V i d e o .C l i p s
Darren has been involved in the science fiction fan community since 1984. In that time he has met a huge number of creative and talented people - including Geoff Tilley, Russell Devlin, and Danny Heap - who would create their own video clips by using two video recorders linked together. With this method they were able to create a montage of scenes from various films with music dubbed in over the top.
Inspired by the work of his peers, in 1989 Darren borrowed a second VCR from a friend and attempted to make his first ever video clip presentation. The result was his general Sci-Fi clip which quickly paved the way for a number of other video clips that he would make for various conventions and banquets.
In 1995 Darren won an Obie (the Star Wars achievement awards) for "Best Audio Visual Work" for his greatest ever video clip, the Star Wars Tribute which featured the song "One" by U2. This clip took Darren 5 days to make and required him to listen to the song no less than 70 times as each scene was pieced together. This video has been screened at a number of banquets and events and has since been retired from public viewing.
One of the biggest frustrations Darren faced with his clip editing was the issue of audio dubbing. None of Darren's video recorders had the built in audio dub feature and as a result most of the clips were timed to songs being played from an external tape deck. Thus when Darren borrowed the use of friend's video recorders with audio dub in them, many of the clips suffered synchronisation problems with the music that on Darren's VCRs had been timed to perfection.
After a 10 year hiatus in video clip editing, Darren was given the opportunity to edit his video clips on a home computer using a video editing package. A new dawn had arisen and Darren was now able to produce results that were far superior to his previous work on both a technical and a "split second" timing level.
Of all the video clips that Darren has produced, his only regret is that he was never able to create a Star Trek nor a Babylon 5 video due to the lack of available material and knowledge on the subjects.
Video clip listing
Note: I one day hope to have these clips available for downloading
Sci-Fi ("Back to the Wall" Divinyls): This clip was my first ever attempt at video editing. I did this in 1989 with two linked video recorders (which is how all my clips were made) and only the handful of films that I had with me on video at the time. It was good fun, but gave me a splitting headache 8 hours later. One problem with this clip is its end, I did not have the fade function that I used for later clips so the end of the clip is rather non-eventful as the song fades out the last image just cuts to black.
The Empire Strikes Back Tribute ("Playing to Win" Little River Band): This was my second video clip and was made in 1990 once again using two linked video recorders. Of particular note is the poor technical editing of the clip, which I was unable to perfect due to my limited experience and my rush to get it finished. I was always happy with its artistic look but have no intentions of fixing the editing mistakes as this is how the clip was presented to the public at the Empire Strikes Back 10th Anniversary Banquet. Having said that, one Star Wars fan recently told me that they still think this clip is the best I've ever done and would dearly love to see revamped using new PC editing technology to rectify the technical mistakes whilst still keeping the same artistic feel of it. Needless to say I was very flattered by the compliment.
Raiders of the Lost Ark Tribute ("Holding out for a Hero" Bonnie Tyler): This clip was made in 1991 and this time I was determined to fix my editing problems. Long hours were spent on this clip in an attempt to not have unwanted footage appear in each shot. In the end I thought this clip turned out OK, though it is a little long. Youll note the bad cut on the very last scene as I was afraid of wiping out the dubbed audio sound if I re-did it too many times.
Return of the Jedi 10th Anniversary Tribute #1 ("Ordinary World" Duran Duran): All of my video clips were made with a song previously chosen then with the footage added in later to compliment the music. I was sure that "Ordinary World" was the perfect song for this clip, but in hindsight I was wrong. This clip features scenes that simply dont match the music as I attempted to convey the emotion that I wanted through the song with the scenes chosen. Funnily enough a lot of people actually like the clip but for me I just see it as a dog's breakfast.
Return of the Jedi 10th Anniversary Tribute #2 ("The Final Countdown" Europe): Unlike the #1 clip, this one was put together in only a few hours using a much faster song which worked much better than its predecessor due to its snappy scenes. Of particular note is the last shot of the clip which has no music added in - instead it features the film's actual sound. This is because the clip was too long for the song, so I shortened the clip by one shot where the music would fade out but since I had no intention of showing this clip publicly, I never re dubbed it.
Classic Sci-Fi Tribute ("Plan 9 Channel 7" The Damned): All of the footage in this clip came from two films "Invasion Earth the Aliens are Here" and "Plan 9 From Outer Space" which was done purely for fun thereby allowing me to break my own golden rule "never use a song that nobody will recognise". Youll note that the first few scenes are too long for the music so I made a point of shortening them to keep time with the music. Some of the sharper edits were not done by me as this is how the footage appeared in the "Invasion Earth" film. In the end I had too much footage for the music so the original film soundtrack reappears on the 2nd last shot.
Bela Lugosi ("Bela Lugosis Dead" Bauhaus): This was created as a slight change of pace from all the Star Wars/sci-fi clips. All of the non-Dracula footage came from the Bela Lugosi video special "Mondo Lugosi". The song was a 12" remix format, so it had to be shortened to suit the clip. The disappointing element with this clip is that the music tends to lose synch with the footage very early on.
Star Wars Trilogy Tribute ("One" - U2): Of all the clips I've ever made, this one is the pinnacle of my achievement. Once again using the video to video method, I spent five days carefully piecing this clip together in an attempt to perfect the artistic and technical sides of my work. I ended up listening to the song "One" over 70 times as each clip was put into place and needless to say my stress levels were at the max when I had to finally sync up the edit with the song (my trick was to start the song on a single pre determined frame of the clip, that way the song/clip always started in exactly the same spot each time). However the drive for perfection came at a price as I found that the video tape I was recording on suffered serious colour bleeding as shots were re-recorded over and over again in the same place in an attempt to get their timing right. In the end though, I was very proud of the result and find that people still remember it fondly 10 years after it was created.
Valentine's Day ("Wherever You Will Go" - The Calling): After a 10 year hiatus in video clip editing, the opportunity arose in 2003 for me to create a new video clip. This time things were a little different in that instead of using the old video to video method to edit it, I was able to create this clip on a PC using the Premiere editing package. The advantage I had here is that the shots were timed to precision, I could move shots around at will - lengthening and shortening accordingly - and I had the luxury of being able to cross fade/dissolve between shots. Ironically all this these extra abilities also equated to extra production time, and the in the end, around 15 hours was spent in the editing process which was a lot longer than I had anticipated. The main focus in the clip was the romance between Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala from Attack of the Clones, however for the chorus of the song I chose romantic shots from a variety of other movies/TV shows. All things considered I'm very happy with the clip although to appreciate it you need to be a big fan of AotC.
Return of the Jedi 20th Anniversary Tribute ("Bring Me to Life" - Evanescence): With some PC editing knowledge under my belt I wanted to do something really radical with this clip by bending my own golden rule "never use a song that nobody will recognise" into "use a song that people will know, but who's lyrics won't suit the subject matter". Still with this in mind, I was determined to make the images work with the music because I liked the song so much. After spending 15 hours of ploughing away at the pooty, I was very happy with the end result even though it could've done with further fine tuning to fix some nagging artistic concerns. As it was, the clip was very well received at its premiere screening so it seems my determination to make it work paid off.
The irony of making this clip came to me when I was heading over to my friend's place to commence the second day of editing when the song "Ordinary World" by Duran Duran played on the radio. As you will read above, "Ordinary World" was the song I chose for the Return of the Jedi 10th Anniversary Tribute. I couldn't help but see this as an omen of good things to come.
Sith Revival ("Yesterday" - Foreigner): With the Force IV Star Wars convention in preparation, I decided to make a video clip for the opening ceremony. This would be the first time I did a music video on my own PC as opposed to using friend's one - which in turn meant that I was no longer under any time constraints (so no excuses for mucking it up). Considering this clip would be shown a couple of days after the premiere of Revenge of the Sith, I opted to use shots from all five Star Wars films knowing fully well that the type of song would be best suited for six films instead. Frankly, this clip was a pig to do. I ended up having to video capture over 150 shots from the various Star Wars films and it took days and days to put together. At one point I spent from 9am Saturday morning to 1am Sunday morning just editing all the sequences without even being close to finishing it (those are the times you ask yourself "why am I doing this?"). Unlike my previous video clips, this one contained much faster edits, running for less than a second in most cases, and less delay on individual shots. My focal point was to tell the story of Darth Vader reflecting on his time as Anakin Skywalker with Padmé Amidala and for this reason I opted not to show any of the secondary characters unless they happened to appear in a shot by coincidence. I was very happy with the end product which resulted in me performing some extra tweaks and last minute changes even after I was sick of the sight of it and had declared it "complete". Still, looking on it now, I think it's the best work I've done.
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