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dS vid: Don't Tell Me

Fandom, Pairing: due South, RayK/Stella
Summary: Ray signed the divorce papers for Stella, but that doesn't mean he stopped loving her.
Challenge: Created for exeterlinden as part of the dsss 2008 holiday exchange.
Song: "Don't Tell Me" by Madonna
Rated: PG
Thanks to: My betas, mlyn and sherrold for making this vid 250% better.
Feedback: I really do appreciaite it! Even if it's just to let me know that you're downloading the vid and will watch it ... someday.

Download the 17 MB DivX avi from my website or watch the streaming version under the lj-cut.

Don't Tell Me from keerawa on Vimeo.

I had volunteered to create a gen vid, or write several types of stories for this year's dsss, including RayK/Stella. I got an email from the organizer, asking if I could create a RayK/Stella vid. My thoughts were:
1) I don't have enough time.
2) There isn't enough source material.
3) Wait, #2 may fix the problem with #1...

So I sent back an email agreeing to the proposition, and received my assignment - exeterlinden. This made me laugh long and loud. You see, I've signed up for 4 anonymous exchanges in my life, and been assigned exeterlinden in 3 of them. The Universe may be trying to tell me something.

I'd first heard the song "Don't Tell Me" a few weeks earlier, and thought it would make a great vid. I'd actually contemplated trying to make a vid of my story, Inside the Tent, from source in Call of the Wild, and decided it wouldn't work. It's such a jumpy, twitchy, frustrated song, that it suited Ray perfectly, and I knew it would be a good song to vid for Ray's post-divorce relationship with Stella.

I made an artistic decision to ONLY use source from episodes with appearances by Stella: Eclipse, Strange Bedfellows, Dead Guy Running, Seeing is Believing, Good for the Soul, and Call of the Wild part 2. I debated using Mountie and Soul, since Ray mentions giving up boxing for Stella, but decided against it. Strange Bedfellows is 90% of the vid, since that's most of Stella's part in the show.

The first version of this vid was very, very different. I've edited the song heavily for both length and content. For example, I cut the heavily electronic verse with the lyrics:
"Tell the bed not to lay
Like the open mouth of a grave, yeah
Not to stare up at me
Like a calf down on its knees"
The BED is staring at you like a calf down on it's knees? WTF, Madonna? That is one damn peculiar image, and one I decided not to vid. But my first version of the vid was not only a RayK/Stella vid, but also a RayK/Fraser vid. The end of the song has this very strange 30 second interlude of what sounded to me like electronic snowfall with a bassoon. So I vidded that bit as Ray with Fraser up North, during CotW. But, as my first beta pointed out, it didn't really work. So, snip snip.

M'lyn also suggested that I accentuate the jerky nature of the song with those little black clips. Ending the vid with a blank hallway was her idea. She's brilliant, yo! And then she passed me on to sherrold for some pointers on ending my clips on the beat, which she told me would really make the vid more plaeasing to old-school vidders, particularly from the West Coast school. (I was like, "There are schools of vidding?" *whimper*) Still, I'm always trying to get better at this stuff, so I was enthused about learning from a master like sherrold.

As some of you may know, I march to the beat of my own drummer. Apparently this is also true in vidding. Because I would have SWORN I was clipping to the beat in spots where, to other hunan beings, I was way off. Apparently I should be vidding to the beat of the snare drum. And my brain is all like ... bass line! Pretty fake string instruments! Something loud! Oh, woobly noises, vid to that! The snare drum just doesn't make much of an impression on me. But I worked to match up with it better.

This also resulted in a truly ridiculous amount of fiddling. Stretching clips to 92% speed. Wiggling Dief's bark back and forth by .1 of a second, trying to get it just right. Lots and lots and lots of fiddling. I also, in violation of what I'd done previously, made my audio cuts and transitions jerky and abrupt, rather than seamless with fades. My betas suggested it would fit the song better, and it really does.

Anyway, here are the bits I like best about this vid:
* The other instruments kicking in just as Ray turns on the stero for Stella at 0:19
* The dance scenes interaction with the string sections.
* Stella having Ray take off his gun to dance with her on the lyrics "take the black off a crow"
* Here's one that probably flew by everyone. This entire song is full of Ray claiming his love is this natural, unstoppable force. But all of them are things that end and change. The rain drops, then stops. The sun rises, then sets. The lyric "Tell the leaves not to turn" is specifically about change. Stella has changed. She has moved on. But Ray is trying to undo that change. So on that lyric, I have a waiter take the foil off the champagne, then we see Ray and Fraser moving, then a close-up of the waiter unwrapping the wire, before the foil was removed. Ray's trying to turn back the clock here. And, yes, no one but me would ever NOTICE the little ironic twist there, but it made me happy.
* My manip at the end, that shows Ray leaving a part of himself behind at Stella's closed door as he walks away. I'm really, really happy with how that worked.

I hope someone enjoyed this meander through my brain!



( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 3rd, 2009 06:48 pm (UTC)
Keerawa, I know I already commented on this over at the archive, but I just have to say this is probably my favorite vid ever.

I've always been fascinated by the dynamics between Stella and Ray and this vid illustrates those dynamics perfectly.

And all the things you said you liked about the vid - I agree with them 1253%. Some of the really subtle stuff I didn't notice until you pointed it out but after rewatching it again and again, yeah, that's sooo cool.

There's this little bit at 1:36-ish Tell me love isn't true, it's just something that we do.. and Ray and Stella are dancing and they kiss - it's so emblematic of what they used to be and Ray can't see that...loving Stella is just something he does...

And I think you did manage to sneak in a little F/K, at 1:56-ish, when Ray calls Stella's name, and she walks off and he pounds on the steering wheel. You cut in other bits of them together, all the things they've meant to each other but in the end, Stella's gone and Fraser's still there...and that look on his face, like he would do anything to make Ray stop hurting so much...

Anyway, I did love this vid a lot. You did a great job with it and it was fascinating to see some of the behind-the-scenes stuff...
Jan. 4th, 2009 07:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much aka! I'm really pleased that it made such as impression.

in the end, Stella's gone and Fraser's still there...and that look on his face, like he would do anything to make Ray stop hurting so much And then we get yummy F/K, yes!
Jan. 4th, 2009 02:28 pm (UTC)
That was a very cool vid. The jumpy-jerkiness is really interesting; it took a bit for me to settle into it, especially at the beginning, but you won me over. The way that you used smoother sections with Ray dancing was very clever. And I love the manip you did for the ending, too.
Jan. 4th, 2009 07:13 pm (UTC)
Thanks, sdwolfpup! I know the jerkiness is a bit extreme, so I'm glad it didn't drive you away. 'Smoother' is exactly how I thought of the dancing sections - it's his refuge. I appreciate the feedback!
Jan. 31st, 2009 01:32 pm (UTC)
Okay, so I watched this for the first time today (better late than never, huh?)

I loved it! It felt like it really captured Ray and Stella's relationship at that point. The lyrics are very fitting, of course, and the stop-start motion made me think, not of Ray's twitchyness, but of the way he's stuck in a rut in his relationship with Stella. Like a record repeating itself, or something. I loved the first flowing dance part, too. Beautiful. (Also, Ray looks damn hot in that kiss.)

Thanks for your commentary, I love reading stuff like that. Also, the ending is just perfect. I'll be watching this again.

Also, I've never heard this version of the song, though I assume it's the original. Here's the version I know, because I can't resist sharing. It's with Lizz Wright, and not twitchy at all--more flowing and smooth.
Mar. 30th, 2009 01:52 pm (UTC)
The lyrics are very fitting, of course, and the stop-start motion made me think, not of Ray's twitchyness, but of the way he's stuck in a rut in his relationship with Stella.
This. That's exactly how I saw it.

And I love that ending too.
Apr. 3rd, 2009 10:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you, diabolicalfiend! (Typing out your name makes me chuckle.) Ray is well and truly stuck in that rut. I like to think, near the end, that he's finally finding his way out.
Apr. 4th, 2009 09:43 am (UTC)
Me too! Tis why I picked it.

Yeah, I think that was what the whole 'going to Canada and adventuring' was about. Shame it was done so ham-fistedly and apparently slashily.
Apr. 3rd, 2009 10:43 pm (UTC)
Oh, my original response must ahve gotten lost in the wilds of the Internet, sorry luzula! The record skippin-repeating is a perfect metaphor for their relationship here. It's odd to think how it'll be lost to younger generations, in the mists of the technological scarp heap. I'm very proud of teh ending, so I'm glad you like it.

I've been listening to the Lizz Wright version a lot lately, thank you for the song!
Sep. 7th, 2009 05:21 am (UTC)
new location?
Your website at slashcity.org seems to be down, and imeem took down all vids. Is there any hope of getting this vid again?
Sep. 7th, 2009 05:24 pm (UTC)
Re: new location?
Huh - slashcity seems to be working for me. But I've also uploaded the vid to Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/6068822

Thanks for letting me know!
Sep. 7th, 2009 06:18 pm (UTC)
Re: new location?
Yay! Thank you!
Aug. 24th, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
mamaffy showed me this last time we met and wow! It's incredilble.
I think it's the only RayK/Stella vid I know and it's amazing what you managed to do with the few scenes from the show. The song's perfect as well.

Thank you! Off to look for more of your vids ;)
Aug. 24th, 2010 09:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much, idreamedmusic! What's astonishing is how much footage there is of Stella either yelling at or walking away from Ray, given how little screen time the woman has. Lemme know what you think of my other vids, I never get much feedback on them so I love to hear viewer's reactions.
Aug. 28th, 2010 08:10 pm (UTC)
Awww, I just watched Fallen Leaves, the Fraser vid - so good! Perfect song and man, I still cannot get over the fact that Fraser looks all of 14 years old in the pilot ;) It really is amazing how many moments Fraser spends dangling off some ledges.
Love how your scenes match the lyrics and changes in tempo \o/

Train to Jackson makes me want to go to Canada immediately ;) Love hoe contemplative it is.

Sadly, the BSG vid doesn't seem to be available anymore?

What's astonishing is how much footage there is of Stella either yelling at or walking away from Ray

Hahaha, why am I not surprised? I love that bit in "Seeing is Believing" when RayK just says "Hi!" and Stella's all "Back off, Ray!" and he just deflates. Awww *huggles the Ray*

Sep. 1st, 2010 01:41 am (UTC)
'Fallen Leaves' has got to be the most bizarre song choice for Fraser EVER, but I relaly like the way it turned out. That sense of a journey, and Fraser's love of Canada, is exactly what I wanted from 'Train to Jackson', s othanks!

No, I took the BSG one down. Ran out of storage space, and the BSG vids just really wasn't working. Poor Ray! Although I undersdtand why Stella handles him that way. The man can take almost anything else as encouragement.

I really appreciate the feedback!
Aug. 11th, 2012 01:30 pm (UTC)
Rewatching and enjoying!
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )