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(Vid) Stones

23rd September 2009 (22:02)
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I've made a vid! For the first time in *checks* 14 months. And weirdly enough, after all that time it only took me a single evening to make this one, plus another to check and tweak it after I'd had chance to sleep on it and come back fresh. That must be a record for me.

Of course, the fact that this vid is All About Willow and her fall from grace at the end of Season 6 may have something to do with it. Since, y'know, it's just possible I know those episodes off by heart and could therefore immediately pinpoint exactly which clip I wanted to use for every second of the vid... :-)

As for the music, there's a story behind that. I'm not sure how many of my flist will recognise the song, although I'm fairly certain Felicia Day would if, by some vague mischance, she ever stumbled across this journal. *g* Back in the 90s one of my favourite computer games was the Ultima series. There was a particular piece of music used as a background motif in several of those games, called 'Stones'. It had an exceptionally haunting melody, and stuck in my mind ever since. So recently I was hit by a fit of nostalgia and decided to search on YouTube to see if anyone had uploaded the music.

Not only had they done that (several versions), but I even found a version with sung lyrics. (I knew the song had lyrics, but I'd never actually heard them; the games themselves only had an instrumental version.) So I played it - numerous times, as you do (I'd hate to live with me) - and before long I started thinking "Hey, that verse sounds like it's about Willow in 'Grave'... and this verse reminds me of Willow in 'Lessons'...and this verse-- wait a minute, I could make a vid out of this!

So here it is.


'Stones' (from Ultima) by David Watson and Kathleen Jones
Source: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Seasons 6 and 7
Rating: PG
Length: 2.01
Format: WMV, 640 x 352, 20.1MB
Characters/Pairings: Willow (and Giles)

Summary: Willow's fall into Ultimate Evil, with perhaps a hope of redemption.

Download link (Right-click and 'Save As') 20 MB

Streamy YouTube version, assuming that (a) LJ are allowing embedded video again (b) YouTube haven't banned me for doing dubious things with IP:

ETA: Director's Commentary on the making of this vid.


(Deleted comment)
Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 24th September 2009 12:50 (UTC)

Well, I occasionally do vids. But not for over a year, apparently. :-)

has all of them. The early ones may not be as good as the later ones...
(Or click on my 'vid' tag to see the ones I've posted to LJ - some of them I did before I got an account here.)


Posted by: Martzin (martzin)
Posted at: 24th September 2009 14:30 (UTC)

I'm not sure I interpret this correctly.

I suppose this is about the old, evil magic that suffuses Willow and the temple of doom, making Willow refuse to open up her suffering, and making the temple keep its secrets. Though Willow does open up a bit by the end. Or maybe the stones are more about the graves that keep loved ones away.

Oh no, my metaphor sense is overheating.

I like the Gothic imagery, by the way.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 24th September 2009 16:28 (UTC)

I might do a more in-depth commentary at some point. :-)

My storyline for the vid was that Willow is unable to let go of her loved one, and refuses to admit that Buffy's death is forever. So she takes on dark powers to reverse that situation. That's why I go from her painting her face with blood (from 'Bargaining') to her moving her hand over her face from 'Grave' - she can take away the blood, but now the magic - the veininess - is inside her.

Cue lots of self-destructive badness and attempted world-destruction, from which she's saved at the last moment by Xander and his yellow crayon, yadda yadda yadda.

This gives her an opportunity for reflection and redemption, but the song leaves us doubting whether she'll actually be able to do so: "But you haven't got the clue and perhaps you never will". That's pessimistic, but not completely ruling it out.

The vid ends by coming full circle: from Buffy's gravestone to Tara's gravestone. But there is a difference. I focus on the stones she leaves on the grave in the final scenes, because they're a symbol of permanance and eternity. They mean she'll always remember Tara, but she accepts that she's dead; she won't try to bring her back again.

So maybe she has "got the clue" after all?

Glad you liked the vid. :-)

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 24th September 2009 20:13 (UTC)
Willow - playing god by bogwitch

Very nice. Also very helpful, since Willow is in a fic I'm currently working on, and it helps to have all this fresh. :) (Especially like the 'will-she-won't-she?' ending. Even if she stays on the straight and narrow, she'll always be dangerous because of what she is.)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 25th September 2009 20:31 (UTC)

Thanks! It was fun (and weird) seeing all those clips again, because of course I know the episodes so well, but actually watching them again for this - and vidding means replaying scenes over and over looking for the right places to cut or trim each scene - was really bringing out details I never noticed before.

Posted by: erimthar (erimthar)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 20:03 (UTC)

Very nice... I like the recurring theme... the "standing stone" of the buried temple, the gravestone, the stone Willow puts on top of it. All connected to Will's attempts to deal with her grief, one way or another.

What software do you use for video editing?

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th September 2009 22:05 (UTC)

That did work out well. It was soemthing that evolved in working it out, rather than being my idea all along, but once I spotted the theme, I moved things around to make it work.

I use Ulead VideoStudio 11, plus DVD Decrypter and Virtual Dub Mod for creating clips. (And the still image of the stones at the end was done in Photoshop.)


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