Anatomy of the "Evolution 2006 DVD Trailer"
Evolution season has started again. For any of those who don't know what Evolution is, it's the yearly international Fighting Games Championships that is run by the staff of Shoryuken.com. There, we play competitive fighting games for huge prizes and bragging rights... games such as Street Fighter III: Third Strike, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, and Tekken 5: Dark Ressurection. As running these tournaments takes a lot of time and effort, a lot of my time in the upcoming few months will be spent working on stuff for upcoming Evo events. But oddly enough, the past month hasn't been keeping me busy working on this year's Evo. No, in actuality, it was spent doing work for last year's Evo.
Now I don't want to make this blog post sound like an advertisement. I'm not trying to sell any DVD's or anything, but what I have been working on this past month has been the Evolution DVD for Evo 2006 -- last year's Evo. I've done some work on the DVD itself, creating some menus, but the part that I've been working hardest on recently is the DVD's trailer. I really would love to put the trailer up for all of you to view, but I want to emphasize that I'm not doing so to advertise the DVD to any of you. Rather, I put a lot of work into these video editing projects and I take great pride in them, trying my best to make these as entertaining as possible. Since I've worked so hard on the trailer at the expense of updating my blog, I'd like to make it up by showing the trailer here to my blog readers so you can see the fruits of my labor and get a view into one of my favorite side hobbies: video editing (if anyone is interested, I'll be glad to write up a post about my past video editing projects). And rather than talking about the DVD set this video is advertising, I'm going to discuss the philosophy I had when making the trailer in an effort to give you an interesting take on the trailer itself.
Whenever I create a trailer, I usually set for myself specific goals to maintain and rules to follow. Many of the rules I came up with for myself, this year, were a direct result of the philosophies I had when making the previous year's trailer. So in order to really understand what I was going for, I'm also putting last year's trailer here as well for you to view. So sit down, grab a drink, and I hope you enjoy these videos. There's 15 minutes of video to watch here. Afterwards, I'll talk about this new trailer a bit.
Evolution 2006 DVD Trailer (New Trailer):
Evolution 2005 DVD Trailer (Previous Year's Trailer):
(Note: you can check this link here if you want to download a much higher quality copy of the trailer to your desktop: high quality / low quality)
(Oh and special thanks to Preppy for mirroring these videos for us!!)
The trailer for 2005's DVD has two very distinct traits: it was very much an advertisement, asking people to "own a piece of fighting game history" and such, with lots of text in it. Also, the video was purely direct game footage, with no footage of players or the events itself. This was not a choice I made on my own: we had no footage of players and the event to use for the trailer (I did have footage I personally shot, but my access to that footage was rendered non-existant due to circumstances outside my control). And a third trait you might notice is that the trailer is very organized, very neat, and very methodical.
I did not want to make a repeat of the previous trailer. In fact, the new trailer I made can almost be considered a rebellion against the previous trailer. So the mindset I gave myself when making the new trailer was to try and advertise the DVD with as little text as possible and, instead, just trying to show the event with the energy and excitement that it actually has. Instead of being methodical, I tried making it as energetic as possible. There are no distinct chapters or sections this time around. Just a steady stream of clips to digest. And the most important philosophy I had this time was that I wanted to put the emphasis on the players themselves, not the games. If there is anything that drives the event, it's the players.
Fortunately, this year, I had access to some footage of the event and the various players participating in it. It was very limited footage, but some footage was available to me nonetheless. So instead of showing tons and tons of direct-feed captures of the games, I tried to give a good balance between game footage and live footage from the event. And because this year we were able to get crowd reactions recorded into the audio of the game footage (as well as the dialogue of the announcers), even the direct-feed game footage felt more "player-centric" and organic.
And with the previous year's trailer, I highlighted various players from every game. While I would love to highlight all 8 players from the Finals in every game, that would mean having a 30 minute-long trailer. So instead, this year, I decided to highlight only one player per game... but I wanted to really highlight them, thus the pomp and circumstances when they show up in the trailer. Thanks to the abundance of photos I managed to take at the three Evo Events of last year, I had access to at least one decent picture of every player highlighted. That way, I could show the player himself alongside the footage of that person playing the game. I think this is very important, as I really believe that an effort needs to be made to tie people's faces with their names and nicknames. Again, this scene survives only on the strength of its players, so I really wanted to put more focus on them.
And after setting all those rules for myself, the result is what you just watched. The one area people may question is my lack of names listed for those being interviewed in the trailer itself. If I'm trying so hard to focus on the players, why didn't I put the names of the people on screen when they are being interviewed? It's kind of a weird logic, but I did it because I wanted the viewers to listen to the words being spoken without being distracted by reading names (many people will probably only watch this trailer once ever, so I really want them to hear what the players said). And it is also a part of my rebelling against the previous trailer that I really wanted to put as little text in this trailer as possible. The DVD itself has those very interviews, and their names are listed there. But for the trailer, I chose not to write their names down.
But since I consider this blog post a "director's commentary" track of sorts, I'll list the names of the people being interviewed here, in order of appearance: Zach "Preppy" Robinson, Jason Nelson, Daniel "Ruin" Realyvasquez, and Justin Wong.
Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed the trailer. If you are indeed interested in the DVD itself, you'll know where to find details on how to obtain it. And if you like the music in the video, please support the original band (Red Hot Chili Peppers) who recorded it and buy the song from the stores or from iTunes, please (it's available on iTunes, I checked). Stealing songs that you hear in videos like these only gives the artists more reason to start preventing video editors like us from using their music.
Thanks for reading.