fauxlivia vid. Which basically makes it the perfect subject matter for that song. It's heartbreaking, and very well put-together, with some inventive editing.

Boom Boom Pow, by [livejournal.com profile] hollywoodgrrl - This is probably the first Fringe vid I ever watched, and it's still my favorite. If you don't feel badass by osmosis after watching it, there's something wrong with you. ;)

Small Blue Thing, by [livejournal.com profile] beccatoria -- This had me at the Suzanne Vega song, but it's also a nicely-crafted Olivia vid. I really like the way [livejournal.com profile] beccatoria shifts the colors of various objects from red to blue and vice versa throughout the vid.

In spoilery territory, here's an interview with Anna Torv on the Peter/Olivia relationship. Apparently they got her for a few minutes in the middle of filming a scene, so the most entertaining part of this is listening to her schizophrenic Aussie/American accent. (Spoilerwise, it isn't, very. A lot of it is Anna speculating rather than actually giving details that she's seen from upcoming scripts, and most of the details she gives, you could probably guess from the two that have aired so far.)

*

My own vidding (which I am not allowed to get back to until I write two more cover letters, argh) is going slowly. Dear iMovie, WHY must you not read AVIs? Even when I open them with Perian and save them as MOV files? MOV IS YOUR OWN FREAKING FILE FORMAT! But noooo, you make me run them through iSquint so they'll be MP4s before I can import them. This takes twice as long as each clip (so a two-minute clip cut from an AVI via Perian/Quicktime will take iSquint four minutes to convert), which, sure, is not such a huge deal, and at least there exists a program which will let me put it into a format iMovie likes, but arrrrggh. Roadblocks. Thankfully this vid is only going to be a minute and forty seconds long, and I already know pretty much which clips I want to use...
icepixie: ([NX] Chris on Christmas Eve)
I am vidding, and have two observations:

1.) Man, Northern Exposure sure had a lot of night shots. (Understandable, I suppose, since, hey, set in Alaska, with eighteen hours of darkness for half the year. Still.)

2.) Their directors and/or cinematographers (I am unclear on exactly who decides to film a scene from an unusual angle or that a shot will be tracking instead of static and things like that) were amazing. This is one of the most beautifully shot TV shows I've ever seen. I love the way they make use of the transitions from indoors to outdoors around the radio station, Ruth-Anne's shop, and Fleischman's office. I'm also fond of all the overhead shots.

I have a good feeling about this vid. I'm mostly done; it's just about eight seconds towards the end that are giving me fits. Everything I try just seems kind of blah. It'll work out, though, even if I have to do some rearranging.

Current mouse status: Silent. But last night it didn't start up until almost midnight, so this means nothing. At least only seems to move around for two or three hours at a time before going silent the rest of the night and day.
icepixie: ([B5] New Beginnings Susan)
I had the idea for this great Oliver-centric Slings & Arrows vid, done to Whitacre's "Sleep." I thought it would be perfect for Oliver, because the composition originally used the text of Frost's "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening" (which is about death), only copyright interfered and Whitacre got a friend to write a new text for it, all about going to sleep. (Spoiler: Also a metaphor for death.) There is even inclusion of "what dreams may come," so of course it would be perfect for Oliver!

Except for the part where Oliver's tragi-comic story is a little heavy on the "comic" for that music. "Death by pig truck" just doesn't work with "slow, dramatic choral piece." I put some pieces on the timeline and most just didn't work...although some of them did. I have a nice little section at the end I'm rather fond of.

Anyway, let this be a lesson: Not only does the canon have to make sense with the story you're using the music to tell, but the tone has to match. (Unless you're intentionally going for funny, but that's a whole other .mov file of fish.)

*

Assorted other things from the past couple days:

- Yesterday I watched The American President, which is a romantic comedy written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Rob Reiner. It is...exactly what you would expect from that combination. Quite good, although IMO the romance part got shortchanged for the benefit of the political story. Anyway, I mention this because wow, Michael Douglas looks and sounds (especially sounds) a hell of a lot like Bruce Boxleitner, and his President Shepherd is basically whom John Sheridan would be if he were president of the US instead of the ISA. BB fans (*glances at [livejournal.com profile] nhpw and [livejournal.com profile] kungfuwaynewho*), you might enjoy this film.

- There is going to be a new Muppet movie! Trailer. Sadly, it also stars Amy Adams, whom I have never warmed to, but MUPPETS!

- I watched the season premiere of Rizzoli & Isles mostly on a whim, and...hey, the show kind of got good! Or maybe I was just so overwhelmed by all the subtext that I didn't notice the giant plot holes I remembered from last time I watched the show. I think every scene Jane and Maura shared contained at least one innuendo, with bonus cute bits (like Maura spit-cleaning Jane's uniform tie!) when the innuendo wasn't enough.
icepixie: "All the Queen's Horses." Lyrics misquoted from The Innocence Mission. ([DS] Fraser/Thatcher train joy)
Grar. There is a longstanding bug in iMovie that will unmute audio tracks on individual clips if you use too much slow/speeded up-motion in any given project, and it has been the bane of my existence for the past couple of days. The way I usually fix it is to export the vid with the bad audio, re-import into iMovie, delete the audio track and replace with the song I'm using, then re-export, but iMovie ALSO likes to screw with the timing of your project if you have too many transitions, and oh, look, apparently this one has too many. So I have been cleaning up all the little spots where the video is suddenly going faster than it was in the original file, and you know, I do find it very soothing to match video to music by fiddling with the individual frames, but this is ridiculous. I guess it's Apple's way of getting you to pay for Final Cut Pro. Too bad I don't have a spare thousand dollars lying around.

In other news, [livejournal.com profile] lyssie is running a hand-kissing commentfic promptfest, and I left one for Fraser/Thatcher. (Of all the pairings I ship, they seemed the most likely to do anything involving hand-kissing. Well, maybe Mulder and Scully would've.) So if anyone's interested... :)

Meanwhile, I'm writing this strange thing that kind of fuses what really happened in the finale with certain events from the original finale script that made the LJ rounds a couple years ago. At the moment, it basically exists as an excuse to get Thatcher doing fieldwork, which is never a bad thing, IMO.

Finally, I discovered that if you join her mailing list, you can download four unreleased songs by Karine Polwart for free. It's totally worth it for "Maid of the Loch (You and I and the Sky)," which is currently my favorite song. The others aren't bad either.

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