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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!

Tags:

Comments

akamine_chan
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...
keerawa
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!