Flying Home

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Vid
Title: Flying Home
Creator: Morgan Dawn
Date: Feb 2004
Format: DivX .avi
Length: 2:59 minutes
Music: "Flying Home" Music From 'Road To Perdition'
Genre:
Fandom: Due South
Footage: Due South & multiple nature and aerial flight documentaries
URL: streaming version & download version

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"Flying Home" is a Due South vid by Morgan Dawn. It was reviewed by halcyon shift at the reel on August 31, 2006. The vid premiered at the 2004 Escapade vid show. It was the vidder's first solo computer vid.

Vidder's Summary: Fraser character study: his past, present and future life.

Summary: The vid is framed with scenes of Fraser being shot by his partner as he chases after a woman he loves, a criminal who has betrayed him. In between we see Fraser's mind move in and out of consciousness as he travels mentally back to his home, Canada only to be pulled back to Chicago. He sees the people loves, those who have passed and those who are yet to come. It ends with Fraser lying on the ground bleeding, hovering between life and death.

Reactions/Reviews

  • "The first word that comes to mind with this one is "gorgeous". There are so many layers to this vid; every time I watch I catch something new. Morgan does amazing things with motion and color, with the beauty of the landscapes. Watch for a very cool effect towards the end." ~ castalianspring, Favorite vid links., Archived version, dated May 18, 2004.
  • "Argh. A Victoria Vid, I did a Victoria Vid, not that I have the copyright or anything, but it's limited footage and I don't want it to get old[er]. Is he looking for her in those snow scapes? What's with the snowscapes? Okay, it's not a Victoria Vid. Some of this reminds me of the "O Canada" Imax I saw years go. Lots of pretty shots, but I'm not sure I get the vid. Why the repeated last clip? Road to Perdition. Someone else in the room didn't get it, so at least I wasn't lost alone." ~ Waldo,MediaWest Gen Show Review - Where's Waldo Been?, Archived version, dated June 2, 2004.
  • "I don't know Due South at all, but I love this vid for the story it tells. Nature and freedom and a certain wonder and lightness of being come into the city. The city's good for a while, there are people in it to love, but for a winged spirit it's full of inevitable danger and hurt." ~ heychasm. vid recs: hesychasm, Archived version

Gallery

Images are referenced in the reel review below.

The Reel Review

From the 2006 the reel review:

Titles: The titles are at the end, which I think for this was a good choice - the opener is so strong visually, and the clips to instrumental so intense, it would be a shame to tie the feel of the vid down with words at the beginning. They're your work-horse white on black, simplicity in form and motion and such good things. Also, bonus quote in a cherry on top sort of way.

Music choice: This is one of those instrumentals you kind of suspect the vidder heard and immediately matched to the concept of the vid, rather than the other way around. It may not be true, but you suspect it. Okay, I suspect it. In other words, it fit freakishly well and was used with complete precision. I'd use technical jargon about pacing and beats but, thanks to music class cuts, I don't know any. I can ping a couple spoons like you wouldn't believe.

It was slow! Then it was fast! Then it was slow! And there were these risey bits! But, beyond that, the instruments themselves and the style of the music was extremely fitting and evocative - especially for the parts that weren't city-based.

Also, it's short. Which is the perfect length for this, perfectly matched to content.

Narration, Tone and Movement:

Narration: The narration is very clear and deceptively simplistic - Fraser is shot, off his thoughts fly to Mountieland, to the city, his job, his partners, his friends, etc etc, and then we're taken back to the shooting again. I say deceptively simplistic because, thanks to the narrative being so easy to follow, it gives the opportunity to consider the clips that have been selected and their connotations of 'home'.

After our second trip to Mountieland, and watching for admittedly the fifth time, I was wondering why we went there again. The music did dictate it to a degree, and it wasn't a long visit, it's just I didn't see the purpose entirely. As it wasn't something I caught the first four times I'm thinking I'm being a teensy bit picky.

It's very much a vid worth watching more than once, just to catch the nuances. With the wealth of pretty complex vids around, this one is sort of soothing and wonderful.

Tone: For a vid bookended with Fraser being shot by his partner, as criminal of his dreams who he was going to throw it all in for pulls away on a train bound for wherever, this is a fairly uplifting piece. I'm still working that one out myself.

I haven't seen the movie the music is from so I don't know in what circumstances it was used, and whether that would colour the experience of someone watching, but for me it was sort of "badness, happiness, badness but ... you know, okay." Very much in the bittersweet vein, but I got more sweet out of it - whether that's what I was meant to get out of it, I have no idea.

Movement: Attention has clearly been paid to movement in the vid, both in the cutting and the clip's internal groove. It was pretty much a pre-req, I suspect, given the driving nature of the music. There are areas I would have liked to have seen it amped up even more because there's (obviously) a dreamlike quality that seems to be sort of uneven through the vid. It's possible that was intentional, but I'm a movement 'ho and I wanted more - not just to the beats but to the rise and fall.

Cuts, Transitions, Effects & Colouring/Coloring: As a rule the vid mostly relies on hard cuts with a few fade dissolves, fade-to-whites and what appears to be a colour change or two to ease the change from fairly light to fairly dark scenes, but I could be entirely off-base.

All of these work fine for me, they don't seem overdone at all. The only parts I found a touch too much were the beginning and the end with the slow mo'. It was just a little too long. I got it, and I admit I can't immediately think of another way it could have been done and kept the simplicity, but it jarred just a little - particularly the end.

Specific vid & music notes (time marked points of interest): My time markers are guesses at best, sorry

Despite aesthetic issues with the beginning and end, I very much liked the bookmarking as a narrative device.

00:44 - Benny over the wilderness shot is kind of beautiful 00:58 - Forest!Dief to City!Dief is a neat way to make the cross-over

Final notes: A very nicely put together, quietly lovely, vid with some occasional source issues that uses the music very well.

Vidder's Notes

These notes were posted in August 2008 and have been edited:
After talking to cesperanza at Vividcon this year, I came to an interesting revelation about my transition from analog (VCR) to digital vidding (computer).

When my vidding peers began making vids on computers (and I saw what they could accomplish) I knew that if I wanted to keep vidding, I had to make the leap myself. But before sinking thousands of dollars into the equipment and software, I did what I’ve always done – I found someone who had the equipment, knew how to wield vidding software, and collaborated with her. That person was laura shapiro and the vid we made was “Wonder of Birds”.

I bought the equipment (eMac and Final Cut) and flew off to my first Vividcon. I came home feeling very discouraged because I was not certain that I could emulate what I saw on the Vividcon screen. It wasn’t that the vids were flashier or more daring or better edited - it was because I didn’t think that I could ‘imagine’ vids in a digital setting. I could watch them and appreciate them but I didn’t know how to create them. Plus, the Vividcon vids *were* flashier and more daring and better edited.

So flying home, I sat in the airplane thinking: “If I am going to make a computer vid, it has to be about something that I really care about.” I looked out the plane window at the clouds, the land below, and the setting sun and realized that I wanted to make a vid about how I feel when I am flying. I had no song in mind nor did I have a fandom. Just a thought and a feeling...

[Why flying? During my first flight in a small plane the pilot turned to me and asked me: Where do you want to go? And that became a key question in my life.].... that is when everything shifted and my world became three dimensional. I could direct the pilot up and down, right or left or in any combination. Up until then, my life was two dimensional– when you’re on the ground you have only forwards or backwards. In the air, you have above and below and everything in between.

So when I say that I wanted to make a vid about ‘the feeling I have when flying,’ you can see that this was a tough concept to capture.

I went home and listened to every CD I had in the house, finally selecting excerpts from a movie soundtrack (The Road To Perdition). To create the music that I wanted, I had to splice several pieces together. I had to find and sample a gunshot sound effect. Then I tried to think of a fandom that would tell my story – keeping in mind that I had no story. Just: “I want to show you what I feel when I fly.” I settled on Due South and Fraser’s tale of being caught between two worlds and his yearning to go home..... Not surprising, the first clips I placed on the timeline were aerial shots from non-Due South source. The rest of the vid I assembled as I went, without a storyboard or even a strong narrative concept. Interestingly, that narrative storyline emerged *as* I edited and only as patterns began to reveal themselves to me.

So what was my great revelation this year at Vividcon? Well it’s not that great. In fact the obviousness of the revelation may make you laugh: as an analog vidder, I was vidding in a two dimensional world. Each clip had to be laid in sequence, you storyboarded every clip before you inserted it, you could not edit or move your clips and you could not adjust the color, speed or direction. You could only go forwards never back. You walked in a straight line, never lifting your feet off the ground.

Vidding on the computer, however, was like working in three dimensions– everything was fluid, clips could be shifted around, music could be blended together, colors could be adjusted, and I could flip the direction of clips or change their speed – in short, digital vidding was like flying. Of course *none* of this was in my conscious mind. If you had tried to point any of this out, I would have been annoyed at your attempt to tritely circumscribe my creative process into your lame metaphor. I mean seriously, who makes a Due South vid that is really about flying that is super sekritly about the nature of vidding?

But now, when I sit down at the computer to vid I will say to myself: “Look at me, ma. I’m flying.”