A Fire Is Burning

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Title: A Fire Is Burning
Creator: Media Cannibals Alexfandra, Sandy Herrold, Gwyneth Rhys
Date: 1996
Format: VCR Vid, remastered avi
Length: (remastered) 35mb
Music: "A Fire is Burning" by Oysterband
Fandom: The Professionals
Footage: original source material
URL: Streaming of both versions at AO3; Download Link for the 2006 Remastered Version on The Circuit Archive

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This vid was a part of the Media Cannibals/Tape2, and premiered at Virgule convention 3 in 1996 where it won Best In Show.. The vid was noted for its superfast cutting (difficult to do in VCR vidding) and emphasis on the show's action.

VIDDER'S NOTE [From Sandy's original liner notes for the Media Cannibals 2 vid tape]:

Alex found this great song, and we nearly broke two editing decks making the short cuts that the song required. I think of this vid as being a roller coaster ride, a little like B & D's lives.

After The Professionals source was released on DVD, the vid was remastered by Sandy, Alex, and Gwyneth and shown at Vividcon 2005, then remastered again using the color-corrected DVDs released a few years later by Justacat (with a little assistance from Gwyneth Rhys).

"Additional note from Gwyneth, July 2006: Justacat and I were working on remastering many of the MCs Pros vids, and since Sandy, Alex, and I had remastered this one last year for the Vividcon Hi-Def show, this was the one we started with first, both so that I could make a DVD copy available, and so that we could fix some compression and credits problems that had come up when we first remastered it. We used the new Professionals DVDs that came out recently with color correction and some cleanup of the film, and so this vid looks pretty spiffy, even in web compression.

Really, I'm not usually one to brag, but I still think that our original vid is one of the best vids ever made. It was way ahead of its time in the fast cutting, etc., and told a great story. Of course there are things we'd change if we could -- I remember one big thing was that all the musical parts use clips chosen from the order the eps aired, so we let some run too long because we didn't think we'd have enough, but then it turned out that we ran out of time in late third season or early fourth! -- but even with that, I never get tired of watching this vid. Sometimes I can't believe I was privileged enough to have participated in it.

So download! Enjoy all this sweat and toil everyone's put into it! It's shiny and new and sparkly and big![1]


The vid was reviewed by laceymcbain at the crack_van on October 28, 2005. You can read the entire review and comments here.[2] An excerpt:
What I really like about this vid is the sense of movement. From the opening of it, the boys are running. Running in tight pants, running with guns out, running to save their lives and everyone else's. It gives a good over-all picture of the show--the franticness, the action, the adventure, the drama, the violence. The visual cuts are well-done and the song is well-chosen. It's just a nicely done vid with good pacing. A good introduction to what people can expect from the show."[3]
"Probably the archetypal vid for the fandom. If someone were to ask you, "What is Pros?" you really couldn't do any better than to direct them to this vid. A miracle of pacing and editing, this is all about the action. I love how the vid ends on the final scene for the series, the explosion of the car bomb from No Stone. It's as if that moment puts a punctuation point on everything."[4]
"While the previous four recs have all concentrated on Ray and Bodie's slashy relationship, A Fire is Burning by Media Cannibals pulls back and focuses on the show itself. While not specifically slashy (this is, after all, the Slash Proliferation Challenge), you could enjoy the vid purely for the sight of Ray and Bodie running, jumping, and shooting. The actors did almost all of their own stuntwork and it's quite impressive. The song is great and the fast jumping clips are beautifully put together. But I highly recommend you read the song lyrics before you watch the vid. CI5 is an anti-terrorist organization and yet the lyrics are the POV of the very groups CI5 is fighting against. The fact that they can be relevant for Ray and Bodie as well suggests that what you fight against ends up defining you. The line between good and bad becomes blurred and that creates tension and moral ambiguity -- meat and potatoes for slash writers! *g* There are a lot of parallels between The Professionals in its era and 24 today. In their own way, both shows present government agencies able to successfully protect a nervous public from chaos and car bombs if, you know, you give them a free hand. To its credit, Pros does sometimes ask if the cost is worth it"[5]
"This vid was one of the deciding factors for me in finally buying the dvds and watching the show for myself. Even with having seen the vid first, and then the show, I still think the vid captures the overall feel of the series beautifully. The remastered version is gorgeous. It was a real pleaure watching it again today."[6]
"I've never seen it before, but having watched it twice in a row I can now see what all the fuss is about. What a fantastic compilation of clips and the choice of the song and music was inspired. Thanks for all your hard work to bring it to us and multiple thanks to the original vidders for such wonderful work.
"It's one of the best made, most 'screamingPros to me' songvids I've ever watched, and I love it."[7]
"A very nice, fast-paced vid. I liked having something with a lot of quick cuts right away and the song definitely fit the show."[8]
" Fire is Burning by the media cannibals is one of the best fan videos I have ever seen. The song is inspired and the clips run seamlessly together. Go and watch it now!"[9]
"Perhaps my favorite Pros vid of all time is "A Fire is Burning" by the Media Cannibals. Love Oysterband, the lyrics are meant for Pros, and the editing is great, especially when you realize it was first vidded using VCRs. I'm so delighted that justacat worked with gwyn_r to remaster some of the Media Cannibals' vids." [10]
"I love this vid because, like many vids, it introduced me to a new band, but also because, for me, it encapsulates everything that caught my imagination about Pros in those dim distant days when Dagenham was still churning out capri's and we were still debating the possibility of actually having a woman as Prime Minister.[11]
"This has always been my favorite - I love how it's put together and how it shows their togetherness."[11]
"I like this because it's not an overtly shippy vid, but the choice of song makes it clear how the guys' work bonds them with shared experiences. Plus it's nicely put together, especially for a piece that I believe was edited from actual video, as opposed to digital work?"[11]
"I think the version up on Circuit now is the "digitally remastered" version by Justacat et al., but I have the original version too (from the ProsLib vid CD, way back when) and I agree - how brilliant are people who could do that with video tape!"[11]
"Having made one of my own now, I have nothing but awe for the VHS vidders..."[11]
"Love this vid - excellent choice. It's got a great energy and vibe to it that just fits with the lads - real brothers-in-arms stuff, and the dream of getting the world right."[11]
"Oh I had forgotten about this vid, and just how good it is... I have it saved to my pc but zoomed right on past when I was looking for vids to rec, because I simply didn't remember what it was about. But it is brilliant, and a fantastic choice, and thank you for reminding me. I love how together Bodie and Doyle are in this, always looking out for each other. There's a sense of urgency to it as well, as though they're only *just* holding back the tide."[11]


  1. ^ The Professionals Circuit Archive - A Fire Is Burning, Archived version
  2. ^ "crack_van: VID REC: The Professionals - A Fire is Burning". Archived from the original on 2012-03-30. 
  3. ^ reference link.
  4. ^ "PSPC Day #7". Archived from the original on 2013-06-06. Retrieved April 2, 2007. 
  5. ^ "Pros vid rec: A Fire is Burning". Retrieved April 2, 2007. 
  6. ^ comment in the remastered vid post dated July 20, 2006; reference link.
  7. ^ Media Cannibals dated July 19. "SONGVID: PROS "A Fire is Burning"". Retrieved July 19, 2006. 
  8. ^ Michelle Christian's review of the Media Cannibals tape posted to the Virgule-L mailing list Nov 29, 1996, quoted with permission.
  9. ^ "alicambs - The Profesionals Info and Resources". Archived from the original on 2013-08-22. 
  10. ^ "taverymate wrote in ci5hq". 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Friday Night at the Cinema - A Fire Is Burning: ci5hq, Archived version, March 2016