AMV Series: Patriotism

Watch the whole series (in order) here. Patriotism is an idea that got wildly out of hand and ended up being way more work than I had thought it would be. It started out as one AMV using Cannon Fodder from Memories. With this part of the movie being only about 30 minutes I was concerned that I would not have enough footage to fill a whole AMV. Therefore, I went ahead and got footage from Last Exile, a series I adore, as backup. Ultimately, as I was putting things together I realized I would have enough clips with just Cannon Fodder, but I still had the Last Exile footage waiting in the wings. It felt like a shame to throw out the converted footage so I figured I would just make two AMVs with the same song since it worked well for both. From there things began to spiral rapidly out of control.

I thought that, since I was using the same song, I could make six videos and then have a seventh video contain all six videos in it. After I had made five or so videos I started to organize this compilation video. From there I realized six videos in one frame looks kind of awkward. You really need nine videos. So then I decided on nine videos with one compilation video. This gave rise to an 11th video at the end to wrap things up. For good measure I made a small trailer to set the stage. You can consider that a 0th video or half a video.

Actual production of the videos was very straightforward. Each video took about two weeks of editing doing one to two hours a day. By the end I knew the song intimately so I knew exactly where and when I wanted things to happen. Each video follows a fairly standard formula:

  1. Setup
  2. High intensity set piece
  3. Story
  4. High intensity set piece
  5. Story
  6. High intensity finale

I kept the amount of footage I would have to look through to a minimum when I could. I intentionally only used one to two episodes from a series or a movie just to limit how much work scanning through video I had to do. I wanted to focus on lesser known or older anime as is my wont. I also added in Helsreach, which is a kind of animation, mostly because it has a very cool and unique visual style even if it changes halfway through. I originally was going to make a video with a playthrough of Valiant Hearts, but I felt the footage I could get would not be suitable after about an hour poking around with it. In general each video went through two or three revisions before I felt it was in a good place.

After about video three I started thinking about how I was going to present all these videos. Originally I thought I would just present them all sequentially with no comment, but that seemed kind of boring. I really had not seen anyone do exactly what I was doing so I figured I would swing bigger. From there I came up with the idea of The Beast, an ambivalent bureaucratic force, presenting each video as a vision of the future while allowing some interaction in between each video.

I am pretty happy with how each video turned out, but overall they are greater as a gestalt than on there own. I have lately been very interested in AMVs that build on each other and work as a series. 11 videos all using the same song and expressing the same themes, but using different footage, is just a very cool idea to me. Layer that on top of The Beast presenting each one with its own meta commentary and you have a very unique piece of work I am quite chuffed about.

Power Ranking (favorite to least favorite):

  • 2 – Last Exile
  • 6 – Helsreach
  • 5 – Skycrawlers
  • 1 – Cannon Fodder
  • 11 – Freedom
  • 7 – Dragon’s Heaven
  • 3 – Jin Roh
  • 9 – Knights of Sidonia
  • 10 – Jingoism
  • 8 – Gunslinger Girl
  • 4 – Under The Dog

I am not going to go through each video with a commentary as I usually do, but I do have some commentary like notes.

Battery 17 (Patriotism – 1)

  • 0:55 – 1:00 : I generally do not do fancy transitions like this, but sometimes the mood strikes me.

Riflemen of the Claimh Solais (Patriotism – 2)

  • I am very happy I finally made a Last Exile AMV since I love the show. This one came out great.

The Wolf Brigade (Patriotism – 3)

  • I never really felt like I got the relationship stuff right in this one. I think Area 262 (Patriotism – 5) delivers on that promise much more.

The Flowers (Patriotism – 4)

  • 1:17: You will notice every video tries to do something with the roar sound effect here. This is my favorite instance. Which is annoying since this is the weakest video of the set.

The Black Templars (Patriotism – 6)

  • Annoyingly the visual style changes halfway through this work and I thought I had all I needed before that happened, but I was wrong. I worked around it by setting everything to black and white, but alas it does stand out in parts.

Shaian (Patriotism – 7)

  • 0:24 – 0:37 : I am glad I got to integrate the live action footage from the OVA here. I think it works quite well.
  • I went ahead and used an upscaled version for the AMV, but the purist version is available for those who like such things.

Jingoism (Patriotism – 10)

  • Not a huge fan of the bars I used to separate the videos, but I went through a lot of options and that was the least bad one.

Freedom (Patriotism – 11)

  • 0:08 I really wanted Savio’s signature here, but I could not find it. The best I could do is this text from the government’s file on him.
  • I have an alternative version of this AMV here. Generally I just through these away, but sometimes I publish them just so people can see my thought process.

I hope everyone liked this idea. I certainly had a lot of fun coming up with the script and doing all these videos. It is very on brand for me to see such an odd idea to its bitter end. Do not expect me to listen to this song every again though.

Leave a Reply