Thunderbolt and Lightning

We’ll get back to the Doctor Who stuff with a vengeance next week, but for this week’s trawl through the video archives, let me take you back to 1992. Actually, scratch that – let me take you back to April last year. Preparations for the Royal Wedding are full spring. Speaking of springs, there’s a couple going on in the Middle East, where Osama bin Laden is still alive and well and living somewhere in Afghanistan. Closer to home, my middle son is not quite four and is obsessed with ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, or ‘Scaramouche’, as he refers to it. Thomas isn’t the easiest child to entertain, and you have to find stuff, and watching YouTube videos with him – mostly Sesame Street clips (his choice) or classic pop videos (mine) has become a Fun Thing To Do Together. He has eclectic taste, but the Rhapsody is his current favourite. He’s familiar with the original and the Muppets version, and has quite recently (thanks to me) discovered the notorious headbanging scene in Wayne’s World.

Wayne’s World was a film that swallowed us up, in much the same way as Monty Python and the Holy Grail did, and we’d spend hours recreating our favourite scenes and reeling off pages and pages of dialogue. The monologues from Ed O’Neill are downright hysterical, the multiple ending split is inspired, and I can recall shaking in my seat with laughter when Robert Patrick peered in through the window of Mike Myers’ car, held up a polaroid and said “Have you seen this boy?”. Some twenty years after the fact it’s still a funny film, as are the sketches that inspired it.

You have to pick and choose when it comes to YouTube – I certainly wouldn’t allow any of my children to watch it unsupervised – and while there are several rips of the car sequence online I’d been having trouble finding a decent quality version that really suited Thomas’s needs, mainly because every time they get out of the car he starts whining. I was having to frantically scrub forward to an appropriate point so that the song could continue more or less uninterrupted, and eventually it hit me that perhaps a better way of doing this would be to edit a copy of the video myself. And if I was doing that, why not go the whole hog and do another montage?

Two weeks later, and we’re finished and the thing is online, all in time for Kate and Will’s big “I do”. The end result hangs together quite well and there is, I think, some reasonably effective matching of visuals to vocals (even though a lot of it is pretty tenuous). But I wish, wish, wish I’d known about speed matching and slowing down video, because it would have solved the problem I had when lip-synching the opera section at 3:06 – working with a PAL copy of the DVD meant the pitch was a little higher and the characters’ mouths moved a little faster than Mercury’s voice. I managed to get round it  with a little creative editing but the end result is a little less polished than I’d like. Still, at 13,000 hits (at least before Paramount made me take it down and I had to re-upload it to Vimeo) I’m not complaining. Fandango!

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