jetpack_monkey: (Kermit & Fozzie - They Fight Crime)
[personal profile] jetpack_monkey
Title: Carries On
Song: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - Carries On
Source: Jim Henson (productions and behind the scenes)
Length: 4:29
Vidder: [personal profile] jetpack_monkey 
Mentor: [personal profile] fan_eunice 
Warnings: Feelings.

Summary: Take what you've got and fly with it!

Youtube embed:

Vimeo embed:
Password: lightthelights


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There are two different places this vid comes from. The first is super-boring: I was struggling as a vidder to grow beyond the box I felt I was trapped in and I despaired to [personal profile] fan_eunice on IRC that I just didn't have whatever it took to, say, make a whole room of people cry. She virtually batted me about the ears and told me that she had every faith that I was completely wrong.

Sometime after that, I was in a weird depressive funk where I wasn't sad, I was just... emotionally unpresent. To kickstart my feelings, I watched the amazingly moving Muppets vid Love Can Move Mountains by [personal profile] odessie and I felt that twinge of sobbing coming, but it wasn't enough. I then went to Youtube and started alternating between clips from Jim Henson's funeral and sections of the tribute special "The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson".

As I sat there, sobbing inconsolably, I knew that a vid had to happen. I started gathering source and looking for music. I wasn't having much luck until [personal profile] joyo pointed me to a few potential artists that then lead me to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and "Carries On". From there, I had purpose and drive, and I started working in earnest, with Vividcon Challenge in mind as the likely home for the vid (I mean, come on, "the gift that carries on" is a repeated lyric).

There wasn't really any point in the vid-making process where it wasn't going to contain large swathes of behind-the-scene footage. It's weird to say that I grew up with The Jim Henson Hour, since it was short-lived, but some of my strongest childhood memories of watching television with my family (while my parents were still married) are about that series, which Henson hosted. I also imprinted heavily on the "Secrets of the Muppets" special and, after Henson's death, "The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson." To me, the magic of the Muppets was that they were technically just inanimate objects until great artistry gave them life that, despite all knowledge of the actual process, required almost no suspension of disbelief to work. The piece I come back to when I think of this is Happy Feet, where Kermit tap dances. It is utterly involving and believable, but here's the thing: we never, not once, see those feet. When I think about the kind of coordination of puppetry and sound sync required to not only make that work technically, but aesthetically.... that's where I find the magic.

I could probably make a whole separate post of Muppet thoughts and I probably will at some point if I don't get distracted.

As usual, I spread my footage acquisition net far and wide. I was somewhat hampered by the fact that Disney has yet to release the last two seasons of The Muppet Show on DVD. Also, early Sesame Street footage is difficult to get beyond the Old School DVD and iTunes releases, so if you want a specific bit, you really have to hope it shows up in a compilation somewhere and that compilation can be acquired.

I made a draft, watched it, hated it, and felt despair. I sent it to [personal profile] fan_eunice who has the remarkable ability to zero in on what you're trying to do and what's getting in your way. She rightly sussed out that I was getting too up in my own head about the chronology of Henson and broke the vid down into what I can only think of as "feelings zones", each area devoted to a particular feeling. She also reminded me that build is a thing that's important in big emotion vids. There were a lot of other notes -- she wrote me a novel.

The amount that the vid improved based on her notes was such that I really wanted to credit her as a co-vidder, but she wouldn't hear of it. So she gets a mentoring credit, nyah nyah. I think the only things that remain exactly where they were from the original draft are the opening shot, the closing still image, and the first montage of muppets and puppeteers dancing together. Everything else changed for the better. I do regret that I wasn't able to get more of the idea of Henson's legacy carrying forward in the vid, but it was a sacrifice I had to make. It didn't fit in the end of the vid that the vid I was already making lead to.

Due to time issues (and despite getting a deadline extension for Challenge), I ended up shifting the vid to Premieres. I'm glad I did for two reasons. One, the Premieres show this year was like, super-dark, and needed, if not a happier vid, then a lighter kind of pain. Also, Sisabet's Dief Challenge vid is freakin' amazing and I think an additional crying vid would've been awkward in that show.

Thanks to [personal profile] joyo , [personal profile] elipie , [personal profile] kuwdora , [ profile] lizbetann , [personal profile] jmtorres , and [personal profile] thirdblindmouse for cheerleading (I'm sorry if I forgot anyone). Special thanks to [ profile] zeneyepirate for hauling her VCR capture equipment out so I could get the bit of Jim Henson skipping stones. And eternal thanks and gratitude to [personal profile] fan_eunice -- you are my Yoda.

Date: 2014-08-10 12:59 pm (UTC)
kass: "let love be your engine," image of Kaylee and of Serenity (let love be your engine)
From: [personal profile] kass

Date: 2014-08-11 12:24 am (UTC)
beccatoria: (fizzgig throws a temper tantrum)
From: [personal profile] beccatoria
Aww man, my childhood, my childhood. The Muppets, and Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock... I was never a cartoons kid. I remember, when Jim Henson died. I was about six, I think. I cried when my mother told me, and it's...I suppose one of my early recollections of trying to understand what death really meant - not being here, not doing things. I suppose that's one more formative lesson they left with me. That and my sense of humour. Definitely my sense of humour.

Anyway, thanks. ♥

Date: 2014-08-11 03:09 am (UTC)
grammarwoman: (Default)
From: [personal profile] grammarwoman
Still sniffling when I think of this, damn you. *HUGS*

Date: 2014-08-11 06:30 pm (UTC)
laurashapiro: a woman sits at a kitchen table reading a book, cup of tea in hand. Table has a sliced apple and teapot. A cat looks on. (Default)
From: [personal profile] laurashapiro
I enjoyed this vid so much. These are the kind of feels I'm always happy to have. What a glorious celebration.

Date: 2014-08-11 09:43 pm (UTC)
rymenhild: Blue Muppet wearing cape. He's super! (super grover!)
From: [personal profile] rymenhild
How lovely! Thank you for sharing this.

Date: 2014-08-12 01:58 am (UTC)
semielliptical: yellow flower (flower)
From: [personal profile] semielliptical
So much love for this! It's so wonderful to see how much joy he had in his work. And seeing the creative and physical work Jim Henson and his team put into their puppetry actually makes the end results seem even more magical to me.

Date: 2014-08-13 01:25 am (UTC)
revolutionaryjo: (Cornucopia of Love)
From: [personal profile] revolutionaryjo
I'm just reading your limited notes and it's making me tear up again. The Muppets will always be intensely special to me. I'm incredibly protective of them. You nailed all the nostalgic, happy, earnest, loving, grateful feelings that I associate with them and all the people who helped create them (Jim Henson not the least of them) and continue to bring them to new generations in this vid. It's so great that you build their history throughout with clips from the early days, sketches, Sam and Friends, and all that. After all that when you cut to a clip from The Muppets toward the end and there's that shot of the woman holding the "I ♥ KERMIT" sign it's my tipping point for unrestrained crying for the entire rest of the vid. I'm probably always going to shed some tears when I watch this one. This is one of my favorites of the year for sure. ♥♥♥

Date: 2014-08-18 10:59 am (UTC)
china_shop: Bert and Ernie have a rubber duck (Bert & Ernie with rubber duck)
From: [personal profile] china_shop
This is just wonderful. <3

Date: 2014-09-07 03:35 am (UTC)
girlpearl: killjoys in a puppy pile with text "love" (rainbow love is much too strong)
From: [personal profile] girlpearl
I read your notes after I watched the vid and I'm glad you did, because you totally validated something I was thinking the whole time I was watching; I was contrasting Disney's policy of "preserve the illusion to keep the magic alive," like not letting their characters at theme parks ever break character in front of kids, vs. Jim Henson who sat us down & told us how everything worked, and that did nothing to kill the magic, because the magic wasn't in the illusion, it was something deeper and more visceral than that. Kermit might not have been a real frog but he was a real person, I guess, is what I'm trying to say.

[personal profile] romantical pointed this out to me and I'm so glad she did. Thank you.

Date: 2014-08-10 12:20 pm (UTC)
ext_2047: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Watched this last night at home with a group, and we all had hearts in our eyes by the end. If the Henson estate ever comes across this, I wouldn't be surprised if they contacted you to make use of it.

Date: 2014-08-18 12:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I had a similar thought, re: Henson estate, shortly before Vividcon and then panicked. And then I reminded myself how unlikely it would and calmed down.

Date: 2014-08-10 02:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This was such a lovely vid, tribute and nostalgia and much more.

Date: 2014-08-10 06:03 pm (UTC)
bellatemple: (kitties! - cuddly)
From: [personal profile] bellatemple
Oh that was wonderful. Brought a tear to my eye (this is admittedly not that hard to do, but still). Well done.

Date: 2014-08-11 01:54 am (UTC)
ghost_lingering: a pie is about to hit the ground (fandom: we have dollucks!)
From: [personal profile] ghost_lingering
<3 This is perfect. What a wonderful tribute!

Date: 2014-08-12 12:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, that was just lovely. Such a fantastic song choice for a tribute to such an incredible man. I'll just be over her with the tissues.

Date: 2014-08-13 12:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have am thing where, should I need to cry, I go to look at Jim Henson's memorial and the Jim's favourite songs section. I think I have a new go-to video for crying purposes. This was wonderful.

Date: 2014-08-13 08:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Such a heartwarming/clutching vid. Will definitely be rewatching this tons. A beautiful tribute ♥

Date: 2014-08-15 01:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The vid of the con for me, hands down, no question.

Date: 2014-08-18 12:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Aw, thank you!

Date: 2014-08-17 01:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ohh, this is so fabulous, so many feels - brilliant job on the emotional build, I definitely got a bit teary. (And I'm glad I'm not the only person who digs out the Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson and the funeral footage when I need a good cry!)

I was somewhat hampered by the fact that Disney has yet to release the last two seasons of The Muppet Show on DVD.

Gah, so flipping frustrating, was this close to writing angry letters to Disney at one point. -_- I feel your footage issues! When I made my Muppets vids last year, they were both originally going to include everything - Sesame Street, Jim Henson Hour, the whole shebang - but struggled so much to find decent quality footage that I gave up. I'm in awe of your footage-finding abilities. :p

Date: 2014-08-18 12:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Your vid was a *huge* inspiration, inasmuch as it reminded me of the power of Henson to make people *feel*. When I say in my notes that I only twinged, please know that there were many, many times where your vid left me a bawling wreck.

Honestly, I felt like I was, I don't know, encroaching in your territory a bit with this vid and I was able to justify it to myself in that I opened it up to the other Henson productions and the behind-the-scenes stuff.

I ended up finding a large amount of the usable footage of the rarer shows in documentaries, some of which had their own fun issues (correct aspect ratio, what is that?). There's also more Youtube footage than I'd like in there.

Date: 2017-12-30 04:05 pm (UTC)
lannamichaels: Astronaut Dale Gardner holds up For Sale sign after EVA. (Default)
From: [personal profile] lannamichaels
This vid is phenomenal. I really love it :D

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