jmtorres: Fight Club: animated with porn insert. Inches on the reel-to-reel. (vid)
jmtorres ([personal profile] jmtorres) wrote2009-08-14 11:11 pm

Vid Announcement: Chuck, Get Off

Get Off, a Chuck vid to Republica, by [personal profile] jmtorres. A Club Vivid Premiere.

Stop the world, Chuck wants to get off.
Warning: Het. Slash. Guns. Car crashes. The Flail School of Kung Fu.

Download link (please right-click or ctrl-click and save): (22MB)

8/15/09: Ahahaha. OMG. I managed to miss the premiere of this because a) I didn't realize it was so early in the Club Vivid line-up and b) I was doing [personal profile] niqaeli's make-up and [personal profile] traykor was doing my hair. So I missed all the live reactions! If you happened to have seen it tonight at Vividcon, I would love to hear from you.

6/3/09: I write the introduction to this entry in July, after having completed my vid for Premieres show. With any luck, you all will be reading this entry and watching this vid before Premieres show. I am sort of terrified of how things will go after Premieres show. If you happen to be reading this after [personal profile] niqaeli and my premieres vid was released, know that for an entire two months I thought that THIS vid, the Chuck vid, was going to overshadow the rest of my vidding career with its sheer awesome.

5/1/09: As I write these notes, it's within hours of completing my eleventh hour upload to turn the vid into Vividcon. I wanted to set things down while I still remember what the hell I was doing, and it's three and a half months between completion and airdate. You guys. Three and a half months. Know that I have wanted to show this to you all for three and a half months.

I am really, really proud of it. I keep watching it and I don't hate it yet. The vidders among you will know what I mean--usually, there comes a time in the cutting of a vid where you just want to throw your entire editing set-up out a window and scream at the sky. The thing is done and I still like it and furthermore I think it's awesome. I just watched it some number of times that I had to figure out from looking at timestamp on the last instant message I'd sent (three time, I think I watched it three times in a row) and I still love it.

(And I just went to watch it again.)

This vid owes the following thanks for aid and inspiration:

[personal profile] astolat, five years ago, made a vid called Drop Dead Gorgeous. This vid introduced me to the band Republica (I am always on the lookout for female-fronted bands, and annoyed that I have to be on the lookout, that the way the industry works I am not handed a balanced mix on the radio--as I write this, I count 13 women on the Top 40). So her vid introduced me to the music I chose for my vid. It also heavily influenced my cutting style in this vid--I played with some fast flash intercutting of scenes because I had seen it work in Drop Dead Gorgeous. Yes, yes Juls is once again playing around with minimum discernible clip length.*

[personal profile] grey_bard was my most thorough and unflinchingly honest beta, and stayed up late with me to see the damn thing through. I can be a pain to beta for, I'll argue the value of every damn thing, and she'll argue back, which is good for me.

[personal profile] echan, my roommate and padawan and very useful beta, didn't go over to her boyfriend's house until the vid was done. She watched episodes with me when I clipped and provided a hilarious "inside Chuck's brain" commentary track for the vid on repeated viewings. She created the labelmaker style Klingon text for the House of Torres logo, because Juls did not need to be spending hours in Photoshop while had has thirty seconds of vid left to cut.

Section notes
*Previous answer on the topic was around 8 or 9 frames, that is to say, a third of a second, as determined by how long the Eye of Sauron flashes when Frodo picks up the ring; but when you're doing repeated short clips from the same two scenes going back and forth, discernibility bar drops down to around 4 or 5 frames depending on brightness of content, because persistence of vision kicks in. Originally tried it at 3 frames, 3 frames doesn't quite register. Of course if you don't actually care about viewers being able to tell what a clip is, single frames are visible to most people, although the makers of Fight Club will tell you how some viewers will assume it's just dirt on the film, even after the device has been explained. Return to entry.

The first time I went to Vividcon, there was a show called Effects? We don't need no stinkin' effects. I was honestly baffled by its existence because I hadn't realized at the time that digital editing meant vidders were starting to use effects in subtle and mysterious ways. Every vid I had completed at that point in my vidding career would have qualified for that show, containing nothing but simple cuts and unaltered footage--and some part of me still thinks of it as cheating if I do anything else. Therefore! The following is a list of "cheats" I made in the Chuck vid, places where I altered the footage in ways I do not expect to be visible to the viewer.

    Audio cheats: I pray to god these aren't visible audible to you because the audio should work seamlessly. But yeah, I also think of it as cheating to cut down a song! (Bear in mind that what my brain informs me is cheating when I do it and what I regard as cheating when other people do it are two separate lists and only occasionally overlap.) Republica's Get Off clocks in at 3:57. I pared it down to 2:45.
  • The rev up at the beginning is from somewhere in the first fifteen seconds of the song, because I was originally starting at the beginning and then transitioning to about fifty seconds in where the lyrics started--only I decided I didn't really like the first twelve seconds of the song, either, but I did like the rev up in the transition.
  • The next cut is the other rev up, two thirds of the way into the cut, when Chuck is getting the intersect update.
  • There is a smidge of show audio at the very end, when Chuck fall over go boom now.

  • Yes, it's true, Juls cannot handle long instrumental sections. Also, Juls cannot imagine carrying this vid for four minutes.

    Invisible cuts: I assume that any time there is a cut, the viewer understands that as the editor, I put it there, that even if it's in a string that might be continuous from the show, I decided where each shot begins, ends, and falls in sequence. However, there were two edits that were supposed to be invisible, that is, they were supposed to make two shots look like one continuous piece of footage.
  • At 0:32, Sarah ducking as Casey's SUV crashes was originally two shots in the show, separated by something like a Chuck reaction shot, although they lined up so perfectly I suspect that they were originally shot continuously.
  • At 2:07, Chuck takes a big long pause between looking up and turning to look at Bryce, and I just cut the pause out and fuzzed the edges a little.

    Change in framerate: This being a fast-paced vid, I occasionally had to speed things up to make them fit. Often when the two clips I wanted were the beginning and end of a continuous shot, and I didn't have enough time cut to something else between them (which is the usual way an editor deals with a jump cut).
  • 0:39, Chuck fleeing the bed. Okay, I mostly sped this up because [personal profile] echan said it was a little too lope at its original speed.
  • 0:49, I needed Casey flipping the mirror up and Chuck pointing to yes, eyes ahead, and I sped up all the talkyface in the middle.
  • 2:09, technically, involves a frame rate change, but I'll talk about that clip more below.
  • 2:29, I sped up the "downing shots" shots, but the transitions run at the original rate (speeding up slide transitions does not work, omg).

    Crop: Places I chopped off part of the frame.
  • 0:53, cropped because this was at the beginning of an act and had a rating bug in the upper left corner.
  • 2:18, 2:19, most of the Carina clips are cropped. I was running Carina and Cole parallel and I wanted to start with clips roughly the same scale of medium shot and push into to roughly the same intensity of close-ups, in parallel, but so many of the Carina shots are wide, wide, let's see the whole bedroom wide.
  • 2:26, Casey and the cigar, pushed in to emphasize the cigar, which did not have enough contrast.
  • 2:27, Sarah and Chuck were at the end of a loooong hallway because the shot was Ellie POV, tightened that up...
  • 2:32, Carina shot pushed in again, although mostly to crop Carina off a bit to anonymous female, as she's not important to the sequence as an identity at this point
  • 2:35, pushed in to try to show that little movement where he's considering glass or bottle: [personal profile] echan pointed it out as something to push in on after I had already done so, and we were sitting there going, "How did we ever see that in the show?" I think the answer is the show wasn't running at breakneck pace and we had time to see it. Factors in how ability to register content of a clip: how bright it is, how much motion there is, how long you get to see it.
  • 2:39, pushed in because OMG rings are small.
    It is possible to read this list as "Juls gets lazier as vid progresses." But you would be wrong. It is actually "vid gets more intense as vid progresses!" *vigorous nod*

    Fun with filters: Mostly gamma and color corrector 3-way, fiddling with visibility issues. See also: factors in how ability to register content of a clip: how bright it is, how much motion there is, how long you get to see it.
  • 0:31, brightened up for less of a "wtf is that blur?" effect. I honestly don't expect anyone to realize who it is, I'll be satisfied at this point if it's apparent it's a moving body.
  • 1:15, brightened up because it's dark in the van.
  • 1:58, tried to bring up Chuck's face, which is key to the sequence and horribly uncontrasted
  • 2:03, Chuck gets shot in the Buy More: here we have this interesting issue of when you're being forced to pay attention to things more, when you're in high reception mode trying to catch everything as with watching a vid (vs watching a tv show, where you can blink and not miss entire shots), special effects look like ass whoa, special effects, man. There's another one when Chuck gets ejected from the Nerd Herder that I couldn't figure out how to fix, but I was playing around with this one. The squib is really, really visible as a cloud of dust spraying out from Chuck's chest. I wrangled it down from cloud of dust to mild confetti, and I'm not entirely happy with it, but you do what you can.
  • 2:09, OH MY GOD YOU GUYS, when Chuck flashes about Sarah, Sarah is visible in the flash kicking ass. When Chuck flashes about Casey, Casey is visible in the flash macking on ladies. When Chuck flashes on Bryce, it is TEXT TEXT TEXT LINE DIAGRAM TEXT. Which does not so much work for vidding. I already had this problem with how Zork is fucking unviddable. DAMN YOU CHUCK AND BRYCE, WHY IS YOUR LOVE SO TEXTUAL. So I made a flash with Bryce in. Texty flash superimposed over Bryce clip on timeline; texty clip got quick fade down to 50% opacity, Bryce clip got quick ramp up from 30% to 100% opacity, freeze frame on Bryce, then I used one of the special effect filters called "Wide Time" to put some echoes around him as he rabitted out of frame. Which, honestly, was less of a pain in the ass than I was expecting it to be.

Here endeth the realm of technical notes and beginneth the fruity, squishy "what does it mean" crap. Me talking about what I was trying to say may enhance your experience of the vid or may detract from it. I believe that the vid should stand on its own two feet without me saying a word about what I was trying to do and therefore you should at least watch the vid once before reading anything I have to say here. And also you can tell me to my face that I am flat-out wrong about what I actually said. Authorial intent is dead.

Fruity, squishy "what does it mean" crap.

So, uh, to start off with, it cracks me up that some people don't realize there's Chuck/Casey in this vid until the second chorus. I thought I was being totally transparent with the crotch-in-face clips and the one bit where the dialogue happens to be "No, seriously, I love you!" "Keep it in your pants, Bartowski!" but I suppose I should know better than to expect everyone to have my level of contextual knowledge on these clips.

I admit: Chuck/Casey is totally my favorite pairing. But I really can see a veritable orgy of pairings in this show. So in this vid: Chuck/Sarah, Chuck/Casey, Chuck/Bryce, Chuck/femme fatale du jour, Chuck/agents theoretically on our side du jour, Chuck/booze, and then back to the core three. Except that Bryce totally invites himself along.

One of the hilarious things about Chuck with women is how uh, not straight Chuck appears in his dealings with women. I think it's actually that Chuck is bad at relationships in general and horribly uncomfortable with anyone showing any interest in him, male or female anyones, but onscreen it totally comes off as Chuck is not quite all that straight. You know, Sarah has to throw him to the floor and mount him, etc.

I think the verse about the Buy More is key to understanding Chuck's ambivalence, why he's both terrified and seduced by the spy life: his real life sucks donkey balls. It has in no way prepared him for being a spy, so there's terror, but it's also so awful, so routine and mundane without having even satisfaction in worthwhile work, that espionage holds an allure of being exciting and necessary. (PS all the clips where Chuck is doing kung fu moves in the van while Sarah and Casey actually kick ass are entitled "Chuck plays along at home" in my Final Cut file.)

Right, so then the Bryce thing. Bryce starts appearing in the vid way before his verse and chorus because he's this underlying root cause, the reason Chuck's life is so fucked up and long before he ever shows up again Chuck is beating his head against wondering why did Bryce do this to him. Bryce first appears at 0:11, then 0:29, then 1:18, and his verse doesn't start until 1:36.

This is where I started packing a lot of tight arguments into short clip sequences, because I have a lot to say about Bryce. These are arguments that... well, you know, it would be awesome if people parsed them without me explaining them! But they go by so fast I imagine that's impossible, and all of the nuances are going to boil down to the basic jealousy.

1:37: You want more, more, more. The I in this song has always been Chuck, the you in this verse is Bryce. Bryce wants more of Chuck, thinks Chuck should be Bryce's equal or maybe even Bryce's extension. Bryce once let himself get taken hostage and stood with a gun to his head trusting Sarah to shoot the bastard; he expects Chuck to handle the same situation with the same equilibrium. At the same time, Chuck wishes he were that capable, the he could have all the things Bryce has, including the suavity to get Sarah to nail him.

1:42: This is not a deep and meaningful note. I just wanted to say that the overenunciated "Bryce Larkin" totally became "Bryce fucking Larkin" in my head so that I feel as if I edited the expletive out with the intercuts. *laugh*

One of my betas asked me if I really meant what it looked like, with the "I wanna get off with you" here being Chuck's 'doing it' hands followed by the loving shots of Bryce. I cracked up at the question because I thought that was like, the least subtle thing I had to say about Chuck and Bryce and how was it a question? So yes. That totally is... what it is. *G*

1:56: This particular sequence was put together re: the earlier point I commented on in the "Chuck does not appear straight" section, that sexual situations make him uncomfortable. The hilarious thing to me is that he makes the exact same face whether he's watching other people get hot and heavy or getting felt up himself.

1:59: Like a rattlesnake, I hate I hate. I think this was the most complex thought I was trying to get across about Chuck and Bryce and I was worried the argument would fall down on the shot of Chuck at the funeral because it would fly by too fast for anyone to figure out that the setting was Bryce's funeral. The thought I was trying to convey was that on some level, Chuck wishes Bryce had stayed dead instead of coming back and making his life even more complicated.

The boozing sequence... is almost a release from the tension, is supposed to be a little breath-catcher place for Chuck and the audience. Except that it's not an actual release, it's Dutch courage before Chuck dives into the action and uh. Commits. Commits. Yes. That.

As [personal profile] niqaeli has said, why yes, Chuck, when Bryce sent you the Intersect, he was in fact proposing.
copracat: dreamwidth vera (casey)

[personal profile] copracat 2009-08-15 10:22 am (UTC)(link)
I LOVE YOUR VID. I love the Chuck/Casey and the Chuck/Bryce and the Chuck/Sarah and the Chuck/Everyone and I really, really love the Chuck/booze. It's wonderfully boppy and fast and made me smile and love my show and want to squish you with happiness.

(Well, I do completely disagree with you that Chuck is bad at chicks. I love him because he's so damn emotionally mature. But that's by the by. Did I mention how much I love your vid?)
tearful_eye: m/a kiss (Default)

[personal profile] tearful_eye 2009-08-16 11:45 am (UTC)(link)
hee, CHUCK!! this is such shiny fun! & i'm now actually looking forward to the new series, \o/

(i think i found my way here through [ profile] vividcon's friends list, i'm a tiny bit desperate to catch most of the vvc vids, *g*)
elz: (chuck)

[personal profile] elz 2009-08-16 01:36 pm (UTC)(link)
I enjoyed that so much at the show, and I'm psyched to see it again!
kopernik: (chuck geeking out)

[personal profile] kopernik 2009-08-18 07:35 pm (UTC)(link)
That was delightful!
counteragent: red shoe (Default)

[personal profile] counteragent 2009-08-19 05:07 pm (UTC)(link)
Wow, this was just superb! I don't watch Chuck, but MAN, I want to watch THIS show. VERY slick editing and great sense of humor and timing. I chortled quite a few times despite not knowing the source at all. I can already tell this is a re-watcher.
aurora: (Chuck Team Awesome)

[personal profile] aurora 2009-08-20 09:25 pm (UTC)(link)
This was a FANTASTIC vid!
bingeling: picture of Chuck and Casey standing really close together. (*chuck: unleash the casey... onto chuck)

[personal profile] bingeling 2009-08-21 02:14 pm (UTC)(link)
Wheeee, I really enjoyed this vid! It makes so much fun and is still entertaining after the second, third, fourth viewing.

Here's to many more viewings! :D
Edited 2009-08-21 14:18 (UTC)
thirdblindmouse: The captain, wearing an upturned pitcher on his head, gazes critically into the mirror. (let the wild rumpus start! (WtWTA))

[personal profile] thirdblindmouse 2009-10-16 05:47 am (UTC)(link)
I saw this at VVC, and it was fun then. After many rewatches, it continues to be delightful. Oh, Chuck...
echan: Kaworu Nagisa from Evangelion (Default)

[personal profile] echan 2011-07-14 01:04 pm (UTC)(link)
You know I still love this vid, right? Because I still love it. I have it on my hard drive and I watch it sometimes and wish you were here for me to narrate to but it's okay because the vid is still good without it.