AMV: The First and Last Men

This AMV was submitted to ConnectiCon’s 2023 FMV Contest and PopCult’s 2023 AMV Contest. It made the finalists in neither. This AMV primarily concerns the Charge of the Light Brigade, based on the famous poem. It helps to have an understanding of the events, so I would recommend Hell Riders, by Terry Brighton. That said a brief perusal of Wikipedia should be sufficient.

I have been of late really interested in the Crimean War so it is no surprise I would make an AMV about it. This of course is really just an evolution of my last historical AMV. A poem makes a bit more sense for an AMV given its brevity and it is already predisposed to musical accompaniment. I searched around YouTube and went with Lawrence Harvey’s reading as it had the least flourish to it. I wanted just the poem without a lot of unnecessary additions. I then ran the audio through Adobe’s audio cleanup tool just to clean up some of the cracks and hisses.

Given the subject matter of the poem it paired very nicely with Legend of the Galactic heroes, which heavily features a lot of the themes the poem is getting at.

It is no surprise then I liked how it turned out. I especially like how the poem comes in and out in respect to the song and the sounds effects I put in at the start.

Director’s Commentary

00:00 – 00:22: I really liked how the sound effects set the stage here. I think it is a pretty cool intro. These are recordings of the Saturn V launching.

00:34: There is a real time crunch from the start to about this point. We have to establish the setting and the basic plot before we get to these vocals. The vocals will overpower the poem reading so that has to stop before, but we need to get enough of a teaser if you will so that the viewer knows what is going on.

00:34 – 01:06: This is from LOGH: Gaiden (stories adjacent to the main LOGH story). I needed some clips showing some students and Gaiden has a series set in a school (Dreams of the Morning, Songs of the Night), so that worked nicely. I wanted to humanize the spaceships you see and show where the operators had come from and what better way to do that than show a school.

01:06: Right as the vocals end I wanted to get back into the poem. The poem in a sense represents current time or that actual charge unfolding.

01:33: I wanted to include some scenes of the destruction inside the ships to show it is people operating these things. A lot of war films just concentrate on the equipment and it kind of sterilizes the event. There are a couple of clips like this throughout the piece.

03:07 – 03:27: The end of the poem is fairly jingoistic, so I wanted to contrast that with a bit of destruction. Eager readers should contrast the Tennyson work with Kipling’s follow up.

03:44 – : I am not in love with the end. When the poem is finished the whole piece kind of feels done, so it is overstaying its welcome a bit here, but I do like how it wraps up visually with a funeral.

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