When We're Alone

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Title: When We're Alone
Creator: Monsie
Date: August 22, 2007
Format: mp4
Length: 36MB
Music: "When We're Alone" by Acute
Genre: character study
Fandom: Harry Potter
Footage: first four Harry Potter films
URL: Vid can be downloaded here. Click on "miscellaneous", then second row, center thumbnail.

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When We're Alone is a Harry Potter vid by Monsie. The vidder describes this vid as a chracter study of Minerva McGonagall and Albus Dumbledore.

This vid was reviewed by Alias sbqr at the reel vidding community on October 1, 2007:

Skirting in under the wire! I wrote half of this ages ago and then completely forgot about it until today (and now have a cold), so haven't had a chance to proofread as well as I would like. My apologies for any errors!

Overall impression: I think this is a competent vid which works well in parts but not in others. I must admit to not ever seeing a great deal of Dumbledore/MacGonnogal chemistry (Dumbledore has always read as somewhat of a loner to me), and the vid didn't convince me otherwise, but was still a nice summary of the bond between them. The use of effects was interesting but a perhaps a little overdone. 
 Before I begin: the vid has a bunch of moments where the image freezes and goes black and white. I'm not sure what to call these so have arbitrarily chosen the word "still".

Titles: They fit in between stills quite nicely, and are a more interesting font than you usually get in vids. I'm not sure it's a very appropriate font, being rather modern and gritty.

Music choice: While the lyrics fit well with the story that's being told, I think it's a bit slow and bland for a fanvid.

Narration, Tone and Movement: Overall the vid is reasonably effective in getting across it's message that Dumbledore and MacGonnagal are both isolated from everyone else and that MacGonnagal is one of the few people Dumbledore can rely upon to support him, but there were sections that I felt didn't really add much to this message such as the sections involving quiddich and the triwizard tournament. I think there was a subtext about Harry's relationship with the two of them but this did not come across very clearly to me. The use of the pensieve to symbolise Dumbledore's thoughts is very effective. I like the way the vid finishes on our first meeting of the two characters, especially since it fits well with the story. Overall I think narrative was sacrificed for movement.

Both the song and the vid have a mild, slightly sentimental melancholy which is fairly consistent throughout but didn't grab me.

The use of movement is very well done, especially the scenes with the tree and broomstick rider, but in both cases while they got across the mood quite well I was at a loss to interpret much specific meaning out of them in the context of the story the vid was telling. The scenes flow very well with the music and into one another in a purely visual sense, with the motion of the characters and the placement of the cuts matching the beat. But a number of scenes felt like they were chosen entirely because they worked well visually in terms of motion, colour etc and added very little to the narrative or emotion of the vid, such as Dumbledore greeting students in the great hall at 1:50.

Cuts, Transitions, Effects & Colouring/Coloring: The cuts flow very smoothly for the most part, and are in time with the music. I'm not entirely sure I like the use of stills, it seems a bit pretentious and breaks up the flow, but for what they are were used reasonably well. A number of the images chosen to freeze on weren't all that interesting but I guess there isn't a lot of Dumbledore/McGonnagal to draw on. I'm not very good at noticing effects, so didn't notice till my second viewing that some clips are subtly half blacked out to the isolate the characters, which works quite well especially since the lyrics at that point are about being "alone". I think there was some added pan-and-zoom on MacGonnagal.

The overlays onto the pensieve are done quite well, I think the other cuts are otherwise straightforward. There's a few black stills to create a beat.

Specific vid & music notes: The first two stills, at [00:07] and [00:14] are in my opinion the most effective. I understand starting with your strongest moments but it does leave the later stills looking a bit lackluster by comparison.

[0:27] The transition from the pensieve to the tree is very pretty and matches the lyrics and change in the music well though I'm not entirely sure what it means.

[00:50] Every time I see the combination of "kissing lovers" with only Dumbledore and Professor Sprout in shot I am amused, which I don't think was the intention :)

[1:11] Macgonnagal approaching Dumbledore while he looks in a mirror at "You see it like I do" is a nice moment.

[1:28] Matching the lyrics "We're alone" with the two characters isolated by blackness is quite effective.

[1:40]-[1:50] I am very confused by this section. It feels like it means something, but I can't figure out what. The movement of the broom and cheering crowd does match the music well though.

[1:50] A still of Macgonnagol and Snape?

[1:51]-[2:30] This all matches the lyrics quite well but somehow doesn't quite work (yes, sorry, I know that's not very helpful!)

[2:55] Aw, they're alone, and it's how we first met them. Very nice place to end :)

Final notes: The vidder clearly has a lot of technical ability, and has produced a pretty if not very emotionally engaging vid. I think some improvements could be made by choosing a better song and putting more effort into creating and maintaining a strong and consistent narrative.

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