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18 August 2013 @ 08:04 am
New vid: "Irresistible Force" (Mass Effect series)  
A galaxy merger. Mass Effect series overview.

Length: 3:55
Fandom: Mass Effect 1, 2, and 3
Song/Artist: Jane's Addiction
Premiered in the Video Games themed show at Vividcon 2013.
Thanks to beccatoria for going above and beyond in helping with the footage, and thanks to milly for help with the titles!
AO3 post / Tumblr post

Download the M4V


This three-game series is epic in every sense, a sprawling space opera with a story that changes based on your actions, using a main character you created. It's brilliantly written and performed and, honestly, is some of the best sci-fi I've ever seen regardless of medium.

But that also creates some issues as a vidder: No. 1, it's an absolutely massive universe with hundreds of hours of amazing supporting characters, individual plotlines, and so on - an overwhelming amount to digest in a single overview. No. 2, the player chooses who lives and dies, can shape their own romantic subplots, etc., so every playthrough is different and there's no definitive "story." No. 3, how to get the footage?

beccatoria was a huge help with that last one, pointing me toward several You Tube walkthroughs that used similar-looking created characters. (Though in the future I'll probably just capture my own.) I chose to focus here on the biggest plot points that were similar for most playthroughs and make it a very wide-view kind of look at the story, with an emphasis on the general theme of overcoming xenophobia and personal issues, and coming together. I wanted to try to capture the feel of playing the series more so than the moment-to-moment specifics.

But there's no way around the fact that I need to do more. There are just so many unforgettable aspects of these games, so many characters and moments that wrench at your heart and burn themselves into your memory. In that sense, this vid feels like it's just skimming the surface of a rich, deep fandom that's alive with possibilities.


We didn't know that it would blow up with such might
The stars are even brighter contrasted by the night

Sent out shock waves
Filled up the outer space
Even the ghost came
To the late, late, late show
Watch us play

Everything went tossing
Everyone was talking
Making up their faces
Wonder what we look like naked?

Ah! The irresistible force met the immovable object
Ah! The irresistible force met the immovable object

Banging and banging
And banging and banging
And banging

We've become a big business
Oh, a galaxy merger
The two of us a big bang
God is a real man
God is a dad
God is a dad!

Ah! The irresistible force met the immovable object
Ah! The irresistible force met the immovable object

Banging and banging
And banging and banging
And banging together

Ah! The irresistible force met the immovable object

Some may call me a lucky shot
No, but it was not

Banging and banging
And banging and banging
And banging and banging
Banging and banging
And banging and banging
And banging together

Thanks for watching!
(Deleted comment)
bradcpu: Serenitybradcpu on August 20th, 2013 03:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I heard the song and just couldn't resist. (No pun intended)
janicehope: The most beautiful thingjanicehope on August 19th, 2013 09:13 pm (UTC)
Oh man... Oh man.... Oh MAN! This.... is... powerful.

And femshep. Loss of words.. sorry. Full of feelings right now.

Love it.

bradcpu: Serenitybradcpu on August 20th, 2013 03:30 pm (UTC)
Femshep leaves me at a loss for words too. Which I guess is why I vid. :)

I'm so glad you liked it!! It was tough to stop playing the game long enough to vid it.
Deej: [community] britta go bangdeej on August 20th, 2013 07:12 am (UTC)
Femshep! Really atmospheric, Brad. You must've turned your brain inside out figuring out how to show the universe without entering too many storyline variations. It's wonderfully cinematic and vast, though. Kinda scary how nicely Irresistible Force fits.

(Got to vastly recommend the download over the embed, YouTube compressed the hell out of all that pretty action.)

0:35 "Even the ghost came" Hehe, nice use of Javik.
0:50 Any time Jack punches someone, an angry little angel gets its wings.
0:54 Love the creepy-ass Reapers arriving here during the bridge.
1:39 Lol "We've become a big business" with the Liara/The Shadow Broker xD
2:50 That's just an awesome couple of tension-building seconds, especially with the little flashes of the arriving ships with those high notes of the song, aaaaaand FANGIRLING

bradcpu: Serenitybradcpu on August 20th, 2013 03:34 pm (UTC)
YIKES. Thanks for the heads-up about the embed! I switched it out for a higher res one.

You ain't kidding about the brain pain. So ... many ... possibilities! It's super reassuring to see your reaction, though. :) You're the bomb. The giant, universe-spanning bomb. I'm so glad I didn't let you down with this one.

Any time Jack punches someone, an angry little angel gets its wings
I want that on a t-shirt, no lie. Alongside a pic of Jack glaring at some fool.

I must make more! Shamefully earnest Femshep/Liara shipper vid up next, unless plans get derailed.
(no subject) - deej on August 20th, 2013 03:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
i was always like this: foreverbionic on August 21st, 2013 05:50 am (UTC)
So so lovely!!! <3 Mass Effect.
bradcpu: Serenitybradcpu on August 22nd, 2013 09:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for watching it! I have so much love for this series and it has to get out.
-Van: misc jon stewart gaspslavelabour on August 21st, 2013 09:16 pm (UTC)
Holy crap, you mixed Femshep with Jane's Addiction. I think I love you.
bradcpu: Serenitybradcpu on August 22nd, 2013 09:11 pm (UTC)
Ahaaha! Thanks. :)
M: OB reclaiming my lifespankulert on August 23rd, 2013 09:07 am (UTC)
You vidded mass Effect! Pardon me while I breathe into a paper bag, and then curse the universe for starting up work again just as the Vividcon vids got released intot he wild. I'LL BE BACK HERE IN A MONTH'S TIME OH YESS.
bradcpu: Serenitybradcpu on August 23rd, 2013 03:41 pm (UTC)
Pressure! I hope it doesn't disappoint.
(no subject) - spankulert on September 30th, 2013 01:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
bradcpu: Serenitybradcpu on August 25th, 2013 09:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! You definitely should dive into the ME vids. There are SO many that need to be made.
smirk47: pitchforkarabrab47 on August 24th, 2013 03:36 am (UTC)
Not to be all redundant with the other comments and such but: FEMSHEP!!! MASS EFFECT!!! YAAAYYY!!!

This is an awesome vid and I love you for making it and now I want to go back and replay all 3 games. Somehow I've found it kinda difficult/offputting getting into Mass Effect fandom online because other people's story decisions and versions of Shep usually just feel . . . wrong. I mean, that's kind of the magic of Mass Effect, you know - how personal it feels. (Well, that plus the brilliant world building, awesome characters, funny dialogue, interesting and painful moral dilemmas, and badass action and combat.) But it also can make it a little difficult to connect to other people's reactions, vids, graphics, fic etc. on a gut level sometimes. So (selfishly) I love the fact that not only did you manage to capture the epicness of the series in this vid, but also that you did it using basically the same version of Shep that I did. She's kinda my favorite.


In conclusion: Well done, sir.
bradcpu: Serenitybradcpu on August 25th, 2013 09:43 pm (UTC)
It's so wonderful to read your reaction! Yeah, I had a lot of trouble, too, connecting to Mass Effect vids that used a character who looked nothing like mine. That's one of the pitfalls of vidding this series, I suppose. And when their character made the same choices or had the same romance as mine, I'd get ... a bit angry. That's MY Shep's story, you know?

I'll be honest, it was hard to keep working on this vid because watching the source you're constantly fighting the urge to stop vidding and start playing. I've already started on the shamefully earnest Femshep/Liara. Because... how can I not?

Thank you SO much for letting me know you liked it!
DC: Final Fantasy XIII - Lightning - Closeupbananainpyjamas on August 24th, 2013 09:14 pm (UTC)
So disappointed in myself for not having played these games now. This is one of your most visually-arresting vids IMO and I can tell there's so much underneath the pretty that I'm not getting. I can that that your song choice is excellent, it sets the perfect tone, particularly for some of the more dramatic moments like the reveal of the big ship around 0:56. Awesome work!

Also I totally thought the dude at 2:00 was Kanye West for a second, eheh.
bradcpu: Serenitybradcpu on August 25th, 2013 09:46 pm (UTC)
I was really over the moon reading this, DC, especially because of how contextual I feared the vid could be. I literally read the "one of your most visually-arresting vids" line out loud and started bouncing. :P I'm so ashamed. (But yes, you should definitely play it. It's a lot better than I could ever show you in a vid. Plus I want to see you vid it.)

I totally thought the dude at 2:00 was Kanye West for a second
Heh, he's not nearly as crazy as Kanye. Jacob is about as straight-laced as it gets in Mass Effect. Never heard him sing, though.
rhoboat: Coffeerhoboat on August 26th, 2013 02:35 am (UTC)
Well, scratch this song off the list possible vidsongs I had. Goodness, this is gorgeous and it has seriously pushed me over into considering giving Mass Effect a try.
bradcpu: Serenitybradcpu on August 26th, 2013 03:59 pm (UTC)
I'm so sad you couldn't play the game! I know you would have loved it. Thanks so much for the kind words about the vid, though.
Becka: commander shepard: intergalactic space jbeccatoria on August 28th, 2013 05:09 pm (UTC)

Sorry this comment is so late - I've been on vacation and this is the first time in like a week I've had reliable internet access and free time to use it! :D

Anyway, thank you for the unnecessary thanks for help with footage - I was VERY happy to help, and it's all been repaid in awesome vid form!

I love the whole opening sequence to this vid, visually, and in terms of motion - it's so...enveloping. I also adore the whole sequence around "God is a Dad" - so many great narrative resonances. I also love all the resurrection computer imagery on the lines about big business - very awesome and fitting. The whole vid is totally beautiful. Thanks for sharing it. And now I'm going to be ungrateful and demand MORE. :p
bradcpu: Serenitybradcpu on August 29th, 2013 03:10 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked this!! You're a HUGE inspiration to me when it comes to Mass Effect.

I'm still making use of the footage you helped me get. Currently working on a femshep/Liara vid - there's a timeline and everything! We may be the only two people in the world who care, but hey that's two of us! Ha. I hope you have another on the way soon too.

resurrection computer imagery on the lines about big business
I was afraid I was going too contextual with that, but hopefully the general mood/sentiment still matches even if people don't get the context.

Something I've noticed is that so much of the heavy emotion comes from context rather than facial expressions. That's difficult to deal with as a vidder.
(no subject) - beccatoria on September 2nd, 2013 06:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Ridiculously Fanatic: mass effect pretty by ispeaknerdnel_ani on September 5th, 2013 10:05 pm (UTC)
Oh man, finding a Mass Effect vid, Femshep to boot, is like finding a nugget of gold. A delicious, happy-making nugget. I love the beat and the movement in this and am saving for many happy rewatches. <3
bradcpu: Serenitybradcpu on September 6th, 2013 05:24 pm (UTC)
Awesome, thank you so much! It's such an amazing series, I just can't vid it hard enough. But I'll keep trying.
mranderson71: Neo Handsmranderson71 on September 22nd, 2013 02:44 am (UTC)
This must have gone down a treat in the VG panel because I had a similar experience with it. Such a smooth flowing story - I didn't need to play the games as I was experiencing it through you.

I especially enjoyed the lyrical associations towards the beginning of the vid, notable the girl playing with the toy ship and then the way you bridged the instrumental section at around 0.55 to lead into the chorus.

bradcpu: Serenitybradcpu on September 23rd, 2013 07:51 pm (UTC)
Wow, thanks so much man! I got the sense that it was kind of context-heavy based on the reaction, so it's really nice to read maybe that isn't the case. A lot of VG vids we had in our show were really good at getting across the feeling of playing the game, more than a specific narrative, so I was hoping I could do that.

Let's face it, the ME trilogy is a lot of ground to cover in a single vid (and varies from player to player). About the best you can hope for is that people won't reject your footage outright. Ha.
caltha.dreamwidth.orgcaltha.dreamwidth.org on September 23rd, 2013 07:55 am (UTC)
Oh my god, this actually, to my bewilderment, made me cry. THAT'S MY SHEPARD. I finished Mass Effect 3 literally yesterday, and I remembered there being an ME vid I'd been meaning to watch, and I was a little reluctant because I figured it would be like a Manly Default Dude Shepard vid (which would also be okay, but less meaningful to me personally) but dude THAT IS MY SHEPARD, that exact face and that exact hair, and okay whatever a different final decision with Star Child but apparently the same everything else. SHEPARD. MASS EFFECT. GARRUS. JOKER. LIARA. MORDIN. OMG.

Oh, man, I really love everything about this. It's such a bewildering source to imagine vidding, but I loved what you chose from it -- Shepard as the immovable object, her crew saving her and each other (Liara grabbing her hand, Legion grabbing Tali), the sequence of "God is a real man, God is a dad" with everyone's father figure issues (and oh, Thane), Shepard grabbing Wrex's arm in that warrior handshake, Jack giving the nod before the suicide mission. Everyone working together, that final fade off the word "together."

I just watched this three times in a row and will forever keep and cherish it as a.) a fantastic vid making amazing use of difficult source to a brilliantly well-matched song and b.) MY SHEPARD OMG.
bradcpu: Serenitybradcpu on September 27th, 2013 01:55 pm (UTC)
It was really amazing to read your reaction. The game is so personal, in so many ways, that I didn't think *anyone* would be able to connect to it like this. Thank you so much for sharing it with me. :)

It is indeed a tough source to tackle, but only because there's so much footage and so many possibilities and so many subplots and characters that deserve to be explored. I LOVE that you were able to see all the context behind the saving-each-other parts and the daddy issues! Wish I could have done a separate vid for each.

I've got this comment bookmarked for motivation as I make my way through the next vid.
Sorrel, the artist formerly known as goddessleilasorrelchestnut on September 30th, 2013 08:29 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, this managed to capture so many things that I loved about this game series. Geez. I think my favorite moment in the vid was the last set of "immovable object" images- I loved that Shep was the immovable object, but also that you showed all of the other heroes that sacrificed along the way. Great job.
bradcpu: Serenitybradcpu on October 17th, 2013 02:33 pm (UTC)
I loved that Shep was the immovable object, but also that you showed all of the other heroes that sacrificed along the way.
You got it!! <3

I was so worried that it was too contextual, even for people who played the game. It's such a great feeling when you're able to make that kind of connection. Thanks so much for saying so!