Title: Never-Fading Legend
-Song Lyrics- (goes to official Nightwish site)
When doing my previous videos, the time between coming up with the idea and completion of the final product has usually only taken a couple weeks to a month at most. This one? This took over four years to go from idea to final edit.
But it's not because I was lazy or anything. No...it took that long before finally starting work on this--which took a little over a week itself--because I wanted it to be perfect.
See...this is a very important video to me. For the longest time, I wanted to do a music video about Adam, because he has been my all-time favorite Power Ranger character since 1995, and he as a character has meant so much to me over the years. I had always felt like he was a kindred spirit, a shy loner who was bullied as a kid, and a sensitive, hopeless romantic who sought to find peace and beauty in everything. I latched onto that as a teen, and watching him grow and become more confident with time gave me the strength to push through those very dark years and keep going despite how terrible it was for me. But yet, for the longest time, even though I wanted to express this in a music video, no songs jumped out at me as being the "right" one.
But then in the early fall of 2007, Nightwish--my all-time favorite band--released their Dark Passion Play album, and I heard "Amaranth." And the more I listened to that song, the more I realised that it was perfect for what I wanted to do, and it quickly became one of my top favorite songs of theirs. The heartfelt lyrics and the transitions between light piano and the band's trademark bombastic, female-fronted symphonic metal sound were an appropriate fit for a character who is sensitive yet a very capable fighter, two sides that I hoped to show equally. And it seemed only right that two parts of my life that have meant so much to me--indeed, discovering Nightwish in 2002 got me through another very difficult period--would be able to intersect like this. Finally...my search for the perfect song had come to an end, and it was time to begin putting together the ideas for what I wanted to do.
Of course, because of what this meant to me, I wasn't going to rush into it. That's why it took over four years to even work on this. It had to be perfect. I had to look hard at the many episodes and the movies in which Adam featured and pick just the right footage. Only when I felt like I was able to do as much as I could do was when I set to work. It wasn't easy, though. There were some portions where I had to really scrounge for something that would work, and others where I simply didn't have anything else to use anymore because Adam was such a background character for the longest time and didn't get as much focus as I would have liked. Attempting different interpretations of the chorus for each of the times it repeats throughout the song was perhaps the most daunting task in the editing process because of this. But at the same time, there's a lot of it that went so very, very right. Virtually everything I had concrete ideas for worked exactly as I wanted them to and look spectacular when matched with the music. And even some of the scenes I didn't entirely plan for ended up working out right too. All of these made me feel like this really was meant to be.
But I know what some people in the fandom will say. They'll call it a "tribute" video, just like so many other fan-made PR music videos. No, this is not a tribute in my eyes. The term has become so terribly corrupted by the PR fandom into often meaning "action video with random nu-metal/alt-rock/overdone PR fight song and random clips thrown together with little to no regard for timing or meaning of the music" that I don't want to associate the term with this. While this video certainly has its fair share of action clips--it would be a real challenge to do a PR music video about any of the Rangers without any action scenes in it at all!--this is so much more than that. This is a character study. This video is meant to focus on who Adam is as a person as well...and most importantly, what he means to me as a character. I poured hours upon hours into getting the timing just right, right down to the last frame, and using every last lyric, guitar riff, beat, and swell of the choir and orchestra to my advantage. This was a labor of love...a "love letter" of sorts to the character...all my feelings about him laid out for all to see. The fandom can say all the negative things they want about my feelings on this, but to call it a "tribute" would be almost demeaning to this video, because it is so much more than that to me.
That in and of itself is why I gave this the title "Never-Fading Legend." Not only does it play off the line from the chorus as well as the nature of the mythical amaranth flower, but I used it because to me, that's what Adam is. He has always been my hero, and while my opinions on the actor who played him have wavered over time, the character himself has never faded from my heart. Time may have passed, but who he is has never faded either; I even tried to show this by often juxtaposing scenes from his earliest appearances with similar ones from later on in his Ranger life. He may not be as popular as, say, Tommy, but to me, he is as much a legend. While fans have come to like Adam more in recent years because of his martial arts prowess and because the actor is so readily accepting towards the fandom, I've been a fan of his for so much longer and for so many other reasons, and this video is one of the best ways, in my opinion, to show it in a format other than words.