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19 April 2006 @ 03:51 am
New vid: River - Breathe Me - Sia  

Vid Title: Breathe Me
Artist: Sia
Duration: 4:42 wmv
Characters: River/all
Episodes: All + movie
Summary: River just wants to be like everybody else, but she can't stop being River.

43.5mb zipped wmv

High-quality stream - Enter password: bemyfriend

Breathe Me (Firefly) from Vimeo. (Download available)

The vid's meant to show River's desperation, how she's disconnected from the love, friendship, and happiness all around her and doesn't understand why - until the end of the vid.

rinalin requested the song and character, and I decided to do it as a River POV. The idea was to see the series and movie from her perspective; in a warped, cracked sort of chronological order, all mashed up and running together. I always pictured pre-Miranda River as seeing life as a kind of waking dream that never ends, and that's the look I was striving for. I tried a few new editing tricks for that reason.

There's lots of symbolism here - some fairly obvious, some less obvious than I'd like - and rapid-fire visual information that picks up speed as the vid goes on. It might seem confusing or even a little random at first (hopefully not), but there was definitely a purpose behind each image. I tried to build it in layers so that repeat viewings can offer something new each time.

This was my final Firefly character study and my final request. The others can be found here. Please share any thoughts, and thanks for watching!
Tags: ,
Alice in Wonderland: Echo3libras on April 19th, 2006 10:16 am (UTC)
I was awed.

I loved where you had the dancing and fighting overlap; I love how you likened the two to each other.

I... can't really think of anything else to say. Amazing job.
bradcpubradcpu on April 19th, 2006 10:45 am (UTC)
I'm really glad you enjoyed it. I packed so much in there that I was afraid it might be too confusing on a first view. The fighting/dancing connection was my first idea for the vid, btw. The rest was sort of built around that.

Love your icon.
thedothatgirl: riverthedothatgirl on April 19th, 2006 10:28 am (UTC)

Sorry you'll not get anything more coherent until I have watched it again (and again).

bradcpubradcpu on April 19th, 2006 10:41 am (UTC)
Hope that's a good whoa. :) It's definitely dense with visual info. Tried to give each instrument its own visual track.
(no subject) - thedothatgirl on April 19th, 2006 03:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bradcpu on April 19th, 2006 07:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thedothatgirl on April 19th, 2006 08:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bradcpu on April 19th, 2006 09:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Jacqui: river walk to the beatwily_one24 on April 19th, 2006 11:25 am (UTC)
You rock. You always rock. You know that.

How absolutely brilliant was this vid?

I *loved* and adored that you superimposed the fighting/dancing, because that was such a strong symbolic tug for River, that bit really blew me away.

The popping color heads were a tad distracting, but they worked from River's point of view, because she would totally be disconnected like that.

Your videos continue to floor me.

bradcpubradcpu on April 19th, 2006 12:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much, Jacqui. Hope watching the vid brightened your day a little.

You're the second person to say the color inset boxes were distracting. The idea there was to have them "dancing" with her, a false sense of happiness - when actually the boxes each contain symbols of pain for her. I thought that fit with the dancing/fighting theme and gave the viewer another journey, another layer. I agree that it's distracting at first, though. That a big part of why this vid was built for replay. I want it to get better the more it's seen. Hopefully it does. :)
Snapeysmomnarsilion on April 19th, 2006 12:56 pm (UTC)
That was beautiful, I loved it. I especially loved that the dancing and the fighting the Reavers overlapped, what an amazing idea.
The only thing I didn't care for was the small boxes jumping around on the screen while the rest of the video was playing. I found it distracting. But that's probably just me. Thank you so much for sharing it. It was so beautiful.
bradcpubradcpu on April 19th, 2006 01:00 pm (UTC)
I found it distracting. But that's probably just me.

Heh. It's not just you. I think it's unanimous. The frustrating thing there is that effect took me literally an entire day to create. :P I still like'em, though.

Glad you enjoyed it, that aside. Thanks for letting me know.
(no subject) - narsilion on April 19th, 2006 01:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
lvs2readlvs2read on April 19th, 2006 01:58 pm (UTC)
Oh...my... I am speechless with awe. That was just amazing. I know aboslutely nothing about vidding, but I can see why this took you so long to do. So much superimposing. It was just stunning!

I, too, loved the fight/dance sequence. And, yes, the boxes were distracting--because I wanted to see what they all were and I couldn't focus quick enough. *g* Guess that means I'll be rewatching. *bg* Also loved how you showed Kaylee's fear/hesitation. Beautiful.

All-in-all, a very shiny vid! *hugs*

Ok, so I'm not speechless. You got a problem with that? I didn't think so. *vbg*
bradcpubradcpu on April 19th, 2006 07:40 pm (UTC)
I'm so happy you liked it! Yeah, it took a while... it was basically like doing four vids at once.

It's cool that you noticed Kaylee's reactions to her. The basic thread I tried to use to tie the whole thing together was River sort of wanting to be Kaylee, but with the reactions showing River that she's... not. I wanted it to be tragic.

And no, I don't have a problem with you not being speechless. Speech is good. :)
Starrylizard: NT - Teyla/Ronan Hand on heartstarrylizard on April 19th, 2006 02:33 pm (UTC)
That was lovely! I fell in love with this song when I watched a McKay and Beckett SGA vid to it a while back, but this is a whole new take. I really enjoyed it. I admit to finding the boxes a little annoying too, but the effect was still cool. Out of interest, may I ask what vidding program you use?
bradcpubradcpu on April 19th, 2006 07:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much. I had never heard the song until rinalin requested that I use it, but it's very lovely, and the music is so complex and layered that it lends itself really well to a vid.

I use two vidding programs: Windows Movie Maker and Ulead Video Studio 9. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses - Ulead's good for effect shots and overlays, and WMM is easier to use and better at precise timing. They work well in conjunction with one another.
Marcia Elena: river serenitymarciaelena on April 19th, 2006 02:48 pm (UTC)
Lovely! I loved most of it, but I'll have to agree that the color boxes at the end did nothing but annoy me and distract me from the main scene of River dancing/fighting. And at the very end, that smaller box with Kaylee's face just didn't work for me either. But River's sense of detachment, her aloneness and/but need for attachment and closeness came through beautifully in this vid.
bradcpubradcpu on April 19th, 2006 07:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed this for the most part. The inset boxes seem to be a love-it-or-hate-it thing, with many people siding with the latter. For me, they add a lot to the replay value (each has meaning), but I can understand how they could be seen as distracting. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts!
traingeek on April 19th, 2006 04:24 pm (UTC)
Wow... I think this is one of my favorite vids yet, even though the song is on the "slower" end for my tastes just because it works so well, especially the end fight/dance scene (yes, the popping colored scenes were a bit annoying, but I don't really mind - perhaps if they were mre ghosted or rounded they wouldn't clash so much? of course, that clashing is part of the point... heh, don't mind me...)
bradcpubradcpu on April 19th, 2006 07:52 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked it! I think in retrospect the distraction of the colored scenes probably outweighs what they add to the vid as far as content and rhythm, at least on a first view. I uploaded a box-free version if you're interested, btw.
(no subject) - traingeek on April 19th, 2006 08:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Shelly: rescuelethal_paine on April 19th, 2006 04:51 pm (UTC)
That was amazing! I gasped during the dance/fight sequence, and 'aw'ed during the part featuring food -because they all point out just how unique River is (better or worse). You really did get through a sence of her wanting to be like everyone else, but at the same time being herself -and with that both beautiful and dangerous. You picked a beautiful song as well, something that may have seemed very gentle and soft and first but very emotional and expressive toward the end. You did a wonderful job! River's my favorite character, so I have to say I loved this vid.
bradcpubradcpu on April 19th, 2006 07:57 pm (UTC)
What great comments! The food part was really the heart of the vid, and I love that you got exactly what I was trying to do with that - you're the only one who's specifically mentioned that. I worked so very hard on this (hopefully that showed), and it's so rewarding to read something like this. Thank you.

I can't take credit for the song, though. That was requested by rinalin.
like watching you yourself when you yourself is on: BDHshamoogity on April 19th, 2006 05:57 pm (UTC)
That was amazing. And I feel like I could watch it ten more times and discover something new every time. I think you did a great job of representing the disconnect between how River sees the world and herself and how others see her. And it was a cool idea to end on Kaylee looking at her like that.

And I think the dancing/fighting sequence really fit with what we saw of River's perspective in Objects in Space. I'm off to watch it again now.
bradcpubradcpu on April 19th, 2006 08:02 pm (UTC)
Hey, I really appreciate the wonderful comments about this. More than any vid I've ever done, I built this one to be watched over and over, so I'm glad you can enjoy it in that way. It's packed with as many ideas, metaphors, and conceptual work as I could squeeze in. It was basically like doing four vids at once. But I thought that fit River's character.

Glad the Kaylee reaction shots were impactful. The idea was to use the crew's reactions as River's mirror, so the way she sees herself is based on how they react to her.
Криста: simonrivertwilight_krista on April 19th, 2006 08:18 pm (UTC)
I just love you so much, really :)
This vid is truly amazing, one o the best i've ever, ever seen.
It is very beatiful and emotional and gentle and very touchy, and the song is great too
Of course it's a bit hard to pick my favourite parts - you mixed all those different effects and they just belong to the vid and the song - but i'll try:
- Mal and the crew opening the box, and River that "looks" to them from it at about 0:56 is simply stunning idea! I just thought: "Oh, how coooool"
- The whole stuff that begins at about 2:00 at ends at 3:00 is very emotional, that's my favourite part. You are very intuitive with the clip choices.
- Oh, and the dancing/fighting sequence everyone mentioned. Actually, i've seen a mix of these scenes in some another River vid, but that was less than half creative and sensitive comparing to yours.
Can't say more. The main word is "gentle" i guess. It doesn't matter who choosed the song - you made me think about River and only River every time i hear it.
I just wanted to add - Thank you very much for this :)))
bradcpubradcpu on April 19th, 2006 10:13 pm (UTC)
Hey, you! I'm overjoyed that you liked it so much. I really poured myself into this vid, even more so than Personal Jesus. If it's one of the best you've seen, then it was worth it. :)

It's cool that you noticed the box opening. The whole first verse was supposed to be what River saw when she was asleep in cryo, and then when she woke in the box. And the 2:00 to 3:00 part is my favorite part, too (probably of anything I've done) - and came out pretty much exactly how I wanted.

Thank you, really, for letting me know how much you liked it. I have a lot of respect for your work as well, so it means a lot coming from you.
(no subject) - twilight_krista on April 21st, 2006 09:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bradcpu on April 21st, 2006 10:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Tinabluefiredragon on April 20th, 2006 12:58 am (UTC)
I love that you used this song; I always thought it would work well with River for some reason.
bradcpubradcpu on April 20th, 2006 04:10 am (UTC)
Thanks! I actually didn't pick out the song - it was requested by rinalin - but it's a lovely song and it seems like it uses the River's voice.
Alice: kara/laurabeerbad on April 20th, 2006 01:33 am (UTC)
Beautiful video. ... So do you 'ship Kaylee/River? If not, maybe you should start! ;) I'd actually love to see a K/R-focused version of this, but maybe that's just me! lol. Great job in any case!
bradcpubradcpu on April 20th, 2006 04:15 am (UTC)
This is vid sort of K/R in a complex way, in that River hungers to feel what Kaylee feels and to experience life through her. That's why it's so tragic when River realizes how Kaylee sees her (in the final shot).

Of course, you could also make the argument that this is a shipper vid for River/Mal, River/Simon, River/Jayne, or even River/Inara. I tried to say something about each of those relationships. Glad you liked it!
Rinny: J/K-heartrinalin on April 20th, 2006 05:27 am (UTC)
I am so very far behind in commenting, and I'm VERY SORRY!!!!

This was every second worth the wait. The first time through, I was just... MOVED. And...there's a power in that.

Like the others, I was simply caught in that moment where she's dancing/fighting. It captured me. I'm entirely in love with it. I will definitely be pimping this one on my journal.
bradcpubradcpu on April 20th, 2006 06:31 am (UTC)
Hey, don't worry about getting behind. I'm just happy you liked it. :)

Just out of curiosity, did you prefer the version with or sans boxes? I'm still trying to decide which version to permanently archive on my site.
(no subject) - rinalin on April 20th, 2006 06:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bradcpu on April 20th, 2006 06:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
jarrow: kayleejarrow on April 20th, 2006 05:47 am (UTC)
This is a beautiful video. I'm glad you uploaded a boxes-free version--I think there's such a thing as too much going on at once and your overlapping of the dancing and fighting really does say plenty on its own without need of further busyness going on. It's very well done. It's almost difficult for me to take this song out of a Six Feet Under context, but this vid did a great job of that. Mission accomplished ;-) Thank you for sharing it with us.
bradcpubradcpu on April 20th, 2006 06:36 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! I'm going to keep the boxes version for myself, but others seem to prefer the one without, so I wanted everyone to have the choice. I've never seen Six Feet Under, and I had never heard the song or the artist until rinalin pointed me to it for this vid. It certainly seemed perfect for the character, though.

Glad you enjoyed it. :) That's why I make the vids.