1st Trailer Première Update
Happy to announce that the very first trailer for this remix film project will première as part of the Innovate/Activate conference at Berkley Law school on April 21st 2012. The trailer will offer a glimpse into the the twisted mind of our re-imagined villainous Bruce Wayne. Expect the Kickstarter fundraising campaign to begin that same week!
Remix Video Frame Size and Resolution
Choosing appropriate frame size and aspect ratio for your remix video project can be a tricky complicated business. Since most video remixers are making their work to display primarily on the web here are a few things to consider:
1) The dimensions of the original media sources
Many remixers find themselves using footage from a wide variety of available sources including DVD rips, Blu-Ray rips, downloaded iTunes or Amazon files, downloaded AVI or MKV files, downloaded YouTube or Vimeo files and homemade screen captured video. Because all these video formats will likely have various frame sizes and aspect ratios its important to take a look for the lowest common denominator. If you are working with only one media source or if all your footage is HD via downloads or Blu-Ray rips then your remix project can easily match the source footage at 1280x720 (720p) or 1920x1080 (1080p). If you are working with ripped US DVDs in your project its a little more complicated. Your project should probably be closer to 480p and match the DVD frame size - most likely you want 854x480 (anamorphic widescreen) and 720x400* or 640x360 (widescreen) and 640x480 (fullscreen). However (since video does not typically upscale well without significant pixelation) if you are incorporating a bunch of lower resolution YouTube or web video clips into your remix you might pick smaller overall frame size to work in like 640x360 or 320x180 (windscreen) and 480x360 (fullscreen). YouTube also has some very basic suggested frame sizes.
2) Cropping the original footage to isolate a character or event
Remixers may also choose to work in a frame size significantly smaller than the majority of their original source media so as to have the option for footage cropping or zooming. This process works best with 1080p or 720p HD footage which can then be cropped down to 480p or 360p in order to focus on or isolate various elements and characters within the frame (without loosing video quality) in the final remix.
Below is an example from my current Batman Reimagined remix project where I want to focus on Batman’s words and remove the Joker from the scene entirely.
Original 1080p footage:
Cropping down to isolate Batman:
Resulting 720x400 crop:
*Technically the math for 720px DVD 16:9 windscreen works out to a height of 405 which then has to be changed to an even number (either 404 or 406 depending on who you ask) BUT most video codex work best with multiples of 8 or 16 so 720x400 seems to be best for web video even if the aspect ratio is off by a few pixels.
Jim Carrey tends to portray characters, in both dramas and comedies, who have been wronged, exploited or dis-empowered by the powerful. He is great at embodying the classic underdog figure. Its for this reason The Riddler (as re-imaged through Carrey’s extended filmography) makes the ideal remixed hero for this project. In fact the actor’s “everyman” characters have a lot in common with Donald Duck from the classic Disney cartoons.
Here’s a preliminary example of the Photoshop + After Effects work for the upcoming Batman Reimagined kickstarter trailer. This is a shot from the movie Bruce Almighty starring Jim Carrey (The Riddler) where the messages on the signs have been altered to fit the new narrative. There are many similar scene transformations in the works for this project. Stay tuned, much more to come…
Frank Miller is Really Gonna Hate this Remix
If you somehow didn’t already think that Frank Miller, comic-book creator of 300 and The Dark Knight Returns, was a misogynist right-wing reactionary prick here’s the proof. In a recent blog post he shows his true cryptofascist colors by ranting against Occupy Wall Street protesters and calling them pond scum, louts, thieves, and rapists. Frank writes:
“In the name of decency, go home to your parents, you losers. Go back to your mommas’ basements and play with your Lords Of Warcraft.”
Well, Frank, sentiments like that put you squarely in the villains category (along with Bruce Wayne himself) in my alternative remixed Batman universe. I might just have to find a way to include a Frank Miller cameo in the remix.
Comic-book writer Alan Moore, creator of V for Vendetta, on the other hand has a decidedly different option. He has this to say about the recent occupy-related protests and those appropriating his Guy Fawkes mask design:
“Voice of the people…I think that if the mask stands for anything, in the current context, that is what it stands for. This is the people. That mysterious entity that is evoked so often – this is the people.”
- The Guardian - Frank Miller calls Occupy protesters thieves & rapists
- The Guardian - Frank Miller and the rise of cryptofascist Hollywood
- The Guardian - Alan Moore, meet the man behind the protest mask
Organization is key to any big remix video project and keeping track of the huge number of movie sources for this remix has been challenging to say the least. So I’ve started a listal.com list divided into sub-sections for each potential character. As I work building the new narrative out of these sources I will be adding/subtracting more films to/from the list.
This is a looks at first round of media sourcing for this project. More films might follow (and a few may be dropped) depending on how the narrative is progressing but hopefully it gives you an idea of the scope and complexity of the remix I’m trying to build. You’ll notice that all the above films star either Christian Bale or an actor who once played a Batman villain.