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(Vid) I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor

29th October 2007 (01:22)
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If you've seen the preview to the upcoming issue of Buffy Season 8, you'll know that Faith has a previously unsuspected fondness for British indie bands. First it was Amy Winehouse, and now we learn she's also a fan of The Clash, Arctic Monkeys and The Stone Roses.

Having read that, I immediately thought "There should be vids". Specifically, there should be this vid:

Title: I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor

Fandom: BtVS/Angel
Characters: Faith/Buffy
Episodes: BtVS seasons 2-5, 7; Angel seasons 2, 4
Song Title/Artist: 'I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor' by Arctic Monkeys
Rating: 15
Format/Size: WMV / 36MB
Length: 2:52

Summary: Faith, from Buffy's perspective.

Download link
(right-click and save):
Windows Media Player (WMV) version



Director's commentary below the cut

This vid was inspired by the scene where Faith and Gigi are discussing modern British bands, and discover a shared love for The Clash, The Stone Roses and Arctic Monkeys. So of course, I had to do a vid to one of their songs. This was a great exercise in self-discipline, because I'm frequently guilty of letting vidding projects drag on for months. This time, I wanted to have it ready for when the comic came out, so I had just four weeks to finish it...

'I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor" was the obvious choice because, well, she does. It was also a nice short song, and one of my favourites. I did briefly consider a Clash video instead - 'Somebody Got Murdered' seemed appropriate for Faith, although 'I Fought The Law' or 'Stay Free' would fit her too. I'm less familiar with Stone Roses, although 'I Am The Resurrection' might be good for a Dark Willow vid if it wasn't so inconceivably long... But in the end, Arctic Monkeys won.

The original concept for the vid was to base it around long clips of Faith dancing in the chorus, and more character interaction scenes in the verses. Since most of those scenes featured Buffy, I soon realised that it was becoming a vid about Faith from Buffy's point of view. The slashtastic elements followed inevitably. :-) I deliberately started looking for all the scenes where the two of them got touchy-feely with each other - I didn't fully realise quite how many there were, and I've even had to leave several out of the vid.

The introduction was a piece of serendipity. I knew that Faith's first appearance on the show was when Cordelia notices her dancing with a vampire and points them out to Buffy in 'Faith, Hope and Trick'. I hadn't remembered that there's actually a long establishing shot of the Bronze's dance floor, with Faith right there in the centre. Of course, when you're watching for the first time you wouldn't notice her as being anything special, but it fits the vid perfectly. Because the clip wasn't long enough to cover the entire musical introduction, I spliced in some clips of Buffy looking over in curiousity, and even repeated one clip but ran it backwards to suggest that Buffy's doing a double-take to look back at Faith.

The verse then has lots of clips of Buffy having mixed feelings about Faith, being drawn to her despite her doubts and reluctance. And ends with her getting (accidentally) punched by her... leading into the first chorus. Despite possible appearances this isn't a single clip, but the scene is divided up to make sure that each change in camera distance (close-up to middle shot) is timed with a beat of the song. I also got rid of some of the background fighting, and rearranged things so Faith looking down the guy's shirt appears over "...don't know if you're looking for romance..." - and her hitting the girl is over "...don't know what you're looking for."

The first clip of the second verse is one of my favourites, with Buffy's look of despair fitting the lyric perfectly. In the next clip Faith is indeed 'calling' Buffy without a sound - just gestures - but I deliberately missed out the drawing-a-heart section of the scene out of fear it might be too clichéd. Because the second half of the verse mirrors the first verse, I also used similar clips - including ending the verse with Faith punching Buffy. (Yes, that's "Faith as played by Sarah Michelle Gellar in This Year's Girl" punching Buffy.) Leading into the second chorus, which was an interesting challenge.

Hopefully, fans of the show will know straight away that the blonde girl dancing here is still Faith, even though she bears a striking resemblance to Buffy. I deliberately bookended the clips with the bodyswap scene and the famous "Faith meets Spike" scene as a gentle reminder that this is from 'Who Are You?' - although I also spliced in a couple of Eliza clips from season 7 for the bits where we would otherwise have had a close-up on Sarah's face during this scene. For the line "...you're looking for romance..." this time, I lined up the clip of Faith-in-Buffy's-body dancing with an attractive woman - which, incidentally, is Exhibit C in my case for 'Why Faith Is Not Heterosexual'. (Exhibit B is her leaving a nightclub with Lilah in 'Five By Five'. Exhibit A is Buffy.)

The first clip of the third verse was another lucky find. Originally for "...there ain't no love..." I was going to have a scene from the big argument in 'Enemies', but then I found this clip of Buffy shaking off Faith's attempt at a friendly touch which I thought was much more subtle and telling. I'm also pleased with the confrontation scene and the Montagues and Capulets reference ("From forth the fated loins of these two foes, a pair of star-crossed lovers take their flight," anyone?). It was also deliberate to show Buffy standing next to Angel here, then in the next scene have Faith drag her - not exactly unwillingly - away from him.

At this point, the subtext rapidly becomes text. The opening scene with the bed is from Faith's dream in 'This Year's Girl', appropriately enough since the line is "...dreams of naughtiness!". I'd planned all along to have her sex scene from 'The Zeppo' to appear over the lyric "naughtiness", and thought that instead of Xander in the scene I could splice in a clip of a naked Buffy in bed - assuming I could find one. What I'd not remembered was that this point in the song actually has an instrumental break, so what was conceived as a very short flash of naughtiness had to become an extended scene...

I think it works, although obviously the clips come from a whole variety of different places since I had to keep them all short enough to avoid showing who Faith and Buffy are really with. :-) For the record, the shots of Faith's face are from 'Orpheus' (and that's actually pain, not pleasure, she's showing); those of Buffy are from 'Harsh Light of Day' (yes, with Parker), 'Where The Wild Things Are' and 'Into The Woods' (with Riley), and 'Graduation Day 2' (with Angel biting her). I also end ambiguously with Buffy waking up alone. So this is just a dream after all... unless, of course, Faith got up first and left her alone. :-)

Final chorus is, of course, Faith and Buffy dancing in 'Bad Girls'. Again, it's chopped around a little to fit the beats of the music. The last scene - the epilogue - was another discovery. A discovery, in fact, which made me say "Tell me they didn't just go there!"... Everybody remembers Faith's classic line from FHT: "Isn't it crazy how slaying just always makes you hungry and horny?" What I hadn't remembered until now was that at the end of that same episode, after they've been slaying together, Buffy turns to Faith and asks "You hungry?", and they walk off side by side... Leaving us to fill in the other half of the question, and its possible response, ourselves. :-)


Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 29th October 2007 06:45 (UTC)

Utterly brilliant - even though I'm not a huge fan of that song. Great editing, and the instrumental break was inspired... :-)

unless, of course, Faith got up first and left her alone.

Oh, come on. What are the odds of Faith doing THAT. (One could argue that Faith not being there the morning after almost proves that she was there the night before... hey, it's my logic, I like it.)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 29th October 2007 09:38 (UTC)

Thanks! (Especially if you didn't like the song itself)

Three's a problem with your Faith theory, though... she wasn't in my bed this morning either (or the beds of billions of other people) - which by this logic must surely imply that she was a very busy girl indeed last night?

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 29th October 2007 17:04 (UTC)

Posted by: mr_waterproof (mr_waterproof)
Posted at: 29th October 2007 16:22 (UTC)

This was fabulous (and highly Fuffytastic of course). I really wouldn't know where to begin with putting together something like this

Just to encourage you to keep up the good work (as if you didn't have anything else to do), another suggestion for a vid that no one else seems to have done (at least it isn't on You Tube as far as I can tell) (now everyone has LCD monitors, shouldn't that be renamed "You Array" or something) despite being really obvious, is Buffy from Dawn's perspective to My Sister by Juliana Hatfield

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 30th October 2007 00:30 (UTC)

Thanks! The most important thing I have to say on "where to begin" is "don't make your first ever vid ('Troy'/'When Did the Light Die' in my case) with a song that's about three times longer than a normal song...

Otherwise it's just a question of listening to the song several times, and thinking of scenes that would illustrate the themes of the words. Then filling in the details as you go.

Unfortunately I'm not familiar with Juliana Hatfield. Maybe you could have a go? :-)

Posted by: counteragent (counteragent)
Posted at: 30th October 2007 00:00 (UTC)
Buffy counteragent

Excellent! Hot and fun.

Particularly liked the expression on "naughtiness" and the epilogue, with the panting "hungry line". Thought the transitions where the figure kind of melts away into a white outline were very cool, but I couldn't identify the effect.

Thanks for making this!

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 30th October 2007 00:34 (UTC)

Glad you liked it! I have to admit the epilogue still makes me smile when I watch it myself.

I use Ulead VideoStudio, and the transition is called "MaskB". I don't know if there's a more common name for it or anything...

Posted by: counteragent (counteragent)
Posted at: 30th October 2007 00:48 (UTC)

Posted by: Naraht (emily_shore)
Posted at: 30th October 2007 01:08 (UTC)

Fantastic! I have not seen a single episode of BtVS or Angel with Faith in it, but this vid--plus bradcpu's "Living Dead Girl"--is turning me into a fan. You really did justice to the song, and the vid is a lot of fun, very telling even without the director's commentary. Keep up the good work!

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 30th October 2007 21:29 (UTC)

I'll try. :-) Thanks!

Now I'm wondering what sort of impression of Faith you get if you've only ever seen her in fan vids...)

Posted by: Owen (owenthurman)
Posted at: 30th October 2007 03:00 (UTC)

What an amazing gift for me to find on my flist. Thank you, I really love it.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 30th October 2007 21:31 (UTC)

Thank you!

*Spreading happiness*

Posted by: hoolia goolia (boom_queen)
Posted at: 1st November 2007 00:26 (UTC)
Angel's animated clapping spaz dance

This is totally awesome! I'm always starved for more well-made Faith videos and this was absolutely delightful. The song is great: fast and catchy, and it works really well with Buffy/Faith tension.

Plus many many hot scenes of Faith dancing is pretty much guaranteed to win me over :D

Thanks for sharing! I'm probably going to rec this to my flist, if you don't mind.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 1st November 2007 01:26 (UTC)

Thank you! The song just seemed perfect for Faith... and I'm really pleased with the way it turned out.

And thanks for the offer of reccing it - by all means go ahead. I'm a shameless publicity h0r always glad of more feedback. :-)

Posted by: duckbunny (woolly_socks)
Posted at: 4th November 2007 06:29 (UTC)
Buffy (Faith) tongue out

Fantastic song, fantastic vid!!! <3

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th November 2007 13:47 (UTC)

Glad you liked it. :-) Thanks!

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th January 2008 19:21 (UTC)

Thanks! I'm glad you noticed the editing; this was the first vid I've made where I was timing the beats properly and matching the clips to them, instead of just going by ear and guesswork. So I'm pleased it worked!

Posted by: Third Mouse (thirdblindmouse)
Posted at: 4th January 2008 05:03 (UTC)

Nice vid. It's good to be reminded of how good Faith looks in motion. The scene with her and the girl from Who Are You doesn't get nearly enough play in vids. What you pointed out at the end of your notes (hungry ...and horny?) is something I never noticed before. Though personally I think of Faith as heterosexual. (The Lilah scene proves nothing. Lilah makes all women gay.)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th January 2008 19:26 (UTC)

Glad you liked it - and yes, it was fun collecting these clips. :-)

And there's probably room for a long meta about Faith's sexuality, but I think it's significant that while she enjoys the sex with men well enough, the only people she's let herself get emotionally close to are either non-sexual father figures, or women. (Buffy, Gigi). Which makes me think that if you asked her, she'd probably agree with you that she's heterosexual... but she's in denial. :-)

Thanks for commenting!

Posted by: Third Mouse (thirdblindmouse)
Posted at: 5th January 2008 20:24 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 6th January 2008 23:46 (UTC)

Posted by: Third Mouse (thirdblindmouse)
Posted at: 7th January 2008 22:24 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 8th January 2008 00:05 (UTC)

Posted by: Third Mouse (thirdblindmouse)
Posted at: 8th January 2008 21:55 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 9th January 2008 00:22 (UTC)

Posted by: Third Mouse (thirdblindmouse)
Posted at: 9th January 2008 05:23 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 9th January 2008 18:39 (UTC)

Posted by: and then we lit it on fire (electricalgwen)
Posted at: 28th March 2008 22:17 (UTC)
buffy kickass

I downloaded this quite a while ago and only just got around to watching it. Lovely job! The song suits them beautifully and you've done a great job on the timing and clip choice. And the epilogue is perfect - I did note that when I watched the episode way back when (though I'm not a B/F shipper by any stretch of the imagination) and it was a perfect wrap-up to a fun vid.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 29th March 2008 13:00 (UTC)

Thanks! And regarding the epilogue, either you're more observant or have a dirtier mind than me. ;-)

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