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TW vid: Torchwood: Undying

Fandom, Character: Torchwood, Captain Jack Harkness
Summary: If this were a horror film, Jack would be the monster.
Song: "Prelude 12/21" by A.F.I.
Length: 1:40
Spoilers: For seasons 1 and 2
Thanks to: My betas, isiscolo and Steven.
Released: In the 2008 Vividcon "Also Premiering" show.
Feedback: I'd love some, especially concrit. I don't feel like this vid's quite there yet, and I'd love feedback from people with different levels of familiarity with Torchwood on what did and didn't work or make sense to you. If public concrit makes you uncomfortable, email me at keerawa@yahoo.com.

Download the 12 MB DivX avi from my website or watch the streaming version.





Lyrics
This is what I brought you,
This you can keep.
This is what I brought,
You may forget me.
I promise to depart,
Just promise one thing.
Kiss my eyes
And lay me to sleep.

This is what I brought you,
This you can keep.
This is what I brought,
You may forget me.
I promise you my heart,
Just promise to sing.
Kiss my eyes and lay me to sleep.
Kiss my eyes and lay me to sleep.

This is what I thought,
I thought you'd need me.
This is what I thought.
So think me naive.
I promised you a heart,
You promised to keep.
Kiss my eyes and lay me to sleep.
Kiss my eyes and lay me to sleep.
Kiss my eyes and lay me to sleep.

Vidder's Notes
When I first heard this song, it sounded like a lullabye that turns into a monster movie, some kind of zombie flick with things crawling out of the ground and lurching towards you. I'd recently watched "They Keep Killing Suzie", so vidding Torchwood to the song had possibilities. When I saw what happened to Owen, this vid bunny bit me hard. Ultimately, this is a horror movie in which Jack is the monster. Not my own personal opinion, but that's his fear.

Techinically, I was working on either continuing or intentionally countering movement from one clip to the next in this vid. So if any watchers feel like commenting on moments you see that, or missed opportunities for it, that'd be nifty.

The bit I'm most pleased with is my use of the Retcon scene from "Adam" to go with the lyric "Kiss my eyes" for each of the team members. It's a scene about them sharing memeories that define who they are, and Jack considers it his duty to remember the fallen. That's what his ghosts demand. But it's also a very stressful, anxious scene. The touches appear almost non-consensual, and it makes him look more of a monster. For a while I thought it might be cheating to use that scene, since Jack doesn't remember it. But if the memory is still there, just not accessible by the concious mind, that makes it all the more nightmarish.

Comments

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
luzula
Aug. 20th, 2008 08:01 pm (UTC)
I have no clue what Torchwood is about, so the vid didn't make much sense to me, story-wise. It really felt like the music fit the images, though--I mean, the music is pretty dramatic, and so are the clips. Also, the lyrics repeat themselves, with some variations, and it feels to me like the same thing kind of happens in the story of the vid, but with different people.

Hmm, sorry if this is not useful--I'm not much good at vid concrit, I'm afraid, especially if I don't know the source. : )
keerawa
Aug. 21st, 2008 12:43 am (UTC)
That IS useful, actually, to know that without source knowledge the story didn't come through, but that the sense of repetition does. Thanks!
secretlybronte
Aug. 21st, 2008 12:25 am (UTC)
I'm a kind of useless commenter, because I'm not quite up to the present in Torchwood due to time issues. That said, this is SO COOL.

First of all, I just love the music. It's what I always wish people would pick for their vids.

Okay. To the vid. You bring it in with him sleeping on that slow, chime-y, dreamlike music and give us the pan-in and it's just an awesome way of telegraphing that we're going into a dream. Your narrative is so clear here; I don't always "get" vids and this is incredibly enjoyable for me.

So, we get the momentum change once we're in and, god, I just love the pop-y cuts. The strobe effect when he's hanging from chains is awesome. You've got the obsessiveness of the music interacting with the somewhat repetitive events of the show and it all just plays off each other, particularly at this very fast pace and he does look like a monster. The kiss on the forehead at the end? Kind of harrowing, actually. I don't have any concrit, except that there's one silent jaw-wagging scene I don't love and the kissing seemed a little mis-paced on *cough* the first couple viewings but I disagreed with myself thereafter. (I really like the song, okay?)

(Uh, also, the two shots cut with the music? *nods very approvingly*) Go you!
keerawa
Aug. 21st, 2008 12:56 am (UTC)
I suspect that this vid may work better for people not completely up-to-date with Torchwood, because I'm using some of the images out of context. I'm glad that the intro made it clear this was a dream, because I don't think these are the actual voices of Suzie, Owen and Tosh here - just Jack's fears given life.

The kiss on the forehead at the end? Kind of harrowing, actually. Oooh, perfect, I hoped for that kind of reaction. Can you give me ahint about which scene struck you as jaw-waggy? A time mark or who was doing the talky face? That's easy to fix, and very useful feedback. isiscolo totally gets the credit for the double gunshot.
secretlybronte
Aug. 21st, 2008 01:06 am (UTC)
It's right about at 1:01 on Imeem. I don't think it's terrible and I don't know that I'd cut it, because you've got a nice simultaneous finger-point. Issues, issues. Hee.
isiscolo
Aug. 22nd, 2008 12:08 am (UTC)
*dances*

And yay, you posted it - I was wondering if you'd ever finished it or abandoned it or what! I can't wait to watch the new cut (although argh, I don't know when I will be able to - but, yay!)
keerawa
Aug. 24th, 2008 11:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I was waiting for the ALso Premiering Show at Vividcon, which requires that teh vid not have been posted anywhere previously. Thanks for the help with it, Isis!
wihluta
Aug. 22nd, 2008 09:04 am (UTC)
Oh, wow. This works very well. It's like all the fear and dark things about Jack and Torchwood are highlighted in this vid. And it fits very well. Because underneath all that crazy and sexin' and funny, TW is a rather dark show. And ultimately Jack fails more than he succeeds. I think this is the kind of nightmare he'd have, after losing Owen and Tosh.
My favourite bit is the end, from Jack touching Gwen's cheek. Because that's got to be his greatest fear at the moment. To lose those two as well.
I also think the scene with him hanging there is perfect for that bit of the song.

(Sorry, I kinda fail at vid concrit.) :-)
keerawa
Aug. 25th, 2008 12:02 am (UTC)
Thanks wihluta! Honestly, I have a hard time seeing the bright and cheery Torchwood everyone else raves about. I mean, I love the show, but sheesh is it dark and angsty!

I'd say that Jack is scared of losing them, and terrified of what he might do when he does. No need to feel bad about positive comments, it's great to know that someone is watching and appreciating the vids I make!
balistik94
Aug. 31st, 2008 04:10 pm (UTC)
I don't watch that show so I don't know neither the characters nor the storyline but I enjoyed this vid from an editing point of view. Nice musicality and pace. I would have liked to see the 1st clip match the music a little more (we got 5 seconds of unedited footage while we hear the instrument) but it's a minor detail. Overall a very solid vid.
keerawa
Sep. 9th, 2008 02:52 am (UTC)
Thank you, balistik94, I appreciate the comment, and especially the concrit!
chasarumba
Oct. 8th, 2008 07:08 pm (UTC)
Whoa, this is thematically a slam-dunk as far as I'm concerned (and yeah, I do watch Torchwood)! I didn't read your detailed notes in advance and really felt like I needed no explanation to understand the idea you were presenting -- it was so clearly and confidently illustrated. And I think you underscored that this is his fear, his nightmare, by bookending the vid with the clips of Jack sleeping. I'm sorry I missed this at the Also Premiering show (I missed a good portion of that one), but glad to have caught it now!
keerawa
Oct. 9th, 2008 04:21 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you, chasarumba! I'm delighted to hear that the theme of the vid was clear, and especially that the vid is showing, not reality, but Jack's fears. I appreciate you seeking this one out to comment!
bakaknight
Nov. 6th, 2008 04:48 am (UTC)
Sneaking in from the link you gave to Nos, and Oh. My. God.
This is perfect.

have now watched four times. Cannot get over how awesome this is.
keerawa
Nov. 6th, 2008 06:14 am (UTC)
Thank you so much, bakaknight! Four times, wheeeee!
nos4a2no9
Nov. 12th, 2008 12:06 am (UTC)
Hey, look, I'm actually commenting on one of your vids! (Seriously, I don't know what's wrong with me - I had a link to your stuff open for, like, six weeks and just never sat down to watch 'em). Anyway, I loved this a LOT. secretlybronte is absolutely right: the song is wonderful. Creepy, and with a terrific beat for the cuts, but also mitigated with a really simplistic arrangement, so that it really does feel like a disturbing kind of lullabye. The song choice was excellent, and the length felt just right: not too long, and not too short.

I also really liked the narrative at work. You're right to suggestion that this vid probably works a little better if you're not quite familiar with the show in its entirety, because it runs the impact of some of the imagery you chose to manipulate to tell "your" story (or Jack's nightmare). But the message about the way death follows Jack was terrific: I liked this look at the dynamics of the team, and the way Jack is haunted by all of those ghosts and the guilt of losing so many people.

And the kiss at the end was great: soooooo creepily non-con. I also liked the bit where Tosh was sitting at her computer and made some kind of gesture that was perfectly cued to both the music and the lyrics. That kind of thing makes me very, very happy. *smishes you*

Um, in terms of concrit...I got nothin', really. I'm not wild about the very last shot - I know it's Jack, waking at the end, but I had a hard time recognizing him, for some reason. It might be the framing or the lighting (and that's not your fault) but it just seemed to me like I'd been watching someone else's nightmare, when this was clearly Jack's. That might be my own wacky head, though. *is wacky*

Anyway, fabulous job. I loved the vid muchly! SO MUCH BETTER than Hitler! :-)
keerawa
Nov. 12th, 2008 03:49 am (UTC)
Thanks Nos! Sorry for poking you about it - for some reason, poking you fills me with glee. *pokes* GLEE!

a disturbing kind of lullabye It does, doesn't it?

this vid probably works a little better if you're not quite familiar with the show in its entirety *nods seriously* Yeah, I used clips in a rather out-of-context way for this vid. I'm still not sure if I liked that or not.

the message about the way death follows Jack Oooh, you did that thign where you say, "And of course this story/vid is about -" I LOVE it when you do that! I love it when I'm clear enough that you can!

And the kiss at the end was great: soooooo creepily non-conExcellent!

it just seemed to me like I'd been watching someone else's nightmare This is very interesting to me. *ponders*
nos4a2no9
Nov. 14th, 2008 01:46 am (UTC)
Heee, poke away, if you must! Sometimes I need it, for I am a busy (and a very lazy) Nos. :-)

Fabulous vid, hon!
akamine_chan
Jan. 4th, 2009 07:35 am (UTC)
Finally, finally getting around to watching this and omg, I really liked it. I've seen a grand total of four episodes of TW in no particular order, so I don't have a nuanced understanding of what's going on...

...some kind of zombie flick with things crawling out of the ground and lurching towards you...

Which is why I liked the music sooo much - that's exactly what it reminded me of.

Yes, I can see how Jack would see himself as a monster, everything he touches dies, and it's his fault, always his fault. And every time he can't stop someone from dying, it breaks something inside of him.

But something that Jack misses, maybe doesn't realize is that it's that fear of becoming a monster that keeps him from fulfilling that prophecy. If he didn't care, if he didn't mourn and remember the fallen, then he really would become the worst kind of monster. But he's so wrapped in his darkness that he can't see that.

The lyrics went so well with the vid, the "kiss my eyes and lay me to sleep" was especially effective when combined with the visuals. I also liked the double gunshot on the beat...*g*

I wish I could be more concrit-y, but I just really loved this...

Great job, keerawa.
keerawa
Jan. 4th, 2009 07:15 pm (UTC)
Yay! In general, I think Jack keeps himself pretty upbeat. But this is his nightmare.

I was absolutely compelled to do something on that double beat. I'm so glad my beta come up witht eh double gunshot!

Thanks aka!
(Deleted comment)
keerawa
Aug. 5th, 2009 04:08 am (UTC)
The Doctor's reaction to Jack, as if he were something unnatural and downright horrifying, certainly supports that interpretation. I'm glad that you enjoyed it, nightchik!
(Deleted comment)
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )