arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
Does anyone know how to rip an Amazon video to be able to vid with it? It's even legal now (woo, DMCA exemption!), but the googling I'm doing is bringing up very few programs with even fewer reviews, so I'm not sure what's reasonable and what's potentially malware. I'd be happiest with something free, obviously, but am willing to pay for something that works. Amazon has some stuff that iTunes doesn't, and it's starting to get frustrating.

The two options that seem to be most likely are GetFLV and Aimersoft Video Converter Ultimate. Anyone have experience with either one, or know of something better? (CNet loves GetFLV, gave it a five-star Editor's Pick rating, but the user reviews are full of people claiming spyware/malware...)

Legal or not, it is so hard to leave this post open!
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
For [personal profile] cesperanza: Why one vid a year, why??? How do you know what fandom? Is it compulsion? a list? the song?

Sometimes it's two! One year it was three! ... Okay, that was the first year we made anything, and it was a fluke. *g*

But yes, okay, most years it's one vid. We don't do it on purpose. It's more a combination of things: we're hugely deadline-driven, we're entirely song-driven, and we have limited vidding time.

We basically only vid for cons, which works out to "we vid for Vividcon"; I think we've released two vids at Escapade in 12 years, and everything else has been Vividcon. It's also really hard for us to vid for a con we're not going to be at; we want to see the reaction. So years that we don't go to a con, we may very well not produce anything, despite making the attempt; there's just not enough push to finish if we start having problems.

We can't start until we have a song; neither one of us understands how people decide on an idea and then go looking for a song that matches it. We do have a small pile of songs we've collected over the years that we want to make a vid to someday, but mostly we get inspired by things we hear during the year. We send things back and forth to each other, and at some point something sticks. But because we're deadline-driven, we usually really only start *focusing* on songs in February or March, when we start thinking about that year's VVC. It's completely normal for us not to have a song, and thus no idea for a vid, until March and sometimes even April. (We start getting twitchy if we don't have anything by April.)

We never know the fandom till we have the song. The odds are extremely high it'll be something we're currently invested in, but we watch a lot of stuff and it could be any of it. We generally both gravitate toward the same fandom for a given song; sometimes we don't, but one person's idea will match it better, or they'll have a better story idea, or whatever, so that fandom takes over pretty fast. I think there's only ever been one where we went back and forth on the fandom almost up till the moment we started vidding (Haunted, which could have been a Dead Zone vid instead of Odyssey 5 - but I think we made the right call there).

We also do sometimes hit the barrier of one of us loving a song, or loving it for a particular fandom, and the other one just not really feeling it. Those vids tend not to get made, just because it's easier for us to vid together, and generally there's *something* we can agree on out there. We're lucky in that our fandoms overlap to a ridiculous degree, as does our idea of what makes a good vid song for us to work with.

So once we've got a deadline and a song/fandom/idea we're both on board with, we start vidding. But we do our vidding at [personal profile] therienne's place, which has always meant I have to physically be there. So between our offset work schedules and the fact that I'm a raging introvert who needs lots of down time, that means that most of our vidding happens on Saturdays. On top of that, we're usually only good for about six hours of vidding in any given day (flat-out or broken up into chunks, doesn't matter -- it almost always adds up to six hours max). At six hours a week, it takes a lot of weeks to get a vid done! (Okay, it takes us a lot of weeks. I know other people can produce an entire vid in six hours, but we're slow.)

We do ramp up more as the Vividcon deadline approaches; I start going over both days on the weekend, and in the last couple of weeks, I go over after work more and more as well to get in at least an hour or two of tweaking things and working out technical issues. By the final week, I'm there basically every day for at least a few hours, more if I can manage it. But by the time we're done and uploaded, we're both so burned out that we don't want to see each other for a while, and then we get out of the habit of vidding. And then it's Yuletide, so it's writing time, and vidding gets punted till the next year.

A lot of years, we have more than one vid in mind, and will even start working on more than one. This past year, we had three going at once. It was very ambitious! But as the deadline approaches, we have to decide which one gets the most focus, and put the others aside. Some years we can still manage to get two out; most years, it's just the one. (If it's two, it's likely to be one more complex/involved one and one much simpler one. The one year we produced two complex ones -- Jerusalem and Walking on the Ground -- nearly killed us.) We don't forget about the ones we put aside; some stay on the back burner. But some were really only viable for the particular season we were in, and we never really touch them again.

So we sort of only vid for 4-5 months out of the year, a few hours at a time, usually on just one song (or narrowing down from several to one as we go), and then we take a really, really long break before we start up again. *g* Despite our repeated best intentions to not stop this time, which we say every year before we collapse from VVC deadline stress.


Full request list here, still open!
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
For [personal profile] heresluck: Of all the vids you've made, which is the one where what you actually produced most closely matches what you wanted to do?

Oh, huh, good question! (er, [personal profile] therienne and I vid together as [personal profile] flummery [all vids here], for anyone reading along who didn't know that. So when I talk about vidding, it tends to be in the plural.)

We usually talk vids out pretty thoroughly before we start vidding, so there aren't really many that go off in a direction we didn't expect. But it is true that we often refine and adjust as we go, so the end result isn't quite what we'd planned initially.

I think the one that comes absolutely closest is our first-ever vid, Kryptonite for Invisible Man. We didn't just talk that one out originally; we outlined it verse by verse, line by line, well before we ever started vidding. (In fact, we were those fans, the one who earnestly sent that outline to a vidder friend saying "hey, we had this great idea, can you make it?" She was very kind in her refusal. *g* ♥Snady♥)

We lost that outline before we got into vidding ourselves, so we thought we were basically starting fresh with the vid, talking it out all over again and writing notes. Plus we were vidding live source, right up to the weekend before it premiered at Escapade, so things had to have been changing. But years later we found a copy of that original outline, and it was astonishing how closely we'd hewed to it after all. So on a very specific level, that's the one that matches.

Although even as I'm typing that, I'm having little "but what about!" moments, because a lot of our vids definitely tell the story we wanted them to from the getgo, we just had to adjust our approaches to make them sharper, clearer stories. We always start with the music that leads to the idea, not an idea that we then have to search for music for, so we usually have a pretty solid goal in mind by the time we start laying clips.

Okay, I'm amused; I just called [personal profile] therienne to get her opinion, and she came up with a three-way tie -- and then went on to talk about how Kryptonite was line-by-line exact to the outline we'd written up a year and a half before vidding it. So clearly that's her strongest candidate, too.

We differ slightly on the next two: we both agree that Walking on the Ground (meta) is a close second -- once we realized what kind of meta we were going for, we knew exactly what we wanted, and that's what we wound up with. For me the third closest is Handlebars (Doctor Who); for [personal profile] therienne, it's Jerusalem (BSG). Both of us can see the other's reasoning on those, so maybe those are a third-place tie. (We knew the Handlebars theme instantly, and how we wanted to present the Doctor, but we weren't sure about specifics, and had to grind our way through the verses a bit; Jerusalem fell into place a bit more easily once we realized it had to be a triple POV and what "Jerusalem" meant for each character, but that was not our original thought, and it took a lot of working things out to realize that's what we needed.)

I think the big exception to matching our original intention is Ramalama, for Once Upon a Time. We talked out the Regina-and-Snow vid we wanted to make for it, we got all our clips, we started vidding -- and partway in, we realized it wasn't supposed to be Regina-and-Snow, it was Regina-and-Rumple-mirrored, and the entire focus of the vid changed. We had to reclip and re-do everything. Very annoying, as we'd specifically chosen not to clip most of the Rumple shots, because we were worried he'd take over the vid if we included him. (Yeah, that should have been our first clue, really.)


Full request list here, still open!
arduinna: A sleepy grey kitten wakes up, one eye at a time (Hobbes's eye)
Almost two months ago, I asked for today off from work, because I know what Vividcon deadline day is like, and there is no way a few hours in the evening is enough time. This was meant to be a day of panic and flail, with last-minute fixes to the vid (or, worst-case, still filling in black space), and then dealing with exporting and aspect ratios and tech fail.

Instead, it's day of rest*, because [personal profile] therienne and I finished our vid last night, exported it, and uploaded it more than 24 hours before the deadline.

Vidding Deadline Threat Level: KITTENS.

Unfortunately, Vidding Deadline Threat Level Adrenaline Reaction: BEARS

So we spent the next hour having little bursts of panic at each other, because how is it possible to be done and uploaded before the deadline? Vid farr is not over till the deadline passes!

Then I went home and we got on the phone and panicked at each other more. See above, re: vid farr and bears.

Then I fell asleep in my chair before I could manage to write a post. I may have been a little tired.

And now? I am home, lounging about my apartment with my cats for the first time in weeks. I can clean my pit of a place, and buy groceries omg, and maybe watch some tv, or read...

I still don't quite believe it, and am braced to find out that [personal profile] therienne has gotten word from Lum and Ian that we screwed something up horribly, and need to fix it right damn now.

But until that email comes in, it is kittens all around. Yay!

* It is not actually that restful a day so far. I got home last night after midnight to the sight of a van from my oil company pulling away from in front of the house, and the scent of oil in my apartment, but no message from my landlord's son, so I figured it was a problem with his tank that had been handled.

Then this morning I got woken up a bit after 10 by a call saying that he'd found a leak in my tank last night (just a tiny pinhole leak), which had been plugged, but today they were coming to drain & remove the old tank, and install & fill a new one.

So now the basement under my feet is full of oil-company guys yelling and banging and drilling and otherwise using implements of destruction to scare the hell out of my cats.

But still. I am not at work! And I am not over at [personal profile] therienne's! I am HOME! \o/

So have some kittens )

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