Desert Rose (Heroes vid)

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Title: Desert Rose
Creator: Beth/CG aka phoenixchilde or phoenixchilde
Date: December 2006
Music: "Desert Rose" by Sting
Fandom: Heroes
URL: offline (archived website)

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Desert Rose is a Heroes vid by Beth/CG. It was reviewed on February 7, 2007 by jebbypal at the reel vidding community. The vid was one of several that was shown at the Milliways convention.[1] It was also shown at the 2007 Vividcon "Newbies Rock!" vidshow.

Vidder's summary:"Peter, Mohinder, Chandra, Sylar, and Isaac: no sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this."


  • 12 12 12 offered an extended review of the vid on August 15, 2007:"Not only is this the most technically accomplished Heroes vid I've seen so far, it's also one of the most thematically complex and visually captivating...I love how you tie together the stories of Peter, Mohinder, and Sylar--the three characters who are working hardest to try to understand what's going on, how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together, and how they fit in in the overall scheme of things.... evolution, connections, destiny, human potential."[2]
  • " I've only seen a few episodes of Heroes but this vid made me want to sit down and mainline the whole season. Or you know, the whole season so far. The music and editing and clip selections all added up to give me that warm, inspired, slightly tingly feeling I associate with the kind of fandom I can get well and truly addicted to. I sense a new obsession on the horizon. But apart from that, seriously a kick ass vid that I loved muchly."[3]
From the reel review:
"Overall Impression: Wow, I’m still impressed by this vid. Few vids inspire the urge to meta wildly about them, but this one has such a tight story that it does. Add to that absolutely beautiful clip choices without any distractions of fancy effects, and you have a vid that is sure to be a classic in the Heroes fandom (for I doubt this will stay for long in the Small/Misc fandom).

Titles: There is no title screen at the beginning of the vid, only at the end as the song draws to a close. Understated and white on black. Nothing fancy.

Music choice: Okay, I admit, I’m biased. Ever since I’ve heard this song, it has quickly become my all time favorite Sting song, so as soon as I saw a Heroes vid to it, I begged [Bad username: ”deathisyourart”] to let me review this vid!! That said, this is a good song choice for the fandom because it gets the viewer away from the comic book feel and more into the genre of epic movie or novel. It also lends itself well to the show’s sense of mystery and discovery evoking the feeling that we all had when we first started watching and were trying to figure out what in the hell was going on.

Narration, tone, and movement: I mentioned it in the overall notes, but I’m in love with the narration in this vid. It opened my eyes to something that everyone else in the fandom has probably already noticed (though I do have the defense of my brain being eaten by school for the past three months) of the parallels of Peter’s journey to that of Sylar’s. The vid is definitely more Peter focused though, starting with Peter’s dreams of flying and ending with Peter’s dreams of exploding (I really wonder what Freud would do with this).

The tone of the vid is established by the music and the clip choice as reverent and mysterious, almost bordering on the religious. We are watching Peter’s journey – from a man who wants to be a little different, to a man who discovers he has a life (and world) changing mission, to one who discovers his powers may destroy everything he cares about.

The movement in the vid is very fluid from one scene and POV to another without ever being jerky or distracting. The transitions in the form of cuts and series of fades add to the fluid feel of the music and make for a very enjoyable experience.

Cuts, transitions, effects, and coloring: The cuts and transitions are simple scene cuts and a couple of screen fades which is very appropriate here. The star of this vid is the story, not any excess visual effects added by the vidder.

There are few flashy effects in this vid (that or my ignorance at vidding – I’m not a vidder after all, though for street cred I will say that lithium doll keeps coming back for my betaing services), but there are several very effective clip merges and masks that serve to highlight the stories touched on here – Suresh, Sylar, and Peter. There are a couple of times that we see images in Peter’s eyes, but here my having seen all the episodes only once is a handicap, as I believe these effects may have been in the original episodes. If not, I apologize and bow before the altar of phoenixchilde’s talent J

Coloring – is there really anything one can do to add to the coloring of Heroes’ episodes? The source is of course the star here – all the clips are at just the right light level to make out the important action in each, the colors are crisp and gorgeous.

Specific vid and music notes: 0:01 We open much as the season opened, with Peter on a tall building, waiting to jump.

0:14 For a vid where there is little motion timed with drum beats, I feel it necessary to mention at least one movement/auditory sync – as the female vocalist opens her eery chant, we see Peter opening his arms wide and reverently, setting the tone for the rest of the vid.

0:17 We see the eclipse in Peter’s eye in the fade of the eclipse we go to the master computer list of mutations --- this is one of those effects/transitions where I’m not sure if it was in the source, or the work of the vidder.

0:17-0:35 Rapid scene changes from the computer, to the map of mutants, to Peter in the cab, and finally Isaac with his painting and the tattoo of change set up our subject matter and lend to the air of discovery and mystery of the vid. Obviously, it’s a recap of the first few episodes of discovery and it does well to evoke memories of what we all felt as we watched for the first time.

0:35 The first time we hear Sting’s voice and true lyrics. It’s heard as a background for a flyover of the city, which is Peter’s dream as well as one of the few images of Nathan. It leads to Peter’s awakening in the hospital.

0:55-060 I dream of fire shows us the painting of the burning city and we segue to Isaac the dreamer for a few seconds.

1:05 The shadows play in the shape of the mans desire We’re introduced to Sylar for the first time, though these lyrics also echo Peter’s desire and certainty that he’s different even when Nathan and everyone else insists he’s crazy and paranoid (I told you this vid made me want to meta!).

1:05-1:30 We see Sylar’s journey with Chandra Suresh.

1:31 Mohinder makes his first lengthy appearance as counterpoint to Chandra’s journey with Sylar. This also opens the sequence of Mohinder’s search for the truth about his father’s work and eventual acceptance of fulfilling Chandra’s duty as Mohinder’s own destiny.

1:47 Peter and Mohinder meet.

2:07 I lift my gaze to empty skies above is shown with clips of Peter looking up at the eclipse from the back of a (Mohinder’s?) cab and Mohinder looking up as well. I’m fairly certain that these scenes were as we see them here in the actual episode, but the clip choice is still great here.

2:28 Mohinder’s struggle with his choice to abandon his father’s quest or not while Peter learns of the full import of his own quest.

2:36 Claire’s appearance in Peter’s story. These action sequences flow well with this run of instrumental music. The pace of clip changes from here on increases dramatically with the pace of the music as we rapidly skip in time past the Sylar/Peter/Claire confrontation and into the aftermath.

3:10 One of the few uses of overlays in the vid and masterfully done. We see Peter standing on a tall building struggling as in the background we see fuzzy images of Mohinder, Chandra, Sylar, and the tattoo.

3:15 The final dream of Peter’s journey (at least by this episode anyways). Peter explodes in light as Sting’s voice falls off (3:28) and we cut to Isaac standing on top of his mural of the decimation of New York.

3:40 We end much as we began, slow cuts to Mohinder and the list of mutants. And then a zoom from out of Peter’s pupil as he lies face first on the ground (as if he jumped and failed) before we pull out and realize it’s one of the last episodes before the prolonged hiatus with Nathan cradling his brother’s head after Peter collapsed.

We pull out to black and the titles.

Final notes: As I said, I do think this will become one of the classic Heroes vids in a few seasons. It evokes the feelings of discovery as we made the journey through the first half of the first season with Peter and it really shows the epic nature of Peter’s journey of discovery of his powers and his heroic acts before he discovers that he may indeed be the cause of the need to save the cheerleader. Beautifully done and I honestly couldn’t find anything to criticize. I’m going to end before I break out in any more meta!"


  1. ^ Millicon's Vid Show Playlist.
  2. ^ 12-12-12's review, Archived version.
  3. ^ sextagteam's Get it up again! Amen! February 9th, 2007 post.