Video: Anniversary Cards Redux

Do you remember Anniversary Cards, in which I wrote a ‘Roses are Red’-style poem for each of the songs Jonathan Coulton wrote for his Thing a Week project? Well, recently Jonathan ran a Thing a Week Redux in which he reposted each of the Thing a Week blog entries five years after the original, with some new commentary. Just like during the original Thing a Week, I didn’t get around to reading it very often. However, as I was catching up with it around five weeks from the end, I got the idea of revisiting those Roses are Red rhymes and turning them into a video to celebrate the end of Thing a Week Redux. I didn’t get it done in time, so I saved it for Jonathan’s birthday (December 1) instead. Here’s the video:

That was not specifically made for his birthday, but this other video I was involved with (mostly on ridiculous percussion that didn’t make the cut, and robot choir in the final few verses) was:

It’s based on A Talk With George, which Jonathan has said was his favourite Thing a Week, and rewritten, sung, strummed, mixed, filmed and cut by the great people on Jonathan Coulton’s forums, most of which I have met or will meet in real life at concerts in the UK or on JoCo Cruise Crazy.

And now back to overexplaining the first video.

At first I thought I’d show video of myself reading each poem, with an appropriate backdrop or costume for each song, but then I realised that would take far too long, and would mean a lower-resolution and generally much worse-looking video than if I used the Visual Thing a Weeks that Len Peralta drew during Thing a Week. Len is also an internet superstar now, with more cool projects than I can name without this sentence totally losing its flow, and it seems correct to honour both of their work in one video. I commissioned him to draw a new picture of Jonathan changing into a superstar, to show at the beginning of the video, and a flipface of me for the end credits. If you think I have an obsession with superheroes now, just wait for the next few posts.

So, I took the rhymes I’d already written, Jonathan Coulton’s music, Len’s art, and some clips of George W. Bush, a recording of a rock and roll girl volunteer, and some screenshots, placed them carefully into the pre-made Comic Book theme in iMovie, and still managed to overrun my self-imposed deadline.

The music at the beginning opens with Opening Band, the traditional opening song of Jonathan Coulton’s opening band Paul and Storm, and ends with The Captain’s Wife’s Lament, their traditional closing song. It’s really just like a live Paul and Storm set, complete with being far too short. Well, except for The Captain’s Wife’s Lament, which goes on forever. The video ends with a comic Len drew to illustrate a blog post by Jonathan Coulton.

If you don’t quite understand the Mr. Fancy Pants part, you might want to watch how he does it live. For the rest, there are explanations on the Anniversary Cards post, and further explanations on the Thing a Week blog posts (and songs) linked from there or in JoCopedia.

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