What do you do when you want to create a high-energy video or series of scenes, and not let the adrenaline decrease at any point, but some of the scenes, lyrics or clips are too docile for that purpose and can't be removed or replaced?
While that hasn't been a problem in my recent writing, it's caused me some difficulties in a few of my videos. Especially when it came to a video set to Nightwish's Amaranth, in which the words of some of the lyrics are soft, and therefore fit best with soft visuals, but they're sung with so much energy that pairing them with anything peaceful just felt wrong.
So, how do you maintain high energy during peaceful scenes, in writing and in movie-making?
The answer came from an unexpected source: a Madoka Magica AMV I'd discovered almost a year ago, without initially recognizing the genius of a stylistic element it uses.
The video is set to A Demon's Fate by Within Temptation, not a peaceful song by any means. But some of the scenes it uses ARE peaceful... yet it managed not to lose any momentum by including them.
The way it did this was simple yet brilliant: it used rapid transitions between shots and set them in time with the music, so that even though the scene itself was peaceful, the sense of urgency was maintained because the picture being shown changed with such frantic speed.
It also interspersed some peaceful scenes with glimpses of combat scenes, so that the softer images could be depicted without losing the fierce, ominous tone. I suspect the same could be done in writing, by punctuating a slow scene with flashbacks, flash forwards, or glimpses of a more dangerous scene that's happening elsewhere in the setting.
It's a technique I was happy to add to my arsenal, and I can definitely see its positive effect on my latest music video (which also happens to be set to A Demon's Fate). I don't know when I'll need it for my writing, but I'm glad to know that I'll have it available when the need arises.
In the meantime, here's the video, if you want to watch it:
Did you think it made the book or video better or worse?
Do you think you'll be using the technique yourself?
I'd love to hear from you in the comments!