raven: black and white street sign: "Hobbs Lane" (quatermass - hobbs end)
[personal profile] raven
About a month ago, I said, "The world does not want a vid about land registration. But I PLAN TO GIVE IT ONE ANYWAY."

Here it is.

This is my very first vid ever, and I'd like to take a moment to thank [personal profile] thingswithwings, my dear and patient friend who walked me through a tonne of stuff for this (she made me not one but several video tutorials about aspect ratio, srsly) and the wonderful [personal profile] such_heights, who betaed it, and also who talked me into trying to vid in the first place.

There is some meta to go with it, but, eh. Possibly in the set of things only interesting to me. eta: I posted it.

[vid] Unsteady Ground [multifandom]
by Raven
Know where you stand.

music: Catherine Feeny, from Hurricane Glass
warnings: do not use for navigation none.
download from mediafire, 85MB

unsteady ground from Raven on Vimeo.

password to stream: ordnance

Sources in order of appearance:

Donald Strachey mysteries, Sapphire and Steel, Firefly, Doctor Who, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Fringe, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Star Trek (2009), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Middleman, Slings & Arrows, Master and Commander, The West Wing, Parks and Recreation, Goodbye Lenin!, Defiance, M*A*S*H, Battlestar Galactica, Due South, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Little Mosque on the Prairie, The Dish, Life On Mars, Babylon 5, Bllly Elliot, Quatermass and the Pit (1958), and "Earth", by Michael König.

The Ordnance Survey drawings come via [twitter.com profile] generalising and the British Library (go look at them, they were drawn by hand in preparation for the first eighteenth-century Ordnance Survey, they're beautiful).

At night we plant bones 

In the dark as you children sleep

You should know by now

There is always something moving

Under your feet

Black water runs deep

Underneath these titanic plates

Where you build your homes

And you tie up your safety nets

But when these plates meet

It is mountains they make

When these bones shift

There's an earthquake
Watch your step

You should keep your head down

You never know what tomorrow will bring around

You hold onto what good fortune you have found

For you are walking on unsteady ground

We will drill the earth

And you'll ride that slick

When it dirties your hands

Yeah, it's a dirty trick

But it's like quicksand, you know

To distinguish the top from the undertow

It gets harder as your eyes and your bellies grow
Watch your step

You should keep your head down

You never know what tomorrow will bring around

You hold onto what good fortune you have found

For you are walking on

You love God
You love your president

You want them both, but

We must keep them separate

The left hand don't know where the right is at yet

The children don't know yet that

We're bombing Baghdad

Keep your head down

Keep your head down 

Keep your head down

We are walking on

We are walking on

We are walking on
We are all walking on
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on 2013-06-14 08:14 pm (UTC)
isagel: My Dragon Age: Origins character and Alistair, looking out over the ruins of Ostagar. (dragon age vista)
Posted by [personal profile] isagel
Awwwwwwwww, that was truly lovely! And so well done. Bravo!

on 2013-06-14 08:16 pm (UTC)
shinyjenni: The Middleman with an umbrella and Wendy Watson with a snorkel (just the middleicon)
Posted by [personal profile] shinyjenni
Oh, wow, this is absolutely gorgeous. Very moving, and beautifully edited. I love it!

on 2013-06-14 09:47 pm (UTC)
happydork: A graph-theoretic tree in the shape of a dog, with the caption "Tree (with bark)" (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] happydork
Oh my goodness, wow! That is beautiful, and gave me such a wonderful perspective shift -- as I watched people walk in the second half of the video, even if the shot was just of their upper body, I was conscious of the fact that each heavy step landed on the ground. Because where they are means so many things -- it means whether it can support their weight and it means whether they can support its laws; it means what it feels like under their feet and it means what it feels like to be in that territory; it means the ground that would exist whether they were there or not to see it and it means the legal framework that only exists in as much as they impose upon it. I loved how I started seeing that duality in places where I hadn't seen it before.

on 2013-06-14 11:15 pm (UTC)
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] hedda62
Oh, very nice job! I will watch this again, for sure. I especially like how you used River, and the other people who are walking on ground yet in space - it ties the ideas and sources together well, the solidness and yet ephemerality of all the footsteps, and how we all come back to earth, whatever that means for us.

on 2013-06-15 01:01 am (UTC)
thingswithwings: Two people in upside-down rope suspension hanging from wooden tripods above the ocean; they're reaching out their arms t (queer - suspended over the ocean)
Posted by [personal profile] thingswithwings
Wow, just - wow. I have to say that I never understood what you do until now, and now I feel like I grasp it completely and viscerally (the concept of it, at least). I thought this was going to be a vid about land, but it turns out it was a vid about space - how spaces are imbued with meaning, how quickly those meanings can shift and change, with or against our will. I . . . this is just so beautiful, it makes me want to cry, especially at the end with the fragile, unsteady Earth suspended in space so vulnerable and covered in meanings. I would never have thought that you would use some of the sources you did, so there were so many wonderful surprising moments in this vid for me (the B5 martial law, the Berlin Wall/Goodbye Lenin moment, the bits from Billy Elliot, yes yes yes).

And I love what you did with speculative fiction in this vid - it feels a lot like one of your fics, actually, and I shouldn't be so surprised by it. It has that scope and imagination and sense of curiosity about how the ways we value space can be translated into space, or whether it should be, or how our ideas about ourselves and the spaces we inhabit could be different in the future.

I'd love to read that meta, if ever you wanted to publish it. <3

on 2013-06-15 01:02 am (UTC)
toft: graphic design for the moon europa (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] toft
Oh goodness, this is totally lovely. I really love vids that focus on something unconventional, because they always bring out things about the source that I haven't thought about before, and about scifi generally, actually - the importance of land, what it means. I think you did a really great job, and I'm amazed this is your first vid, it looks so good! It's very well paced.

on 2013-06-15 02:31 am (UTC)
opusculasedfera: stack of books, with a mug of tea on top (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] opusculasedfera
Fantastically beautiful.

on 2013-06-15 02:32 am (UTC)
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera peering around a corner (cair paravel (wibbelkind))
Posted by [personal profile] bedlamsbard
Oh, this is really cool. I think I'll have to watch it a few more times just to figure it out, but so cool.

on 2013-06-15 08:55 am (UTC)
caltha: Close-up photo of a knife embedded in a spread of playing cards. (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] caltha
This is one of the most original, compelling, well-sourced vids I've seen in years. I don't claim to understand of all what's happening here -- I saw the announcement post on vidding, and went "...land registration? Downloading!" and made two of my housemates watch it with me, one AMV-savvy and one vid/AMV-aware. All three of us were impressed by the editing, though I was the only one who knew most of the sources (and made gleeful clapping noises when certain things appeared, like the Slings & Arrows clip of them in the swan boat, or the girl from Billy Elliot dragging a stick against the strike poster).

I like River in the cargo bay helping to set up the idea of ground in the vid as -- well, as part of us, as meaning something more than the literal earth, applying to spaceships, even explicitly echoed in the imagery of River walking on leaves and branches.

"Underneath these titanic plates where you build your homes." Oh, god, Kirk turning over the saltshaker which becomes the actual Enterprise, and all of the layers there: the fact that they build these ships on Earth, that they aren't escaping Earth so much as bringing it with them, that the land we're from is a part of us even when we aren't physically atop it. (And I love the M&C clip of Stephen driving his walking stick very proprietorially into the unfamiliar earth.)

Ray K throwing himself into the Canadian embassy for asylum becomes an odd, striking moment, because he's just moving from ground to ground; its placement in the vid throws light on the bewildering strangeness of the idea of political structures imposed geographically onto the earth, and I loved the shot of the Berlin Wall coming down, which is an incredibly important sociopolitical moment to humans but very odd considered in the scope of, you know, a giant planet which doesn't particularly care what structures we erect on top of it.

I watched this three times in quick succession and will probably watch it again, trying to untangle all of the narrative and message, but it's a pleasure to watch and it's so obvious that it's a topic which has real meaning for you. The incredibly broad number of sources really push home that the ideas of the vid don't apply on a micro scale, to one character or place or iteration of Earth, but to the way we tell stories about ourselves and the land. Thank you for sharing this!

(no subject)

Posted by [personal profile] purplefringe - on 2013-06-15 09:47 am (UTC) - Expand

on 2013-06-15 10:41 am (UTC)
giandujakiss: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] giandujakiss
That was beautiful.

on 2013-06-15 11:20 am (UTC)
sophinisba: Gwen looking sexy from Merlin season 2 promo pics (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] sophinisba
This is awesome!

on 2013-06-16 05:25 am (UTC)
celli: a woman and a man holding hands, captioned "i treasure" (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] celli
This is AMAZING. I love it. I can't believe it's your first!

on 2013-06-16 12:40 pm (UTC)
cosmic_llin: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] cosmic_llin
Oh, wow, that was so cool! Thoughtful and thought-provoking and lovely.

on 2013-06-16 08:00 pm (UTC)
soupytwist: the road going ever on and on (the bend in the road)
Posted by [personal profile] soupytwist
You are astonishing. And this vid is just gorgeous - other people have said smart things, but oh god the combination of the news footage and the Goodbye Lenin clips to expand the sense of the vid.... your use of many sources obviously gave it scope too, but that was the thing that for me took the vid to the truly transcendental about just how much land means, and can be, both literally and figuratively. Wonderful.

on 2013-06-16 10:02 pm (UTC)
scintilla10: line-up of colourful rainboots (Stock - rainboots)
Posted by [personal profile] scintilla10
Oh wow, oh wow, this is just gorgeous. As the new and wonderful sources kept appearing, they kept surprising me! But you brought them together in such a fascinating and beautiful way and it made me rethink what meaning so many of those moments hold. Stunning work!

on 2013-06-16 11:20 pm (UTC)
lilly_the_kid: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] lilly_the_kid
Wow, this is so amazing! I love what you did here. All these sources are interwoven so beautifully and I love how it all flows. Great work!

on 2013-06-17 01:06 am (UTC)
eruthros: Toph, Aang, and Momo from Avatar: TLA hugging Sokka (Avatar - group hug!)
Posted by [personal profile] eruthros
Oh, wow, this is amazing! I love what you've done with the song and the sources to transition from the literal sense of ground to the sense of space and groundedness. Wow.

on 2013-06-17 06:53 pm (UTC)
scribe: very old pencil sketch of me with the word "scribe" (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] scribe
Oh, this is really lovely. Perfect song choice and gorgeous editing- I can't believe this is your first vid! Make many more!

on 2013-06-18 07:23 am (UTC)
lemon_badgeress: basket of lemons, with one cut lemon being decorative (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] lemon_badgeress
How much do I love how you have them looking up for 'keep your head down'.

on 2013-06-18 07:48 am (UTC)
niyalune: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] niyalune
This is very beautiful. I haven't seen a good part of these sources, so I'm probably missing important elements, but you vid still made sense to me. Awesome job !

on 2013-06-20 08:12 am (UTC)
fiercynn: Isabella with a sword [from Galavant] (TOSH MY LOVE)
Posted by [personal profile] fiercynn
Man, this is so gorgeous. I need to watch it again (and again, and again) when it's not ridiculously late and my brain is slightly more functional, but I loved it the first time around as well.

on 2013-06-23 07:40 am (UTC)
livrelibre: DW barcode (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] livrelibre
Beautifully done!

on 2013-06-25 04:36 pm (UTC)
dragojustine: (flails)
Posted by [personal profile] dragojustine
I am absolutely all flaily about this. It is AMAZING to me that you can pack such meaning into a vid, and especially such... not abstract, abstract is totally the wrong word, I lost a word here. Such complex and far-ranging meaning. Into a vid. I don't even know.

This moves just perfectly, from establishing LAND- the sheer concreteness and ubiquity of it, with all the feet- into just a dazzling display of all the ways that land signifies and that "land" becomes "place" (and then becomes home/roots/support/stability/sovereignty/freedom/and EVERYTHING ELSE). And then straight from there to the ways to that those signifiers shift and change and have to be fought for or fought against.

I love
-bookending it with River. This makes such a perfect match to Objects In Space, the relationship between object and meaning and her particular way of understanding that. It makes the entire vid feel as though I'm seeing through her understanding.
-the introduction of the Enterprise saltshaker and then the ship and then the space-stations- because we took that sense of place and all those meanings and lifted it with us into space even where we couldn't bring the land itself
-the Buffy dreamscapes. Because they are all about something so powerful and bone-deep and larger-than that land was the only visual metaphor that could hold it.
-the string of shots of looking up against the "keep your head down" lyric. It just feels absolutely powerful and hopeful and... audacious. Like insisting on claiming place and making meaning against all odds.

Sorry for the degree of flaily. That was amazing.

(no subject)

Posted by [personal profile] dragojustine - on 2013-06-26 01:34 am (UTC) - Expand

on 2013-06-25 06:36 pm (UTC)
bluemeridian: Chloe from Smallville, with coffee and a sideways look. (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] bluemeridian
Congratulations on your first vid!! I loved it! It's wonderfully thought provoking and I'll be watching it again for certain.

on 2013-06-30 03:28 pm (UTC)
promethia_tenk: (ten non-subjective viewpoint)
Posted by [personal profile] promethia_tenk

I adore the idea of a vid exploring a more . . . "abstract" un-traditionally vid-y topic like this, and as someone with a spatial obsession of my own (was going to be an architect for awhile--didn't pan out, but I still tend to think in those patterns), I love it even more.

Beautiful song, beautiful editing, and thank you for posting your meta, even if you didn't initially feel like it. Personally I am always interested in the thoughts that go into the making of something, and I learned a few things along the way!

on 2013-07-07 01:02 pm (UTC)
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (royaume inconnu)
Posted by [personal profile] skygiants
When you posted this, I had a friend visiting me and I sat down and made her watch it, and we were both so overwhelmed and delighted by it that I totally forgot to comment, so I'm remedying that now! What an amazing bittersweet vid, and what a great way to reframe and destabilize our sense of space, and our sense of belonging and home.

on 2013-08-24 08:42 am (UTC)
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] tree_and_leaf
This is amazing and thought-provoking, and I love the mix of sources. The map sketches are gorgeous, too!
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