Please let me know what you think and leave me some feedback at www.animemusicvideos.org or e-mails me at vgp@telusplanet.net.

 
Note: I have made available a selection of videos for downloading. I have limited the amount of users who can connect to the FTP site to 6, so if you cannot connect please try later.  I also have a bandwidth monthly limit that once reached I'll take the videos down for the rest of the month. Please download no more than 2 videos at a time to give everyone else a chance.  Please right click on the links and use "Save as" to download (no video streaming please).

I'LL STAND BY YOU PREMIERE DATE:  September, 2002

VIDEO:  Laputa: Castle in the Sky

MUSIC:  I'll Stand By You

                 By the Pretenders

EQUIPMENT:  Dual PIII - 1 GHz 

                           Matrox RT2500 card

                           Adobe Premiere 6.0

CONTESTS / AWARDS:

AWA 8 Masters

SukuraCon 2003

  - Finalist

Of all of Miyazaki's work, Laputa is probably my most favorite and the best anime movie I've seen. I have always wanted to do a video to it and eventually ended up using it in my Memories Dance video. It was then that I was listening to my music collection and the song "I'll Stand by You" played and almost immediately I thought of nothing else except Laputa. Hence I decided to used the song and make a video very dear to my heart of what I thought was the best theme of the movie, the relationship and dedication of Sheeta and Pazu to one another. 

Since I noticed that the song slowly builds up over time (the music starts off softer and slower and then goes up from there) I built up the video to a climatic part profiling their relationship other the vast battle that occurs on Laputa. By this I wanted to convey that through all the rough and emotional times, their dedication and love for one another will always prevail. This I think is the essence that makes it stand out and make it one of the best works of Miyazaki.

DOWNLOAD VIDEO  (Mpeg1 - 51 meg)

DDR2: Kung Fu Fighting PREMIERE DATE:  September, 2002

VIDEO: Various

MUSIC:  DDR2, Track 16:

                Kung Fu Fighting

EQUIPMENT:  Dual PIII - 1 GHz 

                           Matrox RT2500 card

                           Adobe Photoshop 6.0

PROJECT:

 

Dance Dance Revolution 

2nd Mix Project

 

From the 2nd Mix, I decided to do the track to Kung Fu Fighting mainly because I got addicted to the commercial in the restaurant that used this song. I spend about 2 weeks creating this video

I basically wanted to have real fun with this track and have it very fast paced. Therefore, I used very cheesy as well as fun martial arts anime which included titles like Virtual Fighter, Street Fighter TV series, Ranma 1/2, El-Hazard and many others. Almost none of the clips are at their regular speed and I spend quite a bit of time getting the timing perfect to the song. I paced the action to be very fast since the DRR project is designed to be something to dance to.

I liked the way this video turned out and think it goes very appropriately to the song.

DOWNLOAD VIDEO  (Mpeg1 - 37 meg)

TRANSCENDING LOVE PREMIERE DATE:  July, 2002

VIDEO:   City Hunter, Cowboy Bebop 

                 & Macross Plus  

MUSIC:  Only An Ocean Away

                 by Sarah Brightman

EQUIPMENT:  Dual PIII - 1 GHz 

                           Matrox RT2500 card

                           Adobe After Effects 5.5

                           Adobe Photoshop 6.0

                           Adobe Premiere 6.0

CONTESTS / AWARDS:

AnimeExpo 2002

Otakon 2002

   - Best Romantic/Sentimental

AWA 8 Professional Contest

   - Best Various

Animemusicvideos.org's Viewers Choice Awards 2003
   - Best Artistic
   - Best Original Concept

I have always wanted to do something a bit different with a dramatic video and push the bounds of digital editing. I also wanted to polish my skills and use After Effects to it's limits. Sometime last year I came up with an idea to do an Alternate reality video (as apposed to a crossover), thus the idea for Transcending Love was born. From the start, I wanted to use three characters from different animes and decided on Spike from Cowboy Bebop and Myung from Macross Plus since both seemed to have very similar animation styles. I then spent months trying to come up with a third character that would fit in and finally after going though a whole pile of titles, I decided on Ryo from City Hunter. I wanted to portray the characters not from any of the three universes, but as an alternate universe where they co-exist with each other, but lead entirely different lives.  I wanted the story to be told on an emotional and dramatic level and so I devised a tragic story that would be told by flashbacks of the characters and ultimately lead to a final climax.

The technical aspect: 

This video took me to the limits of my endurance and about 350+ hours to complete. I spent countless weekends and days of every spare minute I had to complete this project. Only about 20% or less of the clips used in the video have not been altered in some way. About 80% of the video was done using After Effects and Photoshop. After Effects was used to mask the characters and compose them together with many different backgrounds. Quite a few background such as the introduction with Spike walking and the final gun battle were scratch built using elements from all three animes as well as skies, trees and other details I painted in photoshop to provide a somewhat original world in key places. A lot of time was also spent in making sure all the backgrounds matched to the different camera views so that everything looked as natural as possible. Some of the backgrounds had so many elements that they ended up with 20 or more layers just for a clip a few seconds or less long. I also wanted to have convincing interaction between the characters as well as contact with in some cases with not just a static background. I ended up using multiple animated elements in After effects up to 10 layers deep for some of the compositions. Another challenge was to match up the character's skin tone and lighting so that they appeared to be in the same scene. This provided to be the most difficult challenge and probably the hardest  to accomplish in some scenes. Also, the limited amount of footage the could be used to show interaction between the characters also provided to be challenging. A section of the song (the last chorus) was eliminated since I did not have anymore usable footage and it would of ended up making the video too long and going beyond what I wanted to originally show.

The Story (SPOILERS - Best read after watching the video!):

Basically, the story deals with Both Spike and Ryo meeting at a grave site. At the beginning we aren't told who's grave this is, but it's definitely someone dear to both of them. In the time that both are standing, we are shown in a sequence of flashbacks the loneliness each of then has felt as well as memories of the time they each had with Myung, and if now becomes obvious that that is her grave they are visiting. The final question that remains is what happened to her? The final flashback of both Spike and Ryo reveals that Myung was being hunted by three assassins and both had came to her aid. In the end, they tried their best to protect her and failed since she was shot and killed by one the the gunmen. We return back to the grave where both have now left and we finally see Myung's grave with two pictures standing against the tomb stone. the final shot zooms onto the two pictures revealing one of Ryo and Myung and the other of Spike and Myung with a dedication by her on each picture.

My thoughts:

I wanted to convey several emotional and meaningful things in the story. The first is how both Spike and Ryo had missed Myung and how they tortured themselves over not being able to protect her. In the video, it is unclear what kind of relationship each had with Myung, but suffice to say that through a chance meeting, work, etc they meet and had a wonderful time together. My thoughts are that I wanted to portray that both Spike and Ryo cared deeply about Myung to the point of being in love with here. I showed Myung leaving in Ryo's flashback to indicate that she had to leave or move on and eventually met Spike and they had their time together. For the final flashback of the gunfight, we see that Myung for a reason not disclosed in the video (perhaps for something she saw, heard or knew) was hunted by three gunmen assassins and had no one left to turn to except for Spike and Ryo. Thus they both rushed to here side and that setup the final sequence of events. The fact that they both left the pictures on the grave site I wanted to use to symbolize that they had final accepted what happened and were ready to move on with their lives, but would never forget their times with Myung.  

On a final note, I kept several aspects of the story open for interpretation. For example, I did not show anywhere in the video where or during what time the sequence of events happen (even the dates on the tomb stone are covered up by the pictures, although a set of real dates do exists behind the picture, but I leave that up to the viewer to try to decide)....

DOWNLOAD VIDEO  (Mpeg1 - 46 meg)

DESTINY OF THE DARK PREMIERE DATE:  June, 2002

VIDEO:  Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

MUSIC:  The Batman Movie Theme

                 Composed by Danny Elfman

EQUIPMENT:  Dual PIII - 1 GHz 

                           Matrox RT2500 card

                           Adobe Premiere 6.0

                           Adobe After Effects 5.5

CONTESTS / AWARDS:

JACON

   - Best Action

Middle Tennessee Anime Convention

   - Best Action

AnimeExpo 2002

   - Best Action/Adventure  finalist

After watching the movie on DVD, I wanted to try to create a music video to it that captures the feel of the awesome art and story.  I concentrated my efforts on the destiny of the both the primary characters as well as the innocent girl caught up between them. 

 I decided to use the Batman theme since the music starts off slow and builds up to action followed by a slowdown until the climax. I started the video with images of the future Earth during the day which then becomes night. From there, I only used night scenes thought the rest of the video to illustrate the destiny of both dark characters.

DOWNLOAD VIDEO  (Mpeg1 - 32 meg)

  Vlad G. Pohnert - October, 2003