Making a Plushenko YouTube montage- Part 1 [Revised]

I began embarking on this project on Friday [12/12/14]…
My biggest question about putting this thing together was “how the heck am I going to get the video footage to edit together”…

To which I say, Google is a wonderful thing. I found a website that allows you to download YouTube videos onto your computer.
For easy editing, I also downloaded myself a copy of Windows Movie Maker… something that oddly came with my previous computer, but not my laptop.
Finally, I struck gold when I discovered Windows Movie Maker 12… the format looks a lot like the recent versions of Microsoft Office and so far, I’ve had no problem.
The real moment of truth is going to be whether YouTube will accept my finished uploaded video.
Unfortunately, I think I’m a good two months away from seeing whether or not my venture will succeed…

I am computer savvy, but I am a beginner at this. So I’m hoping that I’m proud of my video when it comes out and it’s good enough to get a Retweet from Plushenko_News_Eng on Twitter.
Whoever has been running that Twitter account has been very kind, replying to some of my tweets, retweeting and favoriting things I’d written.

Now that the technical stuff is done, I’ll write about what I have so far.
This entry details my plan for “Precious”

Yesterday [12/16/14] I finished one third of my project…
Incidentally, it was meant to be the hardest part to compose since it focuses on the injury… If I can avoid it, I do because it was hard to watch the first time.
The ironic thing is that my vision of the images I wanted to show was the clearest.

After my title screen, I started into some footage of Plushenko skating in Sochi’s team competition. The free skate portion.
I was immediately drawn in by his aura, but I vaguely remembering not being completely engaged. Then he just stopped, struck a pose miming “shh” and he owned my attention for the rest of the program.

I can only say that it was luck, but I somehow got that pose to be in perfect time with the tone struck in my music.
I have him skating around, a lot of focus on the artistry (although I left out some “Njinsky” choreography because it didn’t fit the vibe of the music).
Next, a completed triple axel.

Fade to him holding his back, looking disappointed, talking to the judges and so on…
hinting of what’s to come

Next, [Sochi team free skate] his triple flip (or salchow… I still can’t quite tell the difference) that became a double… more simple skating…
Blur and give way to the [individual competition warm-up], where he attempts a triple axel and lets it go because something doesn’t feel right.
Fade to black- shaking his head to the judges
Fade to white- quickly cut to another triple axel

…looking back on February 13th, I think I remember seeing both jumps.
The first one, I was thinking, “oh okay, he pulled out because he messed it up, he’s just warming up”… I don’t think I thought too much of it at the time…
But then I saw THIS triple axel, the second one, where he nearly collapsed on himself… I knew THEN something was really wrong.

Luckily, I didn’t have to go through the agonizing process of searching for footage from him withdrawing. This footage was shown prior to him giving an interview in NBC’s Today show.
It’s a great interview, even better than his CNN interview… I like watching it, but hate having to revisit that heart-wrenching footage to get to it.

Yesterday I had issues with the transitions of my footage from one frame to the next… I realized it was because this Today show interview was a FLV file and I had to convert it to a WMA… again, Thank God for Google for allowing me to find a website to do that for me, rather than me having to download any more garbage onto my laptop.
And to eliminate other future problems, I converted my song from a MP4 file to a WAV file.

After this triple axel, he’s talking to the judges, then comes off the ice, puts on his skate guards.
I had another ending in place (him simply skating around the rink, putting his hands up, looking very aggrieved).
Then I watched the interview again and noticed that it included the footage I pictured in my head.

It’s of him disappearing into the locker room. And for dramatic effect, I converted it to Black & White and put it in slow motion.

The only ? mark remaining is one particular frame. The clip that goes after the “shh” pose.
I had one thing in place… him simply skating backwards and rolling his shoulders… after a while, I felt like it didn’t fit with the other footage. Where he’s really strong and powerful.

…I’m someone who would prefer that Plushenko is serious all the time in his skating 😛
I like how playful he is during “Tango Amore,” but even that took me a while to get used to.
Probably because I’m working very hard to not become strongly attracted to him in that way and he is very sexy during that number.

I’ve put a few bits of footage in place of the “shoulder roll” and I do have a few good options. I just don’t want it to upset the flow of the footage that follows it.

It really does help that Plushenko has great musicality when he skates, but I’ve gotten him to be in perfect timing with certain lyrics.

*amidst a step sequence, his hand is raised on the first lyric “Precious” (which is the name of the song I’m using)
*the blur leading to the first failed triple axel- “now look what we have put you through”
*[perhaps the moment of greatest impact] “Things get damaged”- on the word “damaged”- his 2nd triple axel collapses
*”I thought we’d manage with words left unspoken”- he talks to the judges, so this lyric is a cruel sense of irony
*the beginning of the next line has him coming off the ice, looking very much in pain and disappointed

Now, I think I have the perfect clip in place… he’s doing one of his spins… a beautiful one where he’s practically horizontal and his arms are moving somewhat free of his body.
And I tinted the color so it has cyan-tones to it.

Right now, that’s what I have so far. That first 1 min 17 seconds are officially in the books.
I’ll admit… after working on it for so long, I started to feel a little depressed. I had focused so much on the stand-out negativity experience that cemented me as a fan that it was getting me down.

I ended last night with a gala he did in 2005. His first appearance after a surgery. I believe groin surgery, but I’m not positive. He came out on crutches and appears to heal miraculously before our eyes.
I downloaded it from YouTube thinking I might be able to use a couple of the step sequences. Now I’m not so sure.
I also don’t want to overexpose myself to the routine or else I won’t believe the “miracle” of his skating again.

It was the pick-me-up I really needed 😉 made me smile in a way only Plushenko can.

From this point on, my vision isn’t nearly as clear. But that’s okay.
Especially for the verses, I want to take my time to find my favorite spins and step sequences to put with the music. Every time I listen to the song, I imagine something different, so I should also leave myself open to multiple possibilities.

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