I'm an effigy of what I appear to be.
Effigy by mresundance
Song and Artist: “Effigy” by Natalie Merchant
Fandom: Legend of the Seeker
Length, Formats and Size: 2:07, 32 MB avi (xvid) and 12 MB wmv
Warnings: Spoilers for the entire first season.
Mord-Sith MistressesBetas: ladymajavader and hollywoodgrrl, without whose dedication and patience this vid would’ve never been.
Downloads (zipped files):
Please use the mediafire and 4shared links before using the permanent link.
Permanent link (right-click save as): 32 MB avi (xvid)
(See the end of the work for more notes.)
Sweet heavenly heaven, there was a time I seriously thought I would never see the end of this thing.
From brainstorming to planning to clip cutting to and down through several drafts (and drafts of drafts), this vid has been in the works since early May, shortly after 1x21 “Fever” of Legend of the Seeker aired.
See, I’m a Rahl fan. I like Rahl in the TV series; I think he’s a bit of a complicated cookie. In 1x21, we were offered a rare and tantalizing glimpse into what made Rahl who he was. It was, for me, chilling and unsettling. And I was very excited. I thought “hey, fandom will totally be talking about this episode to death! there will be an explosion of meta and discussion about Rahl”.
Haha, silly me, the hopeful (sometimes) idealist. There were a few thought-provoking discussions, but I have to admit I was a bit aghast at how casually the information dropped in 1x21 was received. A number of fans complained there wasn’t enough Richard/Kahlan. Which, granted, they are pretty awesome. But seriously, there are only about 21 other episodes replete with Richard/Kahlan and their Intense Gazes of Longing and Oblique Delcarations of Undying Love. Youtube it and one is easily up to their ears in vids about them as a couple.
So I’ll admit I had a beef when starting this vid. Tired of “Richard the perfect hero” narratives and the “OMG, Richard/Kahlan 4evah!” narratives, I wanted something that spoke to the tragedy of Rahl’s character and at least tarnished the image of Richard, the perfect hero who actually isn’t in some ways.
(On an aside: does anyone else think his attachment to Kahlan is creepily close to what “nice guys” do with the putting a woman on an impossible pedestal, amongst other things? No? I digress.)
In the process, though, I quickly discovered my project was a bit overly ambitious. And way out of my normal comfort zone. I am used to doing straightforward, linear narrative in vids. This vid presented some agonizing challenges in that it’s almost entirely cyclical and meta, driven completely by character study, not by a clean thread of narrative or plot. My betas can testify to my flailing and sometimes having temper tantrums at them over it. One draft, which I was very smitten with when finished, was about 50 % illegible to both of my betas. This pretty much wounded my silly, silly little ego. I put the vid aside for about a month before coming back to it with a clearer head and sharper set of objectives.
Still, it was about another month and three more drafts, plus tweaking of said drafts. :P
I wouldn’t have finished it though, if it weren’t for my betas encouraging and helping me. Both ladymajavader and hollywoodgrrl have been invaluable in the process. They both have such a keenly intuitive sense of the source material. I am extremely indebted to them both for the detailed conversations regarding the characters and show, particularly for the suggestions regarding the placement of Kahlan in the vid. ladymajavader pushed me gently towards using Kahlan not as a character, but a trope, and hollywoodgrrl helped perfect the notion by practically shoving ideas for clips at me. :D
But all and all – I think it was well worth it. I can say I have made a vid I am very pleased with and very proud of. I hope it’s well received, but even if not, it was worth it just to challenge myself and end up producing some of my better work to date.