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Dear Festividder (2013)

Dear Festividder,

thank you so much for offering to vid one of my wanted fandoms. I will gladly accept any kind of vid - if you've been matched with me then you most likely have a love for one of these sources and that is enough. If you'd like some guidance I can tell you my preferences but only heed them if it helps your vid. You will note that I don't comment on possible music - I believe that song choice is in the eye of the vidder and only they really know how they could make it work.

If you are unfamiliar with any of the sources I am offering, I have made the following video with trailers or excerpts from each source:

The sources I'm asking for (and where you can see them in the video) are:

The Red Shoes (1948)
Don't Look Now (1973) @01:44
Ulysses 31 (1981) @05:28
Hawk the Slayer (1980) @07:26
The Man With Two Brains (1983) @09:22
Psychonauts (2005) @11:37
Ghostwatch (1992) @ 13:00
Hard Boiled (1992) @14:54

All except Ulysses 31 and Psychonauts are safety fandoms.

My preferences for these sources are simple: with Hawk the Slayer, the Man with Two Brains, Ulysses 31, Hard Boiled and Psychonauts anything goes. The others (Red Shoes, Don't Look Now, Ghostwatch) I only ask that you do not make comedies with these sources - Ghostwatch is deceiving with it's quaint TV look and I could see something lighthearted made to it but I'd prefer vids to these sources to be more serious, if possible, without undermining the beauty, tragedy or horror of the sources.

I know the fandoms here can be on the obscure side but should any interest you I have listed the best means to obtain them. Most if not all of them are available in some form online.

If you are not my assignee but are on the lookout for making treats, all treats are welcome. Dive in and see what you can make!

Thank you so much for making a vid for me!

The Red Shoes (1948)

Directed by British filmmakers Powell and Pressburger, The Red Shoes is a story within a story movie revolving around a ballet dancer Victoria Page played by Moira Shearer and the conflict between her dreams as a performer and her romance with composer Julian. The technicolor film is one of the most beautiful color films you will see, With astonishing cinematography, set design and editing particularly in the staging of the ballet itself, This may be Powell and Pressburger's finest film but with such great contenders as A Matter of Life and Death and Black Narcissus, it's a tough fight.

Where to get it: The best source is undoubtedly the Criterion Collection print. Both a DVD and a Blu Ray is available and the Blu Ray is stunning. Hulu subscribers should note that criterion have a deal with Hulu so if you want to watch it before buying that would be the place to do it.

Don't Look Now (1973)

Don't Look Now, directed by Nicholas Roeg in 1973, is based on a short story by Daphne Du Maurier (of Rebecca and The Birds fame) and stars Donald Sutherland and the ever beautiful Julie Christie as a married couple greiving the loss of their child. This psychic thriller is a haunting but poignant exploration of loss and tragedy. A real strength in the movie is the depiction of the romantic relationship both through excellent performances and a remarkable and famous sex scene, probably once of the best and most fitting sex scene in film period. Roeg, fascinated by film's ability to rearrange and recontextualise moments in time, edits like a vidder with imagery cut throughout the film, establishing themes and foreshadowing events to come.

Where to get it: There are some bad prints of this movie around, particularly some of the older DVD releases. There has been more recently a fantastic Blu Ray but IIRC it is UK-only. Amazon Prime have it in HD. itunes have it but I don't know the quality. The Blur Ray source should be available through alternative channels...

Ulysees 31 (1981)

In the 1980s, french animators on the tails of the 70s Japanese animation explosion began numerous collaborations with anime production studios for french-japanese tv shows. Ulysses 31 was a 26 episode retelling of Homer's Odyssey in a psychadelic space opera setting. The greek myth interpretations are partly french sci-fi sublime and partly those classic trek episodes where they visit planet of the togas. It is readily available in English though I've used the French opening for the video above. It hasn't aged massively well or at least I was more fond if it when I watched it when I was 5 and, much like later productions Belle and Sebastian and Mysterious Cities of Gold, it is hampered by terrible canadian voice acting. There is, however, some fantastic stuff - the gods are suitably cruel and the weird vastness of space acts as an excellent fantasy setting.

Where to get it: There are two DVD sets available - a bad english one (released in the UK and Australia) and a good french one. The picture quality on the French one is much better but it has no english dub or sub. All the eps are on youtube for watching.

Hawk the Slayer (1980)

While many fantasy films vie for the dubious title of "worst ever", Hawk the Slayer is a charming contender. In this Dungeons and Dragons meets kurosawa-inspired Spaghetti Western our hero Hawk and his telepathically controlled Mind Sword teams up with 3 other D&D archetypes to aid Sister Meldrew against the evil tyranny of unlikely fantasy villain Jack Palance. It's a terrible movie with terrible acting and terrible special effects which could make for a fantastic vid. Of all the sources here, this is the one I'd identify as being outright bad. Entertaining... but really bad.

Where to get it: There is both a UK and a US DVD. The UK one is 4:3, the US one is not. I do not recall if the UK one is cropped or open matte but this isn't exactly a cinematographer's dream of a movie so either should be ok.

The Man With Two Brains (1983)

1983 comedy The man With Two Brains is yet another brilliant performance by a man at the height of this talents - Steve Martin. This cult classic features Martin as Dr Hfuhruhurr, a leading brain surgeon who is ensnared to marriage by the cruel, greedy and psychotic Dolores Benedict, an amazing early role by Romancing the Stone star Kathleen Turner. Supporting these headliners is the ever-excellent David Warner who you may know better in his roles as the photographer in The Omen, Evil in Time Bandits or the Master Control Program in Tron. It's a quirky movie with some great vidding material that I'd be thrilled to see anything done with.

Where to get: There is an old, kinda crap DVD in both the US and the UK. It is 4:3 and it *might* be open matte or it might be cropped, I can't tell. However, it has shown in High Def on TV and as such there is a 720p copy out there if you look in the right places.

Psychonauts (2005)

Psychonauts is a brilliant video game by Day of the Tentacle co-creator Tim Schafer about a summer training camp for young kids learning to become psycadets - secret agents who have psychic powers including the ability to enter into people's minds and battle inner demons. No doubt a thematic influence on the recent TV show Gravity Falls (e.g. the episode Dreamscrapers) , Psychonauts is one of the most inventive, funny video games you will find with level after level of mind-bendingly crazy situations. There's plenty of vidding material though, with plenty of cutscenes and a strong story arc involving our protagonist Raz, the eccentric special agents, a would-be love interest and an evil scientist.

Where to get: The game is available for PC, Mac, PS2, the original Xbox and now the Xbox Live Marketplace. PC and Mac are the best versions and if you are capturing the in-game footage that would be the way to go. The cutscenes are bink video and stored in .bnk files. These can be converted to avi or what have you should you need the cutscenes. For the in-game stuff, if you aren't willing to capture yourself, there are quite a few let's plays on youtube, look for the 1080p ones and find someone who isn't playing with the subtitles on and that should be decent for in-game footage, particularly for the cutscenes that are not pre-rendered.

Ghostwatch (1992)

Next up is Ghostwatch, a drama film made for and aired on BBC1 on the Halloween of 1992. The conceit of the film is of a live reality TV show investigating the strange goings on in an everyday british household that the occupants believe is haunted. The hosts of this show are all legitimate TV hosts of the time - Michael Parkinson, a well respected talk show host, Sarah Greene - a children's TV host and Craig Charles from Red Dawrf, all playing themselves alongside largely unknown actors taking the roles of the common people. The familiarity of the hosts led some viewers who missed the opening announcement that this is a dramatisation to believe that this was a genuine reality show and that there was real and unexpected peril. The phone line advertised, the same number used by many BBC call-ins at the time, was open with a message telling people it was just a dramatisation but the phone lines were jammed, just like the reality show said they were. Everything starts out quite quaint and camp but Ghostwatch brilliantly builds into a very effective horror tale - predating the moden found footage trend by many years. Ghostwatch was so effective that it received masses of complaints after airing and, while infamous and well-regarded, has never aired since in the UK. The recent DVD releases have become something of a treasure to horror aficionados.

Where to get: There are DVD releases by both the BBC and the British Film Institute, they are both UK releases, Region 2 PAL only. Importing shouldn't be too hard on amazon and there are copies in other places. I think the whole thing is on youtube as well.

Hard Boiled (1992)

While The Killer and the Better Tomorrow series made a name for John Woo in Hong Kong it was his 1992 movie Hard Boiled that rocketed him and actor Chow Yun Fat to stardom in the west. With some of the finest bullet ballet yet committed to film, Hard Boiled is an exhilirating and often ludicrous action movie. Chow Yun Fat is an instinct-driven renegade cop who is taking on Hong Kong drug lords and avenging lost partners. It's a movie with a fair few twists and turns that ultimately lead to massive set-piece shootouts and ludicrous displays of heroism including a particularly famous hospital baby ward finale.

Where to get: There are many DVDs and Blu Rays for this movie but they are something of a mixed bag. The Dragon Dynasty release is a dubtitle, which sucks for watching. For vidding, the US Blu Ray is tolerable but a lot of detail is lost. The best release for detail is probably the french one (released by TF1) but there's no English on that at all. Criterion did a version that looks good but it's long out of print.

This entry has been crossposted to my Dreamwidth account, and it currently has comment count unavailable replies there. Comment on whichever site you prefer.



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 12th, 2013 11:02 pm (UTC)
Just curious, did you ever happen to see the vid that lapillus made for Hard Boiled? I loved that vid so much, and then the movie, after she pimped me into watching it. :)
Oct. 12th, 2013 11:03 pm (UTC)
I never did!
Oct. 12th, 2013 11:04 pm (UTC)
One of these days, we'll have to rectify that.
Oct. 13th, 2013 12:02 am (UTC)
I believe the vid is available for download from the vidder's website, fyi.

Edited at 2013-10-13 12:04 am (UTC)
Oct. 13th, 2013 12:05 am (UTC)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )