The WOAD Society/Dramatic License

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cover of the third videocassette along with the back of the accompanying booklet


The first WOAD collection was released in 2002 on 3 hand-copied tapes rubber banded together with booklets, covers, and custom labels. On them was the following message:

Warning: These tapes may be hazardous. They're long. Take a break. They've got things that may disturb you, including, but not limited to, sex (of various kinds and involving various genders and species), romance, mysticism, technology, violence, humor in poor taste and characters you can't stand. When you encounter one of these it may be time to take that break.

All told, about 350 sets of tapes were distributed. Luminosity created the creative intro titles for each tape. The third tape (Dramatic License) was themed after Great Romances of the Silver Screen, and contained:

Why Don't You Do Right? Some Like It Hot Don C. I’ve always loved this movie. As a teenager, like most young men, I was head over heels for Marilyn Monroe. Her character is searching for the perfect millionaire to marry, so obviously, the song was a perfect fit.
I Get Around Godzilla Kellan Dane My son is a Godzilla fanatic and after watching the movie every day for a solid month, the giant lizard began to encroach on my dreams, my jokes and even conversations. I purposely avoided showing Godzilla in this vid, and instead focused on Nick and the French Secret Service agent. It was very therapeutic and the high energy of the song makes the vid fun.
Puff the Magic Dragon Godzilla Kellan Dane and Taselby This is a vid idea we’d had for a while and finally worked up the nerve to do. We did this vid after the events of September 11, and the shots of the World Trade Center, overlapping this bittersweet song, was very emotional for both of us. We struggled with the decision to show the towers at all, but in the end, those shots made the vid more powerful and helped it to work on more than one level.
My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys The Magnificent 7 Taselby and Don C. One of our best friends loves the The Magnificent 7 and got us hooked as well. We wanted it to work on two levels, for fans and non-fans alike. If you’re not a fan, the vid is still a nice video about cowboys and the Old West. As a fan, the vid is more about J.D.’s loss of innocence and how he idolizes the Seven.
Lester's Possum Park The Magnificent 7 Taselby and Don C. Don: This song is from The Goofy Movie and I crack up everytime I hear it. Once again turning our attention to The The Magnificent 7, we decided the park should be in reference to the bar Ezra purchases. This is one of those vids that came together perfectly.
Loser The Magnificent 7 Kellan Dane and Taselby We’d been introduced to Mag 7 by a friend, and quickly latched onto Ezra as a favorite character. This song seemed perfect to highlight his dark undercurrents.
Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love The Magnificent 7 Don C. I’m a slightly twisted sort. Any excuse to show my boys shooting their guns is good enough for me. It’s a silly song and a silly vid, one that I needed to do after working on so many other dark and serious vids. This was one of my earlier vids, but, I think this is still a fun vid that can stand on its own.
Only the Good Die Young Wiseguy Killa and Merricat Killa: This was Mer’s baby. She mentioned the song to me one day, and I agreed it was perfect for Sonny and Vinnie. She planned out about eighty percent of the clips and gave me help with the rest, but those last two or three clips proved to be really tough to make work. We struggled together for ideas, and finally came up with a solution for the toughest part: "they never told you the price that you pay for things that you might have done." Then technical problems struck, and I lost the whole project file and had to rebuild. I think it says a lot that I still find this one fun to watch. Also kind of cool to me - Mer and I have never met in person, but we’ve written stories and now made a vid together. I hope not our last!

Mer: About all I can add is that your execution of the vid made it even better than what I saw in my mind's eye when I listened to the song & played clips in my head. You'd always be my first choice to offer a beloved "private vid" to, to make it a reality. (Actually, I have a couple, if you're interested.... <g>)
I Burn for You The English Patient Carol S I had loved this song for years and had been looking for an appropriate fandom for it since I started vidding. When I saw The English Patient I knew I had found what I was looking for. This vid marks two firsts for me. It is the first vid I did to a movie, which is a very different experience in terms of clip choice than vidding from a TV show. It is also the first vid I did off a DVD and has sent me looking for DVD source ever since.
Shades of Grey Highlander Melina I stumbled on this song by accident while I was considering vidding another song on the same CD. Once I looked at the lyrics, though, I knew this had to be a Duncan vid. For one thing, the lyrics fit perfectly, and for another, I was really tired of hearing that Duncan was a character who only saw things in black and white. Unlike some vids, where it’s hard to find enough good clips to fit the song, this one had so many that the sequences that are now from Promises and Warmonger started out completely differently. This vid’s biggest problem was the ending - there are about 45 seconds with no lyrics, but there was no way to cut it. The solution I came up with was the quick-flashes of various immortals - as Duncan once said, they are neither all good nor entirely evil. The very ending shows the various aspects of Duncan’s personality - on one hand, he’s a lover, friend, and teacher, and on the other, he can lose control, wreck his home and shove a man into a casket with a gun to his head. Grey, indeed.
Bridge Over Troubled Water Highlander Melina When I was thinking about vidding this song I went looking for covers of it, for some reason I don’t quite remember. I quickly learned that it has become a true American classic - it’s been recorded over 50 times, by country artists, gospel artists, pop artists, you name it. At the end of the day I went back to the original and just cut the last verse, so the real climax of the song, and the vid, is in a section without lyrics. It’s a bit unusual, but I still like it. I think the lyrics fit Methos’ behavior more than some (including Methos) would like to admit - he may talk a good game about not caring about anyone but himself, but I don’t buy it any more than Duncan does. He keeps coming back and putting himself in harm’s way for Duncan, time and time again.
The Shoop Shoop Song Highlander Melina Killa inspired me to do an Amanda vid, but because I Want expressed Amanda’s serious side so beautifully, I went looking for light, fun Amanda. While this song is definitely light on the surface, I found something a little more serious, almost by accident. It’s often hard to tell from watching Duncan and Amanda interact just how much they care about each other. There’s often tension on the surface, whether caused by Amanda’s thievery, Duncan’s protectiveness, or some third person coming between them. It’s in those rare moments when they let their guard down - "in his kiss" - when you really see how they feel about each other. This vid was fun to create. I was about to cut the bridge from the song when I started playing with the idea of showing flashbacks with Duncan and Amanda "kissing through time." The "page-turn" in and out of the flashbacks is one of those rare times I’ve used an obvious visual effect, but I think it works here. The dates were added later using a simple title overlay.
Tears in Heaven Highlander Killa Seemed like a given at the time. I wish now that I’d cut the song - it’s really too long, though I was attached to the idea of the mirroring "would it be the same, if I saw you in heaven" verses. I love Eric Clapton, I love Duncan and Tessa, I love sad stories, but this vid is a bit too much, even for me. Hey, every tape needs a bathroom break.
Touched Highlander Luminosity A romantic, slashy, angsty vid! That was the challenge I gave myself. I had done angry and funny and horny, but I hadn’t done heartbroken and yearning. It’s hard to throw a gauntlet down at oneself, but I did it. I love VAST. They’re so self indulgent and artsy. I wanted give the vid a dream-like quality, and I zoomed nearly every clip in order to give it a surreal motion, and I wanted to draw in the viewer. I also ran the last clip (of Methos on his knees) backwards because it seemed more hopeless and unrestrained, just like the song. sigh. :)
Sultans of Swing Highlander Luminosity I had just come home from Reunion Con and felt the need to get reacquainted with Duncan, Methos, et al. As a friend at the con said, "Adrian Paul and Peter Wingfield were at Reunion, but Duncan and Methos were nowhere to be found." I liked the idea of a band of immortals, too. I’m not very happy with this vid, but I learned a cheap lesson - that I should know where I’m going to end before I start.
Scotland the Silly Highlander Carol S The concept of Highlander bloopers to kazoos was irresistible and seemed like a good way spend my time waiting for results from the 2000 presidential elections.
Dacw 'Nghariad Highlander Taselby and Don C. We’ve always been suckers for updated versions of Celtic music, so this song hooked us right away with the deep, layered vocals and vaguely violent undercurrent of the music. Right away we knew it had to be a Highlander vid. The parallel structures in the music lent themselves well to the parallels in Duncan and Methos’ lives.
Don't Panic Highlander Luminosity This is my homage to John Woo. When I first heard the song, I knew it was a Highlander vid. The beauty and violence of the Highlander universe has always fascinated me, in that the immortals have that gift, but it’s couched in a curse of inescapable violence and death. They’re always ultimately alone. What a trade off. (streaming version at Critical Commons)
Raven in the Storm Highlander Killa and Carol S Killa: Thanks to Destina, who drove from central Florida to Atlanta with me, the car trip on which this song presented itself to me as a vid. I’d toyed with it as a Kronos vid at one point, don’t ask me why, but when I heard it on that drive, I knew that of course, it was Methos. Kat helped affirm the direction I wanted to go in for the end, and Carol (as usual) had all the best ideas for clips. John Gorka is a hell of a songwriter, isn’t he?

Carol: This was a wonderful vid to watch develop. Although, I think if I had asked to move another clip just one frame, Killa would have killed me.
White Wedding Highlander Luminosity Duncan is the Kiss of Death to a lot of the people he loves, and Billy Idol, well... I felt that Duncan’s heartbreak was unrelenting, but I wanted it to end on an up note. On the other hand, if I were in the Highlander universe, and Duncan MacLeod turned his eye to me, I’d run! (yeah right.) Killa told me that this was "stealth slash." Oh yeah.
Wicked Game Highlander Killa A very early vid. It satisfied my curiosity about just how much I could muck around with an audio track without it becoming obvious; I cut seven or eight pieces out of the song, some only a few bars long. What drew me to the idea of this song for Duncan and Methos is the contrast between the passion in the music and the reluctance of the lyrics. I’d been writing a story about Duncan falling for Methos in spite of his better judgment, and had really been noticing just how wary Duncan looks around Methos, almost right from the beginning of their relationship. When they meet, Duncan has just lost Darius, Tessa and Fitz in close succession, and he is very alone and vulnerable. In Methos, he finds someone who can be the father-figure and confidant that Darius was, the passionate emotional challenge that Tessa was, and the friend and bickering sibling that Fitz was, all rolled up into one person. No wonder he’s wary, I thought, he’s scared to death - and with good reason. I don’t think this is a great vid, but I love the feeling in the song of someone who is pushing away with one hand the very thing he’s reaching for with the other.
Time in a Bottle Highlander Kellan Dane and Taselby I’d known for a while that I wanted to do a Methos/Alexa vid to this song, but wasn’t quite sure how to approach it, given the small number of clips we had to work with. In the end, Kellan’s deft touch with the editing saved the day, and resulted in what I think is one of our finest vids.
You Might Think Highlander Melina In contrast to Bridge Over Troubled Water, I wanted to make a "lighter" Duncan/Methos vid. Although this song has a serious section in the bridge, for the most part it is less serious. Thematically, however, it’s not very different - Methos himself might think he’s crazy for doing so, but he does keep returning to Duncan’s side. I was told that some viewers had trouble figuring out point of view at the beginning - the POV really does match the clips, and I think the problem is inherent to the song, given the fast tempo and that the first five seconds of lyrics have two "you’s" and one "I." Anyway, yes, it is Methos’ point of view.
Loch Lomond Highlander Melina The lyrics don’t fit Connor and Heather’s story all that perfectly, but if you’re a schmoopy romantic type like I am, that’s really not enough to stop you, especially once you’ve fallen in love with this beautiful rendition by Judy Collins. Technically, this vid was quite a headache, and it didn’t turn out quite as well as I’d hoped - this was the first vid I’ve done with clips only from DVDs. While the picture quality is certainly better, once you start messing with the clip’s speed or other properties, the result is less forgiving than VHS clips - there is more jerkiness and edge enhancement. While Endgame had some beautiful helicopter shots of Scotland, they were so fast in the film that slowing them down was absolutely essential. The DVDs of Endgame and the original Highlander are also in different aspect ratios, and it took a lot of cropping and rendering to match them up. C’est la vie! I hope the vid works on an emotional level despite the technical difficulties.
Brothers in Arms Highlander Killa I love this song, and it’s so Duncan to me, but I had no idea what I was getting into when I started this one. It seemed like I knew exactly what I wanted to do before I started, but in practice this turned out to be a tricky vid that I changed around a lot. I think if it hadn’t been for Reunion Con coming up, I might never have forced myself to finish it. The Jacob clip on "through these fields of destruction" always gets me. It’s not coincidence that I try to work him into as many vids as I can. I also really like the "we have just one world, but we live in different ones" line in the song, because I think it describes the inherent tragedy of Highlander perfectly. Immortals cannot be mortal, mortals cannot be Immortal, and the irony is that in a universe that encompasses Immortality, nothing lasts. To me, the message of the song is both Duncan’s warning to himself of that fact, and his refusal to completely accept it. He knows loss is inevitable, but forms those connections anyway, and finds it hard to let go.
You've Got a Friend in Me Highlander Melina The whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts in this vid. It’s not easy to make each clip visually interesting when you have a very limited number to choose from - I was amazed to find that Fitz had only been in seven episodes, because he feels like such an important part of the show. But maybe making each clip interesting on its own isn’t that critical when you have the right emotional vibe and enough (just barely enough!) clips to tell the story. I think this song fits the characters’ relationship, and the lyrics were right to highlight their capers together. My favorite parts are the two-shots through time ("as the years go by") and the bookends of their first meeting - the fact that the dialogue fits almost perfectly under the music was pure Highlander luck.
Funeral in His Heart Highlander Taselby and Kellan Dane I’d always thought of this song as being very much in line with my vision of Methos, and once we started vidding, it seemed a natural choice. It’s one of the few songs that I started out with a very clear idea of what I wanted in the vid. Kellan took a little more convincing, but eventually lent me a hand with some editing tricks.
I'm Not a Virgin Any More Highlander Luminosity A reactionary vid if there ever was one. And an unashamed Duncan slut vid. Duncan’s been around, and Methos isn’t going to teach him a damned thing, at least not in that arena! I love this song. It’s unabashedly sexy, and the perfect vehicle for me to state my opinions about Virgin!Duncan. I suppose, if I could have found any clips of Duncan with a sheep, they would have gone into this vid. :)
And As For You Highlander Killa and Carol S Carol: There may be something to be said for very long dental appointments. I was listening to this song all the way through and by the end it was utterly clear to me that it had to be a Methos/Kronos vid. Luckily, Killa agreed.
In Your Eyes Highlander Killa and Carol S Carol: This was the first vid that Killa and I did together and it was a great experience all the way around. I’d never had to articulate my thoughts on how to construct a vid so clearly or try to express quite so many ideas that I didn’t have words for. It’s the vid that has the most planned layers of resonance and meaning of any I’ve done before or since.

Killa: The vid that taught me that, ultimately, we vid for ourselves. Working on this with Carol was a great experience for me, too, and I'm grateful to her for all that she's taught me about vidding and other things. I'm really happy with what we created, and I'm glad she convinced me that yes, Methos could be that idealistic about Duncan underneath it all.
Alasdair Mhic Cholla Ghasda Highlander Killa The translation of the lyrics doesn’t really literally fit Duncan, but it’s a walking song about a man who’s a great warrior of great passions. Close enough for me. Thanks to Carol for not letting me give up on this one.