Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fallout 3 AMV: If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next

As far as AMVs are concerned, Fallout 3 is a game with a lot of potential. It's exceptional graphics-wise, to the point that its in-game visuals far outclass the FMVs from many console games from which your standard AMV is made, and from what I understand of the technical side of things (which isn't much, I grant you), it's generally far easier to record your own video from a PC game than it is from a console game, allowing for AMV-makers to record what they want to show close to exactly rather than have to rely on stock footage. In addition to this, the game takes place in a very expansive section of the Washington DC area in a post-apocalyptic future, so, as you can guess, there's a lot of great, artsy material to work with from the game.

Today's AMV definitely makes good use of that. Today, we'll be looking at FalseEmperor13's first (I think) Fallout 3 AMV. Nice thing about this is that it doesn't really have spoilers per say, so anyone worried about such things can still watch this one.

Fallout 3 If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qP-nWRaFcvI

She blinded me with Science!: Visually-speaking, I've got nothing to really complain about. The quality of the footage is good, with the only slight flaw being that the camera's movement in it is slightly jerky at times. But it's not significantly distracting, and quite forgivable considering that the AMV's maker was making his own in-game footage to use for the video.

The visual effects for this AMV are minimal and simple, mostly limited to smooth fades from one scene to the next--nothing fancy or attention-getting, but the rest of the AMV's content is strong enough that it's not necessary anyway. There IS, though, one moment where the scene-changing fade is used with a little flair--as the song hits a climax around 3:20 to 3:35, FalseEmperor13 prolongs the scene merge, having the next scene (a continually zooming out shot of the ruined Capitol Building) overtake the current one very slowly, so you can start to see it happen even while watching the scene it will succeed. It adds a nice touch to that moment, simple but artsy.

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams: I don't really think much of the song used for this AMV one way or another--I don't hate it, but it doesn't really interest me, either. That being said, though, the song is used extremely well in this video. The general tone of it works excellently with the video's scenes, atmosphere, and message, and as the music changes the scenes follow its tone and lyrics.

Now, something worth noting here is that the AMV doesn't attempt to match everything up perfectly with the lyrics. The story part of the song's lyrics are for the AMV filler area, which you watch between the strong parts of the tune and the attention-catching chorus. This doesn't bother me so much, though, because the song itself is mostly the same--the chorus and its surrounding music is louder, stronger, and far more memorable and communicative than the parts the chorus connects. The heart of the song and the part that the listener is going to best remember is in its grander chorus segments, and thus those are the parts that the AMV works with the most, the parts where it best matches its audio and visual, and puts forth its message. The AMV's founded on the feel and tone of the song, the message of its most significant parts, rather than trying to align itself perfectly with every lesser detail, and it works.

But what's it all mean, Basil?: The AMV has a definite message to convey: stand up against injustice, don't just quietly let the world become a worse place on your watch, because if you don't fight wrong-doing now, if you just choose to tolerate a bad situation rather than work to change it, then it's your children, the innocent next generation, who will be the ones to suffer the longest and hardest from the world your inaction allowed. It's the AMV's effectiveness to this end that really makes me love it. The song is, of course, an excellent selection for that (again, going more by its tone and dominant chorus than by every one of its lyrics), and the visuals match the message even better, showing a series of examples of the burnt-out Capital Wasteland of Fallout 3, a world of cruelty and violence (shown through heaps of human bones in dirty cages, and Super Mutants firing guns) taking place in the ruined remains of a former shining example of freedom and cooperation (shown through scenes of the DC Ruins, particularly the Capitol Building and the Lincoln Monument). The scenes work with the song and the message, changing to match its tone and direction--for example, its shifting from the vices tolerated to a scene of children gathered in innocent celebration with family to coordinate with the song's words.

The AMV's message is very skillfully conveyed, and it definitely ties in with the actual game extremely well, as Fallout 3's setting is just such a world as the song warns against allowing--one where the future generations suffer unspeakable hardship and cruelties as punishment for their ancestors' mistakes. And the AMV's message is all the more valid for this--because we live in a world filled with people out to restrict our freedoms and who seek power over all others, and where the threat of nuclear annihilation is still very, very real. The world of the Fallout series is closer than we may think, closer than is comfortable, and this AMV reminds us that, ultimately, WE are the only ones who can keep this game only a fantasy.

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