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09 June 2006 @ 04:20 am
New vid: Bullet With Butterfly Wings - Action/Spike study (BtVS only)  
Vid Title: Bullet With Butterfly Wings
Artist: Smashing Pumpkins
Duration: 4:21 wmv
Characters: Spike/all (BtVS only)
Summary: Action-heavy character study

Download the M4V

It's meant to trace the character's development over the course of the series. Not much in the way of heavy metaphor here, and what's there is about as subtle as a punch in the nose. The opening line should tell you all you need to know about the theme of the vid. The rest is just expounding on that.

The idea for this one invaded my mind back when Fool For Love originally aired (along with many of the images you see here), but I only recently got the ability to vid so it's been gnawing at me for years. I feared tackling it because I knew what a massive job it would be in terms of number of clips and organization... but I knew I had to do it eventually so it would shut up and leave me alone. Had some compression issues, so I had to jump through hoops to get some smallish versions to post online (and I ain't nimble); so I apologize for any rough spots.

Does anyone here really want to hear me whine about the trials of moving to a new fandom, using new software, and a new vidding process? Show of hands? Right, I'll skip that and move on to the lyrics.


Bullet With Butterfly Wings - Smashing Pumpkins, Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

The world is a vampire sent to drain
Secret destroyers hold you up to the flames
And what do I get for my pain?
Betrayed desires and a piece of the game

Even though I know I suppose I'll show
All my cool and cold like old Job

Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage
Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage
Then someone will say what is lost can never be saved
Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage

Now I'm naked, nothing but an animal
But can you fake it for just one more show?
And what do you want? I want to change
And what have you got when you feel the same?

Tell me I'm the only one, tell me there's no other one
Jesus was an only son

Tell me I'm the chosen one
Jesus was an only son for you

And I still believe that I cannot be saved

Hope you enjoy the vid. Please share your thoughts.
Tags: ,
Krissy Mae Andersonkma on June 9th, 2006 11:42 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed your vid! The words and the scenes were mostly matched up really well, and even though some of them were somewhat unexpected, they worked well. Good job!
bradcpubradcpu on June 9th, 2006 12:39 pm (UTC)
Thanks very much. I'm glad you liked the lyric matches. I always put a lot of thought into lyric matches, but planning doesn't always translate into something that "works." Unexpected is good, though. :)
cyren_2132cyren_2132 on June 9th, 2006 12:33 pm (UTC)
Nice work! I liked all of it, but I thought it really started working the best at about the two and half minute mark. You've got a broken link though. I clicked the middle version and got this page.
cyren_2132: facecyren_2132 on June 9th, 2006 12:42 pm (UTC)
Because I hadn't actually meant to hit submit yet*:

Two minutes and 27 seconds would be the exact point in which it all started to click for me. This vid really made me remember how much I liked the show, how long it's been since I've seen it, and just how darned pretty Spike can be...you know, when he's not beating the crap out of people.

*And because I'm kind of ashamed of the pilfered, candy-colored hanson icon...I think it'd be fine were it not for the neon text.
(no subject) - bradcpu on June 9th, 2006 12:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Suesuechosethis on June 9th, 2006 02:53 pm (UTC)
Wonderful, I am in awe of your skills. I loved it, it was so Spike!
bradcpu: Just Faithbradcpu on June 9th, 2006 07:38 pm (UTC)
Spike-like, eh? I can't think of a better compliment than that! I appreciate you taking the time to tell me you enjoyed it.
thedothatgirl: jamesthedothatgirl on June 9th, 2006 03:11 pm (UTC)
Ok just my initial feelings after viewing number one.....

Now that is what I call a Spike vid. That it the character I love so much, and the final scene is probably the best ending I have seen for a very long time.

That song may have been written for Spike. I am going to go away and watch it a few more times and wallow in it's greatness before giving more detailed feedback.

bradcpu: Just Faithbradcpu on June 9th, 2006 07:42 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked it! I really wanted to pull out all the stops for this one and make a full-on action vid; but I also wanted to express what I think the song says about the character. It really seems like the Pumpkins wrote it for him, doesn't it? :)

So happy you like the final scene. As is often the case, that was my first idea for the vid. Back when Fool For Love originally aired, I heard this song ending in my head as that scene unfolded.
Jacqui: fan girl momentwily_one24 on June 9th, 2006 04:57 pm (UTC)
Ohhhh. You know what's coming, don't you? You know.

You have to know.

That was AWESOME.

I seriously have no other words for it. The clips, the beat, the desperation of it... it's just Spike, it suits him so well. You were made for the vidding process and once again I am struck down with hideous and overpowering jealousy.

I wish I could do half of what you do.
bradcpu: slayerbradcpu on June 9th, 2006 07:47 pm (UTC)
Hey, anything I do vid-wise is all because of you. I don't know if you noticed, but I created the watermark I'm going to use from now on with the font I used for my "for Jacqui" dedication on my first vid. So every vid is kind of a tribute to you in a way.

Of course, if you ever stop liking them I'll be crushed. :) No pressure.

Oh, and if you envy my vids half as much as I envy your fic skills, then I'm a very envied man.
Nickyobsessive24 on June 9th, 2006 11:51 pm (UTC)
Was supposed to nip in and leave quick comment and go away again, and detailed feedback later, but that plan's gone out the window. I usually don't go for superlatives without sitting on the opinion a while first, but I think my mind's going to change on this one. It is the best Spike vid I've ever seen. :D

First thoughts: The pacing is fuckin' ace. The beats are so stop-and-start and you capture that so beautifully with the punches that land, and then there's always this tiny lull to perfectly echo the audio lull. Beautiful use of the Welcome To Sunnydale parallels. The bridge where it got insanely speedy is perfectly done. Oh, and hee! I noticed the switch to rapidly cutting on the beat toward the end! :D Despite all your misgivings I think your treatment of the hard snares could not have been done better.

0:03 - perfect intro
0:05 - I like that! A great "move" into the past, plus it echoes the directional movement of the guy coming in to take his poetry. Nice grab on the beat there, too. Too many things that land perfectly on the beat in this vid to mention, so I'll just do my appreciationy thing here and will point out the especially fabulous ones as we go along, otherwise we'll be stuck here forever. :D
0:10 - love! Love! Directional, and beautiful intro of Dru, and it flows right into the hand and the movement is still going! I love that stuff.
"up to the flames" - camera moving up! V. nifty. I especially like how the "to the" is still, and then you put in that artificial pan up halfway into the clip, and then stop again on the bass beat!
0:20 - bobbing heads to the beat! Awesomeness!
0:26 - cool overlays! How did you do that?
0:32 - you know, I was just watching a completely unrelated vid the other day and thinking how important that kind of "laying poker hand down on table" shot is. Lovely symbolism and great timing, too. Love all the connections between clips of him bumping into people and Buffy(Faith) bumping into him.
0:37 - gorgeous! As well as 0:38 with the sword.
0:39 - 0:41 is what I'm talking about with the brief lulls after each internal motiony bit. Gorgeous and one of my favourite bits, actually. Which seems a bit strange to pick out from everything else that's wonderful, but there you go. Can't get over how well you matched the drum pattern there.
And then a lovely segue onto the coat clips.
Nickyobsessive24 on June 9th, 2006 11:53 pm (UTC)
Crap. Was supposed to say "but I don't think my mind's going to change on this one". Makes much more sense.
(no subject) - bradcpu on June 10th, 2006 06:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
Nickyobsessive24 on June 9th, 2006 11:51 pm (UTC)

0:47 - I'm usually not a fan of jump cuts, but I thought this was gorgeously done. As are the rest of the jump cuts in this vid. You may have just won me over to it! :D
0:48 - love that prolonged clip, pushing in over the prolonged vocals.
0:55 - love how she slows down as the guitars do that whiny drawing-out thing. And then love the moment of the movementy transition to the left into the next fight scene.
1:01 - another great moment to that guitar bit again. Out of everything in this vid I think I'm most impressed by just how sensitive you are to the audio, and how every little change in dynamic is captured accordingly in the visuals.
1:02 - great transition from Buffy to Willow
1:08-1:11 - LOVE how it cuts from one clip to the next, but the direction of his pacing flows on!
1:15 - gorgeous match to the audio there. As well as being just a gorgeous shot in general. I'm such a sucker for fancy camera moves. And then it flows into the next shots with the exact same placement of him, and then the camera moves back the other way, still intercutting between the two clips! Wow.
Second verse - it's very cool. Last time he arrives in Sunnydale, and we pan left to his past. Now he arrives again in season 3, and we pan to his future with a soul.
1:29 - love how his arm goes out, and then it goes to Restless!B&W!Spike sticking his arm out. Lovely little moment there. Is it fair to say that a lot of people would probably miss stuff like that? But I know you intended for it to happen. ;) Beautiful camera flares on the beat.
1:46-1:50 - lovely clip connections there, especially the hand on Willow's shoulder to hand on Buffy's shoulder. The sudden flip of Anja going to the right side, when all the clips prior to it had the girl on the left, threw me a bit and I wondered why you didn't just horizontally flip that clip, but then there were all the ensuing clips of Buffy and Cecily, who were also on the right, so it makes sense in the larger context.
1:54 - lovely, as is the gun in the next shot
1:56 - oh my god!!!! I LOVE that!!! I don't even remember where it came from! It's just fabulous how all the way up to this you have these incredibly defined movements on the drumbeat, and then you have this gorgeous little kissy face here.
2:01 - lovely echo of the previous camera pan around clip, and of course extremely thematic also
2:10 is genius. The arrow hits on the beat, and then he explodes on the guitar bit. Did you have to time toggle at all, or was it just perfect as it were?
2:22 - love that bit on the guitars as well
2:26 - hurting the human is a great lead-in to his madness. Love the overlays and the whole sequence with the scuttly drums and the clips over the guitar squeals. If there's a tiny thing I would have liked to see, though, it would have been nice to have sped up the rat sequences even more to make it even more scuttly and fitting to the rapid drums there. But obviously that's only possible if you have the source, and I don't know Buffy-rat-source that well. :D
2:42 - love the prolonged shot of the tasering as the guitars do their final screech.
2:49 - great connection with the jumping!
3:02-3:06 - It feels like he just flew from one clip through to the next without any stopping of that fluid motion. You're intimidating me, Brad. :P
Love the quieter bit that follows. Beautiful movement, and what a lovely shot of Dru looking at the cage. And I like how the camera moves straight into the next shot of him lying on the ground, too.
3:27 - back into the action! Such an important moment. Love the zooming in at the end too.
The next section makes a great point. BreakingFree!Spike! Yay! Like the pipe-spinning on the drumbeats there.
3:51 - another great movement connection between the two clips
4:01 - the exact same movement! Nice call. And I like the "dodging to the left" pose over the next three clips as well.
And, as I mentioned, cutting on the beat toward the end, and multiple lovely clip connections.
Nickyobsessive24 on June 9th, 2006 11:52 pm (UTC)
P.S. This is TCA best video material.
(no subject) - bradcpu on June 10th, 2006 06:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
Rinny: inside-loverinalin on June 10th, 2006 01:48 am (UTC)
Okay, so I only ever watched Buffy and Angel sporatically over the years. I was never a huge fan. Spike amused me.

So I really, can't speak to the emotional significance of some of the clips, but.... quite honestly, I was dry mouthed watching this. It was just so... well put together. And emotional, even when I barely know the character.

Really fantastic work, as always!
bradcpubradcpu on June 10th, 2006 06:41 am (UTC)
Thanks, Rinny. It's interesting that you never got into Buffy or Angel. Maybe my vids can sway you. :) Spike's pretty amusing. There were so many clips I couldn't use just cause they were funny, no matter in what context I used them... so that didn't work with the theme.

I love that the vid made you "dry mouthed." :) That's one of the best compliments I've ever heard.

Hope I helped soothe your boredom, even if it was a bit late.
(no subject) - rinalin on June 10th, 2006 05:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Dualbunny: Spike Leather - earth_vexerdualbunny on June 10th, 2006 02:58 am (UTC)
Damn, damn, fun. Thank you so much for sharing! :D
bradcpubradcpu on June 10th, 2006 06:45 am (UTC)
You're welcome! Thanks so much for letting me know you liked it.
Sharvie: Sharvie's Angels by Vamptastica_sharvie_ on June 12th, 2006 02:22 am (UTC)
Wow, this was an incredibly well timed vid. Loved all the counter points too. And because I'm such a huge Xander fan I loved all the shots you had him and Spike interacting. That gets ignored a lot, so I'm loving it all the more. I'm also really curious how you did the effect in the beginning with the flying flowers. Pan and crop perhaps?

Does anyone here really want to hear me whine about the trials of moving to a new fandom, using new software, and a new vidding process? Show of hands?
*raises hand*
Every once in awhile I get a burst of muse and start trying to figure compression issues out but damn is it a serious pain in the brain. I started vidding and then got a hold of some info and came to a screeching halt. I've still not figured out what would be the best codec for my system. Le sigh. Not that you needed to know all of that. Just saying, some of us like to know what others types of things have worked for other people, because vidding can be done sooo many different ways it's hard to figure out which way to turn sometimes.
bradcpu: slayerbradcpu on June 12th, 2006 06:51 am (UTC)
Thanks so much about the vid! The "flying flowers" were the flowers Spike brought after Buffy's mom died. I just copied that same clip to the overlay track, turned the overlay into a negative, and then zoomed it around the frame.

There are so many variables to codecs and vidding procedures depending on your PC and your vidding software, and I'm not big with the technical. But there are a lot of things that will work for almost everyone. When I first started vidding, I used mpeg1 clips (with Windows Movie Maker). Not the greatest clip quality, but not bad at all... and the process was always easy and smooth.

Love the colors in your icon btw.
(no subject) - _sharvie_ on June 12th, 2006 07:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
Miss Boxmiss_box on June 12th, 2006 09:52 pm (UTC)
Now this rocks :)

I love the cuts and they way that it tells a complete William/Spike story [damnit I orginally typed Wilma]

Also the way you match Spike's movements with the beat to the music is very cool.


bradcpubradcpu on June 13th, 2006 04:45 am (UTC)
I'm glad the story came across. I tried to give it a true narrative backbone, but it's always tough to tell how well that's going to come through in the end.

The movement timing was just fun. :)

Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for letting me know.
(no subject) - miss_box on June 13th, 2006 11:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
Purpleyin/Hansmissyvortexdv on June 12th, 2006 11:29 pm (UTC)
I really liked the vid, just fantastic for the character. :)
bradcpubradcpu on June 13th, 2006 04:46 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for the compliment. I tried to make it as Spike-like as I could.
kiki_miserychickiki_miserychic on June 14th, 2006 03:03 pm (UTC)
But can you fake it
:03 - Very cool beat driving into the sign.
:08-:27 - Very cool effects on Drusilla, the flashbacks, and the flowers.
:31-48 - Excellent use of the beats and awesome motif of Spike bumping into people and the use of the coat.
:49 - The transition there almost looks like a morph.
:50-1:18 - Amazing interplay during this section. I love the way you have the different scenes going back and forth, but it flows perfectly because the clips dovetail.
1:18-1:22 - Love that brief flash of blue Spike over spinning Spike at the perfect angle.
1:23 - Nice use of those driving into the sign clips to show the different mental states.
1:50-2:07 - Very nice clip choices.
2:31 - Freaking cool shaking and screaming.
2:35 - Love the back and forth between the Spike clips and the rat (I can't remember if that one is Buffy or Amy) in various levels of traps. It pulls in those little clips that popped up throughout the vid.
3:03-3:06 - Like the parallel of Spike bashing something and Buffy using the same sort of instrument to hit Spike.
3:08-3:11 - Great build up of tension and release.
3:11-3:26 - Wonderful motif of Spike lying down and weak (in a cage).
3:28 - Great way to amp up the footage along with the music.
3:42-3:44 - Love the bit with Spike twirling the pool cue and rail.
3:57 - Very cool having Spike go to hit Nikki in the subway, then cutting to him hitting in another scene.
4:00-4:21 - Once again, amazing interplay between clips and use of the beat.

This is definitely one of the best Spike vids around. It just has something.
bradcpubradcpu on June 14th, 2006 05:43 pm (UTC)
Re: But can you fake it
It's always fun checking out your impressions because you're so good at expressing exactly what it is you like. Thanks for the timestamps, as well. A couple of notes about your timestamps:

1:18-1:22 (spinning Spike) - I was trying to imply him being suddenly naked there.
2:35 - It was the BuffyRat. I used Amy for the flashes during choruses, but I wanted the scampering rat here because it was supposed to be him looking for a way out.
3:03-3:06 - That's Spike beating on the Dru doll in "Lover's Walk" interspersed with Buffy beating him. I was using the doll to represent William-that-was and Spike's rage at himself for being trapped by his emotions; hence it turning into the flowers earlier, then him throwing down the doll and wailing on it here as Buffy beats him.

I haven't watched any other Spike vids - I was avoiding them so that I wouldn't be influenced - but it's nice to see that you think this is among the best. More than anything, I'm just glad you enjoyed watching it.
Re: But can you fake it - kiki_miserychic on June 14th, 2006 07:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
thedothatgirl: jamesthedothatgirl on June 22nd, 2006 12:27 pm (UTC)
I kept watching it and trying to make notes. It kept sucking me in, and I was so into the vid I forgot to make notes!

You haven't missed one opportunity with internal motion and I must admit this is probably the sexiest thing (to me anyway) about the whole vid. Next comes all the comparison shots (there are so many, I can't list them all) the head grabbing, the sitting on sofa, the doll, exhausted beaten Spike etc etc. The rat trying to escape ...

This is what I managed to scribble before I got lost.

0.32 All the bumping to the snare beat - and the final one Buffy/Faith bumps into him.
2.09 So the crossbow dusting, exactly to the beat? Was that serendipity or an enormous amount of work?
2.22 Trying to enter Giles apartment another awesome internal motion. Gah!
The 'jump'(hehe) cut from Chinese slayer fight to School Hard skirmish. Yeesh.
The 'crucified pose from Restless to Doomed - and on and on. You can see why I gave up trying to keep up with the notes huh?

The final sequences from around 3.45 to the end, so much in there it just means I am going to go back and watch it over and over.

Adding this to my vid rec page if you are ok with that.

bradcpubradcpu on June 22nd, 2006 08:16 pm (UTC)
It's really flattering that the vid was distracting enough to interfere with note-taking. That's as good as having the notes themselves. :)

I thought Spike's journey was a powerful one, but one that was so universal and transparent - a futile me-against-the-world-and-who-I-am struggle - that I needed to get depth and replay value from something other than the narrative. So I tried to get that with internal motion and composition.

The crossbow dusting scene took some fairly heavy editing (as did most of the fighting scenes). Each blow beforehand was taken from radically different parts of the fight, and the dusting itself was sped up to make the explosion more defined. The tough part was getting the flow of the punches to look right.

"jump" cut. Heh.

Adding this to my vid rec page if you are ok with that

A world of yes! Thank you!
(no subject) - thedothatgirl on June 23rd, 2006 09:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
nzlaura: Buffy immortal wisterianzlaura on June 29th, 2006 11:07 pm (UTC)
What an amazing vid, this is the best BtVS one I've seen in absolute ages. I love the use of the rat - so creative and different - and the way everything matches the beat was spectacular. All the clips had a fantastic rhythm to them, nothing jarred despite the frequent cuts. Cheers!
bradcpubradcpu on June 30th, 2006 12:54 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked the rat. I usually shy away from literal interpretation of lyrics, but I was hoping that one would help drive home the overall theme. Spike's such a kinetic character, and the beat-movement-rhythm was my attempt to capture that. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, and thank you for letting me know.